"Majority Republicans in Congress brushed aside Democratic pleas for a formal investigation into the handling of intelligence on Iraq’s weapons programs, saying Wednesday that routine oversight should suffice. "
Sadly, this does not surprise me, but I have to ask the board: Is this simply the republicans covering their own, or is an oversight comity robust and influential enough to find any wrong doing?
Also, since the republicans control congress, what, if any thing, can the dems do to bring about a full scale investigation into the WMD fiasco?
It may circle around to bite the Republicans in the butt in Election '04 if the issue blossoms into an “Iraqgate”. The Republicans at the moment do not appear inclined to lance the boil growing atop the neck of their organism, though.
AHunter, I disagree. Honestly, I can’t see Democrats being able to make any hay out of this. After all, Iran-Contra didn’t significantly harm Bush the Elder. Granted, he wasn’t Reagan himself, but it was pretty clear in 1988 that Reagan’s popularity was responsible for a good percentage of the votes that Bush got, so I think it’s safe to say that if Reagan himself had been running for a third term in 1988 (were it possible) he would have won just as big.
There is a tendency in this country to trust the president on foreign policy issues, and allowing for an assumption that the president knows more than he can safely or realistically convey to the voter regarding intelligence from other countries. Barring a badly bungled war, what would sink an incumbent (either Pres. or VP) in the USA is a bad economy or mistrust on an issue where the public cannot be convinced that it doesn’t have all the facts (e.g., many voters deserting VPs Gore and Ford for their presidents’ scandals).
Thanks for the clarification, Shodan – I’d heard this story, and it seemed like another attempt to vilify “dem evil Republicans” – who can do a fair-to-middling job of embarrassing themselves without help!
Any idea why they’re “closed-door hearings”? My assumption would be that national security issues would be quite adequate justification, but that’s merely an educated guess, and if you or someone has hard knowledge on the reason, I’d like to hear it.
Wanting to know how open and accountable our government is? Just ask for a copy of the 911 probe… More ass covering if you ask me…
Oh and one other point, why can’t we declassify most of the intelligence on Iraq??? What sources are we protecting, and from what?!? We control the damn country. B4 the war, I can see some sense in not divulging sources and methods, but we “won” and all our ‘sources’ are probably reasonably safe.
Of course, if there’s no wrongdoing, there shouldn’t be anything to hide…
We could be protecting the locations/orbits of our spy satellites. We could be protecting intelligence sources working in OTHER COUNTRIES who were passing on info gathered about Iraq. Remember Jonathan Pollard? He was spying on the USA for Israel, but (at least some of) what he passed on to Israel was information about Iraq, information without which Israel’s destruction of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981 would not have been successful. But Pollard wasn’t based in Iraq. We could be protecting sources who remain amongst the Iraqi Shiites or Kurds.
That’s just some examples, and I’ll bet there’s more valid examples of intelligence sources that still need protecting as well.
I call bs to your examples. Spy satellites can be moved, also, radar can find them anyway. Also, by making public WMD info that the US had before the war would not endanger any operatives. How could it? One would hope that “more valid examples” are out there.
As for the closed door proceedings, why would they need to be closed door? Iran/Contra was still a physical mess in the world, and the hearings were open.
I vote that this move is nothing by ass covering also.
Example: Let’s say we have a highly-placed mole in an Iranian intelligence service. Stuff that he learned from Iranian intelligence was passed on to the US, which formed some of the basis for the Iraqi WMD claims. If the US goes public with this, the Iranians could hear of this and think, “hey, that was something we discovered. Who here had access to that info? We’d better purge the mole in our ranks.”