When the president commissions a bipartisan investigation into an important matter of policy or law or to study a controversy, reasonable people tend to regard the panel’s conclusions as dispositive of the issue at hand. To be sure, some may question the bias of this or that panelist or the panel’s failure to evaluate certain evidence, but barring such evidence of bias, most will look seriously at the results of the investigation.
Similarly, if the Justice Department brings in a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of criminal behavior, most people expect that his investigation will be thorough. Should the prosecutor find evidence to substantiate such behavior, he will press charges. Without such evidence, he won’t issue indictments. And when the investigation is particularly thorough, people will understand that where no indictment was issued, the prosecutor didn’t find enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonble doubt that a crime had occurred.
As Democrats’ hatred of President Bush increased, they have called for no end to investigations of his Administration. They claimed they wanted to find out the truth. But, when those investigations, be they criminal or informational, reach conclusions with which they disagree, instead of finding such conclusions dispositive, they call for still more investigations. Or, as Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid did on Tuesday, misrepresent the findings of an investigation to suit their ends.
Like so many Democrats (and others on the Left), Mr. Reid holds that Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation proves something which Mr. Fitzgerald says the investigation didn’t even address. Given that many on the Left found (to borrow the words of one of my most persistent critics) that “Mr. Fitzgerald handled himself so incredibly well,” they should take him at his word that, “This indictment is not about the war.” But, that statement is at odds with the result they wanted his investigation to yield–evidence that the White House twisted intelligence in order to make the case for war.
It seems odd that they would use this investigation (of the “leak” of Valerie Plame’s name to the media) as evidence to prove the Administration’s deceit. After all, her husband, Mr. Wilson was not hired to investigate every single claim intelligence agencies were making about Iraq & WMDs, but was instead tapped (in large part because of her recommendation) to look into just one. In his comments to a New York Times editorialist — and in his own words on that paper’s editorial page — he called into question only sixteen words of one of the president’s several speeches outlining the case for war against Iraq. And CIA analysts interpreted his own report as substantiating those sixteen words, i.e., that Saddam had sought to purchase yellowcake from Niger.
Even if those sixteen words weren’t accurate, Administration critics still have not provided any evidence to show that the White House knowingly deceived the American people about Iraq’s WMDs. At the time the president prepared to liberate Iraq, “the intelligence agencies’ official consensus estimate expressed a high level of confidence that Saddam possessed both chemical and biological weapons.” But, when our troops did not find such weapons, both our government and the British government commissioned investigations to look into the matter. While they found much to fault in pre-war intelligence, none found any evidence to substantiate the Left’s mantra that Bush lied (to lead us into war). As the Wall Street Journal pointed out this morning:
everyone who has looked into the question of whether the Bush Administration lied about intelligence, distorted intelligence, or pressured intelligence agencies to produce assessments that would support a supposedly pre-baked decision to invade Iraq has come up with the same answer: No, no, no and no.
Given Harry Reid’s behavior on Tuesday, Powerline‘s John has concluded The Democrats’ political strategy, apparently, is to yammer about our intelligence on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction–the world’s intelligence, actually–until next year’s election.” Perhaps the Democrats hope that by repeatedly leveling the spurious charge–of manipulation of intelligence–against the Administration, people will come to believe it and vote Republicans out of office next fall. They hope their overheated rhetoric will drown out reasoned voices proffering bipartisan studies which disprove left-wing theories.
It seems Democrats are upset that Fitzgerald investigation’s did not prove their contention of corruption in the White House, corruption which they had hoped to use against Republicans next fall as Republicans had had hoped to use Whitewater and Monica against Democrats in the 1990s.
Perhaps, they’re so intent on running against this alleged Republican “culture of corruption” because, as Texas Senator John Cornyn put it in the wake of his Democratic colleagues’ stunt, they “have no ideas or agenda of their own .” They just want to change the subject.
While Democrats wail aboutalleged Republican misdeeds, Republicans are putting forward proposals for reform. In my adopted home state, it is the Republican Governor who has offered a reform package to address the state’s problems. Golden State Democrats favor the status quo. Even in Congress, the energy for reform comes from within the GOP, albeit a minority of the GOP.
I agree with Senator Cornyn. Democrats’ demands for repeated investigations are merely a smokescreen to change the subject. They are rooting around for a Republican scandal because they need to deflect attention from their own failure to come up with alternatives to the president’s policies. So, they want yet another investigation.
As Harry Reid’s antics earlier this week clearly show, Democrats aren’t interested in using these investigations to discover the truth, but to attack the GOP. And when the latest Senate investigation shows what other such investigations have shown, it won’t matter much to Reid’s Democrats and their allies on the Left. Because the only investigations which matter to them are those which reach the conclusions they want them to reach. Conclusions they themselves have reached, not based on much evidence, but by assuming the worst of President Bush, his Administration and supporters.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com