SEN. HARRY REID: America deserves better than this. They also deserve a searching and comprehensive investigation into how the Bush administration brought this country to war. Key questions that need to be answered include:Here's an excerpt from today's editorial in the New York Times, "Remember that Mushroom Cloud?":
– How did the Bush administration assemble its case for war against Iraq? We heard what Colonel Wilkerson said.
– Who did the Bush administration officials listen to and who did they ignore?
– How did the senior administration officials manipulate or manufacture intelligence presented to the Congress and the American people?
– What was the role of the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, a group of senior White House officials tasked with marketing the war and taking down its critics? We know what Colonel Wilkerson says.
– How did the administration coordinate its efforts to attack individuals who dared to challenge the administration’s assertions? We know what happened to them — I listed a few.
– Why has this administration failed to provide Congress with the documents that would shed light on their misconduct and the misstatements?
Unfortunately, the Senate committee that should be taking the lead in providing these answers is not. Despite the fact that the chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee publicly committed to examine these questions more than a year and a half ago, he has chosen not to keep that commitment. Despite the fact that he restated the commitment earlier this year on national television, he has still done nothing. …
Mr. President, enough time has gone by. I demand on behalf of the American people that we understand why these investigations aren’t being conducted, and in accordance with Rule 21, I now move that Senate go into closed session.
SEN. DICK DURBIN: Mr. President, I second the motion.
PRESIDING OFFICER: The motion has been made to go into closed session, and it has been seconded. The motion having been made and seconded, the Senate will go into closed session. The chair, pursuant to Rule 21, now directs the sergeant at arms to clear all galleries, close all doors of the Senate chamber, and exclude from the chamber and its immediate corridors all employees and officials of this Senate who under the rule are not eligible to attend this closed session and are not sworn to secrecy. The question is nondebatable.
Last year, the Senate Intelligence Committee did a good bipartisan job of explaining that the intelligence in general was dubious, old and even faked by foreign sources. The panel said the analysts had suffered from groupthink. At the time, the highest-ranking officials in Washington were demanding evidence against Iraq.That's the key. The Democrats agreed to consider this AFTER the elections! How daft do you think they were?
But that left this question: If the intelligence was so bad and so moldy, why was it presented to the world as what Mr. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, famously called "a slam-dunk" case?
Were officials fooled by bad intelligence, or knowingly hyping it? Certainly, the administration erased caveats, dissents and doubts from the intelligence reports before showing them to the public. And there was never credible intelligence about a working relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda.Under a political deal that Democrats should not have approved, the Intelligence Committee promised to address these questions after the 2004 election.
Still, better late than never, and the dissention does spread. Trent Lott has said Karl Rove should resign. This is an excerpt from a Washington Post report:
Not all Republicans were quick to defend Rove. Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) said of Rove, "If this is going to be ongoing, if he has a problem, I think he's got to step up, and, you know, acknowledge that and deal with it." Interviewed on Fox News, Lott said Bush should be looking for "new blood, new energy, qualified staff, new people." The senator added, "I'm not talking about wholesale changes, but you've got to reach out and bring in more advice and counsel."