WASHINGTON - House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to the capture of Saddam Hussein:
"The capture of Saddam Hussein is a great victory for the U.S. military, the coalition forces, the Iraqi people, and the efforts to bring to justice international criminals and despots.
"The Bush Administration can be justifiably pleased that Hussein has been taken into custody and the extent of his crimes can be fully exposed in the trial that is to come.
"This event is a very important one and can be the impetus for reconciliation among the Iraqi people, involving more of the international community in the effort to bring democracy, economic stability, and integration of Iraq back into the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member.
"I and 359 of my colleagues supported the Iraq Liberation Act of l998. It stated that: "It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq to promote the emergence of democratic government to replace that regime."
"On March l2, 2003, in remarks I made supporting military action against the Hussein regime I said: 'Given all the evidence before us, I do not believe that inaction is moral, safe or consistent with our commitment to a global community of law, peace and security.'
"Today's announcement of the capture of one of history's vicious dictators and perpetrator of crimes against humanity is good news for all who yearn for a world at peace that honors and observes human and political rights for all individuals."