ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Harry Reid as Evil Knievel?

Perhaps he will be using a motorcycle to jump over the Grand Canyon, because apparently Harry Reid has a new profession as a stuntman:

Democrats claim that the Republican leadership had been dragging its feet on completing the so-called phase two of the Senate Intelligence Committee (search) investigation into pre-war intelligence, which the panel began working on in February 2004. They argued they had no choice but to bring a halt to Senate operations to highlight the probe's progress.

But Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (search) says he told Democrats on Monday that Republicans were ready to wrap up the most difficult part of the probe — looking at statements made by public officials about Iraq and seeing if they were justified by the available intelligence at the time.

"What has not been told by the Democrats, when they had the leadership meeting and went on this attack mode, is that we started this phase two investigation in February ... had a May 17 (2005) business meeting, they balked, and then there were several other provisions where we've had problems," Roberts told FOX News Wednesday.

Roberts said work has continued, and earlier this week his staff spoke with Democrat staffers to say they were going to wrap up work on the matter next week. "Next thing I know, we're getting blamed for dragging our feet. That is simply not the case."
[...]
The result of Tuesday's closed session was a deadline of Nov. 14 for six members of the Senate — three from each party — to assess the progress of the committee's investigation into pre-Iraq war intelligence.

The committee will also meet from Tuesday through Friday next week to review staff findings. Roberts said hoped to make the phase two report public when it was complete.

"What's going to be carried out in closing this phase two of the investigation had already been discussed by the Intelligence Committee with the timeline already set out for hearings next week and that's why they took this surprise tactic to shut down the place to get the headlines, which they were able to do," Frist said.
[...]
Republican Intelligence Committee staffers told FOX News that to compare the intelligence gathered from phase one to the statements made by officials in the lead-up to the war, they collected more than 250 comments by Republican officials. Then they took statements from 100 Democratic officials and took the names off of all the comments.

Republican staffers said they were then ready to present the statements to Democrats in May 2005, but the minority members on the committee objected to the anonymous nature of the comments. That backed up the discussion, the committee's GOP staff director said.

Roberts said he wanted to present a truly impartial look at statements that were made and what intelligence was available to those officials at the time they made their assessments. The chairman said from what they know now, there is no "there there."

But Democrats insist that they want to look at Republican administration statements to see if the intelligence assessments were used for political advantage and manipulated to justify war.

Well, great political maneuvering, Harry.... The Kossacks and DUers are all atwitter. However, the folks in Peoria are looking at you and wondering "Why are they so unhinged?"

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler