Reale Simple

The world is more than what they tell you. Listen up. It's not complex. It's Reale Simple.

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Former USCHO writer, former writer at a Midwestern broadsheet, occassional CHN blogger.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Reid's Tantrum

Faced with a Plame affair indictment that didn't satisfy his party's most fervent hopes and a conservative Supreme Court nominee that his party cannot hope to defeat, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid imploded on the floor of the United States Senate today, forcing the body into closed deliberations after a speech full of hysterics.

"The Libby indictment provides a window into what this is really all about, how this administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions," Reid said just before he invoked the Senate rule that allows for a closed session. Let's break this down. First, Reid claims that the Libby indictment is some kind of damning evidence that a leak occurred in the Plame affair, when nothing could be further from the truth. Libby was indicted on charges that he lied to the grand jury, not that he or anyone else leaked the name of Valerie Plame. Second, Reid acts as though the Bush Administration fabricated all of the information they had about Iraq, when President Bill Clinton and his administration were saying many of the same things in 1998 (with the support of a lot of today's Senate Democrats, no less). Finally, Reid bloviates that the Administration has done something wrong in the aftermath, which, yet again, is totally unproven. And this was his justification for kicking the American people out of their government for almost two hours this afternoon.

Reid's right-hand man, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin - a man who once compared American soldiers serving in Guantanamo to Nazis and Pol Pot - immediately backed him up, seconding the motion and spewing further unsubstantiated bilge.

Despite the fact that nearly the entire world was claiming that Iraq had a covert weapons of mass destruction program prior to the war, including the governments of France and Germany, despite their open opposition to war, Senate Democrats and the Left in general seems to have this strange inability to grasp that instead of the Bush Administration manipulating and fabricating their own truths, it may have been possible that the intelligence accrued by such services as the Central Intelligence Agency, MI6, and the Mossad may have just been misinformed, if not dead wrong.

And then there's the assumption that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. This claim can only be true if the lack of proof is equivalent to a proof of lack, which any logician will tell you isn't necessarily accurate. While no weapons of mass destruction have been found, neither has their been any evidence that Iraq's known weapons of mass destruction stores were ever destroyed. Perhaps Reid's temper tantrum antics would be better served exploring what did happen to Iraqi WMD. After all, we know that at one point, he had possession of chemical weapons and biological weapons, and had a functioning nuclear weapons program. It just vanished into thin air? Or are we to believe that Saddam Hussein decided to voluntarily dismantle his program on his own after booting UN inspectors out of the country in 1998? We continue to hear rumblings that Iraqi WMD ended up transported through Syria and Iran. There's a wonderful thought. Maybe instead of all of the whining that there was a "rush to war" back in 2003, the real problem is that we didn't go to war soon enough.

At any rate, Reid's little political play, correctly identified by Majority Leader Bill Frist as a "hijacking of the Senate," is nothing more than a desperate move for attention during a week where Bush rebounded from the Miers strikeout with a sure run-scoring move of nominating Samuel Alito to the high court, then outlined a comprehensive federal program for dealing with a potential flu pandemic. Both of these events hurt the Democrats' political strategy, which consists of Blame Bush, then Blame Bush some more, and after that, Blame Bush. Reid had to find something to get the Democrats back on the front page, and he found it. Unfortunately, shutting the public out of the Senate in a petty political move isn't very likely to draw moderates on these issues to his side, as temper tantrums on either side are rarely approved of by any but the most fervent party members. Harry Reid may have just made the Alito nomination more likely to succeed, and the Plame affair more likely to fade into nothing. Oops.

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