Remember when Harry Reid shut down the Senate by using an obscure procedural rule? Do you even remember why he did it? I mean, it was nine months ago. Well, the issue was Sen. Pat Roberts’s broken promise to investigate the pre-war intelligence. Here is how Reid put it:

SEN. HARRY REID: America deserves better than this. They also deserve a searching and comprehensive investigation into how the Bush administration brought this country to war. Key questions that need to be answered include:

– How did the Bush administration assemble its case for war against Iraq? We heard what Colonel Wilkerson said.
– Who did the Bush administration officials listen to and who did they ignore?
– How did the senior administration officials manipulate or manufacture intelligence presented to the Congress and the American people?
– What was the role of the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, a group of senior White House officials tasked with marketing the war and taking down its critics? We know what Colonel Wilkerson says.
– How did the administration coordinate its efforts to attack individuals who dared to challenge the administration’s assertions? We know what happened to them — I listed a few.
– Why has this administration failed to provide Congress with the documents that would shed light on their misconduct and the misstatements?

Reid got Roberts to investigate, but it now appears that we won’t see the results until after the midterms. Surprised?

The Republican-led committee, which agreed in February 2004 to write the report, has yet to complete its work. Just two of five planned sections of the committee’s findings are fully drafted and ready to be voted on by members, according to Democratic and Republican staffers. Committee sources involved with the report, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they are working hard to complete it. But disputing Roberts, they said they had started almost from scratch in November after Democrats staged their protest.

Roberts spokeswoman Sarah Ross Little said the slow pace is partially the result of Roberts’s desire to give members a chance for input. She said Roberts will make public the two completed sections “when they are approved by the committee and have been declassified,” rather than wait for the other three to be done, as well. If the sections are not approved by the committee next week, they will have to wait until members return from recess in September.

The section most Democrats have sought, however, is not yet in draft form and might not emerge until after the November election, staffers said. That section will examine the administration’s deliberations over prewar intelligence and whether its public presentation of the threat reflected the evidence senior officials reviewed in private.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of crappy report they eventually produce. I’m fairly certain we’ll just have to do it over again next year when we (hopefully) control the Senate. Regardless, it is hardly surprising that they are stonewalling past the midterms. There should be a price for this. If you feel like writing a letter to the editor, this might be a good topic. Why are being asked to vote in a second straight election without getting basic answers to whether the administration hyped the intelligence for Iraq. What facts are being hidden, and why is the GOP so afraid of an informed public?

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