The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 31, 2007

<img src="http://www.joplinglobeonline.com/images/zope/new.gif" border=0> 9:14 a.m. Kansas Rep. Boyda defends decision to step out of Iraq hearing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Kansas Rep. Nancy Boyda is defending her decision to step out of a hearing room last week while a retired Army general testified about U.S. progress in Iraq.

But Republicans on Monday accused Boyda of refusing to listen to the positive aspects of the Bush administration’s new Iraq strategy.

Boyda, a freshman Democrat from Topeka, said she left the House Armed Services Committee hearing on Friday for about 10 minutes during the testimony of retired Gen. Jack Keane.

“There was only so much that you could take until we in fact had to leave the room for a while,” Boyda said after she returned, according to a transcript of the hearing. “So I think I am back and maybe can articulate some things — after so much of the frustration of having to listen to what we listened to.”

Keane had testified that since the troop surge began, U.S. forces “are on the offensive and we have the momentum.” He also said that security has improved in every neighborhood and district in and around Baghdad, and that “cafes, pool halls, coffee houses that I visited are full of people.”

When Boyda returned to the hearing, she ridiculed Keane’s description of Iraq “as in some way or another that it’s a place that I might take the family for a vacation — things are going so well — those kinds of comments will in fact show up in the media and further divide this country instead of saying, ’Here’s the reality of the problem.”’

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