Skip to content

Who wants to handle the truth?

An interesting quote :

Some of the requests for changes, however, could not be accommodated. With respect to the negotiations over the conclusions, one of the challenges the committee faced was a flawed notion that we should be able to reach a compromise on each conclusion. Certainly, in most negotiations there are areas for compromise. Sometimes, however, views can be so diametrically opposed that efforts at compromise are futile. In such cases, members must agree to disagree and move on. With respect to the INC conclusions, we were faced with just this scenario, and votes ensued to resolve the disagreements. That is the democratic process.

Of concern, however, is the notion that there is room for compromise when it comes to the facts. Diametrically opposed conclusions are one thing, but there is no room for compromise on the facts – they are accurate or they are not. Paraphrasing the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own set of facts. I agree wholeheartedly. As Chairman, I encourage good faith negotiation and compromise when it is appropriate. However, I will draw the line when it comes to amending conclusions in a way that mischaracterizes or ignores the underlying facts. I may lose some votes, but I will continue to hold to my premise that facts are stubborn things, and when it comes to the facts, there can and should be no compromise.

This from Sen. Pat Roberts, former chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, quoted from here (PDF).