Sanders says Iraq oversight hearings are critical

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(Host) Senator elect Bernie Sanders says it’s critical for Congress to hold oversight hearings next session concerning the reasons why the United States went to war in Iraq.

Speaking last night on VPR’s Switchboard program, Sanders says the oversight hearings need to examine a number of key issues:

(Sanders) “What we want to make sure is that when the United States goes to war again we when lose we’re now up to 2900 dead 21,000 wounded over 300 billion dollars spent, that before we ever go to war again the United States Congress and the American people have got to have a heck of a lot better justification for it than we got we got from the Bush Administration.”

(Host) Sanders says the hearings shouldn’t evolve into a witch hunt against President Bush but they should address some fundamental questions.

(Sanders) “So we have to understand the whole process. This is not just beating up on George Bush. This is to understand the process by which the American people were misled in my view into war and to make sure that that does not happen again. We have to learn from the mistakes that we have made. And we have made mistakes. The Administration obviously did the wrong thing. The Congress voted for the war was wrong, that the media acted as propaganda arms if you like for the Administration rather than giving us objective reality was wrong.”

(Host) Sanders says the new Democratically controlled Congress also has an obligation to conduct oversight hearings to examine what Sanders calls ” the undue influence” of the pharmaceutical industry on the passage of the Medicare Part D prescription drug law.

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