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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-27-07 09:53 AM
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McClatchy: Waxman demands answers from Bush administration
Waxman demands answers from Bush administration
By Renee Schoof | McClatchy Newspapers

* Posted on Friday, October 26, 2007

WASHINGTON The chairman of the main watchdog committee in Congress wants to get to the bottom of a few things about Iraq.

Is the Iraqi government hopelessly corrupt? Does that corruption mean taxpayer dollars end up with killer militias? Whatever became of the $1 billion the State Department was supposed to spend on Iraqi police? That's for starters.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is in a unique position to demand answers to Iraq's big questions as chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Waxman can subpoena officials who don't cooperate and make them testify under oath at hearings, something he didn't have the power to do when Democrats were in the minority before January. He also can put the committee's two dozen investigators to work.

The oversight committee doesn't spend all its time on Iraq. Waxman puts no limits on what it can investigate, and he's interested in many things, especially issues concerning health and the environment sooty air, for example, or whether the Food and Drug Administration can protect the public from contaminated food.

But Iraq is a priority. Waxman, who's represented the California district that includes Beverly Hills for 32 years, says it galls him that "we were talked into a war based on false information." He means to "hold people accountable for getting us into this war and the way this war is conducted."

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