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Friday, January 05, 2007
GOP Congresswoman: U.S. operating 'catch-and-release program' for al Qaeda
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Saying "we need to focus on what is vital for America, not what is desirable," a GOP congresswoman sharply criticized President Bush's Iraq policy during a speech at the National Press Club Friday.

Rep. Heather Wilson of New Mexico, who won reelection to a fifth term by less than 900 votes, said that half of the Al Qaeda members targeted in Iraq have been captured -- and released -- before.

"We are operating a catch-and-release program for al Qaeda in Iraq -- this is inexcusable," Wilson said.

Wilson also question America's interests in the war-torn country.

"Too often in the last three and a half years our goals in Iraq have been described in lofty and idealistic terms that go far beyond America's vital national interests... but there is a difference between what we would wish for the Iraqi people and what we need for American security," Wilson also said.

-- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
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