Reservist reps. want oversight on arms deal


Two active reservists in the U.S. Congress want to ensure that weapons sold to Saudi Arabia cannot be used against U.S. troops or Israel.

Reps. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Christopher Carney (D-Pa.), the only two active reservists in the House of Representatives, sent a letter to President Bush signed by 188 of their colleagues insisting that the president’s proposed $20 billion arms deal comes with strict congressional oversight and consultation with Israel.

Joint Direct Attack Munitions, extremely accurate satellite-guided bombs nicknamed “smart bombs,” are expected to be a component of the arms sale, which the Bush administration justifies as a strategic effort to counter Iran’s influence in the Middle East.

“Many of us remember when advanced F-14 Tomcat fighters were provided to the Kingdom of Iran only to see these airplanes become the backbone of the Ayatollah’s air force,” Kirk said.

The administration is expected to officially notify Congress of the Saudi arms sale by Dec. 5.

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