U.S. Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D-Md.) faced tough questions about his 2002 vote on the war in Iraq during a forum yesterday evening at one of the region’s largest Muslim community centers.
Early in his comments at the Islamic Center of Maryland, Wynn explained why he supported the resolution authorizing military force. He said intelligence presented to members of Congress at the time suggested that Iraq had the capacity to use weapons of mass destruction against U.S. citizens.
His explanation, however, did not end the challenges from the audience.
“Is it not true you voted for a major international crime in which thousands of innocent lives were lost?” asked one man.
“I’m not willing to say I voted for a crime,” Wynn responded. “That resolution was predicated on intelligence information . . . [but] that information was wrong. It was inaccurate, it was overstated.”
Although Wynn later told the group that “some things are better post-Saddam,” he said he believes the resolution was a mistake. “I regret that vote based on what I know now,” he said.
Wynn — one of two Maryland Democratic representatives to support the war resolution — was invited to speak by the
Gaithersburg center, which is outside his district but draws some members from it.
He told the audience of about 100 that he is concerned about the potential of the USA Patriot Act to infringe on privacy rights and that he wants to see Israel and a Palestinian state coexist…