Hon. Dennis J. Kucinich / US House of Representatives – 2008-07-15 22:18:20
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES (July 10, 2008) — Mr. KUCINICH. Madam Speaker, pursuant to clause 2, rule IX, I hereby give notice of my intention to raise a question of the privileges of the House. The form of the resolution is as follows:
AN ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
Resolved, that President George W. Bush be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following Article of Impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate:
An Article of Impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in the name of itself and the people of the United States of America, in maintenance and support of its impeachment against President George W. Bush for high crimes and misdemeanors.
ARTICLE ONE–DECEIVING CONGRESS WITH FABRICATED THREATS OF IRAQ WMDS TO FRAUDULENTLY OBTAIN SUPPORT FOR AN AUTHORIZATION OF THE USE OF MILITARY FORCE AGAINST IRAQ
In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under article II, section 3 of the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” deceived Congress with fabricated threats of Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction to fraudulently obtain support for an authorization for the use of force against Iraq and used that fraudulently obtained authorization, then acting in his capacity under article II, section 2 of the Constitution as Commander in Chief, to commit U.S. troops to combat in Iraq.
To gain congressional support for the passage of the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq, the President made the following material representations to the Congress in S.J. Res. 45:
1. That Iraq was “continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability. …..”
2. That Iraq was “actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability. …..”
3. That Iraq was “continuing to threaten the national security interests of the United States and international peace and security.”
4. That Iraq has demonstrated a “willingness to attack, the United States. …..”
5. That “members of al Qaeda, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq. …..”
6. The “attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, underscored the gravity of the threat that Iraq will transfer weapons of mass destruction to international terrorist organizations. …..”
7. That Iraq “will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so. …..”
8. That an “extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack. …..”
9. That the aforementioned threats “justify action by the United States to defend itself. …..”
10. The enactment clause of section 2 of S.J. Res. 45, the Authorization of the Use of the United States Armed Forces authorizes the President to “defend the national security interests of the United States against the threat posed by Iraq. …..”
Each consequential representation made by the President to the Congress in S.J. Res. 45 in subsequent iterations and the final version was unsupported by evidence which was in the control of the White House.
1. Iraq was not “continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability ….. ”
“A substantial amount of Iraq’s chemical warfare agents, precursors, munitions and production equipment were destroyed between 1991 and 1998 as a result of Operation Desert Storm and United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) actions. There is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons or whether Iraq has or will establish its chemical warfare agent production facilities.”
The source of this information is the Defense Intelligence Agency, a report called, “Iraq–Key WMD Facilities–An Operational Support Study,” September 2002.
“Statements by the President and Vice President prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq’s chemical weapons production capability and activities did not reflect the intelligence community’s uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing.”
The source of this information is the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, a report entitled “Report on Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq By U.S. Government Officials Were Substantiated By Intelligence Information.” June 5, 2008.
“In April and early May 2003, military forces found mobile trailers in Iraq. Although intelligence experts disputed the purpose of the trailers, administration officials repeatedly asserted that they were mobile biological weapons laboratories. In total, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary Powell, and National Security Advisor Rice made 34 misleading statements about the trailers in 27 separate public appearances. Shortly after the mobile trailers were found, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency issued an unclassified white paper evaluating the trailers. The white paper was released without coordination with other members of the intelligence community, however. It was later disclosed that engineers from the Defense Intelligence Agency who examined the trailers concluded that they were most likely used to produce hydrogen for artillery weather balloons. A former senior intelligence official reported that `only one of 15 intelligence analysts assembled from three agencies to discuss the issue in June endorsed the white paper conclusion.”’
The source of this information is the House Committee on Government Reform, minority staff, “Iraq on the Record: Bush Administration’s Public Statements about Chemical and Biological Weapons.” March 16, 2004.
Former chief of CIA covert operations in Europe, Tyler Drumheller, has said that the CIA had credible sources discounting weapons of mass destruction claims, including the primary source of biological weapons claims, an informant who the Germans code-named “Curveball” whom the Germans had informed the Bush administration was a likely fabricator of information including that concerning the Niger yellowcake forgery. Two other former CIA officers confirmed Drumheller’s account to Sidney Blumenthal who reported the story at Salon.com on September 6, 2007, which in fact is the media source of this information.
“In practical terms, with the destruction of the al Hakam facility, Iraq abandoned its ambition to obtain advanced biological weapons quickly. The Iraq Survey Group (ISG) found no direct evidence that Iraq, after 1996, had plans for a new biological weapons program or was conducting biological weapons-specific work for military purposes. Indeed, from the mid-1990s, despite evidence of continuing interest in nuclear and chemical weapons, there appears to be a complete absence of discussion or even interest in biological weapons at the Presidential level.
” In spite of exhaustive investigation, the Iraq Survey Group found no evidence that Iraq possessed, or was developing, biological weapon agent production systems mounted on road vehicles or railway wagons. The Iraq Survey Group harbors severe doubts about the source’s credibility in regards to the breakout program.” That’s a direct quote from the “Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence on Iraq’s WMD,” commonly known as the Duelfer report by Charles Duelfer.
“While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, the Iraq Survey Group judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy the Iraq Survey Group attributes to Baghdad’s desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered.”
The source of this information, the “Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence on Iraq’s WMD,” Charles Duelfer.
2. Iraq was not “actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability.”
The key finding of the Iraq Survey Group’s report to the Director of Central Intelligence found that “Iraq’s ability to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program progressively decayed after that date. Saddam Husayn (sic) ended the nuclear program in 1991 following the Gulf War. Iraq Survey Group found no evidence to suggest concerted efforts to restart the program.”
The source of this information, the “Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence on Iraq’s WMD,” Charles Duelfer.
Claims that Iraq was purchasing uranium from Niger were not supported by the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research in the National Intelligence Estimate of October 2002.
The CIA had warned the British Government not to claim Iraq was purchasing uranium from Niger prior to the British statement that was later cited by President Bush, this according to George Tenet of the Central Intelligence Agency on July 11, 2003.
Mohamed ElBaradei, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency,
[Page: H6385]in a “Statement to the United Nations Security Council on The Status of Nuclear Inspections in Iraq: An Update” on March 7, 2003, said as follows:
“One, there is no indication of resumed nuclear activities in those buildings that were identified through the use of satellite imagery as being reconstructed or newly erected since 1998, nor any indication of nuclear-related prohibited activities at any inspected sites.
“Second, there is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import uranium since 1990.
“Three, there is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import aluminum tubes for use in centrifuge enrichment. Moreover, even had Iraq pursued such a plan, it would have been–it would have encountered practical difficulties in manufacturing centrifuges out of the aluminum tubes in question.
“Fourthly, although we are still reviewing issues related to magnets and magnet production, there is no indication to date that Iraq imported magnets for use in a centrifuge enrichment program. As I stated above, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) will naturally continue to further scrutinize and investigate all of the above issues.”
3. Iraq was not “continuing to threaten the national security interests of the United States.”
“Let me be clear: analysts differed on several important aspects of [Iraq’s biological, chemical, and nuclear] programs and those debates were spelled out in the Estimate. They never said there was an `imminent’ threat.”
George Tenet, who was Director of the CIA, said this in Prepared Remarks for Delivery at Georgetown University on February 5, 2004.
“We have been able to keep weapons from going into Iraq. We have been able to keep the sanctions in place to the extent that items that might support weapons of mass destruction have had some controls on them. It’s been quite a success for 10 years.” The source of this statement, Colin Powell, Secretary of State, in an interview with Face the Nation, February 11, 2001.
On July 23, 2002, a communication from the Private Secretary to Prime Minister Tony Blair, “Memo to British Ambassador David Manning” reads as follows:
“British Secret Intelligence Service Chief Sir Richard Billing Dearlove 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 U.N. 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. The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam Hussein was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the U.N. weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.”
4. Iraq did not have the “willingness to attack, the United States.”
“The fact of the matter is that both baskets, the U.N. basket and what we and other allies have been doing in the region, have succeeded in containing Saddam Hussein and his ambitions. His forces are about one-third their original size. They really don’t possess the capability to attack their neighbors the way they did 10 years ago.” The source of this quote, Colin Powell, Secretary of State, in a transcript of remarks made to German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer in February 2001.
The October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate concluded that “Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or chemical or biological weapons against the United States, fearing that exposure of Iraqi involvement would provide Washington a stronger case for making war.”
5. Iraq had no connection with the attacks of 9/11 or with al Qaeda’s role in 9/11.
“The report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence documents significant instances in which the administration went beyond what the intelligence community knew or believed in making public claims, most notably on the false assertion that Iraq and al Qaeda had an operational partnership and joint involvement in carrying out the attacks of September 11.” This is a quote from Senator John D. Rockefeller, IV, the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence entitled “Additional Views of Chairman John D. Rockefeller, IV” on page 90.
Continuing from Senator Rockefeller:
“The President and his advisors undertook a relentless public campaign in the aftermath of the attacks to use the war against al Qaeda as a justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein. Representing to the American people that the two had an operational partnership and posed a single, indistinguishable threat was fundamentally misleading and led the Nation to war on false premises.” Senator Rockefeller.
Richard Clarke, a National Security Advisor, in a memo of September 18, 2001 titled “Survey of Intelligence Information on Any Iraq Involvement in the September 11 Attacks” found no “compelling case” that Iraq had either planned or perpetrated the attacks, and that there was no confirmed reporting on Saddam cooperating with bin Laden on unconventional weapons.
On September 17, 2003, President Bush said: “No, we’ve got no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September 11. What the Vice President said was is that he (Saddam) has been involved with al Qaeda.”
On June 16, 2004, a staff report from the 9/11 Commission stated: “There have been reports that contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda also occurred after bin Laden had returned to Afghanistan in 1996, but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship. Two senior bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.”
“Intelligence provided by former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith to buttress the White House case for invading Iraq included `reporting of dubious quality or reliability’ that supported the political views of senior administration officials rather than the conclusions of the intelligence community, this according to a report by the Pentagon Inspector General.
“Feith’s office `was predisposed to finding a significant relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda,’ according to portions of the report released by Senator Carl Levin. The Inspector General described Feith’s activities as `an alternative intelligence assessment process.’ ” The source of this information is a report in the Washington Post dated February 9, 2007, page A-1, an article by Walter Pincus and Jeffrey Smith entitled “Official’s Key Report on Iraq is Faulted, `Dubious’ Intelligence Fueled Push for War.”
6. Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction to transfer to anyone.
Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction to transfer. Furthermore, available intelligence information found that the Iraq regime would probably only transfer weapons of mass destruction to terrorist organizations if under threat of attack by the United States.
According to information in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq that was available to the administration at the time that they were seeking congressional support for the authorization of use of force against Iraq, the Iraq regime would probably only transfer weapons to a terrorist organization if “sufficiently desperate” because it feared that “an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable.”
“The Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) probably has been directed to conduct clandestine attacks against the United States and Allied interests in the Middle East in the event the United States takes action against Iraq. The IIS probably would be the primary means by which Iraq would attempt to conduct any chemical and biological weapon attacks on the U.S. homeland, although we have no specific intelligence information that Saddam’s regime has directed attacks against U.S. territory.”
7. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and therefore had no capability of launching a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces and no capability to provide them to international terrorists who would do so.
Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction to transfer. Furthermore, available intelligence information found that the Iraq regime would probably only transfer weapons of mass destruction to terrorist organizations if under severe threat of attack by the United States.
According to information in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq that was available to the administration at the time they were seeking congressional support for the authorization of the use of force against Iraq, the Iraqi regime would probably only transfer weapons to a terrorist organization if “sufficiently desperate” because it feared that “an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable.” That, again, from the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq.
“The Iraqi Intelligence Service probably has been directed to conduct clandestine attacks against U.S. and Allied interests in the Middle East in the event the United States takes action against Iraq. The Iraq Intelligence Service probably would be the primary means by which Iraq would attempt to conduct any chemical or biological weapons attacks on the U.S. homeland, although we have no specific intelligence information that Saddam’s regime has directed attacks against U.S. territory.”
As reported in the Washington Post on March 1, 2003, in 1995, Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law, Hussein Kamel, had informed U.S. and British intelligence officers that “all weapons–biological, chemical, missile, nuclear–were destroyed.” That from the Washington Post, March 1, 2003, page A15, an article entitled “Iraqi Defector Claimed Arms Were Destroyed By 1995,” by Colum Lynch.
The Defense Intelligence Agency, in a report called “Iraq–Key WMD Facilities–An Operational Report Study” in September 2002, said this:
“A substantial amount of Iraq’s chemical warfare agents, precursors, munitions and production equipment were destroyed between 1991 and 1998 as a result of Operation Desert Storm and United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) actions. There is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons or
[Page: H6386]whether Iraq has or will establish its chemical warfare agent production facilities.”
8. There was not a real risk of an “extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack” because Iraq had no capability of attacking the United States.
Here’s what Colin Powell said at the time: “Containment has been a successful policy, and I think we should make sure that we continue it until such time as Saddam Hussein comes into compliance with the agreements he made at the end of the Gulf War.” Speaking of Iraq, Secretary of State Powell said, “Iraq is not threatening America.”
9. The aforementioned evidence did not “justify the use of force by the United States to defend itself” because Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, or have the intention or capability of using nonexistent WMDs against the United States.
10. Since there was no threat posed by Iraq to the United States, the enactment clause of the Senate Joint Resolution 45 was predicated on misstatements to Congress.
Congress relied on the information provided to it by the President of the United States. Congress provided the President with the authorization to use military force that he requested. As a consequence of the fraudulent representations made to Congress, the United States Armed Forces, under the direction of George Bush as Commander in Chief, pursuant to section 3 of the Authorization for the Use of Force which President Bush requested, invaded Iraq and occupies it to this day, at the cost of 4,116 lives of servicemen and -women, injuries to over 30,000 of our troops, the deaths of over 1 million innocent Iraqi civilians, the destruction of Iraq, and a long-term cost of over $3 trillion.
President Bush’s misrepresentations to Congress to induce passage of a use of force resolution is subversive of the constitutional system of checks and balances, destructive of Congress’ sole prerogative to declare war under article I, section 8 of the Constitution, and is therefore a High Crime. An even greater offense by the President of the United States occurs in his capacity as Commander in Chief, because he knowingly placed the men and women of the United States Armed Forces in harm’s way, jeopardizing their lives and their families’ future, for reasons that to this date have not been established in fact.
In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and Commander in Chief, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States and of those members of the Armed Forces who put their lives on the line pursuant to the falsehoods of the President. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair will remind all persons in the gallery that they are here as guests of the House and that any manifestation of approval or disapproval of proceedings or other audible conversation is in violation of the House rules.
Under rule IX, a resolution offered from the floor by a Member other than the majority leader or the minority leader as a question of the privileges of the House has immediate precedence only at a time designated by the Chair within 2 legislative days after the resolution is properly noticed.
Pending that designation, the form of the resolution noticed by the gentleman from Ohio will appear in the Record at this point.
The Chair will not at this point determine whether the resolution constitutes a question of privilege. That determination will be made at the time designated for consideration of the resolution.