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Erasmussimo
The UK press has just published a sensational memo showing that President Bush made up his mind to invade Iraq in the summer of 2002 and subsequently made the evidence fit the policy. The entire memo is published here. It includes the minutes of a meeting of Tony Blair and his advisors trying to figure how to justify an attack on Iraq. It includes several statements to the effect that the US had already decided on an attack, including this:
QUOTE
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

This confirms what many had long suspected: that the Administration did not respond to an imminent threat of WMD on Saddam's part, but instead decided to attack and then fabricated the evidence to justify it. Nowadays, defenders of President Bush excuse the lack of WMD on poor intelligence. It is now clear that the evidence wasn't poor, it was manufactured.

We are therefore led to conclude that President Bush led this country into war on falsified claims. That war has cost over $300 billion, over 1500 American lives, and more than 10,000 disabled Americans -- and it was all based on falsified information.

Question for debate: Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute grounds for impeachment?
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BoF
Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute grounds for impeachment?

I think this is quite a bit more serious than Bill Clinton’s getting caught with his pants down. Clinton’s impeachment was, in my opinion, political.

I have long thought Bush’s actions concerning the Iraqi War were atrocious. The hard facts--Republicans control both houses of Congress. Even if they could get a majority to impeach in the House, getting two thirds vote in the Senate for conviction would be all but impossible.

Impeachment just isn’t realistic. I would rather work to get rid of Tom DeLay and try to pick up more seats in both houses in 2006 than get involved in a futile impeachment attempt.

You know, I have a hunch Karl Rove would welcome the diversion from important issues a a doomed-from-the-start impeachment attempt would afford him.
ralou
Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute grounds for impeachment?


I don't see why not. It can easily fit under high Crimes and Misdemeanors, if nothing else.

QUOTE
"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."




I think this one is an even stronger case:

QUOTE
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

http://www.cftech.com/BrainBank/SPECIALREP...mpeachment.html



Bush has deliberately denied US citizens their constitutional rights. Having violated the Constitution he swore an oath to preserve, protect, and defend, I'd say he's guilty of treason.


The articles of impeachment brought against Nixon shows that both charges can be made, and others, too:

QUOTE
Articles of Impeachment against President Nixon, 1974

These articles were passed by the House Judiciary Committee but never voted upon by the full House because President Nixon resigned before a vote could occur.

RESOLVED, That Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. . . .

Article One: [for] making false or misleading statement to delay, cover up, or conceal evidence relating to the Watergate break-ins by:

    * making false and misleading statements to the government and the people

    * withholding information

  ......

http://www.landmarkcases.org/nixon/nixon.html


Fuller text of articles here:

http://watergate.info/impeachment/impeachment-articles.shtml


Then there was the attempt to impeach Clinton (sounds like what is good for the Democrat is good for the Republican):

QUOTE
Draft of Article IV
ARTICLE IV

......



(1) As President, using the attributes of office, William Jefferson Clinton willfully made false and misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States in order to continue concealing his misconduct and to escape accountability for such misconduct.

(2) As President, using the attributes of office, William Jefferson Clinton willfully made false and misleading statements to members of his cabinet, and White House aides, so that these Federal employees would repeat such false and misleading statements publicly, thereby utilizing public resources for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States, in order to continue concealing his misconduct and to escape accountability for such misconduct. The false and misleading statements made by William Jefferson Clinton to members of his cabinet and White House aides were repeated by those members and aides, causing the people of the United States to receive false and misleading information from high government officials.

(3) As President, using the Office of White House Counsel, William Jefferson Clinton frivolously and corruptly asserted executive privilege, which is intended to protect from disclosure communications regarding the constitutional functions of the Executive, and which may be exercised only by the President, with respect to communications other than those regarding the constitutional functions of the Executive, for the purpose of delaying and obstructing a Federal criminal investigation and the proceedings of a Federal grand jury.

(4) As President, William Jefferson Clinton refused and failed to respond to certain written requests for admission and willfully made perjurious, false and misleading sworn statements in response to certain written requests for admission propounded to him as part of the impeachment inquiry authorized by the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States. William Jefferson Clinton, in refusing and failing to respond and in making perjurious, false and misleading statements, assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives and exhibited contempt for the inquiry.


......

http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/199...s/article4.html



I'd say there is evidence that Bush is guilty of all four of the above. Legally, I don't see why he can't be impeached. In practical terms, it's not easy to make criminals prosecute criminals, and Congress is full of them, Republicans and Democrats.
Devils Advocate
Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute grounds for impeachment?

Huh, and people thought Clinton's lie was bad. I would agree with BoF on this one, although this is truly atrocious (if it is indeed real, I know there are sites where you can get templates for reputable sources and create false information that looks legit) I don't think it will 1. get enough attention and 2. be presented in the right way as to make people understand what's happened. I could see this being all to easily spun in a way that makes people think it's not important. The right calling the left unpatriotic because they want a president who has stood firm in his dealing with the terrorists and protected us so well (besides that whole 9/11 deal).

How can he be impeached if both the house and senate are republicans? I see them protecting their man in charge, not taking on the issue as it should be.
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(BoF @ May 1 2005, 02:56 PM)
Impeachment just isn’t realistic. I would rather work to get rid of Tom DeLay and try to pick up more seats in both houses in 2006 than get involved in a futile impeachment attempt.

It seems that we all agree that impeachment is a political impossibility, yet definitely called for. I agree with this conclusion, yet what does this mean about our Republic? Are we all agreeing that our leaders are so corrupt that even the most extreme crime a President can commit -- deliberating faking evidence so as to start a war -- will not move members of his party to call for his impeachment? Remember, Nixon resigned when it became obvious that even members of his own party felt that he should be impeached and convicted.

Or is it because the war in Iraq is still somewhat popular? As the folly of this war becomes clearer, will people turn on President Bush for leading them into it?
catquas
If it has been proven that the President deliberately lied and fabricated evidence, then yes, he should be impeached. But frankly these kinds of things are brought up every day, and most of it is rumor, made up, or exaggerated. I would need a lot more evidence if I was going to believe that he made up evidence.
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(catquas @ May 1 2005, 07:47 PM)
If it has been proven that the President deliberately lied and fabricated evidence, then yes, he should be impeached. But frankly these kinds of things are brought up every day, and most of it is rumor, made up, or exaggerated. I would need a lot more evidence if I was going to believe that he made up evidence.
*


Perhaps "fabricated" is too strong a term. Perhaps "sexed up" is the more precise term. The evidence actually provided was, for the most part, correct -- but it was too weak to prove anything. What was misleading was the way that the President presented the evidence as proof when in fact it wasn't. Yet here are a few of the statements made by the Administration:

QUOTE
Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.   
Dick Cheney, Vice President
Speech to VFW National Convention
8/26/2002

QUOTE
There is already a mountain of evidence that Saddam Hussein is gathering weapons for the purpose of using them. And adding additional information is like adding a foot to Mount Everest.   
Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Response to Question From Press
9/6/2002

QUOTE
Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.   
George W. Bush, President
Speech to UN General Assembly
9/12/2002

QUOTE
Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons. We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have   
George W. Bush, President
Radio Address
10/5/2002

QUOTE
The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas.   
George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio Speech
10/7/2002

QUOTE
And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons.   
George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio Speech
10/7/2002

QUOTE
After eleven years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon.   
George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio Speech
10/7/2002

QUOTE
We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas   
George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio Speech
10/7/2002

QUOTE
Iraq, despite UN sanctions, maintains an aggressive program to rebuild the infrastructure for its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile programs. In each instance, Iraq's procurement agents are actively working to obtain both weapons-specific and dual-use materials and technologies critical to their rebuilding and expansion efforts, using front companies and whatever illicit means are at hand.   
John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control
Speech to the Hudson Institute
11/1/2002

QUOTE
If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.   
Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
12/2/2002

QUOTE
The president of the United States and the secretary of defense would not assert as plainly and bluntly as they have that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction if it was not true, and if they did not have a solid basis for saying it
Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Response to Question From Press
12/4/2002

QUOTE
We know for a fact that there are weapons there.   
Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing
1/9/2003

QUOTE
The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.   
George W. Bush, President
State of the Union Address
1/28/2003

QUOTE
Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.   
George W. Bush, President
State of the Union Address
1/28/2003

QUOTE
We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.   
Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Remarks to UN Security Council
2/5/2003


In light of the facts that emerged, and this new revelation that the Administration decided to let the policy lead the evidence, the case for impeachment looks strong.
Hobbes
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 1 2005, 03:37 PM)
This confirms what many had long suspected: that the Administration did not respond to an imminent threat of WMD on Saddam's part, but instead decided to attack and then fabricated the evidence to justify it. Nowadays, defenders of President Bush excuse the lack of WMD on poor intelligence. It is now clear that the evidence wasn't poor, it was manufactured.

We are therefore led to conclude that President Bush led this country into war on falsified claims. That war has cost over $300 billion, over 1500 American lives, and more than 10,000 disabled Americans -- and it was all based on falsified information.


No, it doesn't confirm that at all. Nothing in this memo indicates anything about fabricating evidence. Unless, of course, you had a predetermined position already in your mind before seeing this. Wait, that would put you in the same category as what you're accusing Bush of, wouldn't it?


Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute grounds for impeachment?

It might. Care to explain how that's relevant to this situation?

I am STILL amazed at the lengths and degrees people will go to do defend Saddam, and to undermine the security of the US. I am curious....exactly how long should we have let Saddam continue to thumb his nose at us, actively undermining US security in a variety of ways (which I have detailed on the many threads on this topic). It is not news that there were a variety of reasons to eliminate Saddam, and that WMD was chosen as the one to take to the UN. Anyone who fixates on that as the sole reason is, IMHO, being highly naive about the complexities of geo politics in general and the sitatuation with Saddam in particular. The reply to this is usually 'well, that's the reason that was given.'. Yes, it was. Again, if you feel that politicians don't regularly make decisions on how to portray issues then you are being highly naive about the situation. It wouldn't even be the first time it had been used in war. In fact, the next time full disclosure is given to the public on such matters will also be the first time, in all history. Further, a good case could also be made that any President who DIDN'T take action on this matter should have been impeached. So, exactly what is the point? I'm not sure....we had a President who made a decision he felt was necessary for US security. There are those who agree with that decision, and those who don't. It is clear neither side is going to convince the other...yet these threads keep cropping up. The simple fact is that the President is not going to be impeached on this. Until that becomes at least a remote possibility, this is an irrelevant discussion (not that being relevant is a requirement for debate)
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(Hobbes @ May 1 2005, 08:09 PM)
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 1 2005, 03:37 PM)
This confirms what many had long suspected: that the Administration did not respond to an imminent threat of WMD on Saddam's part, but instead decided to attack and then fabricated the evidence to justify it.


No, it doesn't confirm that at all. Nothing in this memo indicates anything about fabricating evidence. Unless, of course, you had a predetermined position already in your mind before seeing this. Wait, that would put you in the same category as what you're accusing Bush of, wouldn't it?

Here is the relevant quote from the minutes of the meeting: "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." It's clear: the intelligence and the facts were being "fixed" -- that is, sexed up, modified, selected, distorted, whatever -- around the policy. The policy was the controlling factor, and the facts were the subordinate factor. Truth was subordinated to policy. The Administration did not tell the truth because it had already decided upon the policy.


QUOTE(Hobbes @ May 1 2005, 08:09 PM)
Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute grounds for impeachment?

It might.  Care to explain how that's relevant to this situation?

The relevance arises from the fact that the President led the nation into war using evidence that was certainly misleading, certainly exaggerated, and possibly falsified.

QUOTE(Hobbes @ May 1 2005, 08:09 PM)
I am STILL amazed at the lengths and degrees people will go to do defend Saddam, and to undermine the security of the US.

I did not defend Saddam in my post. I have never defended Saddam in any of my posts. I have never defended Saddam in any communication I have made on the Internet. I have never defended Saddam in any written communication. I have never defended Saddam in any oral communication. I have never even considered defending Saddam. I did not undermine the security of the US in my post. I have never undermined the security of the US in any of my posts. I have never undermined the security of the US in any communication I have made on the Internet. I have never undermined the security of the US in any written communication. I have never undermined the security of the US in any oral communication. I have never even considered undermining the security of the US.

So why are you talking about defending Saddam and undermining the security of the US?

QUOTE(Hobbes @ May 1 2005, 08:09 PM)
It is not news that there were a variety of reasons to eliminate Saddam, and that WMD was chosen as the one to take to the UN.

WMD was chosen as the one to take to Congress, and the one to take to the American people. The President chose to deceive Congress and the American people. Is that not an impeachable offense?
QUOTE(Hobbes @ May 1 2005, 08:09 PM)
Anyone who fixates on that as the sole reason is, IMHO, being highly naive about the complexities of geo politics in general and the sitatuation with Saddam in particular.  The reply to this is usually 'well, that's the reason that was given.'.  Yes, it was.  Again, if you feel that politicians don't regularly make decisions on how to portray issues then you are being highly naive about the situation.

Fine, I'm naive. Now would you return to the topic at hand and provide some reasoning to support your claims?

QUOTE(Hobbes @ May 1 2005, 08:09 PM)
It wouldn't even be the first time it had been used in war.  In fact, the next time full disclosure is given to the public on such matters will also be the first time, in all history.

You seem to be suggesting that it is necessary and proper for the President of the United States to lie to Congress and the public for their own good. Are the Congress and the public too stupid to know what's best for them? Must they be guided by a firm yet deceitful hand? You don't think much of democracy, do you?

QUOTE(Hobbes @ May 1 2005, 08:09 PM)
Further, a good case could also be made that any President who DIDN'T take action on this matter should have been impeached.

I would very much appreciate seeing that case.

QUOTE(Hobbes @ May 1 2005, 08:09 PM)
....we had a President who made a decision he felt was necessary for US security.  There are those who agree with that decision, and those who don't.  It is clear neither side is going to convince the other.

Regardless of the appearance of new evidence?

QUOTE(Hobbes @ May 1 2005, 08:09 PM)
The simple fact is that the President is not going to be impeached on this.  Until that becomes at least a remote possibility, this is an irrelevant discussion (not that being relevant is a requirement for debate)

That's what they said about Watergate. None of us believed that Nixon would actually be impeached; it seemed absurd. But the facts kept coming out and the unthinkable happened. But is the American body politic too polarized to recognize the facts this time around?
Doclotus
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 1 2005, 05:37 PM)
QUOTE
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.(emphasis mine)

This confirms what many had long suspected: that the Administration did not respond to an imminent threat of WMD on Saddam's part, but instead decided to attack and then fabricated the evidence to justify it. Nowadays, defenders of President Bush excuse the lack of WMD on poor intelligence. It is now clear that the evidence wasn't poor, it was manufactured.
Question for debate: Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute grounds for impeachment?
*

As much as I would love to see solid evidence to prove the premise of this argument, I just don't think this fits. I'm no expert on British English but does "fixed" actually mean what you're inferring here? I interpreted as closer to "fixated" or positioned around the policy.

Outside of this, its not really news that Bush wanted Saddam out of power. Its clear to me from the Woodward book that much of his administration was fixated on Iraq from the first day they took office. 9/11 sadly gave him sufficient capital to move forward on it, even when the evidence to support it was weak at best.

However, if sufficient evidence could be provided that this administration deliberately misled the American people and manufactured/maniupulated evidence to support a vote for war, then I would certainly consider that an impeachable offense.

Doc
Google
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(Doclotus @ May 1 2005, 08:52 PM)
I'm no expert on British English but does "fixed" actually mean what you're inferring here? I interpreted as closer to "fixated" or positioned around the policy.

No, in this context "fixed" clearly means "founded upon", "fixed to", or "turning on".

QUOTE(Doclotus @ May 1 2005, 08:52 PM)
Outside of this, its not really news that Bush wanted Saddam out of power. Its clear to me from the Woodward book that much of his administration was fixated on Iraq from the first day they took office. 9/11 sadly gave him sufficient capital to move forward on it, even when the evidence to support it was weak at best.

However, if sufficient evidence could be provided that this administration deliberately misled the American people and manufactured/maniupulated evidence to support a vote for war, then I would certainly consider that an impeachable offense.

Yes indeed, we all knew that the Bush Administration wanted to get rid of Saddam, but until now their case was that they were just following the dictates of the intelligence results, and as suspicious as it was, we had to give them the benefit of the doubt. This memo makes it clear that in fact they did not follow the dictates of the intelligence results. The decision was made before the evidence was obtained. As the memo shows, first he made the decision; then he arranged to intelligence needed to support his decision, which he then presented to the Congress and the public.
Aquilla
Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute grounds for impeachment?

I would think something like this would, but I don't have a clue about what it has to do with impeaching President Bush - which is after all the title of this thread. unsure.gif

Oh well, let's look at this "smoking gun" of a memo and place things into a rational context.....

First, we have the cited section....

QUOTE
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.



First of all, this is an opinion of C (cousin of Q or son of M for Ian Fleming fans?). This is C's observation and interpretation of the events. No place in this interpretation is the charge of fabricating information or intel raised. In this context I would read it as an observation that the focus of the Bush Administration was on WMD and terrorism. That was the emphasis, and that was the policy. Nothing here to indicate that anyone was making something up.

Indeed, if we move further on in this memo we find that people really believed Saddam had WMD....

QUOTE
On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.




If Saddam USED WMD..... Not had, but used. That seems to me to be a pretty clear indication that the writer of this memo believed that Saddam had them. It seems to me that this passage places a pretty clear context on the work "fixed" and it doesn't mean "made up".

But hey. If the Democrats want to bring charges of impeachment against the President based on this memo, by all means they should. It's not like they have anything else useful to do. whistling.gif
ralou
Seems to me that solid proof of that nature won't exist prior to an independent investigation driven by the impeachment process (which does, unless I'm mistaken, gather evidence and formulate articles of impeachment for formal use and consideration). If I understand the process correctly, it has something of a Grand Jury nature to it. The Grand Jury doesn't find a person guilty or innocent, it decides if there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial. It seems to me that impartial investigators and triers of fact could reasonably be appointed to investigate this matter, and if Bush is cleared, impeachment need to continue. If he is not, impeachment may proceed.

Can someone who knows more fill us in on beginning a move to impeach?
TedN5
This memo is very interesting; however, it is not necessary to rely on it to find evidence of impeachable offenses. Here is a statement recently released by a group I work with calling for impeachment on the basis of documents recently uncovered by Senator Levin. And yes it is naive to think that impeachment is possible given a Republican Congress that marches in lock step with the administration, but it is certainly worthwhile to make the public case that he should be impeached. Excuse the "smilie faces." They are an artifact of copying that I didn't feel like editing out. If they prove distracting, read the original at link provided at the end of the statement.

QUOTE
UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."

Call for the Impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney

April 21, 2005

On April 15, 2005, Senator Carl Levin released newly declassified documents establishing a prima facie case that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are guilty of the crime of waging a war of aggression against the nation of Iraq. We therefore call for their impeachment, their trial, and, upon conviction, their removal from office. 

The legality of the Iraq war depended upon the president’s compliance with Public Law 107-243, the Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq Resolution of 2002, passed by Congress on October 16, 2002. This law stipulates that before attacking Iraq, the president must "prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (cool.gif is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and (2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."
<snip>
But three documents declassified at the request of Senator Carl Levin of Michigan show that "claims of a cooperative relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda made by top administration officials in support of the Iraq war were contrary to what U.S. intelligence officials believed to be true," to quote from the statement released by Senator Levin on April 15. In particular:

1) On October 7, 2002, President Bush said that "Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases."

<snip>
In fact, these statements were not supported by U.S. intelligence reports from the CIA on the relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda (June 21, 2002) and on Iraqi support for terrorism (January 29, 2003) or by the October 2, 2002, National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction.

These documents contradicted the statements of the president and the vice president at the time they were made. As the highest officials in the land, President Bush and Vice President Cheney either knew of these intelligence reports, or should have known of them.

<snip>


Original Here


Edited to conform cited portion of copyrighted material to forum Rules.
ralou
QUOTE(TedN5 @ May 2 2005, 02:36 AM)
This memo is very interesting; however, it is not necessary to rely on it to find evidence of impeachable offenses. Here is a statement recently released by a group I work with calling for impeachment on the basis of documents recently uncovered by Senator Levin. And yes it is naive to think that impeachment is possible given a Republican Congress that marches in lock step with the administration, but it is certainly worthwhile to make the public case that he should be impeached.  Excuse the "smilie faces."  They are an artifact of copying that I didn't feel like editing out.  If they prove distracting, read the original at link provided at the end of the statement.

UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."

Call for the Impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney

April 21, 2005

On April 15, 2005, Senator Carl Levin released newly declassified documents establishing a prima facie case that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are guilty of the crime of waging a war of aggression against the nation of Iraq. We therefore call for their impeachment, their trial, and, upon conviction, their removal from office. 

The legality of the Iraq war depended upon the president’s compliance with Public Law 107-243, the Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq Resolution of 2002, passed by Congress on October 16, 2002. This law stipulates that before attacking Iraq, the president must "prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (cool.gif is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and (2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."

<snip>
But three documents declassified at the request of Senator Carl Levin of Michigan show that "claims of a cooperative relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda made by top administration officials in support of the Iraq war were contrary to what U.S. intelligence officials believed to be true," to quote from the statement released by Senator Levin on April 15. In particular:

1) On October 7, 2002, President Bush said that "Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases."

<snip>
In fact, these statements were not supported by U.S. intelligence reports from the CIA on the relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda (June 21, 2002) and on Iraqi support for terrorism (January 29, 2003) or by the October 2, 2002, National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction.

These documents contradicted the statements of the president and the vice president at the time they were made. As the highest officials in the land, President Bush and Vice President Cheney either knew of these intelligence reports, or should have known of them.

<snip>
Original Here
*




I believe you can remove the smilies by editing the post and unchecking the emoticons box at the bottom of the page, which will disable them for this post. It works on other boards.


Can this be considered proof that Bush officials knew the information they presented to Congress was altered?

For example, in 2002, The Washington Post reported that Wolfowitz pressured the CIA to investigate Hans Blix and then “hit the roof” when the CIA reported that Blix had carried out inspections in Iraq thoroughly and dutifully. The Washington Post reported in 2003 that CIA analysts felt pressured by Dick Cheney fit their assessments to White House objectives. CIA analysts also complained to the Senate Intelligence Committee that policy officials did not care for the caveats (i.e., cautionary words such as possibly and perhaps) in CIA reports and did not care for the tone of the documents.

The above is from an article I wrote, and here are the links that I got the information from:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/03/31/intel.report/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A...anguage=printer

http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issue...002/0415cia.htm

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4569374
Amlord
I see no clear evidence in the memo that any evidence was fabricated or altered. As Aquilla points out, the author of the memo points out the considerations for planning around Saddam's use of WMDs. Had the Bush administration really known that there were no WMDs, why would such planning have been so central to the strategic planning? An elaborate smokescreen?

Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute grounds for impeachment?

Maybe. I'd like to see some first, though. thumbsup.gif

As an aside, in order to formulate the answer to this question, we need to determine what the motivations for going to war were. If the motivation was one of national security, then no "sexing up" of evidence would constitute an impeachable offense. If the motive was oil or revenge, then the story is different.

The fact remains that the world's (not simply the US's) intelligence services were convinced that Saddam had WMDs. From the French to the British to the Russians to the Egyptians to just about every other major intelligence agency, they all believed that Saddam had WMDs. This seems to counter the argument that the US faked, forged, or otherwise falsified evidence. I guess they fooled everyone.

In fact, it was Saddam who fooled everyone, to his detriment. Even Hans Blix believed that Saddam was not fully cooperating.

As an aside, it should be noted that national security has been used by the US before to justify invasion of foreign soil. The US (under General Andrew Jackson) invaded Florida because of Indian raids into US territory which originated from Spanish Florida. When the Spanish were not able to stop the attacks, the US went into Florida to stop them. We ended up annexing Florida soon after (actually purchasing it from Spain for a pittance).

As another aside, dubious evidence has been used in the past to justify military action. The Tonkin Gulf incident was used to justify invasion of Vietnam. LBJ was never impeached for this. The USS Maine exploded in Havana harbor in 1898, prompting the Spanish American war. The Maine most likely sank after an ammunition explosion, not an attack by the Spanish. Did it matter that we used this as an excuse and no real evidence was there? Probably it did. Was this used to impeach McKinley?

I am sure that if we looked deep enough, every single American President could be impeached. As a matter of practicality, such things are not done.



loreng59
QUOTE
Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute grounds for impeachment?
It could be grounds, but ...

And a very large but that has been ignored are the several acts of war committed by Iraq against the United States. Such as the attack on the USS Stark, the attempt to murder former President George H. Bush, hundreds of attacks on US aircraft, not to mention the numerous violations of the cease fire agreements that ended the first Gulf War.

The US needed no UN approval, or WMD or any other issue. These were all the justification that the US government needed to state as a case for war. Why are they now being glossed over?
AuthorMusician
QUOTE
As another aside, dubious evidence has been used in the past to justify military action. The Tonkin Gulf incident was used to justify invasion of Vietnam. LBJ was never impeached for this.


No, Vietnam was not invaded. Our military presence was there for years before the Tonkin fake incident, by the request of South Vietnam. Tonkin was used to fool Congress into escalating the military presence.

Also, Johnson did not seek another term in office. Even after messing up with Iraq, GWB kept on going. He's still going, and going, and going . . . to be gone at some point. Impeachment does not get rid of a sitting President. I don't think anything really does, at least legally. Besides, look at the lineup of replacements -- nothing to be gained. So rather than focusing on impeachment, it's better to focus on taking Congress away next year. That'll slow GWB (mister fake mandate) down.
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(Aquilla @ May 1 2005, 11:13 PM)
Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute grounds for impeachment?

I would think something like this would, but I don't have a clue about what it has to do with impeaching President Bush - which is after all the title of this thread.

The evidence suggests that President Bush deliberately falsified information to lead the nation into war.

QUOTE(Aquilla @ May 1 2005, 11:13 PM)
Oh well, let's look at this "smoking gun" of a memo and place things into a rational context.....

First, we have the cited section....

QUOTE
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.


First of all, this is an opinion of C (cousin of Q or son of M for Ian Fleming fans?). This is C's observation and interpretation of the events. No place in this interpretation is the charge of fabricating information or intel raised. In this context I would read it as an observation that the focus of the Bush Administration was on WMD and terrorism. That was the emphasis, and that was the policy. Nothing here to indicate that anyone was making something up.

The "smoking gun" is the sentence the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. That may not require outright fabrication of information or intel, but it certainly indicates distortion or other deceitful methods.

QUOTE(Aquilla @ May 1 2005, 11:13 PM)
Indeed, if we move further on in this memo we find that people really believed Saddam had WMD....

QUOTE
On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.


If Saddam USED WMD..... Not had, but used. That seems to me to be a pretty clear indication that the writer of this memo believed that Saddam had them. It seems to me that this passage places a pretty clear context on the work "fixed" and it doesn't mean "made up".

That's a subjunctive clause. Subjunctive clauses are conjectural, not factual. Your interpretation violates English grammar.

QUOTE(amlord)
Had the Bush administration really known that there were no WMDs, why would such planning have been so central to the strategic planning? An elaborate smokescreen?

A fair point, but I don't think it constitutes anything close to a disproof. Military planning is always worst-case planning; soldiers in World War II carried gas masks even though poison gas was never used in that war. I think it more reasonable to chalk this up to planning for every contingency rather than confidence in the belief that Saddam had WMD.

QUOTE(amlord)
As an aside, in order to formulate the answer to this question, we need to determine what the motivations for going to war were. If the motivation was one of national security, then no "sexing up" of evidence would constitute an impeachable offense. If the motive was oil or revenge, then the story is different.

I reject your claim that national security justifies deliberate use of deceit against the Congress and the American people. If the President can claim such a right, then our governmental processes lose all integrity and our Republic collapses into tyranny.

QUOTE(amlord)
The fact remains that the world's (not simply the US's) intelligence services were convinced that Saddam had WMDs. From the French to the British to the Russians to the Egyptians to just about every other major intelligence agency, they all believed that Saddam had WMDs. This seems to counter the argument that the US faked, forged, or otherwise falsified evidence. I guess they fooled everyone.

This claim has attained urban myth status; lots of people claim it's true but I have never seen any documentation for it. I ask you to provide some evidence in support of your claim.

The two historical cases you cite, Amlord, are not relevant to this case. President Jackson did not deceive Congress as to Indian raids out of Florida. President McKinley did not deceive Congress as to Spanish involvement in the explosion of the Maine; the American people themselves, and Congress, leapt to that conclusion without any help from the President.

QUOTE(lorneng59)
And a very large but that has been ignored are the several acts of war committed by Iraq against the United States. Such as the attack on the USS Stark, the attempt to murder former President George H. Bush, hundreds of attacks on US aircraft, not to mention the numerous violations of the cease fire agreements that ended the first Gulf War.

This topic does not concern the foreign policy question regarding the justification for the war. This topic concerns the domestic question of whether President Bush's use of deceit to mislead the Congress and the American people into supporting his decision to go to war constitutes an impeachable offense.
Doclotus
QUOTE(Erasmussimo)
The "smoking gun" is the sentence the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. That may not require outright fabrication of information or intel, but it certainly indicates distortion or other deceitful methods.

The problem that you fail to address is that this is one opinion of a British intel source. While it certainly may be a valid opinion, even I would have a hard time voting to commence an investigation based on 1 opinion in 1 memo, much less begin an impeachment process.
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(Doclotus @ May 2 2005, 09:25 AM)
The problem that you fail to address is that this is one opinion of a British intel source. While it certainly may be a valid opinion, even I would have a hard time voting to commence an investigation based on 1 opinion in 1 memo, much less begin an impeachment process.

Good point. This 1 opinion in 1 memo, however, is from the minutes of a meeting attended by Tony Blair and his ministers. This is not some mid-level bureaucrat we're hearing from; this is from the highest levels of the British government. To put it another way, if we had an audiotape of President Bush saying "Let's fix the intelligence and facts around the policy", would that constitute grounds for impeachment?
Amlord
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 2 2005, 12:00 PM)
The "smoking gun" is the sentence the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. That may not require outright fabrication of information or intel, but it certainly indicates distortion or other deceitful methods.


I think you are reading way too much into this sentence.

"Facts" are always fixed around policy. Look at private accounts and Social Security. One side frames the argument around the "fact" that private accounts take money out of the system and will make it run out of money faster. The other side argues the "fact" that increasing the returns on Social Security money is the only way to "Save" it without raising taxes or reducing benefits. Neither of these takes on the Social Security issue relies on making things up or falsifying anything.

The policy of removing Saddam predates George W. Bush. It has been US policy since 1998 (when Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act) to remove Saddam from power details.
QUOTE
SEC. 3. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS REGARDING UNITED STATES POLICY TOWARD IRAQ.

It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.


One point about impeachability here: the President swears to uphold and defend the Constitution (and in so doing, defend the country). No where does he swear not to lie to the American public. That is not a high crime NOR a misdemeanor, so is not an impeachable offense. It is certainly something which should damage one's chances of getting re-elected. Lying under oath (which is what Clinton was impeached for) is an actual crime.

As to other countries that bolstered the claim about Saddam having WMDs:

QUOTE
The Dangers of Intelligence By Proxy
General Tommy Franks told radio host Sean Hannity earlier this week that Jordan's King Abdullah and Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak told the U.S. prior to the Iraq war that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. "A number of other leaders in the Mideast told us he had them, too," NewsMax.com reports Franks telling Hannity, with the general adding, "If you were president of the United States, could you avoid paying attention to that?"

No, but since when did we rely on the intelligence of Egypt and Jordan, or the Czech Republic, Great Britain, and Ahmed Chalabi for that matter? Intelligence sharing among allies has always occurred, but what about the primacy of U.S. intelligence? The unfortunate reality is that American intelligence didn't have a single human source on the ground in Iraq. You can't credibly gather intelligence by satellite and desk analysts alone. When you do, you're compelled to rely on other countries for human intelligence. In other words, you rely on the unreliable. Our weak intelligence led to the debacle in Iraq, the confusing of an aspirin factory for a weapons plant in Sudan, and the belief in the hoax of a genocide of Kosovar Muslims by the Serbs.


That article is primarily about the failures of US Intelligence to actually do its job.

The key points in this argument are this:

-US policy regarding the removal of Saddam pre-dated the arrival of George W. Bush in Washington.
-After 9/11, the threat of WMDs in the hands of terrorists became the primary focus of US national security efforts.
-Iraq, as a enemy of the US and an assumed possessor of WMDs, jumped to the head of the pack as far as security risks went.
-The US tried (through the UN) to ascertain whether or not Saddam was complying with already in place UN Security Council resolutions regarding WMDs.
-The UN found Iraq in breach of said agreements, which put Iraq in violation of the cease fire agreement.

No one in the international community objected to the assertion that Saddam had WMDs. That was taken almost for granted, even by nations opposed to US action (including Russia, Egypt and France) is certainly evidence of an intelligence service thats needs reform. It does not necessarily prove that Bush lied (in other words: that he knew differently).
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(Amlord @ May 2 2005, 11:54 AM)
One point about impeachability here: the President swears to uphold and defend the Constitution (and in so doing, defend the country).  No where does he swear not to lie to the American public.  That is not a high crime NOR a misdemeanor, so is not an impeachable offense.  It is certainly something which should damage one's chances of getting re-elected.

I am asking that question: is it an impeachable offense (or, perhaps, should it be an impeachable offense) to deceive Congress and the public to gain acceptance of a policy? You seem to be saying that, no, it should not be an impeachable offense. I claim that, if we give the President carte blanche to deceive us, then we have destroyed the very foundation of our Republic.

QUOTE(Amlord @ May 2 2005, 11:54 AM)
As to other countries that bolstered the claim about Saddam having WMDs:

OK, you've got Egypt and Jordan down solidly, but then you leap to this:
QUOTE(Amlord @ May 2 2005, 11:54 AM)
No one in the international community objected to the assertion that Saddam had WMDs.  That was taken almost for granted, even by nations opposed to US action (including Russia, Egypt and France) is certainly evidence of an intelligence service thats needs reform.

This is simply repeating the urban myth. If you can come up with evidence for a country believing that Saddam had WMD, then I'll accept your claims. But the simple assertion does not command immediate credibility, because the single best source of evidence, the Blix investigation, found no evidence of WMD. None, zero, nada. Yes, they also reported that there were still question marks due to Iraqi refusals to cooperate. But the undeniable fact is that the only investigation that had any real substance came up empty-handed. Are you claiming that the entire world refused to believe the results of the Blix investigation?
QUOTE(Amlord @ May 2 2005, 11:54 AM)
The key points in this argument are this:

-US policy regarding the removal of Saddam pre-dated the arrival of George W. Bush in Washington. 
-After 9/11, the threat of WMDs in the hands of terrorists became the primary focus of US national security efforts. 
-Iraq, as a enemy of the US and an assumed possessor of WMDs, jumped to the head of the pack as far as security risks went. 
-The US tried (through the UN) to ascertain whether or not Saddam was complying with already in place UN Security Council resolutions regarding WMDs. 
-The UN found Iraq in breach of said agreements, which put Iraq in violation of the cease fire agreement. 

Your key points are irrelevant to the issue at hand. US policy toward Saddam is not relevant to question of whether President Bush deceived the American people. The threat of terrorism is not relevant to the question of whether President Bush deceived the American people. Iraq's past history is not relevant to the question of whether President Bush deceived the American people.The US effort to go through the UN is not relevant to the question of whether President Bush deceived the American people. The Iraqi breach of the cease fire agreement is not relevant to the question of whether President Bush deceived the American people. Are you arguing that deceit was justified because the invasion was justified?
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 2 2005, 02:15 PM)
QUOTE(Amlord @ May 2 2005, 11:54 AM)
One point about impeachability here: the President swears to uphold and defend the Constitution (and in so doing, defend the country).  No where does he swear not to lie to the American public.  That is not a high crime NOR a misdemeanor, so is not an impeachable offense.  It is certainly something which should damage one's chances of getting re-elected.

I am asking that question: is it an impeachable offense (or, perhaps, should it be an impeachable offense) to deceive Congress and the public to gain acceptance of a policy? You seem to be saying that, no, it should not be an impeachable offense. I claim that, if we give the President carte blanche to deceive us, then we have destroyed the very foundation of our Republic.

Your questions, claims, and opinions are ... interesting. However, our Republic is governed by a Constitution. That Constitution states that the President may be impeached for "high crimes and misdemeanors." Your questions are not germane to the debate question, whether Bush should be impeached.

QUOTE
QUOTE(Amlord @ May 2 2005, 11:54 AM)
As to other countries that bolstered the claim about Saddam having WMDs:

OK, you've got Egypt and Jordan down solidly, but then you leap to this:
QUOTE(Amlord @ May 2 2005, 11:54 AM)
No one in the international community objected to the assertion that Saddam had WMDs.  That was taken almost for granted, even by nations opposed to US action (including Russia, Egypt and France) is certainly evidence of an intelligence service thats needs reform.

This is simply repeating the urban myth. If you can come up with evidence for a country believing that Saddam had WMD, then I'll accept your claims.

It's a little more than an "urban myth" - sort of like a "fact." Here are a few points of interest.


"Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. This is not something that we just think. We know it" -- Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen

"In relation to weapons of mass destruction, my hon. Friend is of course right to say that it was accepted by the entire international community, and not least by the UN Security Council, that Saddam Hussein did indeed have weapons of mass destruction and was a threat to the security of the world, which is why the resolution was passed last November." -- British PM Tony Blair

"What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad's regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs." -- Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002

"Even today, Iraq is not nearly disarmed. Based on highly credible intelligence, UNSCOM [the U.N. weapons inspectors] suspects that Iraq still has biological agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, and clostridium perfringens in sufficient quantity to fill several dozen bombs and ballistic missile warheads, as well as the means to continue manufacturing these deadly agents. Iraq probably retains several tons of the highly toxic VX substance, as well as sarin nerve gas and mustard gas. This agent is stored in artillery shells, bombs, and ballistic missile warheads. And Iraq retains significant dual-use industrial infrastructure that can be used to rapidly reconstitute large-scale chemical weapons production." -- Ex-Un Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter in 1998
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ May 2 2005, 12:36 PM)
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 2 2005, 02:15 PM)
I am asking that question: is it an impeachable offense (or, perhaps, should it be an impeachable offense) to deceive Congress and the public to gain acceptance of a policy? You seem to be saying that, no, it should not be an impeachable offense. I claim that, if we give the President carte blanche to deceive us, then we have destroyed the very foundation of our Republic.

Your questions, claims, and opinions are ... interesting. However, our Republic is governed by a Constitution. That Constitution states that the President may be impeached for "high crimes and misdemeanors." Your questions are not germane to the debate question, whether Bush should be impeached.

On the contrary, the question for debate is Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute grounds for impeachment? In constitutional terms, that translates to "Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute high crimes and misdemeanors? The Constitution does not define that phrase, and historians hold it to mean just about anything Congress chooses it to mean. So I am asking our colleagues here that question.

QUOTE
QUOTE(Amlord @ May 2 2005, 11:54 AM)
As to other countries that bolstered the claim about Saddam having WMDs:

OK, you've got Egypt and Jordan down solidly, but then you leap to this:
QUOTE(Amlord @ May 2 2005, 11:54 AM)
No one in the international community objected to the assertion that Saddam had WMDs.  That was taken almost for granted, even by nations opposed to US action (including Russia, Egypt and France) is certainly evidence of an intelligence service thats needs reform.

This is simply repeating the urban myth. If you can come up with evidence for a country believing that Saddam had WMD, then I'll accept your claims.

QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ May 2 2005, 12:36 PM)
It's a little more than an "urban myth" - sort of like a "fact."  Here are a few points of interest.

OK, you've added Denmark and Great Britain to the list -- although the document cited at the beginning of this topic now makes it clear that there were serious questions within the British government about that. Your quote from Jacques Chirac would be important if it weren't so selective. Here are a few other quotes:

QUOTE(60 Minutes @ March 17, 2003)
AMANPOUR: Do you believe that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction; for instance, chemical or biological weapons?

PRESIDENT CHIRAC: Well, I don’t know. I have no evidence to support that… It seems that there are no nuclear weapons - no nuclear weapons program. That is something that the inspectors seem to be sure of.

As for weapons of mass destruction, bacteriological, biological, chemical, we don’t know. And that is precisely what the inspectors’ mandate is all about. But rushing into war, rushing into battle today is clearly a disproportionate response.

QUOTE(September 10 @ 2002)
"Nothing is impossible, if it is decided by the international community on the basis of indisputable proof. For the moment, we have neither proof nor decisions." Mr Chirac added: "I do not need to tell you that I condemn the regime in Iraq."

And to be fair, here's a more equivocal quote:
QUOTE(February 16 @ 2003)
Q. But you seem willing to put the onus on inspectors to find arms rather than on Saddam to declare what he's got. Are there nuclear arms in Iraq?

THE PRESIDENT I don't think so. Are there other weapons of mass destruction? That's probable. We have to find and destroy them. In its current situation, does Iraq, controlled and inspected as it is, pose a clear and present danger to the region? I don't believe so. Given that, I prefer to continue along the path laid out by the Security Council. Then we'll see.

Q. What evidence would justify war?

THE PRESIDENT It's up to the inspectors to decide. We gave them our confidence. They were given a mission, and we trust them. If we have to give them greater means, we'll do so. It's up to them to come before the Security Council and say, "We won. It's over. There are no more weapons of mass destruction," or "It's impossible for us to fulfil our mission. We're coming up against Iraqi ill will and impediments." At that point, the Security Council would have to discuss this report and decide what to do. In that case, France would naturally exclude no option.


There are more quotes, but I think these establish the tone. Chirac strongly suspected the presence of WMD in Iraq but did not think that their presence had been proven, and wanted to obtain that proof.

Here's a link to a report by the Institute for Science and International Security under the headline "U.S. Allies Were Not Persuaded By U.S. Assertions on Iraq WMD". It provides footnotes with its sources.

You're welcome to dig up more quotes, and so can I, but it should be clear that there was no unanimity on this question. Even the CIA and the Pentagon had serious doubts about the existence of WMD in Iraq. Yes, there was a case for the existence of WMD. But President Bush and his Administration told the Congress and the American people that it was a certainty, that there was no doubt about it whatsoever -- and that was untrue, and they knew it. They deceived this country. Is this kind of deception an impeachable offense?
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 2 2005, 04:11 PM)
This is simply repeating the urban myth. If you can come up with evidence for a country believing that Saddam had WMD, then I'll accept your claims.



QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ May 2 2005, 12:36 PM)
It's a little more than an "urban myth" - sort of like a "fact."  Here are a few points of interest.
...
carlito adds Denmark, France, Great Britain, UN weapons inspector speaking for Security Council  (Also could have added Australia and others but I have a day job)


QUOTE(Erasmussimo)
OK, you've added Denmark and Great Britain to the list -- although the document cited at the beginning of this topic now makes it clear that there were serious questions within the British government about that. Your quote from Jacques Chirac would be important if it weren't so selective. Here are a few other quotes:


So you have quotes from world leaders that contradict their previous quotes. This is not surprising - I have posted a quote from you "I'll accept your claims" and in your very next post you do not "accept" Amlord's claims. If you take the trouble to read the Iraq war resolution and Bush's state of the union address you'll see the littany of reasons for the invasion, that it was indeed justified, and drop this impeachment nonsense.
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ May 2 2005, 02:36 PM)
So you have quotes from world leaders that contradict their previous quotes.  This is not surprising - I have posted a quote from you "I'll accept your claims" and in your very next post you do not "accept" Amlord's claims.

You have misunderstood what I wrote.

QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ May 2 2005, 02:36 PM)
If you take the trouble to read the Iraq war resolution and Bush's state of the union address you'll see the littany of reasons for the invasion, that it was indeed justified, and drop this impeachment nonsense.

You are pressing the point that the war with Iraq was justified; I repeat that your argument, whether true or not, is irrelevant. This topic is concerned with the matter of President Bush's deception of the American people and whether that deception merits impeachment.
mindmesh
I'd have to say no, because it's been the policy of the United States to support a Regime change in Iraq since Clinton was in office. So Bush changed the regimes. I don't like the fact that the intel was flawed, but we're all better off without him. Now it's just a topic for people that feel they lost the election to try and get some retribution. Kind of like when someone 'steals' your girlfriend and your just not man enough to let it go, so you try and get him back no matter what the cost.. Besides, do you really want Cheney to be the next President?
Devils Advocate
QUOTE(Erasmussimo)
The "smoking gun" is the sentence the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. That may not require outright fabrication of information or intel, but it certainly indicates distortion or other deceitful methods. 

QUOTE(Amlord)
"Facts" are always fixed around policy. Look at private accounts and Social Security. One side frames the argument around the "fact" that private accounts take money out of the system and will make it run out of money faster. The other side argues the "fact" that increasing the returns on Social Security money is the only way to "Save" it without raising taxes or reducing benefits. Neither of these takes on the Social Security issue relies on making things up or falsifying anything.


I think Amlord brings up an important idea here. If I read this right you're saying the Bush Administration has used selected facts to support their side, which I think we can all agree everyone does (whether its good practice or not). What Erasmussimo is saying is that the Bush Administration fabricated facts to intentionally deceive congress, the people, ect. But I don't think we can separate these two from the memo and what we were given. Does "fixed" mean making the facts fit the action or does "fixed" mean created to fit the action? I honestly don't think that we can figure it out from this memo alone.
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(mindmesh @ May 2 2005, 02:55 PM)
I'd have to say no, because it's been the policy of the United States to support a Regime change in Iraq since Clinton was in office. So Bush changed the regimes. I don't like the fact that the intel was flawed, but we're all better off without him.

Again we have the "ends justify the means" argument that, since the war in Iraq was a good thing, lying to the American public was justified. I am appalled at this low standard of moral conduct; a public willing to accept such logic will acquiesce to any tyranny escorted by a bodyguard of lies. (pace Winston Churchill).


QUOTE(mindmesh @ May 2 2005, 02:55 PM)
Now it's just a topic for people that feel they lost the election to try and get some retribution. Kind of like when someone 'steals' your girlfriend and your just not man enough to let it go, so you try and get him back no matter what the cost.

Getting a little catty, are we? rolleyes.gif
QUOTE(mindmesh @ May 2 2005, 02:55 PM)
Besides, do you really want Cheney to be the next President?

That's not relevant to this question, because I do not see this issue as a partisan issue, but one that is dependent upon the standards by which our Republic operates. If President Bush is impeached and convicted and Mr. Cheney takes his place, that's good; it confirms the high standards by which our country operates, and Mr. Cheney's assumption of office would demonstrate the non-partisan nature of the impeachment.
QUOTE(Devils Advocate)
What Erasmussimo is saying is that the Bush Administration fabricated facts to intentionally deceive congress, the people, ect. But I don't think we can separate these two from the memo and what we were given. Does "fixed" mean making the facts fit the action or does "fixed" mean created to fit the action? I honestly don't think that we can figure it out from this memo alone.

I have to back off the claim that the Administration fabricated facts; as far as I know, it did not create any claims out of thin air; there was always some factual basis for the assertion. It's just that these claims were distorted, exaggerated, or assigned more confidence than they deserved, and contrary evidence was buried, denied, or minimized.
ralou
QUOTE(Devils Advocate @ May 2 2005, 06:15 PM)
QUOTE(Erasmussimo)
The "smoking gun" is the sentence the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. That may not require outright fabrication of information or intel, but it certainly indicates distortion or other deceitful methods. 

QUOTE(Amlord)
"Facts" are always fixed around policy. Look at private accounts and Social Security. One side frames the argument around the "fact" that private accounts take money out of the system and will make it run out of money faster. The other side argues the "fact" that increasing the returns on Social Security money is the only way to "Save" it without raising taxes or reducing benefits. Neither of these takes on the Social Security issue relies on making things up or falsifying anything.


I think Amlord brings up an important idea here. If I read this right you're saying the Bush Administration has used selected facts to support their side, which I think we can all agree everyone does (whether its good practice or not). What Erasmussimo is saying is that the Bush Administration fabricated facts to intentionally deceive congress, the people, ect. But I don't think we can separate these two from the memo and what we were given. Does "fixed" mean making the facts fit the action or does "fixed" mean created to fit the action? I honestly don't think that we can figure it out from this memo alone.
*




It seems to me that Bush and his entire administration, by ignoring facts, caveats, and the doubful 'tone' of CIA documents, did indeed deliberately and knowingly lie to Congress about the evidence used to convince them to go to war with Iraq.

Then there is the violations of the US Constitution committed by the Bush Administration. No one has refuted that it is not 'upholding the Constitution' to violate citizens' constitutional rights. And there is one more thing: America is signatory to the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture. As the Bush Administration has repeatedly broken America's treaties, even though Congress has not sought to renounce America's signatures on them, isn't this, also, a high crime, or perhaps, a misdemeanor?

As for actually bringing about the impeachment of members of the Bush Administration, if there is a military draft in the next year or so, I suspect it will be quite easy to do. The Democrats might have to back the enraged American people or go out with the Republicans (we can also vote them all out and put in Libertarians, Greens, or elvis impersonators who think they're space aliens, if we so desired!). We can get rid of these people, and turn them over to international or national courts for trial and proper sentencing, too, when the timing is right. Just because the Congressional poodles won't do it, doesn't mean it won't be done, we just can't rely on them to do our job for us. And at this point, ridding ourselves of these people is our job!
Paladin Elspeth
QUOTE
Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute grounds for impeachment?

I'd like to think so. But who would be the ultimate authority to rule that the Bush administration deliberately falsified information to start the war? One of his appointments? The Republican-controlled Congress? So how is it going to be proven? Try going to your boss with mistakes your boss made and see whether s/he resigns, if there is no one for your boss to answer to.

Former diplomat Wilson spoke his mind about the Niger yellow cake uranium claim being bogus. And a member of the Administration outed his former CIA analyst wife Valerie Plame in retaliation. So who did it? Will the stinker ever be "brought to justice," as G.W. Bush is so fond of saying? Do you really think anyone will ever be brought forward as the person who violated the law by doing this?

What about the 28 pages that were kept out of the 9/11 Commission Report? Which one of our Congresspeople felt secure enough to divulge any information that came from those 28 pages? None? No big surprise there.

Sorry, but President George Walker Bush and his people are entrenched. Our last real chance to get him out of office was last November, but the scare tactics his party used in relation to Vietnam hero turned protestor Senator John Kerry worked very, very well, especially for the well-intentioned but relatively uninformed heartland people who think the Democratic party is a bunch of God haters (and if we want to change that perception, we've got some work to do) and therefore had to vote for Bush.

Now someone is going to have to pick up the pieces in the next Presidential election. And they won't all be picked up; it will be catch as catch-can.

Of course, one can always hope that some event that cannot be explained away or ignored, something clearly illegal and unethical, will be revealed. But as long as George W. Bush keeps his pants zipped up and has Karl Rove on his side to run interference and push the blame on someone else, I wouldn't count on that happening.
Aquilla
As the debate here grows increasingly shrill with denunciations of "Bush the Evil" and apparently attempts to re-fight the 2004 election results - this time based on the premise that the people who voted for Bush were too stupid to vote for the "right person", I caught something in the original memo that supposedly spawned this thread. unsure.gif I noticed the date on that memo -

QUOTE
DAVID MANNING
From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002


2002. Bush was fooling everyone back then according to Erasmussimo's suspect reading of the word "fix". And not everyone was fooled, right?

QUOTE(Erasmussimo)
This is simply repeating the urban myth. If you can come up with evidence for a country believing that Saddam had WMD, then I'll accept your claims. But the simple assertion does not command immediate credibility, because the single best source of evidence, the Blix investigation, found no evidence of WMD. None, zero, nada. Yes, they also reported that there were still question marks due to Iraqi refusals to cooperate. But the undeniable fact is that the only investigation that had any real substance came up empty-handed. Are you claiming that the entire world refused to believe the results of the Blix investigation?


There is quite a time period between the date on this memo, the one that Erasmussimo claims proves Bush was deceiving the American people and Blix's final report. However, there were other Blix reports to the UN in the meantime, following this "smoking gun" memo. Including this one.

From that report, dated 27Jan2003, we get the following.....

Chemical Weapons....

QUOTE
Iraq has declared that it only produced VX on a pilot scale, just a few tonnes and that the quality was poor and the product unstable.  Consequently, it was said, that the agent was never weaponised.  Iraq said that the small quantity of agent remaining after the Gulf War was unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991.



UNMOVIC, however, has information that conflicts with this account. There are indications that Iraq had worked on the problem of purity and stabilization and that more had been achieved than has been declared.  Indeed, even one of the documents provided by Iraq indicates that the purity of the agent, at least in laboratory production, was higher than declared.



There are also indications that the agent was weaponised.  In addition, there are questions to be answered concerning the fate of the VX precursor chemicals, which Iraq states were lost during bombing in the Gulf War or were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq.


and Biological Weapons....

QUOTE
Iraq has declared that it produced about 8,500 litres of this biological warfare agent, which it states it unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991.  Iraq has provided little evidence for this production and no convincing evidence for its destruction.



There are strong indications that Iraq produced more anthrax than it declared, and that at least some of this was retained after the declared destruction date.  It might still exist.  Either it should be found and be destroyed under UNMOVIC supervision or else convincing evidence should be produced to show that it was, indeed, destroyed in 1991.

[snip]

In the letter of 24 January to the President of the Council, Iraq’s Foreign Minister stated that “all imported quantities of growth media were declared”.  This is not evidence.  I note that the quantity of media involved would suffice to produce, for example, about 5,000 litres of concentrated anthrax.



Sure sounds to me that Blix thought at least on this date, well after the memo referenced was written that Iraq could very well have WMD stockpiles. Bush deceive him too? Bush make up the stuff in his report? hmmm.gif

Maybe so, or perhaps I dangled a participle somewhere there... whistling.gif

But, I do have to wonder how Bush fooled all these Senators back in 1998....

QUOTE
Carl Levin, Joe Lieberman, Frank R. Lautenberg, Dick Lugar, Kit Bond, Jon Kyl, Chris Dodd, John McCain, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Alfonse D'Amato, Bob Kerrey, Pete V. Domenici, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Mikulski.

Thomas Daschle, John Breaux, Tim Johnson, Daniel K. Inouye, Arlen Specter, James Inhofe, Strom Thurmond, Mary L. Landrieu, Wendell Ford, John F. Kerry, Chuck Grassley, Jesse Helms, Rick Santorum.


At that time they signed a letter that said, in part, the following....

QUOTE
Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, today, along with Senators McCain, Lieberman, Hutchison and twenty-three other Senators, I am sending a letter to the President to express our concern over Iraq's actions and urging the President `after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.'



One must wonder how then Governor Bush manipulated the evidence back then. Heck, he even fooled President Clinton!

QUOTE
"The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow." -- Bill Clinton in 1998



How'd he do that? The fact is he didn't. There were a whole lot of people who thought Saddam had WMD and that wasn't because they were deceived by President Bush.
Doclotus
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 2 2005, 07:08 PM)
QUOTE(Devils Advocate)
What Erasmussimo is saying is that the Bush Administration fabricated facts to intentionally deceive congress, the people, ect. But I don't think we can separate these two from the memo and what we were given. Does "fixed" mean making the facts fit the action or does "fixed" mean created to fit the action? I honestly don't think that we can figure it out from this memo alone.

I have to back off the claim that the Administration fabricated facts; as far as I know, it did not create any claims out of thin air; there was always some factual basis for the assertion. It's just that these claims were distorted, exaggerated, or assigned more confidence than they deserved, and contrary evidence was buried, denied, or minimized.
*


Unfortunately you've painted yourself in a corner. I don't think anyone would disagree that Bush relied on intel that probably had some lipstick applied to make it look less like a pig. The yellow cake/Nigeria fiasco would be a good example. And while rhetorical devices were undoubtably used to sell the campaign to the public, you've presented nothing here that would indicate either 1) laws were broken or 2) he intentionally lied to the American people. And even if 2 were true, as Amlord pointed out, that isn't technically an impeachable offense. It is certainly grounds for denying him re-election, but obviously we're past that.

Doc
Lesly
Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute grounds for impeachment?

As it relates to intelligence reports (maybe Mustang can chime in), after all evidence and hearsay is presented presidents can opt to go with a worst case scenario or least likely scenario and plan accordingly. Of course, if the president has the option of making a judgment call siding with a worst case scenario as Bush did, until we have a crystal ball the opposite judgment call is just as "right."

A tolerant public accepting the opposite reality of the doom and gloom campaign from 2002 - 2003 sheds light on rhetorical devices (e.g. patriotism), but I don't hold out hope the masses will ever remove the wool.
Erasmussimo
Aquila, you have presented the evidence that there were suspicions that Iraq possessed WMD prior to March 2003. Nobody has ever denied that; I too had those suspicions. But in so doing you have sidestepped the central issue. The central issue here is whether President Bush deliberately deceived the American public with his false assertions regarding WMD. You have proven that many people had suspicions about WMD. The crucial factor is that President Bush presented the issue as a sure thing, an absolute certainty. Yes, there were plenty of suspicions -- but there was also a great deal of skepticism. The general view was that the issue was debatable.

What you have proven: There were suspicions about WMD in Iraq.
What you have not mentioned, but is also true: There were also many doubts.
What President Bush told the American people: There is no doubt, it is a certainty.

The difference between the first two statements and the third statement is what I claim constitutes deceit.

I would next like to address doclotus' point that President Bush did not, technically speaking, lie to the American people. This is a peculiarly American tendency to dismiss all forms of deceit that cannot be proven to be a bald, intentional, provable falsehood. We have developed the concept of spin to the point that we truly do present black as white, and get away with it. If a statement contrains an iota of truth then it can't be a lie.

That's why I have tried to use the terms "deceit" and "deception"; regardless of how technical you want to get about whether President Bush lied, there's no question that he deliberately deceived the American people.

I will also point out that we already have a clear precedent for impeachment based on deceit rather than outright lying: the impeachment of President Clinton. The crucial fact was that he gave deceptive testimony in a legal proceeding. He did not lie. Had he lied, that would have constituted perjury and he would have been prosecuted for that crime. Ken Starr was no forgiving slouch -- if he thought he had a chance of winning that case, he would have brought it. But he had no chance because, technically, President Clinton did not lie. Yet the House considered his deceit serious enough to pass articles of impeachment.

The deceit perpetrated by President Bush is of wider scope because it was repeatedly insisted upon, rather than being a single statement. It is of undoubtedly far greater import than the deceit perpetrated by President Clinton ("When Clinton lied, no one died.") Should not the same standards be applied in this more egregious case?
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 3 2005, 10:33 AM)
The deceit perpetrated by President Bush is of wider scope because it was repeatedly insisted upon, rather than being a single statement. It is of undoubtedly far greater import than the deceit perpetrated by President Clinton ("When Clinton lied, no one died.") Should not the same standards be applied in this more egregious case?
*



QUOTE(Bill Clinton @ 1998)
"The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow." 


Second night of attacks on Iraq under way
QUOTE(CNN)
 
The Operation Desert Fox targets were described to CNN as: an intelligence headquarters in Baghdad, a missile design and manufacturing plant northwest of the capital and a presidential palace that U.N. inspectors believed housed plans for weapons of mass destruction.

"Clearly we did some substantial damage," U.S. National Security Adviser Samuel Berger told reporters Thursday as he commented on the attacks waged to punish Baghdad for failing to cooperate fully with U.N. weapons inspectors.


An Iraqi doctor told reporters that two people were killed and 30 others wounded in the bombing attack.

U.S. officials said as many as 280 cruise missiles had been launched in the first phase of their blitz.

So, when Clinton lied (about Iraqi WMD), no one died?

The rhetorical exercise that you are engaged in here is completely painful. Under your logic, every decision by every president based on the best available information would be an impeachable offense. If Bush is to be impeached, what would you suggest for the 77 Senators that approved the war resolution? Or the 296 Representatives that voted for a similar resolution? All unwitting victims of Bush's deception? A deception, as Aquilla noted, which was begun while he was governor of Texas?

The actual words used by Bush were:
QUOTE(Bush State of the Union 2003)
Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.


Your analysis is so very September 10. The guy you should be impeaching has already been impeached once. We've had two presidential elections since then. Move. On. Please.
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ May 3 2005, 09:02 AM)
So, when Clinton lied (about Iraqi WMD), no one died?

This comment addresses issues of partisanship; it has no relevance to the topic.

QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ May 3 2005, 09:02 AM)
Under your logic, every decision by every president based on the best available information would be an impeachable offense.

On the contrary, a decision made by a president using the best available information would not be subject to impeachment. Only those decisions made in defiance of the best available information, and presented to the public with deceitful justifications, would be subject to impeachment. This was the case with President Bush's invasion of lraq.

QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ May 3 2005, 09:02 AM)
If Bush is to be impeached, what would you suggest for the 77 Senators that approved the war resolution?  Or the 296 Representatives that voted for a similar resolution?  All unwitting victims of Bush's deception?

They were deceived by a President they trusted; that deception led them to vote in a manner they might not otherwise have voted, profoundly changing the policy of the Republic. That's the justification for the impeachment.

QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ May 3 2005, 09:02 AM)
A deception, as Aquilla noted, which was begun while he was governor of Texas?

You are conflating two very different things: pre-existing suspicions with the deceitful declaration of certainty. The fact that suspicions existed in 1998 has no bearing on the claims of certainty made in 2002 and 2003.

QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ May 3 2005, 09:02 AM)
The actual words used by Bush were:
QUOTE(Bush State of the Union 2003)
Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

What does this observation have to do with the appropriateness of impeaching a President for deceiving the American people?

QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ May 3 2005, 09:02 AM)
Your analysis is so very September 10.

Do I hear a bid for September 9? September 8? Surely you can do better! How about bringing up the ghost of Chamberlain?

QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ May 3 2005, 09:02 AM)
The guy you should be impeaching has already been impeached once.  We've had two presidential elections since then.  Move.  On.  Please.

This belies a partisanship that robs you of the credibility deserved by objective commentators.
carlitoswhey
I'm going to give this one last try, just in case there is some sliver of rationality out there somewhere. Paraphrasing at my own peril.

Erasmussino - some guy in the UK said that Bush was determined to depose Saddam Hussein, using WMD as a pretext. Bush deceived the American people. He should be impeached. Even if it's not a "crime" or "misdemeanor," it should be.

Lots of people - Yeah, that's right - Bush lied people died.

Erasmussino - not only that, he said it with certainty!

Facts circa 1998 / 2003 - All of our intel told us he had WMD. UN Security Council put the onus on Saddam to disarm. Turns out a despot not so thrilled, likes his weapons; declines offer to cooperate, treats inspectors to interesting cat / mouse game.

More facts - deposing Hussein was US national policy since 1998, Clinton's team and the whole world fairly certain he had WMD, whole world certain he at least had WMD programs. Violating UN resolutions, shooting at US and British pilots on daily basis, yada yada.

Erasmussino - Give me facts, damn you! Facts!

Lots of people - Clinton said (with certainty!) that Iraq had WMD. So did many other nations, lots of our Senators and Reps.

Erasmussino - So? Bush lied. Must impeach Bush. He deceived all of those Senators!

Carlito - Clinton said (with certainty!) that Iraqi WMD was a threat and we lobbed missles at them in 1998. By your logic he should have been impeached.

Erasmussino - "you're a partisan!"

Carlito - Bush didn't even say "with certainty" - he said "if we wait until it's certain, it will be too late"

Erasmussino - "you're a partisan!"

Carlito - Lesson learned on Sept 11, 2001 - maybe we shouldn't wait until absolute certainty, since there is no such thing.

Erasmussino - Ghost of Chamberlain!

Carlito - People of USA elected the guy who we trusted to protect us (twice!). Perhaps we are OK if he errs on the side of caution, especially noting outbreak of Democracy everywhere we invade.

Erasmussino - you're a partisan!

All in all, not a very fulfilling debate for yours truly. I trust that I won't have the last word.
Hobbes
Erassimusso,

Surely you must realize you are applying the very tactic you are criticizing Bush for...you are spinning the events to suit your case. This naturally makes a very weak argument, for it indicates that such tactics are OK when you agree with the outcome, but not when you don't.

QUOTE
They were deceived by a President they trusted; that deception led them to vote in a manner they might not otherwise have voted, profoundly changing the policy of the Republic.


Were they? You have concrete evidence of this? If not, you are applying step three of your analysis of GWB:
QUOTE
What you have proven: There were suspicions about WMD in Iraq.
What you have not mentioned, but is also true: There were also many doubts.
What President Bush told the American people: There is no doubt, it is a certainty.


What has been proven: The Senate voted to go to war.
What you have stated, but not proven at all: They had doubts about their vote.
What you have told this debate board: There is no doubt, there is a certainty.

I believe this might put you in the good company of Doc Holliday on at least one issue cool.gif, while also indicating, as you state,
QUOTE
This belies a partisanship that robs you of the credibility deserved by objective commentators
.

So, it seems, in debate hypocrisy might indeed need bounds..
Erasmussimo
Carlito, the travesty of a paraphrase you offer is so slanted, so distorted, and so partisan that it falls outside the pale of reasoned discussion. If you wish to return to good faith discussion, I stand ready to continue our discussion.

Hobbes, you have a point when you observe that my claim that congresscritters were deceived by Bush is not proven. Perhaps they cast their vote for other reasons; we'll never know what motivated them and I was wrong to impute it to the President's deception. I shall have to retract that claim and merely assert that the President's deception might have influenced their vote. This does not weaken the case for impeachment. If a used car salesman fraudulently sells you a car claiming that its mileage is very low, he can't defend himself with the claim that you might have purchased it even without your claim. That deceit still constitutes fraud, and is still regarded as a crime. I would think that the same reasoning applies in the case of President Bush's deception.

Please don't impute a mistake to hypocrisy. I have acknowledged the error and amended the claim the moment it was pointed out.
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 3 2005, 12:41 PM)
Carlito, the travesty of a paraphrase you offer is so slanted, so distorted, and so partisan that it falls outside the pale of reasoned discussion. If you wish to return to good faith discussion, I stand ready to continue our discussion.

I'll pass on your kind offer. I'm just a "partisan," after all. Don't see what useful insight I could contribute here.
Jaime
Let's stop with the belittling comments and condescending attitudes. Debate this in a civil fashion or we close this thread.

TOPIC:
Does leading the nation into war on deliberately falsified information constitute grounds for impeachment?
Hugo
From the McCollum Memo October 7, 1940

QUOTE
9. It is not believed that in the present state of political opinion the United States government is capable of declaring war against Japan without more ado; and it is barely possible that vigorous action on our part might lead the Japanese to modify their attitude. Therefore, the following course of action is suggested:

   A. Make an arrangement with Britain for the use of British bases in the Pacific, particularly Singapore.

   B. Make an arrangement with Holland for the use of base facilities and acquisition of supplies in the Dutch East Indies.

  C. Give all possible aid to the Chinese government of Chiang-Kai-Shek.

   D. Send a division of long range heavy cruisers to the Orient, Philippines, or Singapore.

   E. Send two divisions of submarines to the Orient.

   F. Keep the main strength of the U.S. fleet now in the Pacific in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands.

   G. Insist that the Dutch refuse to grant Japanese demands for undue economic concessions, particularly oil.

   H. Completely embargo all U.S. trade with Japan, in collaboration with a similar embargo imposed by the British Empire.

  10. If by these means Japan could be led to commit an overt act of war, so much the better. At all events we must be fully prepared to accept the threat of war.

  H. McCollum


Yes, Lincoln (who provoked the firing on Ft. Sumter) and FDR should have been impeached also.

The fact is, there is no evidence that the Bush administration did not believe that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. They certainly maximized the evidence supporting that view and minimized the evidence conflicting Saddam's WMD capability. That is called politics.

I think history has judged Lincoln and FDR fairly well.

Personally, I think Bush made up his mind to overthrow Saddam on Sept 11, 2001 at the latest.
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(Hugo @ May 3 2005, 11:14 AM)
Yes, Lincoln (who provoked the firing on Ft. Sumter) and FDR should have been impeached also.

Your suggestion that Lincoln provoked the attack on Ft. Sumter will certainly come as a surprise to many historians. His election certainly triggered it, but "provoked" implies a deliberate attempt to start a war, something that is simply not accepted by mainstream historians.

As to FDR, I take it that you believe that he fabricated the attack on Pearl Harbor?

QUOTE(Hugo @ May 3 2005, 11:14 AM)
The fact is, there is no evidence that the Bush administration did not believe that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. They certainly maximized the evidence supporting that view and minimized the evidence conflicting Saddam's WMD capability. That is called politics.

No, that's called deceit. The whole point of this discussion is to debate whether or not such deceit is acceptable in our democracy. You apparently feel that such deceit is an acceptable part of our democracy. But is your political philosophy on this matter consistent? Did you oppose the impeachment of President Clinton because deceit is just politics? Would you refuse to support a call for impeachment of a Democratic president who deceitfully distorted information to convince America to support some liberal policy, such as unilateral elimination of our nuclear weapons?
deerjerkydave
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 3 2005, 08:33 AM)
What you have proven: There were suspicions about WMD in Iraq.
What you have not mentioned, but is also true: There were also many doubts.
What President Bush told the American people: There is no doubt, it is a certainty.

When you have intelligence agencies from around the world telling you that Saddam had stockpiles of WMD and was willing to share them with terrorists, can you ignore that because just maybe they are all wrong? And now that we can't find stockpiles of WMD we should impeach our leaders? It would seem that omniscience is the impossible standard some are holding up here.

In 1991 when Saddam signed the Gulf War treaty, the ceasefire was contingent upon his compliance with all U.N. and U.S. demands. 17 U.N. resolutions later, Saddam was clearly in violation of this, with or without WMD. This was no illegal war.

And let's not sweep Saddam's known human rights violations under the rug here. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people perished under his dictatorship. There is no doubt in my mind that the removal of Saddam from power was the right policy and that the costs associated with Saddam's removal, while difficult, have been worth it. Lives have been saved, liberties have been returned, and the world is a safer place because of the removal of Saddam.
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(deerjerkydave @ May 3 2005, 12:01 PM)
When you have intelligence agencies from around the world telling you that Saddam had stockpiles of WMD and was willing to share them with terrorists,

Did we? President Bush claims so. Has he ever released documentation to that effect? I don't think so (other than the erroneous reference to British intelligence in his State of the Union address.) What we do know with certainty is that there were many intelligence estimates from our own intelligence services presenting serious doubts as to the veracity of reports of WMD in Iraq. Our own intelligence agencies were saying "Maybe so, maybe not" and President Bush was telling America "No doubt about it." That's deceitful.

QUOTE(deerjerkydave @ May 3 2005, 12:01 PM)
It would seem that omniscience is the impossible standard some are holding up here.


I don't expect the President of the United States to be omniscient; I merely expect him to be honest about the evidence he presents when trying to sell his policies. Don't you?

QUOTE(deerjerkydave @ May 3 2005, 12:01 PM)
In 1991 when Saddam signed the Gulf War treaty, the ceasefire was contingent upon his compliance with all U.N. and U.S. demands.  17 U.N. resolutions later, Saddam was clearly in violation of this, with or without WMD.  This was no illegal war.

And let's not sweep Saddam's known human rights violations under the rug here.  Hundreds of thousands of innocent people perished under his dictatorship.  There is no doubt in my mind that the removal of Saddam from power was the right policy and that the costs associated with Saddam's removal, while difficult, have been worth it.  Lives have been saved, liberties have been returned, and the world is a safer place because of the removal of Saddam.

Yes, Saddam was a Bad Person. Does that justify deceiving the American people to take him out?
Doclotus
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 3 2005, 03:28 PM)
What we do know with certainty is that there were many intelligence estimates from our own intelligence services presenting serious doubts as to the veracity of reports of WMD in Iraq. Our own intelligence agencies were saying "Maybe so, maybe not" and President Bush was telling America "No doubt about it." That's deceitful.

Don't forget, Erasmussimo, you also had the head of the CIA tell Bush that the case against Saddam on WMD was a Slam Dunk.
QUOTE
As the war planning progressed, on December 21, 2002, Tenet and his top deputy, John McLaughlin, went to the White House to brief Bush and Cheney on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, Woodward reports.

The president, unimpressed by the presentation of satellite photographs and intercepts, pressed Tenet and McLaughlin, saying their information would not "convince Joe Public" and asking Tenet, "This is the best we've got?" Woodward reports.

According to Woodward, Tenet reassured the president that "it's a slam dunk case" that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

You have in 3 paragraphs a summary of why your argument fails. Yes, even Bush had some concerns about our intel in this area. But he also had the director of the largest intelligence agency in the world tell him it was a sure thing (that Saddam had existing WMD capability).

Bush's job, once he committed to the course, was to present the case to the world and the American people. Any time you commit a nation to war, your rhetoric must be consistent and unequivocal. History bears this out.

Please bear in mind, my position absolves the Bush administration of nothing when it comes to conducting this war or the rhetoric that preceded it. I was opposed to it long before he began to make his case because, like you, I didn't agree at all with the intelligence estimates. While being right has some satisfaction, being wrong doesn't translate to an impeachable offense. I wanted him voted out of office over it, but obviously my opinion did not carry the day.

I certainly have my suspicions that there are other affairs in this administration that are far more nefarious in potential from an impeachment perspective. Unfortunately, not one of them has borne fruit. In the case you present, the seeds didn't even stay in the ground long enough to make the first rainfall.
Erasmussimo
Doclotus, I disagree with your interpretation of the report.
QUOTE(Doclotus @ May 3 2005, 12:53 PM)
QUOTE
As the war planning progressed, on December 21, 2002, Tenet and his top deputy, John McLaughlin, went to the White House to brief Bush and Cheney on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, Woodward reports.

The president, unimpressed by the presentation of satellite photographs and intercepts, pressed Tenet and McLaughlin, saying their information would not "convince Joe Public" and asking Tenet, "This is the best we've got?" Woodward reports.

According to Woodward, Tenet reassured the president that "it's a slam dunk case" that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.


You interpret this to mean that President Bush had concerns about the accuracy of the intelligence as late as December 21, 2002. Yet contrast that interpretation with these quotations from President Bush:
QUOTE
9/12/2002: "Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."
10/5/2002: "Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons. We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have. "
10/7/2002: "The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas."
10/7/2002: "And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons."
10/7/2002: "After eleven years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon."
10/7/2002: "We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas."

Clearly, President Bush had no doubts as to WMD in Iraq; he had already made up his mind, despite the fact that there was plenty of contradictory evidence. I interpret his comments to mean that he did not believe that the evidence presented to him would satisfy Joe Public and he wanted something better. "Is this the best we've got?" refers, in my interpretation, to the inadequacy of the available evidence to support his claims to the American public. These are not the words of a skeptical President quizzing his subordinates; in that case, he would have asked, "Is this the best you've got?" (assuming of course that President Bush has mastered the finer points of English grammar, which he manifestly has not.) The connotation of using 1st person plural instead of 2nd person plural is that the evidence is being evalutated for its compelling significance to a 3rd party: Joe Public.

Moreover, there's lots of evidence that the White House pushed everybody hard to come up with the evidence it needed to make its case. And, as the document referred to at the outset of this topic shows, the White House intended to "fix" the evidence to the policy -- which is exactly what this conversation demonstrates.
lordhelmet
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 1 2005, 08:05 PM)

QUOTE(BoF @ May 1 2005, 02:56 PM)
Impeachment just isn’t realistic. I would rather work to get rid of Tom DeLay and try to pick up more seats in both houses in 2006 than get involved in a futile impeachment attempt.

It seems that we all agree that impeachment is a political impossibility, yet definitely called for. I agree with this conclusion, yet what does this mean about our Republic? Are we all agreeing that our leaders are so corrupt that even the most extreme crime a President can commit -- deliberating faking evidence so as to start a war -- will not move members of his party to call for his impeachment? Remember, Nixon resigned when it became obvious that even members of his own party felt that he should be impeached and convicted.

Or is it because the war in Iraq is still somewhat popular? As the folly of this war becomes clearer, will people turn on President Bush for leading them into it?
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Excuse me. We all agree that impeachment is called for? As the guys from "Wayne's World" would say.... "NOT!".

This is nonsense. The president acted in good faith given the information at his disposal. Regime change in Iraq was formulated by Clinton and executed by Bush. The opposition party's candidates, Kerry and Edwards both voted FOR that policy and for the war to implement the Clinton policy.

Folly of the war? Frankly, it's the folly of the anti-democracy, anti-freedom zealots that history will judge most severely. Iraq is tasting the first morsels of freedom and they will not let it go. The start of the USA was also filled with bloodletting and so was the country leading the anti-war movement; France.

Freedom isn't free. Only in a free society can elite sophisticates sip their latte's, sniff, and pontificate about how a war for freedom is "folly". Those on the ground need our support, not our scorn.

History will judge George W. Bush on the same level as Churchill and FDR. He rose to the challenge of confronting tyranny and prevailed. He did this while small men obsessed on small issues. Let Clinton work on obesity for American children (after his magnificent example for 8 years hitting every McDonalds in range of his presidential limousine) and leave liberating the world from tyranny to President Bush.
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