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Lawmakers Fume on Canceled N. Korea Trip
TBO ^ | 10-31-03 | KEN GUGGENHEIM

Posted on 10/31/2003 3:16:57 PM PST by Indy Pendance

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Ten lawmakers whose trip to North Korea was canceled by the White House have sent a scathing letter to President Bush, complaining of the "arrogant and disrespectful" treatment from his national security advisers.

The five Republicans and five Democrats said they were offended "and believe you are being ill-served by your National Security Council staff." A copy of the 5 1/2-page letter, dated Thursday, was obtained by The Associated Press.

There was no immediate comment from the White House.

The letter adds to growing tensions between lawmakers and the White House on foreign policy issues. Republicans and Democrats have repeatedly complained that the White House has been arrogant in its handling of the Iraq issue, failing to provide information sought by lawmakers or heed the concerns they've raised.

The 10 lawmakers had hoped to leave last weekend on a rare official trip to North Korea. They expected to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and visit the nuclear compound at Yongbyon, the source of spent fuel rods that could be used to make nuclear bombs.

But the leader of the delegation, Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., issued a statement Sunday saying that the White House withdrew its support for the trip. A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it considered the trip inappropriate at a time that Bush was making progress in working with other nations to stop North Korea's nuclear program.

The lawmakers' letter said they don't believe a president has ever prohibited congressional travel, except to an active war zone.

"It is extremely ironic that in this case you canceled military transport of a bipartisan delegation that is in total and complete support of your state foreign policy agenda in North Korea," they said.

Weldon had contacted the White House within an hour of receiving the North Korean invitation on Oct. 13, the letter said. But it wasn't until Oct. 23, two days before the trip, that White House chief of staff Andrew Card called Weldon to say the administration was pulling its support for the trip. No one in the National Security Council staff had called before to express concerns about the trip, the lawmakers said.

The letter said there had also been problems related to a congressional delegation Weldon led to North Korea in May. Citing an unidentified military officer, it said national security adviser Condoleezza Rice had called the Defense Department at one point to say the trip had been canceled. The Pentagon did not tell them the mission could leave until one day before the scheduled departure.

The letter said the National Security Council had "irresponsibly fabricated, with malicious intent, a rumor" that the May delegation had passed a 30-page document to North Korean officials, presenting it as "some type of sinister leak of information."

The document was actually a 48-page report on U.S.-Russians relation available on the Internet, the letter said.

The lawmakers asked Bush or Card to meet with them to discuss the trip.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: hahaha; waaaaaaa

1 posted on 10/31/2003 3:16:58 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: Indy Pendance
Damn straight GW!!!

You run the show.

I love this President, Mr Bush.

2 posted on 10/31/2003 3:20:59 PM PST by dasboot (Celebrate UNITY!)
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To: Indy Pendance
WH to the NK junketeers ;

"Bite Me"

3 posted on 10/31/2003 3:23:18 PM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: Indy Pendance
Please stay home!

President Bush is doing just fine without your self serving medling at tax payers expense.

4 posted on 10/31/2003 3:26:38 PM PST by chachacha
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To: Indy Pendance
I'm tired of seeing those Jung Il photos with Madiline HalfWit. I surely don't want to see anymore suck-up pics of more politicians doing the same.
5 posted on 10/31/2003 3:28:03 PM PST by demlosers
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To: Indy Pendance
I hear Pyongyang is lovely in the fall.

Reminds people of Burlington, VT.

6 posted on 10/31/2003 3:31:18 PM PST by billorites (Friend of Rush L.)
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To: chachacha
Isn't that the truth?
7 posted on 10/31/2003 3:36:19 PM PST by MamaB
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To: Indy Pendance
Does the White House really "cancel" these trips, or is it more of a matter of "withdrawing support"?
8 posted on 10/31/2003 3:41:33 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: demlosers
Curt Weldon needs to stay home. Ya hear that Curtie?
9 posted on 10/31/2003 3:44:17 PM PST by oldironsides
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To: Indy Pendance
ARROGANCE the new demonrat buzzword.
10 posted on 10/31/2003 3:47:25 PM PST by OldFriend (DEMS INHABIT A PARALLEL UNIVERSE)
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To: Dog Gone
I don't think they can cancel trip, but withdraw support. Is NK a sanctioned country, like Cuba? I'm not sure of the protocol here. Good question though.
11 posted on 10/31/2003 3:47:34 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: Dog Gone
The President does not provide them with military transportation and State Department escort personnel. So their only alternative is to travel commercial. Also there is the matter of visas and diplomatic credentials that can be withheld.

In such event the members of Congress would be travelling as private citizens, and we can all imagine how much the members would enjoy that.
12 posted on 10/31/2003 3:50:33 PM PST by Poodlebrain
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To: Indy Pendance
Oh, I thought the NKs were offended! After all, they had set up the gingseng party and were about to dope 10 Congressmen and, perhaps, have ten hostages and now, they don't. Were these the same guys who froliced in Havana with Fidelito?
13 posted on 10/31/2003 3:52:10 PM PST by Tacis
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To: Poodlebrain
The story doesn't say which Democrats were involved, but Sheila Jackson-Lee throws a hissy fit if she doesn't get a First Class seat on her commutes to Houston from DC.
14 posted on 10/31/2003 3:52:12 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Poodlebrain
Yup. If these POS's are so eager to go, let them go on their own nickle.
15 posted on 10/31/2003 3:54:45 PM PST by blam
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To: Indy Pendance
Seems to me that these Reps are supposed to work for the folks that elected them...I don't necessarily condone their trip, but I know who is paying the bill and it shore ain't George Bush...

If George was to set up a "trade agreement" with N Korea, I would hope that some sensible congress people would rush over there to squash the deal...
16 posted on 10/31/2003 4:16:39 PM PST by Iscool
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To: Dog Gone
Wasn't she the one who demanded a limo ride to get across the street in DC?
17 posted on 10/31/2003 4:24:07 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: Poodlebrain
Thanks for the clarification.
18 posted on 10/31/2003 4:24:35 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: Indy Pendance
Actually, it was two blocks. Give the fatass queen retard nincompoop a break.
19 posted on 10/31/2003 4:29:21 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone
I'm so very sorry ... (insert kowtow here) Please, I hope this doesn't get out and daschel isn't deeply saddened by my faux pas.
20 posted on 10/31/2003 4:32:13 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: Dog Gone
Are you serious? Does she really fly first class at taxpayers expense?
21 posted on 10/31/2003 4:32:44 PM PST by Oorang ( If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?)
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To: Oorang
Oh absolutely. There have been several news accounts of her behavior. The last was about a month ago when there were no first class seats available on the flight she finally showed up for (she typically books several flights on the same day).

Continental Airlines cleared out a whole row for her back in the peasant section, and she still wasn't happy about it.

22 posted on 10/31/2003 4:45:26 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone
Paging Henry Bowman. Time to feed the hogs, again.
23 posted on 10/31/2003 4:59:13 PM PST by Oorang ( If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?)
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To: Indy Pendance
In time of war, send politicians into enemy terr.? Het, this idea might just have legs. Let's not look a gift hearse in the mouth, now.
24 posted on 10/31/2003 9:35:12 PM PST by Waco
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