Ensign, Gibbons agree on Iraq tactics | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ensign, Gibbons agree on Iraq tactics

Kurt Hildebrand
Rick Gunn/Tribune news service Sen. John Ensign R-Nev. speaks with vice president of the Carson branch of Wells Fargo Bank on Wednesday evening at the Pinon Plaza.
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Sen. Ted Kennedy’s comments about the war on Iraq border on treason, Nevada’s Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., said Wednesday.

“I’m a big supporter of free speech, but what Ted Kennedy is doing is aiding and abetting the enemy,” Ensign said. “If we lose this thing, it is because the American people stop supporting it.”

Kennedy called Iraq “George Bush’s Vietnam.”

Much of the good being done in Iraq is not being reported by the media, Ensign said.

“I spent five hours on a plane with soldiers, who volunteered to serve with a unit in Iraq, and they are so upset that the media is not telling the story about what is really going on over there,” he said. “We’ve made so much progress. We’re rebuilding schools and hospitals and electric infrastructure. Oil production is higher than it was before the war.”

U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., agreed with Ensign’s assessment in Iraq.

“There’s so much good that’s going on,” Gibbons said. “We’re bringing it back from 30 years of mismanagement.”

Gibbons said he believes the United States will turn over power on June 30.

“If we’re an occupier, then the June 30 deadline won’t be met,” he said. “If we’re a liberator, it will be.”

Both Ensign and Gibbons toured Northern Nevada on Wednesday. They spoke separately with members of the Nevada Appeal’s editorial board.

Ensign said he believes June 30 is an important date, but he can’t get a feel for what is actually going to happen.

“I’ve heard Democrats say June 30 is going to happen and I’ve heard Republicans say we can’t meet it,” he said. “It’s hard to tell which way it is going to go.”

Ensign said the work of the Sept. 11 commission is being undercut by partisan politics.

“We could have something worthwhile if they had taken it out of an election year,” he said. “Some useful information is being buried by partisan politics.”

Ensign said breaking the FBI and CIA of their old habits will be difficult.

“What we have today is still not good,” he said. “It is getting better, but those institutions are difficult to change.”

Gibbons said the intelligence community is pursuing leads on terrorism like never before. “Everybody talks about connecting the dots. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about collecting the dots. When we have enough information, we can see the big picture.”


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