Senator Byrd on the Defense Appropriations Bill of 2005:
Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz described the $25 billion which is contained in the conference report of the Defense appropriations bill now before the Senate as an insurance plan. That is the way Mr. Wolfowitz described it. Secretary Wolfowitz stated in his testimony to the Armed Services Committee that our troops would not run out of funds until February or March 2005. I didn't buy that line. The administration has fallen down on the job in budgeting for these wars, and his budget projections simply are not to be trusted.
I say ``these wars'' because we are fighting two wars, one war in Afghanistan, which is the result of the al-Qaida attack upon the United States on September 11, 2001. That was an attack upon the United States by those individuals who had hijacked planes and flown them into the World Trade Towers, into the Pentagon, and into the field in Pennsylvania. That was one war. I supported Mr. Bush on that war. I support that war today.
The second war is the Bush war, the war that is of Mr. Bush and his ring of people around him in the White House. That is the Bush war. That was an attack upon a sovereign nation which had not provoked us, which had not attacked us. That was an attack on a nation in support of the Bush doctrine of preemption. I did not support that war then, and I do not support it today.
It's nice to see someone saying something sensible, isn't it? Byrd thinks so, too:
The administration would do well to listen--just to listen; get off its high horse, swallow its false pride, and listen--to this commonsense message. Stop the budget gamesmanship that only endangers the lives of our fighting men and women. Enough of the political posturing that denies that our military in the field may have urgent needs. The President of the United States must take responsibility for the fiscal mess that he has created.
I think the Dems smell blood in the water.