10 April 2004

FLASHBACK: May 27, 2002
Graham: We Had Same Info as Bush
by David Freddoso
Posted Apr 9, 2004

[Editor's note: This article orginally appeared on the cover of the May 27, 2002, issue of HUMAN EVENTS.]

Sen. Bob Graham (D.-Fla.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told HUMAN EVENTS May 21 [2002] that his committee had received all the same terrorism intelligence prior to September 11 as the Bush administration.

"Yes, we had seen all the information," said Graham. "But we didn't see it on a single piece of paper, the way the President did."

As early as May 16 [2002], it had already emerged that most of the information in Bush's August 6 [2001] Presidential Daily Briefing--an official intelligence document--had in fact been given to the congressional committees in the form of the Senior Executive Intelligence Digest (SEID), a more widely published classified document.

(I have to ask, is it most or is it all? Classic example of how you can never get a straight story out of the media. In Graham's direct quote, it is all, so perhaps the most is just journalistic frou-frou. I will speculate that there was enough overlap between the PDB and SEID that any senator who had actually read the SEID would have come to the same conclusion as the executive office. Otherwise there would be no basis for a story.)

As Democrats appeared to back away from the attacks on Bush over the weekend [in 2002], Republicans went on the offensive to capitalize on an expected backlash. The Republican Study Committee, a group of about 75 conservative Republicans, released a memo detailing House Democrats' overwhelming opposition to intelligence funding since 1996. According to the memo, 154 House Democrats voted to cut the U.S. intelligence budget in 1996, while 158 Democrats did the same in 1997. Although fewer Democrats voted to cut the intelligence budget in 1999 (only 61), almost all opposition to intelligence spending came from Democrats.