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Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's Stock Moves Strongly Up

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.

I think it was bold and a very constructive move by Reid.

The reason that Reid and Durbin have maneuvered the Senate into executive session is that Senator Pat Roberts, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has failed to move forward on "Phase Two" of a report on the use and abuse of Iraq WMD intelligence before the war. While the first phase focused on the CIA and intelligence bureaucracy's missteps on WMD intel, the second phase is supposed to focus more specifically on those in the White House and close to the President in the executive branch and how Iraq-related WMD intelligence may have been misused.

Senator Roberts has delayed and delayed and delayed. And Reid said no more.

But the other stroke of political genius here is that while Senator Frist is spitting on Reid and the Democrats, Reid has just successfully focused the spotlight BACK on Iraq, back on intelligence abuses, back on Patrick Fitzgerald and the Libby indictment.

Reid was ticked off after having had no consultation with the President regarding the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

Harry Reid, giving NO NOTICE to Senator Frist, has just kicked the Republican leadership and the White House in the rear -- and has done the nation a great service by making sure that our public attention is still focused on the mismanagement and serious abuses of the national security circumstances of the United States.

In sending the U.S. Senate into executive session, Senator Reid read from former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson's talk at the New America Foundation as Wilkerson recounted the secretive process that took America into war against Iraq. Reid is arguing that Congress must play an oversight role over the Executive -- and that Congress is demonstrating no oversight responsibilities at all, particularly as regards the war.

Fascinating stuff unfolding -- and very important.

-- Steve Clemons


Read Senator Jay Rockefeller's Statement below. Rockefeller, of course, is Ranking Member on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:


Here is some background on Rule 21 Senate "Closed Door" Sessions:


~ Since 1929, the Senate has held 53 secret sessions, generally for reasons of national security.

i. For example, in 1997 the Senate held a secret session to consider the Chemical Weapons Convention (treaty).

ii. In 1992, the Senate met in secret session to consider “most favored nation


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I am forever grateful that Senator Harry Reid finally "Stood Up" to the Cristocratic GOP! I just found out what my dearly beloved Senator here in TX is having done to anyone that questions her!

Comment #15: hpcharlie said on 11/1/05 @ 11:40pm ET...

Further Proof of GOP Abuse and Treason:

Dear Congressman Conyers, I had no idea that this very practice is taking place right here in Dallas TX with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's local office!

Can a "Legal Suit" be brought against her?

Charlie C.
Dallas TX

Here's Friday's lunchtime demonstration I was sharing
with you. Kay Bailey Hutchison has refused to meet
with a group of her constituents who want her to
support a schedule for us to pull out of Iraq. The
group is primarily composed of veterans and families
of active duty people, but others who have different
objections to the war are also welcome.

I don't know if KBH ordered it done, but people have
been arrested for trying to peacefully deliver letters
to her office. See below for more details.

I plan to go this Friday at noon. Her office address
is 10440 N. Central Expressway, close to Central and
, but I believe people will be gathering in the
Circuit City parking, due to the arrests and
ticketing. The phone # for KBH is 2-361-3500, should
you need it.

Following is a thread, in case you want more history
on the Dallas version of Crawford's standoff. Talk to
you later.

> Could we ask her new office boss to meet outside in
front of the media? I really want to air the issue of
getting trespass warnings while trying to go see our
senator in front of the press.
> It is wrong that we should have to make appointments
just to see our senator but it does sound like Marion
may be successful in arranging a meeting for herself.
Could we attempt to get a pre- arranged group meeting
with the senator. We could do a whats our beef
directly to the senator. Even if we had to prepare a
list of beefs and have one or two spokes persons. If
we can just all have a physical presence with the
senator. If she refuses this option, then we really
have some good dirt on her.
> I have been thinking about the future of Camp Casey
Dallas. We have three Fridays left...
> First, we are demanding a town hall meeting, a forum
where citizens can bring all their different beefs to
the senator; so I propose that we call next week's
camp What's Your Beef?, expand our issues beyond
Cindy's questions and the issue of access and call for
people to bring whatever beefs they have. I was
thinking of a prize for the most creative sign. If we
can all agree that it is not illegal to approach your
senator, and thus within the DPC code of ethics, we
can award them the right to be the first to step onto
the property and be given criminal trespass warnings!
> The next week, what do you all think of reaching out
to the youth, with the theme Hell No, We Won't Go!
(Well, nowhere in this letter did I promise an
original idea!). We can outreach to Trish Dodd's,
Farid's and other student groups, and to Peaceful
Vocations. I have a pledge of non-violence which
includes a promise never to bear weapons against
humans which they could sign and either take or mail
to the senator.
> How about A Die-In the final week? We could call on
guerilla theater groups to help us, and sprawl across
our tents, splattered with fake blood, and present
quite a spectacle for passing motorists and press.
> Being of a generous mind, I will assume that you
were all arrested yesterday, and haven't been released
yet, and that's why noone wrote what happened
yesterday! Will the first of you to be released please
let me know what happened yesterday and today?
> It's been confusing! The first week, two of us who
try to walk to our senator's office are given
warnings, then the same two are granted a meeting with
the senator's district manager. During this meeting,
she says there is no problem with individuals and
small groups coming up, then four days later, Mary
Sheffenhagen is arrested for trying to walk into the
building to see the senator. At the time, there was no
demonstration going on. The next day, Sherry
Bollenbacher, a member of another group who is
demonstrating outside the senator's office, asks to go
up, and is told that building management doesn't want
anybody in. A while later, the building manager says
the senator's office told them Sherry could be
escorted in. This was after the senator's district
manager told us that her office had no say over who
the building mgmt. chose to exclude. (No buck passing
here! No sir!) About fifteen or twenty minutes after
Sherry is escorted up, around 8 protesters are given
> So what's going to happen next? Dare we guess? I
know that Camp Casey Dallas will be pitching its tents
outside the senator's building at high noon tomorrow.
I know that we are asking people to bring letters we
will try to deliver to her office, and I know that we
are going to demand that the senator make herself
accountable by holding a town hall meeting. Aside from
that who knows!
> The issues have expanded beyond Cindy's three
questions, which we still want answered, to the issue
of a US senator who erects a wall of police between
herself and her constituent. So bring your signs and
bring your tents. Bring your letters and bring lots of
friends! I don't know what will happen, but I know it
won't be boring!
> We will be in the Circuit City parking lot at Meadow
and Central Expressway on Friday at high noon.
> Yesterday, I went to Kay Bailey Hutchison's office,
to hand deliver a letter reminding her of the
questions that Cindy Sheehan had asked and to tell
them that we would be back Friday to find out when
they wish to meet with Cindy, or one of her
representatives One of her staff met me at the door.
She was very courteous, until I told her that I was
there representing the Camp Casey Dallas Coalition,
and delivered the letter. Then, I could see her
courtesy become glacial. She hates us. She hates what
we think, and she hates the fact that we won't just go
away. She hates the fact that we are publicizing the
fact that the government is trying to avoid the
families of those killed in Iraq and other wars of US
aggression. She hates the fact that these families
have the assumption to even try to question those who
make policy.
> Tomorrow, we will be back. We are asking those of
you near Dallas to please try to find a way to join
us. We want her, and the senator to know that not only
are we here, we're here in big numbers. Please join us
at Circuit City, just north of Meadow on Central
Expressway at high noon tomorrow!
> Just like Bush, Senator Hutchison thought she could
ignore us, and we would go away. But, she can't run
and she can't hide! Senator, WE WON'T GO AWAY!
> Friends and Heroes of Mine,
> A few weeks ago, Cindy Sheehan and her mothers sent
a letter to every US senator and every US
representative asking four questions. They were
"President Bush has said that brave Americans like my
son Casey have died for a 'noble cause'. What is that
'noble cause'? How many more lives are we as a country
willing to sacrifice in Iraq? How many are you
personally willing to sacrifice? What are you
specifically doing to bring our sons and daughters
home from this needless war?". At the websites and,
we are given a list of the senators and
representatives who have agreed to meet and those who
have not. Having established a Camp Casey on the
doorstep of the president, Cindy and her mothers have
asked that Camp Caseys be established at the
doorsteps of senators and representatives who have not
set dates for a
> Among those who have failed to set a meeting date is
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas. Despite the
fact that Cindy and the other mothers are grieving
mothers whose children have been killed in the service
ofthe American military, Senator Hutchison will not
deign to meet with them. She has not even given these
grieving mothers the courtesy of a refusal. She is
trying the same strategy the president tried; ignore
them and they'll go away, but this strategy didn't
work for him. We didn't go away; In our tens of
thousands from every state in the nation, we came to
Crawford. In our hundreds of thousands, we came to
> And, it won't work for Senator Hutchison. At high
noon, this Friday, October 7, in celebration of Joe
Hill's birthday, we will establish Camp Casey Dallas
on the doorstep of Senator Hutchison's Dallas office,
10440 N. Central Expressway.
> We suggest that you park at the park to the east of
Central Expressway on Meadow Rd., and walk to Central
Expressway, then north up the access road on the east
side of the expressway, to the Circuit City parking
lot, where we will meet. You should see our tents!

Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005


New Comment

Senator Harry Reid should be recalled. Every death in Iraq can be layed at the Feet of the Democrats Leadership. The treacherous rhetoric that has come from the Senate & House Leadrship & the The LOUD Clowns at the DNC have fueled the attacks on our troops & encourages the Enemy.
Now these useful idiots think they're going to impeach President Bush. I say lets start the Libby trial. I want to see everyone of does reporters, plus Joe Wilson & his wonderful wife Valerie being question by Libby's Lawyer. Specially, Joe & Valerie Wilson. He is a proven liar, she may be guilty of participating in covert acts to undermine this administration on our soil.
The Democrats will pay a heavy price for there treacherory.

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