Reid fires the first shot of what should be a nuclear confrontation
By Frank Salvato
"I hope it does bring the Senate together." Those were the words of Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) at the blindsiding of Senate Republicans last Tuesday as minority Democrats hijacked Senate proceedings, stalled deficit reduction debate and once again put politics above government. If Durbin really thinks stabbing the majority party in the back is a great way to "bring the Senate together," not only does he not have the "plays well with others" skills set needed to get things done in the US Senate, he has proven to have the diplomatic skills of Nikita Khrushchev.
Harry Reid's procedural stunt – and that is exactly what this move was, a stunt – can only be described as an appeasement of the Howard Dean anti-war left and an attempt to gain a toe hold in the smear campaign aimed at President Bush that began shortly before the 2000 election and continues to this day.
Allegedly – and I use the word allegedly because ulterior motives seem to be the order of the day with today's Democratic leadership – Reid's stunt was necessary because the Republican controlled Senate was "dragging its feet" on a follow-up report about the intelligence used to justify going to war in Iraq. But the fact is that the follow-up report was completed on May 17th of this year no thanks to Senate Democrats who did their best to thwart its completion.
Apparently the Democrats balked at reviewing statements made by the Bush Administration and Congressional leaders because the names of who said what had been removed from the documents supplied. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is charged with the investigation, had his staff remove the names to avoid any temptation for political finger pointing. This makes perfect sense given the Democrats addiction to partisan politicking.
When Roberts' committee was to begin examining the statements contained in the report Democrats made excuses.
"We tried to go down a list of over 500, 500 public officials - people in the Congress, people in the administration - we got nowhere. We didn't even get to first base," Roberts explained. "The answer was 'No, no, no, not now," their excuse being, "We have other things that we would like to bring up, other things that we would like to state.'"
What Reid and the rest of his liberal cabal really want to do is to focus the nation's attention – or at least the media's attention – on the left's naïve contention that the Iraq War is illegal. They want an investigation into the intelligence used so they can continue to pontificate that there were no weapons of mass destruction, that George W. Bush and his "Evil Empire" manufactured the justification for going to war with Saddam Hussein over cigars and brandy in W's palatial drawing room at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, just like Teddy "Splish-Splash" Kennedy harangued.
Well, I for one – or maybe I am the second to use this phrase – say "bring it on!"
This debate has been long overdue and it comes at a time when the patience of anyone who considers himself a "compassionate conservative" has just about run out. We need to enter this debate and doing what Democrats do, expanding it to include anything else that we damn well please.
Let's subpoena Richard Miniter, the author of Disinformation and Losing Bin Laden and go over the information that he has uncovered in his investigation of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Let's ask him why 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium, 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons agents, 17 chemical warheads containing cyclosarin (a nerve agent five times more potent than sarin) and over 1,000 radioactive materials in powdered form meant for dispersal over populated areas have been verifiably been found in Iraq if there were no weapons of mass destruction.
Let's subpoena Demetrius Perricos, acting chief weapons inspector for the UN Security Council and ask him how he could report in June of 2005 that material that could be used to make biological and chemical weapons and banned long-range missiles was removed from 109 sites in Iraq since its liberation if there were no weapons of mass destruction.
Let's enter into evidence President Bush's speech to the United Nations on September 12, 2003 in which the first reason given for going to war in Iraq was the systematic repression of minorities and political foes to the point of "arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, summary execution, and torture by beating and burning, electric shock, starvation, mutilation, and rape."
Let's expose the fact that the liberal left bolstered by the disingenuous, agenda driven mainstream media has set the threshold for justifying going to war at uncovering Dr. Strangelove type missile silos containing rumbling Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles. Let's expose further that the liberal left and the mainstream media have failed to acknowledge and in reality play down the fact that weapons of mass destruction come in forms other than said ICBMs.
The Bush administration needs to give Harry Reid and his band of political ne'er-do-wells exactly what they want. Let's have this debate once and for all, expose them as the knee-jerk, power-hungry purveyors of partisan propaganda that they are and get on with the important business of winning a war that if lost could threaten our very existence.
While we're at it, let's initiate an investigation on the theft and destruction of top secret documents by Sandy Berger and employ the nuclear option on judicial nominations, approving all of the conservative nominees we want and then raising the number of votes to quell a filibuster to 70. I mean really, let's give Reid and his malcontents something to really cry about! After all, we are in the majority.
Frank Salvato is the managing editor for TheRant.us. He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, socio-political education project. His pieces are regularly featured in Townhall.com. He has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor and numerous radio shows. His pieces have been recognized by the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention and are periodically featured in The Washington Times as well as other national and international publications. He can be contacted at
email@example.com Copyright © 2005 Frank Salvato
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