Senate Passes Nelson-Menendez Amendment To Reject Amnesty For Terrorists Who Kill U.S. Troops

Senate Passes Nelson-Menendez Amendment To Reject Amnesty For Terrorists Who Kill U.S. Troops

Washington - The United States Senate today approved a measure introduced by U.S. Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) making clear to the Bush administration and the Iraqi Government that the U.S. Senate will not support any effort to grant amnesty to terrorists who kill or injure U.S. forces. This measure, an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization bill, followed news reports regarding alleged Iraqi plans to explore granting amnesty to terrorists who have killed or injured U.S. troops.

The U.S. Senate is now on record denouncing any such idea and todays amendment urges President Bush to follow suit. On a day when Americans received the terrible news that two American soldiers had been killed and possibly tortured by terrorists in Iraq, the United States Senate sent a clear and unequivocal message: the government of Iraq must not grant amnesty to terrorists with the blood of U.S. soldiers on their hands.

Just by offering this amendment last Thursday, we were able to change the course of events in Iraq, Menendez said. In response to our amendment, the Iraqi Government began backtracking on previous statements that amnesty would be granted to terrorists who killed or wounded U.S. soldiers. I hope we now hear an unambiguous public statement from the Iraqi prime minister clearly and permanently rejecting any talk of amnesty for these terrorists.

The Nelson-Menendez amendment, which passed by a vote of 79-19, honored the service of our armed forces and their work in Iraq and stated that the Government of Iraq should not grant amnesty to persons known to have attacked, killed, or wounded members of the Armed Services of the United States. The amendment also called on the President to immediately let the Iraqi government know of U.S. opposition to this plan.

Menendez also voted against a weaker amendment which, under the guise of sovereignty, would have permitted the Iraqi government to grant amnesty.

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