View Full Version : Conservatives End 55-Year-Old Practice of Hearings for Vet Groups

11-10-2005, 10:28 PM

Veterans Day Outrage: Conservatives End 55-Year-Old Practice of Hearings for Vet Groups

(Beltman713: Happy Veterans Day!)

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A proposal to end the long-standing practice of veterans groups addressing a joint session of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees is an insult to all who have fought, sacrificed and died to defend the Constitution, according to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). And in a strongly worded letter to House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Steve Buyer (R-Ind.), the DAV has urged him to continue the joint hearings as an invaluable tool in formulating public policy toward America's veterans.

Chairman Buyer recently announced that veterans service organizations will no longer have the opportunity to present testimony before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees.

"The tradition of legislative presentations by veterans service organizations dates back to at least the 1950s. And the timing of this announcement -- just before Veterans Day -- could not have been worse," said DAV National Commander Paul W. Jackson.

For several decades now, these joint hearings have been held each year to allow the elected leaders of veterans groups to discuss their organization's legislative agenda and foremost concerns with the lawmakers who have jurisdiction over federal veterans programs. Senators and Representatives who serve on those committees also get the rare opportunity to address the hundreds of constituent members from these organizations' who make the annual pilgrimage to Capitol Hill.

"The right to fully participate in the democratic process is a cornerstone of our nation," said Commander Jackson. "Eliminating these joint hearings is an insult to the men and women who have fought, sacrificed and died to protect our Constitutional rights, including the right to petition the government."

This important dialog between veterans and their elected representatives is crucial to the democratic process and a unique opportunity for the men and women who've put their lives on the line for America. Many of the veterans who take part in the hearings view it as their patriotic duty, as well as a fundamental right.


The 1.3 million-member Disabled American Veterans, a non- profit organization founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932, represents this nation's disabled veterans. It is dedicated to a single purpose: building better lives for our nation's disabled veterans and their families. For more information, visit the organization's Web site http://www.dav.org



/© 2005 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

11-11-2005, 12:37 PM
Bush to counter Democrats

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051111/pl_nm/bush_iraq_dc&printer=1;_ylt=AmQBxzD1TpZksoZ8XPn5vTkb.3QA;_ylu=X 3oDMTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-

U.S. President George W. Bush will use a Veterans Day speech on Friday to fight back against Democratic charges that the White House misused intelligence to gain support for the Iraq war, administration officials said.

"The president is going to directly take on the false attacks that Democratic leaders have been making," a senior administration official told Reuters.

Democrats in recent weeks have been accusing the White House of manipulating intelligence on Iraq and leaking classified information to discredit critics of the war.

Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, was indicted last month for obstructing justice, perjury and lying after a two-year investigation into the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity.

Opinion polls show Bush's approval ratings sinking as the public becomes increasingly wary of the Iraq war.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada said on Thursday Democrats were insisting that Americans "get the truth about why the White House cherry-picked and leaked intelligence to sell the war in Iraq."

He added: "The president may think this matter can be swept under the rug or pardoned away, but Democrats know America can do better."

Bush was expected to fight back in a speech on the U.S. war against terrorism at the Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania that will also pay tribute to military veterans.

The Bush administration's main justification for the Iraq war was that it posed a threat because it had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, but none have been found.

Administration officials have acknowledged the intelligence on Iraqi weapons was faulty, but have said Democrats, Republicans and foreign intelligence agencies had believed Baghdad had deadly weapons before the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

"I point out that some of the critics today believed, themselves, in 2002 that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. They stated that belief, and they voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq," said Stephen Hadley, the president's national security adviser, on Thursday.

"For those critics to ignore their own past statements, exposes the hollowness of their current attacks," he said.