Volume 18, Number 50 | April 28 - May 4, 2006

Nadler on Clinton, Iran & impeachment

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler disagrees with New York’s junior senator on several big issues, but he said Friday that he would back Sen. Hillary Clinton in 2008 if she decides to run for president.

In the last two presidential elections Nadler endorsed two of the more liberal candidates in the Democratic primary — Howard Dean in 2004 and Bill Bradley in 2000. Nadler appears closer ideologically to another likely presidential candidate Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. Unlike Clinton, both men voted against the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act and favor gay marriage.

“I would have been happier if had she not voted for the [war] resolution as I didn’t, but I think she would, if we’re still in Iraq when the next president takes over, which I devoutly hope is an academic issue long before then, I don’t think we would stay there very long,” Nadler told Gay City News, a sister publication of Downtown Express, Friday. “I think she’s the favorite for the nomination and I certainly hope she wins the nomination. She’d be a very strong candidate. I think she’d be a good president.”

In an interview with Downtown Express on the same day, Nadler said he thought President Bush’s order of secret wiretapping was illegal and “clearly an impeachable offense,” although he was not ready to call for impeachment hearings because Bush’s term in office would be nearly done by the time the process was over anyway. He said if the Democrats win control of the House in 2007, there are likely to be hearings looking into the wiretapping.

He favors military intervention in Iran if the country gets close to building nuclear weapons and said the administration’s plan was to hope that the Iranian problem would go away while it went into a foolish war in Iraq.

Nadler said at the start of the Iraqi war in March 2003, he asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld what the plan was to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. He recalls Rumsfeld saying “the Iranian government is not stable – there’s a lot of domestic opposition, we hope it will be overthrown before that happens (Iran develops nukes). I looked at him and said I hope so too, but what’s our policy, and he turned and walked away.”

A Pentagon spokesperson did not return a call for comment about Nadler’s remarks to Downtown Express.

Nadler said because administration officials are “demonstrated liars” when it comes to weapons of mass destruction, it will be hard to convince the world to go along with military action if Iran is about to get W.M.D. “One of the problems is we cried wolf, but of course the boy who cried wolf was attacked in the end.”

He thinks we should pull our troops out of Iraq by the end of the year to save their lives and doesn’t think we can control whether or not civil war breaks out.

“People say [if you pull out] you’ll have a civil war, you’ll have a this you’ll have a that,” he said. “The answer is yeah you will but if you don’t do it you will still have a civil war.

— Josh Rogers


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