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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Where's Joe when it's time to vote?

It seems like George Bush's favorite Democrat not only missed two crucial votes on the Iraq war last week, but has been AWOL on a wide key issues centering around the war that will define this country for decades to come.

When questioned about his AWOL status when it was time to do his job last week, typical Lieberman brushed the votes aside calling them " procedural" (despite the fact that he WAS IN WASHINGTON D.C. AT THE TIME).

Now, the Lamont campaign unleashed a devestating fact sheet on Lieberman which documents the embarrassing number of votes he has skipped on since the war began. Here are some highlights...trust me folks, this isn't pretty.
• Joseph Lieberman has missed at least 16 Iraq votes since 2003.
• He was the only Senator to miss two key Iraq votes in 2003.
• Lieberman began skipping major Senate votes on Iraq right after the war started.
• He has publicly contradicted himself on support for Bush’s Iraq war policy.
• Lieberman now denies he ever supported indefinite troop presence in Iraq
• Despite all of these votes, Lieberman now claims he’s been trying to "end the war."

LIEBERMAN SKIPPING KEY SENATE VOTES ON IRAQ; HAS MISSED AT LEAST 16 IRAQ VOTES SINCE 2003: On 9/6/06, Lieberman skipped a critical close Senate vote on Iraq. Specifically, the vote was on legislation to require the Pentagon to provide more information to Congress and the public on the potential for civil war in Iraq. The bill Lieberman skipped this critical vote even though the Hartford Courant noted that Lieberman was in Washington that day. In fact, Lieberman attended the vote that immediately preceded this key Iraq vote. That was on a bill to prevent cluster bombing of civilian targets. Lieberman voted against that bill. Lieberman also skipped another close Iraq vote the next day – this time on legislation to stop the Pentagon from trying to artificially influence the Iraqi news media in the wake of embarrassing scandals about U.S. government media tampering that have enflamed anti-American passions in Iraq. In all, Lieberman has skipped at least 16 Iraq votes since the war started in 2003. [Sources: Senate Roll Call Vote #233, 9/6/06; Hartford Courant, 9/7/06; Senate Roll Call Vote #232, 9/6/07; Senate Roll Call Vote #236, 9/7/06]

LIEBERMAN ONLY SENATOR TO MISS TWO KEY IRAQ VOTES IN 2003: Lieberman was the only U.S. Senator to miss a close vote on a resolution to urge the president to better engage America’s international allies to help bear the military and financial cost of the war. He was also the only senator to skip a close vote on a bill that would have created a federal agency overseeing Iraq reconstruction money so as to prevent war profiteering. In both cases, the votes were very close, and the legislation in question was defeated. [Sources: Senate Roll Call Vote #391, 10/17/03; Senate Roll Call Vote #392, 10/17/03]

LIEBERMAN BEGAN SKIPPING MAJOR SENATE VOTES ON IRAQ RIGHT AFTER THE WAR STARTED: Immediately after the Iraq War began in early 2003, Lieberman began skipping critical votes on the war. For example, he skipped a vote on legislation to prohibit the Pentagon from involuntarily deploying to Iraq those National Guardsmen that had been involuntarily deployed for more than six months. He skipped a razor-thin vote on anti-rubber stamping legislation that would have prevented the President from shifting Iraq War funds around without the approval of Congress. He skipped a tight vote on legislation sponsored by Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd that would have provided additional emergency funding for safety equipment such as body armor for troops serving in Iraq. He additionally skipped votes on legislation to require Iraqi oil revenues be used to pay for reconstruction in Iraq; to shift more Iraq reconstruction out of low priorities and into disarming terrorist insurgents; to force the Bush administration to report to Congress on an Iraq reconstruction plan; to establish a bipartisan congressional commission to study how the Bush administration manipulated pre-war intelligence; to demand regular reports on U.S. operations in Iraq; to assert congressional oversight of war funds after news of wasteful no-bid contracts. [Senate Roll Call Vote #398, 10/17/03; Roll Call Vote #397, 10/17/03; Senate Roll Call Vote #396, 10/17/03; Senate Roll Call Vote #380, 10/14/03; Senate Roll Call Vote #376, 10/2/03; Senate Roll Call Vote #287, 7/17/03; Senate Roll Call Vote #284, 7/16/03; Senate Roll Call Vote #283, 7/16/03; Senate Roll Call Vote #281, 7/16/03; Senate Roll Call Vote #278, 7/16/03; Senate Roll Call Vote #277, 7/16/03; Senate Roll Call Vote #124, 4/3/03]

LIEBERMAN PUBLICLY CONTRADICTING HIMSELF ON SUPPORT FOR BUSH’S IRAQ POLICY: The Lieberman campaign now claims Lieberman has been a leading critic of the Bush administration’s War in Iraq. For example, a Liebeman spokeswoman claimed to the New Haven register that Lieberman “has repeatedly and harshly criticized the Bush administration” for the War in Iraq. Yet, as the New Yorker noted in a piece just last year, Lieberman has been “unapologetic about his defense of Bush’s Iraq policy.” He told the magazine that “Bottom line, I think Bush has it right.” [Sources: New Haven Register, 9/9/06; New Yorker, 3/21/05]

DESPITE VOTES, LIEBERMAN NOW CLAIMS HE’S BEEN TRYING TO “END THE WAR”: Immediately after losing the Democratic primary, Lieberman launched a television ad claiming to be running specifically because “I want to help end the war in Iraq.” Yet, Lieberman has voted time and time again to continue the war – with some of these votes coming just weeks before he began claiming he’s been trying to end the war. On 11/15/05, Lieberman was one of only 5 Democrats to vote against legislation "that would have pressured the administration to outline a plan to draw down U.S. forces in Iraq,” according to the Washington Post. On 6/22/06, Lieberman voted against two pieces of legislation pushing Bush to draft an exit strategy from Iraq. According to the Boston Globe, one was a "proposal to withdraw US troops from Iraq within a year" and another was a “nonbinding amendment that would have called on President Bush to begin withdrawing troops by the end of 2006 and to make ‘phased redeployments’ out of Iraq thereafter.” [Sources: Washington Post , 11/16/05; Senate Roll Call Vote #322, 11/15/05; Senate Roll Call Vote #182 and #181, 6/22/06; Boston Globe, 6/23/06]

LIEBERMAN NOW DENIES HE EVER SUPPORTED INDEFINITE TROOP PRESENCE IN IRAQ: As recently as August 20th, Lieberman has appeared on national television claiming "I’ve never been for an indefinite, unconditional deployment of American troops" and insisting that such assertions were a "distortion that my opponent managed to convince too many people" about. However, the facts speak for themselves. In 2003, CNN reported on Lieberman’s very clear support for a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq. He told the network: "We may, over the long term, with the consent of the new Iraqi government, establish some permanent bases in Iraq. And wouldn’t that be a dramatic change, where we have an allied government there in Iraq, at the center of the Middle East, where we may have not a permanent police presence, but one or another military base that’s working in cooperation with the government there?” [Sources: CBS Face the Nation, 8/20/06; CNN, 4/20/03]

David Siorta has been ripping the Lieberman camp to shreds lately and filed this report.
That's right, Lieberman has skipped a huge amount of Iraq votes on all sorts of key issues. For instance, he was the only U.S. Senator to skip a close vote on bipartisan legislation to urge President Bush to better engage America's international allies to help bear the military and financial cost of the war. He was also the only senator to skip a close vote on a bill that would have created a federal agency overseeing Iraq reconstruction money so as to prevent war profiteering. He even skipped a vote on legislation sponsored by his Connecticut colleague Sen. Chris Dodd (D) that would have provided additional emergency funding for safety equipment such as body armor for troops serving in Iraq.

Lieberman yesterday publicly dismissed last week's explosive Senate report detailing the Bush administration's brazen manipulation of pre-war intelligence. Despite using the WMD case as his justification for supporting the war, Lieberman yesterday disparaged the damning report as just something of "historical interest" and tried to change the subject by saying he's "focused on the fact that al-Qaida is [in Iraq] now." But "when asked if the decision to go to war with Iraq had a bearing on members of al-Qaida now operating in that country, Lieberman said: 'I'm not going to get into that today'" and then was "hustled away by aides." That's no wonder that Lieberman doesn't want to talk about this issue, hold the Bush administration accountable for misleading the country to war, or get to the bottom of how to prevent such intelligence manipulation in the future - he skipped the key Senate vote to create an independent commission to investigate pre-war intelligence, thus allowing the administration and the GOP to control the investigation through a White House panel and Republican-controlled Senate committee.

Lieberman's skipping votes goes way beyond him just making contradictory statements about Iraq, and cuts to a more fundamental issue: Lieberman's willingness to even bear the most minimum responsibilities of his job when it comes to the most critical life-and-death issues like war. He hasn't skipped just one or two votes. He's skipped a huge amount of the votes the U.S. Senate has deliberated on the Iraq War - with many of those votes being quite close.
Is this the type of senator you want representing you in Washington?

This is what lamont had to say about AWOL Lieberman today.