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Hinchey: They've Committed Impeachable Offenses, So Let's "Censure" Them
H. RES. 625
Censuring the President and Vice President.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
August 4, 2007
Mr. HINCHEY (for himself, Ms. BALDWIN, Mr. CAPUANO, Mr. COHEN, Mr. DAVIS of Illinois, Mr. FARR, Mr. FILNER, Mr. GRIJALVA, Mr. HALL of New York, Mr. HONDA, Ms. KAPTUR, Mr. KUCINICH, Ms. LEE, Mrs. MALONEY of New York, Mr. MORAN of Virginia, Mr. PASTOR, Ms. SCHAKOWSKY, Ms. WATSON, Ms. SHEA-PORTER, and Mr. ROTHMAN) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
Censuring the President and Vice President.
SECTION 1. BASIS FOR CENSURE.
(a) Iraq's Alleged Nuclear Program- The House of Representatives finds the following:
(1) In December 2001, the intelligence community assessed that Iraq did not appear to have reconstituted its nuclear weapons program.
(2) The October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate assessed that Iraq did not have a nuclear weapon or sufficient material to make one, and that without sufficient fissile material acquired from abroad, Iraq probably would not be able to make a weapon until 2007 or 2009.
(3) On October 6, 2002, the Central Intelligence Agency advised the White House to remove references to Iraq seeking uranium from Africa from a Presidential speech, citing weak evidence.
(4) In November 2002, the United States Government told the International Atomic Energy Association that `reporting on Iraqi attempts to procure uranium from Africa are fragmentary at best.'.
(5) On March 7, 2003, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Association reported to the United Nations Security Council that inspectors had found `no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq.'.
(6) On March 11, 2003, the Central Intelligence Agency stated that it did not dispute the International Atomic Energy Association conclusions that the documents on Iraq's agreement to buy uranium from Niger were not authentic.
(7) President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney overstated the nature and urgency of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein by making repeated, unqualified assertions about an Iraqi nuclear program that were not supported by available intelligence, including--
(A) on March 22, 2002, President George W. Bush stated that `[Saddam] is a dangerous man who possesses the world's most dangerous weapons.';
(B) on August 26, 2002, Vice President Richard B. Cheney stated that `[m]any of us are convinced that Saddam will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon.';
(C) on September 8, 2002, Vice President Richard B. Cheney stated that `[w]e do know, with absolute certainty, that he is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon.';
(D) on September 20, 2002, Vice President Richard B. Cheney stated that `we now have irrefutable evidence that he has once again set up and reconstituted his program, to take uranium, to enrich it to sufficiently high grade, so that it will function as the base material as a nuclear weapon.';
(E) on October 7, 2002, President George W. Bush stated that `[f]acing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof--the smoking gun--that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.';
(F) on December 31, 2002, President George W. Bush stated that `[w]e don't know whether or not [Saddam] has a nuclear weapon.';
(G) on January 28, 2003, President George W. Bush stated that `[t]he British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.'; and
(H) on March 16, 2003, Vice President Richard B. Cheney stated that `[w]e believe [Hussein] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.'.
(b) Saddam's Alleged Intent To Use Weapons of Mass Destruction- The House of Representatives finds the following:
(1) The October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate assessed that `Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW against the United States, fearing that exposure of Iraqi involvement would provide Washington a stronger cause for making war' and that `Iraq probably would attempt clandestine attacks against the United States Homeland if Baghdad feared an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable, or possibly for revenge.'.
(2) President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney made misleading statements, that were not supported by the available intelligence, suggesting that Saddam Hussein sought weapons of mass destruction for the purpose of an unprovoked, offensive attack, including--
(A) on August 26, 2002, Vice President Richard B. Cheney stated that `... there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.';
(B) on August 26, 2002, Vice President Richard B. Cheney stated that `[t]hese are not weapons for the purpose of defending Iraq; these are offensive weapons for the purpose of inflicting death on a massive scale, developed so that Saddam can hold the threat over the head of anyone he chooses, in his own region or beyond.'; and
(C) on October 2, 2002, President George W. Bush stated that `On its present course, the Iraqi regime is a threat of unique urgency. We know the treacherous history of the regime. It has waged a war against its neighbors, it has sponsored and sheltered terrorists, it has developed weapons of mass death, it has used them against innocent men, women and children. We know the designs of the Iraqi regime.'.
(c) Saddam's Alleged Links to Al Qaeda and 9/11- The House of Representatives finds the following:
(1) Before the war, the Central Intelligence Agency assessed that `Saddam has viewed Islamic extremists operating inside Iraq as a threat, and his regime since its inception has arrested and executed members of both Shia and Sunni groups to disrupt their organizations and limit their influence,' that `Saddam Hussain and Usama bin Laden are far from being natural partners,' and that assessments about Iraqi links to al Qaeda rest on `a body of fragmented, conflicting reporting from sources of varying reliability.'.
(2) President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney overstated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein by making unqualified assertions that were not supported by available intelligence linking Saddam Hussein to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and stating that Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda had a relationship and that Saddam Hussein would provide al Qaeda with weapons of mass destruction for purposes of an offensive attack against the United States, including--
(A) on September 25, 2002, President George W. Bush stated that `[Y]ou can't distinguish between al Qa'ida and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror.';
(B) on September 26, 2002, President George W. Bush stated that `[t]he dangers we face will only worsen from month to month and from year to year. ... Each passing day could be the one on which the Iraqi regime gives anthrax or VX--nerve gas--or some day a nuclear weapon to a terrorist ally.';
(C) on October 14, 2002, President George W. Bush stated that `[t]his is a man that we know has had connections with al Qa'ida. This is a man who, in my judgment, would like to use al Qa'ida as a forward army.';
(D) on November 7, 2002, President George W. Bush stated that `[Saddam is] a threat because he is dealing with al Qaida ... [A] true threat facing our country is that an al Qaida-type network trained and armed by Saddam could attack America and not leave one fingerprint.';
(E) on January 31, 2003, President George W. Bush stated that `Saddam Hussein would like nothing more than to use a terrorist network to attack and to kill and leave no fingerprints behind.';
(F) on March 16, 2003, Vice President Richard B. Cheney stated that `we also have to address the question of where might these terrorists acquire weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear weapons? And Saddam Hussein becomes a prime suspect in that regard because of his past track record and because we know he has, in fact, developed these kinds of capabilities, chemical and biological weapons. We know he's used chemical weapons. And we know he's reconstituted these programs since the Gulf War. We know he's out trying once again to produce nuclear weapons and we know that he has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups, including the al-Qaeda organization.';
(G) on March 17, 2003, President George W. Bush stated that `The danger is clear: using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country or any other.';
(H) on May 1, 2003, President George W. Bush stated that `[t]he liberation of Iraq ... removed an ally of al Qaeda.';
(I) on September 14, 2003, Vice President Richard B. Cheney stated that `the Iraqi intelligen[ce] service had a relationship with al Qaeda that developed throughout the decade of the 90's. That was clearly official policy.';
(J) on September 14, 2003, Vice President Richard B. Cheney stated that `[i]f we're successful in Iraq ... we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11.'; and
(K) on March 21, 2006, President George W. Bush said at a press conference, `But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life. And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people that we will do everything in our power to protect our people. Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy. And that's why I went into Iraq.'.
(d) Inadequate Planning and Insufficient Troop Levels- The House of Representatives finds the following:
(1) The intelligence community judged in January 2003 that `[t]he ouster of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussayn would pose a variety of significant policy challenges for whoever assumes responsibility for governing Iraq' including `political transformation, controlling internal strife, solving economic and humanitarian challenges, and dealing with persistent foreign policy and security concerns.'.
(2) The intelligence community judged in January 2003 that `a post-Saddam authority would face a deeply divided society with a significant chance that domestic groups would engage in violent conflict with each other unless an occupying force prevented them from doing so.'.
(3) These judgments were delivered to the White House and Office of the Vice President.
(4) Then Army Chief of Staff General Shinseki testified on February 25, 2003, that `something on the order of several hundred thousands soldiers' would be needed to secure Iraq following a successful completion of the war.
(5) General Abizaid, then-CENTCOM commander, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on November 15, 2006, that `General Shinseki was right that a greater international force contribution, United States force contribution and Iraqi force contribution should have been available immediately after major combat operations.'.
(6) After President George W. Bush declared the end of major combat operations in Iraq, there were insufficient troops to prevent the outbreak of violence and lawlessness that contributed to the flight of millions of Iraqis and the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis.
(7) The Government Accountability Office provided testimony to the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, on March 22, 2007, that due to insufficient troop levels, United States forces were unable to secure conventional weapons stockpiles in Iraq that continue to pose a threat to American servicemembers.
(8) President George W. Bush failed to ensure that plans were prepared and implemented to address the challenges that the intelligence community predicted would occur after the ouster of Saddam Hussein, and in particular failed to ensure that there were sufficient coalition troops in Iraq after major combat operations ended to maintain security and secure weapons stockpiles.
(e) Strain on Military and Undermining Homeland Security- The House of Representatives finds the following:
(1) Retired Major General John Batiste, former commander of the First Infantry Division in Iraq, testified before the House Committee on International Relations on June 27, 2007, that `[o]ur Army and Marine Corps are at a breaking point at a time in history when we need a strong military the most. The cycle of deployments is staggering. American formations continue to lose a battalion's worth of dead and wounded every month with little to show for it. The current recruiting system falls drastically short of long-term requirements and our all-volunteer force can not sustain the current tempo for much longer. The military is spending over $1,000,000,000 a year in incentives in a last ditch effort to keep the force together. Young officers and noncommissioned officers are leaving the service at an alarming rate.'.
(2) Extended deployments of 15 months, and insufficient time to rest and train between deployments, have undermined the readiness of the Army.
(3) The Army National Guard reported as early as July 2005 that equipment transfers to deploying units `had largely exhausted its inventory of more than 220 critical items, including some items useful to nondeployed units for training and domestic missions.'.
(4) The Government Accountability Office found, in September 2006, that `[a]mong the items for which the Army National Guard had shortages of over 80 percent of the authorized inventory were chemical warfare monitoring and decontamination equipment and night vision goggles'.
(5) President George W. Bush's policies in Iraq have undermined homeland security by depleting the personnel and equipment needed by the National Guard.
(f) Insurgency in `Last Throes'- The House of Representatives finds the following:
(1) Multi-National Force-Iraq reports indicate that the number of attacks on coalition forces has increased since the beginning of military action.
(2) The Government Accountability Office, in March 2007, reported that attacks using improvised explosive devices continued to increase between 2005 and July 2006.
(3) On June 23, 2005, General John Abizaid, in his capacity as head of Central Command, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the state of the insurgency that `[i]n terms of comparison from 6 months ago, in terms of foreign fighters I believe there are more foreign fighters coming into Iraq than there were 6 months ago. In terms of the overall strength of the insurgency, I'd say it's about the same as it was.'.
(4) President George W. Bush's Initial Benchmark Assessment report from July 12, 2007, states that `[a]s a result of increased offensive operations, Coalition and Iraqi Forces have sustained increased attacks in Iraq, particularly in Baghdad, Diyala, and Salah ad Din.'.
(5) Vice President Richard B. Cheney made misleading statements that the insurgency in Iraq was in its `last throes,' including--
(A) on May 30, 2005, Vice President Richard B. Cheney said, `The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.'; and
(B) on June 19, 2006, Vice President Richard B. Cheney was asked whether he still supported the comment he made in 2005, regarding the fact that the insurgency in Iraq was in its `last throes,' to which he responded `I do.'
SEC. 2. CENSURE BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
The House of Representatives censures President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney for--
(1) misleading the American people about the basis for going to war in Iraq;
(2) failing to plan adequately for the war;
(3) pursuing policies in Iraq that have strained our military and undermined our homeland security; and
(4) misleading the American people about the insurgency in Iraq.
Title: Censuring the President and Attorney General.
Sponsor: Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] (introduced 8/4/2007) Cosponsors (19)
Latest Major Action: 8/4/2007 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
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