Letter:Closed session: the real story
So the Republicans are angry about the closed Senate session! It's a cheap stunt, according to them. The cause of this "cheap stunt" was the Democrats' effort to start the investigation of the Bush administration's handling of intelligence about ...
So the Republicans are angry about the closed Senate session! It's a cheap stunt, according to them. The cause of this "cheap stunt" was the Democrats' effort to start the investigation of the Bush administration's handling of intelligence about the nonexistent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
One week before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) began the inquiry based on revelations that the administration had given forged documents to the United Nations weapons inspectors about attempts to buy yellowcake in Niger. Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) resisted a full investigation for three months.
June 2003: Finally the committee agreed to examine the "evidence" that took us to war.
February 2004: An agreement was reached by the bipartisan committee that the investigation should include a second part with the administration's use of the intelligence and public statements made by our "leaders."
July 2004: Under Roberts' direction, the report on phase two was not to be published until after the election.
November 2005: Very little progress has been made on the report. Staff members have indicated that Roberts hasn't actually blocked it -- he just doesn't have enthusiasm for showing how the administration used the intelligence -- and he sets the agenda.
This is the background for the closed session which angered the Republicans. Minority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) spoke of months of "begging. cajoling, writing letters" to get the report "regarding how the intelligence was used to lead us into the intractable war in Iraq."
Majority leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn) kept repeating to reporters in the hall outside the senate chambers that he was affronted by the surprise motion of Reid.
Personally, I am affronted by a preemptive war based on flawed, exaggerated intelligence. I am dismayed by the senators' indifference to the way we were told of weapons of mass destruction, biological warfare, the mushroom cloud, etc. I am appalled by the death and destruction. I am not affronted by the fact that Reid did not consult with Frist before moving for the closed session.