On Friday, President Bush claimed that members of Congress who voted for the 2002 Iraq war resolution “had access to the same intelligence” as his administration. ThinkProgress has published information debunking that claim. Our position was backed up this morning by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS).
Appearing on Fox New Sunday, Chris Wallace asked, “What about this question, Sen. Roberts, about whether or not — the fact is you didn’t get the same intelligence. Is that a legitimate concern?”
Roberts acknowledged: “It may be a concern to some extent.”
Of course, Roberts immediately began to offer caveats. He argued, for instance, that “we had the same information on the aluminum tubes at the time we went to war as the time that we took another look and said, whoa, wait a minute, this isn’t adding up.” In fact, it’s not true that Congress had the same information as the White House on aluminum tubes. As the New York Times explained, of the 15 assessments of the tubes sent to Congress, “not one of them” informed readers that experts within the Energy Department believed the tubes could not be used to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program.
But this critical point should not be obscured: President Bush’s statement on Friday was absolute. Either Congress did or did not have the “same intelligence” as the White House prior to the war. This morning, not even Sen. Pat Roberts — who has led efforts to delay and downplay the need for investigating prewar intelligence — would back him up.