WASHINGTON -- Veterans Day -- the national holiday we celebrate this week -- used to be called Armistice Day. Until 1954, when President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law a bill proclaiming November 11 a day to honor veterans, Americans recognized the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month as the moment when the guns stopped firing in "The War to End All Wars."
The 1918 agreement to end the carnage of World War I was anything but an unconditional victory for the Allies over the Central Powers -- and it eventually led to a far less than perfect treaty and the creation of the fatally flawed League of Nations. But the November 11th Armistice to end the bloodletting is regarded by most historians as the only workable solution to conclude the killing that had already taken nine million lives. If events this week in Washington are any indication, it may be time for a less-than-perfect political Armistice Day.
Just days before this year's Armistice-Veterans Day holiday, it became crystal clear that Democrats in the U.S. Senate have declared war against the president of the United States. A memorandum, apparently written by a Democrat staff member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, was obtained by my Fox News colleague, Sean Hannity. The document details a political plan to use the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to run a war room operation against President George W. Bush and his administration. The apparent goal: to unseat the president by using the committee as a tool to divide the commander in chief from the troops he leads. "We have carefully reviewed our options," and "the best approach," the memo states, is to urge investigations of the "Office of the Secretary of Defense as well as Secretary Bolton's office at the State Department."
Back in June, the committee decided to evaluate documented intelligence regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs. Its review was supposed to examine shortcomings in the U.S. intelligence community -- something both Democrats and Republicans agree are plentiful -- and to formulate, in a responsible and bipartisan way, recommendations for improvement. Assuming that this effort might lead to much-needed enhancements in our ability to collect human intelligence amid a war that has already claimed more than 3,000 American lives, such a review makes sense. Nearly all responsible politicians agree that our intelligence community desperately needs better ways of penetrating radical Islamist terror cells. Even those running for office acknowledge that we are in a war in which young Americans are dying -- a war in which the lack of good intelligence is our greatest liability.
Therefore, it seems that the primary responsibility of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence should be to discern what needs "fixing" within our intelligence community and determine with urgency what resources are needed for those improvements. After all, the lives of young Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq -- as well as the safety of U.S. citizens at home -- hang in the balance.
But this memorandum reveals that these goals are not even being considered by eight of the 17 members of the Senate's Intelligence Committee. The Democrats who sit on one of the most sensitive and important bodies in our government have apparently decided that gathering, assessing and analyzing intelligence is less important than booting this president from office. "Intelligence issues are clearly secondary to the public's concern regarding the insurgency in Iraq," the memo states. In short, they have abandoned their responsibilities to our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and countrymen and decided instead to wage war against the president.
Those who care about winning the real war in which we are now engaged should be outraged at this crass politicization of a committee so closely tied to our national security. One might have expected that the discovery of this memorandum would generate an outcry from members of the so-called mainstream media. Yet, many glossed over the document, as though its existence is simply "more of the same" from Washington. Others apparently dismissed it because it was discovered by a "talk radio host." Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the committee, denigrated the memo because it was "prepared by a staffer."
All this denies the reality of the words in the memorandum. The "we" used in the document proves that more than one person was involved in crafting the attack. It is also evident that the strategy for "pulling the trigger" on an investigation "early next year" aimed at bringing down the president was amply discussed for some time. It is also apparent that no matter what the ongoing review of Iraq War intelligence produces, those who crafted the document have already decided on the need to "assiduously prepare Democratic 'additional views' to . . . among other things, castigate the majority (Republicans) for seeking to limit the scope of the inquiry."
Curiously, no investigative reporter has taken note of the sentence referring to the "FBI Niger investigation (which) was done solely at the request of the vice chairman." Until now, we have been led to believe that the CIA asked the FBI to investigate who "leaked" the name of one of their clandestine service officers. The authors of the memo seem to know better. What else they know about political terrorism in the corridors of power should be the matter of a new FBI investigation. After all, as Democrat Sen. Zell Miller said of the contents of this memo, "If this is not treasonous, it's the first cousin of treason."
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.