Jun 23, 2004
Dems Demand Abu Ghraib Investigation
“During the previous Administration, Republicans in Congress were quick to exercise what they viewed as their oversight role. More than 1,000 subpoenas from Committee chairmen were issued to the Clinton Administration, and it appeared that no matter was too small to pursue. Today, however, issues of the greatest consequence routinely fester without investigation or inquiry from the Republicans in Congress.
“The Abu Ghraib prison scandal must be investigated by Congress. It has serious implications for our effort in Iraq, our foreign policy, and our Constitution.
“The House has been negligent in its responsibilities. There have been closed sessions of the Intelligence Committee and two Armed Services hearings, but there is no ongoing public investigation by a House committee with a plan to acquire the necessary documents and testimony.
“Time and again, Democrats have diligently attempted to have the House carry out its responsibilities, but time and again, Republicans have failed to conduct any credible investigations.
“The issue grows more urgent each day, as new revelations suggest possible authorization and involvement up the chain of command at the Pentagon and at the White House. And memos from the Department of Justice—written at the request of the President’s counsel—and the Department of Defense articulate a breathtaking sweep of the President’s powers without any restraints.
“It is imperative that Congress independently investigate the underlying facts, and to examine the Administration’s policies and legal theories that may have led – either directly or indirectly—to the acts at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.
“The resolutions—to be introduced today by Mr. Waxman for a Select Committee to fully investigate the allegations and Mr. Conyers for a Resolution of Inquiry to obtain documents—are both necessary for the House to exercise its constitutional oversight responsibilities. It is long past time for us to carry out our responsibilities.”
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