October 29, 2005

WHAT COLOR IS THE SKY IN HER WORLD? (via BlueStater3):

The White House Criminal Conspiracy (Elizabeth de la Vega, The Nation)

According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted in June, 52% of Americans now believe the President deliberately distorted intelligence to make a case for war. In an Ipsos Public Affairs poll, commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org and completed October 9, 50% said that if Bush lied about his reasons for going to war Congress should consider impeaching him. The President's deceit is not only an abuse of power; it is a federal crime. Specifically, it is a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, which prohibits conspiracies to defraud the United States.

So what do citizens do? First, they must insist that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence complete Phase II of its investigation, which was to be an analysis of whether the administration manipulated or misrepresented prewar intelligence. The focus of Phase II was to determine whether the administration misrepresented the information it received about Iraq from intelligence agencies. Second, we need to convince Congress to demand that the Justice Department appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the administration's deceptions about the war, using the same mechanism that led to the appointment of Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the outing of Valerie Plame. (As it happens, Congressman Jerrold Nadler and others have recently written to Acting Deputy Attorney General Robert McCallum Jr. pointing out that the Plame leak is just the "tip of the iceberg" and asking that Fitzgerald's authority be expanded to include an investigation into whether the White House conspired to mislead the country into war.)

Third, we can no longer shrink from the prospect of impeachment. Impeachment would require, as John Bonifaz, constitutional attorney, author of Warrior-King: The Case for Impeaching George Bush and co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, has explained, that the House pass a "resolution of inquiry or impeachment calling on the Judiciary Committee to launch an investigation into whether grounds exist for the House to exercise its constitutional power to impeach George W. Bush." If the committee found such grounds, it would draft articles of impeachment and submit them to the full House for a vote. If those articles passed, the President would be tried by the Senate. Resolutions of inquiry, such as already have been introduced by Representatives Barbara Lee and Dennis Kucinich demanding that the Administration produce key information about its decision-making, could also lead to impeachment.

These three actions can be called for simultaneously. Obviously we face a GOP-dominated House and Senate...


She goes on to argue this nonsense with an apparently straight face.

One wonders if she's ever read the resolution that authorized the use of force and that Congress passed in October 2002, well before most of the events in the conspiracy that she alleges was designed to obtain the authorization:

Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq

Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq's war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;

Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism;

Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;

Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;

Whereas in 1998 Congress concluded that Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in "material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations" and urged the President "to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations" (Public Law 105-235);

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolutions of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people;

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;

Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens;

Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;

Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688, and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949;

Whereas Congress in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) has authorized the President "to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677";

Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it "supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1)," that Iraq's repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and "constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region," and that Congress, "supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688";

Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;

Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to "work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge" posed by Iraq and to "work for the necessary resolutions," while also making clear that "the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable";

Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq's ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;

Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 or harbored such persons or organizations;

Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and

Whereas it is in the national security of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region;

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, [...]

SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

(a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to

(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and

(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.


The supposed continued presence of WMD in Iraq was an element but only an element of our elected representatives' decision to authorize the resumption of the 1991 war, the cease fire terms of which Saddam was violating eight ways from Sunday, including the specific WMD provisions.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 29, 2005 9:26 PM
Comments

The sky? Yellow, of course (with a touch of red). This is Cindy Sheehan-land. But, we're talking about The Nation, so....

Odd that Hillary isn't mentioned, or John Kerry, or John Edwards. They voted yes, in case the author forgot. And Bill struck Iraq twice during his time on office, not to mention the fighting in the no-fly zones.

This was written before Fitzmas fizzled, but it is really the first salvo (for the Dems in Congress) towards Bush himself. But it's just a squib, like all the little pops before it.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 29, 2005 10:41 PM

A liberal wet-dream. Poor Fitzgerald disappointed them by not returning anything which would condemn the Iraq war. If they think a Republican Congress will hold such hearings and then impeach, they are dellusional.

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 30, 2005 3:46 AM

Another Elisabeth (Bu**ller) in this morning's paper. Glanced at the headline over her article and went quickly to the comics averting my eyes from Trudeau's Travesty in it's usual place of honor on the front page of the comics.

It really is a miracle that Bush is still standing given the relentless pounding he takes from all sides. God help him stay the course.

Posted by: tefta at October 30, 2005 7:43 AM

JD Watson, a Republican Congress won't, but in January 2007, a Democratic Congress definitely will. And because conservatives like nothing more than dramatically losing elections, they'll stay home "to send their message", making a Democratic Congress inevitable.

The Miers debacle showed beyond all reasonable doubt that 12 years of Republican majorities are more than the movement conservatives can bear. Orrin's blog was one of the only genuinely conservative ones not to go off the deep end. But for all other conservatives it was like "let's go back to the days when there were only 130 Republicans in Congress and people like Carter were president". The country went to hell, but the movement's ideology was pure. And that's what really seems to count.

Posted by: Peter at October 30, 2005 8:27 AM

Peter:

When the GOP took power in Congress (almost 12 years ago), Newt and Dole were in charge. Dole knew how to run the Senate, but he was always looked at dubiously by conservatives. Newt was a great idea man, but he proved to be a childish Speaker. It took the Republicans a few years to find the right team (Hastert, Armey, DeLay). The House is fine.

The Senate is another matter. There would be no trouble with judges if Frist and Specter were out, and McConnell and Kyl were in. There are too many GOP Senators who don't want to be labeled as conservative, so they flit around the media and say all sorts of silly things (McCain, Voinovich, Specter, Snowe, Collins, sometimes Warner, sometimes DeWine, and Chafee). It's too bad D'Amato lost to Schumer in 1998, because Al showed how a conservative could win twice in the Northeast. But he was a pol, and probably only Voinovich would qualify on that count, although I think he must be senile now.

The GOP will extend its majority in 2006. And if Luttig or Alito or Cornyn is confirmed, the base will be happy, inside and outside the Beltway. Remember, if McCain wants to be President, he must push through the most viable conservative nominees. If he won't, then his primary vote will come in at around 20%. Not very good for the Senator from MSNBC/CNN/NYT.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 30, 2005 8:43 AM
« WHEN EVEN JOHN BOLTON GETS TO BE SUBTLE.... | Main | CRANK UP THE VCR: »