Sen. Burris Talks Iraq, Won't Talk Rebuke

Said he was "doing my responsibility"

By Steve Bryant
|  Monday, Nov 23, 2009  |  Updated 12:45 PM CDT
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Mr. Burris Goes to Washington

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Speaking from the Baghdad Green Zone today, Sen. Roland Burris today repeated claims that Iraq's security was improving while refusing to answer questions about his rebuke in the Senate last week.

When questioned as to whether he should be visiting Iraq in light of his rebuke, Burris said that as a member of the Armed Services Committee he was "doing my responsibility."

"That's water over the dam," said Burris, who said he was on the fact-finding trip to prepare for upcoming Senate votes.

Burris traveled to Iraq with Democrats Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden of Oregon. Michael Bennett of Colorado and Tom Udall of New Mexico did not attend.

Burris, who recounted his American Airlines flight to Kuwait, and his subsequent transport by C-130 cargo plane to Baghdad International Airport, said he'd met with General Raymond Odierno, Ambassador Christopher Hill, and attended several briefings.

"The Iraqis have full control of the country," Burris said, adding that American troops are assisting via support services. The troops morale "is terrific."

Though he won't be visiting any forward areas or accompanying troops on missions, Burris said he now has "in-depth" knowledge about what's happening on the ground in Iraq today.

Burris will return stateside Wednesday evening. He said he has no idea how much the trip cost.

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