Word out of DC today is that minority leader Harry Reid invoked a little-used Senate Rule, apparently Rule 21, that allows them to clear the room and hold hearings in secret. What's up, Harry?
Those in the know said the last two times they invoked the rule was for impeachment and "chemical weapons". Wha? I don't remember nothing bout no chemical weapons. Was the country under attack and we didn't know it, or were we fixin to attack someone else with chems? note-- fixin is a southern term meaning "getting ready to". We can be economical with words down here, too.
The rule ..
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.
The repubs claimed it was a stunt, and there's a good possibility it was. But let's put on the tinfoil hat for a sec and ask the question--if they really wanted to meet secretly behind closed doors without alarming the public, how would they do it? Perhaps they might pretend it was a partisan stunt. Just tossing that one out there. I'm sure somebody will leak the "truth" about why before the late evening news.
MORE RAMBLINGS ON CLUB 21
The official line is coming out, which seems plausible, that Harry Reid called for Rule 21 to get the media's focus back on Libby and the Iraq war. Fox News interviewed a GOP official who characterized it thusly:
One senior GOP leadership aide suggested that Democrats took this extraordinary action to divert attention back to the CIA leak after Bush had successfully removed the topic from the headlines with his nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. The aide said Reid's maneuver distracts from Alito because Democrats don't have the votes to oppose the nominee.
"[Reid] is trying to distract from his inability to block the nomination by trying to concoct some conspiracy over intelligence and abusing the Senate rules in the process," the aide said. "He's just trying to stir up some dust."
That about sums it up--street level politics at work. Guess the dems figure two can play at Rove's game. After all, Turd Blossom did make them look foolish with the Harriet Miers stunt. Then he dodged the trap set by their personal hit squad, Niger Joe and his wife Agent 99.
Since the only hope of the dems right now is to get Bush impeached over Iraq (a war they voted for after viewing the same intelligence he did), this will be seen by those in the know as a hail Mary play. The dems know the Libbygate story is not getting major play, and won't unless higher-ups become involved. They need to give CBS, NBC and ABC a reason to keep the story alive while we await the trial. They know the aforementioned outlets will bury all previous stories to do with Iraq they themselves ran, like ABC News' Sheila MacVicar report on the Iraq-Bin Laden connection. Of course, that was in 2000. We know Saddam became no threat in 2001. We know, because the democrats told us so.
Looking at a panoramic of this entire Iraq thing, one can see the ruminations of the most massive CYA ever purported on the public. The administration is backpeddling, blaming their decision on the 2002 NIE and CIA, and conventional wisdom. Senators from both sides, all of whom voted for the resolution to kickbutt on Saddam, are backpeddling due to their complicity. The dems from that group have broken rank for political reasons, after seeing the possibilities of the frog march. They don't want to have to explain to voters next year why they voted "yeah". Cover. And the CIA was working 24/7 to manufacture the Plame game as a way to deflect critical eyes on their Iraq and 9/11 perfomances.
Sometimes I think we need to get rid of ALL of them and start over. I believe Jefferson did say an occasional revolution was healthy. And it doesn't have to be violent to work.