The Corner

Kyl Blasts Dems On Intel Memo

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

information.

“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.”

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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