In an interview with McClatchy Newspapers, Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV) said that Vice President Dick Cheney exerted “constant” pressure on the former chairman, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), to stall an investigation into the Bush administration’s use of false intelligence on Iraq. The so-called Phase II report on the administration’s use of pre-war intelligence was delayed for over two years. Two of its five portions were finally released in Sept. 2006.
Rockefeller said that he knew Cheney attended regular policy meetings in which he conveyed White House directions to conservative Capitol Hill staffers. They “just had to go along with the administration,” he said. Here are examples of Roberts’ vacillations on the Phase II investigation per White House orders:
“We’ll proceed with Phase II. It is a priority. I made my commitment and it will get done.” [Press conference, 7/9/04]
“I don’t know if we can get it done before the election.” [Meet the Press, 7/11/04]
“That [the Phase II report] is basically on the back burner.” [UPI, 3/10/05]
“I don’t think there should be any doubt that we have now heard it all regarding prewar intelligence. I think that it would be a monumental waste of time to replow this ground any further.” [U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 3/31/05]
“To go though that exercise, it seems to me, in a post-election environment — we didn’t see how we could do that and achieve any possible progress. I think everybody pretty well gets it.” [U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 3/31/05]
“I’m perfectly willing to do it, and that’s what we agreed to do, and that door is still open.” [Meet the Press, 4/10/05]
“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 II.” [Senate Floor Speech, 11/1/05]
“I don’t know the relevancy of that.” [CNN, 11/1/05]
“We’ve been working on that. We will finish it. We had it scheduled for this week.” [Face the Nation, 11/6/05]
The report was partially released on September 8, 2006.