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U.S. Flag and Missouri State Flag Kit Bond, Sixth Generation Missourian
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November 15, 2005

Bond Statement on Continuing Democratic Efforts to Politicize Intelligence

Senator Kit Bond, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, today released the following statement:

"President Bush and Congress have tough battles ahead of them to provide support for our troops in Iraq and develop an effective intelligence system that will provide better intelligence than we had prior to the Iraq war. Unfortunately, the Democratic leadership seems to be a one-trick donkey, as an editorial recently put it, focusing instead on their continuing effort to prove somehow that the Republican Administration manipulated or abused the intelligence prior to the Iraq war.

"The Senate Intelligence Committee spent an extensive two-year effort compiling a report that received bi-partisan, unanimous support that stated there were no attempts to influence analysts to change intelligence and there was no evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments.

"In addition, the Robb-Silberman Report found that "it was the paucity of intelligence and poor analytical tradecraft, rather than political pressure that produced the inaccurate pre-war intelligence assessments." This report along with several other major studies, totally disprove the allegation that the Democrats wanted to use during the 2004 election that somehow the Administration lied to get us into war.

"Now, instead of focusing on doing our work the Democrats are trying, prior to the 2006 election, to slam the Administration and claim that they were the ones who were mislead.

"It appears that statements on both sides of the aisle may have gone too far in asserting the definitive nature of the intelligence. For example, those who said there was 'unmistakable evidence' of the nuclear efforts of Saddam Hussein, such as one of our Democrat colleagues stated, may have gone too far. This does not change the fact that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was clearly a dangerous place. We know that the intelligence estimates were flawed. I believe, however, that the world is a better and safer place without Saddam Hussein in power. I think most Americans believe this. I also believe that it is essential to our safety that we destroy the terrorists residing in Iraq. To do so we must stop wringing our hands and playing politics and prosecute this war to a successful conclusion. We owe that to those Americans and Iraqis who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

"Efforts to cast doubts on the war among the public have the effect of playing into the terrorists' hands. As senior al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said in a letter to his chief lieutenant in Iraq, Musab al-Zarqawi, "We need to win the hearts and minds of the public."

"The continuing efforts of the Democrats do nothing but encourage the terrorists and hurt the morale of our troops, as well as threaten to cut back on the vitally important intelligence gathering and analysis the CIA does."

One-Trick Donkey, Investor's Business Daily

Democrats: The president has a goal -- to win the war on terror. His opponents have a goal, too -- to sink his presidency. So where does this leave them on the war? Good question.

We hoped partisanship still stopped at the water's edge, that neither party is so obsessed with winning that it will put our security at risk. But recent days have left us wondering if President Bush's foes have any sense of limits.

Democrats want to win -- there's nothing wrong with that. But party leaders have lately turned a legitimate goal into an obsession.

Exhibit A is Sen. Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record), playing Capt. Ahab in pursuit of Moby Dick Cheney. As the Senate minority leader, Reid is the highest-ranking elected official in the Democratic Party (if you accept the Senate's "Upper House" pretensions). So his words carry some weight, even when they make him sound like a whacked-out conspiracy buff. Here's what he said about Cheney earlier this week:

"The manipulation of intelligence, to sell the war in Iraq, Vice President Cheney is involved in that. The White House energy policy that puts Big Oil ahead of the American consumer, Vice President Cheney is behind that. Leaking classified information to discredit White House critics, the vice president is behind that. Halliburton, contracting abuse, the list goes on and it goes on."

Reid also claimed the indictment of Cheney's former top aide Scooter Libby showed "this administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq."

In fact, Libby is charged with lying to the FBI and a grand jury about his conversations with reporters over the "outing" of CIA agent Valerie Plame; special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has taken pains to point out that this prosecution isn't about the war.

Meanwhile, leading Democrats scoff at calls to investigate a leak that may have done real damage to the war effort -- the release of classified information about secret prisons run by the CIA.

As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi put it: "There is plenty to investigate about the Bush administration's use and misuse of intelligence." Translated: Let's keep the WMD story alive as long as it makes Bush and Cheney look bad.

Prewar intelligence is a legitimate subject for probes. It's important to know what errors were made and why so they won't be repeated. But this subject has been well covered. Reid, Pelosi and others beating the WMD drum are no longer looking for knowledge that's useful in the war on terror. They're just trying to build a case -- political or criminal, depending on how far they can run with it.

Seeing that the war many of them once supported is no longer popular, they now disown it. They hope to win back Congress by claiming Bush and Cheney hoodwinked them.

And where does that leave the war? If it was wrong at the start, it's wrong now, and the U.S. should leave. Some Democrats actually urge this course, but it's harder to pin down party leaders. They want to stay credible on security and don't want to be seen as the cut-and-run party. They also want to exploit the war's unpopularity, thereby making it even less popular and defeat more likely.

Democrats are trying to have it both ways. They want us to put our trust in them in time of war. But they're one-trick donkeys when it comes to their goal of ousting Bush-Cheney. Nothing else, not even the war, seems to get in their way.

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