Giving the Old Grey Lady Some Oversight
Under Republican control, Congress has exercised virtually no oversight of the administration’s misconduct of the war, and the new Democratic leadership is eager to hold extensive hearings. The public deserves a full accounting (backed by subpoenas, if necessary) of how prewar intelligence was cooked, why American troops were sent to war without adequate armor, and where billions of dollars in reconstruction aid disappeared to.
A cursory look the schedules for a few Congressional committees and sub-committees shows that in the past 18 months to 2 years there were only these three days of hearings. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one in October 2005, which was described as the 30th full Sen. Foreign Relations Cmte hearing on Iraq held since January 2003. And there were the “Phase I” and “Phase II” reports on prewar intell by the Sen. Intell Cmte. And Congress created the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, which sent American occupation officials to jail on bribery and conspiracy charges, exposed disastrously poor construction work by well-connected companies like Halliburton and Parsons, and discovered that the military did not properly track hundreds of thousands of weapons it shipped to Iraqi security forces—according to the New York Times.
Keep in mind: I only looked at a few committees and sub-committees, so it’s likely there were more in, for example, the Sen. Armed Services Cmte. And with the few I committees and sub-committees I checked, I excluded any hearing that did not clearly and directly address the conduct of the war in Iraq and the topics specified by the New York Times. Thus, for example, hearings dealing only with Afghanistan were excluded.
In claiming that there has been “virtually no oversight,” the paper is simply echoing the talking point of Sen. Harry Reid. I am shocked, shocked to discover the paper did “virtually no oversight” of Reid’s claim.