GILLIBRAND: LOOMING BUSH VETO BLOCKS TROOPS' RETURN FROM
By Peter Duveen
PETER'S NEW YORK, March 27, 2008--Congressional initiatives to redeploy
U.S. troops out of Iraq are not likely
to bear fruit this year because President George W. Bush will almost
certainly veto them, Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) said
she said she supports a small but continued presence of U.S. troops,
Gillibrand held out hope that
Iraqis will take more responsibility for their own security. Gillibrand
answered questions on policy matters during and after a panel
discussion at the Brunswick Elks Lodge in Troy, New York, on how
of her district can save on their federal, state and local taxes.
Gillibrand said she supports measures to "redeploy the vast majority of
our troops over the next year."
are being pushed to the breaking point," she said.
Peter Duveen Photo
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) speaks
to constituents at an Elks lodge in Troy, N.Y. on
ways they can save on their tax bills. Gillibrand also commented on the
Iraq War and other issues.
Under the current plan backed by Gillbrand, a small number of
specially-trained U.S. forces would remain to assist the Iraqis.
Gillibrand said it was up to the people of Iraq to take responsibility
their own security by "choosing peace over civil war." But she said
minimum" that a change in policy can be effected during the last months
of the Bush Administration, noting that legislation promoting
troop redeployment was unlikely to garner the votes of two-thirds of
both houses of Congress needed to override an anticipated presidential
In addition to redeployment, Gillibrand said Democratic-backed measures
being considered by Congress would relinquish
permanent bases in Iraq as well as claims on that country's oil.
On other matters, Gillibrand said she strongly supported the
development of alternative sources of energy, both to lessen American
dependence on Middle East oil and to address environmental
concerns. "All our Middle East policy is tied to oil," she said,
adding that one of her goals was to "make this country energy
On the environmental front, Gillibrand said she would take away tax
breaks for oil companies and redirect the funds for environmental
research. :"Global warming is a serious issue," said Gillibrand, noting
that in her own
Congressional district, flooding has been a problem to a degree not
seen in a hundred years, while hunters have noticed marked changes in
patterns of birds.
Gillibrand said she opposed unfunded mandates such as those that
accompanied the "No Child Left Behind" Act, which she said cost state
and local government billions of dollars to implement. "It's not fair
to taxpayers if you don't pay for
it," she said, referring to Congress and the Bush administration.
On the topic of a new investigation into the events of September 11,
2001, Gillibrand said she would withhold comment until she obtained
additional information on the issue.
A new book by Phillip Shenon of the
New York Times indicates that
the final report of the 9-11 Commission was
unduly influenced by the commission's executive director, Philip
Zelikow, whose extensive ties to
the Bush Administration compromised the commission's independence.
In a recent interview aired on C-SPAN, Shenon said officials bungled
their jobs and that some people had been promoted for it. "I do not
believe that this is necessarily a good thing for the government," he
said. Groups representing a significant portion
of the families of those who died in the 9-11 attacks have been
clamoring for a new study, citing the commission's lapses in assigning
accountability for the government's failure to protect America from
On the morning of September 11, 2001, the famous twin towers of New
York's World Trade Center disintegrated after airliners crashed into
each of them in what appeared to be a coordinated attack. A third
building of the Trade Center complex later mysteriously also fell to
the ground, while another airliner was said to have collided with the
Pentagon in Washington, D.C., causing substantial damage to one part of
that structure. Another airliner was said to have crashed into a field
in Pennsylvania. The incidents were soon blamed by the government on a
team of hijacker-terrorists of Middle East origin.
In the weeks that followed, anthrax bacterium was dispersed through the
mails, resulting in several fatalities. No perpetrator was ever
identified for the anthrax incidents. In 2002, the
government formed an official commission to
investigate the events of 9-11, and a final report was issued
The traumatic spectacle of September 11 and its aftermath, in which
thousands of people lost their lives, spawned a series of laws and a
reorganization of the federal government ostensibly to protect
Americans from terrorists. It was used to justify the U.S. invasion of
Afghanistan and the initiation of a global "war on terror," and was
often cited by the Bush Administration in its push to invade Iraq, the
U.S. occupation of which is now in its fifth year. Critics of the 9-11
Commission Report cite the importance of its subject in forming public
policy and what are seen as major deficiencies and flaws in its
findings, as reasons for reopening an investigation.
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