Oakland-based Congresswoman Barbara Lee is to politics around here (California’s 13th Congressional District) like Stonehenge is to civilization: a monument. She will be celebrated forever as the only U.S. Congressperson to vote against The Iraq War , having done so on September 18, 2001, and after the horrific events of September 9, 2001 – what we now call, simply, 9-11 .
History, noted by The Downing Street Papers of 2002, proves she was correct.
Regarding The Iraq War, The Downing Street Papers noted this:
John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam’s regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or over-whelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
Note the “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy”, which meant that there were, in reality, no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, contrary to President Bush’s claims that gave rise to the call for The Iraq War.
When she cast the lone “no” vote on September 18, 2001, Congresswoman Lee said “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” She was right.
Here’s her statement upon winning re-election to Congress, this week:
Oakland, CA – Congresswoman
Barbara Lee (CA-13) released the following statement on her reelection to the U.S. House of
“I am deeply grateful that the voters of the 13th Congressional District have put their confidence in me once again
to carry on the fight for justice and equality in Congress. It has been an honor to serve our community, and
I will continue to represent my constituents on all of the important issues before us.
“Every single day I promise to fight harder than ever to bring about real, lasting change for everyone. I promise to fight for a progressive agenda until our government is truly one of the people, by the people, and for the people. I’m confident that as long as we stick together we will be able to win the fights the GOP brings our way. And it’s because of the people of California’s 13th that I’m not worried one bit about whatever tricks the GOP will try to pull.
“I have been honored to serve the most progressive district in the nation.
I want to thank everyone who voted in this election and participated in our democracy. I look forward to continuing
to represent the values of the 13th District.”
Congratulations to Congresswoman Barbara Lee
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