Closed Door Senate, Reid Presses Forward

Raw Story has a transcript of Harry Reid's speech as he forced the Senate into a closed door session to address the failings of the administration and the checks and balances in Iraq, in New Orleans and everywhere else.

Read the transcript here: Reid takes Senate into closed session over Iraq intelligence but here's an excellent excerpt that should be repeated again and again until the goddamned Republicans actually answer the questions being asked.
What has been the response of this Republican-controlled Congress to the Administration’s manipulation of intelligence that led to this protracted war in Iraq? Basically nothing. Did the Republican-controlled Congress carry out its constitutional obligations to conduct oversight? No. Did it support our troops and their families by providing them the answers to many important questions? No. Did it even attempt to force this Administration to answer the most basic questions about its behavior? No.

Unfortunately the unwillingness of the Republican-controlled Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities is not limited to just Iraq. We see it with respect to the prisoner abuse scandal. We see it with respect to Katrina. And we see it with respect to the cronyism and corruption that permeates this Administration.

... There is also another disturbing pattern here, namely about how the Administration responded to those who challenged its assertions. Time and again this Administration has actively sought to attack and undercut those who dared to raise questions about its preferred course.

For example, when General Shinseki indicated several hundred thousand troops would be needed in Iraq, his military career came to an end. When then OMB Director Larry Lindsay suggested the cost of this war would approach $200 billion, his career in the Administration came to an end. When U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix challenged conclusions about Saddam’s WMD capabilities, the Administration pulled out his inspectors. When Nobel Prize winner and IAEA head Mohammed el-Baridei raised questions about the Administration’s claims of Saddam’s nuclear capabilities, the Administration attempted to remove him from his post. When Joe Wilson stated that there was no attempt by Saddam to acquire uranium from Niger, the Administration launched a vicious and coordinated campaign to demean and discredit him, going so far as to expose the fact that his wife worked as a CIA agent.

Good on ya, Harry. Press forward and make the bastards answer for their actions and crimes. Definitely not the last of this we will hear and nor should it be. This is what happens when one party is given too much power, the checks and balances magically disappear and we end up with an intractable war, incompetent emergency agencies and the relentless shut-up dogs that do nothing but shout down dissent, fire whistleblowers and attempt to completely shut out any voice not in complete agreement.

Go get 'em, Harry, give 'em hell!

In other news, the rioting in Paris continues after the electrocution deaths of two boys. I'd not heard about it at all until I read MetaFilter today, thanks American Media, for completely overlooking important events taking place in Europe.
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