This morning some commenters over at "Two Babes and a Brain" wanted me to comment on a thread. In the comments was a reference to this story that Think Progress put out a while back under some sinister guise of "Bush holding back the intelligence". It's now getting renewed attention on the left, so let's take a look at it.
From Think Progress 10/05/2001:
Bush Pulls Security Clearances From 92 Senators
“We can’t have leaks of classified information. It’s not in our nation’s interest.” - President George W. Bush, 10/9/01
President Bush’s defiant statement came in the immediate weeks following 9/11, as the administration clamped down on the information it provided to Congress. President Bush issued an order limiting access to classified intelligence only to 8 members of Congress — the Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, and chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence committees.
What precipitated this course of action?
Gannett News Service reported on 10/1/01 that Bush was restricting information because, “The Washington Post reported last week that various lawmakers had been told there would be more terrorist attacks if the United States retaliated.”
Here’s what the Washington Post reported:
Asked whether more terrorist attacks are inevitable if the United States retaliates, [Sen. Richard] Shelby said, “You can bet on that.” U.S. intelligence officials have told members of Congress there is a high probability that terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden will try to launch another major attack on U.S. targets here or abroad. [Washington Post, 10/6/01]
So at this slightest whiff of evidence that information was being leaked, President Bush pulled classified intelligence access for 92 senators."
Well, not exactly.....only you are a moron and totally ignorant of history.
Here is the memorandum that got their knickers in an uproar:
THE WHITE HOUSE
October 5, 2001
THE SECRETARY OF STATE
THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE
THE DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
SUBJECT: Disclosures to the Congress
As we wage our campaign to respond to the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, and to protect us from further acts of terrorism, I intend to continue to work closely with the Congress. Consistent with the longstanding executive branch practice, this Administration will continue to work to inform the leadership of the Congress about the course of, and important developments in, our critical military, intelligence, and law enforcement operations. At the same time, we have an obligation to protect military operational security, intelligence sources and methods, and sensitive law enforcement investigations. Accordingly, your departments should adhere to the following procedures when providing briefings to the Congress relating to the information we have or the actions we plan to take:
i) Only you or officers expressly designated by you may brief Members of Congress regarding classified or sensitive law enforcement information; and
(ii) The only Members of Congress whom you or your expressly designated officers may brief regarding classified or sensitive law enforcement information are the Speaker of the House, the House Minority Leader, the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, and the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Intelligence Committees in the House and Senate.
This approach will best serve our shared goals of protecting American lives, maintaining the proper level of confidentiality for the success of our military, intelligence, and law enforcement operations, and keeping the leadership of the Congress appropriately informed about important developments. This morning, I informed the House and Senate leadership of this policy which shall remain in effect until you receive further notice from me.
George W. Bush
As you can see, there is NO pulling of anyone's clearance. During my career I carried a Top Secret Clearance. Yet I wasn't always privey to everything. Sometimes things were marked, "Eyes Only", which meant, only to those who were meant to see it.
Nothing secret or misleading, just "Eyes only". The first step in Operational Security (OPSEC) is limit the stream. Don't tell everyone and their mother. Why, because as we have seen with the WAPO, and the NY Times, people who should keep their mouth shut can't. Especially some Senators and Congressmen.
This limit of intelligence stream was used in the days after Pearl Harbor, The Embassy takeover in Iran, The Reagan Assasination attemp as well as other critical times in our country's history.
Even so, you'll notice the members that the IC can relay information to are the Majority and Minority leaders of both parties.
But to those who see the Devil in the icebox, they'll never be convinced, but it doesn't make it any less the truth about really happened.
UPDATE: After viewing the classified version of the NIE on 1 and 2 October 2002, thus seeing the evidence for war, the following Democrats had this to say:
The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons." Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002
"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force if necessary to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002
There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction." Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002
"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do" Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002
"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002
"Saddam Hussein's regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies, including our vital ally, Israel. For more than two decades, Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal." Senator John Edwards (D-NC), October 10, 2002
"While the distance between the United States and Iraq is great, Saddam Hussein's ability to use his chemical and biological weapons against us is not constrained by geography - it can be accomplished in a number of different ways - which is what makes this threat so real and persuasive." Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), October 10, 2002
"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction." Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002
"The essential facts are known. We know of the weapons in Saddam's possession: chemical, biological, and nuclear in time. We know of his unequaled willingness to use them. We know his history. His invasions of his neighbors. His dreams of achieving hegemonic control over the Arab world. His record of anti-American rage. His willingness to terrorize, to slaughter, to suppress his own people and others. We need not stretch to imagine nightmare scenarios in which Saddam makes common cause with the terrorists who want to kill us Americans and destroy our way of life." Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), September 13, 2002
And Last years Democratic Contender for President?
"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real." Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003
What was the theme last year? Oh yeah....."Flip, Flop, Flip, Flop......"
Video of "Dirty Harry" supporting the war at The Political Teen.
UPDATE: View the new video at GOP.com and Lori Byrd at Polipundit.
Filed under: judith miller valerie plame karl rove Valerie Plame PlameGate john hannahcheney libby joe wilson jordon terrorismjohn