Senate armed services panel chair to ask Pentagon today to drop funds bid for rebuilding of police stations. (more…)
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Opening Statement of Senator Carl Levin, Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on the Situation in Iraq with Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus: 04/08/08
Welcome General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. Thank you for joining us today, and thank you for your service to our nation. Please express our deep gratitude to the brave men and women serving in Iraq both in our armed forces and in the civilian agencies of our government. (more…)
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., and senior Committee Member John Warner, R-Va., today asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review Iraqi oil revenues and determine how much money the Iraqi government has contributed to security and reconstruction efforts in the country. The senators voice concern that the Iraqi government has tremendous resources sitting in banks around the world while not doing nearly enough to improve the quality of life of Iraqi citizens. (more…)
The most striking feature of any visit to Iraq is the bravery and professionalism of American troops. And their courage, combined with the increased Iraqi army capability and willingness to fight, has resulted in some reduced violence in some places in Iraq.
Despite that, there’s a continuing — as a matter of fact, I’d say a deepening — consensus that there is no military solution to the sectarian strife in Iraq, and that the only hope of ending that violence is political compromise between the leaders of the feuding groups.
But the political leaders continue to ignore the desperate situation that their people find themselves in, and recent discussions among top political leaders have apparently produced little or nothing.
That failure has reinforced the widely held view that the Maliki government is nonfunctional and cannot produce a political settlement because it is too beholden to religious and sectarian leaders.
Iraqi leaders have not met their own political benchmarks to share power and resources and to modify the de-Baathification laws and to schedule provincial elections and to amend their constitution.
So I hope that the Iraqi assembly, when it reconvenes in a few weeks, will vote the Maliki government out of office and will have the wisdom to replace it with a less sectarian and a more unifying prime minister and government.
Click the play button to hear Sen. Levin
deliver the weekly Democratic Radio Address
(Download 4.0 MB MP3)
Text of the Address, as delivered:
Good morning, this is Senator Carl Levin of Michigan.
This week, the Senate had the opportunity to do what most Americans want us to do: change course in Iraq. Although a bipartisan majority of the Senators supported an amendment to do just that, we were blocked by the Republican leadership from voting on it.
Now in its fifth year, the Iraq war has cost more than 3,600 American lives, seven times that many wounded and over a half a trillion dollars.
President Bush claims that we must keep paying this terrible price to protect America from terrorism. But even the Administration’s own intelligence experts are saying that during the war in Iraq there has been an increase in the threat of terrorism and that Al Qaeda has regained its strength.
Last week, Senator Jack Reed and I offered an amendment to begin reducing U.S. troops in Iraq and to change their mission to get us out from the middle of a civil war.
The Republican leadership chose to filibuster our amendment to deny the majority the opportunity to vote on it.
By U.S. Sen. Carl Levin
Los Angeles Times
TO PARAPHRASE President Reagan, there he goes again.
On Rush Limbaugh’s radio program last week, Vice President Dick Cheney spoke about Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi and stated: “He went to Baghdad. He took up residence there before we ever launched into Iraq, organized the Al Qaeda operations inside Iraq…. This is Al Qaeda operating in Iraq and, as I say, they were present before we invaded Iraq.”
It is incredible that more than four years after the invasion, the vice president is still trying to convince the public that Saddam Hussein’s regime was connected to Al Qaeda and that Zarqawi’s presence in Iraq was evidence of a connection.
By Hope Yen
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged the Democratic-controlled Congress not to interfere in the conduct of the Iraq war and suggested President Bush would defy troop withdrawal legislation.
But Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said lawmakers would step up efforts to force Bush to change course. “The president needs a check and a balance,” said Levin, D-Mich. (more…)
WASHINGTON — Senator Carl Levin said today that the nation needs “a surge of concern” for wounded Iraq veterans, after media reports found decrepit conditions and bureaucratic red tape interfering with the care of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. (more…)
NBC News and news services
Committee chairman says Democrats do not have enough votes yet
WASHINGTON - A top U.S. Senate Democrat said Sunday his party aims to limit the role of the nearly 140,000 American troops in Iraq and withdraw most of them from the war-torn country within a year.
By Gordon Trowbridge
WASHINGTON — Michigan’s senior U.S. senator, Democrat Carl Levin, said Friday he plans to delve more deeply into the story of how the United States went to war in Iraq, sending staffers to interview key White House and Pentagon officials about how dubious intelligence linking Saddam Hussein to the September 11 terrorist attacks became part of the justification for the 2003 invasion.
By Gordon Trowbridge
WASHINGTON — An investigation by the Pentagon’s internal watchdog of the run-up to the Iraq war shows top Defense Department officials manipulated intelligence on Iraq’s relationship with al-Qaida, Sen. Carl Levin said today. (more…)
All Things Considered
National Public Radio
Robert Siegel talks with Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), who has agreed to sign on to a bill along with Sen. John Warner (R-VA) expressing disapproval of President Bush’s “surge strategy” in Iraq. But some Democrats say the bill could inhibit more critical legislation that could come later. (more…)
By Anne Flaherty
WASHINGTON — Two senators leading separate efforts to put Congress on record against President Bush’s troop buildup in Iraq joined forces today, agreeing on a nonbinding resolution that would criticize the plan.
Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., had been sponsoring competing measures opposing Bush’s strategy of sending 21,500 more U.S. troops to the war zone, with Warner’s less harshly worded version attracting more Republican interest. The new resolution would vow to protect funding for troops while keeping Warner’s original language expressing the Senate’s opposition to the troop buildup. (more…)
By Chris Christoff
Detroit Free Press
WASHINGTON — Others in Congress might criticize President George W. Bush’s handling of the Iraq war with more flash than Sen. Carl Levin.
Some are running for president. The Michigan Democrat has never hinted he wants the job.
By Kristofer Karol
Livingston Daily Press & Argus
Michigan’s senior senator told a crowd of Livingston County Democrats on Saturday that the end of the Iraq conflict will need to come from placing a cap on troops or specifying a four- to six-month timetable for withdrawal.
By Joshua Landon
WLNS 6 News
The debate over sending more U.S. troops to Iraq heats up in Michigan. Senator Carl Levin spoke at a democratic party fundraiser in Livingston County, and the senator spent much of his time…talking about the war in Iraq.
Senator Carl Levin received an immense applause before giving his speech in Livingston County. This is senator Levin’s first time speaking in Michigan since President Bush announced his plans of sending an additional 20,000 plus troops to Iraq, and he’s making his positron on the topic loud and clear.
By Gordon Trowbridge
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., enlisted Republican support Wednesday in his effort to stop President Bush’s proposed troop increase in Iraq, joining with Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel and Democrat Joseph Biden in proposing a nonbinding resolution that would register Congress’ disapproval of the plan.
WASHINGTON - The postelection debate over Iraq is intensifying as members of Congress from both parties pose remedies and the Bush administration hunts for answers. (more…)