Mixed Messages - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Mixed Messages

Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin left Washington to run Citigroup with one of the most squeaky clean reps in many years, virtually untainted by the Clinton administrations scandals. According to two staffers of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Democrats on the committee, including Rep. Henry Waxman, now want Rubin to appear before the committee whether by invitation or subpoena. “They don’t care which, as long as they can appear to be attacking one of their own,” says one of the staffers.

Of special interest to both Democrats and Republicans, say the staffers, are the various Citigroup hedge investments that were pegged to a collapse of Enron debt. Some on the Hill are wondering who knew what, and when, in New York.

Despite the intelligence failings in the months and weeks before the September 11 tragedy, the George Tenet, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has not ordered a review of the agency’s procedures and possible lapses when it came to tracking the al Qaeda conspiracy.

Both the Senate and House are planning multiple-committee investigations into the September 11 attacks, and senators on the Intelligence Committee, who were recently briefed on the CIA’s activities, were shocked to learn that Tenet had not ordered a full review.

“The events of September, everyone agrees, were one of the worst, if not the worst, intelligence failures in our nation’s history,” says one senior Senate Intelligence committee staffer. “That Tenet hasn’t bothered to order a review is breathtakingly stunning.”

Another committee aide believes Tenet may not have felt the need to order a review, which surely would have led to possible firings, letters of rebuke and staffing overhauls, because of President Bush’s strong endorsement of the CIA in the wake of 9/11.

“When Bush gave that speech at the CIA and stood by Tenet, perhaps Tenet felt it was a message that they didn’t have to revisit. Plus they were so busy catching up and evaluating new intelligence. One can see where Bush’s message might be interpreted as, ‘Let’s move on.’ Still …”

The Democratic National Committee is examining the financial backgrounds of several prospective Senate candidates for ties to the growing Enron scandal, including at least one who is in the mix in North Carolina. “[DNC Chairman] Terry McAuliffe is absolutely spooked about Enron,” says a current DNC policy analyst. “He’s now convinced this thing is going to hurt us as much as Republicans, but it’s some of the former Clinton staffers who are just wading into to their own campaigns that have him nervous the most. He’s looking at Erskine Bowles‘s financials, Rahm Emanuel‘s financials, just to be sure Enron can’t hurt them, but especially the national party.”

Bill Clinton, by the way, is helping Emanuel fundraise for his race to win a House seat in Chicago. Doesn’t look like he needs much help. Thus far, the former policy adviser is said to have raised almost $1 million, much of it from outside Illinois.

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