June 17, 2005


The Case for Impeaching George W. Bush (Walter C. Uhler, 6/15/05, BuzzFlash)

If intentionally deceiving the U.S. Congress is an impeachable offence, then President Bush deserves impeachment—because every time he assured congressmen that he hoped to avoid war, he deceived them. And if commencing war without receiving Congressional approval is an impeachable offense—which it certainly is—then President Bush merits impeachment. For, strictly speaking, Bush took America to war in May 2002 when he authorized the intense bombings designed to degrade Iraq defense capacity, if not provoke a response by Saddam.

Finally, as the August 2002 top secret National Security Presidential Directive proves, Bush had committed America to an invasion of Iraq before seeking Congressional approval.

The evidence presented above contains examples demonstrating "fixed" intelligence. Moreover, we know the following:

(1) Cheney had contempt for the intelligence establishment,

(2) Cheney abused intelligence,

(3) Cheney and his crew in the Office of the Vice President pressured intelligence analysts,

(4) Notwithstanding its obsession with Iraq, the Bush administration never requested the CIA to conduct a full blown National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq (the October NIE on Iraq's WMD was conducted at the request of three U.S. Senators),

(5) Although the secret October NIE was hastily crafted, it contained many caveats not found in the alarmist unclassified White Paper and

(6) When, on December 21, 2002, Bush was given "'The Case' on WMD as it might be presented to a jury with Top Secret security clearance," he turned to Tenet and said: "I've been told all this intelligence about having WMD and this is the best we've got?" Which compels two questions: "Why another intelligence briefing after the NIE?" and "What did Bush make of the NIE intelligence used to persuade Congress to agree to war?"

All six pieces of evidence indicate contempt for serious intelligence. And that contempt freed the "principals" to "fix" the intelligence according to their own preconceived biases. To the extent that such "fixed" intelligence influenced Congress to vote for war, Bush must be impeached.

The decision to go to war also was made before President Bush sought the approval of the United Nations. Absent an imminent threat or actual attack, going to war without UN approval is a war crime. Thus it's important to recall Lord Goldsmith's warning that "if the sponsors of the U.S.-UK draft resolution sought a vote at the [UN Security] council and failed to get it, serious doubts would be cast on the legality of military action against Iraq. This explained the joint decision of Blair, Bush and [Spain's] Aznar to withdraw their draft resolution from council." Better to be suspected of war crimes than branded a flagrant war criminal.

Given the information provided above, who can doubt that talk about the threat posed by Iraq's WMD was a smokescreen to disguise Bush and Cheney's long-held obsession to take Saddam out. Consequently, after his impeachment and removal from office, President Bush and his co-conspirators should be prosecuted for war crimes.

If misleading Congress, having contempt for the Intelligence agencies and ignoring the U.N. were impeachable offenses there would be no Federal officials.

Democrats Play House To Rally Against the War (Dana Milbank, June 17, 2005, Washington Post)

In the Capitol basement yesterday, long-suffering House Democrats took a trip to the land of make-believe.

They pretended a small conference room was the Judiciary Committee hearing room, draping white linens over folding tables to make them look like witness tables and bringing in cardboard name tags and extra flags to make the whole thing look official.

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) banged a large wooden gavel and got the other lawmakers to call him "Mr. Chairman." He liked that so much that he started calling himself "the chairman" and spouted other chairmanly phrases, such as "unanimous consent" and "without objection so ordered." The dress-up game looked realistic enough on C-SPAN, so two dozen more Democrats came downstairs to play along.

The session was a mock impeachment inquiry over the Iraq war. As luck would have it, all four of the witnesses agreed that President Bush lied to the nation and was guilty of high crimes -- and that a British memo on "fixed" intelligence that surfaced last month was the smoking gun equivalent to the Watergate tapes. Conyers was having so much fun that he ignored aides' entreaties to end the session.

"At the next hearing," he told his colleagues, "we could use a little subpoena power." That brought the house down.

As Conyers and his hearty band of playmates know, subpoena power and other perks of a real committee are but a fantasy unless Democrats can regain the majority in the House. But that's only one of the obstacles they're up against as they try to convince America that the "Downing Street Memo" is important.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 17, 2005 1:47 PM

It has always caused me a bit of unease that people can be jailed for contempt of congress.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 17, 2005 4:09 PM

Not people. Republicans.

Posted by: erp at June 17, 2005 4:20 PM

Good Lord. At least Mad Ludwig had the residual decency to stay in his castle. But these guys are going full frontal on the veranda. How soon before their behavior is explained away by reference to sinister CIA plots involving LSD?

Posted by: Luciferous at June 17, 2005 6:17 PM

Hasn't it occurred to anyone that the intelligence community deliberately misled Bush about Saddam's WMDs, hoping to deter war by exaggerating the threat Hussein posed? It's pretty common knowledge the CIA and State Department prefer to implement their own foreign policy, presidents be damned, and are in open revolt against the current Administration.

So why not make wild claims about chemical, biological and nuclear programs, figuring Bush would be scared away from invading? Typical CIA move, though, as it had the precise opposite effect they intended.

Posted by: Ben Lange at June 17, 2005 6:24 PM

Don't you know Bush is all seeing and has absolute control of everything?

Posted by: to Ben at June 17, 2005 11:19 PM

If Reagan and Bush the Elder weren't impeached for their high crimes in office why should anyone think Bush the Lesser might be held to account for his malfeasance?

Perhaps one day, as we are desperately trying to find a way out of the economic morass to which he has doomed the nation, and the body count of service boys and girls who've perished in the Arabian sand is numbered in the tens of thousands, W will get hauled before the war crimes tribunal in the Hague and take his rightful place in history alongside the likes of Milosevic and Pinochet.

Posted by: lonbud at June 17, 2005 11:36 PM


That would certainly be the case.

Posted by: oj at June 17, 2005 11:39 PM


I know you've disavowed this, but that is really a very entertaining parody you concocted two posts up.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 18, 2005 3:02 AM

You Americans should export some of that economic morass to Europe or Japan. It could very well save the world.

Posted by: Randall Voth at June 18, 2005 6:42 AM

Randall, where are you posting from? You sound like one of us.

Posted by: erp at June 18, 2005 10:04 AM

Ben Lange: Incompetence is always a more likely explanation than malfeasance, particularly for the government and, for CIA, almost without exception.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 18, 2005 10:38 AM

indeed. and when incompetence abets malfeasance you get harkin energy and operation iraqi clusterkerry.

enjoy yourselves now, fellers. these will be known to you as 'the good old days.'

Posted by: lonbud at June 18, 2005 12:33 PM

We're conservatives. The old days are always good.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 18, 2005 12:38 PM

For Leftists, the "good 'ol days" are always in the distant future or in distant lands (preferably both), which excuses their present behavior no matter how bad they make things.

It's like how they are quick to point out when their opponents don't live up to their own standards, because they know they are immune to the charge because being a good little Leftist means not having any standards to live up to, or, when in power, changing the standards when they might become useful to the opposition.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 18, 2005 3:29 PM

erp -- I'm out here in the wild west of B.C., Canada.

But, thanks for the complement.

Posted by: Randall Voth at June 18, 2005 6:16 PM