"U.S. and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq," said Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat who has been in Congress for 31 years. "It's time for a change in direction."
"Our military has accomplished its mission and done its duty," he said. "Our military captured Saddam Hussein, captured or killed his closest associates, but the war continues to intensify."
Murtha took issue with the administration's counter-criticism.
"I like guys who've never been there who criticize us who've been there," Murtha said. "I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and sent people to war and then don't like to hear suggestions that what may need to be done."
"I resent the fact that on Veterans Day, they criticized Democrats for criticizing them," Murtha said, referring to a speech Bush gave in Pennsylvania.”
"This [the war] is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public knows it, and lashing out at critics doesn't help a bit," Murtha said. "You've got to change the policy. That's what's going to help the American people."
Today, Bush again tried to discredit his critics and in order to counter claims that he mislead the Congress and the nation, had to say he didn't mislead them. This is equivalent to Nixon saying "People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got." (Orlando, Florida, November 17, 1973)
We passed a crucial threshold today. A year ago, people who insisted that Bush and his administration fraudulently led the country into war were marginalized as leftist cranks. Now the issue is the subject of daily coverage by the major media.
Bush has no plan for Iraq except more of the same. The American public aren't buying it anymore.