The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, November 13, 2003

The Senate Intelligence Committee memo caper: still no press pack

Last considered here on November 7, what should by now be the infamous memo on tactics drafted by an SIC minority hasn't yet got the mongrels slavering in numbers.

Dan Kennedy in the Boston Phoenix (November 13) is almost Pollyanna-ish:
Maybe the media are finally catching on.

Though, disappointingly, he only refers in the graf to Republican stunts - as if the Dems don't stunt as often as they think they can get away with it. Or oftener.

Hugh Hewitt (Hugh he? Ed) of the Standard (November 13) has more colourful suggestion:
The Democratic memo reveals that much of what the media has been focusing on for the past six months has been a set-up job...through this one memo, they have been revealed as nothing short of cynical political operatives. And the reporters who ran with their hints are revealed as breathless and easily manipulated amateurs.

The media has to ignore the memo because to focus on it would be to focus on their own gullibility.

It's a view.

Meanwhile, AP (November 13) and Cox News (November 12) have Chairman Pat Roberts determined to press ahead. Cox says
he still expects the results of an ongoing review of prewar intelligence to be completed by the end of the month.

"There's no reason why it shouldn't be," Roberts said. "We're about 90 percent finished the way it is now."

As discussed in earlier pieces here, the rules of the SIC allow for reports to be issued by fewer than all members. The GOP members can therefore issue a report in their name, and the Dems one in theirs. And the Dems have the option to start an entirely new investigation on the authority of Vice Chairman Jay Rockefeller.

One reason for the lack of coverage might be that - despite the joint Roberts-Rockefeller letter asking for more information from USG - neither side is too keen on bringing matters to a head right now. The leak might well have been to establish exactly that breakdown of bipartisanship which would give a reason (or excuse) for the GOP members to decide they had gone as far as they could.

And the Dems - as the memo says - can only pull the trigger once - and, if they do, it'll be sometime next year, and they don't want it feeling like old news.

Without the fertiliser of continual heavy spin, stories like the SIC memo soon die back: QED. (Or, at least, another view...)

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