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Sen. Reid Demands an Investigation

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.

"This indictment raises very serious charges. It asserts this Administration engaged in actions that both harmed our national security and are morally repugnant.

"The decision to place U.S. soldiers in harm's way is the most significant responsibility the Constitution invests in the Congress.

"The Libby indictment provides a window into what this is really about: how the Administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions.

"As a result of its improper conduct, a cloud now hangs over this Administration. This cloud is further darkened by the Administration's mistakes in prisoner abuse scandal, Hurricane Katrina, and the cronyism and corruption in numerous agencies.

"And, unfortunately, it must be said that a cloud also hangs over this Republican-controlled Congress for its unwillingness to hold this Republican Administration accountable for its misdeeds on all of these issues.

"Let's take a look back at how we got here with respect to Iraq Mr. President. The record will show that within hours of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, senior officials in this Administration recognized these attacks could be used as a pretext to invade Iraq.

"The record will also show that in the months and years after 9/11, the Administration engaged in a pattern of manipulation of the facts and retribution against anyone who got in its way as it made the case for attacking Iraq.

"There are numerous examples of how the Administration misstated and manipulated the facts as it made the case for war. Administration statements on Saddam's alleged nuclear weapons capabilities and ties with Al Qaeda represent the best examples of how it consistently and repeatedly manipulated the facts.

"The American people were warned time and again by the President, the Vice President, and the current Secretary of State about Saddam's nuclear weapons capabilities. The Vice President said Iraq "has reconstituted its nuclear weapons." Playing upon the fears of Americans after September 11, these officials and others raised the specter that, left unchecked, Saddam could soon attack America with nuclear weapons.

"Obviously we know now their nuclear claims were wholly inaccurate. But more troubling is the fact that a lot of intelligence experts were telling the Administration then that its claims about Saddam's nuclear capabilities were false.

"The situation was very similar with respect to Saddam's links to Al Qaeda. The Vice President told the American people, "We know he's out trying once again to produce nuclear weapons and we know he has a longstanding relationship with various terrorist groups including the Al Qaeda organization."

"The Administration's assertions on this score have been totally discredited. But again, the Administration went ahead with these assertions in spite of the fact that the government's top experts did not agree with these claims.

"What has been the response of this Republican-controlled Congress to the Administration's manipulation of intelligence that led to this protracted war in Iraq? Basically nothing. Did the Republican-controlled Congress carry out its constitutional obligations to conduct oversight? No. Did it support our troops and their families by providing them the answers to many important questions? No. Did it even attempt to force this Administration to answer the most basic questions about its behavior? No.

"Unfortunately the unwillingness of the Republican-controlled Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities is not limited to just Iraq. We see it with respect to the prisoner abuse scandal. We see it with respect to Katrina. And we see it with respect to the cronyism and corruption that permeates this Administration.

"Time and time again, this Republican-controlled Congress has consistently chosen to put its political interests ahead of our national security. They have repeatedly chosen to protect the Republican Administration rather than get to the bottom of what happened and why.

"There is also another disturbing pattern here, namely about how the Administration responded to those who challenged its assertions. Time and again this Administration has actively sought to attack and undercut those who dared to raise questions about its preferred course.

"For example, when General Shinseki indicated several hundred thousand troops would be needed in Iraq, his military career came to an end. When then OMB Director Larry Lindsay suggested the cost of this war would approach $200 billion, his career in the Administration came to an end. When U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix challenged conclusions about Saddam's WMD capabilities, the Administration pulled out his inspectors. When Nobel Prize winner and IAEA head Mohammed el-Baridei raised questions about the Administration's claims of Saddam's nuclear capabilities, the Administration attempted to remove him from his post. When Joe Wilson stated that there was no attempt by Saddam to acquire uranium from Niger, the Administration launched a vicious and coordinated campaign to demean and discredit him, going so far as to expose the fact that his wife worked as a CIA agent.

"Given this Administration's pattern of squashing those who challenge its misstatements, what has been the response of this Republican-controlled Congress? Again, absolutely nothing. And with their inactions, they provide political cover for this Administration at the same time they keep the truth from our troops who continue to make large sacrifices in Iraq.

"This behavior is unacceptable. The toll in Iraq is as staggering as it is solemn. More than 2,000 Americans have lost their lives. Over 90 Americans have paid the ultimate sacrifice this month alone - the fourth deadliest month since the war began. More than 15,000 have been wounded. More than 150,000 remain in harm's way. Enormous sacrifices have been and continue to be made.

"The troops and the American people have a right to expect answers and accountability worthy of that sacrifice. For example, 40 Senate Democrats wrote a substantive and detailed letter to the President asking four basic questions about the Administration's Iraq policy and received a four sentence answer in response. These Senators and the American people deserve better.

"They also deserve a searching and comprehensive investigation about how the Bush Administration brought this country to war. Key questions that need to be answered include:

How did the Bush Administration assemble its case for war against Iraq?
Who did Bush Administration officials listen to and who did they ignore?
How did 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?
How did the Administration coordinate its efforts to attack individuals who dared to challenge the Administration's assertions?
Why has the Administration failed to provide Congress with the documents that will shed light on their misconduct and misstatements?
"Unfortunately the Senate committee that should be taking the lead in providing these answers is not. Despite the fact that the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee publicly committed to examine many of these questions more than 1 and ½ years ago, he has chosen not to keep this commitment. Despite the fact that he restated that commitment earlier this year on national television, he has still done nothing.

"At this point, we can only conclude he will continue to put politics ahead of our national security. If he does anything at this point, I suspect he will play political games by producing an analysis that fails to answer any of these important questions. Instead, if history is any guide, this analysis will attempt to disperse and deflect blame away from the Administration.

"We demand that the Intelligence Committee and other committees in this body with jurisdiction over these matters carry out a full and complete investigation immediately as called for by Democrats in the committee's annual intelligence authorization report. Our troops and the American people have sacrificed too much. It is time this Republican-controlled Congress put the interests of the American people ahead of their own political interests."




Senate goes into closed session over Iraq war
Updated: November 1, 2005
CAPITOL HILL (AP) - Democrats have forced the Senate to go into closed session. They're demanding answers about intelligence that led to the Iraq war.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says the nation deserves to know the details of how the U-S became engaged in the war, especially following last week's indictment of Vice President Cheney's chief of staff.

Reid and other Democrats said Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts reneged on a promise to fully investigate whether the administration exaggerated and manipulated intelligence leading up to the war.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said he was blindsided by the move. He called it a "stunt" and charged Democrats "hijacked" the Senate.

While he admitted it was within the rules, he called it a slap in the face to normal procedures.


Please call/write Sens. Harry Reid and Dick Durban and thank them for having the guts to call the GOP on lying to send us into war (Capitol Switchboard -- 1-202-224-3121).
Sen. Harry Reid -- 1-202-224-3452;
Sen. Dick Durbin -- 1-202-224-2152;


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That's all I have to say! God Bless Senator Reid!

Its time these public "serpents" were held accountable!

I would like to commend you for taking the republican controlled Senate to task for the abdication of their oversight responsibilities as it pertains to how the White House got us in to this senseless, tragic fiasco of a war in Iraq. The time has long since passed that the lies, manipulations and, I dare say, treasonous actions of the Executive Branch be exposed for what they are, and that those responsible for what is the greatest strategic and foreign policy disaster in the history of this nation be held accountable. That includes those in the Senate and House that continue to enable and provide political cover to a White House that is responsible for the completely outrageous situation that our nation finds itself in today.

Now is the time to call a liar a liar and a traitor a traitor and to take our county back from those that are destroying it. As James Madison said," If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy". Those words seem frighteningly prophetic today. I thank you and all of those that stand up at this critical time and speak the unvarnished truth to an ever more dangerous power.

I applaud Senator Reid for his courage pertaining to the events on the Senate floor today. This is long over-due. This administration will not take responsibility for any of it's actions, including Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee.
I recall John Conyers and others that personally went to the White House and Hand Delivered a letter asking for accountability and a petition signed by 560,000 people in our country. Mr.Bush simply chose to ignore it, as usual. It appears he does not feel he owes any one any sort of explanation for any of his actions. We The People, see this in a very different light, We do not work for him, He works for the people of America.
This war has been a farce from the start, and only continues to get worse as it goes along.
I feel that the indictment of Libby should only be the start, this administration is showing what many have suspected for some time.
The reasons Mr. Bush gives for the war continues to change. How many reasons can he come up with, until the time he runs "Out of excuses" for his "Personal Vendetta" war.
I call on every American who sees this administration "For What it is to Now take a stand, we continue to disagree with the Bush Administration, Now Let's do something about it>>>
This administration has violated several Federal Laws regarding this war in Iraq.. It violates our constitution.
I say we need more like Senator Reid and Senator Kennedy.
We, as a people need to get behind those who are tyring to are asking for the truth, with no excuses from the WHIG.. Now is the time for an accounting to be done, those that have violated our laws, need to be removed from office immmediately. We need to get our country back on the right track.
Mr. Bush made the comment to a reporter on one occasion,
The reporter made the comment that "Perception was Power" Mr. Bush replied that "Power was being President" . He needs to get over his
"John Wayne" image, he will never make the grade.
Once Again "I urge all those who feel that an investigation needs to be conducted on the Bush Administration to let it be known to all that we, as a people need to get busy.
Once again Thank You Senator Reid.

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