Tuesday, November 08, 2005

GOP & The Secret Prison Leak

The GOP should get its priorities straight.

Instead of trying to play copycat in order to protect the Bush Administration they should get behind Senator John McCain, a man who knows the difference between right and oh-so-wrong ("McCain vows torture ban in Senate bills").

RAW STORY posted a letter co-signed by Senator Bill Frist, the Majority Leader, and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert addressed to Senator Pat Roberts, Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, and Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, asking them to look into the November 2nd Washington Post article, "CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons," written by Dana Priest.

This is the kind of thing I've worried about since the Fitzgerald investigation of the Plame leak began. But, hopefully, saner minds will prevail, and the difference in leaks will be easily realized.

But I'm here to help Frist and Hastert save a little face.

All they have to do is change about ten words in that letter...and then we might be able to rescue a political party which is in danger of becoming nothing more than a pathetic parody of itself.

This is the same letter...with the words I changed in CAPS and boldfaced:

November 8, 2005

Honorable Peter Hoekstra
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Honorable Pat Roberts
Select Committee on Intelligence
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Hoekstra and Chairman Roberts:

We request that you immediately initiate a joint investigation AFTER the possible release of classified information to the media alleging that the United States government may be detaining and interrogating terrorists at undisclosed locations abroad. As you know, if accurate, such an egregious PRACTICE could have long-term and far-reaching damaging and dangerous consequences, and will imperil our efforts to protect the American people and our homeland from terrorist attacks.

The purpose of your investigation will be to determine the following: was the information provided to the media classified and accurate?; who DEVISED this POLICY and under what authority?; and, what is the actual and potential damage done to the national security of the United States and our partners in the Global War on Terror? We will consider other changes to this mandate based on your recommendations.

Any information that you obtain on this matter that may implicate possible violations of law should be referred to the Department of Justice for appropriate action.

We expect that you will move expeditiously to complete this inquiry and that you will provide us with periodic updates. We are hopeful that you will be able to accomplish this task in a bipartisan manner given general agreement that intelligence matters should not be politicized. Either way, however, your inquiry shall proceed. The SIDESTEPPING of THE U.S. CONSTITUTION by employees of the United States government appears to have increased in recent years, establishing a dangerous trend that, if not addressed swiftly and firmly, likely will worsen. The UNCONSTITUTIONAL PRACTICE of RENDITIONING is serious and threatens our nation's security. It also puts the lives of many Americans and the security of our nation at risk.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


William H. Frist, M.D.

Majority Leader

U.S. Senate

J. Dennis Hastert
U.S. House of Representatives


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