Rice Under Fire Over Iraq Strategy...
"We have to level with the American people," said George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio).
Voinovich read the letter from a father whose son died in Iraq. "In the spirit of helping you gauge public opinion, it's important to tell you that we do not consider the American mission in Iraq noble at all," the father wrote. The father asked Congress to end funding for the "misguided effort that does not speak well for America."
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) told Rice that the American public is "sick at heart at the spin and false expectations. They want the truth, and they deserve it." Putting up a chart, Boxer cited Vice President Cheney's comment in May that the Iraqi insurgency is in its "last throes," then showed the spike in violent attacks since then.
Although Democrats have long challenged U.S. Iraq policy, Republican senators were also expressing concern. Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) said the administration can no longer assume that creating democratic institutions in Iraq in the short term will diminish the insurgency, which could have long-term implications.
As Rice testified, former U.S. diplomat Mary Ann Wright stood up and shouted from the audience, "Stop the killing in Iraq. You and Congress have to be responsible." Wright, a senior envoy in the U.S. embassies in Afghanistan and Mongolia, resigned in protest in 2003.