June 7, 2005
STATEMENT BY CONSTITUTIONAL ATTORNEY JOHN BONIFAZ ON BEHALF OF AFTERDOWNINGSTREET.ORG ON TODAY'S JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE WITH PRESIDENT BUSH AND BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BLAIR
President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair continued today to try to hide from the explosive revelations in the Downing Street Minutes.
Neither President Bush nor Prime Minister Blair denied today that the Downing Street Minutes are, in fact, the official minutes of the secret meeting that Prime Minister Blair held in London on July 23, 2002, with his top national security officials to receive a briefing from Richard Dearlove, then director of Britain�s CIA equivalent, MI-6.
Neither President Bush nor Prime Minister Blair denied today that Mr. Dearlove, in reporting on his meetings with high U.S. Government officials in Washington, stated at that meeting: �Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.�
The Prime Minister asserted that �the facts were not being fixed in any shape or form at all.�
The President claimed that �[t]here�s nothing farther from the truth� with respect to Mr. Dearlove�s statement that the President had decided, by July 2002, to invade Iraq, months before submitting his resolution on Iraq to the United States Congress and months before he and the Prime Minister asked the United Nations to resume its inspections for alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The American people deserve to know the truth. Mr. Dearlove�s report in July 2002 directly contradicts what the President and the Prime Minister said today. Only a full congressional investigation, with subpoena power, will reveal the truth.
AfterDowningStreet.org, a broad coalition of veterans groups, peace groups, and public interest organizations across this country, renews its call today for Members of Congress to introduce a Resolution of Inquiry directing the House Judiciary Committee to launch a formal investigation into whether the President of the United States has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. This inquiry must now answer the question: Has the President engaged in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war against Iraq? If the President has committed a High Crime, he must be held accountable under the United States Constitution.