Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Harry Reid invokes Rule 21. See definition of Rule 21 here.

Senator Harry Reid invokes Rule 21 to have the Senate go into closed session. The reason given for this seems questionable at best and may be the first volley of a tragic political war about to begin. Throw out all the bums!

Rule 21 as defined in Senate Rules states:


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, the Presiding Officer shall direct the galleries to be cleared; and during the discussion of such motion the doors shall remain closed.

2. When the Senate meets in closed session, any applicable provisions of rules XXIX and XXXI, including the confidentiality of information shall apply to any information and to the conduct of any debate transacted.

Senator Reid wants the Senate Intelligence Committee to report its Phase 2 findings which was to include the use of Intelligence in the lead up to the war in Iraq. Sen. Reid compared the lack of any oversight of the Bush Administration by the Senate and said that when the Democrats controlled the Senate they had oversight investigations into many of the Clinton Administration shortcomings. The claim is that this Republican Senate which controls both Senate and Congress is not doing its responsibility in its oversight of the Executive branch. He was outraged and in a desperate measure because the Democrats have no real power in this Congress, he invoked Rule 21. Stand by and hold on. It's going to get a lot more divisive, sickening all of us.

Update: 2:00pm PST

Senator Reid's outrage he said on CNN is over the stalling tactics of the Senate Intelligence Committee's lack of progress on the report, called Phase 2, which is on the use of Intelligence in the lead up to the war in Iraq. The Senator rightfully seems very angry and said that Sen. Rockefeller has written on the stall as the ranking minority member of the Senate Intelligence committee. Senator Rockefeller has recently commented on the fact that Senator Frist had cancelled a briefing on Iraq saying the following:

"Senator Frist’s action today to unilaterally cancel a briefing that would have provided all Senators, Republicans and Democrats, with a better understanding of the problems we face in Iraq is indefensible,” Rockefeller said.

“The National Intelligence Council was fully prepared to brief Senators on the latest Intelligence Community assessments on the insurgency, the reconstruction efforts, the status of Iraqi security forces, and the affects of destabilization on neighboring countries.

My colleagues and I requested this briefing from the intelligence community because, to date, administration policy makers have not been completely forthcoming about the situation in Iraq. They have been unwilling or unable to articulate what the strategy is for success in Iraq. And, I’m concerned that this administration continues to paint an overly optimistic picture of events on the ground.

“Democrats and Republicans alike want unvarnished information and we want answers. The American people deserve answers.

To suggest that this briefing cannot and should not happen because it was initiated by Democrats is politicizing our national security."

So it apparent that much is going on behind close doors by the Senate and Republicans afraid to get answers to the important questions. It was probably the only way Senator Reid was going to get anyones attention on the Republican side.

Update: Nov. 2, 2005

Much has been said as to whether Harry Reid used a cheap trick or gimmick yesterday in invoking Rule 21. A day later it can be said that the effect was to keep the focus on the Senate Intelligence report that now has been promised by its Chairman Sen. Pat Roberts. In politics, this Bush Administration has used dirty tricks and gimmicks for 5 years. They should get a taste of how it feels when the shoe is on the other foot. Remember the Swift Boat ads attacking Sen. Kerry that the Administration did not rebuke. It is possible that electronic voting machines could have been tampered with in Ohio according to the Office of management and Budget of Congress report. Remember the Vice President who used his bully pulpit to put fear in us about the possibility of a mushroom cloud in this country because of Saddam Hussein, the supposed link between Saddam and Al Quaida. I could go on and on but you could add many of your own, I'm sure.


Blogger DJiMatt said...

You are all that is wrong with the US.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Milan said...

How often does this happen in the US? Is it a pretty standard operating procedure, or a real exception?

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if this guy is "all that is wrong in the US", I'm a pretty happy fellow, because that means all our other problems are solved. Neat!

1:11 PM  
Blogger DJiMatt said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:56 PM  
Blogger DJiMatt said...


Welcome to the wonderful world of metaphors!

1) A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison, as in “a sea of troubles” or “All the world's a stage” (Shakespeare).
2) One thing conceived as representing another; a symbol: “Hollywood has always been an irresistible, prefabricated metaphor for the crass, the materialistic, the shallow, and the craven” (Neal Gabler).

2:57 PM  
Blogger A Christian Prophet said...

To see the Holy Spirit's very words regarding divisiveness, see The Christian Prophet blog:


5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an Independent I'd like to know what the "facts' were why we went to war. It is past time that we see the evidence and decide for ourselves whether or not we were mislead.

9:29 AM  
Blogger deathski said...

Let's face it. The American people were mislead about the war in Iraq. If we were not mislead, the government would have released the information already. The Bush administration is stalling so they can figure out how best to play this. No matter who is to blame, we still have a problem.

We are still in Iraq. The US can't afford to pull out quickly. If we do that, then the insurgents will see it as a victory. They beat the "infidels"! The insurgency will rise and Iraq will become a dictatorship again.

If we stay long enough to insure Iraq's democracy however, we will lose more soldiers and it's going to cost a LOT more money.

I agree that someone needs to be held accountable and ultimately it comes down to the President. He was the one who gave the order. No matter what anyone else says, the buck stops in the Oval Office.

11:17 AM  

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