Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Senator gave advance warning on Iraq war to foreign powers?

The story of Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday shredding Senator Jay Rockefeller over his backpedalling on his vote to authorize the Iraq invasion is making the rounds of the blogosphere, and well it should. The Senator was quite clear long before the invasion was launched that he considered Saddam Hussein:

  1. A threat

  2. Possessed of WMD

  3. A key supporter of international terror groups

  4. In flagrant violation of both his Gulf War cease-fire agreement and numerous UN resolutions

  5. ...and...
  6. A valid target for action in the face of his failure to comply with that agreement or the resolutions


Chris Wallace did what journalists are supposed to do and held the Senator's feet to the fire over his attempts to now re-write history on what he said and why he voted the way he did. Rockefeller can't even rely on the "Bush Lied" lie since he was privy to intel as good or better than the President's Brief on the matters of the day. This is commented upon very well by the blogs I've linked and others they link. That's not the issue I have with the Senator's remarks. Take note of this exchange during that interview:

::::::::
WALLACE: Now, the President never said that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat. As you saw, you did say that. If anyone hyped the intelligence, isn't it Jay Rockefeller?

SEN. ROCKEFELLER: No. The — I mean, this question is asked a thousand times and I'll be happy to answer it a thousand times. I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq — that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11.
::::::::

Take a real good look at that comment. Senator Jay Rockefeller, vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has stated on international television that a year before the President's 2003 State of the Union address wherein the President discusses the possibility of invading Iraq, Senator Rockefeller revealed his assessment that the President was going to launch an invasion to 3 foreign powers. One of those was and remains on the Department of State's terrorism sponsor list and was absolutely an ally and friend of Saddam Hussein. This isn't some political activist shooting his mouth off. This isn't the head of an international relief organization tossing out a casual lie to get attention. This isn't some left-wing web site spouting off about stuff they have no credentials to know. This is a highly-placed Senator of the United States who is one of only 6 with access to one of the Nation's most highly classified intelligence briefs. When this guy says something, he's got the position and credentials to be very believable.

And he made that credibility available to the head of a state that is very reasonably considered an enemy of the United States.

Someone want to explain to me why there's no investigation going on about that? Why this Senator isn't being ordered - not asked, but ordered - to step down off the Committee while the investigation runs?

William Bennett of the National Review writes very eloquently on the subject and makes the same suggestion:

::::::::If Syria — or elements in Saudi Arabia — began acting on this information before we even went to war in Iraq (more than a year later), then Senator Rockefeller may have seriously harmed, impeded, and hindered our war efforts, our troops, and the entire operation in the Middle East. This should be investigated immediately; and perhaps Senator Rockefeller should step down from the Intelligence Committee until an investigation is complete.::::::::

Agreed.