An End to Bush's Secrecy
days, you sometimes have to look very carefully to catch important news
items. Hidden within the body of the text, small little bits of info slip
by every day. Well, Wednesday night I caught one choice nugget of info
before it slipped away and I would like to share it with you all out there
in Liberal Land.
a big fan of the new Crossfire. So far I haven't missed a show yet. Well,
last night I was watching and a clip of Sen. Tom Daschle was shown where
he was asking for the Bush Administration to share more information with
the relevant clip from Crossfire with the important part highlighted:
I'm heartened by your answer. Can we say now that your majority leader
Tom Daschle should stop whining about not getting briefed often enough
by the president? I'm reading a biography of Lyndon Johnson, Democratic
majority leader with a Republican president, Eisenhower. He didn't whine
-- gee, he's not telling me anything -- don't you think Daschle ought
to get a grip on himself?
And if we had been here during the Johnson Administration, I'm certain
you wouldn't have been criticizing a Democratic president then.
would urge him to stop whining if I'd thought he'd started it, but I
think it's right for the majority leader of the United States Senate
to expect that the Congress is involved in this process, is consulted
in this progress. No one wants in a national emergency to be criticizing
an incumbent administration, but I think the administration would be
wise at this point, now that the crisis has at least settled down some,
we are in it for the long term, to simply bring the Congress, Democrats
and Republicans further into negotiation and consultation.
Senator Shelby, let me show you exactly what Tom Daschle said. Had this
been Eisenhower, he worked hand in glove with Lyndon Johnson when he
was the Senate majority leader. Today the majority leader had rather
astonishing revelation -- I want you to take a look on the screen, and
then get your comment. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: I did get a call yesterday from
Condoleezza Rice, and I appreciated it. But that's probably the first
contact I've had with the president or the administration in over three
weeks during all of this critical time. So I do think there ought to
be more regular contact and I think a lot of my colleagues feel the
That is astonishing, to freeze the Congress out for three weeks when
we have troops in the field and the Middle East in flames, isn't it?
RICHARD SHELBY (R), ALABAMA: I don't know all the particulars of what
went on between the president and majority leader. But it's always good
to talk, whether you are the majority leader or just a member of the
Congress or the Senate between the president and whoever is up there.
Dialogue is worth something.
Has the administration been briefing you? Is this just a partisan thing?
They only brief the Republicans, or is there a generalized contempt
Oh, I think they have been briefing. I'm, of course, the ranking Republican
on the Intelligence Committee. I'm briefed all the time. Senator Graham
is the chairman. He's a Democrat. He's briefed all the time. Senator
Torricelli has served when he was in the House as a member the Intelligence
Committee. We get a lot more briefing than probably other people. But
I think we are pretty well informed.
I think it's fair to say this is not the way the former President Bush
handled the Persian Gulf War or the way Bill Clinton handles things
in Bosnia or Kosovo. I will tell you a more shocking story than that.
A couple of weeks ago in Pakistan, Joe Biden, the chairman of the Foreign
Relations Committee, had to call the secretary of state to get transportation
into Afghanistan. He couldn't get cooperation. That's just not the way
to run a government. Nobody wants to be involved in criticism, but we
have an obligation of the Constitution to get information."
is more on Daschle's statements:
CNN CROSSFIRE: Can Bush Win a War on Two Fronts?; Who Should Pay
When Yale Students Get Busted? -- Aired April 10, 2002 - 19:00 ET
don't think the consultation has been as consistent or regular as I
think it should be," Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said when asked
if he's satisfied with the level of communication. National security
adviser Condoleezza Rice, who met Wednesday with House Republican leaders,
did call Daschle on Tuesday.
appreciated it, but that's probably the first contact I've had with
the president, or the administration, in over three weeks during all
of this critical time," Daschle said. "So I do think there
ought to be more regular contact, and I think a lot of my colleagues
feel the same way."
Sept. 11, leaders of the House and Senate met weekly with President
Bush for breakfast at the White House. More recently, that became every
two weeks. And it's been more than a month since the last breakfast.
canceled every single one for six weeks," said Kori Bernards, spokeswoman
for House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo. "After we came back
from Christmas recess, they said they were going to have one every two
weeks instead of every week."
fact, the last one was six weeks ago, on Feb. 27, Bernards said.
spokesman Ari Fleischer said that even with the lag, this White House
briefs Congress far more than past administrations have.
the bellyaching and whining, the president and his staff will continue
the extensive consultations and briefings we're engaged in," Fleischer
said. "The president is looking forward to welcoming a bipartisan
group of leaders who just returned from a two-week recess to the Oval
Office for their regular breakfast."
I was already fuming over the Rice Private Security Briefing of the House
Republicans, in which the House Democrats were shut out, so this little
video clip stuck in my mind and I'm glad it did, or else I would have
missed the following:
Sharon Losing Support in White House
continued to call for patience with Israel during a meeting yesterday
with 16 Republican congressional leaders. "We're Israel's close
friend, and we are trying to get the process started to bring stability
to the region," Bush said, according to sources."
not only has Rice held a secret meeting with the House Republicans on
security matters, but Bush himself managed to find the time to speak to
the Republicans on The Middle East situation. Does he not have time for
the ELECTED representatives of the People, or does he just have time for
have called Tom Daschle's office to make sure he knows this info, since
he has said publicly that much of the info he has been finding out about
The Bush Administration's actions has not been from The Bushies themselves,
but the newspapers. I was unable to speak with a human, and I'm not so
great with machines, so I urge all of you to contact your Democratic Congressmen
and women and ask them when they are going to call the Bush Administration
on their fondness for keeping everything secret and the Democrats out
of the loop. Better yet, call your Republicans representatives and give
them an earful too.
Bush Administration' secrecy must stop and it's high time that they answer
Mr. Daschle, is it time to Subpoena Ridge yet? I want to know what this
Administration has been up to, and there is NO trust involved. It is time
to find out EVERYTHING that this Administration has been doing behind
your backs. Anything less and you will have failed in your representation
of the American People.
Daschle (D - SD)
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WASHINGTON DC 20510
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by BuzzFlash Reader and Democratic Underground Volunteer Moderator, S.
A. Lowery AKA Khephra