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Democrats close Senate doors in Iraq protest
Tue Nov 1, 2005 7:14 PM ET
By Vicki Allen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats accusing the ruling Republicans of stalling tactics imposed a rare closed session of the Senate on Tuesday to force the majority to complete a probe on whether the Bush administration misused intelligence before the Iraq war.
...Senate Republican leaders were livid about the tactic, which drew public attention back to Iraq as President George W. Bush faced the fall-out from an indictment of a senior aide related to the handling of pre-war intelligence.
"The United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership," Majority leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said. "Never have I been slapped in the face with such an affront to the leadership of this grand institution."
But Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said what he called Republican stalling on the issue had been "a slap in the face for the American people".
...Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia, top Intelligence Committee Democrat, said, "My colleagues and I have tried for two years to do our oversight work, and for two years we have been undermined, avoided, put off, and vilified by the other side."
Reid said the Republican-led Congress did nothing to keep a check on the Bush administration. "This Republican Senate does no oversight. None. None. It is all part of a plan. They obstruct, they take orders from the White House," Reid said.