We’ve all been wondering if it’s stupidity or incompetence that led Democrats to claim they were “misled” regarding the prewar intel, or if they’re just being dishonest about it all after the fact, or just what.
Well, now we know.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.), who is leading a spurious Democratic campaign that alleges President Bush misled the country into war, admitted last week that he did not read the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs that Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet prepared in 2002 at the request of Senate Democrats specifically so Congress would have up-to-date intelligence as it debated whether to authorize the Iraq war.
The NIE was delivered to Congress at the beginning of October 2002, and Reid voted on Oct. 11, 2002, in favor of authorizing the war.
The NIE concluded that Saddam Hussein’s regime was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program and possessed chemical and biological weapons (see story by Terence Jeffrey earlier this week).
Reid locked the Senate into a controversial closed session three weeks ago to demand accountability on prewar intelligence, but it turns out he did not bother in 2002 to thoroughly familiarize himself with what the U.S. Intelligence Community was saying about Iraq in the run-up to his own pro-war vote.
In an April 7, 2004, article by Dana Priest, the Washington Post reported that few members of Congress read the full 92-page October 2002 NIE. “No more than six senators and a handful of House members read beyond the five-page National Intelligence Estimate executive summary, according to several congressional aides responsible for safeguarding the classified material,” the Post said.
On the November 13 edition of “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D.-W.Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told host Chris Wallace, “There were only six people in the Senate who did [read the NIE], and I was one of them.” Rockefeller said he was “sure” that Intelligence Chairman Pat Roberts (R.-Kan.) had also read it.
Incompetent, irresponsible, and entirely pathetic. 92 pages. They couldn’t be bothered to peruse 92 friggin’ pages before voting on whether to go to war or not. And now they want to blame Bush for their nonchalance and inadequacy. I’d be willing to bet that better than half of them either slept through or skipped out entirely on any briefings on the material that might have been offered as well.
Just about every Democrat currently “serving” in Congress damned well ought to be impeached or recalled. And after this stunning revelation, they damned well ought to shut the hell up and stay the hell out of the way while the adults in charge go ahead with their plans to win this war.
You were “lied to,” Senator Reid? How could you possibly know when YOU WEREN’T EVEN PAYING ATTENTION, you bumbling, blithering idiot?
The sheer gall of these hypocritical mental and moral pygmies is staggering. And this, from the party of Harry “The buck stops here” Truman. It’s a disgrace.