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Oh, those wiley Dems.

 

WASHINGTON Nov 1, 2005 — Democrats forced the Republican-controlled Senate into an unusual closed session Tuesday, demanding answers about intelligence that led to the Iraq war. Republicans derided the move as a political stunt.

 

In a speech on the Senate floor, Democratic leader Harry Reid said the American people and U.S. troops deserved to know the details of how the United States became engaged in the war, particularly in light of the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff.

 

Reid demanded the Senate go into closed session. With a second by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the public was ordered out of the chamber, the lights were dimmed, senators filed to their seats on the floor and the doors were closed. No vote is required in such circumstances.

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"The Libby indictment provides a window into what this is really all about, how this administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions," Reid said before the doors were closed.

 

The thing is, this is exactly what is important about the Plame leak investigation. How was the WHIG working, and was there an intentional, coordinated effort to cook the Iraq intelligence books and then to out Plame as retaliation against Joe Wilson when his reports undermined the WHIG attempt to sell the war?

 

On NPR's All Things Considered last night, Daniel Schorr absolutely nailed it down and reminded listeners what the real issue always has been.

 

Senior news analyst Daniel Schorr says that the public should not become bogged down in the details of the investigation into who leaked the name of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame. He argues that the underlying issue is the Bush administration's effort to justify going to war in Iraq.

 

Here's a link to the audio archive:

 

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4983462

 

If it takes piddling perjury and obstruction charges to reveal the lengths the WHIG went to hoodwink the public and Congress into backing the war, then that is what it takes.

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More importantly, this is the Dems taking the gloves off finally.

 

They don't get access to the agenda and even committees that minority parties have traditionally gotten in the last few years. Good to see balls on the part of the Democratic party.

 

Harry Reid is doing what ought to be done by the Senate - unfortunately, he has to drag the other side in kicking and screaming to do it. Because it will make them look bad.

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I'm on like 3 hours of sleep and I just finished up an exam, but this even caught me off guard. Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid has invoked Senate rule 21, which basically kicks the cameras out of the Senate chambers, slams the doors, and dims the lights.

 

Beforehand, Reid gave a long speech hitting on basically 2 main points: the Libby indictment last week, and IMO, more importantly, the fact that the Senate has basically completely sidestepped any investigation into whether or not intelligence was politicized/abused in selling the Iraq war.

 

(On that latter point...a really brief history...to get the media off his back in early 04, Bush agreed to 2 investigations into Iraq's WMD's, an independent investigation which was to focus solely on how the intelligence was so wrong and which was specifically prohibited from looking at the questions of how the politicians used that intelligence or were involved in its gathering, and a Senate investigation. The Senate investigation was to be in 2 parts...1 part which was basically a duplicate of the independent investigation (that part is arleady completed) and a 2nd part actually looking at the question of political involvement with the intel. The Republicans have basically shelved the 2nd half of the investigation.)

 

Here is Reid's statement:

 

"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."

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Stealing from Americablog...

 

KEY FACTS ON SECRET SESSIONS OF THE SENATE

 

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

 

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

    o In 1992, the Senate met in secret session to consider “most favored nation” trade status for China.

    o In 1988, a session was held to consider the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and in 1983 a session was held on Nicaragua.

    o In 1942, a secret session was held on navy plans to build battleships and aircraft carriers, and in 1943 a secret session was held on reports from the war fronts.

 

· Six of the most recent secret sessions, however, were held during the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.

 

 

SENATE RULES ON SECRET SESSIONS

 

· During a secret session, the doors of the chamber are closed, and the chamber and its galleries are cleared of all individuals except Members and those officers and employees specified in the rules or essential to the session.

 

· Standing Senate Rules 21, 29, and 31 cover secret sessions for legislative and executive business. Rule 21 calls for the Senate to close its doors once a motion is made and seconded. The motion is not debatable, and its disposition is made behind closed doors.

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QUOTE(Wong & Owens @ Nov 1, 2005 -> 04:06 PM)
OK, seriously, why the hell is dimming the lights part of this process?

Standard operating procedure for when people get ready to f*** each other I suppose. ;)

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QUOTE(FlaSoxxJim @ Nov 1, 2005 -> 03:07 PM)
Standard operating procedure for when people get ready to f*** each other I suppose.  ;)

 

 

ROTFLMAO!!! :notworthy :lolhitting

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"The United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership," said Majority Leader Bill Frist. "They have no convictions, they have no principles, they have no ideas," the Republican leader said.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/11/01/sen...q.ap/index.html

 

If the rest of the Republicans go for their soother as quick as Fristy does then the Democrats in a continual attack mode should have no problem getting back into power.

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I must say I'm impressed with Reid. Usually the cautious Democrats don't take the political initiative. If Daschle would have done this in 2002 perhaps thousands upon thousands of people who are now dead would still be alive today.

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The Dems were promised in writing a second phase to Iraqi Intelligence investigation. They never got one.

 

The Libby investigation/indictment gave them the smoking gun they needed to force the investigation. Now that enough is out in the open, Reid can force the GOP to do what they promised but never intended to do.

 

Brilliant move.

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We have the theatrics and drama

I'm sensing the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd

All hat and no cattle

Stirring up dust

 

When something of substance actually happens, I will be overjoyed. Until then, I'm not impressed.

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QUOTE(Texsox @ Nov 1, 2005 -> 09:26 PM)
We have the theatrics and drama

I'm sensing the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd

All hat and no cattle

Stirring up dust

 

When something of substance actually happens, I will be overjoyed. Until then, I'm not impressed.

Tex, it is the first time in a long time the Dems have really mounted a fight without folding faster than Superman on laundry day to apologize for it. Alright, who gave Harry Reid the testosterone shot?

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QUOTE(Texsox @ Nov 1, 2005 -> 07:26 PM)
When something of substance actually happens, I will be overjoyed. Until then, I'm not impressed.

Tex, the action by Reid today forced Frist and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to stop blocking phase 2 of the Investigation into the WMD mistakes. In other words, it accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do...at least on the surface at least.

 

The Republicans have blocked this investigation from proceeding at all for roughly 1.5 years. Now why would they want to block an investigation, which would happen btw in a committee that they'd lead, into whether or not the White House misused or invented intelligence on Iraqi WMDs? You tell me why they'd want that.

 

Reid won. He stood up and said "they're blocking this investigation" in a way that would actually force the media to pay attention. The moment that the Media started to give any time at all to the fact that the Republicans were totally blocking that investigation, the Republicans caved. They can complain all they want about how it was an affront to the institution (and Mr. Frist, btw, how about that campaigning against the former minority leader...something that was unprecedented at the time).

 

Something of substance did happen today. The Democrats broke what was in essence a Republican filibuster of an investigation. That is massive, given that the Republican Congress has prevented any sort of real investigation into anything this President has done, no matter how many people have died or how much it has cost.

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QUOTE(KipWellsFan @ Nov 1, 2005 -> 05:06 PM)
http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/11/01/sen...q.ap/index.html

 

If the rest of the Republicans go for their soother as quick as Fristy does then the Democrats in a continual attack mode should have no problem getting back into power.

 

 

Democrats regaining power? I'll believe it when I see it. It's been going the complete opposite the past couple of elections. But I do think the Democrats should gain back some members in Congress in 2006.

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Let's also be careful in declaring a victory when our leaders meet in secrecy. I have an mistrust when our government needs secrecy, especially our elected leaders.

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This whole thing is bull s***. It's all theatrics and f***ing games.

 

What is this country's problem?

 

For the Democrats, aka Ball-less wonders, this was nothing but a pur power grab to grab the spotlight to show that they're "doing something". The whole Alito nomination, which is pure hypocracy at it's best, had grabbed the attention, and they wanted to focus the laser beam attention back on the Republicans to make them cave. It amazes me how Teddy "hiccup" Kennedy and Chucky "DICK" Schuemer can sing praises to a guy and vote for him not once, but TWICE, to the appeals court and talk about how wonderful he is, but when it comes to the SCOTUS, HOLD THE f***ING PHONE, HE'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. ABORTION. OMG, ABORTION, OMG, ABORTION. WAKE THE f*** UP AMERICA. Why is *THE* defining issue in this country "ABORTION"? Because it is the 100% MONEY MAKER FOR BOTH PARTIES. How did it get that way? Through useless debate such as this. This issue fans the flames more then any other issue, and both parties prostitute it to fill their war chests with money so that the big assholes that are still there can stay in power.

 

Now on to the Republicans. These friggin' dolts can't close our borders, hold REAL, MEANINGFUL investigations about what's really going on in our intelligence ranks, make the deadlines that they set themselves for 9/11 changes, curb their spending, come up with meaningful change on education, health care, etc. Bill "My dick is tied to a camera" Frist and many of these other Republicans, boy they sure can find a camera quicker then a 20 year old hot intern to talk about THEMSELVES. What "so and so did hurts ME". Who the hell cares? It hurts AMERICA.

 

Our biggest problem in this country is not abortion, is not health care, is not education (well, not really, that's a symptom). It's called APATHY, and it's called being "politically correct". We can't fart walking down the street without political correctness and the "dumbing down" of America happening. We are the DIVIDED States of America, not the UNITED States of America now, because we allow these people in power to steal the debates about what's not really important at the end of the day. They steal the debate so they can grab all the cash and run with it to stay in power. Ted Kennedy nor Bill Frist give a s*** about abortion, they politicize it to stay in power, and America falls right for the debate. We need to become the UNITED States of America again, but it's probably not going to happen, which will ultimately be the downfall of this country.

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Kap, think about this for a minute. One fundamental difference when considering the SUPREME Court, is there are no more appeals. How far back to you want to apply Supreme Court standards? Based on your standards, anyone who was already approved should be waltzed right in without discussion. Hold the phone, OMG, we have to continue any mistakes we make all the way to the Supreme Court or else the GOP will be upset.

 

Do you want everyone voted on for an Appeals court to be put through the same process as a Supreme Court nominee? That's what would have to happen. And you would still have the issue of what they did as an Appeals Court Judge, or would that not be relevant?

 

The fact of the matter is, each step up the Judicial ladder, should require greater and greater scrutiny. It would be miscarriage of duty for the Legislative branch to just rubber stamp any Appeals Judge to the Supreme Court.

 

Did the White House check this guy out? Or did Bush say, he's already been confirmed, he must be good, no need to look any further?

 

But I guess any chance to rip on Dems should be taken. :headshake

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QUOTE(Texsox @ Nov 2, 2005 -> 01:49 PM)
But I guess any chance to rip on Dems should be taken.  :headshake

 

Read my post again. I gave equal rippings.

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QUOTE(kapkomet @ Nov 2, 2005 -> 08:56 AM)
Read my post again.  I gave equal rippings.

 

Actually no, the other rippings highlighted stuff that both parties need to do. Increase our border security? Both parties. Hold investigations? Both parties. Bettering health care, education , etc. Should be both parties. Or are you suggesting that only the GOP should or can do those things? I agree with you that those things should be a higher priority, I disagree that it is solely the GOP's responsibility, as your post seemed to indicate.

 

Hey, when I'm ranting, I don't always type what I mean. I think it would probably be closer to your meaning to remove the party tags and just call them Senators or Congressmen. With the exception of the confirmations, I'd agree with your post.

 

I believe the parties stopped selling ideas and goals a long time ago. They realized they were closer to Coke and Pepsi, than black and white. So now it's all about marketing hype. The fact that people who identify themselves with one party will defend damn near anything that party does while attacking damn near everything the other party does, means the politicos have won. I only drive Dodge, Ford Sucks. I'm a Sox fan, f*** the Cubs. I'm a REP, screw the Dems. All marketing.

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