OBSTRUCTION OF INVESTIGATION INTO THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed", has both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates, together with the Vice President, obstructed investigations into the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
Following September 11, 2001, President Bush and Vice President Cheney took strong steps to thwart any and all proposals that the circumstances of the attack be addressed. Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell was forced to renege on his public promise on September 23 that a "White Paper" would be issued to explain the circumstances. Less than two weeks after that promise, Powell apologized for his "unfortunate choice of words," and explained that Americans would have to rely on "information coming out in the press and in other ways."
On Sept. 26, 2001, President Bush drove to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters in Langley, Virginia, stood with Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet and said: "My report to the nation is, we've got the best intelligence we can possibly have thanks to the men and women of the C.I.A." George Tenet subsequently and falsely claimed not to have visited the president personally between the start of Bush's long Crawford vacation and September 11, 2001.
Testifying before the 9/11 Commission on April 14, 2004, Tenet answered a question from Commission member Timothy Roemer by referring to the president's vacation (July 29-August 30) in Crawford and insisting that he did not see the president at all in August 2001. "You never talked with him?" Roemer asked. "No," Tenet replied, explaining that for much of August he too was "on leave." An Agency spokesman called reporters that same evening to say Tenet had misspoken, and that Tenet had briefed Bush on August 17 and 31. The spokesman explained that the second briefing took place after the president had returned to Washington, and played down the first one, in Crawford, as uneventful.
In his book, At the Center of the Storm, (2007) Tenet, refers to what is almost certainly his August 17 visit to Crawford as a follow-up to the "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US" article in the CIA-prepared President's Daily Brief of August 6. That briefing was immortalized in a Time Magazine photo capturing Harriet Myers holding the PDB open for the president, as two CIA officers sit by. It is the same briefing to which the president reportedly reacted by telling the CIA briefer, "All right, you've covered your ass now." (Ron Suskind, The One-Percent Doctrine, p. 2, 2006). In At the Center of the Storm, Tenet writes: "A few weeks after the August 6 PDB was delivered, I followed it to Crawford to make sure that the president stayed current on events."
A White House press release suggests Tenet was also there a week later, on August 24. According to the August 25, 2001, release, President Bush, addressing a group of visitors to Crawford on August 25, told them: "George Tenet and I, yesterday, we piled in the new nominees for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Vice Chairman and their wives and went right up the canyon."
In early February, 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney warned then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle that if Congress went ahead with an investigation, administration officials might not show up to testify. As pressure grew for an investigation, the president and vice president agreed to the establishment of a congressional joint committee to conduct a "Joint Inquiry." Eleanor Hill, Executive Director of the Inquiry, opened the Joint Inquiry's final public hearing in mid-September 2002 with the following disclaimer: "I need to report that, according to the White House and the Director of Central Intelligence, the president's knowledge of intelligence information relevant to this inquiry remains classified, even when the substance of the intelligence information has been declassified."
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, also known as the 9/11 Commission, was created on November 27, 2002, following the passage of congressional legislation signed into law by President Bush. The President was asked to testify before the Commission. He refused to testify except for one hour in private with only two Commission members, with no oath administered, with no recording or note taking, and with the Vice President at his side. Commission Co-Chair Lee Hamilton has written that he believes the commission was set up to fail, was underfunded, was rushed, and did not receive proper cooperation and access to information.
A December 2007 review of classified documents by former members of the Commission found that the commission had made repeated and detailed requests to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 for documents and other information about the interrogation of operatives of Al Qaeda, and had been told falsely by a top C.I.A. official that the agency had "produced or made available for review" everything that had been requested.
In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.
Dan Eggen, 9/11 Panel Suspected Deception by Pentagon, Allegations Brought to
Inspectors General , Washington Post, August 2, 2006.
White House Press Release , August 25, 2001.
President George W. Bush, Remarks to CIA Workforce , September 26, 2001.
George Tenet, Testimony Before the 9/11 Commission , April 14, 2004.
Condoleezza Rice, Sworn Testimony to 9/11 Commission , April 8, 2004.
Blaming Bush for His Greatest Achievement , by David Swanson.
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