Captain's Quarters Blog

« The Alito Smear: Italian=Mafioso | Main | First Mate Update, Day 5: Home Sweet Home »

November 1, 2005
Democrats Deny Open Government To American Electorate

In a move that has not occurred in twenty-five years, the Democrats shut the American public out of the Senate chamber and forced a secret session of the upper chamber this afternoon. Without warning, Harry Reid invoked Rule 21 and after an immediate second, chased out the press and Senate staffers, locked the doors -- and threw a tanrum over Joe Wilson:

he US Senate held a rare secret session to discuss a scandal that led to the resignation of a top White House official last week and the intelligence used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Opposition Democrats requested the closed door session saying it was necessary to allow for a full, open debate on alleged manipulation of prewar intelligence.

This shows the emptiness of Democrats, both in head and heart. As Bill Frist said afterwards, the minority party proves it has nothing to contribute except cheap political stunts. They know that the Fitzgerald investigation came up with next to nothing on the Plame leak -- because it didn't constitute a crime under US statute. Despite having a prosecutor independent of the Bush administration run wild for almost two years and exceed the original boundaries of his mandate, the only indictment he could muster was one in which a very stupid and probably criminal act by a single person could be verified -- and that just had to do with the investigation and grand jury itself, not with the Plame leak.

Reid says that the Wilson/Plame brouhaha proves that the Bush administration lied about the war. This was practically the entire Democratic Party platform last year -- and it lost them the White House and four seats in the Senate. One would think that going back to the well a year later would be stupid beyond belief, but apparently Reid forgot about that big poll taken last November. He also forgot about this bipartisan report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which outlines exactly how Wilson's report in fact bolstered the case that Iraq still wanted to get material for nuclear weapons -- and that Wilson had lied about it in leaks to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and then in his own editorial and book. He also lied about how he got his mission to Niger, and has yet to explain how he managed to get that mission and not sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Further, if Reid wanted to really investigate all this, he should be throwing the doors to the Senate wide open, shining a light on the corruption he claims exists in this issue. What he's doing, however, is merely venting the same old bromides that the Democrats have screamed for the past two years at an electorate that has long since tired of their crybaby, whining tactics. He's locked the doors to give it an aura of authenticity. Instead, it looks like a big, heaping helping of pompous impotence.

The press should take careful note of this. In all of the debate over the intelligence and diplomacy leading up to the Iraq War, the Republicans never even entertained locking the doors on the Senate or Congress for the debate. Not once. They offered full public hearings on the issues, and only in committee -- and only when appropriate -- closed hearings on specifically classified issues. Rule 21 should have been reserved for only the most dire circumstances; instead, Reid has abused it for his petulant tantrums.

Will those in the Fourth Estate stand idly by while the Senate locks its doors in their faces?

UPDATE: Some of my liberal friends (I mean that honestly, not sarcastically) in the comments want to argue that it takes a secret session of the full Senate to discuss intelligence. If so, why is this the first time in 25 years it has been found necessary to do so? When the issue of Iraq came up in 1998 to debate the change of policy on Iraq to a commitment to regime change -- discussing the same intelligence on WMD that proved out-of-date five years later -- the GOP held that in open session, where the American electorate could keep an eye on the proceedings.

I guess when Harry Reid talks on intelligence, the Democrats want no one to listen to what he has to say. Maybe because he doesn't speak with intelligence on the subject.

This has nothing to do with debating intelligence, and everything to do with flexing what little muscle the Democrats can muster in the Senate. They want to show what will happen if the Byrd option gets invoked. Lindsay Graham and Mike DeWine has given the GOP enough votes to pass it with their comments yesterday and Sunday. It has nothing to do with anything other than that -- and if anyone thinks Reid has anything more altruistic in mind, they simply haven't paid attention.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 1, 2005 3:03 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Democrats Deny Open Government To American Electorate:

» This is the Left on a Hissy Fit. Any Questions? from Macmind - Conservative Commentary and Common Sense
November hasn't been a good month for Democrats in recent history. Last week, Patrick 'Elliot Ness' Fitzgerald dropped the ball on their one-yard line, [Read More]

Tracked on November 1, 2005 3:42 PM

» Rule 21 Invoked In Senate from Stuck On Stupid
Harry Reid has invoked Rule 21in the Senate today without preliminary discussion with Senator Bill Frist. This is the first time this has happened in 25 years. Senator Frist is furious. Bill Frist reply: I can not trust Harry Reid for the next year and... [Read More]

Tracked on November 1, 2005 3:59 PM

» Captain, my captain from The Bellman
Captain Ed writes: Will those in the Fourth Estate stand idly by while the Senate locks its doors in their faces? Secret sessions aren't all that rare. There were a bunch when the Senate was evaluating the Articles of Impeachment against President Clinton [Read More]

Tracked on November 1, 2005 4:08 PM

» Senate In Closed Session from bRight & Early
Breaking on Fox News (h/t Sean Hannity): The U.S. Senate went into closed session Tuesday after Democrats enacted a rare parliamentary rule forcing the shut down of the Senate so senators could speak in a classified session about the lead-up to the w... [Read More]

Tracked on November 1, 2005 4:56 PM

» What is Rule 21? from Mover Mike
The US Senate Rule 21

1. On a motion made and seconded to close the doors of the Senate, on the discussion of any business which may, in the opinion of a Senator, require secrecy, th...

[Read More]

Tracked on November 1, 2005 5:07 PM

» Harry Ried Invokes Rule 21 from Oblogatory Anecdotes
In an outrageous move today Senate Minority Leader and MINO Harry Ried invoked a rarely used Rule 21 to call the Senate into a special closed door session. He demanded that the body discuss pre-war intelligence that led up to the United States invading... [Read More]

Tracked on November 1, 2005 5:33 PM

» The Democrats: Rule 21, Able Danger, and the Iraq war from Stingray: a blog for salty Christians
Senate Democrats on Tuesday forced the chamber into a closed-session to discuss the indictment of White House Aide Scooter Libby and the Bush administration’s handling of pre-war intelligence. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., invoked the rarely-used Sena... [Read More]

Tracked on November 1, 2005 5:33 PM

» Senate Democrats blow their lid... from Sitting At The Gates
As some might have heard, the Senate Democrats blew their lid this morning and invoked Rule 21, and proceeded to kick out all news cameras and staffers. They needed to spew privately about Iraq and... [Read More]

Tracked on November 1, 2005 6:09 PM

» Obvious Desperation from Donkey Stomp
They are so desperate to find scandal in the Bush adiministration that they invoke a rule that has not been used since President Clinton's impeachment trials. [Read More]

Tracked on November 1, 2005 6:32 PM

» Weapon of Mass Media Deception from Big Lizards
The absurdity of Harry Reid's tantrum today, forcing the Senate into a rare closed session as a stunt to draw attention to the Democrats' claims that the entire Iraq war was cooked up by Karl Rove and the neocons and... [Read More]

Tracked on November 1, 2005 6:58 PM

» Behind Locked Doors from Flopping Aces
“They do nothing without getting orders from the White House” - Sen. Harry Reid, Dummycrat, 11-1-05. Cough Miers cough. While I was stuck in court all day on my day off it appears that a whole bunch of Joe Wilson Liberal Communist Symp... [Read More]

Tracked on November 1, 2005 9:06 PM

» No more needs to be said from hubs and spokes
The dems pull a stunt in the Senate. CQ responds: This shows the emptiness of Democrats, both in head and heart. As Bill Frist said afterwards, the minority party proves it has nothing to contribute except cheap political stunts.... [Read More]

Tracked on November 1, 2005 10:44 PM

» Senate Dems: Hissy Fit on a National Stage from Target Centermass
First, there’s this story, essentially a delaying rear-guard action against Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. Democrats push to delay Alito hearings Senate Democrats pushed on Tuesday for a 2006 date for hearings on Supreme Court nominee Sam... [Read More]

Tracked on November 1, 2005 11:06 PM

» Fire! Fire! Fire! from jaceonline
Somebody should've yelled "Fire! Fire! Fire!" before the Senate Democrats went through with their "closed door session" hijinx today. They obviously planned it in anticipation of a big raft of indictments in the Joe Wilson investigation, including Ka... [Read More]

Tracked on November 1, 2005 11:20 PM

» Fight, Fight! from QandO
After almost two years of procrastination on the second half of the Iraq Intelligence investigation, the Democrats have decided to call the Republican hand... [Read More]

Tracked on November 2, 2005 12:05 PM

» Democrats Turn To Treason For Political Gain from SoCalPundit
This is unconscionable. Democrats, so desperate to kill this Presidency, are historically revising the present situation by saying we are failing in Iraq. A couple of dead soldiers a day does not a failure make. It is unfortunate that lives are lost... [Read More]

Tracked on November 2, 2005 2:26 PM

» Reeps are faced with the grimmest of prospects: from Catastrophile
Considering how often Reep apologists cite the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, I would think more of them would have read as far as page 2 . . . [Read More]

Tracked on November 2, 2005 2:44 PM

Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios

blog advertising


Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!