Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Why It Is Imperative That Democrats Regain the Power of Subpoena 

Reason #1: California would still be suffering from regular, artificially-induced rolling blackouts if Jim Jeffords hadn't bolted from the GOP in 2002.

Reason #2 (via Rep. Joseph Crowley [D-NY] at TPM Cafe):
On a day when more than 150 people were killed in Iraq, the White House was given a free pass to continue hiding information in regard to the Downing Street Memo.

The Memo, which was leaked to reporters a few months ago, outlines the specific concerns the British government has in regard to the post-Iraq planning of the United States.

The tragedy is that the American public will never know what really happened because this decision was made during a meeting of the International Relations Committee when members voted along largely partisan lines to kill three pieces of legislation that would have required the White House to release the documents that led to the Downing Street Memo.

I joined many of my colleagues, Democrats and Republicans, in voting for the War in Iraq almost two years ago. I have done my best to support what I can of the agenda, but I also recognize the importance of questioning the Administration when we are in a state of chaos.

It is important to be forthcoming that Congress and the American people were misled about the reasons to invade Iraq by the President and his Administration.
N.B.: We must take issue with the last paragraph above, in which Rep. Crowley grovels before the reader in a dishonest and unseemly plea for absolution. The administration's case for war would not have fooled a bright fourteen-year-old who was following the newspapers at the time. Since most Congresspersons are not all that far behind a bright fourteen-year-old in terms of intellectual development (moral development is a different story), we are naturally quite skeptical of any claims by Rep. Crowley or others that they were "misled." They could only be "misled" because they agreed to be led in the first place.

Democrats who voted to endorse the war did so because they knew they would be branded as traitors if they did not, and could shortly thereafter expect to be driven from office. We cannot say whether the choice they made was the right one, but let us at least discuss it honestly.

UPDATE: Holy cow! How did we forget Reason #3?
Two U.S. congressional committees on Wednesday rejected Democrat-backed resolutions that would have compelled the Bush administration to turn over records relating to the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
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