NewsFilter: Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID - Conn.) strikes a decisive blow against another Islamic terror front group: YouTube.
Lieberman-Kyl’s Iran amendment passes. By a vote of 76-22, the Senate passed the Lieberman-Kyl amendment, which threatens to “combat, contain and [stop]” Iran via “military instruments.” Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) called the amendment “Cheney’s fondest pipe dream” and said it could “read as a backdoor method of gaining Congressional validation for military action.”
Senate Releases Pre-War Intel Reports. The two sections of the report released by the Senate intelligence committee are: "Postwar Findings about Iraq's WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How they Compare with Prewar Assessments" and "The Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress" (both PDFs). This seems to contradict previous evidence. [Via TPMmuckraker.]
"Resolved that the United States Senate does hereby censure George W. Bush, president of the United States, and does condemn his unlawful authorization of wiretaps of Americans." Invoking "high crimes and misdemeanors," Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold introduces a motion to censure [PDF link] President Bush for his controversial, legally dubious NSA wiretapping program. Feingold declares: "The President must be held accountable for authorizing a program that clearly violates the law." Republican leader Frist retorts: "It's a crazy political move" that sends a "terrible" signal to Iran. Democratic bloggers say: Call your senator. [More legal fallout from the NSA program recently discussed here.]
'The committee is, to put it bluntly, basically under the control of the White House," said Jay Rockefeller, vice-president of the Senate Intelligence Committee, after the committee quashed a broad inquiry into the legality of the NSA spying on Americans -- despite an increasing number of legal scholars coming forward and declaring that the program is "blatantly illegal," in the words of Yale Law School dean Harold Koh. Meanwhile, the GOP proposes giving spying on Americans the "force of law" while subjecting it to "rigorous oversight."
News Filter: Senate in closed session. Looks like Senate is now in close session, after Harry Reid invoked Rule 21 and asked for an investigation into the lead-up to the war. Does it sound like a major deal or is it political maneuvering?
And so it is. At approximately 1:20 a.m., the Senate passed S.J. Res 45, a resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq. The vote: 77 yea, 23 nay. Some surprising yeas, including Clinton and Daschle. What happens next?
Sen. Biden may scotch missile defense. Didn't see any mention of this on the main American news sites I checked, as they celebrate Bush's recent policy triumphs in Congress and wink at his fleeing for his ranch for a month. Even stories about his future challenges don't refer to this, which seems important to me. You can bet the rest of the world is more interested in this story.