Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today spoke on the Senate floor and called for Acting Defense Secretary Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Dunford to testify publicly before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Iran by the end of the week.
I return to the floor this afternoon amid several concerning reports about the Trump administration’s position on Iran.
Earlier this week, it was reported that the administration’s national security team discussed a plan that would deploy at least 120,000 US troops in the Middle East. Today we learned that personnel were removed from the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.
The President himself initially denied that there was a plan, and then seemed to confirm the reports by saying that he would “absolutely” would send troops, and if he did, “it would be a hell of lot more than [120,000].”
The news comes as quite a surprise to the American people who have grown quite tired of wars in the Middle East, of the loss of life and fortune when there’s so much that has to be done in America.
The American people deserve to know what’s going on here. We are talking about not only putting 120,000 U.S. troops in harms’ way in this possible deployment, but also about the safety and the actions of the thousands of troops we have stationed in the Middle East right now.
So I am calling on Acting Defense Secretary Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Dunford to come testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee in an open setting before the end of the week.
The hearings that are done in secret, do not inform the American people of what’s going on, and they are entitled to know. Because the lessons of history teach us that when these things are done in secret, behind closed doors, mistakes can be made and momentum built for a course of action that the nation ultimately regrets.
So I’d repeat: The American people deserve to know what’s going on. If the President and Republicans in Congress are planning to take the United States to a conflict, even a war, in the Middle East, the American people deserve to know that, and they deserve to know why.