WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), a member of the Senate
leadership, today issued the following statement one day after Senate
Democrats’ refused to repudiate a staff memo outlining a strategy to use a
nonpartisan Intelligence Committee investigation for political attacks next
year against President Bush.
The Senator called on Democrat leaders to publicly denounce the strategy.
He also suggested that if staff members deserved the blame for drafting the
memo, they should be fired.
“First, Democrats sought to blame an unnamed staffer for this memo, saying
it had never been approved by any Senators. Next they tried to argue the
memo’s merits without accepting responsibility for it. Then, on CNN,
Senator Rockefeller attributed it to his three staffers but claimed it was
just one ‘option’ or ‘idea’ adding, ‘I disavow nothing.’
“Further failing to accept responsibility, Democrats had the audacity to
suggest the Senate investigate how these attack plans might have been
obtained – the equivalent of offenders blaming the cops because they got
caught. This effort at spin control is patently absurd in any event, since
by Senator Rockefeller’s own admission, this strategy memo was not an
official committee document and certainly contained no intelligence
“Another Democrat explanation is that they simply are frustrated that the
administration has not provided as much intelligence information to the
committee as they have demanded. But what makes them think they would get
more information by signaling in advance that they intend to use the
information politically or that they’ve already begun to do so? The White
House could be excused for taking a dim view of the Democrats’ demands.
“All of the Democrats’ artful dodges are attempts to obscure what must be
the central questions in examining this serious matter. Does the Democrat
leadership repudiate this strategy or does it embrace it? Does the Democrat
Party intend to use what is supposed to be a nonpartisan intelligence
investigation as a political weapon or doesn’t it? Will Senate Democrats
demand accountability for the inappropriate partisan use of the Intelligence
Committee or won’t they?
“The American people have a right to hear the answers to these questions. I,
for one, am not satisfied with what I’ve heard so far.”