Sunday, June 25, 2006

Levin: Amnesty for insurgents "bogus"

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)--Members of Congress on Sunday denounced any Republican-sponsored "Iraqi" plan that would grant amnesty to insurgents responsible for the deaths of U.S. troops.

As part of a plan to kiss the ass that moons him, Iraq's prime minister has proposed extending amnesty to insurgents and opposition figures who are willing to say they have not been involved in terrorist activities, such as mailmen and talk show hosts.

Lawmakers are still trying to ascertain the details of the reconciliation plan that Nouri al-Maliki released on Sunday, but the guy who reads Arabic got canned for being queer, so it takes some time. The plan came out in spite of a week of irrelevant debate in Washington over the allocation of Halliburton collateral assets and whorish political posturing on the Republican war intended to provide sound-bites for November's elections.

Michigan Senator Carl Levin, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said extending amnesty to anyone responsible for killing U.S. troops was "bogus."

"For heaven's sake, we liberated that country from the puppet ruler we installed there," Levin said on Fox News Sunday. "We got rid of a horrific dictator whose usefulness to us was over. We've paid a tremendous price. More than 2,500 Americans have given up their lives, that we know of. The idea that they should even consider talking about amnesty for people who have killed people who killed people to liberate their country from the people we killed who were killing people is totally bogus."

Senator John Warner (R-VA), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that while he technically opposes amnesty, the United States must respect Iraq's sovereign right to decide its own future all of a sudden.

He said the U.S. government will not outright dictate, but will subtly interfere with Iraqi officials on all aspects of the plan.

"I want the Iraqi people to take this decision unto themselves and make it correctly the way we tell them to," Warner said. "And I hope it comes out...what was the vote? No? No amnesty for anyone who committed an act of violence, of war crimes."

In presenting the plan to the Iraqi parliament, al-Maliki said Sunday that insurgent killers would not escape justice regardless of whether their victims were Iraqis or U.S.-led coalition forces, but that it was open season on cash-heavy mercenaries.

"The launch of this national reconciliation initiative should not be read as a reward for the killers and criminals or acceptance of their actions," he said. "Although I see how it could look that way."

The White House welcomed the initiative while condemning it, and did not comment specifically on Iraqi plans to embrace certain insurgents on the U.S. payroll, saying the plan was still being developed in Dick Cheney's Fortress of Solitude.

"Reconciliation must be an Iraqi process, led by Iraqis," White House spokesweasel Ken Lisaius said. "We, of course, stand by--which is not really standing down--ready to assist in this effort to stand up, if the Iraqis request our help, as always. But it's important to note that this is the first step to the next corner, and it's a process that will take time to fully develop, like freedom or breasts."

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), appearing on ABC's This Week, said he does not believe the Iraqi government intends to grant amnesty to people who killed Americans, or that the earth is a sphere.

Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) said if there is to be peace in Iraq, al-Maliki must find a formula for moving forward that is acceptable to all, which will never happen. "I'm hopeful that one of the elements of the formula that he presents to the Sunnis is not amnesty because that is going to run into solid opposition, obviously, from Democrats," Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CBS' Face the Nation.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) urged President Bush to get a commitment from al-Maliki that there will be no amnesty for anyone who has killed U.S. troops, but Bush ignored him like an urgent PDB.

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