Democrats Force Closed Meeting On Iraq
Democrats forced the Republican-controlled Senate into an unusual closed session Tuesday, questioning intelligence that President Bush used in the run-up to the war in Iraq and accusing Republicans of ignoring the issue. "They have repeatedly chosen to protect the Republican administration rather than get to the bottom of what happened and why," Democratic leader Harry Reid said.
Taken by surprise, Republicans derided the move as a political stunt. "The United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership," said Majority Leader Bill Frist. "They have no convictions, they have no principles, they have no ideas," the Republican leader said. In a speech on the Senate floor, Reid demanded the Senate go into closed session. The public was ordered out of the chamber, the lights were dimmed, and the doors were closed. No vote is required in such circumstances.
Reid's move shone a spotlight on the continuing controversy over intelligence that President Bush cited in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Despite prewar claims, no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, and some Democrats have accused the administration of manipulating the information that was in their possession.