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I sent Senator Bill Frist (R Tennessee) this letter after hearing about the Democrats invoking Senate Rule 21 on NPR, and after reading this article on CNN.

How come you have a "Justice O'connor retirement" message topic on your contact form, but not a "war in iraq" topic?

Maybe it's a symptom of the same problem I'm writing about. You don't want to talk about the war in Iraq. Honestly, we both know why - because your party made a mistake. You guys made a costly, tragic mistake. The Republicans don't want to look at the reasons why we went to war in Iraq, because their Administration was either ignorant or malicious in regards to the truth about WMD. As much as I'd like to see the Administration publicly ridiculed and crucified, that's not what I really care about.

I really want to make sure that our government can never ever do something like this again. I want to make sure that when our government makes a strong case for something, it's based on factual evidence. I want to be able to trust my government. Is that too much to ask for?

The fact that George W. Bush has said that he "doesn't care if we find WMD in Iraq" is crushing. WMDs were the linchpin to Americans supporting the war. I felt lied to and betrayed. Now that Iraq seems to be something of a quagmire, I feel even worse.

So when I read that you said you were complaining about the Democrats' "lack of civility" by invoking Senate Rule 21, I became angry. You have been dragging your feet for too long. I demand answers. More specifically, I demand a thorough answer to these: How was America led into war with bad intellgience? If George W. Bush doesn't care if they find WMDs now, why did he seem to care so much before we invaded? How often were contradictory voices like that of Joseph C. Wilson silenced by methods which are not compatible with "family values"?

"This is an affront to me personally," said Frist, a Tennessee Republican. "This is an affront to our leadership. It is an affront to the United States of America, and it is wrong."

To be honest with you, I don't care why the Democrats did this. Dirty politics or not, it was the moral thing to do. This Administration's leadership has been an affront to the United States of America.

You are responsible for the wellbeing of the people of the USA, and ignoring such a critical failure makes you a part of it. Americans deserve good intelligence not just on reasons for war, but also on how their own government operates (or doesn't). If you disagree with that, then you, sir, hate freedom.

Find out what went wrong. Make sure it never happens again.

I got the generic auto reply:

Dear Friend: Thank you for your e-mail, and I look forward to reviewing and responding to it as soon as I can. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of mail I receive daily and the press of Senate business, your response may be regrettably delayed. In the meanwhile, you may find my website at http://frist.senate.gov to be helpful, as I endeavor to post my positions on most major policy issues there regularly along with other information of interest. Again, thank you for contacting me and know that I always appreciate hearing from you! Sincerely, William H. Frist, M.D. Majority Leader United States Senate

I don't expect to get a reply from Bill Frist (or one of his staff), but if I do I'll post it here.

Update - Bill Frist Candidly Addresses my Concerns:

Dear Friend: Thank you for contacting me. It is an honor to serve as Majority Leader of the United States Senate and a privilege to respond to your concerns. As the Senate Majority Leader, I will continue to work closely with President Bush and with my colleagues in the Senate to address the many critical issues confronting our nation, especially the war on terrorism. The leaders of our country face many challenges and certainly need your encouragement. I am confident that we will continue to work together to protect America from those who would do us harm. We all must remain focused on the fundamental importance of this undertaking. I am proud of the Senate’s accomplishments in the 109th Congress. We have tackled a number of key issues that will make America stronger, more prosperous and more secure. We have passed class action reform legislation to rein in frivolous lawsuit abuse in our legal system; provided funds for our troops and border security; passed a comprehensive energy bill which will lower energy prices and strengthen our nation’s energy security; passed a transportation bill that will boost our economy and encourage economic development in America's communities; and promoted trade agreements that reduce barriers to American goods and promote U.S. businesses at home and abroad. Significantly, we have worked to restore dignity and fairness to the judicial nominations process by assuring the principle of up or down votes on the President’s nominees. The President's candidate for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, passed by a vote of 78-22, and I look forward to continuing this work by ensuring a fair, expeditious, and respectful confirmation process for his remaining judicial nominees. Again, thank you for contacting me. As the 109th Congress continues to address critical public policy issues, I will certainly keep your thoughts and concerns in mind. Sincerely, William H. Frist, M.D. Majority Leader United States Senate

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