By COLIN SHEA
Prague, Czech Republic
This is an open letter to U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley.
Documentary evidence of presidential high crimes and misdemeanors has been in full public view for six weeks now and you have been shamefully silent. Seven citizens of New Hampshire are dead for no reason, yet you continue to participate in the disgusting charade of the Iraq war. This must end. Serious discussion of impeachment must finally take place in the House of Representatives.
On May 1, a British newspaper published a secret memorandum from August 2002 from the very highest levels of the British government. It shows conclusively that the Bush administration had already decided at that time to attack and occupy Iraq. This was eight months before hostilities commenced, and three months before the release of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the Iraq threat — the purported basis for war.
The head of British intelligence, noted that an assault "was now seen as inevitable," and that "the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy."
Accusations that the administration manipulated intelligence to justify the war are now proved beyond doubt. Bush's protests that conflict was not inevitable were lies. Promises to give UN inspectors a chance to check allegations of Iraqi WMD were a farce.
The British foreign minister is quoted in the memo as saying there was no justification for war because "Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capacity was less than that of Libya, North Korea, or Iran."
Bush knew Iraq posed no threat, but went to war anyway. British intelligence raised the alarm that "there was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath."
We are fighting a savage guerrilla war that has killed and maimed tens of thousands of U.S. troops. No infrastructure has been repaired after countless billions of corrupt and mismanaged appropriations. Unsupervised troops have violated the Geneva Conventions repeatedly.
Administration hawks should have foreseen the aftermath of the war. Their British counterparts did, and said so. But Wolfowitz and Cheney did not want to disrupt their pipe dreams of American soldiers greeted with flowers and Iraqi oil revenues paying for the reconstruction. Our seven soldiers are dead as a result of their criminal negligence.
The October 2002 NIE claimed the "growing ability to sell oil illicitly increases Baghdad's ability to finance WMD programs" as a prime casus belli. Yet, a report released by the United States Senate places the blame for this at the door of the Bush administration, which regularly assisted favored countries in breaking the embargo. The report states that "the United States not only failed to exert an effort to stop the oil shipments, it appears to have facilitated them."
The administration intervened via the State Department to allow Jordan to smuggle millions of dollars worth of oil out of Iraq on the eve of the war. Profits from this transaction went directly to Saddam Hussein. The administration knew this, yet facilitated it. But, if they believed their own intelligence, they also believed they were funding Iraqi WMD when war looked inevitable.
American troops advancing on Baghdad might have been attacked with chemical weapons, paid for with American dollars. WMD were just a desert mirage, however, which explains why the Bush was unconcerned about the broken embargo.
But, if these countless millions did not go to Iraqi WMD, where did they disappear?
Illicit oil kickbacks are a primary source of funding for the current insurgency. But, if the Bush administration facilitated the majority of recent kickbacks as the Senate report claims, it means they provided the very funds guerrillas now use to kill American troops.
These facts constitute evidence of presidential malfeasance that clearly rises to the level of impeachable offenses. You have an irreducible duty to the citizens you represent, to the memory of New Hampshire's fallen, and to the Constitution you have sworn to uphold. You must make the case for impeachment on the House Floor and initiate a vote to send the charges to the House Judiciary Committee for investigation. Anything less would be a disgrace to your office and your constituency.
Colin Shea is a former Dover resident living in Prague.
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