ICYMI: Santorum and Hoekstra Challenge WMD Cover-Up

VERONA, PA - In case you missed it, former U.S. Senator and Chairman of Patriot Voices Rick Santorum and former Congressman and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) co-authored an op-ed in The Daily Beast giving their assessment of what happened in 2005 and 2006 when reports of Weapons of Mass Destruction were discovered in Iraq.  The op-ed references these recent Daily Beast and New York Times stories about the WMD discoveries.

Here are excerpts from the Santorum-Hoekstra op-ed:

George W. Bush's Puzzling WMD Coverup

"The most shocking revelation by The Daily Beast, The New York Times and other news sources in reporting on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is that the Bush Administration so aggressively fought to suppress the truth about them...

"Government officials have no allowable reasons for withholding critical data from lawmakers. In America, nobody is above the law.

"At least three reforms are necessary to strengthen congressional oversight and to provide for a vibrant, free watchdog press to reign in government abuses.

"First, Congress needs to enhance and expand immunities for responsible whistleblowers. They are the most effective means of getting to the truth when political considerations can so influence and control the flow of information from the executive branch. We need to embolden them with significant new protections, especially when they're working in defense or the intelligence communities.

"Second, penalties need to be increased for lying or deliberately withholding relevant requested information from Congress. In the many Intelligence Committee hearings on WMD and extensive meetings on the subject in Iraq, we can only begin to imagine the scope of the cover-up and how many people purposefully misled us. Meaningful repercussions and a more effective process of holding people accountable need to be implemented.

"Third, Democrats and Republicans need to reestablish the authority of Congress. Too often members of both parties believe that it is their job to protect their president. It is their job to protect the equities of Congress to represent and conduct independent oversight on behalf of the American people

"For too long we've experienced the executive branch roll over Congress, the press and the American people. Lawmakers need to put an end to it. They must pass stronger whistleblower protections, increase the severity of punishment for lying, and strengthen bipartisan oversight of the executive branch.

"Withholding the truth for political expediency cannot be tolerated in any White House, regardless of who holds the keys at the moment."

Read the full article here

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