Senate Democrats

Reid Calls on Republicans to Put National Security Ahead of Partisan Politics

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid made the following statement on the Senate Floor.

Washington, DC – “MR. PRESIDENT, I WANT EVERYONE HERE TODAY TO BE CLEAR WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT. YOU CAN CALL IT POLITICS. I CALL IT GOVERNMENT. I CALL IT GOOD GOVERNMENT. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY. AT LEAST ONE, THERE COULD BE MORE BUT AT LEAST ONE SENIOR WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL DISCLOSED THE IDENTITY OF A SENIOR INTELLIGENCE OFFICER TO A REPORTER OR REPORTERS AND THEN THIS ADMINISTRATION PROCEEDED TO DENY AND DEFLECT THE TRUTH AFTER IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT IT HAD BEEN LEAKED. IT PUT THIS AGENT’S LIFE IN JEOPARDY. I REPEAT, PUT THIS AGENT’S LIFE IN JEOPARDY. PLUS PEOPLE THAT SHE HAD DEALT WITH FROM OTHER COUNTRIES AND HERE IN AMERICA. IT PUT OUR INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AT RISK, AND, OF COURSE, JEOPARDIZED OUR NATIONAL SECURITY.

“EVEN THE PRESIDENT’S FATHER, MY FRIEND, PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH, A FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY HIMSELF, RECOGNIZES THE SERIOUSNESS OF THIS OFFENSE. HE SAID, AND I QUOTE, ‘I HAVE NOTHING BUT CONTEMPT AND ANGER FOR THOSE WHO BETRAY THE TRUST BY EXPOSING THE NAME OF OUR SOURCES. THEY ARE IN MY VIEW THE MOST INSIDIOUS OF TRAITORS.’

“WHOEVER DID THIS, ACCORDING TO GEORGE BUSH, THE FIRST BUSH PRESIDENT, WOULD BE AN INSIDIOUS TRAITOR. BUT INSTEAD OF DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM, THIS ADMINISTRATION, THIS WHITE HOUSE AND THE MAJORITY HERE IN THE SENATE, WANT TO DIVERT ATTENTION FROM THIS BREACH OF NATIONAL SECURITY. — BREACH OF NATIONAL SECURITY.

“UNFORTUNATELY, MR. PRESIDENT, IT’S A PATTERN WE’RE ALL TOO FAMILIAR WITH FROM THIS WHITE HOUSE. WHEN THEY ARE ON THE ROPES, THEY ATTACK. IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME, YOU NEED LOOK NO FURTHER THAN YESTERDAY’S ‘WASHINGTON POST’, JULY 13, 2005, WHICH DETAILED THE REPUBLICAN STRATEGY FOR THIS AFFAIR. AND I QUOTE, ‘THE EMERGING G.O.P. STRATEGY DEVISED BY R.N. C. CHAIR KEN MEHLMAN AND THOSE OUTSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE IS TO TRY TO UNDERMINE THE DEMOCRATS CALLING FOR ROVE’S OUSTER TO DROWN OUT THE CONTROVERSY ACCORDING TO SEVERAL HIGH-LEVEL REPUBLICANS.’

“MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS WHAT IS KNOWN AS A COVERUP. THIS IS AN ABUSE OF POWER. THIS IS A DIVERSION FROM WHAT WE SHOULD BE DEALING WITH HERE IN THE SENATE. NO INTEREST IN COMING CLEAN AND BEING HONEST WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

“THIS AFTERNOON MEHLMAN’S STRATEGY IS BEING BROUGHT RIGHT HERE. BUT YOU KNOW THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN SEE RIGHT THROUGH THIS. THIS MORNING A WALL STREET JOURNAL, NOT A BASTION OF LIBERALALITY, THEIR POLL THIS MORNING SAID ONLY 41% OF AMERICANS BELIEVE THE PRESIDENT IS BEING HONEST AND STRAIGHTFORWARD. THAT’S FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL THIS MORNING WHICH CONFIRMS AND UNDERLINES

WHAT I’VE SAID.

“THIS IS A COVERUP. IT’S AN ABUSE OF POWER. IT’S DIVERSIONARY. IT’S TIME TO QUITE PLAYING PARTISAN POLITICS WITH OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. IT’S TIME FOR THE WHITE HOUSE TO COME CLEAN. IT’S TIME TO ADDRESS THE PRESSING ISSUES FACING THIS COUNTRY.

“THIS SECOND-DEGREE AMENDMENT, MR. PRESIDENT – AND I’VE BEEN IN THE CONGRESS MORE THAN TWO DECADES — IS ABOUT AS JUVENILE AND AS MUD-SLINGING AS I HAVE SEEN. WE’RE HERE TO DEAL WITH NATIONAL SECURITY. WE’RE HERE TO TALK ABOUT LEAKING INFORMATION OF OUR C.I.A. AGENTS. ISN’T THAT PART OF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY? I CERTAINLY OPEN SO.

“WE HAVE PRESSING ISSUES FACING THIS COUNTRY. THE REASON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE LOST FAITH IN THIS ADMINISTRATION IS BECAUSE WE’RE NOT DEALING WITH THE PROBLEMS THEY CARE ABOUT. 45 MILLION AMERICANS WITH NO HEALTH INSURANCE, MILLIONS OF OTHERS UNDERINSURED, OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IS WONTING; K-12, BIG PROBLEMS. PENSIONS — ONLY HALF OF AMERICAN WORKERS TODAY HAVE PENSIONS. AND MORE THAN HALF OF THOSE PENSIONS ARE IN DISTRESS. PEOPLE ARE WORRYING JUST LIKE THOSE

PEOPLE THAT WORK ALL THOSE VALIANT YEARS AT UNITED AIRLINES, ARE THEY GOING TO LOSE THEIR PENSIONS OR ARE THEY GOING TO BE CUT?

“THIS ADMINISTRATION IS OBSTRUCTING THIS PROGRESS. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DESERVE MORE. THE REPUBLICANS SHOULD STOP PLAYING GAMES AND WORK ON ISSUES TO HELP THIS COUNTRY. WHAT WE HAVE HERE TODAY WITH THIS LITTLE SECOND-DEGREE AMENDMENT IS A DIVERSION, IT IS AN ABUSE OF POWER AND IT IS A COVER-UP.

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