Time to quit defending this administrations actions. WE DID NOT GO TO WAR WITH IRAQ BASED ON SADDAM"S “INTENTIONS”. We went to WAR based on “PROOF POSITIVE” he had WMD’s.
THEY LIED, deal with it!
Ex-Nixon Aide John Dean Tells Bill Moyers that Bush Should Be Impeached
Tonight on NOW with Bill Moyers , former counsel to President Nixon John Dean tells Bill Moyers that he believes the Bush Administration’s secrecy and deception over the war with Iraq should result in impeachment.
“Clearly, it is an impeachable offense,” he says. “I think the case is overwhelming that these people presented false information to the Congress and to the American people.”
It is Dean’s first television interview about his new book Worse than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush. In the interview, taped Friday in New York, Dean compares the Bush and Nixon White Houses.
“There are many things worse than Watergate,” he says. “Taking the nation to war in a time when they might not have had to gone to war, and people dying.”
After becoming counsel to Nixon at the age of 31, Dean emerged as a central figure in the Watergate scandal and is considered the chief whistleblower that brought down Nixon’s presidency. Dean has written many articles and essays on law, government, politics, and has recounted his days in the Nixon White House and Watergate in three previous books.
You write that the administration has tried to block, frustrate or control any investigation into 9/11 using, quote, “well-proven tactics not unlike those used by the Nixon White House during Watergate.” What tactics?
We knew that at the Nixon White House. Some of these are time-tested tactics. When the Congress put together a joint inquiry itself was self-defeating because it’s much more difficult for a joint inquiry with its size – the lack of attention its staff can give to a group that large. It gets diffuse. And Cheney -
So when you testified in Congress - in the 70’s there was a Senate Investigating Committee and a House Judiciary Committee, right?
Right. Separate committees. Exactly. And they can get much more focused. So it was very effective. And Cheney and Bush were very involved. They didn’t want any of the standing committees to do it. They put them together. And that was one of the first signs I saw that they’re just playing it by - I think they found an old playbook down in the basement that belonged to Richard Nixon. And they said, “Well, this stuff looks like it works.”
Be specific with me. What is worse than Watergate?
If there’s anything that really is the bottom line, it’s taking the nation to war in a time - when they might not have had to go to war and people dying. That is worse than Watergate. No one died for Nixon’s so-called Watergate abuses.
Let me go right to page 155 of your book. You write, quote, “The evidence is overwhelming that George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney have engaged in deceit and deception over going to war in Iraq. This is an impeachable offense.”
Absolutely is. The founders in the debates in the states - I cite one. I cite one that I found - I tracked down after reading the Nixon impeachment proceedings when - Congressman Castenmeyer had gone back to look to see what the founders said about misrepresentations and lying to the Congress. Clearly, it is an impeachable offense. And I think the case is overwhelming that these people presented false information to the Congress and to the American people.
John, I was, as you know, in the Johnson White House at the time of the Gulf of - Tonkin when LBJ escalated the war in Vietnam on the basis of misleading information. He said there was an attack in the Gulf of Tonkin. It subsequent turns out there wasn’t an attack.
Many people said then and have said that LBJ deceived the country and concealed the escalation of the war. You even say in the book that he hoodwinked Congress. Are you saying that that was not an impeachable offense but what is happening now is?
No. I’m saying that was an impeachable offense. In fact, it comes up in the Nixon debates over whether the secret bombing would be an impeachable offense. That became a high crime or offense because Nixon had, in fact, told privately some members of the Congress. Johnson didn’t tell anybody the game he was playing to my knowledge.
And these are probably the most serious offenses that you can make - when you take a country to war, blood and treasure, no higher decision can a President of the United States make as the Commander-in-Chief. To do it on bogus information, to use this kind of secrecy to do it is intolerable.
Remember, the following article is over a year old. In light of the new/old news, not only should Bush not be re-elected, it’s time for his impeachment!
Why A Special Prosecutor’s Investigation Is Needed To Sort Out the Niger Uranium And Related WMDs Mess
By JOHN W. DEAN
Friday, Jul. 18, 2003
The heart of President Bush’s January 28 State of the Union address was his case for going to war against Saddam Hussein. In making his case, the President laid out fact after fact about Saddam’s alleged unconventional weapons. Indeed, the claim that these WMDs posed an imminent threat was his primary argument in favor of war.
Now, as more and more time passes with WMDs still not found, it seems that some of those facts may not have been true. In particular, recent controversy has focused on the President’s citations to British intelligence purportedly showing that Saddam was seeking “significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”
In this column, I will examine the publicly available evidence relating to this and other statements in the State of the Union concerning Saddam’s WMDs. Obviously, I do not have access to the classified information the President doubtless relied upon. But much of the relevant information he drew from appears to have been declassified, and made available for inquiring minds.
What I found, in critically examining Bush’s evidence, is not pretty. The African uranium matter is merely indicative of larger problems, and troubling questions of potential and widespread criminality when taking the nation to war. It appears that not only the Niger uranium hoax, but most everything else that Bush said about Saddam Hussein’s weapons was false, fabricated, exaggerated, or phony.
Bush repeatedly, in his State of the Union, presented beliefs, estimates, and educated guesses as established fact. Genuine facts are truths that can be known or are observable, and the distance between fact and belief is uncertainty, which can be infinite. Authentic facts are not based on hopes or wishes or even probabilities. Now it is little wonder that none of these purported WMDs has been discovered in Iraq.
So egregious and serious are Bush’s misrepresentations that they appear to be a deliberate effort to mislead Congress and the public. So arrogant and secretive is the Bush White House that only a special prosecutor can effectively answer and address these troubling matters. Since the Independent Counsel statute has expired, the burden is on President Bush to appoint a special prosecutor - and if he fails to do so, he should be held accountable by Congress and the public.
In making this observation, I realize that some Republicans will pound the patriotism drum, claiming that anyone who questions Bush’s call to arms is politicizing the Iraqi war. But I have no interest in partisan politics, only good government - which is in serious trouble when we stop debating these issues, or absurdly accuse those who do of treason…
It Is A Crime To Make False Statements To Congress
Could Bush, and his aides, be stonewalling because it is a crime to give false information to Congress? It wasn’t a crime in President Polk’s day. Today, it is a felony under the false statements statute.
This 1934 provision makes it a serious offense to give a false information to Congress. It is little used, but has been actively available since 1955. That year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Bramblet that the statute could be used to prosecute a Congressman who made a false statement to the Clerk of the Disbursing Office of the House of Representatives, for Congress comes under the term “department” as used in the statutes.
Two members of the Bush administration, Admiral John Poindexter and Elliot Abrams, learned about this false statements law the hard way, during the Iran Contra investigation. Abrams pled guilty to two misdemeanors for false statements to Congress, as did Robert McFarlane. (Both were subsequently pardoned by President George H.W. Bush.) Poindexter and Oliver North fought the charges, and won on an unrelated legal technicality.
Later, one of McFarlane’s lawyers, Peter W. Morgan, wrote a law journal article about using the false statements statute to prosecute executive officials appearing before Congress. Morgan was troubled by the breadth of the law. It does not require a specific intent to deceive the Congress. It does not require that statements be written, or that they be sworn. Congress is aware of the law’s breadth and has chosen not to change it.
Maybe presciently, Morgan noted that the false statements statute even reaches “misrepresentations in a president’s state of the union address.” To which I would add, a criminal conspiracy to mislead Congress, which involved others at the Bush White House, could also be prosecuted under a separate statute, which makes it a felony to conspire to defraud the government.
Need for A Special Prosecutor To Investigate the WMD Claims
There is an unsavory stench about Bush’s claims to the Congress, and nation, about Saddam Hussein’s WMD threat. The deceptions are too apparent. There are simply too many unanswered questions, which have been growing daily. If the Independent Counsel law were still in existence, this situation would justify the appointment of an Independent Counsel.
Because that law has expired, if President Bush truly has nothing to hide, he should appoint a special prosecutor. After all, Presidents Nixon and Clinton, when not subject to the Independent Counsel law, appointed special prosecutors to investigate matters much less serious. If President Bush is truly the square shooter he portrays himself to be, he should appoint a special prosecutor to undertake an investigation.
Ideally, the investigation ought to be concluded - and the issue cleared up - well before the 2004 election, so voters know the character of the men (and women) they may or may not be re-electing.
Family, loved ones, and friends of those who have died, and continue to die, in Iraq deserve no less.