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Monitor Breakfast with Robert Byrd

Senator Robert Byrd (D) of West Virginia on possible war with Iraq, and relations between the White House and Congress

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Robert C. Byrd, (D) of West Virginia is the longest-serving member now in the US Senate.

This is Senator Byrd's 17th appearance with the Monitor breakfast group - but the first since December of 1987. Having served in the House from 1952 to 1958, Senator Byrd has completed 50 years in Congress. If he wins reelection in 2006, he will become the longest serving senator in American history in February 2007.

On Bush administration foreign policy:

"This administration has put this country on a bull-headed rush to war without regard for the implication such unilateral action will have on America's relationship with other nations."

On whether the public will rally to the president if he calls for war:

"I don't think he has spoken with clarity. I think the American people are confused. Yes, they will temporarily at least have a kind of rally, to any president, certainly, if there is war.

"But in this instance I do not think the American people have an understanding of why we are going to war. The American people need clarity. They need to know why are we going. What is the evidence? It hasn't been shown. ...to me there is a very eerie stillness over the land and on Capitol Hill with respect to informing the people.

"Reality is going to set in and when it does, although the president may get a bump upward, when that reality really sets in, the American people are not going to support this effort unless there is real reason to believe Hussein is in a position to strike this country and that an attack on this country is imminent."

On what he calls an expanding cloak of secrecy on war on terrorism:
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