My buddy James Boyce has a post up over at Huffington, James Boyce: The Iraq War Vote Was 6-94.
James took a look at which Senators actually bothered to read the classified intelligence (NIE) briefing that was available to all Senators before voting to allow Bush to go to war with Iraq. Only six Senators did their jobs and read the report and learned what the real situation was. The rest voted – however they voted – for other reasons. James writes,
In October 2002, prior to the October 12, 2002 Iraq war vote, under lock and key, prepared for our Senators and Representatives by our country’s top intelligence analysts, lay a 92 page report about Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, and everything we knew about Saddam.
It sat waiting for our elected officials to sign in without staff and read it, 92 pages. No staffers allowed, elected officials only. A five page declassified document was readily available to all but the 92 page document, you had to show up, sign in and read it.
Only six Senators did.
Only six Senators thought that sending our country’s bravest off to war to die was worth a few minutes of their time. How long a report would you have read before deciding to send our nation’s finest to war?
You’ve got to read his post. He quotes from joejoejoe in a MyDD diary,
“The two Senators who pushed hardest to have the US intelligence community compile an NIE, Senator Bob Graham and Senator Dick Durbin, both voted against authorizing military force against Iraq – largely because the full classified 96-page NIE contained many more caveats and dissents than any of the summaries.”
If a Senator votes to go to war or not without reading the intelligence report, what does that say about our political process – and about our Senators?