Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Senate Democrats Force the Issue on Intelligence

Senate Republicans are hopping mad. Why? Because Democrats in the Senate won't let them off the hook on the bogus intelligence that was used to push the country into war. The Senate Intelligence Committee investigation on the use of faulty intelligence is moribund at best. Today, Harry Reid brought matters to a head:
Senator Reid said that while the Republican chairman of the intelligence committee, Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, had promised a thorough inquiry into prewar intelligence, including the way the White House had used or misused it, he had not followed through.
"I demand on behalf of the American people that we understand why these investigations aren't being conducted," Senator Reid said from the Senate floor, "and in accordance with Rule 21, I now move that the Senate go into closed session."
Bill Frist, who was fuming, was quoted in the Washington Post as saying, "the United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership." However you characterize the move, Reid got results. Six Senators, three from each party, will look into the stalled investigation and report back in two weeks.
I can hear the cheering coming from around the blogosphere. Steve Clemons, no strange to Capitol Hill, calls it "a bold and very constructive move by Reid." Josh Marshall writes "Well done." The Bush administration asked the Senate to authorize war based on bogus intelligence and it's time those who fed us this line of crap were held accountable.
UPDATE: Dana Milbank writes in the Post:
It was a cheap trick -- and it worked brilliantly. Reporters dropped their stories about Alito and covered the melee in the Senate. CNN titled the episode "Congress in Crisis." MSNBC displayed a live shot of a mostly empty hallway outside the Senate chamber and a clock showing elapsed time since the Senate went into closed session.
Republicans knew they were licked. They agreed to set a schedule for the long-delayed intelligence committee investigation Democrats demanded.

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