Monday, April 26, 2004

Treason Time 

As Don at blah3 says, quoting Deep Throat:

Follow the money.

Key Democrats Question Bush on Sept. 11 Funds

Monday, April 26, 2004 4:08 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two congressional Democrats on Monday demanded a full accounting of how the Bush administration used emergency money intended to respond to the Sept. 11 attacks, after a book alleged some funds were diverted to prepare for the Iraq war.

Sen. Robert Byrd and Rep. David Obey, senior Democrats on the Senate and House of Representatives Appropriations Committees, said in a letter to President Bush they had "numerous concerns about the administration's stewardship" of the $40 billion emergency package Congress approved right after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Their letter came after journalist and author Bob Woodward charged in his book "Plan of Attack" that Bush began preparing for war with Iraq within weeks of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, and funded the war preparations with $700 million from the emergency appropriation without consulting Congress.

The administration last week denied any wrongdoing and said no money was used for war preparations until after Congress passed a resolution on Oct. 11, 2002, authorizing the use of force in Iraq.

The Pentagon confirmed $178 million was used from the emergency funds for "supporting the global war on terrorism" in Kuwait, Qatar and other countries in the Gulf months before Congress passed the Iraq resolution, the lawmakers' letter said.

Byrd of West Virginia and Obey of Wisconsin said they had no record of any consultation before this money was spent, "nor is there sufficient detail" in Defense Department reports "to indicate whether funds were used to prepare for the war in Iraq."

Byrd and Obey cited several instances in which they said the White House failed to make required consultations and reports to Congress on the use of the $40 billion.

They said Congress had granted Bush "an extraordinary amount of flexibility" over the money, but the president "was required by law to keep the Congress fully informed through consultation."


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