Truth to Power

An honest man…in Congress?

GOP Rep. Still Doing Penance for War Vote

Walter B. Jones has sent more than 8,000 letters of sympathy to the survivors of U.S. service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Republican Congressman from North Carolina keeps writing them – in part as penance, he says, for the vote for war he cast on Oct. 10, 2002.

“I think I have been forgiven,” he told me in a recent interview, with a rare note of hope, “through all those letters. I really do.”

To say it is extraordinary to hear a United States congressman say he has begged forgiveness from God for a vote he considers a mistake is an understatement. In an era when politicians back-flip, flip-flop, scurry, and scramble to retract statements and explain away votes, Rep. Jones seems to have much in common with Jimmy Stewart’s Sen. Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, except instead of a political row over graft and a dam the local bigwig wants to build, Jones’ story is of a man who remains haunted by his own failure to initially resist intelligence manipulated by the White House to sell a war it wanted to wage. </em>

Kudos Sir. If only your fellow congress creeps had your integrity.

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