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GOP senator says war may be 'criminal'

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/special_packages/iraq/16197847.htm Posted on Fri, Dec. 08, 2006 GOP senator says war may be criminal MATTHEW
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 9, 2006
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      http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/special_packages/iraq/16197847.htm

      Posted on Fri, Dec. 08, 2006
      GOP senator says war may be 'criminal'
      MATTHEW DALY
      Associated Press

      WASHINGTON - Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith, a Republican
      who voted in favor of the Iraq war in 2002 and has
      supported it ever since, now says the current U.S. war
      effort is "absurd" and "may even be criminal."

      In an emotional speech on the Senate floor Thursday
      night, Smith called for changes in U.S. policy that
      could include rapid pullouts of U.S. troops from Iraq.
      He said he never would have voted for the conflict if
      he had known the intelligence that President Bush gave
      the American people was inaccurate.

      "I for one am at the end of my rope when it comes to
      supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling
      the same streets in the same way, being blown up by
      the same bombs day after day," Smith said. "That is
      absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that
      anymore. ... So either we clear and hold and build, or
      let's go home."

      A spokesman said Friday that Smith did not mean to
      call the war criminal in a legal sense.

      Smith is up for re-election in 2008. His comments come
      a month after Republicans lost control of Congress -
      in large part because of voter unhappiness with the
      Iraq war - and shortly after the Iraq Study Group
      issued a blistering criticism of the administration's
      handling of the war.

      Smith said he is "tired of paying the price of 10 or
      more of our troops dying a day. So let's cut and run
      or cut and walk, but let us fight the war on terror
      more intelligently than we have because we have fought
      this war in a very lamentable way."
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