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Report in Support of Articles of Impeachment Against Bush and Cheney
From the introduction to: "Report in Support of Articles of Impeachment Against President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney for Making False and Fraudulent Statements to Congress and or Conspiring to Defraud Congress Regarding the Most Notorious of the Grounds for the War in Iraq: the Grounds that Iraq Had Sought Uranium for a Nuclear Weapon, And Articles of Impeachment" by Francis T. Mandanici.
In his recent book entitled What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan describes the White House’s deceptive campaign to sell the war in Iraq to the American people.1
It is important to note that McClellan is not some talk show host but is someone who worked closely with President George W. Bush as his press secretary.
The most notorious of the claims that President Bush and his officials made to sell the war in Iraq were their claims that Iraq had sought uranium for a nuclear weapon. McClellan in his book covers the uranium claim that President Bush made in his January 2003 State of the Union address. Although McClellan in his book states that he does not believe that the Administration deliberately or consciously deceived anyone,2 and he does not state that the uranium claims were fraudulent, he does describe how the White House engaged in a campaign to sell the war that included shading the truth and hiding information from the public that contradicted the White House’s claims. Such conduct was obviously fraudulent and did include the Administration’s uranium claims.
While McClellan provides an outline of the Administration’s deception, the prior public record fills in the details. As set forth in this report, the information that McClellan reveals in his book combined with the information that is already available in the public record leads to the inescapable conclusion that President Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney committed impeachable offenses regarding their involvement in the uranium claims, which were a critical part of the White House’s deceptive campaign to sell the war.
The public record reveals that to justify starting the war against Iraq, the Bush Administration stated that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Prior to the war, President Bush on October 2, 2002 stated that Iraq “is a threat of unique urgency...[and] has developed weapons of mass death”;3 Vice President Cheney on August 26, 2002 stated that “there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction...[and] no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us”;4 and on March 16, 2003 he stated that “we believe [Hussein] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.”5
To support that claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, the Administration prior to the war repeatedly made the specific and alarming claim that Iraq had sought to acquire the uranium fuel for a nuclear weapon. President Bush made two statements directly to Congress about Iraq seeking uranium, including in his above-mentioned January 2003 State of the Union Address.
Former National Security Advisor and now Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made three similar public statements that they expected would also influence Congress. The purpose behind the uranium claims that the Administration made prior to the war was to scare Congress into believing that Iraq having sought uranium for a nuclear weapon did have such weapons and thus was an imminent threat to the United States, and thus Congress should not repeal or modify
the Congressional resolution that authorized President Bush to use military force in Iraq.6
At the time of those statements, there were Congressional efforts to repeal the war resolution and to delay the start of the war so that United Nations (UN) weapons inspectors, who had so far found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, could finish their work. Even after the start of the war, Vice President Cheney instructed his then Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby to tell the press that Iraq had vigorously tried to procure uranium in order to convince the public and Congress that there were legitimate grounds for the war.
The public record detailed in this report not only shows that said officials made or directed others to make said uranium claims, but also shows that the claims were false and fraudulent.7 The public record also provides the direct and circumstantial evidence that proves that they knew the claims were false and fraudulent.
Under the criminal statute 18 U.S.C. § 1001, it is a felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment to make false and fraudulent statements to Congress. Under the criminal statute 18 U.S.C. § 371, it is a felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment to conspire to defraud Congress, which includes conspiring to obstruct its functions, such as the function that Congress had prior to the war to consider whether to repeal the war resolution or modify it so as to delay the start of the war at least until UN weapons inspectors finished their inspections, and the function that Congress had after the start of the war to consider repealing or modifying the war resolution because Iraq was not an imminent threat to the United States.
This present report shows that President Bush when he made his uranium claims to Congress violated 18 U.S.C. § 1001. This report also shows that President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and others were involved in a conspiracy to obstruct the function of Congress regarding whether to repeal or modify the war resolution by the means of deceiving Congress into believing that Iraq had sought uranium for an existing nuclear weapon and thus was an imminent threat to the United States. By such conduct they violated 18 U.S.C. § 371.
As discussed later, impeachable offenses encompass felonies but are also major offenses against our system of government, grave wrongs in pursuit of governmental power, grave abuses of official power, and offenses that encroach on the prerogative of another branch of the government.8 The crimes of President Bush and Vice President Cheney qualify as impeachable offenses since said crimes encroached on the power of Congress to declare war. At the end of this report are drafts of articles of impeachment against President Bush and Vice President Cheney based on their commission of said crimes.9
The Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recently stated: “I took [impeachment] off the table a long time ago. You can’t talk about impeachment unless you have the facts, and you can’t have the facts unless you have cooperation from the Administration.”10 She also recently stated: “If somebody had a crime that the President had committed, that would be a different story...[but you can’t impeach the president] unless you have the goods that this president committed these crimes.”11
This report provides the goods – the information in the public record – that show that President Bush and Vice President Cheney did commit crimes and impeachable offenses. Furthermore since the information is already available in the public record, an investigation and the cooperation of President Bush and Vice President Cheney are not necessary. It might even be said that this report is similar to a final formal report the Judiciary Committee might submit to the whole House recommending articles of impeachment. Thus any Member of the House can file the articles of impeachment at the end of this report and also can submit this report in support of those articles of impeachment.
Those, such as Speaker Pelosi, who have doubts about whether President Bush committed any crimes should consider the fact the White House has recently refused to rule out the possibility that President Bush will grant pre-emptive pardons to members of his Administration who may have committed crimes.12 Such a refusal clearly implies that the White House knows that crimes were committed.13
Also the revelations in the recent book by the former White House press secretary are an important addition to the public record, and should make anyone who doubted that crimes were committed to now reconsider their position.
Although in the past it seemed unlikely, it now appears that President Bush will grant pardons that cover all of his Administration’s crimes since the White House refuses to rule out such pardons. Thus President Bush and Vice President Cheney will face no accountability in a criminal court. The only remaining forum for accountability is impeachment in the Congress, which should be pursued in the House even if there are not enough members of President Bush’s political party in the Senate who would vote against him and Vice President Cheney to reach the total necessary for a conviction.14 If the House decides not to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney then the House will be not only allowing them to escape accountability but would also be issuing them de facto pardons.
|Report and Articles of Impeachment, Sept. 9, 2008.pdf||462.57 KB|