The Times West Virginian

August 16, 2008

Jay to speak at convention

By Bill Byrd

FAIRMONT — U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, an early supporter of Sen. Barack Obama, will be a speaker at the Democratic National Convention in Denver later this month, a campaign aide said.

Rockefeller, 71, who is seeking a fifth-straight term in the Senate, will speak on Wednesday, Aug. 27, said Jessica Tice, his campaign press secretary.

The time of Rockefeller’s speech and other details will be released soon, she said.

Rockefeller was one of the first of the state Democratic party’s dozen superdelegates (the state party also earned an add-on superdelegate earlier this summer) to endorse Obama, doing so on Feb. 29.

Rockefeller said Friday in a statement that he will speak on national security, energy independence and the economy.

A member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence since 2001, Rockefeller became its vice chairman in 2003 and its chairman in 2007.

In early June, the committee released two bipartisan reports that studied how prewar intelligence was used in making the administration’s case for war.

In a June 5 press release, Rockefeller said the committee found that:

• “Statements by President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell suggesting that Iraq and Al-Qaeda had a partnership were not substantiated by the intelligence;”

• “Statements by the president and Vice President Dick Cheney indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information;”

• And “statements by the president and vice president regarding the postwar situation in Iraq did not reflect the concerns and uncertainties of the intelligence community.”

Rockefeller, who voted in October 2002 to give the president authorization to use force against Hussein, said on the release of the committee’s reports that “there is no question we all relied on flawed intelligence.”

“But,” he said, “there is a fundamental difference between relying on incorrect intelligence and deliberately painting a picture to the American people that you know is not fully accurate.”

E-mail Bill Byrd at bbyrd@timeswv.com.