Pat Roberts Accidentally Sabotages McCain

2 comments June 5th, 2008at 06:38pm Posted by Eli

Hey, remember this?

The [Senate] Intelligence Committee began a comprehensive investigation nearly five years ago. Initially, the committee was prepared to release one authoritative document on the Iraq intelligence, what it said, and how it was handled. With the 2004 presidential election looming, then-Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) split the report in two — one on how wrong the intelligence community and agencies were (released before the ‘04 election) and another on how the White House used/misused/abused the available information (to be released after the ‘04 election).

Roberts played fast and loose for years. First he said publicly that he’d “try” to have Phase II available to the public before the 2004 election. He didn’t. Roberts then gave his word, in writing, that members of the Senate Intelligence Committee would have a draft report on controversial “public statements” from administration officials by April 2006. That didn’t happen, either. Then he indicated that he wanted to give up on the second part of the investigation altogether. (In January, we learned that the investigation was impeded by the Vice President.)

Well, it finally came out, and it pretty much confirmed what most reality-based people already believed:

[Y]ou’ll never guess what investigators found.

A long-awaited Senate Select Intelligence Committee report made public Thursday concludes that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney made public statements to promote an invasion of Iraq that they knew at the time were not supported by available intelligence.

In a statement, Intelligence Committee Chairman John Rockefeller (D- W. Va.) said, “There is no question we all relied on flawed intelligence. But, there is a fundamental difference between relying on incorrect intelligence and deliberately painting a picture to the American people that you know is not fully accurate.”

Key points from the report, by way of Rockefeller’s office:

* Statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa’ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa’ida with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.

* Statements by the President and the Vice President indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information.

* Statements by President Bush and Vice President Cheney regarding the postwar situation in Iraq, in terms of the political, security, and economic, did not reflect the concerns and uncertainties expressed in the intelligence products.

* Statements by the President and Vice President prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq’s chemical weapons production capability and activities did not reflect the intelligence community’s uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing.

* The Secretary of Defense’s statement that the Iraqi government operated underground WMD facilities that were not vulnerable to conventional airstrikes because they were underground and deeply buried was not substantiated by available intelligence information.

* The Intelligence Community did not confirm that Muhammad Atta met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in 2001 as the Vice President repeatedly claimed.

To this day, Still-President Bush will talk about his obviously false pre-war claims in the context of mistaken intelligence, which “everybody” believed at the time. But this long-overdue report is a reminder of just how wrong the Bush defense is — he (and his team) weren’t fooled by errors, they fooled others with arguments they knew had no foundation in fact.

Now here’s the beauty part:

And then, of course, there’s John McCain, who’s running on his national security expertise and judgment on military matters, who bought every line Bush told him, then parroted it to the nation. Worse, McCain has assured voters that “every [intelligence] assessment” justified the 2003 invasion. Today reminds us how wrong this is.

Or as Joe at Americablog puts it:

Republican Senators fought very hard to prevent the release of this intel report back in 2004 to insure Bush’s re-election. And, they wouldn’t release this report back in 2006 to protect their own re-elections. All that delay has resulted in the release of this report in 2008 — leaving John McCain to defend the Bush Iraq war agenda. In some ways, it was worth the wait.

This report makes the illegitimacy of the Iraq invasion even more mainstream and “official” (as opposed to being something that can be dismissed as a dirty hippie conspiracy theory), and makes McCain’s claim that “every assessment” justified it even more untenable.  I wonder if he’ll keep saying that – I hope he does.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Elections,Iraq,McCain,Politics,Republicans,War


  • 1. Cujo359  |  June 6th, 2008 at 3:48 am

    No, I’ve decided that it wasn’t worth the wait. The only thing positive I can think to say about this is that at least it’s finally affecting some of the people responsible.

    We’re about five years past timely on this.

  • 2. charley  |  June 6th, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    OMG! you mean they fuck’n lied.

    no, it was not worth the wait. as i told that little 22 year old hottie at the wings bar in 04 when she indicated her intention to vote bush, “you know, he’s already done a lot of damage.”

    i hope she remembers that.

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