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Hostettler to release book on Iraq war; Ellsworth's record speaks for itself

Posted Friday, November 23, 2007, at 7:39 PM

If you've been wondering what former U.S. Congressman from the Eighth District of Indiana -- John Hostettler -- has been doing since leaving office about a year ago, an e-mail I received this week might shed some light onto that question.

Hostettler, the Republican from Wadesville in Posey County who served six terms before being ousted by in November 2006 by Democrat Brad Ellsworth, has been busy writing a behind-the-scenes look at the reasons the United States got involved in the war in Iraq.

On a Web site (www.johnhostettler.com) created to promote the book, Hostettler says his book titled "Nothing for the Nation: Who Got What Out of Iraq" will reveal "Why political leaders and their subordinates sought to remove Saddam Hussein from power."

"Nothing for the Nation reminds us that when it comes to relations between rival nations -- and rival national leaders -- America's founders were wise to give us a republic and not a monarchy. The sages who secured for us the blessings of liberty would not have been surprised by the true motivation of those who sold America on the idea of ousting the Butcher of Baghdad," he wrote.

Hostettler, who served on the House Armed Services Committee, was among six House Republicans to vote against the Iraq war and cautioned as early as an October 2003 speech on the House floor that the problems associated with rushing to war would be many.

"War should be waged by necessity, and I do not believe that such necessity is at hand at this time," Hostettler, who was defeated last year in his bid for a seventh term on Capitol Hill, said in the speech posted alongside the advertisement.

He continued, "Today, a novel case is being made that the best defense is a good offense. But is this the power that the Framers of the Constitution meant to pass down to their posterity when they sought to secure for us the blessings of liberty? Did they suggest that mothers and fathers would be required by this august body to give up sons and daughters because of the possibility of future aggression? Mr. Speaker, I humbly submit that they did not. "

In a promotion for the book, Hostettler writes: "You've heard about faulty intelligence and you've heard from the politicians who say they were lied too. Now find out what really happened. Find out why we are in Iraq from the man who got it right from the beginning."

The book, set to be released in December by Hostettler's own publishing company called Publius House, will draw on his 12 years of service in Congress.

According to Hostettler, the company's named "Publius" was picked for obvious historical reasons.

Publius is the pseudonym under which James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay wrote when they encouraged the people of the State of New York to ratify the United States Constitution. Initially, these writings were individually published in newspapers throughout the state and were ultimately combined and published as a collection known today as The Federalist Papers. The Federalist Papers are considered by many to be the most profound exposition of the sentiments of those who labored to create the constitutional republic, which is the envy of the world.

An engineer by training at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, the 46-year-old Hostettler was first elected to Congress in 1994, but lost badly in his re-election bid last year as Democrat Ellsworth garnered 61 percent of the vote.

I grew to know John pretty well over the years covering him as a news reporter since the day he first took his oath of office. I can tell you for sure this book should be an interesting read for everyone -- regardless of your personal or political stand on the war. John, who was great champion and supporter for Naval Support Activity (NSA) Crane and its tenants, is honest and will tell it like it is -- that you can be sure of.

The man who defeated Hostettler, Brad Ellsworth, is also making a name for himself in Congress -- a name that many folks back home in Indiana ought to be concerned with as this community prepares to send local Army National Guard troops into harm's way on the warfront in Iraq.

One of Rep. Ellsworth's most important responsibilities in Congress is to protect the American people from future terrorist attacks.

However, recently Ellsworth voted in lock step with his liberal Democrat leadership to weaken our nation's intelligence laws and to reopen the terrorist loophole.

Ellsworth chose partisan discipline instead of standing up to protect the American people.

Against the recommendations of the National Director of Intelligence, Ellsworth voted to add dangerous layers of red tape to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and to put our national security in the hands of bureaucratic government lawyers -- not our nation's intelligence experts.

This isn't the Democrats' first attempt to pass fatally flawed intelligence legislation. Previously, the Democrats attempted to prohibit the U.S. intelligence community from conducting crucial surveillance on Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda and other known foreign terrorist groups seeking to attack the United States.

"The number one priority of Congress should be to protect the American people, but unfortunately, Brad Ellsworth is proving he cannot be trusted with this responsibility as he continues to play politics with our national security," said NRCC Communications Director Jessica Boulanger. "Ellsworth's voting record proves his allegiance to the Democrat leadership in Washington over his constituents in Indiana."

I think Ellsworth has done a good job of staying in touch with the people in the district since he's taken office and I'm told he has had regular contact with our local elected leaders back home. That's all very admirable.

But in Congress, your voting record speaks volumes about how good of a representative of the people you are really being. In that regard, I think, Ellsworth has been a disappointment to many of us in Greene County.

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I certainly hope this bit of press doesn't discourage Mr. Ellsworth from continuing to support the citizens in our county (all of us -- Ds and Rs, and Independents of all types).

That would be a shame since he has stepped up on more than one occasion to offer help and support directly to our county community, including support for Crane since he is on the Armed Services Committee, and the agricultural folks, since he is on the AG Committee -- two vital spokes in the wheels of progress in Greene County.

Could someone write an op-ed piece that actually praises some of the things our elected officials are doing? That would be refreshing. Both parties have some stellar members who have not only visited our county, but who have worked on the local, state and national levels to help us.

And let us remember that Mr. Ellsworth was not in office when our leaders voted to go to war.

-- Posted by Greenee on Sat, Nov 24, 2007, at 5:18 PM

Is this the Republican Daily World? I'm glad to know about the upcoming book, but it ends up being an attack on Democrats and the evil liberals. There are evil conservatives too. Has Ellsworth voted party lines on everything? What exactly is his problem with the current Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act? Do you know? I'm sure it's a lengthy bill with more stipulations and loopholes than most people would care to know. I would be curious to know why he chose to vote that way. That would be giving the rest of the story. Instead, we get a wonderfully biased story.

-- Posted by GCC on Thu, Nov 29, 2007, at 7:40 AM

Former Congressman Hostettler was not a leader that voted to enter Iraq, Nick Schneider points that out. Hostettler's focus for the past decade has been first and foremost on the future of southern Indiana and this nation. Hostettler always realized southern Indiana's young men and women have continually stepped up first to protect this nation. Hostettler vigilently worked in Washington to guard our homeland and protect our soldiers at all costs, an attribute that undoubtedly contributed to Hostettler's longevity in congress. Freshman Congressman Ellsworth would do well to realize that undermining national security and jeopardizing the lives of our soldiers is not the route to reelection in southern Indiana.

-- Posted by sparkes on Thu, Nov 29, 2007, at 9:55 AM

Quite frankly, I never supported Mr. Hostettler during any of his terms of office, but I would like to wish in well with his book just as long as it will keep him out of politics.

Representative Ellsworth won by a substanial margin and was the people's choice of the 8th district.

Offer support and advise but please don't condem him. He is by far a better representative than Mr. Hostettler!

-- Posted by #1LakerFan on Fri, Nov 30, 2007, at 10:36 AM

Mr. Hostettler had his opportunity to serve our country. I am all for protection of the people. It is our government's number one job...but does it have to be at the expense of citizens' rights?

I just hope in the upcoming presidential elections that people focus on the issues that should concern our country....the issues outside your own personal social views.

I haven't selected a candidate for president, but let me ask one question?

How many of us really look at the issues that each and every candidate stands for? Even by taking an internet poll on usatoday.com for example, you may find you are more toward one candidate than you think.

-- Posted by Gene Hall68 on Fri, Nov 30, 2007, at 12:05 PM

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