WASHINGTON – The Senate's No. 2 Democrat says he's upset he couldn't tell the American people that he knew they were being misled about the runup to the war in Iraq because he was bound to secrecy.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he couldn't reveal his knowledge because he was a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
"The information we had in the intelligence committee was not the same information being given to the American people. I couldn't believe it," Durbin said Wednesday on the Senate floor.
The White House fired back at Durbin's claims, saying Congress had access to the same intelligence, and still voted to go to war.
"We all understand today that there were intelligence failures, but there was no effort to mislead either members of Congress or the American people," White House spokesman Tony Fratto told The Washington Times.
Durbin said he couldn't reveal his knowledge because of secrecy rules.
"I was angry about it. [But] frankly, I couldn't do much about it because, in the intelligence committee, we are sworn to secrecy. We can't walk outside the door and say the statement made yesterday by the White House is in direct contradiction to classified information that is being given to this Congress."
Durbin said there was no "ethical" way to tell Americans what he knew.
Congress authorized President Bush to use armed force against Iraq in 2003.