Senator Bob Graham Puts the Lie to the Latest Republican Talking Point

Former Florida Senator and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who voted against the authorization for he illegal invasion of Iraq, points out, in Sunday’s Washington Post, that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Hadley, and their media propagandists are lying again, in their repeating the latest republican talking point that the 100 democratic congresspersons had access to the same intelligence to which did the Bush administration when voting to authorize the invasion.

May I also say what crap is Senator John Edward’s recent mea culpa. If Senator Graham and Vice-president Gore knew that the “intelligence” was cooked, then why did not Senators Edwards, Kerry, Clinton et al? I believe that the votes of Edwards, Kerry, Clinton, most of the other 100 democrats were driven by political calculation, as is Edwards phony mea culpa.

What I Knew Before the Invasion

By Bob Graham
Sunday, November 20, 2005

In the past week President Bush has twice attacked Democrats for being hypocrites on the Iraq war. “[M]ore than 100 Democrats in the House and Senate, who had access to the same intelligence, voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power,” he said.

The president’s attacks are outrageous. Yes, more than 100 Democrats voted to authorize him to take the nation to war. Most of them, though, like their Republican colleagues, did so in the legitimate belief that the president and his administration were truthful in their statements that Saddam Hussein was a gathering menace — that if Hussein was not disarmed, the smoking gun would become a mushroom cloud.

The president has undermined trust. No longer will the members of Congress be entitled to accept his veracity. Caveat emptor has become the word. Every member of Congress is on his or her own to determine the truth.

As chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, and the run-up to the Iraq war, I probably had as much access to the intelligence on which the war was predicated as any other member of Congress.

I, too, presumed the president was being truthful — until a series of events undercut that confidence.

In February 2002, after a briefing on the status of the war in Afghanistan, the commanding officer, Gen. Tommy Franks, told me the war was being compromised as specialized personnel and equipment were being shifted from Afghanistan to prepare for the war in Iraq — a war more than a year away. Even at this early date, the White House was signaling that the threat posed by Saddam Hussein was of such urgency that it had priority over the crushing of al Qaeda.

In the early fall of 2002, a joint House-Senate intelligence inquiry committee, which I co-chaired, was in the final stages of its investigation of what happened before Sept. 11. As the unclassified final report of the inquiry documented, several failures of intelligence contributed to the tragedy. But as of October 2002, 13 months later, the administration was resisting initiating any substantial action to understand, much less fix, those problems.

Read Grahams complete statement here.

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