Lee Calls on Mukasey to Enforce the Law
By Rep. Barbara Lee
c o m m o n s . w i k i m e d i a . o r g
Rep. Barbara Lee
here continue to becontradictory messagescoming from thisadministration on the issue of permanent military bases in Iraq.
In spite of signing legislation con-taining provisions banning permanentmilitary bases six times already, therecent signing statement on the FY08Department of Defense Authorization bill and signing of the ‘declaration of principles’ with Prime Minister al-Mala-ki seem to point in the other direction.In an effort to understand how theBush administration is enforcing the ex-isting provisions in law, I am urging mycongressional colleagues to join me insending the letter below to the AttorneyGeneral.
Dear Attorney General Mukasey:
We write to you to respectfully inquirewhat oversight you are conducting toensure that the Department of Defense andthe White House are complying with theletter and spirit of the law regarding the ban on permanent military bases in Iraq.As you may know, the President hassigned into law six times legislation thatincludes provisions prohibiting perma-nent or long-term military bases in Iraq(PL 109-289, PL 109-364, PL 110-28, PL110-116, PL 110-161, and PL 110-181.)However, in his signing ceremonyon January 28, 2008 for the FY08Department of Defense Authorization bill, the President offered a disturbingstatement signaling his intent to ignorethis provision in the bill.Unfortunately, this signing state-ment came on the heels of another troubling development that runs counter to our efforts to prevent a long-termmilitary presence in Iraq. At the endof last year, without any congressionalinput, President Bush and Prime Min-ister al-Maliki signed a “Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relation-ship of Cooperation and FriendshipBetween the Republic of Iraq and theUnited States of America” that willset the stage for future agreements onthe disposition of US troops in Iraqand other wide-ranging aspects of thisimportant bilateral relationship.Asked whether these principles wouldlead to permanent bases in Iraq, the Pres-ident’s assistant for Iraq and Afghanistan,General Douglas Lute said, “That’s another dimension of continuing U.S. support to thegovernment of Iraq, and will certainly be akey item for negotiation next year.”In light of such contradictions, wewould like to learn precisely what is be-ing done to make certain that permanentmilitary bases are not being planned or constructed in Iraq and how the prohibi-tion in law is being observed and over-seen by the Bush administration.We look forward to receiving your reply.Barbara Lee, Member of Congress
Barbara Lee represents California’s 9
Congressional District. She took over that seat in 1998 from retiring Ron Dellums.She has been a leading voice in oppositionto the Iraq war since before it began.