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Kucinich Demands Intelligence That Led To War

From: Kucinich Campaign
mailto:info@kucinich.us

KUCINICH DEMANDS RELEASE OF INTELLIGENCE THAT LED TO WAR

Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, leader of the opposition to the Iraq war in the U.S. House, is announcing at a noon news conference on Wednesday that he will use a Resolution of Inquiry to demand the release of the intelligence that led to the war in Iraq, and to Administration claims that Iraq had tons of biological and chemical weapons, delivery systems, and a 'reconstituted' nuclear program.

"This Administration led this nation into war based on lies," said Kucinich. "I think that this Congress, and the American people, have a right to know what information this Administration had, and how they justify their public comments. Now is the time for truth-telling."

A Resolution of Inquiry is a rarely used House procedure that Kucinich used successfully in March to get the Administration to release the 12,000 page weapons report that Iraq had submitted to the UN.

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Congressman Dennis Kucinich is running a grassroots campaign for president, allied with the peace and justice movement. He is the one presidential candidate who had the courage to vote against the misnamed "USA Patriot Act."

Unlike the corporate-connected candidates, Kucinich relies on you in the grassroots to spread the word about his campaign [ http://www.kucinich.us] and to keep the campaign funded: [ https://www.kucinich.us/contribute.php]. It doesn't take long to donate, and all donations up to $250 are matched, which means your $50 is really worth $100 to our campaign.

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Attached is a John Nichols column from today's Capital Times, "Kucinich Draws Crowd, but Not Media," which points out that no other candidate attracts the audiences that Dennis does, and yet, big national media -- like they did with McGovern in '71 and Carter in '75 -- may be missing the story. "If the grass roots still count for anything," writes Nichols, "then the Kucinich people have earned some bragging rights. Drawing a thousand people on a Saturday night in Madison, and being compared with Michael Moore in the Des Moines Register could yet prove to be more meaningful than flattering mentions in the New York Times." http://www.madison.com/captimes/opinion/column/nichols/50097.php

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Congressman Kucinich's full letter to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld seeking facts that would resolve the controversy surrounding the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch in Iraq.

Does the Pentagon Have Amnesia on Lynch?

By Rep. Dennis Kucinich
June 2, 2003

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld,

I am writing to request your assistance in resolving the controversy surrounding the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch.

In the days following Private Lynch's rescue from an Iraqi hospital by U.S. Special Forces, numerous U.S. officials described to national media outlets the circumstances surrounding this event. They portrayed Private Lynch as receiving bullet and knife wounds, experiencing mistreatment by Iraqi officials, and being spirited away amid harsh enemy fire. They reported that Private Lynch suffered amnesia and could not recall her rescue. Although U.S. officials requested anonymity, their stories were widely reported without correction or qualification by the Defense Department. Indeed, the Department appeared to confirm the accuracy of these reports, releasing for reporters an edited section of videotape taken by a military cameraman using night vision equipment. Indeed, in introducing this clip, General Vincent Brooks, the U.S. spokesman in Doha, reportedly said: "Some brave souls put their lives on the line to make this happen."(1)

More recently, however, contrary media accounts have emerged. At their core, these accounts argue that the rescue was essentially staged for a made-for-TV video. Specifically, these accounts have reported that, in fact, Private Lynch sustained no bullet or knife injuries. They have also reported that U.S. forces knew in advance of the operation that no Iraqi forces were guarding the hospital. They have reported that Iraqi medical staff treated Private Lynch humanely, even donating their own blood. They have reported that Iraqi medical staff actually tried to deliver Private Lynch in an ambulance two days earlier, but they were fired upon by U.S. forces. And they have reported that U.S. forces participating in the rescue of Private Lynch were not fired upon by Iraqi forces. Perhaps the harshest account claimed that the Pentagon's staging of this event was "one of the most stunning pieces of news management yet conceived."(2) And Private Lynch's father, Greg Lynch, told reporters that Private Lynch did not in fact suffer from amnesia. When he was asked to elaborate on the military operation that recovered his daughter, he said, "Right now we are really not supposed to talk about that subject, you know."

As you can see there is a wide gap between the facts as reported initially and the manner in which they are being reported now. As I understand the Defense Department's position, these recent accounts are "outrageous, patently false and unsupported by the facts."(3) At the same time, Defense Department officials now seem to be qualifying their earlier statements. For example, Bryan Whitman, Department of Defense spokesman, reportedly said "the U.S. military never claimed that the troops came under fire when they burst into the hospital."(4)

I believe it is time for the Department of Defense to fully disclose what happened.

First, I request that you order the public release of the unedited footage taken by the military cameraman of the military operation to recover Private Lynch. There has been a great deal of commentary on the manner in which the Department edited and aired a videotape of the rescue operation. Several media representatives have requested that the full tape be released so the American people can make an independent assessment of these conflicting claims. I see no reason for the Department to reject this request.

Second, I would like you to answer formally the following questions about the health status of Private Lynch and the military operation to recover her:

– Did U.S. forces encounter any Iraqi forces in the hospital?

– Were U.S. troops fired upon during the rescue operation? If so, please describe specifically the nature of the interchange.

– Did U.S. [forces] have any information suggesting that Iraqi forces had abandoned the hospital?

– Did Private Lynch sustain any gunshot or knife wounds?

– Did U.S. officials have any information suggesting that Iraqi medical staff were trying to deliver Private Lynch to American forces?

– Did U.S. forces at any time fire on any ambulances?

Finally, I understand the Department has ordered an investigation into the facts surrounding Private Lynch's capture by Iraqi forces. I also understand, however, that investigators were not asked to examine the circumstances surrounding Private Lynch's rescue. In light of the controversy that has arisen regarding this case, I suggest that the Pentagon's ongoing investigation also include the facts surrounding Private Lynch's rescue as well.

If you have any questions about this request, please call my Legislative Director, Jaron Bourke... I look forward to receiving your response.

Sincerely,

Dennis J. Kucinich,

Ranking Minority Member Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations


(1) The Truth About Jessica, The Guardian, May 15, 2003
(2) ibid
(3) Pentagon Aims Guns at Lynch Reports, Los Angeles Times, May 29, 2003
(4) U.S. Rejects BBC Lynch Report, BBC, May 20, 2003

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