08/18/2004: Let's hope this starts a trend....
U.S. Rep. Doug Bereuter now says it was wrong for the United States to go to war in Iraq.Thank you, Rep. Bereuter. If only there were more congressmen like you.
The Republican representative for Nebraska's 1st District has sent letters to some constituents telling them that he has changed his mind about the war.
"I've reached the conclusion, retrospectively, now that the inadequate intelligence and faulty conclusions are being revealed, that all things being considered, it was a mistake to launch that military action, especially without a broad and engaged international coalition," he wrote.
Bereuter, who will retire Aug. 31, voted in 2002 to give President Bush authority to launch a military action in Iraq.
In his letter, Bereuter chided the Bush administration for not adequately preparing to take over Iraq after the first military strikes.
"Our country's reputation around the world has never been lower and our alliances are weakened," he wrote.
Bereuter has been a strong proponent of international cooperation during his 26 years in Congress.
Bereuter said he voted for the war resolution in October 2002 largely because of the possibility that Saddam Hussein's Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and could share them with terrorists.
Yet even at the time, Bereuter asserts in his letter, he questioned whether "incontrovertible evidence" showed a link between Hussein and al-Qaida, despite "the intimations of various Administration leaders like Vice President Dick Cheney."
As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Bereuter was involved in reexamining intelligence conclusions.
"Knowing now what I know about the reliance on the tenuous or insufficiently corroborated intelligence used to conclude that Saddam maintained a substantial WMD arsenal, I believe that launching the pre-emptive military action was not justified."
Len on 08.18.04 @ 01:01 PM CST