Laura Rozen dug up some troubling information in researching a piece on the missing Senate intelligence report.
So who did the Vice President's office reach to for assistance in its campaign to blame all of Iraq on the CIA? Apparently, Pat Roberts, the chair of the Senate Select Intelligence committee, the committee that had promised to investigate how the US government got Iraq intelligence so wrong. Off and on the past couple months, I have been talking to staff on the committee, Republicans and Democrats, trying to figure out what's really happened with the promised Phase II SSCI report, that was supposed to examine US government officials' use of the intelligence.…Here's a link to her piece on the missing report.
Earlier this week…I was calling someone up for a quick question, and we got to talking about the latest Fitzgerald news from over the weekend. And I was told something that really stands out: that Roberts has literally been coordinating with Senate majority leader Frist and Cheney's office very closely on many aspects of the Senate Intelligence committee's supposed investigation of the intelligence, and in particular, working closely with Cheney's office on crafting the language defining the terms for the as-yet unfinished Phase II report.
…think about it. Here's the Congressional committee constitutionally mandated to provide oversight of all intelligence activities happening by the US government. And yet, here we have the Intelligence committee head coordinating to some degree with the Vice President's office, who we now know to be deeply involved in some of the most dubious of pre-war intelligence pronouncements, tasking, unconventional intel channels, and cherry picking, and at the forefront of a post-war campaign to slime Wilson and his CIA officer wife. When Congress is in cahoots with the administration in stifling oversight, who can investigate the investigators? Unfortunately, it's not in Fitzgerald's mandate.
When and if this whole saga is played out, many people are going to have a hard time believing some of what has been going on. It is going to come out of right field. It will allow the Republicans to play some defense, but people tend to give big-time, mob-busting prosecutors like Fitzgerald the benefit of the doubt.
There hasn't been any administration so completely corrupt and willfully anti-democratic since Nixon's. While Nixon's crimes were certainly despicable, the level of mendacity and deception that has been this administration's standard operating procedure since day one has brought them to a new level. One that Machiavelli would have been proud to have authored had he been as malevolent. Sanctioning a break in and cover-up is (to quote an earlier story) bush-league compared to leading the nation to war on a road paved with demonstrably false facts. The Fitzgerald investigation has only served as a crowbar, ripping off the facade to expose the rot beneath.
The underlying story is enormously important and it will take hard work on the part of the press to keep the story on the rails, something it hasn't been doing a great job with thanks to an inexplicable propensity for bringing on Republica spokespeople as "experts" in the ares of law and government policy. The former Republican National Committee chairman is not going to provide an insight into the Fitzgerald's potential strategies. Particularly if the subpoenas come out.