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Martin Eden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 01:58 PM
Original message
Democrats scrap plans to look into WH manipulation of intelligence
published in Antiwar.com:

Democrats in Congress have abandoned their efforts to investigate the White House's use of questionable intelligence information about Iraq's alleged stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, saying the issue has been "eclipsed" by President Bush's request for $87 billion from Congress to continue funding the war.
<<snip>>
"We're past that," Helfert said, referring to the intelligence issue. "Those questions were eclipsed by the supplemental request by President Bush for $87 billion" to fund the Iraq war. "Congress is focusing on asking questions about the $87 billion, what it will be used for and whether it's worth it. It would be a good characterization to say that the intelligence questions on Iraq and how the President came to believe that it had weapons of mass destruction are no longer an issue."
<<snip>>
But here in the United States, it appears all but likely that Congress will never direct the same questions Parliament compelled Tony Blair to answer toward Bush. In his televised speech Sunday, Bush shifted his rationale for the war in Iraq, saying it was now the central front on the war on terror and less about weapons of mass destruction, which were the reasons he cited as starting the war in the first place.

Halfert, Congressman Obey's spokesman, said because there are now "cracks in Bush's armor" because of the tough questions he was asked about his use of intelligence, it will be easier for Democrats to ask even tougher questions about how the administration will spend the $87 billion to continue funding the war.
"These are now the important questions that have to be asked and answered," Halfert said.

To read the entire article:
http://www.antiwar.com/orig/leopold14.html

Antiwar.com invites comments to this article. This is what I sent:

By abandoning their efforts to investigate the White House's use of questionable intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, congressional Democrats have once again abandoned their responsibility to the citizens they represent.

Last October they abandoned their Constitutional responsibility in matters of war by ceding their authority to the president. Rather than fully debating the radical policy of preventive war or waiting for proof that Iraq was indeed an imminent threat, most Democrats chose the safer political course and supported the popular "wartime" president. They were trounced in the midterm elections anyway.

When the occupation of Iraq started to turn sour and chinks appeared Bush's political armor, Democrats finally began to raise serious questions. The Bush administration's pre-war claims about Iraq's weapons -- the primary rationale for the war -- have not only turned out to be false, but evidently based on deliberate manipulations of intelligence. If true, our rule of law demands that the president and those members of his administration responsible for these high crimes be impeached.

Our elected representatives have a responsibility to uphold the law, but apparently the Democrats have decided they have nothing to gain politically by pursuing the matter. They may be correct in their conclusion that initiating impeachment proceedings or even a formal investigation is impossible in the Republican-controlled Congress. However, their decision to no longer pursue the matter is wrong. It is a tacit endorsement of the illegal abuse of power that led to war, and it is a grave disservice to the American people and to the troops being sacrificed in Iraq.

The explanation that Congress must now focus on the president's request for $87 billion to fund the occupation is a weak excuse for neglecting responsibility. Don't hold your breath for any meaningful debate about the mission in Iraq or a rejection of the president's policies. Our treasury will continue to be drained in this misguided attempt to impose democracy on a Middle East hornets nest, while our own democracy suffers from abuse and neglect.

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BayCityProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. surprise surprise
:eyes: anyone who actually thought Bush would get in any trouble for this by the "opposition" was dreaming.
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grytpype Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. Don't despair.
The fact that the Idiot King lied us into this quagmire is not going away, and it will come up again and again as he sinks us deeper into it.
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Myra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Wow
If I still had the illusion that the Dems
were an opposition party to the fascists,
this would dispel it.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
4. two things to consider
first, the dems could only do so much anyway, since the republicans control Congress. I think their best hope was to damage Bush's credibility, which they did.

Then there's the fact that this story is about exactly one Congressperson at one point in time. Others could disagree with him, and things can change.

Just this week, Terry McAulliffe continued to call for investigations:

http://www.democrats.org/news/200309100002.html

"With every story of the Bush administration politicizing intelligence, America loses credibility with the rest of the world. With so many instances, it's difficult to believe that the Bush administration didn't engage in a systematic effort to mislead the American public about Iraq. A thorough investigation of the claims made by President Bush, the Vice President and others in the administration is long overdue," said McAuliffe.
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
5. How dare they!
"We're past that," Helfert said, referring to the intelligence issue. "Those questions were eclipsed by the supplemental request by President Bush for $87 billion"

So, let me get this straight: we'll question Dubya about the run-up to war, until and unless he asks for more money, at which time we'll stop asking questions about how we got into this mess to begin with?

Riigghht...
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