Iraq? It's not my problem

A Republican leader says she shouldn't be held responsible. GOP House members ensure that no one else is, either.


Tim Grieve
November 3, 2006 9:43PM (UTC)

A senior administration official who may or may not be Karl Rove acknowledged Thursday that the war in Iraq is issue No. 1 for Americans as they head to the polls Tuesday. That's not such good news for Republicans like Ohio Rep. Deborah Pryce -- no matter how hard they try to spin themselves away from the war.

At a campaign stop in Ohio earlier this week, a CNN radio reporter asked Pryce whether her role in the No. 4 spot in the House Republican leadership meant that she bears some responsibility for the war. Pryce complained that the reporter had interrupted her and called off the interview. A short time later, Pryce sent CNN a statement in which she said, "What's happening in Iraq is not a direct reflection on me."

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Pryce said she isn't "always happy" with what she hears from Iraq, but she said she "can think of nothing worse for our troops or our prospects for success than having 435 members of Congress second-guessing our commanders."

Where we come from, second-guessing is called "oversight," and it's the job of Congress to do it.

Republicans like Pryce see things a little differently: They shouldn't be involved in overseeing the war, and neither, it seems, should anyone else. As the New York Times reports this morning, Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee included in a recent military authorization bill a provision that terminates all oversight authority for the Republican lawyer who had been serving as special inspector general for Iraq. It's not exactly front-page news, even if it is. As we've reported previously, the White House and its Republican allies on the Hill have been trying to put a lid on Stuart Bowen's pesky investigations for at least six months now.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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2006 Elections Iraq Iraq War Middle East War Room

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