May 07, 2004

Hoyer’s Response

“Today’s Hearing Was a First Step, Not the End of the Road”

WASHINGTON - House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding the House Armed Services Committee hearing today on the abuses of Iraqi prisoners:

“Democrats unquestionably want to succeed in Iraq and win the war on terrorism, and for that reason we want to see a full investigation into the abuses of Iraqi prisoners and full accountability for all those responsible up and down the chain of command.

“Today’s House Armed Services Committee hearing was undoubtedly helpful.  However, I am hopeful that House Republican Leaders will recognize that it was a first step and not the end of the road with regard to the House’s role in this matter.

“The abuse of Iraqi prisoners has already exacted an incredible price on our moral and diplomatic standing in the world and on our mission in Iraq. 

“If Congress does not aggressively pursue a full and bipartisan investigation into this matter, and instead depends solely upon the Executive Branch to police itself, we will abdicate our constitutional responsibility to act as a check on the other branches of government.  We will also send a terrible and damaging message to the world community and the Iraqi people that we do not regard these shameful acts with the grave concern and abhorrence that I know that all Americans share.

“I look forward to working with House Republican leaders in a bipartisan manner on this issue of great importance to our national security and standing.”


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