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November 1, 2005

Breaking News - Dems Shut Down Senate

-- by Dave Johnson

The Democrats have shut down the Senate, demanding to know what happened to the promise to investigate how intelligence was used or misused leading up to the Iraq war. Turn on your TV.

They have used a special rule allowing them to call for the Senate to go into secret closed session.

Update - The Dems have said that they will continue to shut down the Senate EVERY SINGLE DAY until the Republicans agree to allow investigation how we got into the war. (Note - Every channel I turn to has Republicans on, explaining how terrible this all is and how it is bad for the country and how the Democrats are under the control of leftists, etc. Not a single Democrat on any cable network.)

Update - DEMS IMMEDIATELY WIN - there will be an investigation! More coming soon.

Senator Reid has issued a statement. (I am adding emphasis at key points) This may be the strongest statement I have read from a national leader.

Statement by Senator Reid
Troops and Security First
This past weekend, we witnessed the indictment of the 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:

o How did the Bush Administration assemble its case for war against Iraq?
o Who did Bush Administration officials listen to and who did they ignore?
o How did senior Administration officials manipulate or manufacture intelligence presented to the Congress and the American people?
o 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?
o How did the Administration coordinate its efforts to attack individuals who dared to challenge the Administration’s assertions?
o 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.

Posted by Dave Johnson at November 1, 2005 12:09 PM

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Comments

Exactly what I expect from a criminally corrupt idiot like Reid: complete lies.

Posted by: Pericles at November 1, 2005 12:23 PM

"Exactly what I expect from a criminally corrupt idiot like Reid: complete lies."

Exactly what I would expect from a troll: An unspecific, general dismissal of dissent. How about you pick 3 things that Harry Reid says here that you think are lies, and we can try to substantiate them. (Note: you must pick things which at least theoretically have a truth/falsehood value. No picking "Our troops and the American people have sacrificed too much." since that is a non-falsifiable opinion.)

Posted by: Adam at November 1, 2005 1:15 PM

Re-printed on Phillybits with credit given. Thank you for posting this!

Posted by: Phillybits at November 1, 2005 1:28 PM

Give 'em hell, Harry!

Posted by: Gerald W. Bergevin at November 1, 2005 1:34 PM

"How about you pick 3 things that Harry Reid says here that you think are lies, and we can try to substantiate them."

Better yet, how about he substantiates his description of Harry Reid as "a criminally corrupt idiot". If he can provide evidence (with links to a site outside the Noise Machine) for even one of those assertions, I'll be impressed. If he can demonstrate two of them, I'll spot him the third.

Posted by: Captain Slack at November 1, 2005 1:37 PM

Ah, at last someone in congress speaks up in unequivocal language: the Republic is tody ruled by thugs and punks, ruled like some banana republic in the 1950s. Yes, ruled, not governed.

Posted by: Quentin at November 1, 2005 1:46 PM

Is this for real? Good luck guys.

Here's hoping the US can start to sort out the horrible mess it's in with the pirate crew running the White House.

-Adept: Finland, EU

Posted by: Adept at November 1, 2005 1:46 PM

By the way, Pericles was also the name of the lying politician who seduced Athens into an imperial war to impose democracy on the Greek world, which led to the ruin of Athens and the extinction of democracy. Yet we still regard him as a great man because his "motives" were good.

Posted by: super390 at November 1, 2005 1:49 PM

Wow- is this nation actually waking up now or what?

Posted by: elendil at November 1, 2005 2:19 PM

Reid really uncovered their rotten lying poisonous core to the light of day, or else Frist wouldn't have had such a violent hissy fit. In typical Repugnant fashion, which means thinking, caring, and talking only about themselves 24/7, Frist was clearly describing himself and his party when he shrieked out, "The United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership. They have no convictions, they have no principles, they have no ideas."

As old Willy the Shake so truthfully put it so long ago when describing other evil murderous throne-robbers, "Me thinks the lady doth protest too much." And just like the MacBeths, Frist and his thugs are about to get their deceitful lying asses stomped shitless by the forces of truth.

Posted by: King Pleasure at November 1, 2005 2:30 PM

It's about time we questioned the Christ-posturing virtue-whores (aka GOP -- God's Ominous Politicians) and their non-enlisting, armchair "silk stocking patriots". It's tough for Frankenchrist (Bush Lite) to control the story without a horde of male hookers in the press room. Sic semper tyrannis! (PS: This doesn't mean the scaredy-cat Dems who gave Bush a blank check to slaughter our children are off the hook the either.) The Senate is the new Falluja! Mission Accomplished indeed! Stick it to those bastards. No prisoners. Mercy to no one!

Posted by: Lee Harvey Booth at November 1, 2005 2:34 PM

This may well be the day, behind the week, that the administration finally gets its due justice. And one other thing, behind the Frist statement: That is nothing, if not the pot calling the kettle black. How much hypocrisy can you stand!!!!!????
Give em hell Harry?

Posted by: Michael at November 1, 2005 2:41 PM

Message to Republicans and other NAZI pscyhophants:

YOU were wrong.

By now everyone in the world KNOWS IT - but you.

2000 Americans are dead now, because of your lies.

15,000 Americans are now maimed, because of your lies.

Are you going to stand up and take what's coming like adults?

OR will you continue to lie, weasel. dissemble and whine a little bitches?

Posted by: Anonymous at November 1, 2005 2:45 PM

Message to Republicans and other NAZI pscyhophants:

YOU were wrong.

By now everyone in the world KNOWS IT - but you.

2000 Americans are dead now, because of your lies.

15,000 Americans are now maimed, because of your lies.

Are you going to stand up and take what's coming like adults?

OR will you continue to lie, weasel. dissemble and whine LIKE little bitches?

Posted by: Anonymous at November 1, 2005 2:46 PM

Pericles - you are not.
Better you be called sycophant of Alcibiades (nephew of Pericles).

“The devastating war with Sparta caused such irreparable damage that the city of Athens finally lost its independence in 338 BC, when Philip II of Macedonia conquered the Greeks and subjected them to his supremacy. The classical period of Athens came to its end.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Pericles

This is the moment that the founders created the Senate, to protect the union from the incompetence and the corruption that brought down the Greek Democracy.

Reid is fulfilling his duty, while you who calls himself Pericles, perpetuates the deception as a sycophant of would.

Posted by: Solon at November 1, 2005 2:52 PM

Holy Shit!!! If the boy had a speech like that in his pocket, what the hell did he wait for?? Is this in repsonse to the Big Dog's call for balls? Regardless, this is meat to the hungry masses yearning for democratic sustenance.

((LHB, I am so stealing that "Frankenchrist" monicker for Bush and Gawd only knows how many others!))

CAFKIA

Posted by: CAFKIA at November 1, 2005 3:16 PM

Harry Reid has just earned my respect for the moment. How long do you think it will be before they start changing the Senate rules and when will the next terrorist attack take place to take the focus off of the Senate's closed doors and give the American people another thing to forget about? don't mean to be a pessismist but I just can't help myself. Let's hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: lizbitchwitch at November 1, 2005 3:18 PM

... Bravo , Solon - So pointedly to-the-point ! Did y'all see Frist-a-fist on the CNN cameras , dramatically catch his breath this afternoon , after Reid put " A slap across my ( Frist ) face " ? I thought for a moment , he might swoon into his flunkies arms ! Oh , Tara - he's going home to Tara , and then he'll think about it tomorrow ! ... ;)

Posted by: CynAnne at November 1, 2005 4:51 PM

Ding Dong The witch is dead!and the emporor wears no clothes! WHOO HOOO! Take that you neocon scum!

Posted by: KawValleyKid at November 1, 2005 6:20 PM

"Oh , Tara - he's going home to Tara , and then he'll think about it tomorrow ! ..."

Because...Tomorrow Is Another Day!

Posted by: Anonymous at November 1, 2005 6:39 PM

FEAR,that got the obtuse folks supporting these scums in Washington.The 9/11 WTC caper was all planned and homegrown in USA and help from MOSSAD.
Try this other sinister motive that occured and forgotten--Anthrax fear--mailing of infected anthrax--black folks died and only sent to Democrats--wonderful inside WH job--scare the GEBEE's of the democrats---those dirty Arabs--using Anthrax.
Last week, the armyUSA, placed an order for 600lbs of Anthrax---WHAT FOR?-- Maybe 4 Fitzpatrick or another mail order from Iran

Posted by: archers at November 1, 2005 7:19 PM

"what the hell did he wait for?? "


Timing.


1) the Libby indictment opened the door a crack; Reid forced his way through after that.


2) It's a great counter-move. Alito's nomination was the White House's attempt to get Libby's indictment and the whole fantasy WMD story off the front pages; Reid forced it back on, and widened the story from just the Plame outing to a full out story about the lies.

Posted by: ArC at November 1, 2005 8:21 PM

Dear Solon,

You have put your finger on the perfect response.

Posted by: TJ at November 1, 2005 8:21 PM


Anonymous wrote:
:2000 Americans are dead now, because of your lies.
:
:15,000 Americans are now maimed, because of your :lies.

All true, but how shallow and arrogant are you guys?? Don't you think the fact that _your_ invading soldiers have killed hundreads of thousands of Iraqis?

A life is a life, and the life of a civilian or a soldier defending his country weighs a lot more in the balanse than that of an invading soldier.

Think about that for a moment.

-Adept: Finland, EU

Posted by: Adept at November 2, 2005 6:53 AM

Dear Adept,

I am glad you mentioned what so many do not.

While folks from the US constantly drone on about their own troop losses, they VERY rarely even hint, at how many innocents they have put in the ground...because of a pack of lies!

The many, many, many thousands of innocent Iraqis who have been slaughtered by this US led attrocity!

They have invaded a sovereign nation based on lies! They have destroyed that country one family at a time, based on lies. They continue to slaughter thousands of innocents, whom they choose to label as insurgents, based on lies. They continue to occupy that nation based on lies! They prepare to do the same all over again in Syria, and Iran...based on yet another pack of lies.

Even as we debate this on the internet, the US is killing innocents based on their lies!

I am glad to see that some folks in the US are starting to wake up...a bit late but better late than never.

Stand up to the criminals who have hijacked your country.

Posted by: Mike Shepherd at November 2, 2005 7:23 AM

"...killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis"

Thank you, Adept, I was going to point this out but you beat me to it. It is clear to me that nothing fundamental is going to change in the United States in the short term, as the arrogance seems to run incredibly deep. The United States expects everyone to follow the rules except for... the United States, of course. I hope I don't need to list all the international agreements the U.S. ignores or blatantly defies - hopefully the readers here are aware of at least a few of them.

I'll point out one other hypocrisy that should be self-evident but no one seems to raise: the United States has the world's largest collection of "WMD"s.

Oh, but you can trust them, they're the good guys. They would never hurt anyone without good cause. (That's sarcasm, just in case you missed it!)

Posted by: justzisguy at November 2, 2005 7:32 AM

I am concerned and a bit embarrased reguarding our leadership on BOTH sides of the isle. When they first mentioned the invasion of Iraq, I saw another Vietnam coming. I was a Marine there. Was everyone else asleep during that era?

Posted by: PRsings at November 2, 2005 8:22 AM

Yes, what took place on yesterday was good but why after Sheehan and Patrick Fitzgerald, did these Dems now find the cajones to move?

Was it because of what Fitzgerald would further expose down the road and these Dems figure they finally better junp on board before eyebrows are raised. Sadly, I believe so.

and if you truly want to get to the bottom of Iraq, try going back to 'Gulf War' times and that whole scenario and not just post 9/11 stage performances.

The US government is Terror State Numero Uno

Posted by: John Ryder at November 2, 2005 8:44 AM

I would like to point out to the rest of the world that my country was hijacked. The American people did not elect this man and I believe he was only re-elected because folks were afraid of changing regimes in the midst of a war.

We were lied to yes, but the reality is that we (the everyman American) can no more control our country than any other commoner in any other country. The business/political machine runs the show here while I am a captive in the day to day struggle of surviving. I have bills to pay so I work, no amount of marching and protesting will change anything and so I distract myself from things I have no control over so that I can get out of bed in the morning.

All I have is the hope that eventually the movers and shakers of this world will come to their senses before American falls.

I am thrilled to see someone who has a hope of maybe eliciting change step forward but I suspect it is more likely a ploy to gain power for powers sake and not out of any real rightous indignation.

I have no faith in the system and the country has grown so large that I as a citizen have no power to effect change.

People in the rest of the world like to believe Americans control their government to that I say:

Do you really believe that we would still have no national health care, a retirement system in crisis because the fat cats in Washinton have been stealing from it, and an idiot in the Whitehouse if we had any control. Get real. I just hope they don't blow up the world in my lifetime (or if they do I don't survive).

Have pity on those of us living under tyranny.

BTW~before I am attacked by some troll and told to "shut up or get out" I would like to point out that such an attack (as well as the "if you oppose the war you are demeaning the sacrifice of the American solder" argument) only goes to ratify my statements above. If I live in a free democracy I have a right to speak my perspective, if I don't why then I am correct now aren't I.

Besides, like the rest of America I live paycheck to paycheck, where am I gonna go?

Posted by: alian at November 2, 2005 8:52 AM

For the writer who says Reid is corrupt, can you please list those activities in which he has been proven to be corrupt? Has he been indicted or investigated for lying under oath, laundering money through the DNC, using insider trader information to avoid losing money personally, outing a covert CIA agent, taking illegal drugs, or awarding non bid contracts illegally to former employers? Or someting else? I would really like to know so I can judge him (if I have that freedom) fairly.

Posted by: Kelly at November 2, 2005 11:32 AM

I would simply say to those who think America has been asleep, that your statement is only partly accurate. There are many of us who have been wide awake this entire journey. Who have been speaking up and acting out, giving to charities and to polical parties to affect change.

Unfortunately, we are not in the majority, and so it is the act of working with others along the political spectrum and who have different concerns from day to day that has been the work we've had to do. The Republican Fascist propaganda has been successful because it has been so hard for average Americans to believe that it could be true in "the land of the free and home of the brave." We are a deeply idealistic people, but this can lead to blind partriotism... and that has been what has taken so long to influence.

In the end, the work of the humanist is to reach across the isle even to those on the far extreme and build a common ground. So, while I am relieved and thrilled to see the Senate make its move, I'd would say that it is easy, very easy to throw stones with regards to it being better late than never, etc... We all love to create an Other that we can villify, Republicans, Democrats, Americans, Fins, etc... But in the end, we're all us, and this approach is not the best. I wouldn't say this is a refuting of your statements, because god knows if I could kick our ass myself to have righted this ship, I certainly would have. But, rather that it's much more complex than your statements indicate, and that it is very easy for facsist to take control of a country; it always begins with statements identifying the Other. Just food for thought, I don't make claims to understanding it all. With Respects, Alan

Posted by: Alan at November 2, 2005 11:40 AM

I'm sorry about the harshness of the comment above. It's just something I we all should remember.

I could talk about he Uranium weapons used, and how that is adding up to an even more monsterous crime, but most people here propably wouldn't take me seriously on that.

I'll just say this. The people of US have always been proud of how independent and free they are, and boasted about their right to bear weapons as a safeguard against a corrupt government.

So how come, now that the chips are down, you guys are such sheep? If a government in Finland, Norway, Sweden or anyplace here in Scandinavia would try to pull what the Bush-co has pulled, the people wouldn't stand for it. Kick the bastards out. By legal means if they work, and by an armed and angry mob if you need to.

There are corrupt sociopaths at the helm of the US of A. I wouldn't stand for that in my country, and I don't think grandparent's who fought to keep our independense from Stalin in WW-II would stand for such either.

Regain your freedom and your human spirit, people of US! I wish you luck.

-Adept: Finland, EU

Posted by: Adept at November 2, 2005 2:57 PM

Yeah, you are absolutely right. And absolutely right to call it out. Regarding armed rebellion, well first you have to identify the enemy, and it's not so easy to do. For example, my father is a Republican. I wouldn't have felt too good shooting him. For a time he supported the Republican administration. He no longer does. But it took time for that shift to happen, and this is common with his fellow party members. Taking up arms to route the rot would not have achieved this same transformation, unfortunately in the iterim there has been a great deal of needless suffering. And that is the real crime. But you can't force someone to believe something if they do not want to, especially with violence. You have to try and influence them, and do it with standing up for what you believe in and offering the other cheek so to speak. I think the thing that troubles me the most about this whole experience is knowing the affects of spin and propaganda. It's pretty frightening how it can shape opinions and policy. What was great about Reid's manuever is that it grabbed the media spotlight right at the correct moment. Which is the whole point here... and the big relief. Enough said.

No offense taken and your support of our common ideals is much appreciated. Cheers from across the pond.

Posted by: Alan at November 2, 2005 4:31 PM

Thank God, no pun intended, that someone is finally standing up to these thugs in the White House. With the press sitting on its hands and the Dems, with all do respect to Mr. Reid, doing the same for most of the Bush administration, its about time that some momentum be created for exposing the truth about the criminals in the White House. These guys make Richard Nixon look like Gerarld Ford. Thank you Senator Reid. Please don't stop until you get to the bottom of this cesspool. And thank you President Carter for having the courage to speak up and defend the fundamental values of our great country.

Posted by: Bob Cardelli at November 7, 2005 8:13 AM

Does everyone stare when you walk down the street?

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