Tuesday, June 05, 2007

McCain, Brownback (also Clinton and Edwards): voted without even reading intelligence estimates.

In tonight's GOP debate, John McCain and Sam Brownback both said that they never read the National Intelligence Estimate in advance.

They defended their lack of preparation for perhaps the most important vote they'd ever cast in the Senate by saying that they listened to briefings. Yeah. Presumably briefings by the Bush administration, which was trying to sell the war. Can you say, 'rubber stamp?'

I've been critical of Democrats who voted for the AUMF in 2002 (particularly Senators and current Presidential candidates Clinton, Edwards, Biden and Dodd) but to have not even read the report is a cause for even a higher level of criticism than that. In particular, how can John McCain continue to justify his unflagging support for this war when he never even took the time to read through what its foundations were?

ADDITION: The ever sharp-eyed Indy Voter pointed out that the two leading Democrats who were in the Senate in 2002 also voted for the war without reading the resolution.

My comment on that was:

I'm beginning to think there are only two kinds of people in the United States Senate. One group is the cowards, and the other group are those who have never considered running for President. And I'm not sure which one is in the majority.

7 comments:

Indy Voter said...

Edwards also has said he didn't read the NIE. I donb't know if any of the other 2002 Democratic senators now running for president have made a statement on this one way or the other.

And I agree. It's inexcusably irresponsible to have voted on the war without reading the NIE.

Chuck said...

I don't think they read half of anything. Consider the "Patriot" Act.

This "govern"ment needs a complete revamp.

I'm still one of those holdouts waiting to see if Al Gore is going to step up. I'm not, however, holding my breath.

Indy Voter said...

Apparently Clinton also did not read the NIE before voting.

I wonder if there's a strong correlation between senators who read the NIE and how they voted? Nah. I doubt enough of them bothered to read it for a meaningful analysis. :-(

Eli Blake said...

Indy Voter:

Then it's even more disturbing. Here we have all three of the frontrunners, of both parties, who were in the Senate at the time, and all three voted for the war without knowing what they were voting for (since as noted in the post, briefings were essentially propaganda sessions organized by an administration which had already made up its mind and was out to sell the war.) Of course other considerations-- the 2008 Presidential election obviously held more weight than the future of the United States and the lives of our men and women in uniform.

I'm beginning to think there are only two kinds of people in the United States Senate. One group is the cowards, and the other group are those who have never considered running for President. And I'm not sure which one is in the majority.

Indy Voter said...

Here's a HuffPo article indicating some who read and didn't read the NIE. Only 5 senators are known to have read it (there may be others who did but the author missed): Biden, Graham, Rockefeller, Roberts, and Durbin. (The author inexplicably double counts Graham.)

Some others who didn't read it: Kennedy, Kerry, Dorgan, Nelson (NE), Reid.

Indy Voter said...

My bad. Six senators did, in fact, read the bill, based on the number who signed a form indicating that they'd taken the effort to go and read it (the full NIE wasn't delivered toindividual offices). However, the author could only identify 5 of them.

Jack Hampton said...

Graham of SC and Graham of FL?