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by Abraham Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2003 at 8:57 PM

Cast you votes online to impeach Bush. Go to this web site to impeach Bush online: http://www.officialspin.com

NEW YORK--George W. Bush told us that Iraq and Al Qaeda

were working together. They weren't. He repeatedly implied that

Iraq had had something to do with 9/11. It hadn't. He claimed to

have proof that Saddam Hussein possessed banned weapons of

mass destruction. He didn't. As our allies watched in horror and

disgust, Bush conned us into a one-sided war of aggression that

killed and maimed thousands of innocent people, destroyed

billions of dollars in Iraqi infrastructure, cost tens of billions of

dollars, cost the lives of American soldiers, and transformed our

international image as the world's shining beacon of freedom into

that of a marauding police state. Presidents Nixon and Clinton

rightly faced impeachment for comparatively trivial offenses; if we

hope to restore our nation's honor, George W. Bush too must face

a president's gravest political sanction.

As the Bush Administration sold Congress and the public on the

"threat" posed by Saddam Hussein last winter, White House flack

Ari Fleischer assured the American people: "The President of the

United States and the Secretary of Defense would not assert as

plainly and vocally 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." That's unambiguous rhetoric. But since allied

occupation forces have failed to find WMDs, Bush is

backtracking: "I am absolutely convinced with time we'll find out

that they did have a weapons program," the C-in-C now says.

What's next? Claiming that Saddam had WMDs because, you

know, you could just feel it?

A ferocious power struggle is taking place between Langley and

the White House. "It's hard to tell if there was a breakdown in

intelligence or a breakdown in the way intelligence was used,"

says Michele Flournoy of the Center for Strategic and

International Studies. No it's not. Career analysts at the Central

and Defense Intelligence Agencies, furious at Bush for sticking

them with the blame for the weapons scandal, are leaking prewar

memoranda that indicate that the Administration covered up the

spooks' assessments, making the case for war with a pile of lies

constructed on a bedrock of oil-fueled greed.

A September 2002 DIA study said that there was "no reliable

information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical

weapons," but Bush ignored the report--and told us the exact

opposite. After Bush used the discovery of two alleged mobile

weapons labs to claim "we found the weapons of mass

destruction," CIA "dissenters" shot back that Bush had lied about

their reports and that they "doubted the trailers were used to

make germ agents, not[ing] that the plants lacked gear for steam

sterilization, which is typically necessary for making bioweapons."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld parried: "Any indication or

allegation that the intelligence was in any way politicized, of

course, is just false on its face...We haven't found Saddam

Hussein either, but no one's doubting that he was there." Rummy

also floated the CIA-debunked tale of an Iraq-Al Qaeda link.

Both factions are missing the point.

Calling for a full Congressional investigation, Sen. Carl Levin

(D-MI) of the Armed Services Committee, says: "I think that the

nation's credibility is on the line, as well as Bush's." But not even

the discovery of a vast WMD arsenal should save Bush now.

Assuming that one accepts preemption as a legitimate cause for

war--and one ought not--you must possess airtight substantiation

that a nation poses an imminent and significant threat before you

drop bombs on its cities. Evidence that falls short of 100 percent

proof, presented in advance, doesn't pass the pre-empt test.

Bush claimed to have that proof. He said that Iraq could deploy its

biological and chemical weapons with just 45 minutes notice. He

painted gruesome pictures of American cities in ruins, their debris

irradiated by an Iraqi "dirty bomb." It was all a bald-faced lie, and

lying presidents get impeached.

George W. Bush, like Richard Nixon, "endeavor[ed] to misuse

the Central Intelligence Agency." George W. Bush, like Richard

Nixon, "[made] or caus[ed] to be made false or misleading public

statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United

States." (The legalese comes from the first Article of Impeachment

against Nixon, passed by the House Judiciary Committee on July

27, 1974. Faced with certain impeachment in the House and

conviction in the Senate, Nixon resigned two weeks later.)

In the words of Bill Clinton's 1998 impeachment, George W.

Bush "has undermined the integrity of his office, has brought

disrepute on the Presidency, has betrayed his trust as President,

and has acted in a manner subversive of the rule of law and

justice, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States."

Nixon and Clinton escaped criminal prosecution for burglary,

perjury and obstruction of justice. George W. Bush, however,

stands accused as the greatest mass murderer in American history.

The Lexington Institute estimates that the U.S. killed between

15,000 and 20,000 Iraqi troops during the fraudulently justified

invasion of Iraq, plus 10,000 to 15,000 wounded. More than 150

U.S. soldiers were killed, plus more than 500 injured. A new

Associated Press study of Iraqi civilian casualties confirms at least

3,240 deaths. Although Bush, Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and

Condoleeza Rice denied such legal niceties to the

concentration-camp inmates captured in their illegal invasions of

Iraq and Afghanistan, these high-ranking Administration

henchmen should be quickly turned over--after impeachment

proceedings for what might properly be called Slaughtergate--to

an international tribunal for prosecution of war crimes.

Anything less would be anti-American.

(Ted Rall is the author of "Gas War: The Truth Behind the

American Occupation of Afghanistan," an analysis of the

underreported Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline project and the real

motivations behind the war on terrorism. Ordering information is

available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.)


RALL 6/10/03

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 8 posted about this article.
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Now you're talking Sheepdog Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2003 at 9:19 PM
cast vote Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2003 at 10:22 PM
Blah, blah, blah. daveman Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2003 at 11:25 PM
yea, yea, yeah Sheepdog Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2003 at 11:32 PM
No, BA! daveman Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2003 at 11:50 PM
Watergate's Second Coming? Ffutal Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 12:50 AM
And now a few words from a real Patriot C/O Diogenes Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 2:24 AM

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