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By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Harry Reid's so-called "stunt" on the Senate floor this past Tuesday - invoking Rule 21 to create a closed session, during which he demanded an investigation into how we were dragged to war in Iraq - brought the issue of the never-found weapons of mass destruction back into the daylight. It's about damned time. This ball of thorns is three years old now, and we have come nowhere near addressing its roots.
Recall, if you will, George W. Bush's State of the Union address from January of 2003. In that speech, he told us that Iraq was in possession of 26,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent (500 tons equaling one million pounds, by the way), 30,000 munitions to deliver the stuff, mobile biological weapons labs, and uranium from Niger for use in Iraq's advanced nuclear weapons program.
THANK AND ENCOURAGE CONGRESSWOMAN PELOSI:
News From House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
H-204, The Capitol, Washington D.C. 20515
Thursday, November 3, 2005
Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616
Pelosi: Text of Privileged Resolution Calling for Oversight and Investigation into Justification for Iraq War
Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi offered a privileged resolution on the House floor this morning calling on the House to fulfill its oversight responsibilities and investigate the justification for the Iraq war. Below is the text of the privileged resolution:
These Congress Members have signed on to co-sponsor H Res 505. Has YOURS?
Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] - 11/1/2005
Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13] - 11/1/2005
Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] - 11/1/2005
Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] - 11/1/2005
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] - 11/1/2005
Rep Watson, Diane E. [CA-33] - 11/1/2005
Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1] - 11/1/2005
Rep Smith, Adam [WA-9] - 11/1/2005
Rep Tauscher, Ellen O. [CA-10] - 11/1/2005
Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] - 11/1/2005
Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] - 11/1/2005
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
By Congressman Adam Smith
Did the Bush White House, in a deliberate and organized manner, misrepresent the truth to Congress, the American people and the world in making its case for the military invasion of Iraq? This is a critical question that demands a clear answer. To this point, Congress has abdicated its responsibility to investigate all the facts. That must change.
Last week, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was indicted in the ongoing investigation by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald into the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. The alleged actions of Libby, and perhaps Bush senior adviser Karl Rove and others in the White House, to leak classified information in this case appear to have been aimed at discrediting, or threatening, Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson. By CIA request, Wilson had gone to Niger to examine the Bush administration's charge that Saddam Hussein had tried to acquire uranium for a nuclear weapon. Convinced this was not true, Wilson had written an Op-Ed in The New York Times debunking the claim.
NEWS FROM THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERS
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, November 2, 2005
Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider (Pelosi), 202-226-7616
Jim Manley / Rebecca Kirszner (Reid), 202-224-2939
Democratic Leaders to Bush: You Must Remove Cloud Hanging Over Your Presidency
Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid sent the following letter to President Bush today, calling on him to apologize for the actions of senior officials in leaking classified information, fire anyone involved in the leak case, and support full congressional investigations into the matter so that all the facts will be known.
Some Conservatives Question Rove's Future
Tuesday 01 November 2005
Washington - Breaking with the White House and fellow conservatives, Republican Sen. Trent Lott and the head of the Cato Institute questioned on Tuesday whether top White House adviser Karl Rove, who remains in legal jeopardy in a CIA-leak probe, should keep his policy-making job.
Rove was not indicted on Friday along with Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby. But lawyers involved in the case said Rove, President George W. Bush's top political adviser and deputy chief of staff, remains under investigation and may still be charged by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.
Senate Democrats consider pressing for appointment of special select committee to investigate administration's lies
Exclusive: Senate Democrats consider pressing for appointment of special select committee to investigate administration's pre-war intelligence claim
By Murray Waas
The Senate Democratic leadership over the course of the last several days has had discussions among themselves, along with senior congressional staff, about the possibility of pressing the Senate to appoint a special Senate select committee to investigate both the misuse of pre-war intelligence by the Bush administration to make the case to go to war with Iraq, as well as the Plame affair, according to at least three people who have been involved in those discussions.
By Heide Kober
I would like to share our story:
The (ongoing) Education of US Congressman David Price
Reporting from the 4th Congressional District in North Carolina
North Carolinians in the state's 4th District had it with their centrist, play-it-safe Congressman. They lobbied him and his staff at home and in Washington relentlessly, challenged him in public meetings, threatened petitions, and organized a public debate that clearly put him in the hot seat. The question: are you with us, your constituents, on the Iraq war and occupation or with the political analysts wedded to the DLC in Washington?
Jim McDermott, Neil Abercrombie, John Conyers, and Gary Ackerman have joined the growing list of co-sponsors of the Resolution of Inquiry into the White House Iraq Group.
Where's YOUR Congress Member?
Congressman Charles Rangel and Congressman Michael McNulty have signed onto the Resolution of Inquiry into the White House Iraq Group.
Has YOUR Congress Member done so?
By John Nichols, www.thenation.com
Remarkable as it may sound, there is reason to believe that Congressional Democrats may finally be waking from their long slumber and stirring into a functional opposition party.
The United States Senate went back into session Tuesday for the first time since Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, I. Lewis Libby, was indicted for lying to FBI agents and a federal grand jury looking into whether the White House deliberately set out to destroy the reputation of former Ambassador Joe Wilson after he revealed that the Administration's case for war in Iraq relied on a deliberate misreading of intelligence information. But it was not business as usual. Instead, Democrats used a rare procedural move to force the Republican-controlled Senate into a closed session to discuss the status of a promised investigation into the Administration's use and misuse of intelligence prior to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
From the Yahoo.com articles: Senate Emerges From Closed Session on Iraq and US Senate secret session focuses on Iraq, spy scandal (make sure to rate these articles highly so other Yahoo readers will see them)
In a day of political drama, Democrats forced the Republican-controlled Senate into an unusual closed session Tuesday, questioning intelligence that President Bush used in the run-up to the war in Iraq and accusing Republicans of ignoring the issue...
Taken by surprise, Republicans derided the move as a political stunt but agreed two hours later to a bipartisan review of the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into prewar intelligence...
By Steve Clemons
RULE 21 CLOSED DOOR SENATE SESSION: Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's Stock Moves Strongly Up
Senator Harry Reid, in a motion seconded by Senator Richard Durbin, just called for a very rare closed door executive session of the Senate. This motion is called "Rule 21" so that Senators can discuss "secret matters."
I'm impressed. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is currently on C-Span lambasting Reid and his leadership for this move, which Frist is calling sneaky and underhanded.
Frist actually just said that he will be "unable to trust Senator Reid for the next year and half of this Congressional session." Frist said that the Democrats have gone into the gutter to fight.
By David Sirota
Give-'Em-Hell Harry Reid today did a great service to America today by standing up, shutting down the Senate and demanding answers about how and why the Bush administration lied to America about the Iraq "threat" in the lead up to the war. This gutsy move by the Senate Minority Leader should be applauded, but the question now is, what's next? What do we want to really know from the Bush administration? What specific questions does America deserve answers to?
The questions - still unanswered nearly 4 years after the war started - can be found in an article my former Center for American Progress colleague Christy Harvey and I wrote back in 2004 called They Knew. It was an article that took forever to write because it meticulously and chronologically documented how the Bush administration was selling the country a false bill of goods when it came to Iraq - and how they clearly KNEW they were selling America a false bill of goods. There's been many attempts to deflect attention from this core fact by conservatives - they want the public to believe that the Bush administration may have gotten the facts wrong about Iraq, but that the Bush administration didn't actually KNOW it was getting its facts wrong. But as the article shows, the cold, hard evidence shows that THEY KNEW.
Senate Democrats Force Closed Session on Intelligence (Update1)
Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Democrats forced a closed session of the U.S. Senate today to call for an investigation into the Bush administration's use of intelligence about Iraq, a maneuver Republicans dismissed as a political ``stunt.''
Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid invoked a rule that requires a closed session on the Senate floor in which the galleries are cleared of visitors. Democrats threatened to use the tactic daily until Republicans convene hearings into the administration's use of intelligence surrounding the war in which more than 2,000 U.S. soldiers have died.
By Josh Marshall
Sen. Reid just took the senate into closed session to discuss the body's failure to pursue 'phase two' of the senate intel investigation into the Iraq WMD intel failure.
Below the fold are his remarks, as prepared for delivery, before taking the senate into closed session.
"This past weekend, we witnessed the indictment of I. Lewis Libby, the Vice President's Chief of Staff and a senior Advisor to President Bush. Libby is the first sitting White House staffer to be indicted in 135 years.
By Sen. Edward M. Kennedy
Last Friday was an ominous day for the country, a new low since Watergate in terms of openness and honesty in our government.
The indictment of presidential advisor 'Scooter' Libby is far more than an indictment of one individual. It's an indictment of the lengths to which administration officials were willing to go to cover up their failed intelligence. It's an indictment of their distortions about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and their serious blunders taking us to war and their vindictive efforts to discredit anyone who challenges their misrepresentations.
Friday, October 28, 2005 -- Rep. Waxman asks for congressional hearings to examine (1) who should be held accountable for the leak of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, (2) why the White House failed to meet its obligations to revoke the security clearances of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Karl Rove, and (3) how the leak relates to the broader issue of whether the President and his top advisors used misleading intelligence to launch an unnecessary war in Iraq.
Letter to Chairman Davis PDF
CONGRESSMAN JERROLD NADLER
8th Congressional District of New York
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Reid Cherlin
October 31, 2005 202-225-5635
Letter to Chairman Sensenbrenner calls for committee investigation into
whether Administration deliberately and illegally misled Congress in order
to make a case for war
"The question now before the Committee is whether the CIA leak itself was
part of an effort to cover up a broader conspiracy to mislead Congress
into authorizing a war."
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Jerrold Nadler today demanded the House
Judiciary Committee investigate whether White House officials deliberately
This afternoon Sen. Rockefeller (D-WV), ranking member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, put out the following statement ...
“It is a terrible day for all Americans when a top White House official is accused of lying and obstructing justice, made all the worse when it’s about a national security matter.
“Revealing the identity of a covert agent is the type of leak that gets people killed. Not only does it end the person’s career, and whatever assignments they may have been working on, it puts that person in grave personal danger as well as their colleagues and all the people they have had contact with over the years.
Posted on Citizen.org:
Today’s indictment of a top Bush administration official shines a bright light on the moral bankruptcy and hypocrisy of this White House. President Bush’s cronies went to unprecedented lengths to twist the truth about the reasons for invading Iraq and then threatened national security simply to punish a respected public servant who dared to expose the sham. These arrogant officials thought they could smear their opponents and leave no fingerprints. Fortunately for the country, this time, they have been caught. This ethically deprived administration has sunk into a morass of its own lies.
By John Isaacs
Council for a Livable World
IN AFTERMATH OF 2,000 AMERICAN DEATHS IN IRAQ: CONGRESSIONAL RHETORIC STRONGER; SENATE LEGISLATIVE FOLLOW-THROUGH STILL ABSENT; MORE HOUSE PROPOSALS
Sen. Robert Byrd (D‑WV)
The American people seek an end, they seek an end, they want an end to this ongoing bloody war in Iraq, not new conflicts in neighboring countries.
Senate floor statement ‑ October 25, 2005
Sen. Dick Durbin (D‑IL)
Each step the Iraqis take toward the successful establishment of self‑governance should bring our troops a step closer to home . . . The choice we face in Iraq is not a choice between resolve or retreat. The men and women in our military and their loved ones deserve a clear path to stability in Iraq so they can come home as soon as humanly possible.
Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
Michigan, 14th District
Ranking Member, U.S. House Judiciary Committee
Dean, Congressional Black Caucus
Contact: Dena Graziano 202-226-6888
Conyers asks: What Did the President and Vice President Know and When Did They Know It?
Directs Judiciary Committee Staff to Conduct Full and Comprehensive Investigation into Treasongate, Downing Street, Pre-War and Other Deceptions
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement regarding Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's decisions to indict Scooter Libby:
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D‑MA) - Senate floor statement ‑ October 25, 2005
The Real Cost of the Iraq War to American Taxpayers‑‑$195 Million per Day
For the cost of fighting the war in Iraq for one day, we could .....
One day in Iraq could provide 3.97 million households with an emergency readiness kit.
One day in Iraq could close the financing gap for interoperable communications in 41 small cities, 36 mid‑sized cities, or 6 large cities so that Federal, State and local first responders can talk to one another during an emergency.
By Senator Barbara Boxer
Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, today is a very somber day. The U.S.military death toll reached 2,000 in Iraq, a figure that I -- and every American -- hoped we would never reach. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones.
I pray for these young Americans, may they rest in peace; and I pray for their families, may they heal.
Let us honor their lives and their memory.
And let us honor the lives of those who continue to serve by developing a credible plan for Iraq. It is time for this Administration to level with the American people and provide a strategy for success.
October 26, 2005
The Honorable Alberto Gonzales
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
Dear Mr. Attorney General,
I am in receipt of your response to my May 20, 2004 request for a special counsel signed by myself and 14 other members to investigate the role of senior officials in the abuse of detainees. Dated July 11, 2005, your response took 14 months to craft and failed to explain why your office refuses to appoint an independent investigator to determine whether criminal charges are warranted against members of the Bush Administration. I respectfully submit that your response is inadequate and unacceptable.
By Congressman John Conyers
Cross-posted at Huffington
As the Fitzgerald investigation nears its conclusion, I am becoming increasingly concerned that Bush will prevent the exposure of wrongdoing in Treasongate by pardoning any indicted members of his administration before trial. I wrote a letter in July asking the President to pledge not to pardon these persons. I have yet to receive an answer so I have organized a letter writing campaign demanding an answer. Over 4,000 people have already signed so I'd like to generate at least 10,000 letters to Bush.
By Rep Brad Miller
Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 03:32:03 PM PDT
I know I said when I posted my floor speech on Katrina relief that I would not make it a habit to post floor speeches here as diaries. Does twice a habit make?
This evening David Price, who represents an adjoining district in North Carolina, and I will introduce a resolution calling on the President to set forth what remains to be done before we can bring our folks home from Iraq, and to present a plan for withdrawing from Iraq, including "the expected time for completing the withdrawal." In other words, it calls for an exit strategy and a timeline.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mikael Moore (202) 225-2201
Washington, DC - Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) issued the following statement following the Associated Press report that the 2,000th US soldier has died while serving in Iraq. According the Associated Press, 2,000 US soldiers have died and more than 15,000 have been injured since the war began in March 2003.
"Today, we received distressing news: a US soldier, Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander Jr., died today which brings the US death toll in Iraq to 2,000 soldiers. While I mourn the loss of every soldier, this milestone is yet another reminder that this war is unfolding in a dramatically different manner than described by the President, Vice-President and other Administration officials."