Congress Begins To Take Up Constitutional Duty To Challenge Iraq Intelligence HoaxJuly 15, 2003 (EIRNS)In the wake of the revelations by former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson about his trip to Niger, and Lyndon LaRouche's high-profile webcast of July 2, activity among Congressmen on the question of the phony intelligence being used by the Chickenhawks to justify the Iraq war, has substantially increased. Some of this is aimed on target, at Vice President Dick Cheney.
On July 9, a press release from the Congressional office of Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said, "It is clear, that the time has come for a full and public investigation into the role the Vice President played in the lead-up to the war in Iraq." The title of the press release asks "What Else Was the Vice President Hiding? Vice President's Office Knew Niger Evidence Was Unreliable Almost a Year Before the State of the Union." Kucinich, who is seeking the Democratic Party Presidential nomination, is the Ranking Member on the Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, which could play a role in breaking open the Cheneygate story. Kucinich's press release also says, "The White House's admission that it cited false information to set this country on the path toward war erodes the credibility of the Administration. What is even more significant and disturbing is that the Vice President's office knew the evidence of Iraq's nuclear pprogram was unreliable.'
On July 10, Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey (D) and 15 other House Democrats who voted for the Iraq war, wrote to President Bush with a detailed list of questions on the Niger "yellow cake" fraud, beginning with how this got into the State of the Union address when it was known to be based on a forgery, and going on to quote Joe Wilson on the fact that Cheney triggered his, Wilson's trip, and that Wilson is "absolutely convinced" that Cheney got a report of it afterwards. Markey and the others ask, "What input did the Vice President have into your State of the Union speech? Did the Vice President's office receive one or more drafts of the speech prior to its delivery, and if so, when?" At the end, the Congressmen ask for the detailed intelligence underlying all of Bush's other claims of Iraq WMD, and whether that inteligence was erroneous. - Ongoing Investigations -
There are already several ongoing investigations into the intelligence failure, or hoax, around weapons of mass destruction, but they are slow, and behind-the-scenes. Both the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee are holding hearings, as is the House Intelligence Committee. It is reported that the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board has launched an inquiry as well.
In the estimate of knowledgeable professionals, such investigations could take months, if not more, to get to the bottom of the matter, or even to bring the principals to testify.
Senators Carl Levin of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, have both been outspoken in demanding more aggressive actions. On CNN's Sunday Talk show July 13, Levin called for a joint bipartisan investigation by the two committees, because American soldiers are still being killed because of the politicization of intelligence.
On July 15, Levin followed up with a statement on the floor of the Senate, in which he argued that the uranium statement was simply one of several questionable statements and exaggerations by Administration officials, and that the explanations being given, only raised more questions. Levin charged that the uranium statement was deliberately misleading, and went on to raise questions of other such statements, on matters ranging from aluminum tubes, to any Iraq-al Qaeda connection, nuclear reconstitution, to certainty that Iraq possess chemical and biological weapons, and mobile biological warfare labs, to White House website photos.
Levin concluded his statement with seven questions to be answered, concluding with one on Vice President Cheney's role in the "yellow cake" scandal.
While Republicans have played a much less aggressive role in pursuing the intelligence scandal, there is no question but that leading Republican Party figures are active behind the scenes.