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Saturday, June 25, 2005 

Senator Kerry & Co. Demand DSM Investigation

Senator Kerry (D - MA) sent a letter to Senate Intelligence Committee demanding an investigation into the Downing Street Memo and other Downing documents. The letter is also signed by Senators Johnson, Corzine, Reed, Lautenberg, Boxer, Kennedy, Harkin, Bingaman, and Durbin.

In the letter, Kerry points out the fact that the Senate Intelligence Committee has never completed a full investigation of how pre-war intelligence was used in the run up to the war. Specifically, while "Phase I" was completed, "Phase II" has been put, in the word of the Republican Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, "on the back burner."

Phase I examined the quality of the intelligence before the war. Phase II was supposed to answer that critical question: How did the administration and policy officials use that bad information?

On July 9, 2004, Chairman Roberts had stated that moving to Phase II was "a priority. I made my commitment and it will get done." Yet in an unexplainable turnaround, Roberts soon backed off those comments, instead throwing up his hands and placing the most critical issue our nation has faced in decades on hold:

"It got to be a problem in regard to a subjective point of view. If you ask any member of the administration, 'Why did you make that declarative statement?' ... basically, the bottom line is, they believed the intelligence and the intelligence was wrong.

"In addition, we were in an even-numbered year and you know what that means.

"So," he concluded, "we sort of came to a crossroads and that is basically on the back burner."

So Chairman Roberts has delayed investigating whether our government misled us into war because it's too "subjective" and, well, the administration is going to just flat out deny it, apparently.

Senator Kerry and the co-signers of his letter rightly point out that too much time has passed, and that this issue is far too critical to remain "on the back burner" much longer:

For the sake of our democracy and our future national security, the public must know whether such warnings were driven by facts and responsible intelligence, or by political calculation. These issues need to be addressed with urgency. This remains a dangerous world, with American forces engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other challenges looming in Iran and North Korea. In this environment, the American public should have the highest confidence that policy makers are using intelligence objectively-never manipulating it to justify war, but always to protect the United States. The contents of the Downing Street Memo undermine this faith and only rigorous Congressional oversight can determine the truth.

We urge the committee to complete the second phase of its investigation with the maximum speed and transparency possible, producing, as it did at the end of Phase I, a comprehensive, unclassified report from which the American people can benefit directly.

Go to the contact page to email your senator and ask them to sign on to this request for investigation. It's time to take the truth off the back burner.


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