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The Goldstone Report: Why let facts get in the way?......

Surprise, surprise! The US Congress voted 344-36 to oppose the UN's initiated Goldstone Report on the Gaza War.

It is therefore more than heartening to read the speech of Congressman Brian Baird speaking against the resolution before the House. Read it here on Baird's web site. Baird could speak with some authority, as he points out, having been one of the few Congressmen to have actually been in Gaza:

"First, why are we bringing this resolution to the floor without ever giving former South African Constitutional Court Justice Richard Goldstone a hearing to explain his findings? Have those who will vote on H.Res. 867 actually read the resolution? Have they read the Goldstone report? Are they aware that Justice Goldstone has issued a paragraph by paragraph response, available on my Web site at www.baird.house.gov, to H.Res. 867 pointing out that many of its assertions are factually inaccurate or deeply misleading?

Since scarcely a dozen House Members have actually been to Gaza, what actual first-hand knowledge do the rest of the Members of Congress possess on which to base their judgment of the merits of H.Res. 867 or the Goldstone report?

What will it say about this Congress and our country if we so readily seek to block "any further consideration" of a human rights investigation produced by one of the most respected jurists in the world today, a man who led the investigations of abuses in South Africa, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Kosovo and worked to identify and prosecute Nazi war criminals as a member of the Panel of the Commission of Enquiry into the Activities of Nazism in Argentina?

As one of the first two American officials, along with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), to enter Gaza shortly after the conclusion of major bombing from "Operation Cast Lead," then again several months later, I have seen firsthand the devastating destruction of hospitals, schools, homes, industries and infrastructure. Much of that devastation was wrought using U.S. manufactured and paid for weaponry. I have also spoken with health workers, average Gazans, NGO relief workers and many others."

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