Cong. Charles Rangel's Statement on free speech.

Walter Lippmann walterlx at
Sun Mar 30 09:17:46 MST 2003

(This just came this morning and it's a good
response to critics worried about how the
anti-war forces defend themselve against
the false allegations that they either don't
support the troops or are anti-patriotic.)

From: "IFCO/Pastors for Peace" <ifco at>
Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2003 6:56 AM
Subject: Cong. Charles Rangel's Statement on free speech.

Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY)
has been attacked by right-wing "patriots"
after this TV appearance.

He has asked IFCO to distribute his
statement in response. Please distribute
it widely to your email contacts.

Contact: Emile Milne 202 225-4365
March 28, 2003

Statement by Hon. Charles Rangel
The War in Iraq: I Will Not Be Intimidated

Recently, on the Hannity and Colmes TV show, Sean Hannity
challenged my patriotism because I said, "I just don't
believe that you bomb women and children in order to enforce
something against a lying cheat."

50 years ago, I was a young American in combat, fighting the
communists in North Korea. Our soldiers are brave young men
and women just for being there, and I know they're scared,
like I was. My heart truly goes out to them--and to their
families--who I know are praying and worried to death.

Our troops don't know who is the enemy--whether they are
men in uniforms or in street clothes. Our troops don't
target men or women or children. They're in guerrilla
warfare, and the only rule is to defend themselves.
And no matter how much we do to pinpoint targets
from the air, bombs don't know the difference between
enemy troops and innocent people.

What Sean Hannity does not know, because he did not serve
in the armed forces, is that soldiers obey the orders of the
Commander-in-Chief. Our troops are doing that. But if we
were not in this war, there would be no bombing at all, and
it would not be necessary to consider the issue of
"collateral damage."

Nothing is more precious to Americans than our freedom to
speak out, to disagree. It's frightening that, in their
passion for this war, some people are accusing anyone who
opposes it of being unpatriotic. If members of Congress are
going to be attacked for fulfilling their responsibility to
their constituents to speak out on matters of war and peace,
then we might as well tear up the Constitution.

I do not support the war, but I revere the troops, and I am
drafting legislation that will show, in a tangible way, the
country's appreciation for their sacrifice. The program will
provide generous higher education and health care benefits,
for the troops after their discharge, their spouses and
children. For those who wish to go into business, it will
provide the necessary resources.

Sean Hannity deliberately distorted my views on the program
in his attempt to challenge my patriotism. I will continue
speaking on behalf of my constituents and in defense of the
Constitution. I will not be intimidated.

"Let us not love in word: but in deed and in truth." 1 John

IFCO/Pastors for Peace
402 W 145th Street, New York, NY 10031
212-926-5757;  fax: 212-926-5842; web:

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