Senate Review of Iraq Intel Due in March: Does It Matter?

Asked by Uncivil:

Sometimes pardons absolve large groups of people, as when President Carter pardoned all Vietnam-era draft evaders the day after he took office. Cap Weinberger’s case is an interesting one because nobody knows exactly what he would have told had he been put under the microscope. He might have ratted out George H. W. Bush for complicity in the Iran-Contra scandal, or Bush may have wished to save an elderly friend an uncomfortable and pointless grilling in his declining years. Chances are we’ll never know for sure.

Sometimes it can get downright silly. Traditionally the President “pardons” a turkey at Thanksgiving. Of course, sometimes the turkey has to work hard for it.

Traditionally, the Senate takes its investigative duties very seriously, but as of late Congress as a whole has devolved into extreme partisan maneuvering. A lot of people say it goes back to 1985, when House Democrats refused to seat David McIntyre, but there is no question that it was taken to a new level when President Clinton was impeached.

Some people (rightly, in my opinion) accuse the maneuver of being a Republican motivated attempt to smear Bill Clinton for future political gain (which, as we can see, worked swimmingly), but even before the hearings were held I recall that a number of Senate Democrats said they would not vote in favor of impeachment, which is also a partisan dereliction of duty if you ask me.

Nevertheless, many Senate Members recall what happened the last time someone bullshitted our way into a war. And from my observations it is clear that Congress is always looking for ways to increase its power of oversight over the executive branch. They also realize that they have an important duty to convey an accurate assessment to the American people, and if that responsibility is shirked there is a good chance that someone will rat them out. Unlike our current executive branch, it’s damned near impossible to keep a secret for long in the Senate.

If Senate Republicans do try to get swanky about it, it’s almost entirely up to Ranking Member Jay Rockefeller (a direct heir of the Standard oil fortune) to blow the whistle, because he’s going to be the only Democrat in the world who has seen all of the evidence provided. That should prick up the ears of the conspiracy theorists, but I’m not too worried about it myself.

Did Cap Weinberger perform the same act on Bush Mk1? :wink:

I think partisanship is one of the biggest curses of democracy, because there seems to be so little to hold it in check. Still beats the hell out of living in a dictatorship of course.

Speaking of reports, has anyone noticed that the 9-11 Commission’s requested 60-day extension would push the date back to July 26?

The calendar is getting pretty crowded on that date, what with the Democratic National Convention opening on that day. I’ve also fearlessly predicted that the Friday before the 26th of July will be the day that the weapons of mass destruction are magically found.

I wonder… will Dennis Hastert suddenly cave in and allow a report exonerating the President to steal the convention coverage thunder? Or is some black-hearted Democrat stalling so that his party can get maximum impact?

Forgive me for the speculative hijack, but one thing a lot of us inside the Beltway have stopped believing in is coincidences.