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Sen. Graham Returns to Iraq; in camoflage February 22, 2008

Posted by Judith in Military Service.
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Sen. Graham is in Iraq to complete a third tour of duty according to Stars and Stripes. He was in Iraq in May and August of 2007 as well for short tours of duty. He is an Air Force Reservist and teaches at the Judge Advocate General School in Alabama.

Graham told Stars and Stripes in an interview “I’d like to do more, but [with] the day job, you know in the Senate, it’s hard to get away for any long period.”

Graham is proving again that he is dedicated to serving his country, both in uniform and out. It may seem odd for a politician to be in uniform, but there is precedent stretching back in history and Sen. Graham is just another link in that proud history.

After Tour of Duty in Iraq, Graham Backs ‘Surge’ August 27, 2007

Posted by Judith in Military Service.
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Robin Wright
The Washington Post

The following is excerpted from an article in The Washington Post (August 28, 2007):

After serving two weeks of reserve duty in Iraq, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) yesterday called for continuation of the “surge” of U.S. troops in Iraq and warned that any decision to mandate a withdrawal this year would undercut critical gains made in recent months.

Graham, a colonel in the Air Force Reserve and a longtime supporter of military deployment in Iraq, is the only member of the Senate to serve in Iraq.

“With all due respect to Senator Warner, the model he is suggesting — to put pressure [on the Iraqi government] by mandating troop withdrawal — is exactly the opposite of what we should do,” Graham said in an interview after returning from Iraq this past weekend. “I believe the pressure that will lead to reconciliation will not be from what an American politician thinks but what the Iraqi people think. And I’m confident that the Iraqi people have turned a corner.”

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Sen. Lindsey Graham – The Only Elected Reservist to Serve in Iraq May 13, 2007

Posted by Judith in Military Service.
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Senators and Congressmen who travel to Iraq typically go as part of a congressional delegation for a few days and then leave to report their findings to the public once they arrive home. Sen. Lindsey Graham recently went on such a visit with Sen. John McCain, but after McCain and his other colleagues left he changed into Air Force desert camouflage and served eight days with the Rule of Law Task Force in Iraq.

This makes him unique among his four colleagues that are reservists. Senator Graham is the only sitting elected official to have ever voted for a resolution authorizing use of military force and then served himself.
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Sen. Graham Travels to Guantanamo to witness CSRT Hearing March 16, 2007

Posted by Judith in Military and Defense.
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c_documentsandsettings_dpuser_mydocuments_judy_326578_370.jpg
Source: New York Times
Saturday marked the first hearing of a Combat Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) at that was closed to the media. This was a pivotal hearing of Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks.
“I was responsible for the 9/11 operation form A-Z,” Mohammed admitted as he gave his confession to the tribunal consisting of three military officers and with two United States Senators Lindsey Graham and Carl Levin watched via closed circuit TV.

Senators Graham and Levin were present to observe the process and report back about what happened. Graham was an architect of the Military Commissions Act which Levin voted against. They released a joint statement today that explained the process and said that it went well. However, they added that “the true test of the CSRT process is not a case in which the detainee admits the allegations against him, it is a case in which the detainee disputes those allegations. Judicial review of the tribunals is ongoing. We will continue to review the process and will explore possible ways to improve this process through Congressional action.”

Graham challenges colleagues to act rather than talk on Iraq February 3, 2007

Posted by Judith in Military and Defense.
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In comments to WCBD in Charleston Sen. Graham challenged his colleagues “political courage” because they are planning a vote a non-binding resolution that expresses their discontent with the ‘surge’ and urged them to “cheer them on” rather than cast a vote of “no confidence in Gen. Petraeus.” He further said the vote would “empower our enemies, and be demoralizing to our own troops.”

Graham Introduces Legislation to Honor General Francis Marion in Washington D.C. January 22, 2007

Posted by Judith in Preseervation.
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The legislation was first introduced in the 109th Congress be Joe Wilson (R) in the Congress, Lindsey Graham in the Senate and signed on to by the remainder of the state’s delegation. This legislation would allow for a statue of General Francis Marion to be built in Marion Park, located at the intersection of E Street South Carolina Avenue in Washington, D.C. This legislation has been introduced in the Congress and Senate again.

109th: S. 2822, H.R. 5057
110th: S. 312, H.R. 497
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Graham Says Iraq on the Verge of Chaos November 24, 2006

Posted by Judith in Military and Defense.
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In an AP interview Sen. Graham said

We’re on the verge of chaos, and the current plan is not working

US and Iraqi officials need to be held accountable for the lack of progress and he said

All of them. It’s their job to come up with a game plan

He has been calling for changes to the strategy since the begining operations in Iraq. He has criticized troop levels and has asked tough questions of leaders and never gotten satisfactory answers.

Graham Serves in Afghanistan September 14, 2006

Posted by Judith in Military Service.
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Sen. Graham is the only member of the National Guard or Reserves who serves in the U.S. Senate. He recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan where he helped to train Afghan lawyers and judges.

Graham helps train Afghan Lawyers

No Nomination Games Being Played June 15, 2006

Posted by Judith in Judiciary.
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I agree that something needs to be done about the obstruction of judicial nominees, but what can be done so that we do not change to operation of the Senate? The “nuclear option” is no option at all because it will destroy the Senate.

Sen. Graham is blocking Mr. Haynes on principle because of his role in the torture scandal. No game here. Mr. Haynes wrote and endorsed the memos.

You bet that there would be cries of foul play if his election were moved up to tomorrow because it is not supposed to be until 2008. He is not supportive of nominees colling their heels for years, but the one in question is problematic and there was some given up by the compromise.

The abuses have existed for a long time, but that does not mean we need a radical solution that makes irreversible changes.

I support the reforms because it would give all nominees of all presidents a fair vote, however, the Senators should have a right to block if there are substantial concerns, such as there are with Mr. Haynes.

I do not have a problem with knowing who is doing the blocking, however, a rules change should be done without the “nuclear option” and the Specter approach is a good start.

Response to “Lord on Judicial Nominations” on ConfirmThem.

Glad to Be Sen. Graham’s Friend June 15, 2006

Posted by Judith in Judiciary.
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Paul at PowerLine is as disappointed in Sen. Graham’s lack of a response to the issue of weather he is blocking the Haynes nomination as he is in the senator’s recent letter to conservative groups. The partisanship of the retired military officer does not matter as long as his concerns are valid. I am sure that Paul would be siging a different turn if this military officer were a partisan Republican. The other man mentioned, Mr. Guter is not incoherent just becasue he disagrees with a policy. If Mr. Haynes could not break from his ’superiors’ as General Counsel of DoD than it is right to question his indepedence as a judge when dealing with the cases that are sure to come before the court in the interceeding years.

Sen. Graham is relying on the testimony of former officers that either worked with Haynes or in the environment that Haynes created when he sold out his DoD position to go along with the Jusitce Department position. It is unfair to say that Sen. Graham is ignoring pro-Haynes viewpoints of the officer cited. If Maj. Gen. Michael Marchand would go in and talk to him or write a letter to him than He would consider his viewpoint as well.

He is talking about the JAG memos, which took him a year and one-half to get and they were classified for some unknown reason. He refers to these memos because they represented DoD policy and the concerns about the effect on the service men and women were valid. If the advice was followed than why couldn’t the Senator have them sooner? If they weren’t doing aything wrong why classify the opinion of the JAGs when the memos between Bybee, Haynes, Gonzales, and the other civilian lawyers were made public? Why did Secretary Rumsfeld later have to decertify some of the methods and why are we still dealing with this if he listened to their advice and the document addressed their concerns?

The argument that Sen. Graham did not consider the views of Maj. Gen. Roning or supoprters of Haynes is wrong because just the fact that he called someone that poisitively assessed Haynes is telling about his willingness to consider views contrary to his own and the critics.

The letter does not directly address the issue of his role in stopping the Haynes nomination, but conservatives have drawn the conclusion from the wording that he is the impediment. This is no surprise to me because he has said that there was one nominee that he would vote against and I think Haynes is that nominee. If the Haynes nomination goes through committee and to the floor there will be a filibuster and I would rather see Sen. Graham do everything in his power to preserve the civility and working order of the Senate.

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