Top Democrats Give White House Another Blank-Check For Iraq

Jason Leopold | Consortiumnews. com,  June 21st, 2008

A Democratic engineered emergency supplemental bill to continue funding the occupation of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan to the tune of $162 billion is expected to win bipartisan support, aides to leaders in the House said late Wednesday.

The bill, as currently drafted, does not contain any conditions for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq nor does it restrict how President Bush can conduct military operations. The legislation ensures both wars are funded well into 2009 and comes nearly two years after Democrats won majorities in Congress and the Senate largely on promises to resist handing the Bush administration “blank-checks” for Iraq and a pledge to immediately bring U.S. troops home.

A spokesperson for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was unavailable for comment.

In a column published on The Huffington Post in November 2006, just a couple of weeks after Democrats took back control of Congress, Pelosi wrote “that the biggest ethical issue facing our country for the past three and a half years is the war in Iraq.”

“This unnecessary pre-emptive war has come at great cost. Nearly 2,900 of our brave troops have lost their lives and more than 21,000 more have suffered lasting wounds,” Pelosi wrote.” Since the war began, Congress has appropriated more than $350 billion, and the United States has suffered devastating damage to our reputation in the eyes of the world.”

Since she published that column, an additional 1,200 U.S. troops died in Iraq and nearly 10,000 more were wounded, according to statistics released by the Defense Department. Additionally, tens of thousands of Iraqis civilians have been killed since the March 2003 invasion. Moreover, if the new supplemental passes it will bring the total costs of the war to more than $600 billion.

Continued . . .

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