Thursday, March 17, 2005

Flawed Intelligence, Flawed Senate

Spencer Ackerman notes in the New Republic that the Senate has decided to put questions about who was really responsible for the WMD intelligence failure on "the back burner".
Last July, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a 511-page report into how the intelligence community erroneously assessed Saddam Hussein's nonexistent weapons of mass production programs and relationship to Al Qaeda. However, it wasn't complete. Committee members opted to defer inquiry into the politically hazardous questions of how accurately the Bush administration represented the intelligence it possessed on Iraq to the Congress and the public and how appropriately administration policymakers influenced the assessment and presentation of intelligence products within the government until after the November election. Liberals especially have been waiting with bated breath ever since.

Today, Pat Roberts, the Senate intelligence committee chairman, told everyone not to bother. "It's basically on the back burner," Roberts said after a speech on intelligence reform at the Woodrow Wilson Center. "The bottom line is that [the administration] believed the intelligence, and the intelligence was wrong."

Wonderful, we had either a monumental failure of American Intelligence, or the Bush Administration was flat out lying to the American Public (obviously, this is what I have firmly believed for a long time). With the Administration making lots of noise about Iran and North Korea's attempts to obtain and/or build nuclear weapons, shouldn't this be a top National Security priority. Yes it should, and the fact that it is getting put on the back burner while the Senate spends its time selling our armed forces to credit card companies and our national treasures to oil companies speaks volumes about the Republican Party and its priorities.

How much longer can the Republican Party maintain the illusion of strength as they systematically weaken our nation?