Lieberman Takes President, Fellow Democrats to Task on Security, Foreign Policy

WASHINGTON – Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) today said that President Bush’s conduct of U.S. security and foreign policy is giving the country good reason to question his leadership. Lieberman said the President’s failure to plan adequately for post-war Iraq, unwillingness to accept responsibility for the misleading use of intelligence in the State of the Union address, and ongoing failure to learn critical homeland security lessons from September 11th risk setting America back. At the same time, Lieberman warned members of his party against suggesting that the improper use of intelligence and ongoing instability in Iraq give us reason to second-guess the justice of the war to remove Saddam Hussein.

“By its actions, the Bush Administration threatens to give a just war a bad name,” Lieberman said. “But by their words, some in my party are sending out a message that they don’t know a just war when they see it, and, more broadly, are not prepared to use our military strength to protect our security and the cause of freedom.” Lieberman said, when fairly criticizing the Bush Administration’s lapses of leadership, those in his party have a responsibility to offer concrete proposals to improve our security and foreign policy. “I want the American people to have confidence when it comes to our national security that their leaders are working together and doing everything we can to protect them,” Lieberman said. In that spirit, Lieberman called on the Administration to take four urgent steps now to help strengthen our security and restore its credibility here and around the world. Specifically, Lieberman called upon the President to:

  • Immediately strengthen the power of Iraq’s Governing Council to help prove that Americans are liberators, not occupiers;
  • Let every line of the 28 pages of the Joint Intelligence Committee report be published — unless they compromise intelligence sources and methods;
  • Stop resisting and immediately begin fundamental intelligence reform, beginning with urgent consolidation of all federal terrorist watch lists;
  • Take full responsibility for the lapses of leadership and provide the kind of openness and honesty that America needs in this time of crisis.
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