Consider the statements below. They are provided without attribution.
1. There has been some debate over how "imminent" a threat Iraq poses. I do believe that Iraq poses an imminent threat, but I also believe that after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated.
2. The fact that Zarqawi certainly is related to the death of the U.S. aid officer and that he is very close to bin Laden puts at rest, in fairly dramatic terms, that there is at least a substantial connection between Saddam and al Qaeda.
3. There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years.
4. In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.
5. I want to be real clear about the connection with terrorists. I've seen a lot of evidence on this. There are extensive contacts between Saddam Hussein's government and al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
6. The terrorist threat against America is all too clear. Thousands of terrorist operatives around the world would pay anything to get their hands on Saddam's arsenal, and there is every reason to believe that Saddam would turn his weapons over to these terrorists. No one can doubt that if the terrorists of September 11 had had weapons of mass destruction, they would have used them.
7. The question is not whether we will disarm Saddam Hussein of his weapons of mass destruction but how.
All of these statements are those of Senate Democrats. The first three were made by Jay Rockefeller, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The fourth, by Hillary Clinton. The fifth, by Joe Lieberman. The sixth, by John Edwards. The seventh, by Ted Kennedy. And the list could go on.
So, why would the Democrats want to open such inquiries when it was clear that everyone--Republican and Democrat alike--had the same intelligence and made almost identical statements about it in both the Clinton and Bush Adminsitrations?
Because they thought they could get away with pretending they never said such things. But they were thwarted by the Committee investigating pre-war intelligence because they planned to use a non-partisan/non-political method to analyze pre-war statements.
After the election, Democrats continued to push for the completion of Phase II of the Intelligence Committee's report. They have done very little to disguise their motives, insisting at every turn that the Bush administration "fictionalized" its case for war.
But the Republicans on the committee, led by chairman Roberts from Kansas, wanted to broaden the inquiry to cover the public statements made by members of Congress, including, potentially, the same Senate Democrats pushing hardest for the Phase II inquiry. Democrats, for reasons that will soon be clear, protested. Their objections grew more vehement when Roberts described how he intended to conduct the inquiry.
Roberts and his Republican staff collected public statements--about 500 in total--made by Bush administration policymakers, members of Congress, and former Clinton administration officials. The Democratic staff came up with the list of Bush administration statements; the Republicans gathered the rest. All of the statements were entered on a spreadsheet that put each public statement side-by-side with the underlying intelligence reporting that came closest to supporting it. Senators on the committee were then invited to evaluate the public statements to determine whether they were supported by the intelligence provided to policymakers. But for Democrats eager to demonstrate administration distortions, there was one catch: The statements were to be evaluated without attribution. That is, the claims would be assessed without any knowledge of who made them. Although the plan seemed like a reasonable way to take politics out of the evaluation process, the Democrats balked. For good reason.
Imagine the horror of having to evaluate a statement as to whether it was or wasn't supported by intelligence at the time and then discovering that you yourself made it!
And of course, why would anyone expect the Democrats to be reasonable? We may be at war against an enemy that has vowed to destroy our way of life, but that is insignificant compared to the all-consuming need to undermine Bush and Republicans and get even for the insult of losing elections in 2000 and 2004.
They see this only as an opportunity to bash Bush and increase their own power; not an opportunity to correct the faults in our intelligence agencies. Like any other virulently opportunistic infection, the Democrats will aggressively pursue their delusional agenda, no matter how much damage they cause. They have mutated into an opportunistic and toxic infection.
I would call it a panDEMic, and it is extremely deadly to the health of America.
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