The link in this article goes to a story published in the New York Times. The CommonDreams website has it posted.
Every once in a while, the shield drops and we get a glimpse of who's really in charge in this country.
According to what we were taught in high school civics, our country is a Republic, where we elect Representatives to sit in Congress and represent us, the people.
As the Constitution was written, our elected Representatives in Congress should be the highest force in the land. There are checks and balances between the Legislative branch and the Judicial and Executive branches, but the Representatives of the people in the US Congress should have the power to represent all of the citizens of this country.
The article in the New York Times that the attached link points to shows this to be a lie.
The US Senate is showing just a little bit of backbone, and asking the CIA for information. Since the Congress has oversight responsibility on all agencies of the Executive Branch, this is a request that must be honored if the Constitution of the United States is being obeyed.
The Senate has asked for two reports from the CIA. One is a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. The other is a report on how the proposed covert activities in Iraq fit in with the general war plans of this administration. Both of these requests are valid. If this was truly a representative government as we were taught in high school, these would be obeyed.
The CIA is refusing to produce these reports. Instead of a comprehensive N.I.E. on Iraq, they instead issued a report limited to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. The CIA has flat out refused to issue the report on how its covert operations will fit into the coming war.
The Senate requested that the Director of the CIA appear before a committee today. The Director of the CIA REFUSED TO APPEAR.
Think about that. The Congress requested the testimony of an official of the Executive branch. This testimony was vital both in terms of Congress' role of overseeing the operations of the CIA. It is also vital in that Congress is expected to make a decision soon about whether it will authorize the use of force against Iraq. The CIA is certain to play a prominent role both in the planned "regime change" and also in the establishment of a new government in Iraq.
Yet when the Senate requests the testimony of the Director of the CIA on these matters, he refuses to appear. In the article, it basically says that he said he was busy and he'll come later.
What this strongly reveals is who is really running this country. Even when the Congress starts to show even a little backbone and ask for information, the CIA, the military and the court-appointed Bush Administration refuse to provide it.
That's whose really in charge in this government. And in the same way they disregard the Bill of Rights, they also disregard the rest of the Constitution that is supposed to structure our government.
The fact that so much of the power of this government rests in the Congress under the rules laid out in the US Constitution is no accident. This is the body that is closest to the American citizens. As such, it was expected by the framers of the Constitution to most closest represent the interests of the people of this country. That's why the power to make the really important decisions, the power to raise money, the power to spend money, the power to go to war, etc, that's why these powers rest with the Congress.
That's what the framer's intended when they wrote this Constitution. But its not what we have today. Today we are about to go to war with another country without the Congress ever passing a Declaration of War. What is instead being debated is a resolution authorizing the use of force. Perhaps we could get away with calling other wars a police action or aiding a state under attack, but in this case, with the US openly saying its goal is "regime change" in Iraq, there is no way that this can not be considered a war. As such, a formal Declaration of War against Iraq should be passed by the US Congress. That is, if we are still working under the US Constitution.
But today, we got a glimpse of the rules that we are really working under. Congress asked the CIA for information and testimony from its director. In reply, the CIA basically told Congress to buzz off and mind its own business.
Today, there was a crack in the wall and we got a true glimpse at who's really in charge.