The 'Anti-War' Democrats Who Sold Out
In a historic vote, only 30 of 256 Democrats stood against $100 billion for more war.
Emanuel ‘rushed’ to Capitol Hill and prevailed upon Senate Democrats to remove the torture photo measure in exchange for an explicit White House promise that it would use all means at its disposal to block the photos’ release. Obama also issued a letter to Congress assuring it he would support separate legislation to suppress the photos, if necessary, and imploring it to speed passage of the war-spending bill. The rider would “unnecessarily complicate the essential objective of supporting the troops,” Obama wrote.
In other words, Obama took a position that amounted to providing political cover to Democrats to support the war funding, while pledging to implement, through other means, the very policy they supposedly found objectionable.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey of California, a leader of the antiwar Democrats, said the White House is threatening to withdraw support from freshmen who oppose the bill, saying “you’ll never hear from us again.”
She said the House leadership also is targeting the freshmen.
It’s really hard for the freshmen,” she said. “Nancy’s pretty powerful.”
Jane Hamsher, meanwhile, reported on Monday that it appeared Emanuel was "cutting deals with Republicans to go easy on them in the 2010 elections in exchange for votes." In the end, the White House got five Republicans to vote for the funding, including New York Republican John McHugh, the man President Obama nominated two weeks ago to be Army secretary. A "senior Republican source" according to FOX News "suggested McHugh could be creating a conflict of interest by voting on military-related legislation while his Army secretary nomination is pending before the Senate."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is trying to paint the IMF provision as a “very important national security initiative.” The IMF, she said, “can be a force for alleviating the fury of despair among people, poor people throughout the world.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's office put out a position paper that declared the IMF funding "is key to making us more secure," adding that the money will ensure that the "IMF has the ability to play its central role in resolving and preventing the spread of international economic and financial crises." The paper also provided a litany of comments from prominent Republicans praising the IMF, including from the Bretton Woods Committee (Henry Kissinger, Condoleezza Rice, Henry Paulson, Robert Rubin, James A. Baker, Nicholas F. Brady, Colin Powell, Paul A. Volcker, Paul H. O’Neill, etc.). Also, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Newt Gingrich and, of course, George W. Bush.
Jeremy Scahill is the author of the New York Times bestseller Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.
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