Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Again I Say, "Boxer For Prez!"
I still support Kerry. I still like Edwards. I still like Gore (but not the other guy anymore). I still like Dean, and I want him to be the new DNC Chairman (I'm a little late with the endorsement because I still like Sharpton, and I wanted to wait to see if he was going to run first, not necessarily because I preferred him over Dean (though the fact that Dean is more electable for offices that we sort-of-have-a-vote-in might have also been swaying me a little bit), but just because I believe in weighing before voting). I still like 31 Democrats in the House. I still like the usual list of Democrats who we can usually count on for at least words, if not actions (rangel, hilary, obama, ted, nadler, leahy).
But I'm falling in love with the bravest Democrat in the land. A Democrat who voted against giving Bush the go-ahead to wage an illegal and immoral war; A Democrat who voted against the certification of the election results in a state where Bush's party undoubtedly committed serious civil rights violations and most probably engaged in widespread fraud.
If you think like me and hope and dream like me, then after reading this transcription of her match with Condi Rice, you will see why we need this American patriot to bring us back our country in 2008. If there isn't already a site on the Internet devoted to pushing Senator Barbara Boxer to run for President in 2008, then you can bet my blog will be pursuing that goal, as well (the biggies are election reform, investigations against the administration for criminal and unconstitutional conduct and, of course, getting our troops back from Iraq).
And you better believe, four years before, my vote has already been weighed, because we have no better ally than California's Senator Barbara Boxer. Don't stop. Keep going. We love you.
Boxer - Thank you, Dr. Rice, for agreeing to stay as long as it takes, because some of us do have a lot of questions.
Boxer - And if you're going to become the voice of diplomacy -- this is just a helpful point -- when Senator Voinovich mentioned the issue of tsunami relief, you said -- your first words were, "The tsunami was a wonderful opportunity for us." Now, the tsunami was one of the worst tragedies of our lifetime -- one of the worst -- and it's going to have a 10-year impact on rebuilding that area. I was very disappointed in your statement. I think you blew the opportunity.
Boxer - Martin Luther King, quote, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." And one of the things that matters most to my people in California and the people in America is this war in Iraq.
Boxer - I'm quoting today's Post: "Bush said in an interview last week with the Washington Post that the '04 election was a moment of accountability for the decisions he made in Iraq." But today's Washington Post/ABC poll found that 58 percent disapprove of his handling of the situation, to 40 percent who approve -- and only 44 percent said the war was worth fighting.
Boxer - And I personally believe -- this is my personal view -- that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell this war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth. And I don't say it lightly, and I'm going to go into the documents that show your statements and the facts at the time.
Boxer - On July 30th, 2003...In what appears to be an effort to downplay the nuclear-weapons scare tactics you used before the war, your answer was, and I quote, "It was a case that said he was trying to reconstitute. He's trying to acquire nuclear weapons. Nobody ever said that it was going to be the next year." Well, that wasn't true, because nine months before you said this to the American people, what had George Bush said, President Bush, at his speech at the Cincinnati Museum Center? "If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy or steal an amount of highly-enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, it could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year." So the president tells the people there could be a weapon. Nine months later you said no one ever said he could have a weapon in a year, when in fact the president said it.
Boxer - On October 10th...three months ago...Your response was this: "The intelligence assessment was that he was reconstituting his nuclear program; that, left unchecked, he would have a nuclear weapon by the end of the year." So here you are, first contradicting the president and then contradicting yourself. So it's hard to even ask you a question about this, because you are on the record basically taking two sides of an issue. And this does not serve the American people.
Rice - Yes. Senator, I am more than aware of the stakes that we face in Iraq, and I was more than aware of the stakes of going to war in Iraq. I mourn and honor -- I mourn the dead and honor their service, because we have asked American men and women in uniform to do the hardest thing, which is to go and defend freedom and give others an opportunity to build a free society, which will make us safer.
Rice - Senator, I have to say that I have never, ever lost respect for the truth in the service of anything. It is not my nature. It is not my character. And I would hope that we can have this conversation and discuss what happened before and what went on before and what I said without impugning my credibility or my integrity.
Boxer - And, if I might say, again you said you're aware of the stakes in Iraq; we sent our beautiful people -- and thank you, thank you so much for your comments about them -- to defend freedom. You sent them in there because of weapons of mass destruction. Later, the mission changed when there were none. I have your quotes on it. I have the president's quotes on it. And everybody admits it but you that that was the reason for the war. And then, once we're in there, now it moves to a different mission, which is great. We all want to give democracy and freedom everywhere we can possibly do it. But let's not rewrite history. It's too soon to do that.
Rice - It was the total picture, Senator, not just weapons of mass destruction, that caused us to decide that, post-September 11th, it was finally time to deal with Saddam Hussein.
Boxer - Well, you should read what we voted on when we voted to support the war, which I did not, but most of my colleagues did. It was WMD, period. That was the reason and the causation for that, you know, particular vote. But, again, I just feel you quote President Bush when it suits you but you contradicted him when he said, "Yes, Saddam could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year." You go on television nine months later and said, "Nobody ever said it was" --
Rice - Senator, that was just a question of pointing out to people that there was an uncertainty. No one was saying that he would have to have a weapon within a year for it to be worth it to go to war.
Boxer - Well, if you can't admit to this mistake, I hope that you'll --
Rice - Senator, we can have this discussion in any way that you would like. But I really hope that you will refrain from impugning my integrity. Thank you very much.
Boxer - I'm not. I'm just quoting what you said. You contradicted the president and you contradicted yourself.
Rice - Senator, I'm happy to continue the discussion, but I really hope that you will not imply that I take the truth lightly.
Ms. Rice accused Boxer of impugning her credibility (as if) and her integrity (the first NSA with a tanker named after her) twice. Notice that she didn't say veracity. I guess she had already filled her lie quota for the day.
And what the hell does "we can have this discussion in any way that you would like" mean? If someone said that to me, perhaps at a bar, I would take them as fighting words.
So much for diplomacy in the Bush II administration. Today in our nation's capital, the President's choice for Secretary of State got caught in a costly web of lies - and rendered helpless to defend herself without spinning even more lies - responded with the kind of threat that a barroom bully would deploy.
Unfortunately, we only have so many voices in this process. A few voices like Senator Boxer's and Senator Kerry's. But they're drowned out by the voices that used to speak for us like the other senator from California, Senator Diane Feinstein. If only more of our Democratic representatives in Congress spoke for the people who voted for them. If only.