A Cautious Man
November 06, 2003
Politicizing a War
There's a lot of fuming going on this week about a memo from somewhere within the Democratic side of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The memo was excerpted on "NewsMax" (at this link), which describes it as follows: :
A memo circulated among Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence shows the committee's minority plotting to use classified information against the White House in next year's presidential campaign.The excerpt from the memo concludes as follows:
"SUMMARY: Intelligence issues are clearly secondary to the public's concern regarding the insurgency in Iraq. Yet we have an important role to play in revealing the misleading, if not flagrantly dishonest, methods and motives of senior administration officials who made the case for unilateral preemptive war.The reactions to this will run the gamut, from those who view this as unpatriotic attacks on the Commander-in-Chief during wartime, to those who would like to see the loyal opposition do a lot more digging to find out how we got into this situation.
"The approach outlined above seems to offer the best prospect for exposing the administration's dubious motives."
Hopefully, though, we can at least agree that issues of war and peace should not be used for partisan political advantage. For example, last year when the President wanted authority to go to war:
Democrats waiting for the U.N. to act? I can't imagine an elected United States -- elected member of the United States Senate or House of Representatives saying, I think I'm going to wait for the United Nations to make a decision. It seems like to me that if you're representing the United States, you ought to be making a decision on what's best for the United States. If I were running for office, I'm not sure how I'd explain to the American people -- say, vote for me, and, oh, by the way, on a matter of national security, I think I'm going to wait for somebody else to act.I don't think that memo can hold a candle to statements like that.
And so I -- we'll see. My answer to the Congress is, they need to debate this issue and consult with us, and get the issue done as quickly as possible. It's in our national interests that we do so. I don't imagine Saddam Hussein sitting around, saying, gosh, I think I'm going to wait for some resolution. He's a threat that we must deal with as quickly as possible.