President Bush, standing firmly against a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, said Tuesday that he will veto the latest war spending bill approved by Congress.
“I’m disappointed that the Democratic leadership has chosen this course,” Bush said.
“They chose to make a political statement,” he said. “That’s their right but it is wrong for our troops and it’s wrong for our country. To accept the bill proposed by the Democratic leadership would be to accept a policy that directly contradicts the judgment of our military commanders.”
Bush’s statement came after Democratic leaders agreed Monday on legislation that requires the first U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by October 1 with a goal of a complete pullout six months later. The decision assured a historic veto showdown.
“No more will Congress turn a blind eye to the Bush administration’s incompetence and dishonesty,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a speech in which he accused the president of living in a state of denial about events in Iraq more than four years after the U.S.-led invasion.
Radio ads expected to air Tuesday will attack Reid as treating troops like a “political football,” GOP officials said. According to a transcript, an Iraq veteran identified as Capt. Trip Bellard says, “Senator Reid’s remarks undercut the morale of our soldiers and undermine our troops on the ground.”
Let’s get another opinion
Baer, who served with Tillman for more than a year in Iraq and Afghanistan, told one anecdote that took place during the March 2003 invasion as the Rangers moved up through southern Iraq.
â€œI can see it like a movie screen,â€ Baer said. â€œWe were outside of (a city in southern Iraq) watching as bombs were dropping on the town. We were at an old air base, me, Kevin and Pat, we werenâ€™t in the fight right then. We were talking. And Pat said, â€˜You know, this war is so fâ€” illegal.â€™ And we all said, â€˜Yeah.â€™ Thatâ€™s who he was. He totally was against Bush.â€
Another soldier in the platoon, who asked not to be identified, said Pat urged him to vote for Bushâ€™s Democratic opponent in the 2004 election, Sen. John Kerry.
Not that this stopped them from using Tillman to promote their war.
Pat Tillman’s brother accused the military Tuesday of “intentional falsehoods” and “deliberate and careful misrepresentations” in initially portraying the football star’s death in Afghanistan as the result of heroic engagement with the enemy instead of friendly fire.
“We believe this narrative was intended to deceive the family but more importantly the American public,” Kevin Tillman told a hearing of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee that was also looking at how the military portrayed the rescue of Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch.
“Revealing that Pat’s death was a (friendly fire) fratricide would have been yet another political disaster in a month of political disasters … so the truth needed to be suppressed,” said Tillman, who was in a convoy behind his brother when the incident happened three years ago but didn’t see it.
If they can’t use your living body, they’ll use your dead body to prop themselves up…