Kudos to Republican Senators

I’ll give Sen. Pat Roberts, who until now has seemed basically like a White House shill, a little credit for this:

To Tenet, the senators wrote, “You must expedite our access to the current list of outstanding documents and interview requests.”

“This information was to have been provided to the committee five months ago,” they wrote.

The senators’ letter also complained about the failure of the agency to provide the committee “with an explanation of the various disconnects and inconsistencies in the assessments concerning the Niger uranium issue.”

In the letter to Rice the senators wrote, “We have made numerous requests for documents which we have not yet been provided and we have sought to interview a member of your staff without success. Some of these requests have gone unanswered since July. You must expedite our access to the outstanding documents and immediately make available the individual identified. You must also lift your objection to the Central Intelligence Agency providing the committee with certain documents and allowing us to interview individuals involved in briefing senior administration officials.”

To Rumsfeld and Powell, the two senators wrote, “The credibility of the government with its people and the nation with the world is at stake. Incomplete answers and lingering doubts will haunt us for many years.”

The story also says that “Officials said Tenet is willing — indeed eager — to appear before the committee and explain why, before the war, U.S. intelligence said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.” Now that would be interesting to see.

While I’m giving out credit to Republicans, John Warner deserves some for urging Gen. Boykin to step down (as undersecretary of defense for intelligence, not his rank). Still though, it’s a bit annoying that most stories on Boykin’s remarks, including the one just cited, don’t contain his actual statement, much less this disconcerting detail:

Martin reports Boykin has shown church groups photos he took of Mogadishu with black slashes in the sky which he says did not come from any defect in the camera or film.

“Whether you understand it or not, it is a demonic spirit over the city of Mogadishu. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s not a fake, that’s not a farce,” Boykin said.

In college, we used to maintain a “Satan Watch”, which was basically a collection of photos from The Enquirer and other tabloids purporting to show the face of Satan in the clouds, or the smoke enveloping a burning building. Little did we suspect that that qualified us to be an Defense undersectretary.