Senate Democrats

Reid and Durbin Call for Six-Member Task Force on Pre-War Intelligence to Reconvene

Washington, DCSenate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Assistant Democratic Leader Richard Durbin sent the following letter to Majority Leader Frist and Assistant Majority Leader McConnell, requesting that the six-member task force on pre-war intelligence brief the Democratic leadership this week on the Intelligence Committee’s progress and timetable to complete action. The task force so far has not reached a bipartisan agreement on a timetable and schedule for completion.

The text of the letter follows below:

December 13, 2005

The Honorable William H. Frist

Majority Leader

United States Senate

Washington, D.C.

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Assistant Majority Leader

United States Senate

Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. Majority Leader and Mr. Assistant Majority Leader:

Last month Senate Democrats requested that the Senate go into closed session to discuss the status of the Intelligence Committee’s 20 month long investigation into the Administration’s use of intelligence in the run up to the Iraq war.

As a result of the closed session, we agreed to appoint a six member task force composed of three Republicans and three Democrats to report to us on “the Intelligence Committee’s progress on the Phase 2 review of the pre-war intelligence and its schedule for completion.”

That task force so far has not reached a bipartisan agreement on a timetable and schedule for completion. As a result, critical questions remain about the committee’s progress on its investigation, its timeline for completing that investigation, and what remaining steps need to be taken to ensure a prompt, thorough, and complete review.

The investigation into how our country went to war is much too important to let languish. We are therefore writing to ask that you join with us in reconvening the six member task force we agreed to establish in the closed session to brief us this week on the Intelligence Committee’s progress to date and its timetable to complete action. Given this could be the last week the Senate is in session until the middle of next month, we think it is important for the Senate leadership to know where this important investigation stands before we depart. We also think it would be helpful if you would join us in receiving monthly briefings from this task force until the committee completes its investigation.

We think this request is fully consistent with what we agreed to do in the closed session and fully in keeping with what the American people expect of their leaders. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Harry Reid Richard Durbin

Democratic Leader Assistant Democratic Leader

cc: Senator Roberts

Senator Bond

Senator Lott

Senator Rockefeller

Senator Levin

Senator Feinstein