Tuesday :: Jun 3, 2003

The Senate Will Hold Televised Hearings in June on Possible WMD Deceptions

by Steve

The Senate Armed Services and Intelligence Committees announced today that they will begin bipartisan inquiries into whether or not the intelligence agencies and the Bush Administration misled the country on their claims of Iraqi WMDs. Intriguingly enough, the CIA has already piped up to express its total cooperation for the inquiry.

Since John Warner of Virginia could have stonewalled this for at least several months to see how Tony Blair deals with similar challenges overseas, his willingness to move ahead with televised hearings at the end of this month is somewhat surprising. It is even more so because he knows the ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee gives every appearance of taking the gloves off and going after the president in the televised hearings.

In fact, some of Warner’s comments on the need for the inquiry sound downright problematic for the Bush Administration.

The trouble for this administration is that the grumblings have started coming from senior Republicans on Capitol Hill, not from Democrats who could be easily deflected by saying that they are playing "politics''. "Under my leadership of the Armed Services Committee... We're going to conduct a very thorough review and investigation'', remarked Senator John Warner, who also said that his Republican colleague on the Intelligence Committee, Senator Pat Roberts, will be doing the same thing. "And I guarantee you, this is one Senator that holds people accountable when we feel they have strayed from what is right. And I guarantee you that'll be done'', Mr. Warner, the Republican from Virginia, said on Sunday.

Now Warner could just be shrewdly getting a potential problem for Bush next year out in the open early so that no one will remember it next spring. But this is a gamble when Graham is on the committee. It is also a gamble that assumes the CIA does not do a CYA number on Rummy and Powell. And it also assumes that the calls for a similar inquiry in Britain against Tony Blair, which he heretofore is resisting, do not turn up proof of manipulated evidence or a coordinated campaign between Bush and Blair to deceive their governments towards war. If such evidence is turned up across the pond, it would keep this issue alive the remainder of the year and give it legs that Warner did not anticipate and Karl Rove does not want.

Steve :: 12:11 AM :: Comments (16) :: Digg It!