Historic Documents of 2006

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    Thematic Table of Contents

    Thematic Table of Contents
    American Life

    President Bush on Proposed Overhaul of U.S. Immigration Law (May 15, 2006)

    Government Accountability Office on Safeguarding Personal Data (June 8, 2006)

    New York Court of Appeals on Gay Marriage (July 6, 2006)

    President Bush on Vetoing Stem Cell Legislation (July 19, 2006)

    FBI Report on Crime in the United States (September 18, 2006)

    Census Bureau on U.S. Population Growth (October 12, 2006)

    Business, the Economy, and Work

    President Bush on Gasoline Prices and Oil Dependence (April 25, 2006)

    Federal Reserve Chief Bernanke on the Outlook for the U.S. Economy (April 27, 2006)

    President Bush on Proposed Overhaul of U.S. Immigration Law (May 15, 2006)

    Statements after the Convictions of Former Enron Chief Executives (May 25, 2006)

    Ford Executive on Problems Facing American Car Manufacturers (June 14, 2006)

    President Bush on Mine Safety Legislation (June 15, 2006)

    WTO Director General on the Suspension of Trade Talks (July 24, 2006)

    British Treasury Report on the Economics of Climate Change (October 30, 2006)

    Energy, Environment, Science, Technology, and Transportation

    President Bush on Gasoline Prices and Oil Dependence (April 25, 2006)

    Supreme Court on Federal Wetlands Regulation (June 19, 2006)

    President Bush on Vetoing Stem Cell Legislation (July 19, 2006)

    International Astronomical Union on Downgrading Pluto's Status (August 24, 2006)

    National Park Service Guidelines for Managing the Parks (August 31, 2006)

    British Treasury Report on the Economics of Climate Change (October 30, 2006)

    Government and Politics

    State of the Union Address and Democratic Response (January 31, 2006)

    President Bush and Judge Alito on Joining the Supreme Court (February 1, 2006)

    House Report on the Government Response to Hurricane Katrina (February 15, 2006)

    Former Congressman Cunningham Sentenced to Federal Prison Term (March 3, 2006)

    Former House Majority Leader on His Resignation from Congress (June 8, 2006)

    American Bar Association on Presidential Signing Statements (August 8, 2006)

    House Speaker Hastert on Foley Resignation (October 5, 2006)

    President Bush and Minority Leader Pelosi on Midterm Election Results (November 8, 2006)

    President Bush on Replacing the Secretary of Defense (November 8, 2006)

    Governor Vilsack and Senator Bayh on Presidential Campaign Decisions (November 9 and December 15, 2006)

    Health and Social Services

    Government Accountability Office on Prescription Drug Safety (March 31, 2006)

    FDA and CDC on Cervical Cancer Vaccine (June 8 and 29, 2006)

    Surgeon General on the Dangers of Secondhand Smoke (June 27, 2006)

    President Bush on Vetoing Stem Cell Legislation (July 19, 2006)

    FDA on Approval of the Plan B Emergency Contraceptive Drug (August 24, 2006)

    FDA on Foodborne Illness and the Safety of Fresh Produce (September 14 and November 15, 2006)

    International Affairs—Africa

    Johnson-Sirleaf on Her Inauguration as President of Liberia (January 16, 2006)

    Secretary of State Rice on Restoring Diplomatic Relations with Libya (May 15, 2006)

    UNICEF on Children at Risk in the Democratic Republic of Congo (July 24, 2006)

    UN Security Council on Darfur Crisis in Sudan (August 31, 2006)

    Chinese President Hu on Relations Between China and Africa (November 4, 2006)

    UN Security Council Resolution on Peacekeeping in Somalia (December 6, 2006)

    International Affairs—Asia

    London Conference “Compact” on Afghanistan (February 1, 2006)

    President Bush and Prime Minister Singh on U.S.-Indian Relations (March 2, 2006)

    International Diplomats on the Peace Process in Sri Lanka (June 1 and November 21, 2006)

    UN Secretary General Annan on the Situation in Afghanistan (September 11, 2006)

    Military Junta Leaders on the Coup in Thailand (September 19 and 20, 2006)

    Japanese Prime Minister Abe on His Inauguration (September 29, 2006)

    UN Security Council on Nuclear Weapons Tests by North Korea (October 14, 2006)

    Chinese President Hu on Relations between China and Africa (November 4, 2006)

    Peace Agreement between Nepalese Government and Maoist Rebels (November 21, 2006)

    Microcredit Pioneer Yunus on Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize (December 10, 2006)

    International Affairs—Europe

    Montenegrin President Vujanovic on Independence from Serbia (June 28, 2006)

    International Affairs—Latin America and the Caribbean

    Bachelet on Her Inauguration as President of Chile (March 11, 2006)

    UN Secretary General Annan on the State of Affairs in Haiti (July 29, 2006)

    President Castro on the Temporary Transfer of Power in Cuba (July 31, 2006)

    Chavez on Relations between Latin America and the United States (September 20, 2006)

    Calderón on His Inauguration as President of Mexico (December 1, 2006)

    International Affairs—Middle East

    Middle East Quartet and Hamas on the New Palestinian Government (January 30 and March 20, 2006)

    London Conference “Compact” on Afghanistan (February 1, 2006)

    Report of the Special Inspector General on Iraq Reconstruction (April 30, 2006)

    Interim Prime Minister Olmert on the New Israeli Government (May 4, 2006)

    President Bush and Prime Minister Maliki on the Government of Iraq (May 1 and June 25, 2006)

    Letter from Iranian President Ahmadinejad to President Bush (May 7, 2006)

    Secretary of State Rice on Restoring Diplomatic Relations with Libya (May 15, 2006)

    UN Security Council Resolution on War between Israel and Hezbollah (August 11, 2006)

    UN Secretary General Annan on the Situation in Afghanistan (September 11, 2006)

    U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Foreign Terrorism (September 26, 2006)

    President Bush on the Trial and Execution of Saddam Hussein (November 5 and December 29, 2006)

    President Bush on Replacing the Secretary of Defense (November 8, 2006)

    UN Secretary General Annan on the Situation in Iraq (December 5, 2006)

    Iraq Study Group Report on U.S. Policy in Iraq (December 6, 2006)

    UN Security Council on Sanctions against Iran (December 23, 2006)

    International Affairs—Russia and Former Soviet Republics

    Vice President and Russian Foreign Minister on U.S.-Russian Relations (May 4 and 5, 2006)

    International Affairs—World Issues

    International Survey on Public Attitudes toward the United States (June 13, 2006)

    WTO Director General on the Suspension of Trade Talks (July 24, 2006)

    U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Foreign Terrorism (September 26, 2006)

    British Treasury Report on the Economics of Climate Change (October 30, 2006)

    UN Secretary General Annan on Protecting Human Rights (December 8, 2006)

    Microcredit Pioneer Yunus on Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize (December 10, 2006)

    National Security and Terrorism

    Statements on Executive Power and NSA Surveillance Authority (February 6, 2006)

    Government Accountability Office on Border Security Problems (March 28, 2006)

    Sentencing of Moussaoui for His Role in the September 11 Attacks (May 4, 2006)

    Supreme Court on Tribunals for Terrorism Suspects (June 29, 2006)

    President Bush on the Secret Detention of Terrorism Suspects (September 6, 2006)

    U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Foreign Terrorism (September 26, 2006)

    Rights, Responsibilities, and Justice

    President Bush and Judge Alito on Joining the Supreme Court (February 1, 2006)

    Statements on Executive Power and NSA Surveillance Authority (February 6, 2006)

    Sentencing of Moussaoui for His Role in the September 11 Attacks (May 4, 2006)

    Statements after the Convictions of Former Enron Chief Executives (May 25, 2006)

    Government Accountability Office on Safeguarding Personal Data (June 8, 2006)

    Supreme Court on Police Searches (June 15, 2006)

    Supreme Court on Federal Wetlands Regulation (June 19, 2006)

    Supreme Court on the Death Penalty (June 26, 2006)

    Supreme Court on Tribunals for Terrorism Suspects (June 29, 2006)

    New York Court of Appeals on Gay Marriage (July 6, 2006)

    American Bar Association on Presidential Signing Statements (August 8, 2006)

    President Bush on the Secret Detention of Terrorism Suspects (September 6, 2006)

    FBI Report on Crime in the United States (September 18, 2006)

    List of Document Sources

    List of Document Sources
    Congress

    CQ.com. CQ Transcriptions. “House Minority Leader Pelosi Holds News Conference on Legislative Agenda.” November 8, 2006.

    CQ.com. CQ Transcriptions. “House Speaker Hastert Holds News Conference, Batavia, Ill.” October 5, 2006.

    Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. “April 30, 2006 Quarterly Report to Congress.” April 30, 2006.

    U.S. Congress. Government Accountability Office. “Border Security.” March 28, 2006.

    U.S. Congress. Government Accountability Office. “Drug Safety: Improvement Needed in FDA's Oversight Process.” March 31, 2006.

    U.S. Congress. Government Accountability Office. “Privacy: Preventing Improper Disclosures of Personal Information.” June 8, 2006.

    U.S. Congress. House. “Resignation as Member of Committee on Appropriations.” June 8, 2006.

    U.S. Congress. House. Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina. “A Failure of Initiative.” February 15, 2006.

    U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. “Wartime Executive Power and the NSA's Surveillance Authority.” February 6, 2006.

    Executive Departments and Agencies

    U.S. Department of Commerce. Census Bureau. Public Information Office. “Nation's Population to Reach 300 Million on Oct. 17.” October 12, 2006.

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Advisory Committee Recommends HPV Vaccination.” June 29, 2006.

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The Health Consequences of Exposure to Tobacco Smoke.” June 27, 2006.

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Food and Drug Administration. “FDA Approves Over-the-Counter Access for Plan B for Women.” August 24, 2006.

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Food and Drug Administration. “FDA Licenses New Vaccine for Prevention of Cervical Cancer.” June 8, 2006.

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Food and Drug Administration. “FDA Warning on Foodborne E. Coli O157:H7 Outbreak.” September 14, 2006.

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Food and Drug Administration. “Statement of Robert E. Brackett.” November 15, 2006.

    U.S. Department of State. Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. “Remarks to the American Chamber of Commerce, Colombo, Sri Lanka.” June 1, 2006.

    U.S. Department of State. Office of the Spokesman. “Joint Statement Regarding Violence in Sri Lanka.” November 21, 2006.

    U.S. Department of State. “Quartet Statement on the Situation in the Middle East.” January 30, 2006.

    U.S. Department of State. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. “U.S. Diplomatic Relations with Libya.” May 15, 2006.

    U.S. Department of the Interior. National Park Service. “Management Policies 2006.” August 31, 2006.

    U.S. Federal Reserve Board. “Outlook for the U.S. Economy.” April 27, 2006.

    U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence. “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States.” September 26, 2006.

    International Nongovernmental Organizations

    International Astronomical Union. “Questions and Answers 2.” August 24, 2006.

    International Astronomical Union. “Result of the IAU Resolution Votes.” August 24, 2006.

    Nobel Foundation. “The Nobel Lecture Given by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2006, M. Yunus.” December 10, 2006.

    United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). “Child Alert: Democratic Republic of Congo.” July 24, 2006.

    United Nations. Department of Public Information. “Urging End to Impunity, Annan Sets Forth Ideas to Bolster UN Efforts to Protect Human Rights.” December 8, 2006.

    United Nations. General Assembly/Security Council. “The Situation in Afghanistan and Its Implications for Peace and Security.” September 11, 2006.

    United Nations Security Council. “Report of the Secretary-General Pursuant to Paragraph 30 of Resolution 1546 (2004).” December 5, 2006.

    United Nations Security Council. “Resolution 1701 (2006).” August 11, 2006.

    United Nations Security Council. “Resolution 1706 (2006).” August 31, 2006.

    United Nations Security Council. “Resolution 1718 (2006).” October 14, 2006.

    United Nations Security Council. “Resolution 1725 (2006).” December 6, 2006.

    United Nations Security Council. “Resolution 1737 (2006).” December 23, 2006.

    United Nations Security Council. “The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti.” July 28, 2006.

    World Trade Organization. Trade Negotiations Committee. “D.G. Lamy: Time Out Needed to Review Options and Positions.” July 24, 2006.

    Judiciary

    CQ.com. CQ Transcriptions. “Enron CEO Lay Holds Media Availability Following Trial Verdict.” May 25, 2006.

    CQ.com. CQ Transcriptions. “Enron CEO Skilling Holds News Conference Following Trial Verdict.” May 25, 2006.

    CQ.com. CQ Transcriptions. “Enron Task Force Holds News Conference Following Trial Verdict.” May 25, 2006.

    State of New York Court of Appeals. Seymour v. Holcomb. July 6, 2006.

    Supreme Court of the United States. Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. June 29, 2006.

    Supreme Court of the United States. Hudson v. Michigan. June 15, 2006.

    Supreme Court of the United States. Kansas v. Marsh. June 26, 2006.

    Supreme Court of the United States. Rapanos v. United States. June 19, 2006.

    U.S. Department of Justice. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime in the United States, 2005. September 18, 2006.

    U.S. Department of Justice. Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California. “Former Congressman Cunningham Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison.” March 3, 2006.

    United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division. United States of America vs. Zacarias Moussaoui. Criminal No. 1:01cr455. “Transcript of Sentencing before the Honorable Leonie M. Brinkema.” May 4, 2006.

    Non-U.S. Governments

    Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. [United Nations] Mission of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. “Statement by Hugo Chavez Frias, at the 61st UN General Assembly.” September 20, 2006.

    Government of Nepal. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Comprehensive Peace Agreement.” November 21, 2006.

    Islamic Republic of Iran. The Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the UN. “Letter from President of Iran to U.S. President George W. Bush.” May 7, 2006.

    Japan. Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet. “Policy Speech by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the 165th Session of the Diet.” September 29, 2006.

    Kingdom of Thailand. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Briefing by General Sonthi Boonyaratglin to the Diplomatic Corps.” September 20, 2006.

    Kingdom of Thailand. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Situation under Control Announcement.” September 19, 2006.

    Kingdom of Thailand. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Statement by General Sonthi Boonyaratglin.” September 20, 2006.

    Mexico. Presidency of the Republic. “First Message to the Nation by F. Calderón as President of Mexico.” December 1, 2006.

    Palestinian National Authority. “Program of the Hamas Government.” March 20, 2006.

    People's Republic of China. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Address at the Opening of the Summit on China-Africa Cooperation.” November 4, 2006.

    Republic of Chile. Chilean Government. “President Calls on Chileans to Work for Well-Being of the Country.” March 11, 2006.

    Republic of Cuba. Cuban Permanent Mission in the United Nations. “Proclamation by the Commander in Chief to the People of Cuba.” July 31, 2006.

    Republic of Iraq. Iraqi Government. “The Prime Minister Announces the National Reconciliation Project.” June 25, 2006

    Republic of Liberia. “Inaugural Speech of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.” January 16, 2006.

    Republic of Montenegro. President of the Republic of Montenegro. “Montenegro Has Become United Nations Member State.” June 28, 2006.

    State of Israel. Prime Minister's Office. “Address by PM on Presenting the New Government to the Knesset.” May 4, 2006.

    Russian Republic. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Information and Press Department. “Commentary Regarding U.S. Vice President Cheney's Remarks.” May 5, 2006.

    United Kingdom. Foreign and Commonwealth Office. “The Afghanistan Compact.” February 1, 2006.

    United Kingdom. HM Treasury. “Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change.” Summary of Conclusions. October 30, 2006.

    United Kingdom. 10 Downing Street Website. “PM's Comments on the Launch of the Stern Review.” October 30, 2006.

    U.S. Nongovernmental Organizations

    All America PAC. “Statement from Senator Bayh on His Decision Not to Run in 2008.” December 15, 2006.

    American Bar Association. House of Delegates. “Recommendation.” August 8, 2006.

    Democratic National Committee. “Virginia Governor's Response to the State of the Union.” January 31, 2006.

    Ford Motor Company. “Remarks by Mark Fields, President, Ford Motor Company.” June 14, 2006.

    Pew Research Center. The Pew Global Attitudes Project. “America's Image Slips, But Allies Share Concerns over Iran, Hamas.” June 13, 2006.

    Tom Vilsack President 2008. “Tom Vilsack Files Official Papers to Declare Presidential Candidacy.” November 9, 2006.

    United States Institute of Peace. Iraq Study Group. “The Iraq Study Group Report.” December 6, 2006.

    White House and the President

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Address on the State of the Union.” January 31, 2006.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Address to the Nation on Immigration Reform.” May 15, 2006.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “President Bush Nominates Dr. Robert M. Gates to Be Secretary of Defense.” November 8, 2006.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “The President's News Conference.” November 8, 2006.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Remarks Following Discussions with Prime Minister Singh of India.” March 2, 2006.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on Departure from Waco, Texas: Hussein Trial Verdict.” November 5, 2006.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on Meeting with Secretary Rice and Secretary Rumsfeld.” May 1, 2006.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on Signing the Fetus Farming Prohibition Act.” July 19, 2006.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on Signing the MINER Act.” June 15, 2006.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on the War on Terror.” September 6, 2006.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Remarks to the Renewable Fuels Association.” April 25, 2006.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Statement on the Death of Former President Saddam Hussein of Iraq.” December 29, 2006.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Swearing-in Ceremony for Associate Justice Samuel Alito.” February 1, 2006.

    U.S. Office of the Vice President. “Vice President's Remarks at the 2006 Vilnius Conference.” May 4, 2006.

    Preface

    Preface

    Escalating violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, political scandal in Washington, national debate on immigration, and a dramatic power shift in Congress are just a few of the topics of national and international interest chosen for discussion in Historic Documents of 2006. This edition marks the thirty-fifth volume of a CQ Press project that began with Historic Documents of 1972. This series allows students, librarians, journalists, scholars, and others to research and understand the most important issues and events of each year through primary source documents. Some of the more lengthy documents written for specialized audiences have been excerpted to highlight the most important sections. The official statements, news conferences, speeches, special studies, and court decisions presented here should be of lasting public and academic interest.

    Historic Documents of 2006 opens with an “Overview of 2006,” which puts key events and issues in political, historical, and social contexts. The balance of the book is organized chronologically, with each article comprising an introduction entitled “The Document in Context” and one or more related documents on a specific event, issue, or topic. When relevant, the introductions provide context and an account of further developments during the year. A thematic table of contents (page xiv) and a list of documents organized by source (page xviii) follow the standard table of contents and assist readers in locating events and documents.

    As events, issues, and consequences become more complex and far-reaching, these introductions and documents yield important information and deepen understanding about the world's increasing interconnectedness. As memories of current events fade, these selections will continue to further understanding of the events and issues that have shaped the lives of people around the world.

    How to Use This Book

    How to Use This Book

    Each of the seventy-three articles in this edition consists of two parts: a comprehensive introduction followed by one or more primary source documents. The articles are arranged in chronological order by month. There are several ways to find events and documents of interest:

    • By date: If the approximate date of an event or document is known, browse through the titles for that month in the table of contents. Alternatively, browse the monthly tables of contents that appear at the beginning of each month's articles.
    • By theme: To find a particular topic or subject area, browse the thematic table of contents.
    • By document type or source: To find a particular type of document or document source, such as the White House or Congress, review the list of document sources.
    • By index: Using the five-year index, locate references to specific events or documents as well as entries on the same or related subjects. The index in this volume covers the years 2002–2006. A separate volume, Historic Documents Cumulative Index, 1972–2005, may also be useful.

    Each article begins with an introduction entitled “The Document in Context.” This feature provides historical context for the documents that follow. Documents are reproduced with the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation of the original or official copy. Ellipsis points indicate textual omissions, and brackets are used for editorial insertions within documents for text clarification. Full citations to the official print and online sources appear at the end of each document. If a document is not available on the Internet, this too is noted. For further reading on a particular topic, consult the “Other Documents of Interest” box at the end of each article. These boxes provide cross-references for related articles in this edition of Historic Documents. Cross-references to material in previous editions of Historic Documents can be found in the “Document in Context” section. References to articles from past volumes include the year and page number for easy retrieval.

    Overview of 2006

    It was not supposed to be like this. By 2006, according to the pronouncements of the George W. Bush administration three years earlier, Iraq was to have been a democratic, peaceful, and prosperous country, and good measures of these three virtues were to have been sown in much of the rest of the Middle East. The ousting of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was to have been a major achievement in the U.S. “global war on terror” to discourage attacks against U.S. interests and allies in the Middle East and elsewhere.

    Events on the ground, however, raised considerable doubt about the possibility of lasting peace and stability in Iraq. In February 2006 the country advanced toward civil war, as sectarian killings became as widespread as the suicide bombings that already had plunged much of the country into chaos despite the presence of some 130,000 U.S. troops. For Iraqis, 2006 was the deadliest year yet since the U.S. invasion in 2003, with the United Nations reporting that more than 34,000 civilians had been “violently killed” over the course of the year. The new Iraqi leaders elected by voters in 2005 did little to unite the country, as they appeared more interested in protecting their own sectarian interests than those of the nation as a whole.

    Thus, rather than brandishing Iraq as a foreign policy triumph, President Bush was on the defensive for most of the year, as support for U.S. involvement in Iraq plummeted almost as far domestically as it already had internationally. Voters sent a resounding antiwar message to Washington in November, removing Republicans from power in Congress. Even some Republicans who had distanced themselves from Bush and the war were defeated in favor of Democrats who pledged to try to bring U.S. troops home.

    The news elsewhere around the world was not much more encouraging. In the Middle East, the war in Iraq was merely the worst of a series of unpleasant events. Israel and the Shiite organization Hezbollah fought a brief but bloody war in Lebanon from mid-July to mid-August in which Hezbollah won a moral victory and the new Israeli leaders appeared to mishandle the confrontation. Palestinians held a genuinely free election in January and put the Islamist group Hamas in power; this was a victory for the democratic principles the Bush administration had advocated but certainly not for U.S. policy. If anyone emerged in a stronger position in the Middle East during 2006, it was Iran's Islamist leaders, who appeared to be weathering international pressure against their presumed ambitions to build a nuclear weapons and were increasingly seen as a more credible force in the region than the United States. U.S. objectives also were endangered in Afghanistan. In 2006 Washington and its European allies realized that the government they supported in Kabul was fading quickly in the face of a resurgence by the Taliban, whose government had been ousted by the United States five years earlier.

    In the United States, the economy remained strong, at least according to the technical indexes economists like to use. Even so, millions of working-class Americans felt uneasy about their futures—and their children's futures. Americans were still getting used to the idea that within the not-too-distant future, China would likely replace the United States as the country with the world's biggest economy. Although this did not yet have much practical day-to-day effect, it did compound the sense many people had—accurately or not—that more good-paying jobs were flowing out of the United States than were being created.

    A Downward Spiral in Iraq

    Some of the goals the United States had established for Iraq were reached in 2006. Notably, Iraqis formed a new government in elections declared generally fair by the international community. Taking place in the midst of violent conflict, the elections, in December 2005, and the subsequent drawn-out process of elected politicians negotiating a new government were extraordinary achievements.

    The results, however, were not nearly as inspiring as the process. Iraqis created a government that closely reflected the country's deep divisions along sectarian lines and in which politicians were unable or unwilling to act decisively as national leaders. Despite heading a country in crisis, Iraq's new leaders appeared to lack all sense of urgency. U.S. officials tried persuasion, and even occasional outright threats, to get the new government to act. At the top of Washington's to-do list were such items as cracking down on the sectarian militias that were killing Iraqis by the dozens each day and passing legislation making Iraq's oil wealth a national resource, rather than one subject to sectarian control. Put in office by the voters, Iraq's new leaders had a legitimacy that could not be denied, so Bush administration officials found themselves uncertain of how hard and how fast to push.

    As politicians and officials pondered in the Green Zone—the U.S.-protected oasis of relative calm in the center of Baghdad—the rest of the capital and much of the rest of Iraq had grown more violent, not less. Shortly after the United States ousted Saddam Hussein in April 2003, an insurgency of Sunni militants—along with remnants of Hussein's former regime—began carrying out thousands of bombings and other attacks against the U.S. military, the new Iraqi security forces, and, increasingly, Iraqi civilians. These attacks reached a dangerous new level on February 22, 2006, when a bomb destroyed one of the holiest Shiite shrines—the golden-domed Askariya mosque in Samarra, just north of Baghdad and said to be the burial place of two revered Shiite saints. Shiite militias retaliated, the Sunni bombers retaliated against them, and the cycle of violence deepened. One of the most insidious results was stepped-up ethnic cleansing, particularly in Baghdad: Shiite and Sunni fighters forced members of the opposing sect out of neighborhoods, and many areas where Shiites and Sunnis once had lived together were transformed into single-sect enclaves where bitterness replaced any sense of hope.

    The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq compiled statistics showing that 34,452 civilians had been killed in Iraq during 2006, and another 36,685 had been injured. These were regarded by many as minimal figures, given the chaos in much of the country. The bottom line was that 2006 set a new record for violence in Iraq since the U.S. invasion.

    The number of U.S. service personnel killed in Iraq declined slightly in 2006, to 821 from 846 in 2005. That put the total number of U.S. dead since the invasion at 3,001. Thousands more had been wounded, some of them with devastating injuries.

    On trial in Baghdad, Saddam Hussein was found responsible for the deaths in 1982 of 148 Shiite boys and men in the town of Dujail, north of Baghdad. Hussein was sentenced to hang, although his trial continued for the murder of tens of thousands of Kurds in the late 1980s. The Iraqi government rushed to carry out the death sentence before year's end. Film of Hussein being taunted by Shiite guards as he was about to be executed, and then photographs of his actual hanging, brought widespread criticism of Iraq's leaders.

    The Political Weight of Iraq in Washington

    The daily drumbeat of violence, compounded by the continuing toll on U.S. personnel, undercut domestic support for Bush's policies in Iraq. By the middle of 2006 opinion polls showed that a strong majority of Americans had concluded that the president's promise of eventual victory was unrealistic and that invading Iraq had been a mistake. Americans were unsure what to do about Iraq, however. Most wanted to pull the troops out sooner rather than later, but they did not want to do so precipitously.

    The growing public unease about Iraq led Congress to propose the appointment of an independent commission to study the matter. The commission that took on the task consisted of some of the most respected figures from Washington's recent past. Its cochairs were former secretary of state James A. Baker III and former House member Lee H. Hamilton, who also had cochaired the commission that examined the September 11, 2001, attacks against the United States. As this commission, called the Iraq Study Group, held hearings and debated ideas, members of Congress in both parties began looking to it as a political lifeline—something they could point to when anxious voters asked about Iraq. The Iraq Study Group deliberately withheld its report until after the November 7 elections, hoping to keep its recommendations from becoming political fodder.

    Voters took thirty seats from the Republicans in the House and six in the Senate, giving the Democrats control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in a dozen years. Iraq was the dominant reason for the Republican defeat, although other issues played a role, particularly in some individual congressional districts.

    Bush moved quickly to accommodate himself to the new political reality. The day after the elections, he accepted the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, the war's most prominent architect, and replaced him with former CIA director Robert Gates, a member of the Iraq Study Group.

    Less than a month later, the Iraq Study Group issued a report that in one blunt sentence swept away the cheery optimism characteristic of statements from the White House and Pentagon: “The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating.” Even the experienced men and women on the commission could not offer a set of proposals they felt comfortable claiming would produce victory in Iraq. Instead, they settled on a middle-ground approach that emphasized increased U.S. training of Iraqi security personnel and more pressure on the Iraqi government to crack down on sectarian militias. By far their most controversial recommendation was that the United States sit down with leaders from around the Middle East—including Iran and Syria—to discuss mutual interests in ending the chaos in Iraq.

    After politely thanking the commission members and saying he would consider their ideas, Bush made it clear that he viewed them as unworkable. Instead, at year's end, the president was reviewing options for a short-term “surge”—in other words, sending another 20,000 or more U.S. troops to join the 130,000 already in Iraq, with a new emphasis on restoring order in Baghdad. This decision, running counter to the message the voters had sent in November, seemed certain to escalate political anxieties in Washington as it escalated the U.S. presence in Iraq.

    Elsewhere in the Middle East

    The Bush administration faced several other important challenges in the Middle East in 2006. In three important areas, the administration sustained significant setbacks likely to make U.S. policymaking more difficult in coming years, not to mention for people in the region.

    The first setback came as a consequence of something the Bush administration had advocated: free elections in the Arab world. In an election that was widely credited as being honest and fair, Palestinians in January chose the Islamist faction Hamas to lead their government. Hamas won just 45 percent of the vote but took a much higher share of seats in parliament because the Fatah faction, which had clear U.S. backing, had failed to prevent its own candidates from splitting the vote in some districts. More important, Palestinians were frustrated by the incompetence and corruption of the Fatah leadership and accepted Hamas's pledge to be the party of “change and renewal.” Faced with a Palestinian government headed by men the United States long had called terrorists, the Bush administration joined with its European allies and Israel in a hard-line approach; there would be no international aid for the struggling Palestinian economy unless the new leaders renounced violence, recognized Israel, and accepted peace agreements that former Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat had signed with Israel. When Hamas refused to meet these conditions, most international aid for the Palestinian government was suspended, and the Palestinian territories descended further into violent chaos and economic collapse.

    Israel went through its own political transition, this one the result of a massive stroke that incapacitated Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on January 4.

    That put power in the hands of Sharon's unpopular and untested deputy, Ehud Olmert, who managed to squeeze out a narrow victory in previously scheduled elections in late March. Olmert headed a center-left coalition government that had a popular mandate to eliminate some of the Jewish settlements from the West Bank. This withdrawal would complete a process of “disengagement” from the Palestinians that Sharon had begun in 2005 by closing down Jewish settlements and withdrawing militarily from the Gaza Strip.

    Two events preempted Olmert's movement toward disengagement. In late June, Palestinian guerrillas captured an Israeli soldier and took him into the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government responded with a large military assault on Gaza that caused great destruction but failed to win freedom for the soldier.

    As this campaign was under way, Hezbollah fighters crossed into Israel from Lebanon and captured two soldiers. Israel responded with a massive military assault, starting with hundreds of bombing raids in Lebanon and continuing with a ground invasion. Hezbollah launched its own attacks against Israel, firing hundreds of short-range and medium-range missiles, some of them reaching as far as Haifa (twenty-five miles south of the border). Lebanon's army stayed out of the fight, which the Lebanese government said killed about 1,200 residents (most of them civilians) and Israel said killed 39 of its civilians and 120 soldiers.

    This battle between Israel and Hezbollah lasted just over a month and caused enormous physical damage throughout Lebanon, including parts of Beirut; there was lesser but still substantial damage in northern Israel. It also shook up the political balance of power in this part of the Middle East. Hezbollah proclaimed a “divine victory,” having withstood a prolonged assault from the most powerful army in the region. This view was widely shared in the Middle East, where Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, suddenly became one of the region's most popular figures. Many Israelis also agreed that their country either had lost the war or, at best, had failed to win it. Olmert and his Labor Party coalition partner Amir Peretz (serving as defense minister) plummeted in opinion polls. By year's end, Israelis' self-confidence had evaporated as politicians bickered over the future. In Lebanon, Hezbollah pressed its advantage against the U.S.-backed government that had stood by, helpless, as Hezbollah and Israel fought it out.

    This brief war caused additional damage to Washington's already sagging reputation in much of the Arab world. For about two weeks, the Bush administration blocked moves toward a cease-fire, giving Israel additional time to attack Hezbollah. This was widely seen as prolonging the war on Israel's behalf—confirming the view of many Arabs of unquestioning U.S. support of the Jewish state.

    Regardless of the validity of Hezbollah's declaration of victory, it served the interests of that group's primary patron: Iran. According to U.S. intelligence services, the Islamist mullahs in Iran had provided most, if not all, of the missiles that Hezbollah had fired into Israel, along with the cash that Hezbollah used to finance schools, health clinics, and other social services that the Lebanese government could not afford. When Hezbollah emerged bloodied but undefeated after its battle against the Israeli army, Iran emerged with an enhanced reputation for influence well beyond its borders. Moreover, Iran appeared to be successfully withstanding a concerted diplomatic effort by the United States and its European allies against Iran's nuclear ambitions. Negotiations on that issue dragged on for a third year before finally reaching the UN Security Council. There, China and Russia blocked U.S. proposals for tough international sanctions to force Iran to back down. Instead, the council in December adopted mild sanctions against Iran's nuclear agencies, a step unlikely to have much effect.

    Afghanistan Teetering

    Another historic flashpoint—Afghanistan—appeared to be at a dangerous juncture in 2006. The United States in October 2001 ousted the Islamist Taliban regime but then turned its attention to Iraq. Under UN supervision, Afghanistan held a presidential election in 2004 and then a parliamentary election in 2005, but the government, headed by Hamid Karzai, was weak and divided along the country's many ethnic and tribal lines.

    The Taliban, who had been dispersed but not destroyed in 2001, spent the intervening years regrouping—reportedly with at least implicit support from neighboring Pakistan—and came roaring back with a series of offensives early in 2006. The relatively small U.S. and NATO military forces that had been protecting Karzai's government countered with stepped-up operations in the country's most dangerous southern and eastern regions. Even so, the Karzai government had lost much of its support because it had been unable to provide much in the way of security or economic opportunity. In fact, the only major source of jobs and money was the flourishing opium trade. At year's end, Karzai's Western backers appeared to be in a race with time to shore up the government and roll back the Taliban resurgence.

    Bush's Vulnerability on Domestic Issues

    The Bush administration's struggle to salvage the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan posed serious troubles for the president and the Republican Party in the months leading up to the midterm elections in November 2006. They were not, however, the only problems facing the GOP. At home, the administration had been hurt by its inept handling of the relief and recovery operations following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that devastated New Orleans and left much of the rest of the Gulf Coast in shambles. Reports by Republican-led Senate and House investigating committees issued early in 2006 detailed just how incompetent the federal government's handling of the disaster had been. They also raised troubling questions about the government's ability to cope with a terrorist attack on American soil. The cancellation in February of a deal approved by the administration to allow a Dubai-owned company to manage six large American ports also eroded the administration's credibility with respect to homeland security. Although the company would not have been responsible for port security, Democrat and Republican legislators said the deal presented an unacceptable security risk.

    As damaging to the president and his party, however, was a series of scandals involving Republican legislators, including former House majority leader Tom DeLay, that allowed Democrats to portray the GOP as the party of corruption. DeLay had temporarily stepped down as majority leader in 2005 after he was indicted in Texas on money laundering charges related to campaign financing contributions. DeLay also had close ties to Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges in early January 2006. DeLay, a fiercely partisan conservative Republican who had managed his caucus with an iron fist, announced a few days later that he would not seek reinstatement as majority leader, and in April he said he would resign his House seat. A second Republican legislator, Bob Ney of Ohio, also resigned his House seat, just days before the November election, after pleading guilty to corruption charges related to the Abramoff scandal. In March, former GOP lawmaker Randy “Duke” Cunningham was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison on charges of bribery and tax evasion. Cunningham had resigned his California House seat in December 2005 after being indicted. Continuing investigations resulting from the Cunningham case and the Abramoff scandal touched on Republican lawmakers, lobbyists, and administration officials throughout the year, making it difficult for the party to overcome Democratic allegations that it had fostered a “culture of corruption” in Washington.

    From a political standpoint, however, one of the most damaging incidents may have been the resignation of Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., in late September amid allegations that he had made inappropriate advances to teenage male House pages and that the GOP House leadership may have known about his conduct but did nothing about it. Democrats and even some Republicans called on House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert to resign. Hastert denied knowing anything about Foley's conduct until the day Foley resigned. The Speaker was cleared of any wrongdoing by a House ethics committee investigation in December, but by that time the Republicans had already lost control of the House, and Hastert had announced that he would not seek a leadership position in the new Congress.

    Republican disarray in the House and election-year jockeying for position meant that Congress accomplished relatively little in 2006. After five years of debate, legislators passed a measure lifting the restrictions President Bush had placed on funding federal stem cell research in 2001. That forced Bush to issue the first veto of his presidency, which the House easily sustained. Conservatives in the House also blocked passage of Bush's top domestic priority—a bill that would have overhauled the nation's immigration policy and put some of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the country on the path to citizenship. Conservatives said the policy amounted to amnesty for people who had broken the law. Instead, Congress agreed to a measure to build security fencing along stretches of the U.S.-Mexican border.

    Social conservatives were dismayed when the Food and Drug Administration backed down from a long-running dispute and allowed the sale of the “morning-after” emergency contraception pill without prescription to women over the age of seventeen. Many conservatives were disappointed when voters in South Dakota rejected that state's strict ban on abortion. They took heart in January, however, when the Senate confirmed Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to fill the seat on the Supreme Court left vacant by the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Although Alito would not discuss his views on abortion at his confirmation hearing, it was widely believed that he might vote to weaken if not overturn the 1973 ruling that made abortion legal in the United States.

    Alito was in the minority when the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the system of special military tribunals Bush had authorized to try terrorist suspects detained in the naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Court ruled not only that Bush lacked the authority to establish the tribunals, but that they also violated standards of U.S. military justice and obligations under the Geneva Conventions for the humane treatment of war prisoners. The ruling was a victory for human rights organizations and others concerned by allegations of abuse and torture of detainees at Guantanamo as well as other military bases and CIA secret prisons overseas. The administration had not yet confirmed the existence of such prisons and had denied that detainees were tortured. As part of a drive to persuade Congress to overturn the Supreme Court ruling and authorize the special tribunals, Bush in early September announced that fourteen “high-value” terrorist suspects had been moved to Guantanamo from secret prisons overseas, where they had been subjected to what Bush described as “tough” but “legal” interrogation procedures. One of the fourteen was Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged “mastermind” of the September 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks.

    Congress gave Bush a major victory when it agreed to authorize the commissions largely along the lines he had requested. The rules Congress approved would allow the government to hold enemy combatants indefinitely, without charge or means of challenging their detention in U.S. civilian courts. The measure also allowed the administration to continue its secret interrogations of detainees and protected CIA operatives and others from lawsuits by them alleging that they had been tortured.

    Americans may well have thought that such measures were the only thing standing between them and destruction at the hands of terrorists, but they were apparently growing increasingly cynical about the war in Iraq and the scandals in Washington. On November 7, voters turned over control of the House and Senate to Democrats for the first time since 1994. House Democrats quickly elected Nancy Pelosi of California as Speaker in the 110th Congress. Pelosi became the first woman to hold the position, the highest political office ever held by a woman in the United States.

    Pelosi and her fellow Democrats had a long list of items that they pledged to enact within their first hours and days in Congress. Democrats also pledged numerous oversight hearings into various actions by the Bush administration. Regardless, it seemed certain at year's end that the main item on Washington's agenda in 2007 would be the same as it had been in 2006—bringing the war in Iraq to a satisfactory conclusion.

    John Felton and Martha Gottron

  • Credits

    Credits are a continuation from page iv.

    “America's Image Slips, but Allies Share U.S. Concerns Over Iran, Hamas” copyright © 2006 The Pew Global Attitudes Project.

    “Child Alert: Democratic Republic of Congo” copyright © 2006 UNICEF.

    “Enron Task Force Holds News Conference Following Enron Trial Verdict,” “Former CEO Skilling Holds News Conference Following Announcement of Enron Trial Verdict,” “Former Enron CEO Ken Lay Holds Media Availability Following Announcement of Verdict in Enron Case,” “House Speaker Hastert Holds News Conference,” and “House Minority Leader Pelosi Holds News Conference on Legislative Agenda” copyright © 2006 CQ Transcriptions, Congressional Quarterly Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ Transcriptions. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. © 2007 Congressional Quarterly Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.cq.com/corp/show.do?page=products_cqtranscripts.

    “The Nobel Lecture Given by The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2006, Muhammad Yunus” copyright © 2006 The Nobel Foundation.

    “Recommendation” copyright © 2006 American Bar Association.

    “Remarks by Mark Fields President of the Americas, Ford Motor Company U.S. Chamber of Commerce” copyright © 2006 Ford Motor Company.

    “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti,” “Resolution 1701 (2006),” “Resolution 1706 (2006),” “The Situation in Afghanistan and Its Implications for Peace and Security: Report of the Secretary-General,” “Resolution 1718 (2006),” “Report of the Secretary-General Pursuant to Paragraph 30 of Resolution 1546 (2004),” “Resolution 1725 (2006),” “Urging End to Impunity, Annan Sets Forth Ideas to Bolster UN Efforts to Protect Human Rights,” and “Resolution 1737 (2006)” copyright © 2006 United Nations. Reprinted with the permission of the United Nations.

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