Monday, February 20, 2006

Editorial: How was the Iraq war 'sold'?

A Cap Times editorial
Published: February 20, 2006

Every member of Congress, no matter what their stance on the war in Iraq, should back U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich's Resolution of Inquiry demanding all documents pertaining to contracts that the U.S. government has signed with the intent to "sell" the war.

Public relations companies such as the Rendon Group and the Lincoln Group were hired by the administration, and paid tens of millions of dollars from taxpayer funds, to develop and implement a marketing campaign to persuade the American public to support the invasion and occupation of Iraq. It is essential to learn the details of when and how the public debate was warped.

"The taxpayers of this country have a right to know whether or not their tax dollars were, or are, being used to manipulate the news, falsify intelligence or mislead the public," argues Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat who has been an outspoken critic of the war.

The congressman's Resolution of Inquiry is the appropriate vehicle to provide the needed oversight. A rare House procedure used to obtain documents from the Executive Branch, the resolution which must be acted upon by the House within 14 legislative days can, if it receives sufficient bipartisan support in the Congress, provide an appropriate and effective tool for holding the president, the vice president and other members of the administration to account.

That will only happen, however, if members of Congress back Kucinich's resolution.

U.S. Reps. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison; Ron Kind, D-La Crosse; Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, and other members of the Wisconsin delegation have a responsibility to do so.

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