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Monday, July 21, 2003

Investigation Coming!
In 1974, the mounting evidence against Richard Nixon finally convinced one of his staunchest Republican supporters to call for his resignation or impeachment, and Nixon resigned a few days later. Apparently George Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee some things last week that are changing some minds:

Not a month ago, as the frustration about ''missing'' Iraqi chemical and biological weapons was evolving into suspicions about phony nuclear weapons information, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas, a Republican, was a willing stonewaller. In helping to block hearings into prewar intelligence, Roberts declared there was no evidence of misdeeds and that holding hearings would merely imply there was.

Last week, he was singing an entirely different tune, vowing that ''we will take this where it leads us; we'll let the chips fall where they may.'' That includes the White House - accountings from Vice President Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice are going to be difficult to evade.

Roberts's switch follows the expressions of other Republicans whose independence is a matter of record - especially John McCain and Foreign Relations Committee big shots Richard Lugar and Chuck Hagel. In any congressional investigation the first confirming bits of political validity are provided by an administration's fellow party members. That is now occurring.

Roberts did more than switch. In pledging to let the facts lead his probe, the Kansan was opening the door to inquiry into a wide range of statements about Iraq's alleged possession of unconventional weaponry made by Bush, Cheney, and Rice, statements that make it clear that the infamous 16 words in Bush's State of the Union address were but the tip of a hyperbolic iceberg.

What tipped Roberts's hand was CIA Director George Tenet's odd appearance behind closed committee doors last week.
-- From the Boston Globe. Definitely worthwhile reading!