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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Sunday, April 10, 2005

WMD Report: Senate Intelligence Committee Dems are in full see no evil mode

The second part of the report (the part dealing with the use of intelligence by the administration), postponed till after the election by bipartisan agreement, is stuck in the works.

Vice Chairman John D Rockefeller ('Jay' Rockefeller to his buddies), who made that agreement with Chairman Pat Roberts, is unperturbed at the length of time the second part is taking, according to the transcript of their joint Meet the Press appearance:
MR. RUSSERT: Will it be done?

SEN. ROCKEFELLER: I hope so. Pat and I have agreed to do it...

Game over.

He calls Roberts
my colleague and good friend Pat Roberts

Is that just Senatorial courtesy, in the Southern cavalier tradition with which that body is embued. Or does it betoken a lack of lust for the jugular? (Which I identify with that representative of the other sort of Southerner, Lyndon Johnson [1].)

When I looked at the SIC and the WMD intel investigation (or lack thereof) back at the end of 2003, it seemed clear that the Dem leadership on the Committee - Rockefeller in the van, presumably - was dragging its feet.

In particular, it was failing to exploit a provision in the Committee's rules in effect allowing the minority party's members to initiate investigations over the 'veto' of the Chairman.

It seemed then that things in the SIC were much too cozy to allow anything of the sort to happen [2]; the MtP transcript not exactly evidence of much change, so far as I can see.

  1. I somehow don't see Rockefeller as a guy whose pocket is full of severed peckers. My bad, no doubt.

  2. Though, I think, the provision was included in the rules (I believe, from the formation of the SIC in 1975 - around the time the Church Committee blasted the CIA for freelancing) deliberately to avoid a Chairman to do what Roberts has done: block a report which is bound to embarrassing to his party's occupant of the White House:
    Rule 6. Investigations

    No investigation shall be initiated by the Committee unless at least five members of the Committee have specifically requested the Chairman or the Vice Chairman to authorize such an investigation. Authorized investigations may be conducted by members of the Committee and/or designated Committee staff members.

    (Rules for all Senate committees for the 108th Congress here.

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