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Impeachment: The Case Spelled Out
A great summary of Bush's lies:
By Warningwill Robinson, DailyKos
On Friday Ralph Nader had a piece in the Boston Globe calling for a national discussion about whether Bush should be impeached.
Now I don't think he will be, but I do think that pressing the point that he should be could be key into taking the wind out of his sails, and could make the difference on things like upcoming SCOTUS battles.
Friday evening, on the WBUR produced program "On Point" political commentator Jack Beatty dismissed out of hand the idea that there are grounds for Bush's impeachment.
He completely bought the myth that "Bush never lied" and that "U. N. Resolution 1441 justified the invasion of Iraq.
Below is my email to On Point, spelling out two of Bush's most impeachment worthy lies, and dispelling (I hope) the notion that Resolution 1441 authorized the invasion.
I'm posting this as a diary instead of keeping it as an email exchange between me and On Point because if the Impeach Bush Discussion begins to hit the mainstream media, I think it's critical that we share the facts to dispel the "Bush never lied" and "1441 justified the invasion" mythology.
My letter below the fold.
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(Note: I don't mean to say that this is the only case for impeachment, but it is one of the clearest and easiest to make, and the email does address the "Bush never lied" and "1441 justified the invasion" nonsense.)
I apologize for the length of this email, but I wanted to be able to give you facts, and sources for those facts, to back up what I have to say.
I am a frequent listener and particularly look forward to Jack Beatty's regular comments and analysis.
But I was thrown for a quite a loop with his comments towards on Friday, June 4, 2005 when he told On Point listeners that, unlike President Clinton, President Bush hasn't broken the law and hasn't lied, and that Mr. Bush has "checked the boxes of legality," for the invasion of Iraq because there was a U.N. resolution justifying the invasion.
Mr. Beatty then told On Point listeners therefore that as to whether or not there is a case to be made for the impeachment of President Bush, "The answer is a clear no."
Sadly, this is about as wrong as wrong can be.
In fact, George Bush lied not just to the American people, but to the United States Congress in the very letter he sent to the House and Senate justifying the invasion.
In addition, and contrary to popular mythology, there was NO United Nations resolution even remotely authorizing our attack on Iraq.
The President's Lies
President Bush's most critical lies are probably the two contained in his March 18, 2003 letters to the Speaker of the House and to the President of the Senate justifying his decision to send the American military to invade Iraq. (Link to the letter:http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030319-1.html)
This letter was not a matter of courtesy, but was expressly required by law in the October 2002 Iraq War Resolution.
It is a very short letter, containing only a single sentence, but in that one sentence letter President Bush lied to Congress not once, but twice.
The "Saddam Was Part of 9/11" Lie
President Bush's biggest lie to Congress in that very important letter was his statement that invading Iraq was a "necessary action against . . . those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."
We all know now however -- and George Bush knew then -- that Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with September 11
Any doubts about this were resolved by President Bush himself not long after the invasion, when on September 18, 2003, he confessed "We've no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the [sic] September 11th." (see, http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A25571-2003Sep17?language=printer)
Clearly therefore, the President's representation to the United States Congress that invading Iraq was a "necessary action" against those who "committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001," was a colossal, and deadly, lie.
It was not his only lie however.
The "Iraq is a Continuing Threat to the U.S." Lie
In addition, President Bush also told Congress in that same letter that:
"[r]eliance on . . . peaceful means alone will [not] adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq . . .."
This was simply not true, and President Bush knew it was not true.
There was -- and George Bush knew there was -- no meaningful, and certainly no "continuing," threat posed to the United States by Iraq.
And there was no "continuing threat" even if weapons of mass destruction had been there.
There was not then, and there is not now, any evidence to suggest that even if Iraq had had WMD's those weapons would have been any kind of threat to the United States, much less the "continuing threat" to the "national security" President Bush breathlessly told Congress Iraq presented.
George Tenet himself made this crystal clear in his February 5, 2004 speech about the infamous October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate. In that speech Mr. Tenet said, unequivocally,
"Let me be clear. Analysts differed on several important aspects of these [hypothosized WMD] programs and those debates were spelled out in the estimate. They never said there was an imminent threat."
They never said there was an imminent threat.
(Full transcript here at: http://www.cia.gov/cia/public_affairs/speeches/2004/tenet_georgetownspeech_02052004.html)
So even if WMD's had been there, President Bush's representation to Congress that Iraq was a continuing threat to the United States was not true, and President Bush knew, from the October NIE, that it was not true.
The Context of The President's Lies
Unlike the lies that brought President Clinton to impeachment, President Bush's lies were not made in a private lawsuit. They were not made to protect private aspects of the president's private life. They were unabashed, unequivocal, inexcusable lies made by the President of the United States to the Congress of the United States as the grounds he offered to Congress for justifying a pre-emptive war.
These lies were the very legal foundation on which we sent 130,000 American troops to invade another country.
These lies were the reason 1,670 good American men and women are now dead, the reason over 12,000 American soldiers have been wounded, and the reason that American forces killed tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi people.
Yes, it is true as Mr. Beatty said on Friday, that President Bush "got a Congressional authorization for war" -- but that authorization did not authorize the war he started.
The Iraq War Resolution was not a blank check, it was contingent. It did not kick in unless and until there was, and the President certified that there was, a continuing threat to the national security of United States from Iraq AND/OR (the statue is ambiguous) invasion was necessary to go after those who were responsible for 9/11.
We now know that neither was the case, but President Bush lied to Congress and claimed that both were true.
(Link to text of Iraq War Resolution: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002
The U.N. Resolution
Nor did the much ballyhooed U.N. Resolution 1441 provide any authorization for the invasion.
The language of 1441 was remarkably clear in what was to be done if Iraq failed to comply, and included nothing whatsoever about invasion or attack.
Paragraphs 11 and 12 of that resolution spelled out exactly what was to be done in case of non-compliance: meet again and evaluate the situation, nothing more.
The resolution provided:
"[The Security Council] . . .
Directs the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC and the Director-General of the IAEA to report immediately to the Council any interference by Iraq with inspection activities, as well as any failure by Iraq to comply with its disarmament obligations, including its obligations regarding inspections under this resolution;
Decides to convene immediately upon receipt of a report in accordance with paragraphs 4 or 11 above, in order to consider the situation and the need for full compliance with all of the relevant Council resolutions in order to secure international peace and security."
"Convene . . . in order to consider the situation." That was what Resolution 1441 contemplated in case Iraq failed to comply. Nothing more.
Nothing in 1441 authorized military action. Nothing.
It was shameful how the whole "1441 justifies the invasion" argument was blindly accepted by the press and was never challenged in the run up to the war.
I am not naive enough to think that with this House and this Senate, President Bush has any chance of being impeached. But the notion that he somehow "checked all the legal boxes" and never did anything that could be the basis for impeachment is simply another myth. Don't buy it.
And don't sell it to On Point's listeners.
There are some nuances here that I've left out (hard to believe, I know, given the length of this diary!) but the basic case is laid out I think.
Steal, correct, change, and cut and paste if you find it helpful. That's the whole point.