Ethics controversy brought to conclusion
Nearly four years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the global war on terrorism is continuing. There has been tremendous progress made in this effort, and many of us in Washington are optimistic – although guardedly so – that the United States and our coalition partners around the world are making tremendous strides in this effort.
In just the past few days alone, there have been two major developments which show that the power of al Qaeda in particular is waning as the number of members and their desire to continue the fight is decreasing. Early in the week, a letter reportedly intended for delivery to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – a key al Qaeda ally and the leader of the insurgency in Iraq – was seized by coalition forces. In it, the writer revealed a growing weariness with the fight and an increasing lack of confidence in the leadership of the insurgency.
Then on Wednesday, May 4, it was revealed that Pakistani security forces had captured Abu Faraj Farj al Liby following a protracted gun battle with him. Al Liby is reported to be the third highest ranking member of al Qaeda and a key aide to Osama bin Laden, and his capture represents another strong blow against terrorism.
While this news is extremely encouraging, the war still continues, and with it the continuing need to support our military forces to the greatest extent possible. This past Thursday, the House of Representatives continued its commitment to providing for our active duty military members and their families by passing the FY 2005 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief. With an overwhelming vote of 368-58, the House has reaffirmed its commitment to providing the best equipment, the best medical care, and the most state-of-the-resources possible for our men and women in uniform.
Supporting our military and their families
While there is certainly no way we could ever fully repay the members of our military who are making such important sacrifices each day, I feel this legislation makes important strides in protecting our servicemen and women and their families.
This appropriations bill includes a total of $75.9 billion for total defense related costs, and covers the following important areas: