Tuesday | June 10, 2003
WMDs: Who will tell the people?
Here's a start.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) calls for a "very thorough investigation into what happened that caused the president to go ahead and proceed with the war", preferably in joint (Intel + Armed Services) Senate committee hearings.
Uber-hawk Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) endorses Rockefeller's call for hearings, while expressing confidence "we will be able to make the case for conflict in Iraq". (Yoicks ... damning the war with faint praise?) McCain is in perfect position to start out loyal and hawkish, but swing around under the weight of evidence if it looks like Bush is going down.
The respective committee chairs -- Warner (R-VA), Roberts(R-KS) -- are less enthusiastic. They've got bases to touch, homework to do, reconnaissance to check out ... but they can't hold off the flood.
In addition to McCain, Rockefeller, Warner and Roberts, players of note on the committees in question include Democrats Levin (who has been has been more outspoken than most), Feinstein, Wyden, Durbin, Edwards, Kennedy, Byrd, Lieberman, Clinton, Nelson (FL), Bayh, Mikulski, plus lesser lights Reed, Akaka, and maverick Nelson (NE).
The GOP line-up includes stalwart party tools Hatch, Sessions, Lott, DeWine ... maverick/moderates Collins, Snowe, Hagel ... lesser lights Inhofe, Allard, Ensign, Bond and rookies Chambliss, Lindsey Graham, Dole, Talent and Cornyn.
Republicans will hold the gavel(s), but Democrats bring the sharpest investigative tools to the table (though the Hatch/Sessions tag team excels at deflective debate).
I'm curious how long Foreign Relations (Lugar, Chaffee and a roster of GOP dullards/rookies, plus Democrats Biden, Sarbanes, Dodd, Kerry, Feingold, Corzine, Boxer) will stay on the sidelines. And when will the House want a piece of the action?
The first investigation won't be the big investigation ... but each step sets the table for the next.
Update: And Sen. Roberts moves to block!
Intelligence Cmte. Chair Pat Roberts has made his own announcement, setting hearings on where the WMDs are now! This was an all-GOP affair ... not the usual bipartisan announcement of IC activity ... as Roberts declared he didn't wan't it to get "political".
Armed Services Cmte. Chair John Warner backs him up, saying Senate GOP leadership has determined it would be inappropriate to take the issue outside the normal committee structure ... and generally disparaging the very idea that something needs looking into.
This is good, too! It splits the GOP and make people pick sides, and the sides aren't "Bush Good or Bush Bad". The sides are "Face Facts or Play Games". That slants the playing field in our favor.
Roberts' gambit walks like an evasion, quacks like an evasion, and will be recognized as an evasion ... and the warm-up fight over getting to the table will ultimately draw more attention to the headline bout.
Update 2: Via Yahoo, AP coverage of GOP preference for "routine oversight". [thx, Citizen Able]
Roberts: "I will not allow the committee to be politicized". Heh. Roberts presents himself as a defender of the intelligence community ... most of which is dying for a fair hearing.
RonK, SeattlePosted June 10, 2003 01:23 PM | Comments (107)