June 20, 2008
Representative Ron Paul says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi removed a section from a bill passed by Congress which would have barred the U.S. from going to war with Iran without a congressional vote, claiming she did so at the behest of the leadership of Israel and AIPAC.
Paul, a former Republican presidential contender who formally removed himself from the party's nomination race last week, makes the allegation on C-SPAN during a recently held foreign policy conference in Virginia. Paul says Pelosi's FIRST ACT as House Speaker in 2006 was to
"deliberately" remove a portion of a legislative spending bill which said the United States
"can't go to war with Iran without getting approval from Congress."
According to Paul, Pelosi and her allies in the chamber's Democratic leadership initially accepted the bill designed to outline an Iraq exit strategy, but during a revision of the legislation excluded the statement regarding the need for congressional approval of any military assault on the neighboring country of Iran. "She [Pelosi] removed it deliberately," Paul says. "And then, the astounding thing is, when asked why, she said the leadership in Israel asked her to. That was in the newspaper, that was in 'The Washington Post,' that she was asked by AIPAC and others not to do that."
Paul implies Pelosi, desperate to advance her flawed spending legislation, bargained away the proposal that would have been the House leadership's primary vehicle for challenging the administration's policies in the region.
According to John Nichols, who covered the story about Pelosi's capitulation at the time for "The Nation," Pelosi was "under pressure from some conservative members of her caucus, and from lobbyists associated with neoconservative groups that want war with Iran, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)."
Paul's allegation is corroborated by 'The Asia Times', which in another article published at the time says AIPAC was strongly against attaching "a provision to a Pentagon spending bill that would require President Bush to get congressional approval before attacking Iran. AIPAC was strongly against it because it viewed the legislation as taking the military option 'off the table.' The provision was killed."
The article also cites Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, as saying [Pelosi's] decision was due to AIPAC.
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