John Podhoretz on the significance of the leaked memo written by a Democratic staffer on the Intelligience Committee. As Podhoretz explains, “Democrats on the committee are already planning to invalidate an investigation in which they will serve as active participants. Sounds nuts, until you find out that what they really want to do is give themselves political cover to ‘launch an independent investigation when it becomes clear we have exhausted the opportunity to usefully collaborate with the majority.’ The purpose of such an ‘independent investigation’ is purely and simply to trash Bush in time for the election: ‘We can pull the trigger on an independent investigation at any time – but we can only do so once. The best time to do so will probably be next year.’ Next year, of course, being the election year.”
Leaking is also a key part of the strategy. Quoting from the memo, Podhoretz continues. “‘We can verbally mention some of the intriguing leads we are pursuing,’ the memo says – meaning that as part of their strategy, Democratic staffers are already anticipating the phone calls they will make to Walter Pincus of The Washington Post and Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker with all kinds of unsubstantiated innuendo.”
Podhoretz concludes, “there’s a more disturbing aspect to this story than the revelation of cynical Democratic partisanship. The structure of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is unique, in part to ensure that staffers and senators do not misuse the classified material to which they are given access.
“That kind of thing happened during the 1970s, when House and Senate committees really did damage to the nation’s intelligence capacity. The Senate Select Committee was created in the wake of those fiascoes to try to insulate both senators and staff from the temptation to politicize intelligence. The structure was meant to create a bipartisan approach. As a result, senators who belong to the Senate’s minority party actually have nearly equal power with the senators in the majority, and – unlike any other Senate committee – the ranking minority senator actually has the authority to run the committee when the chairman is away. With a few exceptions over the years, the Senate Select Committee has been an oasis of reason in an increasing polarized and partisan Washington. Not any more. In their desperate hunger to destroy George W. Bush, they have destroyed the oasis.”
Couttesy of Real Clear Politics.


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