Washington, DC – Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid released the following statement today:
“All Americans salute the courage and dedication of our troops who are making Thursday’s elections in Iraq possible. It is everyone’s hope that these elections will proceed peacefully and that the Iraqi people will succeed in electing a legitimate government. But just as important, tomorrow’s elections must signal a turning point in the relationship between America and Iraq. As 79 Senators indicated a few weeks ago, 2006 is the time for the rubber to meet the road. The next four months – between Thursday’s elections and when the Constitution is finalized – will be a critical period. During this time, Iraq must get its political house in order and field the security forces it needs to defend itself. Today, 41 members of our caucus sent a letter to the President urging him to show the leadership we need to get things right in Iraq after these elections.
“The President’s speech today failed to provide the American people with any insight into his strategy for completing the mission. After four speeches, we still do not know the remaining political, economic and military benchmarks that must be met and the schedule for achieving them. That’s what we called for in our letter, but instead, President Bush resorted to discredited and misleading rhetoric. For the president to truly take responsibility for intelligence failures, he must level with the American people about how his Administration hyped intelligence and cherry-picked information to justify the march to war.
“America is at war. Our troops and the American people deserve answers, and leadership.”