News Release

Bush at American Legion: Interviews Available

PAUL COX
Cox is a Vietnam War veteran and the commander for the American Legion Post 315 in San Francisco. He said today: “Bush made assertions that the primary reason for the invasion of Iraq was weapons of mass destruction. Exactly a year ago today, Cheney said to the Veterans of Foreign Wars: ‘Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.’ It now appears increasingly likely that there were no such weapons. They lied to the American people, to the world and to the United Nations. Bush is the prototypical chickenhawk — pretends he is a warrior when he hid under the bed during Vietnam. He’s a great proponent of ‘let’s you and him fight’…. A core issue for the American Legion is veterans benefits, but the administration is trying hard to cut veterans benefits; to not pay the true costs of war. The administration is trying to cast veterans aside, to say ‘you fight for us’ and then not even take care of the health and well-being of the veterans.” Cox is also a member of Veterans for Peace.
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SUSAN SCHUMAN
Schuman’s son Justin is currently in Baghdad. She said today: “Living conditions are tough, but more importantly, my son and his colleagues are in constant danger. He said to me, ‘The U.S. just doesn’t understand, there are 30 to 40 major incidents here a day and the U.S. news does not report that. The news only shows one or two incidents, only talks about one or two deaths or one or two illnesses.’ The ground truth, as our troops who are in Iraq say, is chaos, lack of planning, lack of basic supplies and equipment, lack of personnel…. Our soldiers are demoralized. They are fighting in the illegal and unjustified war…. Meanwhile, at home Bush is cutting veterans benefits and assistance to military children and families…. Our sons and daughters have been betrayed by the Bush administration…. Soldiers are warned not to speak out by their superiors. It is an unspoken code to keep your political opinions to yourself and your mouth shut.”

NANCY LESSIN, CHARLIE RICHARDSON
Co-founders of Military Families Speak Out, Lessin and Richardson have a son, Joe, who just returned from Iraq. The Associated Press reports today: “When President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1, the death toll of Americans stood at 138. Since then, 140 more soldiers have died, counting both deaths announced Tuesday. The total number of soldiers killed since the Iraq war began on March 20 is 278.”
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TERESA PANEPINTO
GI Rights coordinator for the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, Panepinto said today: “When you join the military your rights are severely curtailed. GIs don’t have the right to just quit their job, don’t have the right to speak their mind freely on any given subject….”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167