Senate Intelligence Committee Probe on Pre-War Intelligence Stalls

For eight months, The Boston Globe is reporting, “the Senate Intelligence Committee has made little effort to pursue its long-promised probe into whether the Bush administration intentionally misconstrued intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war — an investigation that would have delved into whether White House aides tried to put pressure on CIA analysts.”

Last year, Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee vowed “that soon after the presidential election was over, his panel would examine whether Bush or his top aides misled the public about prewar intelligence, or pressured CIA agents to make a stronger case for invading Iraq.”

But since then, the Intelligence Committee has made no measurable progress on the investigation. Instead, Roberts has offered vague public promises of picking up the key pieces of the probe at some point but has warned that other more pressing matters must be dealt with first.

Senator John D. Rockefeller, Ranking Member of the committee, suspects political motivation from congressional Republicans who want to shield the administration.

”The chairman has declared firmly that it will be done,” said Rockefeller, Democrat of West Virginia. ”I always think there’s a reluctance to do anything which might embarrass the administration. I think that’s been true since the beginning of all of this.”

The criminal investigation of an administration leak that revealed the identity of Valerie Plame has has highlighted the failure of the Senate Intel Committee to act on their investigation. The criminal investigation into PlameGate has implicated both Karl Rove and Lewis (Scooter) Libby, propelling Senate Democrats to call for a congressional hearing into the leak, including Rove’s and Libby’s involvement.

Though an investigation of the uses of prewar intelligence would not cover the leaking of Plame Wilson’s name — that occurred after the invasion of Iraq — it could shed light on whether members of the administration took other actions to suppress or discredit opposing views.

Roberts’ latest excuse in not moving forward with the investigation is “that committee members remain at odds over how to judge public prewar statements made by members of the Bush administration and Congress.”

Senator Rockefeller and other Democrats do not feel that “differing opinions on how to handle public statements” is a valid reason to hold up the investigation any further.

Senator John F. Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, said the fact that there has been no investigation of the misuse of intelligence means US policy may still be based on mistaken conclusions.

”A year and a half later, there’s still no report, no conclusions, no accountability for the mistakes, and no way to be sure they won’t be repeated,” said Kerry. ”This is just further evidence of a pattern by this White House and the Republicans in Congress to stop at nothing to discredit their critics and silence the tough questions before they get asked.”

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2 Responses to Senate Intelligence Committee Probe on Pre-War Intelligence Stalls

  1. blue (not nec D) in a red(neck) state says:

    Bite your tongue, Sen. Kerry! How dare you toss around words like “accountability” in reference to the divine omnipotence of the New American Taliban? While I am admittedly a distinctly non-religious person, I do have to say that in a very real sense, I hope that the believers are right, for one big reason: even if it means that I have to burn in Hell for all eternity, I hope there is a God so that at least in the afterlife there will be divine retribution, and maybe true justice will be done. It sure doesn’t look good here on Earth, at least not in the United States of the Neoconservatives. If I do burn in Hell, I can at least look forward to knowing that Bush, Rove, Libby, DeLay, Frist, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, et al ad nauseum will be getting their own taste of crispy-critterhood.

  2. Kira Zalan says:

    Our (gradually reduced) presence in Iraq will be required for the next five to ten years. There is a philosophy that militaries in democracies must adopt. A military force must understand itself to be a tool of the state, subjected to civilian power. The Iraqi military cannot be abandoned until we ensure that they have the necessary institutional ethos of protecting civilian power. An alternative to anarchy could also be a military coup by a self-perceived independent actor.

    On the other hand, it seems the media is getting bored with Bush’s resolve. The topic of a troop withdrawal may be just that – a way to stir the pot.

    I hope this isn’t just wishful thinking on my part. I hope there are people that understand the consequences of an early withdrawal, and will withstand the mounting pressure of shortsightedness.