Despite the release Friday of a Senate Intelligence Committee report showing that the Bush administration knowingly misled the nation about links between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda -- in fact, the report shows that Hussein considered Al Qaeda a direct threat to his regime -- Senate Republicans on Friday showed their regret by continuing the misleading rhetoric.
Speaking in the Senate Friday morning, Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) used a floor speech ostensibly commemorating the five-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks to once again mislead and distort by linking those responsible for 9/11 with insurgents faced by U.S. troops in the Bush administration's war of choice in Iraq.
"On September 11, 2001, the American people learned there exists a group of killers, fueled by a twisted version of Islam, who want to destroy America," said Bond. "Today, we continue to fight the same group of killers not on an airplane over America but in a country in their own neighborhood, Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East and around the world."
"It is the same enemy, the same determination, the same goal," he continued. "But today we are fighting the radical Islamists on their own turf because we have a President who knows if America doesn't fight back, another September 11 is inevitable."
Bond then went on to trot out the same tired, old cut-and-run theme, suggesting that Senate Democrats who believe we need to leave Iraq and begin a real offensive against Al Qaeda are weak.
"Yet while the threat level remains high, some in this country, and regrettably in this Senate, want to let our guard down. Some talk of giving up the fight in Iraq. Let's not talk of 'troop redeployment' and other such euphemisms. If America pulls out of Iraq now, it signals to our enemies we have given up."
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) later fired back at Bond, making it clear that, while the do-nothing Republican Senate sits idly by accusing Iraq war opponents of a lack of courage and patriotism, the world has become remarkably unsafe for Americans on their watch.
"With 140,000 American troops serving bravely in the middle of a civil war in Iraq, bin Laden still at large, and a growing threat posed by North Korea and Iran, it is long past time this rubberstamping Republican Congress stood up to the Bush administration and did its job, did its job of being a separate and equal branch of Government," said Reid, adding that Senate Republicans have spent the entire Bush presidency bowing to his every whim.
"The problem during the 6 years of President Bush's administration is that the Constitution has not been what it should be, not the checks and balances, not three separate, equal branches of Government," said Reid. "It is no mystery why there have been no vetoes, because the President has gotten everything he has wanted. We have had no congressional oversight. We have had committees not doing their work."
Carl Levin (D-MI) then commented forcefully on the many instances in which Bush and Dick Cheney have outright lied to the American people and cited the Intelligence Committee report released Friday -- saying it "shouldn't surprise anybody" -- as yet more proof that truth is indeed a stranger in this White House.
"The President's decision to ignore intelligence community assessments prior to the Iraq war and to make repeated public statements that gave the misleading impression that Saddam Hussein's regime was connected to the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 cost him any credibility he may have had on this issue," said Levin.
"President Bush said Saddam and al-Qaeda were allies -- his words -- and that 'you can't distinguish between al-Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror.' The bipartisan report released today directly contradicts that linkage which the President has consistently made in his effort to build public support for his Iraq policy."
What remains astounding to me, is that we now have further documentary evidence -- as if any more is needed at this point -- that this White House lied the country into war and yet we know with certainty that the Republican-controlled Congress will turn a blind-eye to the latest set of facts and hope their October 6 adjournment comes as fast as possible so they can hide.
At that point, Democrats have about a month to broadcast that GOP act of party-over-country to all Americans and ask voters to take the Congressional enablers of our executive-branch liars and toss them out on their ears.
You can read more from Bob at BobGeiger.com.