Congressman tells U.S. Muslims he regrets vote on Iraq war

Posted: Friday, May 28, 2004

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) U.S. Rep. Albert Wynn told a group of American Muslims that a congressional resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq, a measure he voted for, was a mistake.

Facing tough questions last Sunday from about 100 people at the Islamic Center of Maryland, Wynn said the 2002 resolution was based on intelligence about Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction that turned out to be wrong.

Wynn, a Democrat, said he believed that the removal of Saddam Hussein had improved some aspects of life in Iraq. But the information given to Congress to support the war was ''inaccurate'' and ''overstated,'' he said.

''I regret that vote based on what I know now,'' he said.

One questioner at the forum said Wynn had voted for ''a major international crime'' that led to thousands of innocent deaths.

Samina Ali, 52, of North Potomac, said that the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal demoralized the Muslim community already upset by the war. But she said the public outcry has been reassuring.

''We appreciate that the American people are upset by it, too,'' she said. ''That's restored my faith.''

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