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109th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session 109-291
REQUESTING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND DIRECTING THE
SECRETARY OF STATE TO PROVIDE TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CERTAIN
DOCUMENTS IN THEIR POSSESSION RELATING TO THE WHITE HOUSE IRAQ GROUP
November 10, 2005.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be
Mr. Hyde, from the Committee on International Relations, submitted the
[To accompany H. Res. 505]
The Committee on International Relations, to whom was
referred the resolution (H. Res. 505) requesting the President
of the United States and directing the Secretary of State to
provide to the House of Representatives certain documents in
their possession relating to the White House Iraq Group, having
considered the same, report unfavorably thereon without
amendment and recommend that the resolution not be agreed to.
Purpose and Summary.............................................. 1
Background and Need for the Legislation.......................... 2
Committee Consideration.......................................... 5
Vote of the Committee............................................ 5
Committee Oversight Findings..................................... 5
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................ 6
Performance Goals and Objectives................................. 6
Constitutional Authority Statement............................... 6
New Advisory Committees.......................................... 6
Congressional Accountability Act................................. 6
Federal Mandates................................................. 6
Dissenting Views................................................. 7
Purpose and Summary
House Resolution 505 requests the President and directs the
Secretary of State to transmit to the House of Representatives,
not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of the
resolution, certain documents in their possession relating to
the White House Iraq Group. These include: all documents from
2003 pertaining to the taskforce organized by Andrew Card,
known as the White House Iraq Group, consisting of Karl Rove,
Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, Nicholas E. Calio, James R.
Wilkinson, Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley and I. Lewis Libby;
all drafts of all white papers on the topic of Iraq's nuclear
threat assembled in 2003 by the White House Iraq Group; and all
documents, including notes from meetings, memos, telephone and
electronic mail records, logs and calendars, and records of
internal discussions in the possession of the President or the
Secretary of State relating to the White House Iraq Group.
Background and Need for the Legislation
House Resolution 505 is a resolution of inquiry, which
pursuant to Rule XIII, clause 7 of the Rules of the House of
Representatives, directs the Committee to act on the resolution
within 14 legislative days, or a privileged motion to discharge
the Committee is in order. H. Res. 505 was introduced and
referred to the Committee on International Relations on October
20, 2005 and was reported adversely by the Committee on
November 9, 2005.
Under the rules and precedents of the House, a resolution
of inquiry is one of the methods used by the House to obtain
information from the executive branch. According to Deschler's
Procedure, it is a ``simple resolution making a direct request
or demand of the President or the head of an executive
department to furnish the House of Representatives with
specific factual information in the possession of the executive
On October 20, 2005, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio
introduced H. Res. 505. Rep. Kucinich's resolution requests the
President and directs the Secretary of State to turn over
certain documents relating to the White House Iraq Group: all
documents from 2003 pertaining to the taskforce organized by
Andrew Card, consisting of Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Mary
Matalin, Nicholas E. Calio, James R. Wilkinson, Condoleezza
Rice, Stephen Hadley and I. Lewis Libby, known as the White
House Iraq Group; all drafts of all white papers on the topic
of Iraq's nuclear threat assembled in 2003 by the White House
Iraq Group; and, all documents, including notes from meetings,
memos, telephone and electronic mail records, logs and
calendars, and records of internal discussions in the
possession of the President or the Secretary of State relating
to the White House Iraq Group.
On November 4, 2005, on the Floor of the House, Rep.
Kucinich spoke in support of H. Res. 505, and stated: ``One of
the attempted false justifications for the war in Iraq was that
Iraq was trying to get uranium from Niger to make nuclear
weapons.'' Mr. Kucinich describes this as a ``lie'' and ``key''
to ``understanding why we are in Iraq.''
Prior to introduction of H. Res. 505, thorough, lengthy
reports were issued by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence, the U.S. Commission on the Intelligence
Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass
Destruction (known as the Silberman-Robb Commission), the
British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, and the
British Hutton inquiry. None of these reports found any
evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce,
influence or pressure members of the intelligence community to
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence reviewed
intelligence records on Iraq going back to the First Gulf War.
The Senate's report ran over 500 pages and was the product of
over twelve months of Committee review of over 45,000 pages of
intelligence documents, interviews of over 200 individuals,
including National Security Council staff members, and four
Conclusion number 83 in the Senate Intelligence Committee
report entitled, ``U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar
Intelligence Assessments on Iraq'' states: ``The Committee did
not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted
to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their
judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
capabilities.'' This conclusion, as is true of the entire
report, was approved by a unanimous, bipartisan vote by the
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
reviewed U.S. intelligence regarding the amount or existence of
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, including the issues of
bias, dissenting views and how intelligence was disseminated,
and the linkages between Iraq and terrorist organizations. The
Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select
Committee on Intelligence informed the House International
Relations Committee that members of the International Relations
Committee had been granted access to the documentation provided
by the Central Intelligence Agency that the Intelligence
Committee was studying in its review. Again, no evidence of
``fixing'' intelligence surfaced in the course of this
The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the
United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (the
Silberman-Robb Commission) has been viewed as producing the
definitive report on prewar intelligence. This was a blue
ribbon, bipartisan commission headed by former Senator Charles
S. Robb and Judge Laurence H. Silberman, which included a
talented and experienced group of commissioners such as Senator
John McCain, Walter Slocombe, Judge Patricia Wald, and Lloyd
Cutler, and was supported by a bipartisan, experienced staff of
over 80 professionals and consultants. The following
conclusions are particularly relevant to H. Res. 505:
We conclude that the Intelligence Community was dead wrong
in almost all of its pre-war judgments about Iraq's weapons of
mass destruction. . . . Its principal causes were the
Intelligence Community's inability to collect good information
about Iraq's WMD programs, serious errors in analyzing what
information it could gather, and a failure to make clear just
how much of its analysis was based on assumptions, rather than
* * * * * * *
After a thorough review, the Commission found no indication
that the Intelligence Community distorted the evidence
regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. What the
intelligence professionals told you about Saddam Hussein's
programs was what they believed. They were simply wrong.
* * * * * * *
Finally, we closely examined the possibility that
intelligence analysts were pressured by policymakers to change
their judgments about Iraq's nuclear, biological, and chemical
weapons programs. The analysts who worked Iraqi's weapons
issues universally agreed that in no instance did political
pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical
In reviewing the mountain of public evidence that refutes
the notion of any ``fixing'' of intelligence, we should not
ignore the obvious. There was no need for supporters of the war
to ``fix'' intelligence in the run-up to the war because the
pre-war belief among the Intelligence Community and
policymakers that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was
overwhelming. Both the Intelligence Community and leaders of
both political parties believed with certainty Iraq had weapons
of mass destruction.
In 1998, in a speech at the Pentagon, President Clinton
stated: ``We have to defend our future from these predators of
the 21st century. They feed on the free flow of information and
technology. They actually take advantage of the freer movement
of people, information and ideas. And they will be all the more
lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical
and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. We
simply cannot allow that to happen. There is no more clear
example of this threat than Saddam Hussein's Iraq. His regime
threatens the safety of his people, the stability of his region
and the security of all the rest of us.'' That same year,
National Security Advisor Sandy Berger remarked: ``Year after
year, in conflict after conflict, Saddam has proven that he
seeks weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, in order
to use them.''
In 2004, when asked whether it was a fair statement that
the Administration misled the American people in building the
case for war, former Weapons Inspector David Kay responded: ``I
think it's not fair and it also trivializes what we did find
and the problem we face. The problem we face is that before the
war not only the U.S. administration and U.S. intelligence, but
the French, British, Germans, the U.N. all thought Saddam had
weapons of mass destruction.'' David Kay noted that ``this view
of Iraq was held during the Clinton administration and didn't
change in the Bush administration. It is not a political ``got
The British inquiry into pre-war intelligence on Iraq made
findings similar to those made in all the U.S. reports. In his
summary of conclusions, Lord Hutton dismissed the allegation
that the British intelligence dossier supporting the use of
force against Iraq was ``sexed-up'': ``I consider that the
allegation was unfounded as it would have been understood by
those who heard the broadcasts to mean that the dossier had
been embellished with intelligence known or believed to be
false or unreliable, which was not the case.''
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence recently
announced its intention to complete its second phase of its
investigation into the Bush Administration's use of pre-war
intelligence in Iraq. This second phase will focus on the
question raised by H. Res. 505, the White House's presentation
to the public of its case for Iraq: That is, how Bush
administration officials, including the White House Iraq Group,
handled prewar intelligence, including whether the information
was misrepresented in White House statements to the public.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has collected
public statements of Bush administration officials, as well as
intelligence data available at the time. The Senators will
determine if such public statements were justified by the data.
In light of all of these past and ongoing investigations
into the Administration's use of pre-war intelligence on Iraq,
the House International Relations Committee need not insert
itself into an intelligence issue best addressed by the select
committees on intelligence.
Given these circumstances, the Committee deemed the
document requests made in H. Res. 505 to be unnecessary and
voted to report it adversely.
The Committee did not hold hearings on H. Res. 505.
On November 9, 2005, the Full Committee marked up the
resolution, H. Res. 505, pursuant to notice, in open session.
The Committee agreed to a motion to report the resolution
adversely to the House by a record vote of 25 ayes to 23 nays.
Vote of the Committee
Clause (3)(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives requires that the results of each record vote
on an amendment or motion to report, together with the names of
those voting for or against, be printed in the Committee
report. The following record votes occurred during
consideration of H. Res. 505:
Vote to report to the House adversely:
Voting yes: Hyde, Smith (NJ), Burton, Gallegly, Ros-
Lehtinen, Rohrabacher, Royce, King, Chabot, Tancredo, Issa,
Flake, Davis, Green, Weller, Pence, McCotter, Harris, Wilson,
Boozman, Barrett, Mack, Fortenberry, McCaul, and Poe.
Voting no: Leach, Paul, Lantos, Ackerman, Payne, Menendez,
Brown, Sherman, Wexler, Engel, Delahunt, Meeks, Lee, Crowley,
Blumenauer, Berkley, Napolitano, Schiff, Watson, Smith (WA),
McCollum, Chandler and Cardoza.
H. Res. 505 was ordered reported adversely to the House by
a vote of 25 ayes to 23 noes.
Committee Oversight Findings
The Committee held no oversight activities under clause
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives.
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures
Clause 3(c)(2) of House Rule XIII is inapplicable because
H. Res. 505 does not provide new budgetary authority or
increased tax expenditures.
Performance Goals and Objectives
The rule requiring a statement of performance goals and
objectives is inapplicable.
Constitutional Authority Statement
Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the
House of Representatives, the Committee finds the authority for
this resolution in article I, section 1 of the Constitution.
New Advisory Committees
H. Res. 505 does not establish or authorize any new
Congressional Accountability Act
H. Res. 505 does not apply to the legislative branch.
H. Res. 505 provides no Federal mandates.
The United States is currently engaged in a war in Iraq
that has claimed the lives of over 2000 brave men and women of
the U.S. Armed Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Many thousands of others have lost limbs or suffered other
grievous wounds from the insurgents who have arisen there. We
all honor these patriots and their families for all that they
have given for their country.
The Administration presented a case for war based on its
view that that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and ties to
al Qaeda, and this committee received briefings on the case for
this intelligence. It was on the basis of the perceived threats
arising from these claims that the House International
Relations Committee voted to authorize the President to go to
war with Iraq on October 7, 2002, soon followed by the full
House of Representatives on October 16, 2002, and the United
States invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003.
We now know that the intelligence contained in these
briefings was faulty, based on unsound sources and on
information that was subject to debate within the intelligence
community. Questions have arisen as to whether the intelligence
that was gathered was misused by Administration officials to
press aggressively for war.
We owe it to our soldiers and to all our constituents to
develop a complete picture of the decision-making and analysis
that led the United States to go to war to bring down the
regime of Saddam Hussein. And the Executive Branch owes it to
the American people to make certain that their representatives
are fully informed. Unfortunately, despite these concerns and
despite allegations that Administration officials knew that
their claims were questionable, controversial and even false,
this Committee has consistently refused to investigate either
the pre-war intelligence or its use. Indeed, the House as a
whole has not looked at the use of the intelligence, and this
matter has been stalled in the other body until recently.
H. Res. 505, a resolution of inquiry, would have required
the President and Secretary of State to transmit documents to
Members of the House of Representatives which would take steps
toward revealing whether or not the Administration was truthful
in presenting its case for war in Iraq to Congress and the
American people. Specifically, H. Res. 505 would have required
the President and Secretary of State to turn over to the House
of Representatives all white papers, minutes, notes, e-mails or
other communications relating to a high-level White House
taskforce known as the White House Iraq Group (WHIG).
The WHIG was created in August 2002 to specifically market
a war in Iraq and included high-level advisers of the President
and Vice President: Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin,
Nicholas E. Calio, James R. Wilkinson, Condoleezza Rice,
Stephen Hadley and I. Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby. Reports suggest
that many of the Administration's claims stemmed from WHIG's
The WHIG produced memos that were the basis for talking
points for the President and other high-level Administration
officials regarding the supposed imminent threat that the
United States faced from Iraq. Furthermore, beginning in
September 2002, the WHIG launched a public information campaign
and bombarded the media with exaggerated and false claims about
the threat of Iraq, even though members of the WHIG received
reports from intelligence agencies and the Department of Energy
that their claims were inaccurate. These claims included the
LIraq sought uranium from Niger.
L Stephen Hadley, the President's then-Deputy
National Security Advisor admitted that the CIA warned
him at least three times in the fall of 2002 that the
claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa was not
\1\ Stephen Hadley, White House Briefing, July 22, 2003
LIraq's aluminum tubes could only be used for
enriching nuclear weapons programs.
L Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, then-National
Security Advisor claimed on CNN on September 8, 2002
that the aluminum tubes were ``only really suited for
nuclear weapons programs.'' But according to reports in
the New York Times almost one year before, Secretary
Rice's staff had been told by the Department of Energy
that ``the government's foremost nuclear experts
seriously doubted that the tubes were for nuclear
\2\ ``How White House Embraced Suspect Iraq Arms Intelligence,''
New York Times, October 3, 2004
L Furthermore, the Department of Energy published a
dissenting view disputing the claim about the aluminum
tubes in the CIA's October 2002 National Intelligence
LIraq trained Al Qaeda terrorists.
L According to the Washington Post, in February
2002, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) submitted a
report to the National Security Council that questioned
the reliability of a captured top Al Qaeda operative
whom the Administration had cited to make claims that
terrorists had been trained to use chemical and
biological weapons in Iraq.\3\
\3\ ``Newly release data undercut prewar claims,'' Washington Post,
November 6, 2005
Despite repeated warnings by intelligence agencies and the
Department of Energy about the validity of intelligence claims
on Iraq, between September 2002 and March 2003, President Bush,
Vice President Cheney, then-National Security Advisor
Condoleezza Rice, then-CIA Director George J. Tenet, then-
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, and other top
Administration officials, cited faulty intelligence in speeches
and public appearances to gather support for the war.
For the good of the nation, these issues need to be pursued
and the accuracy of these reports must be investigated and
judgments must be made on how these episodes occurred. The
release of all the materials surrounding the White House Iraq
Group is a necessary first step to restore the American
people's faith in their government and its conduct of foreign
However, the consequence of the rejection of this
resolution by the majority is the failure of Congress to
perform its Constitutional duty of oversight of the Executive
Branch. As one of the seminal thinkers on democracy has said,
``the proper office of a representative assembly is to watch
and control the government; to throw the light of publicity on
its acts; to compel a full exposition and justification of all
of them which any one considers questionable.'' \4\ We could
not agree more strongly with this view and anything less
constitutes a basic and dangerous infringement on the system of
checks and balances that is guaranteed by the Constitution. We
believe the people sent us to ensure that these powers be
exercised, not surrendered.
\4\ John Stuart Mill, Considerations on Representative Government
This resolution would have taken one important step in
shining the necessary light on the Administration's role in the
lead-up to the war in Iraq. Congress owes it to the
Constitution, our democratic traditions and the American people
to uphold democracy by uncovering the truth.
Gary L. Ackerman.
Donald M. Payne.
Grace F. Napolitano.
Diane E. Watson.