A Missouri Congressman says Americans need to pay attention to the latest national intelligence report coming out of Washington.
West-Central Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Lexington) chairs the US House Armed Services Committee. Skelton says this country must heed the warnings in the latest National Intelligence Estimate . What concerns Skelton most from the report is that the country needs to focus more on Afghanistan. Skelton says the military had al-Qaeda and Osama bin-Laden on the run when the country diverted its attention and invaded Iraq.
The report concludes that al-Qaeda has regenerated key elements of its Homeland attack capability by re-establishing a haven along the Pakistan border. Top leadership has apparently regrouped. The report also states that al-Qaeda has been able "to recruit and indoctrinate operatives, including for Homeland attacks," by associating with an Iraqi subsidiary.
Democrats in the Senate failed to overcome a Republican filibuster and force a vote on a measure to withdraw troops from Iraq. Skelton pushed his own troop withdrawal measure through to narrow victory in the House. Despite the failure of the similar proposal in the Senate, Skelton holds out hope that the Senate might pick up his measure. He points out that the measure that failed to come to the Senate floor for debate was linked to the defense authorization bill. Skelton says his resolution is a stand-alone measure and deserves a vote in the Senate. Even if it does and even if it passes, President Bush has promised to veto any troop withdrawal measure Congress approves.