Yesterday was the deadline for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to report its progress on Phase II of the investigation into the administration’s use of pre-war intelligence. The prognosis is not good, according to Senators Rockefeller, Levin and Feinstein. They have released a letter, and here is its main finding:
At this time, we are unable to provide an estimated completion date of the Phase II investigation given the substantial amount of work that remains to be done.
This assessment differs greatly from the one offered by Sen. Pat Roberts on November 1st: “It isn’t like it’s been delayed. As a matter of fact, it’s been ongoing. As a matter of fact, we have been doing our work on Phase 2.” In reality, as the letter makes clear at various points, the work of the committee has been stonewalled by an unwillingness on the part of conservatives to investigate the administration. The Senators report that the investigation has been unable to proceed due to the following issues:
(1) Chairman Roberts is unwilling to investigate the “Cabal” inside the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans because he is deferring to the administration to investigate itself.
(2) Roberts has been unwilling to allow for “additional interviews and documents” to conduct a thorough inquiry.
Also, it is important to note that while Bush continues to falsely claim that the Senate Intelligence Committee found the administration had not “manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war,” the Intel Committee Senators say just the opposite:
The Committee staff work on two other sections of the investigation is not finished: whether public statements were substantiated by intelligence information and the use of intelligence information provided by the Iraqi National Congress.
Copy of Rockefeller, Levin, and Feinstein letter here.