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Roberts: Iraq exports terror

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Sen. Pat Roberts was on ["Fox News Sunday"][1] this weekend, once again defending his committee's progress on an investigation into whether the Bush Administration manipulated intelligence leading up to the Iraq war.Host Christ Wallace asked: "Let me ask you, Senator Roberts, and there's a big if there, but if the Bush administration - if there's any indication that the Bush administration misled this country into war, isn't that always a legitimate issue?"ROBERTS: "Of course it would be, but we've had our own investigation, the WMD inquiry, and the (inaudible) report in Britain and the WMD Commission all saying that there wasn't any manipulation or pressure."WALLACE: "But this is a different question. That's manipulation, getting the analysts to say something. This is the question of what they did with the evidence they had."ROBERTS: "Well, what they did with the evidence they had was the assumption that our national security was at stake and they went to war. Now that we learn that there was a worldwide intelligence failure, I think a lot of us would really stop and think a moment before we would ever vote for war or to go and take the military action."But a lot of this is a rehash of what we have done. I think the good news is that the intelligence committee on the Senate side with Jay (Rockefeller) and myself - we are united in purpose. We will finish the Phase II report. We have been working on that very issue, and so I..."WALLACE: "When are you going to finish it?"ROBERTS: "Well, we want to get it right. We started clear last December. February we had a lot of other things that were going on. We kept working on it. We have achieved agreement in the committee."And so we had hoped that we would do it, Jay, before we would leave the - you know, the session, but we all agreed last week let's get this thing right so that we can put the question that you raised to bed."[The Washington Post][2] finds another angle from Roberts' appearance: "The Republican chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said yesterday that one lesson of the faulty prewar intelligence on Iraq is that senators would take a hard look at intelligence before voting to go to war.""'I think a lot of us would really stop and think a moment before we would ever vote for war or to go and take military action,' Sen. Pat Roberts (Kan.) said on 'Fox News Sunday.'"'We don't accept this intelligence at face value anymore,' he added. 'We get into preemptive oversight and do digging in regards to our hard targets.'"In a separate appearance on CNN, Roberts made additional news, according to [The Washington Post:][3] "The Republican chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said Sunday that Iraq became the center of the war on terrorism after it was attacked by the U.S.-led coalition and that he now fears Iraq is exporting terrorism to other countries. 'I'm afraid we're going to see Iraq is not only the center of the war on terror, which it was not before we attacked Iraq, but now it is going to, I'm afraid, export it,' Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said during an appearance on CNN's Late Edition." [The Associated Press adds::][4] In Iraq itself, violence continues despite repeated large-scale operations to try to wipe out terror strongholds. And the insurgency shows a level of resilience and even a spare capacity to send forces abroad. 'It's like a franchise operation. You have second-generation jihadist groups all across the world,' Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said Sunday. The threat that al-Zarqawi will set up terror fronts beyond Iraq's borders is 'extremely serious.'"Other news and commentary today:Sam Brownback links[(Boston Globe commentary) Test of faith:][5] Kerry first introduced the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, or WRFA, in 1996-long before the Democratic Party started to worry about ''values'' voters-after two of his Catholic constituents were fired from their jobs because they refused to work on Christmas Eve. ... On Thursday, a House subcommittee held a hearing on the legislation for the first time in the bill's almost decade-long history, an indication of the renewed enthusiasm for WRFA on the part of its congressional sponsors, which now include other unusual pairings such as Republican Senator Sam Brownback and Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton.[(LA Times commentary)A historic opportunity:][6] USAID's report on its malaria funding didn't placate its Senate opponents, particularly because it was an extremely sloppy document, using only vague descriptions of project activities and numbers that didn't add up. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) responded with a bill requiring USAID to spend a majority of its malaria money on concrete interventions such as pesticide spraying, bed nets and drugs, and to improve its transparency.The bill never came to a vote, and it is languishing in the Senate. But it had an effect.Miscellaneous links[(LJWorld) Kansas politicians take issue with religious guidelines:][7] Three members of the Kansas congressional delegation are asking the Air Force to backtrack on new guidelines meant to protect servicemembers from religious harassment."Freedom of religion as protected in the U.S. Constitution does not require the removal of all religion from public settings," Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., said in an Oct. 31 letter to President Bush. U.S. Reps. Jim Ryun and Todd Tiahrt, also Kansas Republicans, signed onto a (similar) Oct. 11 letter to the Air Force secretary.How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][8] [1]: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,175433,00.html [2]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/13/AR2005111301131.html [3]: http://thedaily.washington.edu/news.lasso?-database=DailyWebSQL&-table=Articles&-response=wnpage.lasso&-keyField=Record_ID&-keyValue=14435&-search [4]: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/international/AP-Zarqawis-Widening-War.html [5]: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2005/11/13/test_of_faith/ [6]: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-ed-malfunds13nov13,0,5797208.story?coll=la-home-oped [7]: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/nov/14/kansas_politicians_take_issue_religious_guidelines/?politics [8]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

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