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Roberts decries Bush Administration secrecy, sounds doubts about Iraq war

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Sen. Pat Roberts has been accused of being in the pocket of the Bush Administration when it comes to intelligence issues. Thursday, the Kansas Republican asserted his independence.[The New York Times][1] reports: _The Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee lashed out at the White House on Thursday, criticizing attempts by the Bush administration to keep secret parts of a report on the role Iraqi exiles played in building the case for war against Iraq.The chairman, Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, said his committee had completed the first two parts of its investigation of prewar intelligence. But he chastised the White House for efforts to classify most of the part that examines intelligence provided to the Bush administration by the Iraqi National Congress, an exile group."I have been disappointed by this administration's unwillingness to declassify material contained in these reports, material which I believe better informs the public, but that does not - I repeat, does not - jeopardize intelligence operations, sources and methods," Mr. Roberts said in a statement issued Thursday.__One completed section of the Senate report is said to be a harsh critique of how information from the Iraqi exile group made its way into intelligence community reports, said people who have read the report but spoke on condition of anonymity because it is still classified._On a separate but related front, Roberts joined Sen. Ted Kennedy in calling for a massive reassessment of the progress of the war in Iraq.[The Washington Post][2] reports: "Also yesterday, the Senate intelligence committee requested a new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. 'It's clear that current sectarian violence and increased militia attacks are endangering efforts to achieve stability in Iraq,' Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said in a statement."Nearly four years ago, the committee received an estimate that contended that Iraq had biological and chemical weapons in addition to an active nuclear weapons program."How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][3] [1]: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/04/world/middleeast/04intel.html?_r=1&oref=slogin [2]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/03/AR2006080300277_3.html [3]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

Comments

Shelby 8 years, 2 months ago

Guys, it's politics. Can you fault a politician for playing the political game?

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8 years, 2 months ago

I feel as though hell must have frozen over. I'm glad for it, though.

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ksmattfish 8 years, 2 months ago

Too little, too late, as usual.

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Mike Blur 8 years, 2 months ago

Two days after a shift to moderation in Kansas politics, Roberts begins to distance himself from Bushco. Any coincidence?

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Jamesaust 8 years, 2 months ago

I wouldn't be fooled. Several days after high profile criticism of Roberts' endless excuses, the Senator now seeks to shift some of that pressure off of him onto others - now, the White House. Its pretty clear that no report will be out pre-election, and the only way to guarantee a report is issued for certain before 2008 elections is to replace the Republican Committee Chairman with a Democrat Committee Chairman (which I doubt will happen).

After all, what could be more useless than a thorough explanation of exactly how and why the collective intelligence gathering and analysis of a half dozen government agencies managed to get the facts so wrong in Iraq? Its not like it would shed any light, for example, on how intelligence underestimated the extent of armament for Hezbollah in Lebanon or give us any insight into the inner-workings of the mad mullahs of Iran, would it?

{Query: is there a single Farsi speaking CIA agent in Iran today? We know that there was no CIA spy - Arab speaking or not - in Iraq pre-invasion.}

Note the connection to increased questions this week also about why an official National Intelligence Estimate for what we KNOW (as opposed to the Administration's rose-colored, pollyanish propaganda) about the CURRENT situation in Iraq hasn't been issued in years. Famously, of course, the last one - pre-invasion - was cobbled together in 2 weeks rather than a year or so and involved the rare event of Pres. Cheney - le roi Dick - camped out in the lobby of the CIA, pushing and probing analysts in their frantic assembly of data to look into various leading questions highlighted by known unrealiable, self-interested "sources" telling the cabal exactly what it so clearly wanted to hear.

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cutny 8 years, 2 months ago

Pot, Kettle, Black. Man, I didn't know Roberts had it in him, but the distancing from Bush is something they are all doing now that they see Lieberman about to take a fall for solidly sticking by Bush's war "strategy," without offering any criticism or questioning any of his methods. Oddly enough, I agree with every post so far.

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badger 8 years, 2 months ago

Though the book has its flaws, one of the best points to come out of T. Frank's "What's the Matter with Kansas?" is that Kansas often proves a harbinger for larger political change.

Perhaps the shift towards moderates earlier this week is an indicator that on a national level, the moderate Republicans may move to reclaim their party from the far right? I can't fault Roberts for a change in stance that gains him some advantage if the winds are indeed changing. Still don't like the man, but I think what he's doing is politically sensible.

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GOPConservative 8 years, 2 months ago

The fact that Bush and the other Neocons accepted lies from exiled Iraqi Shi'ites loyal to their Shi'ite brothers in Iran not only led to the failures in Iraq, it also gave Iran greater power in the region.

Iran wanted Saddam out of the way even more than Bush and was willing to give Bush false intelligence to get the United States to fight their war for them.

With the threat of Saddam gone, Iran has become a much more powerful force. Ultimately, with a 60% Shi'ite population, Iraq will become a sister Islamic State for Iran. Further, the rise of Hizballah and the current war with Israel are directly related to Iran's increased power caused when the Neocons accepted lies about Iraqi intelligence from Iranian loyalists.

Nearly 3,000 Americans soldiers are dead, 20,000 injured, 100,000 Iraqis are dead and about a million injured all due to the Bush Administration's poorly-planned rush to war based on fake intelligence given them by Iran.

Iran has a history of manipulating GOP leaders. How can we forget the deal Iran made with Reagan to not release the hostages until after he was in office so he could win the election, or how Reagan repaid them by secretely selling them illegal arms purchased with drug money.

You would think that leaders in our Party would wake up and quit letting Iran make fools of them, but the Iranians are obviously much smarter than folks like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Pearl, Rove, Bush, etc. Our GOP leadership in Washington continues to have a real blind spot when it comes to Iran.

Thankfully, a Republican from Kansas is finally speaking out and pointing out the stupidity of the Neocons when they trusted Iranian loyalists to supply intelligence.

American was played the fool once again by Iran. We fought Iran's war for them and paid for it with borrowed money from the commies in China. We helped two of our enemies (Iran and China) accomplish their goals while making most of our allies hate us in the process.

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Chris Tackett 8 years, 2 months ago

gopConservative: "Thankfully, a Republican from Kansas is finally speaking out and pointing out the stupidity of the Neocons"

yeah, thank god someone is FINALLY speaking out about this! I haven't heard anyone complaining about this for the past 3 years AT ALL!

On a less sarcastic note, you need to read up on Chalabi if you think American's were played the fool. BuchCo was told numerous times that the intelligence was false (Curveball, Chalabi, Iraqi Congress etc.) but they used it anyway. They knew it was false, but this (chaos in the middle east) is part of the neo-con plan. Go read "A Clean Break" the PNAC manifesto from 1996.

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bunnyhawk 8 years, 2 months ago

WAY too little and WAY too late.

It takes NO courage to jump from a sinking ship.

Please, Kansas, don't mistake Roberts' namby pamby talking out both sides of his mouth as leadership!

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sunflowerpower 8 years, 2 months ago

That is hysterical coming from Pat. Where was his vigilance prior to the war? He did nothing to ensure the intelligence was good before sending our men and women to die in Iraq. But he'll question the Bush Administration now that it's politically expedient. What a tool. And this is coming from a Republican. This guy calls himself an honorable marine, when in fact he's sour on the inside just like his dad.

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GOPConservative 8 years, 2 months ago

OnShakedown,

Don't get me wrong. I think Roberts has been complicit. Unless he runs against a very weak candidate, I doubt that I will ever vote for him again, but I do give him credit for finally telling the truth.

Sure, the knowledge of the Iraqi exiles' intentions were known in many circles, but we haven't heard many Republicans in Congress speak to this issue until now. I'm glad to see it.

Many of the Neocons knew the exiles' intelligence was false, but I'm giving Bush the benefit of the doubt that he was simply too stupid to see through Chalabi and the others.

It is likely that Bush was so caught up in enthusiasm for being a War President and having the power to suspend the Constitution that he talked himself into believing the claims were true.

Certainly, it should have been obvious to Bush that anyone representing the Shi'ites would probably have more loyalty to Iran than to the US, but we are talking about Bush, not an intelligent person.

Many people still trust Bush. Women trust him because he is cute. Men trust him because they grew up on John Wayne and want to believe that Bush is a real cowboy rather than a prissy rich kid pretending to be one.

Further, we have come to expect stupidity and incompetence from Bush and tolerate it even when it costs a trillion dollars and countless lives of both Americans and Iraqis.

So was Bush stupid or was he lying? Either way, the American people are the ones who were ultimately made fools once again by Iran. Not only were we made fools, but future generations will be paying interest to the commies for financing the Iraq War from now until many years after we finally quit electing fiscal liberals.

Nothing in the PNAC playbook is working out as planned. Having another "Pearl Harbor" was supposed to make the American People lie down and let the Neocons take away their rights. They are finding that more difficult than they expected.

Regime change in Iraq and instituting a government favorable to the Neocons was supposed to be a "slam dunk." That also turned out to be much more difficult than they expected.

Finally, they failed to realize that in creating a power vacuum by removing Saddam, Iran would emerge as the most powerful nation in the Middle East.

As I understood the Neocon's lame-brained PNAC plan, Iran was supposed to be so appreciative of our getting rid of Saddam that they would roll over and let the Neocons run their country.

The Neocons were naive, stupid, ill-prepared and obsessed with finding ways to pump money borrowed in our names into their corporations.

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grimpeur 8 years, 2 months ago

Sorry, Senator. You had a chance to do the right thing, but caved to Dick and George. Your credibility is with theirs--over there in the shiitecan. You "allowed" yourself to be played, and now you're passing on the favor to us? No, thanks.

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prioress 8 years, 2 months ago

"The Neocons were naive, stupid, ill-prepared and obsessed with finding ways to pump money borrowed in our names into their corporations."

Bingo! Read the new book by Kevin Phillips about the Bush Dynasty. Interesting and explains a lot of what's been going on. Roberts is just trying to save his ass.......too bad so many men and women lost theirs for the lies and the profits of BUSHCO.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/B000BNPGAU/102-7428819-1098509?v=search-inside&keywords=sometimes%20joining%20in%20singing#

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sunflowerpower 8 years, 2 months ago

Seriously, ask Pat his beliefs on anything controversial and he'll either wait until he votes to tell you or will simply never say. He is so in love with himself for being Intel Chairman that he let rose colored glasses of fame skew what was right.

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drewdun 8 years, 2 months ago

Uhh, don't you guys know that WMD's WERE found in Iraq? I mean, come on, Hannity has been saying it for weeks, and top Republicans (Santorum, King, etc) have said the same thing. Now I KNOW that good, God-fearing, conservative Republicans would NOT lie about something this important. In fact, Roberts probably didn't even say these blasphemous things - those 'quotes' are obviously the creation of some depraved, liberal media type, whose blatant hatred of Amerika is all-consuming.

(Actually, the only Republican worth respecting is Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. Check this out...)

http://www.journalstar.com/articles/2006/08/03/local/doc44d26d58d31c5993111065.txt

But then again, maybe this decorated war veteran wasn't so brave in combat after all; I mean he's come out against our Glorious Leader several times, which can mean only one thing: he's a closet liberal, he hates Amerika, and he's probably a coward who lied about his war experiences to earn medals. Boy, I just LOVE my new right-wing politics...I'm FINALLY seeing things as they REALLY are!

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rayikeo 8 years, 2 months ago

Vote Roberts out. We need someone who is not a Bush A$$ Kisser...

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xenophonschild 8 years, 2 months ago

GOP conservative:

Very good. I'm impressed. You're the logical face of your party the local contingent of neo-fascists idiots (rightthinker, conservativeman, 75x55) subconsciously want to be.

Iran is proving to be a potential mortal threat. When they acquire nuclear weapons capability, I feel they will use them . . . first against Israel. Our response will test our resolve.

I'm curious what the board thinks. If Iran initiates a nuclear attack on Israel, one so devastating that the Israelis are unable to respond, what should the United States do?

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jablester 8 years, 2 months ago

I have great admiration for Sen. Roberts....for his honesty, for his warmheartedness, and for his patriotism. I also had great admiration for his grandfather, the late John W. Roberts, former publisher of the Oskaloosa Independent. I suspect the Kansas primary election may have forced conservatives to see that Kansans are not all that different from other Americans. We do not like religious nut cases. We do not spend all our time worrying about abortion, stem cell research, sex education, imaginary predators, Darwin, life without condoms, whether gay people are all that different from the rest of the population, whether we need a theocracy, or if women should have the right to vote. We do not automatically cozy up to the rich in order to wage war on the poor. We do not turn away from massive corruption and government waste. We do not blindly accept a need for deficit spending. We do not especially trust the Halliburtons and Enrons of the world. Overturning the Constitution because of 9/11 will not play well in Topeka. Electing the President by intervention of the Supreme Court does not play well in America's heartland. We do not like the use of Scriptures for political purposes. We do not like the Iraq war, whether we live in Connecticut or Kansas or some other place. At this moment, Sen. Lieberman, an Iraq war supporter, is 13 points behind his opponent in the Democratic primary. Surely, this must tell us something. Sen. Roberts is both a good and a smart man; he would know when to distance himself from disaster.

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texburgh 8 years, 2 months ago

What a lovely day for Kansas this is. Connie Morris - gone; Iris Van Meter/Brad Patzer - gone; Jesse Hall - gone; Frank Miller - gone; Eric Carter - gone; Scott Schwab - gone; Kay O'Connor - dissed; Pat Roberts - panicked into making sense on Iraq! A British military fife corps was said to be playing "The World Turned Upside Down" at Yorktown as they surrendered. Anyone have the sheet music?

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sunflowerpower 8 years, 2 months ago

jablester:

Why didn't you say you had great respect for his father? Is it because he took a $10,000 bribe while he held office? Also, Pat is an ok guy for a politician. But he got elected on his family name, claims he's from Dodge City when he was born and bred in Hutchinson, and now can be lauded for opposing the WH -- but he only did that when it was politically safe. Where was he four years ago? He didn't question once. He was a loyal foot soldier. Why do you think the Republicans changed the rules so he could serve another term as chairman of the Intel Committee. Maybe it's because they new he wouldn't impede their ill-sought war. Maybe it's because he doesn't have the individuality to stand up in the face of opposition unless he knows it will be popular. And doing what is popular is not necessarily always the right thing to do. It's the easy thing to do and that's what Pat does.

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jablester 8 years, 2 months ago

Uh......I am not sure I have a good response. You are right, actually. His grandfather was a very good man, though. So was his grandmother. Really...

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sunflowerpower 8 years, 2 months ago

jablester,

I am sure they both were good people. I think Pat is a good man at heart, just not his own man when it comes to intelligence oversight. What his father did is unfortunate but in no way should reflect on the good work done by the Senator or his family.

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