Edwards: Bush Has Trail Of Failure

John Edwards charges that the Bush administration has a "long trail of failure" to plan properly before invading Iraq, and that the ammunition now missing from the giant facility at Al-Qaqaa is just the latest addition to that trail.

On The Early Show Friday, Edwards said, "We know that the weapons were there before the invasion. We know that the president was told they needed to be secured once the invasion occurred. We know that the president did not order that they be secured, and we know that now they are missing.

"So regardless of the timing when they disappeared, we know they're gone and we know the president was supposed to secure them and he didn't do it.

"And … this is part of a long trail of failure. …It's not just the weapons and explosives here. They did not have a plan. They didn't have enough troops, according to their own people, to secure the country, and I think all the president's failures have lead to the mess we have now in Iraq."

Asked by co-anchor Hannah Storm about former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who is acting as something of a Bush campaign spokesman, charging Thursday that American troops could be to blame for the vanished ammunition, Edwards challenged Mr. Bush "show us the order he gave to the troops to secure this weapons facility. If he did that, then he ought to be willing to show us that. If not, he should not be blaming the troops for something he is responsible for. My belief is and John Kerry's belief is that the troops did everything that they were asked to do, as they have the entire time in Iraq. It is the president who did not do his job."

Edwards continued, "We know that one of the reasons George Bush invaded Iraq was to try to keep weapons out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. Now we have 380 tons of explosives that have disappeared, and these are the very kind of weapons that have been found in an al Qaeda camp, and have been used for attacks in the past. So it is an extraordinaryly dangerous thing, and particularly lethal when you combine it with the fact that we have terrorists flowing into Iraq from all over the world. Iraq was something it wasn't before George Bush invaded. Now it's a haven for terrorists. It is a very volatile and dangerous situation."
Edwards called the newly-revealed FBI probe of how Halliburton was awarded no-bid contracts for Iraq "vedry troublesome. Vice president cheney left Halliburton as CEO to become vice president of the United States. Halliburton has a long history of problems. … It is just a long pattern of favoritism that this administration shows to their friends and the people they have close contacts with."

Edwards expressed confidence the Kerry campaign isn't diverting its focus from the domestic issues it's very strong on in the polls. He notes the campaign continues to hammer away at jobs, health care, for instance.

Edwards also repeated Kerry's 100 percent guarantee not to raise taxes on the middle class.
  • Brian Dakss

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