Friday, August 12, 2005

Letter from Senator Mikulski to Mr. Swanson

I am trying to understand this letter from my Senator.

This via
From Senator Mikulski
Submitted by davidswanson on Fri, 2005-08-12 15:03. Congress
August 12, 2005

Dear Mr. Swanson:

Thank you for getting in touch with me regarding the Bush Administration's claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) used to justify going to war. I agree with you that we need a thorough, effective and objective investigation of the intelligence on Iraq and how it was used.

As a Senator and a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, I was presented information that led me to believe that Saddam Hussein had biological and chemical weapons and the means to use them. Bush Administration officials also said that Iraq had links to terrorism and was developing nuclear weapons. This has been called into question in light of what UN inspectors and U.S. forces have found - and not found - on the ground in Iraq.

The American people have a right to know whether intelligence on Iraq was valid, or whether it was skewed, selected, or exaggerated. That's why I insisted on a thorough investigation by the Intelligence Committee.

The Committee agreed, on a bipartisan basis, on an inquiry to examine:

- the quantity and quality of U.S. intelligence on Iraqi WMD, ties to terrorist groups, and Saddam Hussein's threat to stability and security in the region; - the objectivity, reasonableness, independence and accuracy of the judgments reached by the Intelligence Community; and - whether any influence was brought to bear on anyone to shape their analysis to support policy objectives.

The Intelligence Committee has already examined a huge volume of documents and held numerous hearings. You may have seen the press reports about testimony from Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet and Dr. David Kay, who heads the Iraq Survey Group looking for weapons of mass destruction. The Committee's Chairman has also committed to holding open hearings and issuing a public report of our findings.

But I'm not sure this inquiry will go far enough. That's why I'm prepared to support legislation to create an independent commission to investigate intelligence on Iraq and how it was used.

You can count on me to do all I can to get to the truth about the information used to justify going to war in Iraq. The American people have a right to know.


Barbara A. Mikulski United States Senator

P.S. If I can be of any further assistance in the future, please visit my website at or call my Washington office at 202-224-4654.
Does this mean that Senator Mikulski, and others, will now press for a further investigation into this issue? That they are not going to let it die an Iraqi death, in the dust and unremembered?

For sure:
the objectivity, reasonableness, independence and accuracy of the judgments reached by the Intelligence Community; and - whether any influence was brought to bear on anyone to shape their analysis to support policy objectives.
has not been addressed in any resonable manner. In particular, the suggestion that "influence was brought to bear" was shown by Sy Hersh in his famous "Stovepipe" article. As Hersh says:
How did the American intelligence community get it so wrong?

Part of the answer lies in decisions made early in the Bush Administration, before the events of September 11, 2001. In interviews with present and former intelligence officials, I was told that some senior Administration people, soon after coming to power, had bypassed the government’s customary procedures for vetting intelligence.(emphasis added)
Here you have the crux of the Downing Street Memo contention that the intelligent was being "fixed."

But, we are in Never Never land. No one believes facts anymore. We believe in a president who talks to an imaginary being in the clouds and thinks that everything is going to smell of roses in Iraq as long as we "stay the course."

If we make it to 2008, there is going to be some might heavy reckoning going on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


*Please take a moment to write to your representatives and ask them to
speak out against the illegal detention of children in Iraq and
Palestine. Reports on the abuse at Abu Ghraib indicate that the
Pentagon has proof (photographs and video) that detained Iraqi
children are being sodomized and raped by American soldiers. In
Israel, Palestinian children are also being held indiscriminately and
illegally in violation of international law and human rights law.
Reports by Israeli human rights organizations indicate that like Iraqi
children, Palestinian child detainees are regularly tortured and not
allowed visits by either the Red Cross or their parents.

* In a report written last year called, 'Stolen Youth: The Politics of
Israel's Detention of Palestinian Children' the authors interviewed a
teenager who gave the following description of his treatment by the
Israeli military: "Three more people in masks came into the room.
They blindfolded me, put a hood over my head... they kicked and
slapped me. They beat me with a plastic pipe and whatever they could
get their hands on. I couldn't see anything because I was blindfolded.
I just felt the blows. That lasted ten to fifteen minutes... Later
they stood me on a chair and told me to grab a pipe that was fixed to
the wall. They removed the chair from under me and left me hanging in
the air, with my handcuffed hands holding onto the pipe and the weight
of my body, hanging in the air, drawing my hands downwards. They left
the room." - Ismail Sabatin, 17 years old. Palestinian children being
held by the Israeli military range between the ages of 9-17 years old,
many of these children are being held without charges, others have
been held for months for merely throwing stones at Israeli tanks.
Tell your representatives that because we give $12 billion dollars in
American welfare to Israel a year that we have a moral obligation to
demand that the Israelis end this despicable treatment of Palestinian

*Treatment of Iraqi children under the U.S. occupation forces is no
better. Last week the Pentagon blocked the release of pictures of
Iraqi children being raped and sodomized by American soldiers as
publication of those pictures would have been a public relations
disaster of the U.S. In an expose done by the Sunday Herald late last
year a child witness of the abuse at Abu Ghraib gave a statement to
investigators saying that he witnessed the rape of a boy who was 15
years old: "The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the
doors with sheets. Then, when I heard the screaming I climbed the
door … and I saw [the soldier's name is deleted] who was wearing a
military uniform." The witness then described in graphic details how
he witnessed that soldier rape "the little kid".

*The abuse of children by the United States and by the U.S.'s
staunchest ally in the Middle East is unacceptable; it's time that we
held our government accountable for the blatant violations of human
rights occurring in Iraq and Palestine. Tell your representatives
that you feel that the illegal detention of Palestinian and Iraqi
children is deplorable and that as your elected officials you expect
them to speak out against the cruel treatment of children. Remind
your elected officials that none of these actions in Iraq or Palestine
could occur without the tacit approval of the U.S. government.

WHITE HOUSE FAX: 202-456-2461
Citizens for Fair Legislation is a grassroots organization committed
to encouraging a fair domestic and foreign policy with an emphasis on
the US/Arab world.

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