Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Reid Hijacks Senate

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) forced the Senate into a closed door session today, ostensibly to focus discussions on a congressional investigation into pre-war intelligence. (Bloomberg: U.S. Senate Closed Session Yields Intelligence Accord). A closed door session has only been invoked 53 times since 1929, and it was quite clear that today's antics by Reid was politically motivated and had little to do with pressing national security issues.

What today's stunt was intended to do was counter any momentum that Republicans could gain from the nomination of an ultra-conservative to the Supreme Court. The left could smell blood after the indictment of Scooter Libby and the withdrawal of Harriet Miers as a court nominee. Bush's nomination of Samuel Alito, however, reignited his conservative base, something the Democrats want to avoid heading into the confirmation process. Today's closed door session to draw attention to Iraqi war intelligence is nothing more the sleight of hand intended to distract Senate Republicans and the American people. Senate Majority Leader Frist correctly summed it up when he said, "The U.S. Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leaders."

Obviously, the issue of pre-war intelligence is not going to disappear. The intelligence may have been faulty in some cases, and certain aspects may have been overstated in others. What the Democrats don't want the people to know, however, is that seven of the fifteen members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence are Democrats. What's more, an ex-officio member of the committee is none other than Senator Harry Reid! Senator, methinks thou dost protest too much!

The pre-war intelligence was presented to both the Senate and House intelligence committees. They were privy to the exact same information the President had. They drew the exact same conclusions the President did regarding Iraq's abilities and their intentions. What's more, in 2000 President Clinton and his intelligence services came to the same conclusions. If there was any duplicity at all in the intelligence game, the members of the House and Senate intelligence committees are of equal blame. But they don't want you to know that.

What we have now is nothing less than a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking for political gain. The same people that were adamant that force was necessary are now experiencing the same amnesia that is about to beset Libby in his CIA leak defense. It's amazing just how much these folks don't recall, even when it's a matter of public record.

So please spare us the theatrics. We really don't need Harry Reid or anyone else grandstanding in the Senate. If you want to investigate where our intelligence agencies came up short and how best to fix that, then fine. But please save the conspiracy theories for the next episode of Roswell.


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