Monday, June 13, 2011

Rohrabacher says US delegation not kicked out of Iraq

Dana speaks! US House Rep Dan Rohrabacher, Republican out of California, has been in the news repeatedly over the weekend.  Though many outlets tried to verify details of what was going on, what took place in Iraq, that wasn't possible. 
This morning Rohrabacher's office has issued a statement.  Martha was checking the public e-mail account and saw it in the e-mails and she then called me (thank you to Martha and to everyone who works the public e-mail account).  Since there is so much interest in what exactly did happen in Iraq on that Congressional delegation visit, we'll note it now -- this is not the snapshot, there will be one later today and we will note the Rohrabacher's statement in that as well. Here's the statement:

Istanbul, Turkey, Jun 11 - Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) issued the following statement on his recent meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki while in Baghdad as part of an official Congressional delegation:

"We had a frank and spirited discussion about the Camp Ashraf massacre by Iraqi troops," said Rohrabacher. "There was never any indication the Prime Minister was angered by having this discussion or the during the portion of the conversation about the current economic situation in the U.S., which lead to the suggestion of repayment by the Iraqis.

The meeting was originally scheduled for an hour but continued for an extra 40 minutes.

"No apologies are necessary for suggesting the massacre of unarmed civilians by Iraqi troops is something that needs to be investigated and I plan to do so as Chairman of the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee," said Rohrabacher.

"Furthermore, I will not apologize for suggesting once Iraq becomes prosperous, it should consider repaying the United States for the hundreds of billions of dollars spent to liberate them from a tyrannical dictator and helping to establish a democratic government," Rohrabacher continued. "There's nothing wrong with suggesting that the people who have benefited from our benevolence should consider repaying us for what we have given them."

In response to media reports the delegation had been expelled from Iraq, Mr. Rohrabacher said, "There was no change in our scheduling while we were in Iraq. Our itinerary remained exactly the same and we departed as scheduled.

"We were not officially told to leave the country before we left and were never told or warned not to come back."


On May 26th, Rep. Rohrabacher announced his intention of conducting a hearing into the April 8th massacre at Camp Ashraf in eastern Iraq where 35 unarmed civilians were killed and scores more injured during an attack by Iraqi soldiers. Mr. Rohrabacher's request for delegation access to the site was denied by the U.S. State Department and the Iraqi government.
He states they were not expelled.  Unless we hear otherwise, we'll take him on his word on that -- and that corrects what I wrote Sunday when I wrongly used the word "expulsion" -- so my apologies for my error. Of the reports over the weekend, the two strongest were Chelsea J. Carter and Mohammed Lazim's (CNN) report  and Roy Gutman's (McClatchy Newspapers) report.