Tuesday, June 14, 2005

No Room For You!

First, House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) gavels a hearing on the Patriot Act to a close ignoring committee rules, objections to the closing, and remaining witnesses. Now he's refusing to allow any Democrat a room in which to hold hearings, specifically Rep. Conyers hearings on the Downing Street Memo. From The Hill:
In a sign of how far relationships on the committee have soured, majority staff recently announced a new policy to deny any request from a committee Democrat for the use of a committee hearing room.

Majority spokesman Jeff Lungren said the Republicans have given Democrats three opportunities to make clear that the forums are not official committee business. Nevertheless, Lungren said, in at least one case, members were addressing Conyers as “Mr. Chairman.”

“They were unwilling or unable to make those changes,” Lungren said. “At this point, if they want to hold these forums, they’ll have to find some other place to do it.”

Sean McLaughlin, deputy chief of staff for Sensenbrenner, recently wrote to a minority staffer in more pointed language.

“I’m sitting here watching your ‘forum’ on C-SPAN,” McLaughlin wrote. “Just to let you know, it was your last. Don’t bother asking [for a room] again.”

That's right, boys and girls, we wouldn't want Conyers to have an official looking hearing that was covered on C-Span. Especially not on the Downing Street Memo, which in case you forget comes right out and says Bush was "fixing" intelligence on Iraq WMD eight months prior to his leading us into a war "of last resort" based on the same "fixed" intelligence. We couldn't have that. Especially if we were Republicans. Why, with the majority of people thinking the war was not worth it, what would they think if they found out Bush lied? Heavens, we can't have that! After all, a witness called Conyers "chairman." The nerve!

Protocol is some much more important than the truth about a war that has cost 1,700 US soldiers their lives.