Local congressman talks about end to Iraq war

Last week's official end to the Iraq War was noteworthy for local Congressman Hank Johnson.

"After eight years of war, our forces are coming home with honor," Johnson said. "I honor and thank our men and women in uniform, who fought with characteristic courage and professionalism. They and their families, who have carried such a heavy burden, will be reunited for the holidays."

Johnson, a Democrat whose district includes portions of Norcross and Lilburn, paid homage to the 32,226 wounded and 4,487 soldiers who died in Iraq.

"These sacrifices will never be forgotten, and today -- above all else -- my thoughts are with the families whose loved ones won't be coming home and those family members called upon to care for the wounded," Johnson said in his statement. "I commend our Commander-in-Chief for making good on his commitment to lead a responsible end to our mission in Iraq."Chambliss on release of terroristA day later, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss was critical of the Obama administration's decision to turn a Hezbollah terrorist over to Iraq.

"Rather than ensure justice for five American soldiers killed by Hezbollah terrorist Ali Musa Daqduq, the administration turned him over to Iraq, once again completely abdicating its responsibility to hold on to deadly terrorists," said Chambliss, R-Moultrie. "Given Iraq's history of releasing detainees, I expect it is only a matter of time before this terrorist will be back on the battlefield."

Chambliss is a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee and vice chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

"Until this administration ends its refusal to hold dangerous terrorists in long-term military custody, our troops and our homeland will not be secure," Chambliss said in a statement. "We have seen hundreds of dangerous detainees transferred to Iraq and set free, and we cannot allow the same to happen when we leave Afghanistan. Congress passed important legislation this week to solve some of the problems with the administration's lack of a detention policy, but its actions regarding Daqduq and other detainees in Iraq make it clear that more needs to be done."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

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