As Dems on Senate Panel Kiss Ass, Chimp_junta Claims Victory--But New Report May Hurt
"Some members have already submitted lists of policymakers' claims, but most — including the ranking Democrat on the committee, Sen. John D. "Jay" Rockefeller IV (D-W. Va.) — have been waiting for the release of the first phase of the report. Congressional officials declined to discuss the contents of the lists, but in written attachments to Friday's report, Democrats highlighted a number of administration quotes they said exaggerated Iraq's weapons capabilities and ties to Al Qaeda.
One quotes Bush's radio address from Sept. 28, 2002, in which he said, "Each passing day could be the one on which the Iraqi regime gives anthrax or VX nerve gas or, someday, a nuclear weapon to a terrorist group." Another quotes Vice President Dick Cheney saying in August 2002, "We know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons."
The committee may find it difficult to determine whether, and to what extent, such remarks were unfounded, because intelligence reports that officials were getting at the time turned out to be so far off-base.
The more problematic area for the White House may be in the way it portrayed Iraq's relationship to Al Qaeda. In December 2001, Cheney said "it's been pretty well confirmed" that lead Sept. 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta had met with an Iraqi agent in Prague several months before the attacks. However, U.S. intelligence never confirmed the meeting and now believes it never took place."