Friday, June 6, 2008

Mark Udall's "Expert Advice": Same that Counseled Defense Cuts, Dept. of Peace?

Even as evidence mounts of a growing U.S. victory in Iraq, Mark Udall is trapped in the past. And Denver Post reporter Michael Riley is right there with Udall:
Votes against the 2002 Iraq war resolution — relatively rare as they were — have been political gold for those who cast them, and Democratic Senate candidate Mark Udall plans to take that currency to the bank.

Udall used the release Thursday of a scathing Senate Intelligence Committee report on the White House case for war to take a few swipes at his Republican opponent and telling voters that he had been right to oppose the war.

"Mark Udall used his independent judgment and sought out expert advice to see through the Bush administration's manipulated intelligence and come to his own conclusions," said Udall spokeswoman Tara Trujillo. She said Republican Bob Schaffer "simply rubber-stamped the Bush administration's rush to war."
So whose "expert advice" did Udall seek? Seeing as how this is such an important foundation to the Boulder liberal Congressman's argument that he has great judgment, perhaps Riley or Trujillo could share who these figures were.

Perhaps it was the same "expert advice" that counseled Mark Udall to co-sponsor a bill to create the Department of Peace.

Or perhaps it was the same "expert advice" that counseled Mark Udall to cast these votes in Congress:
* Udall voted against authorizing nearly $289 billion in Fiscal Year 2000 defense funding -- including funds for six F-22 fighters -- twice (RCV#424, 9/15/99; RCV#241, 6/7/00)
* Udall voted to cut $3 billion in Fiscal Year 2001 defense spending (RCV#194, 5/18/00)
* In 2003, Udall voted against $87 billion in supplemental funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan including funds for body armor, armored humvees, and health care for National Guard members and reservists (RCV#601, 10/31/03; CQ Weekly, 11/8/03)
* Udall voted against a bill intended to expedite the delivery of armor to troops on the ground in 2004 (RCV#234, 6/14/04)
* Udall voted against $453.5 billion in defense spending in 2005 (RCV#669, 12/19/05)
* In 2005, Mark Udall voted against $50 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan (RCV#669, 12/19/05)
* And last year, Udall voted against protecting funding for homeless and disabled veterans from cuts, against increasing military housing funding by $275 million, against lowering college loan rates for graduates serving in the military or National Guard, and to prevent senior military officers from working at major defense contractors for a year after retiring. (RCV#714, 7/24/07; RCV#71, 1/31/07; RCV#421, 5/24/07)
There's too much countervailing evidence on this issue for intelligent readers to assume that Mark Udall sought anonymous "expert advice" and displayed good judgment. Especially when his "stuck in the past" focus ignores the real issue of how (or how not) to build on recent American success in Iraq.

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