These are excerpts from Senate Minority leader Harry Reid's statement, when he demanded that his Republican colleagues exercise their oversight duties instead of serving as a rubber stamp for the most corrupt, incompetent, and destructive president in our history.
Reid then forced the Senate into a closed session to discuss investigating the lies that led to the Iraq War.
The only element missing from this that would make it perfect is demanding that they tell the American people WHY the Bush administration had such a hard on to invade Iraq, a discussion that would make future oil wars far more difficult.
But after five years of turning in D- work, I'm still going to celebrate this A- minus effort.
Take a minute to send Harry Reid a postcard (letters get slowed checking for bio terror crap), a fax, or email thanking him for trying to restart our democracy.
Reid, Harry- (D - NV)
528 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING
WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-7327 FAX
Web Form: reid.senate.gov/email_form.cfm
REID: NATIONAL SECURITY MUST COME BEFORE POLITICSFULL TEXT:
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Washington, D.C. – Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid delivered the following statement on the floor of the U.S. Senate calling for a secret session of the Senate.
“This past weekend, we witnessed the indictment of 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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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:
* How did the Bush Administration assemble its case for war against Iraq?
* Who did Bush Administration officials listen to and who did they ignore?
* How did senior Administration officials manipulate or manufacture intelligence presented to the Congress and the American people?
* 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?
* How did the Administration coordinate its efforts to attack individuals who dared to challenge the Administration’s assertions?
* Why has the Administration failed to provide Congress with the documents that will shed light on their misconduct and misstatements?
“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.”
DEMOCRACY NOW story on Reid's defibrililation of democracy in the Senate
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