the drums for justice: Calls for Bush's impeachment for 9–11
Journal Contributing Writer
23, 2003—The "I" word in connection with 9–11 has come out of the
closet as activists and citizens call for impeachment of the Bush
delegation of about 30 people on January 15 visited the office of Palo Alto
Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-Ca) urging her to introduce articles of impeachment
against George W. Bush for his "crimes of 9–11."
administration is lying to the American people and trying to cover-up the truth
about 9–11," said organizer Carol Brouillet, a member of the Women's
International League for Peace and Freedom.
local television cameras rolling, a staffer to Rep. Eshoo said she would relay
the group's concerns.
a community meeting on 9–11 the following night, Brouillet urged attendees to
launch similar visits to their members of Congress.
to the sign popular at peace marches, Brouillet asserted, "Regime change
begins at home."
participant likened post 9–11 fears of questioning the administration's story
and the lockstep response to Bush's patriotic fever to the Germans' response to
Hitler. "The German people were trained for over 100 years to be free from
personal responsibility. They could feel free as long as they were obeying their
leader. I see a lot of that obedience in Americans," she said.
questioned whether an administration that was illegally installed could be
march came a year after Brouillet led a delegation to the San Francisco office
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein demanding a congressional investigation of
that time, the group raised questions about the business relationships of the
Bush and bin Laden families through the Carlyle Group, the failure of fighter
jets to intercept the four hijacked planes in violation of standard procedures,
and questions about U.S. oil interests in the Caspian Sea Basin.
pressure from 9–11 families and over administration objections, a joint
House-Senate Committee was set up to investigate the intelligence communities
and 9–11. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney urged then Senate Majority
Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) to limit the inquiries.
of the administration's failure to fully cooperate with the Joint Committee and
because its scope was limited to the Intelligence communities, the 9–11
families pushed for an independent commission. Legislation established the
commission late last year.
Ignoring Numerous Warnings
the first to sound the 9–11 impeachment siren were two veteran Democratic
strategists. In June 2002, Bob Fertik and David Lytel launched "The Buck
Stops Here" on their Democrats.com
website. Similar to Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge's color-coded system of
terrorists' alerts, Fertik and Lytel have compiled a devastating indictment of
Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld.
call for impeaching Bush asserts Bush allowed the September 11 terrorist attacks
to succeed by ignoring numerous warnings, failing to take precautions against
hijackings, and then lying about it afterwards. As of January 16,
Democrats.com's electronic petition to impeach Bush had 4,774
whether the site, home to progressive Democrats, had garnered any congressional
support for impeachment, Fertik said, "Look at what happened to Cynthia
McKinney. Nobody wants to be next," he said. Challenging the administration
on 9–11 "is a guaranteed ticket to political hell."
spring, McKinney, a Democratic congresswoman from Georgia, called for an
investigation of the events surrounding 9–11. McKinney said, "The
American people deserve answers about what went wrong on September 11 and
accused the administration of warmongering in Afghanistan and connected the role
of oil and defense interests to U.S. policies. Although her statement seems
prophetic now, McKinney was ridiculed at the time. Political strategists of her
own party on national television derided her. Her reelection bid went up in
smoke when she was defeated in the primary election.
called the "real juice" for investigating 9–11 the "People's
Investigation and the 9–11 families who are pushing to have a commission. They
are unhappy with the rigged commission. They want the truth."
the administration's resistance to an independent commission to look into
9–11, Bush finally agreed. However, he appointed Henry Kissinger to head the
commission. Kissinger, who has served in four Republican administrations, has a
controversial reputation and oil interests in the Caspian Sea Basin.
resigned and Bush appointed Thomas Kean, who also has oil interests conflicts
and financial ties to bin Laden's brother-in-law.
with the administration's response, a loose association of citizens,
researchers, and activists is assembling a 9–11 Truth Alliance to establish
its own investigation of the many unanswered questions surrounding 9–11. The
alliance is organizing a 9–11 Citizens Truth Commission and planning a
conference in New York City in the spring.
said there were a myriad of warnings about 9–11 "but whether Bush was
personally privy has not been established."
kind of information could be put on the table after hearings begin. Fertik
pointed out that the Watergate hearings revealed Richard Nixon was tape
recording his Oval office conversations and those tapes provided the proof of
the cover-up of the illegal break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters and
9–11 Independent Commission, which has an 18-month legislative life, is
unlikely to release its findings before the 2004 presidential election.
"Yeah, that is part of their game plan," Fertik said. "They
control the clock." He said Karl Rove, Bush's chief political strategist,
"is brilliant at this. If they want something, it has to happen
immediately, like the bombing of Iraq. Otherwise they will run out the
Remember that?" Fertik asked ruefully referring to the Republican tactics
during the 2000 election recount. The Republicans argued the future of democracy
depended on knowing who the next president would be, rather than on counting the
will run this out, too," Fertik said.
pausing, he offered: "Bob Graham is serious about running for president.
He's furious at the White House and Bush and the intelligence community for
jerking them (the Joint Intelligence Committee) around, and they kept secrets
from the committee."
also said former committee co-chair Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala) is "equally
livid. Maybe Graham will start talking about it if he runs, " mused Fertik.
of the scenario, Fertik maintained, "The American people have the right to
know what went on and who to hold accountable."
committee's 50-plus page staff report released in September listed dozens of
warnings about attacks on U.S. soil including terrorists plans to use planes as
weapons. (Excerpts from the committee report are below.)
director George Tenet has refused to declassify a memo containing what he told
Bush about terrorists' threats in an August 6, 2001, briefing. Graham has also
expressed concerns about how the terrorists were able to enter and travel in the
if the Bush administration's recalcitrance related to 9–11 might be a campaign
issue in a 2004 Graham for President campaign, Carson Chandler in Graham's
Senate office had this response: "That is something (Graham) has
continually brought up regarding 9–11." However, Chandler said, until the
senator decides his political future, "he is not talking about his agenda
for a campaign."
has said he will announce whether he is running for the Democratic nomination in
2004 in late January after Bush's state of the Union Address. News stories
report Graham is busy talking with Florida supporters.
have questioned what Graham and his House counterpart on the Intelligence
Committee,, Rep. Porter Goss (R-Mich), were doing on the morning of 9–11 at a
breakfast meeting with the Pakistan ISI chief Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmad. In
October 2001, the Pakistan intelligence head was accused of wiring 0,000 to
Mohammed Atta, the alleged mastermind of the 9–11 hijackers. Top officials in
the Bush administration also met with Ahmad in the days before and after 9–11.
of Illinois law professor Francis Boyle and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark
have drafted articles of impeachment against Bush for his Iraqi war policies.
wrote similar impeachment articles against George H.W. Bush for the Gulf War 12
years ago. Rep. Henry Gonzalez (D-Tx) introduced the articles of impeachment,
which Boyle credits for halting Bush's march into Iraq.
Questions About 9–11
the administration's handling of 9–11, several noted figures have recently
broken the shroud of public silence about the administration's veracity and
actions (or lack of) before, on, and after 9–11.
a presentation to the Fairfax City Council in Marin County, California, which
was considering a resolution to oppose the USA PATRIOT Act, Daniel Ellsberg, on
January 7, raised the issue of what the administration knew.
were waiting for such an incident to come," Ellsberg said. He said as a
Defense Department analyst in the 1970s, he would have been instructed to write
such legislation under similar circumstances.
the council meeting, Ellsberg said, "They were warned there would be a
major terrorist event. What did they do? Nothing. Bush was briefed in July and
August. What did they do? I feel morally certain they drafted a Tonkin Gulf-like
resolution for Afghanistan and polished up the PATRIOT Act before 9–11."
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave President Lyndon Johnson powers to drastically
expand the U.S. war in Vietnam.
said he is not convinced "yet" Bush knew "precisely" when
the events would happen. Afterwards, "they wanted to avoid blame. What
government officials say after such events is almost never true. They always
cover up afterwards."
Thomas, a former UPI reporter and now a Hearst News columnist and dean of the
White House Press Corps, is a lone voice among her colleagues in addressing
9–11. Upon release of the committee's final report and a call by Shelby for
CIA director George Tenet to "take the fall," she asks if Bill Clinton
and George W. Bush should be "held responsible" as well.
corporate media has capitulated to fears of losing access to its news sources or
approval of even more mergers and acquisition. The public broadcasting system
fears losing its federal funding. Except for a few websites, even the
independent media avoid reporting on 9–11 as if it were the worst of the 10
fall, former Vice President Al Gore accused the administration of ignoring signs
al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden planned to attack the United States on September
11. "The warnings were there before the attacks," he said. Gore also
said Bush's Justice Department and the FBI had spent more time and money
investigating a suspected New Orleans brothel than monitoring bin Laden and his
no U.S. government official has been held accountable. Instead, Bush has
promoted and rewarded military and intelligence agency heads under whose watch
9–11 occurred. Members of Congress knew of the warnings and yet handed Bush,
under whose watch 9–11 occurred, powers to invade Iraq.
From Joint Inquiry Staff Statement of Eleanor Hill, Staff Director, Joint
Inquiry Staff, September 18, 2002
the Foreward: "According to the DCI (Director of Central Intelligence,
George Tenet), the President's [sic] knowledge of intelligence information
relevant to this Inquiry remains classified even when the substance of that
intelligence information has been declassified. . . . (on two matters)
Joint Inquiry staff disagrees with the DCI's position on both issues. We believe
the America public has a compelling interest in the information and that public
disclosure would not harm national security. However, we do not have independent
authority to declassify intelligence information short of a lengthy procedure in
the U.S. Congress . . ."
statement contained at least 11 references to terrorists using planes as
weapons. Here are a few of those and other findings:
© 2003 Joyce Lynn
after Osama bin Laden's May 1998 press conference, the Intelligence
Community began to acquire intelligence information indicating that bin
Laden's network intended to strike inside the United States. Many of these
reports were disseminated throughout the Intelligence Community and to
senior U.S. policy makers."
June 1998, the Intelligence Community obtained information from several
sources that Osama bin Laden was considering attacks in the U.S., including
Washington, DC and New York. This information was provided to senior U.S.
Government officials in July 1998." (Joint Inquiry Staff Statement,
Part 1, 9–18–2002, pg. 15)
August 1998, the Intelligence Community obtained information that a group of
unidentified Arabs planned to fly an explosive-laden plane from a foreign
country into the World Trade Center. The information was passed to the FBI
and the FAA. The FAA found the plot highly unlikely given the state of that
foreign country's aviation program. Moreover, they believed that a flight
originating outside the United States would be detected before it reached
its intended target inside the United States. The FBI's New York office took
no action on the information, filing the communication in the office 's
bombing repository file . . .
September 1998, the Intelligence Community obtained information that Osama
bin Laden's next operation could possibly involve flying an aircraft loaded
with explosives into a U.S. airport and detonating it; this information was
provided to senior U.S. Government officials in late 1998."
the fall of 1998, the Intelligence Community received information concerning
a bin Laden plot involving aircraft in the New York and Washington, DC
November 1998, the Intelligence Community obtained information that a bin
Laden terrorist cell was attempting to recruit a group of five to seven
young men from the United States to travel to the Middle East for training.
This was in conjunction with planning to strike U.S. domestic targets . .
December 1, 1998 Intelligence Community assessment of Osama bin Laden read
in part: 'OBL is actively planning against U.S. targets . . . Multiple
reports indicate UBL is keenly interested in striking the U.S. on its own
soil . . . al-Qa'ida is recruiting operatives for attacks in the U.S. but
has not yet identified potential targets.'"
classified document signed by a senior U.S. Government official in December
1998 read in part: 'The intelligence community has strong indications that
bin Laden intends to conduct or sponsor attacks inside the United
the spring of 1999, the Intelligence Community obtained information about a
planned bin Laden attack on a U.S. Government facility in Washington,
the March of 2000, the Intelligence Community obtained information regarding
the types of targets that operatives in bin Laden's network might strike.
The Statue of Liberty was specifically mentioned, as were skyscrapers,
ports, airports, and nuclear power plants."
briefing prepared for senior government officials at the beginning of July
2001 contained the following language: 'Based on a review of all source
reporting over the last five months, we believe that OBL will launch a
significant terrorist attack against U.S. and/or Israeli interests in the
coming weeks. The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass
casualties against U.S. facilities or interests. Attack preparations have
been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning.'"
August 2001, a closely held intelligence report, for senior government
officials, included information that bin Laden had wanted to conduct attacks
in the United States since 1997. The information included discussion of the
arrest of Ahmed Ressam in December 1999, and the 1998 bombings of the U.S.
embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. It mentioned that members of al Qaeda,
including some U.S. citizens, had resided or traveled in or traveled to the
United States for years, and that the group apparently maintained a support
structure here. The report cited uncorroborated information obtained in 1998
that bin Laden wanted to hijack airplanes to gain the release of U.S.-held
extremists. F.B.I. judgments about patterns of activity, consistent with
preparation of hijackings . . ."
Lynn is a journalist and was a political reporter for eight years in Washington,
DC. She is editor of the Political
She can be reached at email@example.com.
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