Nader: The 'I' Word: Impeachment

Indeed, there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, nor any imminent threat to the United States.

The 'I' Word: Impeachment
by Ralph Nader and Kevin Zeese

The impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, should be part of mainstream political discourse.

Minutes from a summer 2002 meeting involving British Prime Minister Tony Blair reveal that the Bush administration was ''fixing" the intelligence to justify invading Iraq. US intelligence used to justify the war demonstrates repeatedly the truth of the meeting minutes -- evidence was thin and needed fixing.

President Clinton was impeached for perjury about his sexual relationships. Comparing Clinton's misbehavior to a destructive and costly war occupation launched in March 2003 under false pretenses in violation of domestic and international law certainly merits introduction of an impeachment resolution.

Eighty-nine members of Congress have asked the president whether intelligence was manipulated to lead the United States to war. The letter points to British meeting minutes that raise ''troubling new questions regarding the legal justifications for the war." Those minutes describe the case for war as ''thin" and Saddam as ''nonthreatening to his neighbors," and ''Britain and America had to create conditions to justify a war." Finally, military action was ''seen as inevitable . . . But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Indeed, there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, nor any imminent threat to the United States...

go to The 'I' Word: Impeachment

Letter to Pres Bush Concerning "Downing Street Memo"

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005

Dear Mr. President:

We the undersigned write because of our concern regarding recent disclosures of a Downing Street Memo in the London Times, comprising the minutes of a meeting of Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top advisers. These minutes indicate that the United States and Great Britain agreed, by the summer of 2002, to attack Iraq, well before the invasion and before you even sought Congressional authority to engage in military action, and that U.S. officials were deliberately manipulating intelligence to justify the war.

Among other things, the British government document quotes a high-ranking British official as stating that by July, 2002, Bush had made up his mind to take military action. Yet, a month later, you stated you were still willing to "look at all options" and that there was "no timetable" for war. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, flatly stated that "[t]he president has made no such determination that we should go to war with Iraq."

In addition, the origins of the false contention that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction remain a serious and lingering question about the lead up to the war. There is an ongoing debate about whether this was the result of a "massive intelligence failure," in other words a mistake, or the result of intentional and deliberate manipulation of intelligence to justify the case for war. The memo appears to resolve that debate as well, quoting the head of British intelligence as indicating that in the United States "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

As a result of these concerns, we would ask that you respond to the following questions:
1)Do you or anyone in your administration dispute the accuracy of the leaked document?
2) Were arrangements being made, including the recruitment of allies, before you sought Congressional authorization to go to war? Did you or anyone in your Administration obtain Britain's commitment to invade prior to this time?
3) Was there an effort to create an ultimatum about weapons inspectors in order to help with the justification for the war as the minutes indicate?
4) At what point in time did you and Prime Minister Blair first agree it was necessary to invade Iraq?
5) Was there a coordinated effort with the U.S. intelligence community and/or British officials to "fix" the intelligence and facts around the policy as the leaked document states?

These are the same questions 89 Members of Congress, led by Rep. John Conyers, Jr., submitted to you on May 5, 2005. As citizens and taxpayers, we believe it is imperative that our people be able to trust our government and our commander in chief when you make representations and statements regarding our nation engaging in war. As a result, we would ask that you publicly respond to these questions as promptly as possible.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


Please go to the Conyers blog and sign this letter!

Downing Street Minutes: Apian's Record @dKos

1. The Downing Street Minutes -- TAKING IT TO COURT 
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108 comments (108 new)

2. Memorial Day -- A Military Woman Speaks Out 
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3. The Game's Afoot, Watson DOWNING STREET DOSSIER 
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4. Mad As Hell And Not Going To FAKE It Anymore 
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5. ON MINUTES & MINISTERS Legal Considerations Downing St. Minutes 
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6. A Matter of Minutes -- DOWNING STREET DOSSIER 
posted by Apian on 05/27/2005 09:55:44 EDT
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7. Downing Street Minutes -- COALITION SEEKS INQUIRY 
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8. Amnesty Report -- How YOU Can File A War Crimes Complaint 
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9. dKos Coverage Downing Street Minutes -- A Resource 
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10. Meet Ben Ferencz 
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11. Wait, A MINUTE !! More Evidence From Downing Street 
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12. Spies Coming In From The Cold -- With Evidence of War Crimes 
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13. Dissident Kossacks Take On MSM -- NO MORE BUSHSPEAK !! 
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14. Minutes not Memo -- Editor Gets It -- No More Bushspeak!! 
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15. Too Many Cooks Spoil the Intel -- ILLEGAL WAR IRAQ 
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16. What I Did On dKos Impeachment Action Day 
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posted by Apian on 05/19/2005 18:22:57 EDT
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18. Mea Culpa -- How Do You Update A Diary? 
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posted by Apian on 05/18/2005 11:54:27 EDT
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20. Meet The People Who Will Stop This War 
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21. dKos Takes On Washington Post And Wins! 
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22. BREAKING!!! Conyers Goes After Gonzales 
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23. George Bush Is An Insane Serial Killer 
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24. Breaking News! Georgian Says Grenade Was Real 
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25. Author of Iraq Invasion Ruling Resigns in the UK 
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26. Letters to Woodward -- Downing St. & WaPo 
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27. Downing Street Evidence -- Washington Post Refuses to Cover Story 
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28. The Course is Set for Impeachment 
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29. Impeachable Offenses 
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The secret Downing Street memo - UK EYES ONLY

Just where are choreporate media on a topic of as utmost importance as this?!
--> they're still selling you Michael Jackson, aren't they?

The secret Downing Street memo - Sunday Times May 1st 2005


From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
S 195 /02

cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell


Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.

This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.

John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.

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.

CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.

The two broad US options were:

(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).

(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.

The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK involvement were:

(i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.

(ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.

(iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.

The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.

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 was not threatening his neighbours, 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 UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change.

The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.

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.

The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play hard-ball with the UN.

John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of military action was real.

The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.


(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.

(b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this operation.

(c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.

(d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.

He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.

(e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.

(f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.

(I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)


(Rycroft was a Downing Street foreign policy aide)

"Military action was now seen as inevitable,"

"Military action was now seen as inevitable," said the notes, summarizing a report by Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6, the British intelligence service, who had just returned from consultations in Washington, along with other senior British officials. Dearlove continued, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and (weapons of mass destruction). But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

New light on Bush's war plans
By July '02, U.S. set on invasion, British intelligence reported

- Walter Pincus, Washington Post
Friday, May 13, 2005

Eight months before the invasion of Iraq, the head of British foreign intelligence reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair that President Bush wanted to topple Saddam Hussein by military action and warned that U.S. intelligence was "being fixed around" that goal, according to notes of a 2002 meeting with Blair at No. 10 Downing Street.

"Military action was now seen as inevitable," said the notes, summarizing a report by Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6, the British intelligence service, who had just returned from consultations in Washington, along with other senior British officials. Dearlove continued, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and (weapons of mass destruction). But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

The notes were first disclosed on May 1 by the Sunday Times of London, triggering criticism of Blair on the eve of the May 5 British parliamentary elections that he had decided to support an invasion of Iraq well before informing the public of his views.

The Sunday Times article described minutes of a July 23, 2002, meeting of Blair and his intelligence and military chiefs, a briefing paper for that meeting, and a Foreign Office legal opinion prepared before the summit of Blair and Bush in Crawford, Texas, on April 6-7, 2002.

The notes of the Blair meeting, attended by the prime minister's senior national security team, also disclose for the first time that Britain's intelligence boss believed that Bush had decided to go to war in mid-2002, and that he believed U.S. policymakers were trying to use the limited intelligence they had to make the Iraqi leader appear to be a bigger threat than was supported by known facts.

Reverberations from the report blew over quickly in Britain, where Blair won a third term as prime minister, although with a smaller majority for his Labor Party.

But in the United States, there has been a growing groundswell of indignation among critics of the Bush White House, who say the documents helped prove Bush and Blair settled on the invasion nearly a year before launching their attack, shaped intelligence to that aim and never seriously intended to avert the war through diplomacy.

Both Blair and Bush have denied a war decision was made that early. The White House and Downing Street maintain that they were preparing for military operations as one option, but the option to not attack also remained open until the start of the war on March 20, 2003.

In a letter to Bush last week, 89 House Democrats, including seven from the Bay Area, asked whether the memos proved that the White House had already agreed on an invasion months before seeking authorization from Congress.

[more at referring link, above and the title-linked google news headline search, much more.]