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SENATOR ROCKEFELLER STATEMENT ON THE CLOSED SESSION OF THE SENATE TO DISCUSS MATTERS RELATED TO THE MISUSE OF INTELLIGENCE

By Judd Legum on November 1, 2005 at 3:43 pm

November 1, 2005

“At its core, this is about accountability — Congressional accountability and White House accountability.

“Congress has a fundamental, constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight – that’s what checks and balances are all about – and we have utterly failed.

“My colleagues and I have tried for two years to do our oversight work, and for two years we have been undermined, avoided, put off, and vilified by the other side. Any line of questioning that has brought us too close to the White House has been thwarted.

“At some point the majority needs to understand that we are willing to bring the Senate to a halt until they will join us in conducting the kind of investigation this situation demands.

“The American people still want to know – now more than ever – why the United States went to war, whether they were misled, and whether our intelligence was misused.

“Whether these actions amount to crimes is not the litmus test for congressional oversight. Mr. Fitzgerald is investigating possible criminal activity by senior White House officials, and we won’t and shouldn’t get in the way of his work.

“But the American people deserve to know not just whether this Administration committed crimes, but whether this Administration told the truth – the full truth, the straight story.

“And if they didn’t – if they misled about the war and if they misused intelligence, then the American people need to know that the Congress will do everything in its power the make sure that it never happens again.”