Senator Bob Graham Returns

Tuesday, November 8, 2005 12:57 AM

Herewith another straw in the wind, an important but under-reported item concerning the former U.S. Senator from Florida, Bob Graham, who now teaches at Harvard. As mentioned on page 206 of  The Unauthorized World Situation Report, Graham was one of those few Democratic Senators who stood up and voted against the blank check which Bush Jr. received from the U.S. Congress to launch "Operation Iraqi Freedom".

Another brave standout was Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, who, to quote myself, “smelled a rat, during the run-up to the war, and was not bashful about saying so. At his age and with such a secure seat, Byrd could speak his mind unafraid.”

Unfortunately, Byrd has health issues, and is slowing down considerably. Otherwise, God knows what Byrd might be doing right now. Raising hell probably. Of all the Senators of both parties, Byrd’s anti-war and anti-neocon outlook has been thoroughly vindicated.

The Graham vote seemed most significant at the time, even more than Byrd’s. Byrd could be written off as an old eccentric. Graham on the other hand was the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Graham was the top Democratic expert in a position to recognize authentic intelligence when he saw it. Much to the annoyance of the war party, Graham was not buying the cooked "intelligence" served up by Dick Cheney and the lie factory at the Pentagon. After Bush launched "Wolfowitz's War", Graham ran for the Democratic nomination for President, which he lost to Senator John Kerry. Graham retired from the Senate in 2004, his honor and integrity intact.

Note that the Democratic leadership in Congress voted in favor of "Wolfowitz's War" itself, and then the rank-and-file voted against the pro-peace Graham for President. Now the hapless and hopeless Democrats are stuck with the triangulating, war-mongering opportunist, Hillary Clinton. They deserve her. They embraced John Kerry, who voted to authorize hostilities and whose stand in favor of invading Iraq was the easy way out. Kerry was the Washington Establishment man in spades.

Now the Democrats are trying somehow to go back and have it both ways. They correctly highlight Bush's mendacious sales pitch for war, but they do not address the fact that they were hopelessly derelict in swallowing that hogwash. Were John Kerry and the Democrats fooled, or just brainwashed, or both? They don't say. Actually, a number of high-ranking Democrats proudly pushed for war along the same lines as Bush, and went to the White House to take part in photo ops.

At the time, it was all aboard the war train express. Few wanted to be left behind, out in the cold with Byrd and Graham. Well, these jackasses got their splendid little war. Do they expect to be rewarded for the disaster which they authorized? Apparently, they do. The triangulation among the troglodytes continues. Once again, may I ask where is Professor Paul Wolfowitz, the prime architect of the war, and when will Congress question him about his perfidy? When will Cheney and Bush be impeached for malfeasance and high crimes? It ain’t going to happen. They got away with it. Move on. 


From the Sunday Miami Herald, November 6th, 2005


Graham says Libby didn't act alone in CIA leak case.Vice President Dick Cheney must explain what he knew about the activities of his top aide, who was indicted in the CIA leak case, former Senator Bob Graham said.


WASHINGTON - Former Sen. Bob Graham of Florida said Friday that he thinks Vice President Dick Cheney was a ''conspirator'' in a Bush administration campaign to discredit former ambassador Joe Wilson and expose Wilson's wife, CIA operative Valerie Plame.

''This was one of the most reprehensible and damaging breaches of American security in modern times,'' said Graham, who was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the fall of 2002, when the administration made its case for war against Iraq.

Graham called on Cheney to ''defend and explain himself'' in the wake of the indictment of Cheney's top aide, Lewis Libby, on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in the CIA leak case. Libby discussed Wilson, a critic of the war, and Plame with reporters and then lied to the grand jury about it, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has said.


''It's impossible to believe that Scooter Libby would have done this on his own, but rather this was part of a larger conspiracy to attempt to discredit Joseph Wilson,'' Graham said. Bush and Cheney have said they will not discuss the CIA leak case because of Fitzgerald's ongoing investigation. Asked directly if White House officials lied to the public about Iraq intelligence, Graham said “yes.”

He said the administration suppressed ''all the nuance'' and internal disagreement among intelligence agencies over whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, then exaggerated the threat and covered up their activities.

Graham, who is teaching at Harvard after retiring from the Senate last year, spoke in a conference call with reporters arranged by Senate Democrats. They are pushing for a ''thorough, credible'' Intelligence Committee investigation into how prewar intelligence was used to sell the war. Graham said Friday he was ''suspicious'' about the intelligence reports on the Iraqi threat he saw during the fall of 2002.


He voted against the war resolution, saying Iraq would drain resources from the war on terrorism. ''The administration did not want the best judgment of the intelligence community,'' Graham said. "This was an administration that wanted to be blind going into this war. They did not want to have the most credible assessment of what was the reality of the case for war and the consequences of war.''

Senate Democrats forced a closed session earlier in the week on the need for an investigation of prewar intelligence, and on Friday Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., the Intelligence chairman, said the committee staff was making progress on that probe. Graham said the administration needs to quickly assess what it can realistically achieve in Iraq, but he did not advocate a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. forces as some Democrats have done.

© 2005 and wire service sources.