Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle isn’t taking sides with Pennsylvania’s John Murtha in the debate that flared up in recent days over ending U.S. involvement in Iraq. The 73-year-old Murtha, a Vietnam Vet, says today he’s just reflecting American’s views when he calls for our troops to get set to leave Iraq. But Nussle, a republican, today took a different view of immediate or timed withdrawal.
Nussle says what we should be concerned about is what it’d look like to consider a pullout before December elections in Iraq, and what would indicate to enemies, insurgents and Iraqi people he says feared from the start that “America would cut and run the way we did after the first Gulf War.”
Nussle says there should be a plan for how and when we’ll withdraw…but a timeline is different from a plan.
Just a timeline isn’t a successful way to withdraw from a country, Nussle, who says generals involved in the war would call that “a recipe for disaster.” He says when it comes to relying on a congressman “who might be involved in this for political purposes, or a commander who’s obviously in the field and sees all that they see, I’m going to have to stick with the commanders.”
Nussle also said today that he’d like to see an investigation into last week’s escape of two prisoners from the state prison in Madison. Nussle says the Department of Justice, the Attorney General’s office or a private independent security firm should do the investigation, since Iowans should be assured the prison lives up to its billing as “the most secure facility in Iowa.”
Nussle says he’s seen budget numbers showing the prison funding was increased the last two years and doesn’t believe the jailbreak can be blamed in previous cuts to budget and staffing. “Is it budget, or is it inside personnel?” Nussle asks, “Is it the structure and the management, is it the facility itself, is it the technology?” He says those are all fair questions. He says it’s not an investigation that should be done by the state corrections agency.
He says it’s inappropriate for one agency to be investigating itself in such a serious situation and giving recommendations to the legislature.