[House Report 109-223]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    109-223


                          WITH RESPECT TO IRAQ


 September 16, 2005.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 


Mr. Hyde, from the Committee on International Relations, submitted the 

                             ADVERSE REPORT

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                       [To accompany H. Res. 375]

    The Committee on International Relations, to whom was 
referred the resolution (H. Res. 375) requesting the President 
and directing the Secretary of State to transmit to the House 
of Representatives not later than 14 days after the date of the 
adoption of this resolution all information in the possession 
of the President and the Secretary of State relating to 
communication with officials of the United Kingdom between 
January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, relating to the policy 
of the United States with respect to Iraq, having considered 
the same, reports unfavorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the resolution not be agreed to.

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     2
Hearings.........................................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Vote of the Committee............................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     5
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     5
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     5
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     5
New Advisory Committees..........................................     5
Congressional Accountability Act.................................     5
Federal Mandates.................................................     5
Dissenting Views.................................................     7

                          Purpose and Summary

    House Resolution 375 requests the President and directs the 
Secretary of State to transmit to the House of Representatives 
all information in the possession of the President and the 
Secretary of State relating to communication with officials of 
the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 
2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect 
to Iraq.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    House Resolution 375 is a resolution of inquiry, which 
pursuant to Rule XIII, clause 7 of the Rules of the House, 
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. 375 was introduced and referred 
to the Committee on International Relations on July 21, 2005, 
and was ordered reported adversely by the Committee on 
September 14, 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 
    \1\Deschler's Precedents, H. Doc. No. 94-661, 94th Cong., 2d Sess., 
vol. 7, ch. 24, section 8.
    On July 21, 2005, Rep. Barbara Lee of California introduced 
H. Res. 375. The resolution requests the President and directs 
the Secretary of State to turn over all documents, including 
telephone and electronic mail records, logs, calendars, 
minutes, and memos, in the possession of the President relating 
to communications with officials of the United Kingdom from 
January 1, 2002, to October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of 
the United States with respect to Iraq, including any 
discussions or communications between the President or other 
Administration officials and officials of the United Kingdom 
that occurred before the meeting on July 23, 2002, at 10 
Downing Street in London, England, between Prime Minister Tony 
Blair of the United Kingdom, United Kingdom intelligence 
officer Richard Dearlove, and other national security officials 
of the Blair Administration.
    H. Res. 375 apparently was introduced in response to 
publication of a British document known as the ``Downing Street 
Memo.'' The Downing Street Memo, as leaked to and published by 
the press, was apparently written in connection with a meeting 
between Tony Blair and British officials held on Downing Street 
on July 23, 2002. The Memo was leaked to a member of the 
British press and published in London's The Sunday Times on May 
1, 2005. The heart of the Downing Street Memo is the memo's 
description of U.S. pre-war intelligence that included the view 
that intelligence was being ``fixed'' around the policy.
    Prior to introduction of H. Res. 375, thorough 
investigations were conducted and lengthy reports were issued 
by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the Commission 
on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding 
Weapons of Mass Destruction (known as the Silberman-Robb 
Commission), the 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 
``fix'' intelligence.
    The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence reviewed the 
record of intelligence on Iraq over the span of a decade 
stretching 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 committee 
hearings. 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.''\2\ This conclusion, as is true of 
the entire report, was approved by a unanimous, bipartisan vote 
by the Senate Committee.
    \2\United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 
Conclusions of U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence 
Assessments on Iraq, Conclusion 83, p. 25 (July 7, 2004), available at 
    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 Intelligence Committee 
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 congressional 
    The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the 
United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (the 
Silberman-Robb Commission) produced what is viewed as the 
definitive report on pre-war 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 
88 professionals and consultants. The following conclusions are 
particularly relevant to H. Res. 375:

          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 good 
          . . .

          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 judgments.\3\
    \3\Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States 
Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (Silberman-Robb Commission), 
Report to the President of the United States, 2, 11 (March 31, 2005).

    In light of the number and thoroughness of these previous 
inquiries made by congressional committees and special 
commissions especially well-qualified in matters of 
intelligence, it is unnecessary for the International Relations 
Committee to repeat such inquiries. The House and Senate 
Intelligence Committees, after thorough review of large volumes 
of documents, found no evidence that the Administration 
improperly used, coerced, manipulated, or ``fixed'' prewar 
intelligence. The Silberman-Robb Commission confirmed this 
conclusion. Senator Pat Roberts, the Chairman of the Senate 
Select Committee on Intelligence, referring to the numerous 
reports on prewar intelligence, aptly stated, ``I don't think 
there should be any doubt that we have now heard it all 
regarding prewar intelligence. I think that it would be a 
monumental waste of time to replow this ground any further. We 
should now turn our full attention to the future . . .''\4\
    \4\Press Release, Senator Roberts' Remarks on the WMD Commission 
Report (March 31, 2005), available at http://intelligence.senate.gov/
    Given the extensive, multiple investigations of this issue, 
the Committee deemed the document requests made in H. Res. 375 
to be unnecessary and voted to report it adversely.


    The Committee did not hold hearings on H. Res. 375.

                        Committee Consideration

    On September 14, 2005, the Full Committee marked up the 
resolution, H. Res. 375, 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 22 ayes to 21 nays, 
with one voting ``Present.''

                         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 vote occurred during consideration 
of H. Res. 375:
    Vote to report to the House adversely:
    Voting yes: Hyde, Smith (NJ), Burton, Gallegly, Ros-
Lehtinen, Rohrabacher, Chabot, Tancredo, Issa, Flake, Davis, 
Green, Weller, McCotter, Harris, Wilson, Boozman, Barrett, 
Mack, Fortenberry, McCaul, and Poe.
    Voting no: Leach, Lantos, Berman, Ackerman, Menendez, 
Brown, Sherman, Wexler, Engel, Delahunt, Meeks, Lee, Crowley, 
Blumenauer, Berkley, Schiff, Watson, Smith (WA), McCollum, 
Chandler and Cardoza.
    Voting ``Present'': Paul
    H. Res. 375 was ordered reported adversely to the House by 
a vote of 22 ayes to 21 noes, with one voting ``Present.''

                      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. 375 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. 375 does not establish or authorize any new 
advisory committees.

                    Congressional Accountability Act

    H. Res. 375 does not apply to the legislative branch.

                            Federal Mandates

    H. Res. 375 provides no Federal mandates.
                            Dissenting Views

    There is no more solemn decision a President or nation can 
make than that of putting the men and women of our armed forces 
in harm's way and going to war.
    Yet, Congress continues to uncritically accept the 
Administration's explanation on why the United States is at war 
in Iraq.
    Nearly a year after the Iraq Survey Group first concluded 
that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, As authorizers, 
this Committee has yet to take any action to further 
investigate the veracity of pre-war intelligence claims. And 
the American people deserve to know the truth.
    In rejecting H. Res. 375, a resolution of inquiry on pre-
war intelligence, the majority has shown its unwillingness to 
confront the truth. The closeness of the vote (22-21) 
underscores how important this issue has become.
    This resolution would have requested the President and 
Secretary of State to provide all documents and communications 
regarding discussions they may have had with British officials 
between January 1, 2002 and during the lead up to congressional 
authorization for war with Iraq on October 16, 2002.
    The United States is at war in Iraq under an authority 
conferred to President Bush by Congress. Consequently, it is 
not only Congress's prerogative; it is Congress's 
responsibility to ensure that authority was not granted under 
circumstances that were deliberately misleading.
    We are forced to question again the Administration's 
version of events leading up to war because of documents that 
have come to light earlier this year.
    On May 1, 2005, the Sunday London Times published the 
minutes of a secret meeting on July 23, 2002 of British 
officials including Prime Minister Tony Blair. This Downing 
Street Memo, as it's come to be known states that:
        1. L``it seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to 
        take military action, even if the timing was not yet 
        decided. But the case is thin'';
        2. L``intelligence and the facts were being fixed 
        around the policy''; and
        3. L``there was little discussion in Washington of the 
        aftermath of military action''.
    On May 5, 2005, our colleague Congressman John Conyers and 
119 Members of Congress sent a letter to the President asking 
the administration about the grave and serious questions this 
memo raises. The administration has yet to answer.
    The questions the letter asked included:
        (1) Lduring the lead up to war, was there a coordinated 
        effort with the US intelligence community and/or 
        British officials to ``fix'' the intelligence and facts 
        around the policy, as the leaked documents state?
        (2) LAt what point in time did President Bush and Prime 
        Minister Blair first agree it was necessary to invade 
        (3) LWas there an effort to create an ultimatum about 
        weapons inspectors in order to help with the 
        justification for the war, as the minutes indicate? and
        (4) LDoes the President or anyone in the administration 
        dispute the accuracy of the leaked documents?
    With nearly 1,900 American troops killed and $250 billion 
spent, the cost of this unnecessary war continues to rise. The 
tough questions the Downing Street Memo forces us to ask are 
critical as the United States presence in Iraq drags on into 
its thirty-first month.
    The Downing Street Memo and other documents make it clear 
that there was little thought to post-war planning. As a 
result, while pre-war Iraq had no connection with the tragic 
attacks on 9/11, Iraq has since become a haven for terrorists 
and has made the world less safe.
    The Majority argued that information regarding pre-war 
intelligence has already been studied and is readily available. 
But this is only half the picture. What has been studied has 
simply been pre-war intelligence gathering, not intelligence 
use. Both the report of the Senate's Select Committee on 
Intelligence on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar 
Intelligence Assessments on Iraq (S. Rep. 108-301) and the 
Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United 
States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (the Silberman-
Robb Commission) examined how intelligence before the war was 
collected and analyzed. The larger question of intelligence use 
remains unanswered. In the absence of an answer this question, 
this resolution would have examined a specific instance of 
intelligence use.
    The Majority argued that there is no point in asking the 
President and Secretary of State to provide these documents--
that there will be too many or that they will be classified.
    The volume of information we would have received had this 
resolution been enacted should not be a concern for us. We 
shouldn't hold up getting to the bottom of these questions 
simply because there will be too much information.
    Regarding classified information, the President and the 
Secretary of State should provide these documents to Congress 
first. We in Congress have long had processes in place to deal 
with sensitive information. This should not be an obstacle to 
providing this information.
    The Majority argued that there's no point in looking 
backwards; that we are already in Iraq and should be concerned 
about getting the job done.
    But the President's justification to go to war has been 
proved wrong. The Administration's sole argument for going to 
war collapsed and so few have questioned how this could have 
    Our decision-making process for authorizing force has 
broken down. We have an obligation as Members of Congress to 
ensure that the process by which Congress grants the authority 
to use force is never manipulated. Furthermore, we have the 
right to ask questions to ensure this doesn't happen in the 
    If the Administration has nothing to hide, then the 
questions this resolution raises should not have been a 
    This resolution of inquiry would have helped us uncover the 
truth. Finding out the truth is not a partisan exercise--it's a 
democratic one.

                                   Donald M. Payne.
                                   Sherrod Brown.
                                   William D. Delahunt.
                                   Gregory W. Meeks.
                                   Barbara Lee.
                                   Joseph Crowley.
                                   Grace F. Napolitano.
                                   Diane E. Watson.
                                   Betty McCollum.