And: “That e-mail message would put Mr. Lawson in touch with the CBS News program 60 Minutes II and help set in motion events that led to the public disclosure of the graphic photographs and an international crisis for the Bush administration. It is still not entirely clear who leaked the photos and how they got into the hands of a 60 Minutes II producer. What is clear, however, is the furor of the photos…” Anyway, “The irony of all this,” says Mr. William Lawson, “is that the public spectacle might have been avoided if the military and the federal government had been responsive to his claims that his nephew was simply following orders. Mr. Lawson said he sent letters to 17 members of Congress about this case earlier this year, with virtually no response, and that he ultimately contacted…Hackworth’s website out of frustration leading him to cooperate with a consultant for 60 Minutes II.”
Well, I read this yesterday, “Well, who are these people? Who are these 17 members of Congress that William Lawson sent this letter off to?” Well, we now know. We now know. “The uncle of the soldier who revealed the mistreatment said that 17 members of Congress…” The New York Times says “Democrats and Republicans,” but it’s one Republican; all the others are Democrats, were contacted about this when they blew him off. Now, here’s the list of who received letters and notification — and, by the way, the reason that most of these are Democrats is that Lawson says — and you’ll hear him say it in just a moment; he was on MSNBC last night with Lester Holt. But Lawson said that the reason they focused on Democrats when they started their letter and e-mail campaign was they thought that the Democrats would be anxious to take up the cause, but they got blown off by everybody on the list.
In fact, Robert Byrd even said to him, “We don’t accept e-mails or letters here of less than 500 words.” So here is the list of names that William Lawson sent information to members of Congress telling them all about what they are now investigating from what they claim is a knowledge baseline of zero. “We didn’t know anything. Nobody told us a word! They kept it from us. You can’t keep things like this from Congress. If we’d been involved, why, we might have been able to help and limit the damage here, but this just goes to show you can’t keep us out of the loop.” Here are the 17 people in the Senate and the Congress who were first informed of this by an uncle of a man implicated in these photos in Iraq:
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Jack <a target=new href=”http://reed.senate.gov”>Reed</a>, Democrat, Rhode Island, got an e-mail. He’s on the committee. Mark <a target=new href=”http://Dayton.senate.gov”>Dayton</a>, Democrat, Minnesota, got an e-mail. Robert <a target=new href=”http://byrd.senate.gov”>Byrd</a>, West Virginia, got an e-mail but responded, the office responded, saying, “We don’t respond to e-mails unless they’re 500 words or more.” Bill <a target=new href=”http://billnelson.senate.gov”>Nelson</a>, senator, Democrat Florida, got an e-mail. Evan <a target=new href=”hthttp://billnelson.senate.gov/tp://bayh.senate.gov”>Bayh</a>, Democrat, Indiana, got an e-mail. Mark <a target=new href=”http://pryor.senate.gov”>Pryor</a>, Democrat, Arkansas, got an e-mail. Teddy <a target=new href=”http://kennedy.senate.gov”>Kennedy</a>, Democrat, Massachusetts, got an e-mail. Ben <a target=new href=”http://bennelson.senate.gov”>Nelson</a>, Democrat Nebraska, got an e-mail. Hillary <a target=new href=”http://clinton.senate.gov”>Clinton</a>, Democrat, New York, got an e-mail. Joseph <a target=new href=”http://lieberman.senate.gov”>Lieberman</a>, Democrat, Connecticut, got an e-mail. Daniel <a target=new href=”http://Akaka.senate.gov”>Akaka</a>, Democrat, Hawaii, got an e-mail. Congressman [The only House member and sole Republican] Roscoe Bartlett, Republican, Maryland, was sent a letter. Paul <a target=new href=”http://sarbanes.senate.gov”>Sarbanes</a>, Democrat, Maryland, was sent a letter. Jay <a target=new href=”http://rockefeller.senate.gov”>Rockefeller</a>, Democrat, West Virginny, was sent a letter, and Governor Mark Warner, Democrat, Virginia, was sent a letter.
Last night William Lawson, uncle of accused soldier, was the guest via telephone on MSNBC. This is Lester Holt Live. The anchor is Amy Roback. She said, “You say you tried many different avenues to bring your nephew’s story to light. Tell us who you wrote, who you called, and what their responses were.”
LAWSON: We contacted Governor Warner of Virginia by mail. The Democrats we contacted because we felt that they would be more in favor of what we were looking for here, that they would be more receptive to us. We contacted Jack Reed from Rhode Island, Mark Dayton from Minnesota, Robert Byrd from West Virginia. They’re all on the Armed Services Committee — and Bill Nelson from Florida, Evan Bayh from Indiana, Mark Pryor from Arkansas, Edward Kennedy from Massachusetts, Benjamin Nelson from Nebraska, Hillary Clinton from New York, Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut, Daniel Akaya [sic?Akaka] from Hawaii, Roscoe Bartlett, a Republican from Maryland, Paul Sarbanes from Maryland. I contacted Jay Rockefeller, and the results that we got back were — Robert Byrd said, “Well, we don’t accept e-mails that are less than 500 words.” The rest of them sent letters that say, “Well, we’re turning this over to the Army, and it’s going to be investigated.” Nobody else responded in that entire group, and we only got form letters, and we still haven’t heard from anybody at all.
RUSH: Now, this is interesting. I’m not going to say “important,” because nothing is going to come of this other than your knowledge of it and your being able to think of it what you will and do with it what you will. But the fact is all of these people on this Senate committee who are named in this list have been pontificating — except Lieberman — a bunch of them have been pontificating about how they were kept in the dark, nobody knew anything. Of course, what was not included in the letters obviously was pictures. It’s the pictures that have turned the tails here, so to speak, which is understandable.
I’m not complaining about it, but I just think it’s a little phony and a little grandiose to stand up there and start talking about how, “We didn’t know anything and they kept us in the dark and the administration wasn’t telling us anything.” People involved were trying to get members of this committee. People in Iraq were trying to get this committee interested because this uncle, Mr. Lawson, obviously thinks that his nephew is going to get railroaded here — and there was an attempt here to, obviously among the family, protect a member of the family. So just wanted you to know this, as other things that I want to discuss as this unfolds today. We learn any more about what actually went on at this prison. It was a hellhole, and many of the people in this prison were among the 54 Saddam deck of cards leadership, ladies and gentlemen. There are former MP prison guards who have come back after doing their tour, who are still having nightmare flashbacks of their experiences in this hellhole of a prison, which is what this is, or was.
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