Christine Stuart photo
A group of protesters huddle outside U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman’s Hartford office Thursday in the bitter cold to tell him they didn’t appreciate his obstruction of a vote on a resolution to express the Senate’s opposition to the troop escalation in Iraq. The letter from members of Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, Moveon.org, Truemajority.org, Votevet.org, and Connecticut Citizens Action Group said, “We know that you do not agree with our position, but you need to know that an overwhelming majority of Connecticut residents and Americans from all over want this misguided war over now.” Protestors who attempted to deliver the letter at around 4:45 p.m. were told Lieberman’s office closed at 4 p.m., but two staffers came out 15-minutes later to accept the letter on Lieberman’s behalf. They said he was in Washington but promised to deliver their message to the Senator.
One protestor said she wasn’t really surprised he’d filibuster the resolution. “He’s not on my favorite person list,” Billie Cote said. However, she said she was surprised with the lack of mainstream media coverage of the anti-war protest in Washington more than a week ago. Do you think anyone who voted for Lieberman was surprised by his overwhelming support of the war? Protestor, Brendan Mahoney, said he doesn’t think anyone was surprised by Lieberman’s continued support for the war. “He’s serving the people who voted for him,” Mahoney said. Lieberman was elected by a large number of Republican voters after in the general election after he lost the Democratic primary to anti-war candidate Ned Lamont. Lieberman’s press office did not return calls for comment Thursday evening. Shortly after losing the Democratic primary in August Lieberman’s message on the war seemed to soften. In his first television commercial following the primary Lieberman said, “I’m staying cause I want to help end the war in Iraq in a way that brings stability in the Mid-East and doesn’t leave us any more vulnerable.”Click here to watch the one-minute commercial. But one month after that commercial he gave his Iraq policy speech, which called for an increase in military personnel. Lieberman said he wanted to triple the number of U.S. soldiers embedded in Iraqi units and called on the U.S. to get tougher with Iraqi leadership. If you withdraw combat troops “best able to suppress sectarian violence and target and kill the enemy, then you leave our other troops and personnel much more vulnerable to attack. That’s not right,” he said. Click here to read our coverage of the speech. It certainly was no surprise to Lieberman’s supporters who spent election night with him at the Goodwin Hotel. In his victory speech, Lieberman said, “I see this election today as a declaration of independence from the politics of partisanship. That is the message that I heard loud and clear from the people of Connecticut, and I intend to carry it in my heart and my head as I return to the United States Senate. And that will begin with Iraq, where there is a growing bipartisan consensus for a new strategy to get the job done there so we can bring our troops home sooner without endangering the security of the American people.“Before the speech Nov. 7 it became obvious loyalty played an important role in his re-election bid. “I supported Joe because for years he’s supported military families,” said Litchfield attorney Kevin Creed, a 55-year-old Democrat and former member of his town’s Board of Selectmen. “He’s an honest guy.“Creed said Lieberman came through for him a few years ago, when after then Sept. 11 attacks he was called up again for military service in the Army. He said he agreed to go, and worked all over Iraq, Afghanistan, and the surrounding regions managing the service and maintenance of both military and civilian contractor aircraft.After three months of duty, Creed said, it became clear that neither he nor any of the retirees who’d returned to duty had been paid by the U.S. government. “I just made a phone call and he took care of us, all of the retirees over there,” Creed said.