Behind Locked Doors


“They do nothing without getting orders from the White House” – Sen. Harry Reid, Dummycrat, 11-1-05.

Cough Miers cough.

While I was stuck in court all day on my day off it appears that a whole bunch of Joe Wilson Liberal Communist Sympathizers put the Senate behind closed doors. First time this has been done without consultation with the other side of the aisle for 25 years. Why was this stunt pulled?

The U.S. Senate went into a rare closed session today after Democrats invoked a seldom used rule to back their demands for greater oversight by the Republican-controlled body, particularly on the Bush administration’s use of intelligence in taking the country to war in Iraq.

[…]Under the order to go into closed session, the galleries were emptied of spectators and journalists, staffers without security clearances were ordered out and senators were required to remove all electronic gear such as cell phones and digital communications devices.

The Senate’s Democratic leader, Harry M. Reid of Nevada, initiated the closed session by invoking Rule 21, which was seconded by Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), the minority whip. In a floor speech, Reid declared that “a cloud hangs over this Republican-controlled Congress for its unwillingness to hold the administration accountable” on a variety of issues.

He was particularly incensed about what he said was the refusal of the Senate Intelligence Committee under Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) to follow up on an investigation of the intelligence that led to the war in Iraq. A report was issued in July last year, but a “phase two” inquiry into how the Bush administration used that intelligence has not been held. Reid accused Roberts of breaking a promise to conduct that investigation in an effort to “provide political cover for this administration,” which he said had “consistently and repeatedly manipulated the facts” in making its case to invade Iraq in 2003.

Of course the DUmmie’s and KOSacksofdung love this little hissy fit and believe it’s “real leadership

Democrats showing leadership and fight. Very nice. Democrats creating a media narrative around Republican stonewalling of a real investigation into pre-war intelligence. Also very nice. Republicans getting a taste of things to come if they initiate the nuclear option? Very crafty.

Reid’s showmanship could not be further from real leadership. This is the act of a little whiney 2 year old upset because Rove didn’t go down like they were hoping, Alito was nominated for SCOTUS, someone who will sail through the hearings, and finally tack on the removal of the biased Judge in the Delay trial. Waaaaaaaaah!

Here is Frist’s take on it.

Frist angrily denounced the move, charging that “the United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership.” He told reporters that he has never as majority leader “been slapped in the face with such an affront to the leadership of this grand institution.”

Frist called the closed session “a pure stunt” by Reid, Durbin and the Democratic leadership.

“This is an affront to me personally,” he said. “It’s an affront to our leadership. It’s an affront to the United States of America. And it is wrong.”

Frist sharply criticized Reid personally, saying he could never trust the Democratic leader again.

Further exemplified by Byron York on The Corner:

They could have made this same point without looking like children. On Tuesdays, there are about 100 reporters at the post-policy lunch stakeouts. Reid could have gone to the cameras and made this point. But now, Frist, Lott and others made good points about how the dems are childish, un-senatorial and are pulling a political stunt while we?re trying to pass a budget. Silly and childish. They weakened what could have been a strong point.

It?s like chewing someone out, but p***ing your pants while you?re doing it.


Lorie Byrd has some even better comments about this Whining:

“And while we are at it, let?s remind them of all the Clinton administration statements about WMD in Iraq, and the ones from John Kerry, and the U.N., and France and Germany.

And let?s not stop there, let?s put some pressure on the media to ask Joe Wilson about the lies he was caught in by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission and the Senate Intelligence Committee. Bring it on. We have the high ground on this issue if we can get the facts past the media filter. The 60 Minutes and Dateline interviews with Joe Wilson over the weekend were disgraceful. I remember thinking Joe Wilson was history back when the 9/11 commission report and the Senate Intelligence committee reports revealed, through memos and testimony, that he had told a series of lies about his tea sipping adventure in Niger.”

[…]”Frist should go before the cameras and say:

?America DOES need answers?

– WHY did Sandy Berger steal top secret documents during the 9/11 hearings??
– WHY did Joe Wilson LIE in his Op/Ed?and what did he REALLY find out?
– WHY was Joe Wilson chosen in the first place?
– WHY did Clinton close down Able-Danger?and what did they learn??

Excellent questions….maybe the Republicans should invoke Rule 21 and ask them. That would never happen tho because the Republicans have too much class, and don’t whine and throw hissyfits when we don’t get our way…..well, almost never…cough Miers cough. But you get my point.

Reid and his pals attempts to smear the Administration for supposed manipulation of intelligence was investigated once by the Senate already, the whole report can be read here.

Some interesting excerpts:

(U) Conclusion 12. Until October 2002 when the Intelligence Community obtained the forged foreign language documents2 on the Iraq-Niger uranium deal, it was reasonable for analysts to assess that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa based on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reporting and other available intelligence.

(U) Conclusion 13. The report on the former ambassador’s trip to Niger, disseminated in March 2002, did not change any analysts’ assessments of the Iraq-Niger uranium deal. For most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uranium deal, but State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analysts believed that the report supported their assessment that Niger was unlikely to be willing or able to sell uranium to Iraq.

(U) Conclusion 14. The Central Intelligence Agency should have told the Vice President and other senior policymakers that it had sent someone to Niger to look into the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal and should have briefed the Vice President on the former ambassador’s findings.

(U) Conclusion 15. The Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Directorate of Operations should have taken precautions not to discuss the credibility of reporting with a potential source when it arranged a meeting with the former ambassador and Intelligence Community analysts.

(U) Conclusion 16. The language in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that “Iraq also began vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake” overstated what the Intelligence Community knew about Iraq’s possible procurement attempts.

(U) Conclusion 17. The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) dissent on the uranium reporting was accidentally included in the aluminum tube section of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), due in part to the speed with which the NIE was drafted and coordinated.

(U) Conclusion 18. When documents regarding the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting became available to the Intelligence Community in October 2002, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysts and operations officers should have made an effort to obtain copies. As a result of not obtaining the documents, CIA Iraq nuclear analysts continued to report on Iraqi efforts to procure uranium from Africa and continued to approve the use of such language in Administration publications and speeches.

(U) Conclusion 19. Even after obtaining the forged documents and being alerted by a State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analyst about problems with them, analysts at both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) did not examine them carefully enough to see the obvious problems with the documents. Both agencies continued to publish assessments that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa. In addition, CIA continued to approve the use of similar language in Administration publications and speeches, including the State of the Union.

(U) Conclusion 20. The Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) comments and assessments about the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting were inconsistent and, at times contradictory. These inconsistencies were based in part on a misunderstanding of a CIA Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center (WINPAC) Iraq analyst’s assessment of the reporting. The CIA should have had a mechanism in place to ensure that agency assessments and information passed to policymakers were consistent.

(U) Conclusion 21. When coordinating the State of the Union, no Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysts or officials told the National Security Council (NSC) to remove the “16 words” or that there were concerns about the credibility of the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting. A CIA official’s original testimony to the Committee that he told an NSC official to remove the words “Niger” and “500 tons” from the speech, is incorrect.

(U) Conclusion 22. The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) should have taken the time to read the State of the Union speech and fact check it himself. Had he done so, he would have been able to alert the National Security Council (NSC) if he still had concerns about the use of the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting in a Presidential speech.

(U) Conclusion 23. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Defense Humint Service (DHS), or the Navy should have followed up with a West African businessman, mentioned in a Navy report, who indicated he was willing to provide information about an alleged uranium transaction between Niger and Iraq in November 2002.

Conclusion 24. In responding to a letter from Senator Carl Levin on behalf of the Intelligence Community in February 2003, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) should not have said that ” of reporting suggest Iraq had attempted to acquire uranium from Niger,” without indicating that State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) believed the reporting was based on forged documents, or that the CIA was reviewing the Niger reporting.

(U) Conclusion 25. The Niger reporting was never in any of the drafts of Secretary Powell’s United Nations (UN) speech and the Committee has not uncovered any information that showed anyone tried to insert the information into the speech.

(U) Conclusion 26. To date, the Intelligence Community has not published an assessment to clarify or correct its position on whether or not Iraq was trying to purchase uranium from Africa as stated in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). Likewise, neither the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) nor the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which both published assessments on possible Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium, have ever published assessments outside of their agencies which correct their previous positions.

This also gives me the opportunity to highlight a few interesting quotes from some Dummycrats of the recent past, I always enjoy bringing these up: (h/t Moonbat Central)

?One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.?
– President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

?If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq?s weapons of mass destruction program.?
– President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

?We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction.?
– Madeline Albright, Feb 1, 1998

?He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.?
– Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

?[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq?s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.?
Letter to President Clinton.
– (D) Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, others, Oct. 9, 1998

But still they insist that the above statements were never uttered, that the Democrats always believed Saddam never had WMD’s. Are they really this stupid?

Ed Morrissey has some great input:

The press should take careful note of this. In all of the debate over the intelligence and diplomacy leading up to the Iraq War, the Republicans never even entertained locking the doors on the Senate or Congress for the debate. Not once. They offered full public hearings on the issues, and only in committee — and only when appropriate — closed hearings on specifically classified issues. Rule 21 should have been reserved for only the most dire circumstances; instead, Reid has abused it for his petulant tantrums.

Will those in the Fourth Estate stand idly by while the Senate locks its doors in their faces?

Other’s blogging:

Michelle Malkin
The Strata-Sphere
Weapons Of Mass Discussion
What Attitude Problem?
Cheat Seeking Missiles
Atlas Shrugs
Hard Starboard
Red State Rant
Joust The Facts
Scott’s Conservative News
The New Editor
Confederate Yankee

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