AMERICA: COUNTRY IN CRISIS
January 1, 2006
"Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others. . .they send forth a ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
- Robert F. Kennedy
David Swanson interview Rep. John Conyers on Bush impeachment!
johnconyers.mp3 (audio/mpeg Object)
Iraq Report 109th Congress
# The Constitution in Crisis; The Downing Street Minutes and
Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups
in the Iraq War (This Report is 273 pages.)
Treason Under the Constitution
MI Representative John Conyers, Jr
House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff
Chapter 1: Executive Summary
This Minority Report has been produced at the request of Representative John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee. He made this request in the wake of the President's failure to respond to a letter submitted by 122 Members of Congress and more than 500,000 Americans in July of this year asking him whether the assertions set forth in the Downing Street Minutes were accurate. Mr. Conyers asked staff, by year end 2005, to review the available information concerning possible misconduct by the Bush Administration in the run up to the Iraq War and post-invasion statements and actions, and to develop legal conclusions and make legislative and other recommendations to him.
In brief, we have found that there is substantial evidence the President, the Vice President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war with Iraq; misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and other legal violations in Iraq; and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of their Administration.
There is a prima facie case that these actions by the President, Vice-President and other members of the Bush Administration violated a number of federal laws, including (1) Committing a Fraud against the United States; (2) Making False Statements to Congress; (3) The War Powers Resolution; (4) Misuse of Government Funds; (5) federal laws and international treaties prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; (6) federal laws concerning retaliating against witnesses and other individuals; and (7) federal laws and regulations concerning leaking and other misuse of intelligence.
While these charges clearly rise to the level of impeachable misconduct, because the Bush Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have blocked the ability of Members to obtain information directly from the Administration concerning these matters, more investigatory authority is needed before recommendations can be made regarding specific Articles of Impeachment. As a result, we recommend that Congress establish a select committee with subpoena authority to investigate the misconduct of the Bush Administration with regard to the Iraq war detailed in this Report and report to the Committee on the Judiciary on possible impeachable offenses.
In addition, we believe the failure of the President, Vice President and others in the Bush Administration to respond to myriad requests for information concerning these charges, or to otherwise account for explain a number of specific misstatements they have made in the run up to War and other actions warrants, at minimum, the introduction and Congress’ approval of Resolutions of Censure against Mr. Bush and
The Constitution in Crisis
Mr. Cheney. Further, we recommend that Ranking Member Conyers and others consider referring the potential violations of federal criminal law detailed in this Report to the Department of Justice for investigation; Congress should pass legislation to limit government secrecy, enhance oversight of the Executive Branch, request notification and justification of presidential pardons of Administration officials, ban abusive treatment of detainees, ban the use of chemical weapons, and ban the practice of paying foreign media outlets to publish news stories prepared by or for the Pentagon; and the House should amend its Rules to permit Ranking Members of Committees to schedule official Committee hearings and call witnesses to investigate Executive Branch misconduct.
The Report rejects the frequent contention by the Bush Administration that their pre-war conduct has been reviewed and they have been exonerated. No entity has ever considered whether the Administration misled Americans about the decision to go to war. The Senate Intelligence Committee has not yet conducted a review of pre-war intelligence distortion and manipulation, while the Silberman-Robb report specifically cautioned that intelligence manipulation “was not part of our inquiry.” There has also not been any independent inquiry concerning torture and other legal violations in Iraq; nor has there been an independent review of the pattern of cover-ups and political retribution by the Bush Administration against its critics, other than the very narrow and still ongoing inquiry of Special Counsel Fitzgerald.
While the scope of this Report is largely limited to Iraq, it also holds lessons for our Nation at a time of entrenched one-party rule and abuse of power in Washington. If the present Administration is willing to misstate the facts in order to achieve its political objectives in Iraq, and Congress is unwilling to confront or challenge their hegemony, many of our cherished democratic principles are in jeopardy. This is true not only with respect to the Iraq War, but also in regard to other areas of foreign policy, privacy and civil liberties, and matters of economic and social justice. Indeed as this Report is being finalized, we have just learned of another potential significant abuse of executive power by the President, ordering the National Security Agency to engage in domestic spying and wiretapping without obtaining court approval in possible violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
It is tragic that our Nation has invaded another sovereign nation because “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy,” as stated in the Downing Street Minutes. It is equally tragic that the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress have been unwilling to examine these facts or take action to prevent this scenario from occurring again. Since they appear unwilling to act, it is incumbent on individual Members of Congress as well as the American public to act to protect our constitutional form of government.
House Democratic Committee Staff
House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff
Chronology: Last Throes of Credibility
The 2000 Presidential election focused on many issues relating to domestic and foreign policy.2 However, the topic of Iraq was virtually unmentioned in the campaign. In a presidential debate with then-Vice President Al Gore, then-presidential candidate George W. Bush emphasized that he would be careful about using troops for "nation building" purposes and that he would not launch a pre-emptive war because he believed the role of the military was to "prevent war from happening in the first place."3 At the same time, some future members of the Bush Administration, dubbed the neoconservatives, were waiting for war with Iraq. High-ranking officials such as Dick Cheney, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz were part of this group.4
In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the Bush Administration began to hint at the coming attack on Iraq. In his January 29, 2002 State of the Union Address, the President remarked that countries like Iraq, Iran and North Korea "constitute an axis of evil. . . . These regimes pose a grave and growing danger. . . . I will not wait on events, while dangers gather."5 On June 1, 2002, during a speech at West Point, President Bush formally enunciated his doctrine of preemption that would be used against Iraq.6 It was also around this time that Vice President Cheney and his Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby, began making a series of unusual trips to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to discuss Iraq intelligence.7
At the same time, the President"s public statements indicated a reluctance to use military force in Iraq. He assured the public that he had not made up his mind to go to war with Iraq and that war was a last resort.8 However, contrary to these public statements, the Bush Administration formed the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) in August 2002 in an apparent effort to bolster public support for war with Iraq.9
Shortly thereafter, the Administration began making more alarming and sensational claims about the danger posed to the United States by Iraq including in a September 12, 2002 address to the United Nations, and began to press forward publicly with preparations for war.10 In the days following the President's speech to the United Nations, Iraq delivered a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stating that it would allow the return of UN weapons inspectors "without conditions."11 But on September 18, President Bush discredited Hussein"s offer to let UN inspectors back
into Iraq as "his latest ploy."12
As the Congressional vote to authorize force against Iraq approached, the President and Administration officials raised the specter of a nuclear attack by Iraq.13 The President subsequently received from Congress on October 11, 2002, a joint resolution for the use of force in Iraq.14 Based on the intelligence findings in the National Intelligence Estimate provided to Congress by the Administration, the resolution stated that Iraq posed a "continuing threat" to the United States by, among other things, "actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability."15
The President's focus then moved on to the United Nations in an effort to persuade the UN to approve renewed weapons inspections in Iraq and sanctions for noncompliance. Once again, the President asserted his reluctance to take military action. Upon signing the resolution, the President stated: "I have not ordered the use of force. I hope the use of force will not become necessary."16 On November 8, 2002, the United Nations Security Council adopted UN Resolution 1441, which stipulated that Iraq was required to readmit UN weapons inspectors under more stringent terms than required by previous UN Resolutions.17
On January 27, 2003, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) indicated that the Bush Administration's claim that aluminum tubes being delivered to Iraq were part of an Iraqi nuclear weapons program likely was false.18 In the wake of this claim being discredited President Bush introduced a new piece of evidence to the public in his State of the Union address on January 28, 2003, to demonstrate that Iraq was developing a nuclear arms program: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant
Pres. Bush, State of the Union, January 28, 2003: "The British government has learned that quantities of uranium from Africa."19
On February 5, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell took the Bush Administration's case to the United Nations Security Council. In a presentation to the United Nations, Secretary Powell charged, among other things, that Iraq had "mobile production facilities" for biological weapons.20 With its case to the United Nations delivered, for the first time and contrary to earlier claims that the Administration was
reluctant to use force, the Administration publicly indicated its readiness and enthusiasm for going to war. The question was no longer whether force would be used, but what - if any - difficulties would accompany the use of force. Vice President Dick Cheney made an appearance on Meet the Press and stated that the war was not going to be long, costly or bloody because "we will, in fact, be greeted as
liberators."21 On March 18, 2003, the President submitted a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate informing the Congress of his determination that diplomatic and peaceful means alone would not protect the Nation or lead to Iraqi compliance with United Nations demands22 and on March 20, the President launched the preemptive invasion.
A little more than a month into the invasion, President Bush landed aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln and, standing beneath a massive banner reading "Mission Accomplished," he stated, "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended."23 Immediately thereafter, it was self-evident that - despite the premature declaration of victory - numerous problems persisted with regard to the occupation. This was not the only post-war mischaracterization of the truth by the Bush Administration. Since then, they have been dogged by misstatements concerning the size and strength of the insurgency; the preparedness of Iraqi troops; the cost of the war; the existence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD); and the war's impact on terrorism, among other things.24
Another significant problem for the Bush Administration was its failure to find any of the WMD that it had used to justify the invasion. On July 6, 2003, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who was sent to Niger at the behest of the CIA to investigate the uranium claim, wrote in an op-ed piece that the intelligence concerning Niger's alleged sale of uranium to Iraq was "twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat."25 The
following day, the White House issued a rare retraction of the uranium allegations from the President's State of the Union Address.26 Shortly thereafter, the identity of Wilson's wife, a covert CIA agent, was revealed in the press through a Robert Novak column sourced to two officials in the Administration.27 Later in the year, Colin Powell also conceded that the information given in his February 5, 2003 speech before the UN "appear[ed] not to be . . . that solid."28 Capping these retractions were the findings of David Kay, the U.S. official responsible for the WMD search as the head of Iraq Survey Group, who concluded that "there were not large stockpiles of newly produced weapons of mass destruction. We don't find the people, the documents or the physical plants that you would expect to find if the production was going on."29
Amid these admissions that the case for war was, generously speaking, faulty, the Administration and Congressional Republicans sought to pre-empt inquiries into the White House use or manipulation of intelligence by launching more limited investigations. On February 6, 2004, President Bush created the Robb-Silberman Commission, which later found that the intelligence community was "dead wrong in almost all of its pre-war judgments about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction."30 However, this Commission was specifically prohibited from examining the use or manipulation of intelligence by policymakers.31
On March 16, 2004, the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform submitted a report to Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman.32 This report, entitled "Iraq on the Record: the Bush Administration's Public Statements on Iraq," details public statements made by senior Bush Administration officials regarding policy toward Iraq. The report, which is attached as Exhibit C, indicates that "five officials made misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq in 125 public
appearances. The report and an accompanying database identify 237 specific misleading statements by the five officials.”33
On July 7, 2004, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence reported that it had found numerous failures in the intelligence-gathering and analysis process.34 However, that review also was explicitly not intended to look into the Administration's use of that wrong intelligence in selling the war.35 To date, there has never been a truly independent, comprehensive non-partisan or bipartisan review of the Administration's false claims regarding WMD or any other aspect of the war.36
Abu Ghraib prison detainee abuses.
On April 28, 2004, 60 Minutes II made public a series of photos taken at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq
documenting apparent torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment by U.S. military and other personnel.37 Since then, reports of other alleged violations of international law involving Iraqi prisoners have been reported by the media and human rights organizations.38
As the war continued into 2005, with U.S. casualties approaching 1,500, Iraq held elections on January 30. The Administration heralded the elections as a symbol of freedom and as an event which validated the initial invasion. By that point, however, the reason for attacking Iraq had shifted from an imminent threat of weapons of mass destruction; to combating terrorism after the September 11, attacks; to regime change; and eventually to promoting democracy, and to ensure that those lives lost were not lost in vain.39
Congressman John Conyers leads Members of Congress bringing over 500,000
letters to the White House from citizens demanding the President answer
questions raised by the Downing Street Minutes.
While evidence and accounts of Administration insiders strongly suggested a predetermination to go to war and a manipulation of intelligence to justify it, that evidence and those accounts were attacked by Administration officials as inaccurate or biased. Then, on May 1, 2005, the Sunday London Times published the first of a series of important documents known as the "Downing Street Minutes."40 The Downing Street Minutes (DSM) are a collection of classified documents, written by senior British officials during the spring and summer of 2002, which recounted meetings and discussions of such officials with their American counterparts. The focus of these meetings and discussions was the U.S. plan to invade Iraq. The DSM appear to document a pre-determination to go war with Iraq on the part of U.S. officials, and a manipulation of intelligence by such officials in order to justify the war.
The DSM generated significant media coverage in Great Britain in the lead up to the British elections, but initially received very little initial media attention in the United States. However, a concerted effort to call attention to them by Congressman John Conyers, Jr., and a number of Members of Congress, grassroots groups, and Internet activists was ultimately successful. On May 5, 2005, Congressman Conyers, the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, along with 87 other Members
of Congress (eventually 121), wrote to the President demanding answers to the allegations presented in the Minutes. In his letter, Representative Conyers questioned the President on whether there "was there a coordinated effort with the U.S. intelligence community and/or British officials to 'fix' the intelligence and facts around the policy."42
On June 16, 2005, Congressman Conyers and 32 Members of Congress convened an historic hearing on the Downing Street Minutes, covered by numerous press outlets. The hearing was forced to a cramped room in the basement of the Capitol since Democrats were denied ordinary hearing room space by the Republican leadership. The Republicans tried to disrupt the hearings further by holding 12 consecutive floor votes during the hearing, an unprecedented number.43 After the hearing, Congressman Conyers led a congressional delegation to the White House to personally deliver a letter signed by over 500,000 citizens, demanding answers from the President.44 To date, the White House has declined to respond to these questions that were posed by these citizens and their elected representatives in Congress.
In the meantime, after some initial false starts, delays, and denials concerning possible misconduct in the Bush Administration's "outing" of Valerie Plame Wilson, 45 then-Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself from the investigation due to conflicts of interest and, on December 30, 2003, U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald was appointed to conduct the investigation of the Plame leak.46 By July 2005, it became apparent that Karl Rove, a senior aide to the President, was involved in the leak; a Time reporter's notes revealed that he had spoken to Karl Rove about the case.47 Then, on July 18, 2005, President Bush conspicuously changed the standard for White House ethics from stating that he would fire anyone who leaked the information to only firing someone if he or she "committed a crime."48 With a lack of response from the Administration or from congressional Republicans, on July 22, 2005, Congressman Henry Waxman and Senator Byron Dorgan conducted a joint Democratic hearing on the "National Security Consequences of Disclosing the Identity of a Covert Intelligence Officer."49
After indicting Scooter Libby,
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald
has announced his intention to
continue the investigation and has
empaneled a second grand jury.
Ambassador Wilson was not the only individual facing apparent retribution from the Bush Administration for criticizing its conduct. For example, on August 27, 2005, Bunnatine Greenhouse, the Chief Contracting officer at the Army Corps of Engineers, was demoted in apparent retaliation for exposing Pentagon favoritism toward a Halliburton subsidiary in awarding no-bid contracts in Iraq.50 As discussed later in this Report, a long line of individuals were subject to other forms of sanctions and
retribution by the Administration for exposing Administration wrongdoing concerning Iraq.
On October 28, 2005, Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Scooter Libby resigned after a federal grand jury indicted him on five charges, totaling a maximum 30-year sentence, related to the leak probe.51 Patrick Fitzgerald has yet to indict other individuals but has publicly stated that his investigation would remain open to consider other matters.52 On November 1, 2005, after numerous attempts to open an
investigation on the issue, Democrats demanded answers to the Administration's use of pre-war intelligence and led the Senate into a rare closed-door session, finally receiving a promise from the Republican majority to speed up the process.53
Since that time, numerous additional disclosures have come out calling into question the Bush Administration's pre-war veracity concerning WMD intelligence. On November 6, Senator Levin disclosed a classified Defense Department document showing that an al Qaeda prisoner, Iba al Shaykh al-Libi had been identified as a fabricator months before the Bush Administration used his claims to allege that Iraq had trained al Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons.54 On November 20, the Los Angeles Times revealed that German intelligence officials had informed the Administration that the Iraqi defector known as "Curveball" was not a reliable source for their mobile biological weapons charges.55
Today, more than half of all Americans believe the Administration "deliberately misled" the public on the reasons for going to war.56 The invasion appears to have increased and emboldened the terrorist movement.57 As of the date of this report, United States casualties are 2,138 and the Iraq war costs approximately $6 billion a month and by some estimates the eventual cost could approach a trillion dollars.58
1 Larry King Live: Interview with Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney (CNN television broadcast, May 30, 2005) available at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0505/30/lkl.01.html .
2 Texas Governor George W. Bush's campaign focused on issues of "compassionate conservatism," his stated view that conservative policies could be brought to bear to address social ills. Another focus of his campaign was the perceived ethical transgressions of the Clinton Administration, and the Starr
Investigation in particular. Governor Bush promised to restore "honor and dignity to the White House." Capital Gang: Lieberman Takes the Heat; Bush, McCain Meet in Arizona; Are the Democrats Getting Tough on Hollywood? (CNN television broadcast, Aug. 13, 2000) available at
3 See Commission on Presidential Debates, Unofficial Debate Transcript, Oct. 3, 2000, available at
http://www.debates.org/pages/trans2000a.html . Vice President Cheney also stated in an interview, in
the midst the 2000 presidential campaign, that the US should not act as though "we were an imperialist
power, willy-nilly moving into capitals in that part of the world, taking down governments." Meet the
Press: Interview with Dick Cheney (NBC television broadcast, Aug. 27, 2000).
4 Bryan Burrough, Evgenia Peretz, David Rose, & David Wise, The Path to War, VANITY FAIR, May 1, 2004, at 228, 232.
5 President George W. Bush, State of the Union Address (Jan. 29, 2002), available at
6 President George W. Bush, Graduation Speech at West Point (June 1, 2002), available at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/06/20020601-3.html . He further noted that "[t]he
war on terror will not be won on the defensive. We must take the battle to the enemy. . . . And this
nation will act." Id.
7 On "multiple" occasions, Cheney and Libby questioned analysts studying alleged Iraq's weapons
programs and links to al-Qaeda.. Walter Pincus, Some Iraq Analysts Felt Pressure From Cheney, WASH. POST, June 5, 2003, at A1.
8 For example, on August 22, 2002, the President stated that he was willing to "look at all options."
Adam Nagourney & Thom Shanker, A 'Patient' Bush Says He'll Weigh All Iraq Options, N.Y. TIMES, Aug. 22, 2002, at A1. Later that year, he stated, "Of course, I haven't made up my mind we're going to war with Iraq." President George W. Bush, Remarks on Terrorism Insurance (Oct. 1, 2002), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021001-1.html .
9 Frank Rich, It's Bush-Cheney, Not Rove-Libby, N.Y. TIMES, Oct. 16, 2005, at 12.
10 The President stated that Iraq was a "grave and gathering danger." President George W. Bush,
Remarks at the U.N. General Assembly (Sept. 12, 2002), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/09/20020912-1.html . He also said that the US would
"not allow any terrorist or tyrant to threaten civilization with weapons of mass murder." President
George W. Bush, Remarks to the Nation on the Anniversary of Terrorist Attacks (Sept. 11, 2002),
available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/09/20020911-3.html .
11 Letter from Dr. Naji Sabri, Iraq Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Kofi Annan, U.N. Secretary-General
(Sept. 16, 2002), available at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2002/09/16/international1954EDT0706.DTL.
12 The President, President Discusses Iraq, Domestic Agenda with Congressional Leaders (Sept. 18, 2002), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/09/20020918-1.html . The next day, the President stated how important it was that Congress pass a resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. President George W. Bush, President Bush to Send Iraq Resolution to Congress Today (Sept. 19, 2002), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/09/20020919-1.html .
13 On October 7, 2002, President Bush warned that the final proof of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) could come in the form of a "mushroom cloud" and subsequently requested Congressional authorization for war. President George W. Bush, Remarks in Cincinnati Museum Center (Oct. 7, 2002), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021007-8.html .
14 H.J. Res. 114, 107th Cong. 2d Sess. (2002) (enacted as Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-243, 116 Stat. 1498 (2002)). Several Members of Congress, including Ranking Member Conyers, filed suit in Federal court arguing the resolution was
Constitutionally deficient. Among other things, the suit alleged that the text of the resolution did not
explicitly invoke the War Powers Act and unconstitutionally delegated the Congressional power to
declare war to the Executive Branch. The suit was ultimately unsuccessful [Doe v. Bush, 323 F.3d 133
(1st Cir. 2003).] While substantial questions remain about whether this resolution appropriately authorized the use of force in Iraq, it has come to be known as a joint resolution "for the use of force"
and will be referred to as such in this report.
15 See id.
16 President George W. Bush, Remarks at the Signing of the Iraq Resolution (Oct.16, 2002), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021016-1.html.
17 S.C. Res 1441, U.N. SCOR, 4644th mtg., S/2002/1198 (2002), available at http://www.un.int/usa/sres-iraq.htm . The resolution made clear that only the United Nations Security
Council had the right to take punitive action against Iraq in the event of noncompliance. Id.
18 Mohamed ElBaradei, Report to the U.N. Security Council (Jan. 27, 2003), available at
http://www.un.org/News/dh/iraq/elbaradei27jan03.htm . According to the IAEA, the tubes were not
suitable for manufacturing centrifuges as the Administration had claimed. Id.
19 President George W. Bush, State of the Union Address (Jan. 28, 2003), available at
20 Secretary Colin Powell, Remarks to the U.N. Security Council (Feb. 5, 2003), available at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030205-1.html . During his speech, he assured
the world that, "every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not
assertions. What we're giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence." Id.
21 Meet the Press: Interview with Vice President Cheney (NBC television broadcast, Mar. 16, 2003),
available at http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3080244/s .
22 The letter stated that "Reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means
alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq." Letter from President George W. Bush to Congress (Mar. 18, 2003), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030319-1.html .
23 President George W. Bush, Remarks from the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln (May 1, 2003), available at
24 Massive unchecked looting, including that of radioactive material, may have taken place days after
the fall of Baghdad. See Barton Gellman, U.S. has Not Inspected Iraq Nuclear Facility, WASH. POST, Apr. 25, 2003, at A14. The Administration's disbanding of the Iraqi army effectively created 400,000 or so available recruits for the insurgency. See Ellen Knickmeyer, Under U.S. Design, Iraq's New Army Looks a Good Deal Like the Old One, WASH. POST, Nov. 21, 2005, at A1. In addition, months after the invasion, up to 51,000 American military and civilian personnel had not been provided with proper body armor and thus had to ask friends and relatives in the United States to buy and mail off-the-shelf models. Peter Brownfield, U.S. Troops in Iraq have limited Body Armor, FOXNEWS.COM, Oct. 24, 2003, available at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,101061,00.html .
25 Joseph C. Wilson IV, Op-Ed, What I Didn't Find in Africa, N.Y. TIMES, July 6, 2003, '4, at 9.
26 White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, Press Gaggle (July 7, 2003), available at
27 Robert D. Novak, Mission to Niger, WASH. POST, July 14, 2003, at A21. Around July 7, just a week prior to the Novak column, a State Department memorandum containing information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked "(S)" for secret was circulated within the administration, a clear indication that any Bush administration official who read it should have been aware theinformation
was classified. See Walter Pincus & Jim VandeHei, Plame's Identity Marked as Secret, WASH.POST, July 21, 2005, at A1.
28 Powell: Some Iraq Testimony Not Solid, CNN.COM, Apr. 3, 2004, available at
29 Testimony on Efforts to Determine the Status of Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction and Related
Programs: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Armed Services, 108th Cong., 2d Sess. (Jan. 2004)
(statement of David Kay). Kay's conclusion was confirmed by the CIA chief weapons inspector, Charles A. Duelfer, in his report released later in the year. SPECIAL ADVISOR TO THE DCI ON IRAQ'S WMD, COMPREHENSIVE REPORT (Sept. 20, 2004), available at
30 THE COMM'N ON THE INTELLIGENCE OF THE U.S. REGARDING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. (2005) (transmittal letter).
31 The Situation Room: Debate Continues Over Iraq Withdrawal; Holiday Crunch Hits Home; Hillary vs. Condoleeza in 2008? (CNN television broadcast Nov. 23, 2005) available at
32 MINORITY STAFF OF H. COMM. ON GOV'T REFORM, 108TH CONG., REPORT ON IRAQ ON THE RECORD (Comm. Print 2004).
33 Id. at i.
SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE, 108TH CONG., REPORT ON THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY'S PREWAR INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENTS ON IRAQ (Comm. Print 2004).
36 The Administration also attempted to minimize its mistakes or misdeeds. At a black-tie dinner for
journalists on March 24, 2004, President Bush narrated a slide show attempting to make light of the
failure to find WMD. One picture showed the President looking under a piece of furniture in the Oval
Office, at which he remarked: "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be here somewhere."
Bush's Iraq WMD Joke Backfires, BBC NEWS, Mar. 26, 2004, available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3570845.stm .
37 60 Minutes II (CBS television broadcast, Apr. 28, 2004).
38 See, e.g., HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, GETTING AWAY WITH TORTURE: COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE U.S. ABUSE OF DETAINEES (Apr. 2005).
39 Farah Stockman, Bush Calls Vote 'Resounding Success' for Democracy, BOSTON GLOBE, Jan. 31, 2005, at A1.
40 Michael Smith, Blair Planned Iraq War From Start, THE SUNDAY TIMES, May 1, 2005, available at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1592724,00.html .
41 Letter from 87 Members of Congress to the President (May 5, 2005), available at
43 Congressman Charles Rangel summed up the hearing best: "Quite frankly, evidence that appears to be building up points to whether or not the president has deliberately misled Congress to make the most
important decision a president has to make, going to war." Downing Street Minutes: Democratic
Hearing Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 105th Cong., 1st Sess. (2005).
44 Letter to President George W. Bush (June 16, 2005), available at
45 Letter from Stanley M. Moskowitz, Director of Congressional Affairs, CIA, to the Honorable John
Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member, U.S. House Comm. on the Judiciary (Jan. 30, 2004).
46 Letter from James B. Comey, Acting Attorney General, to Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney (Dec.
30, 2003), available at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/osc/documents/ag_letter_december_30_2003.pdf.
47 Matthew Cooper, What I Told the Grand Jury, TIME, July 25, 2005, available at
http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,1083899,00.html . On July 14, 2005,
Congressman Conyers wrote a letter to President Bush, signed by 91 members of Congress, urging the
President to demand either that Karl Rove explain his role in the leak or that Karl Rove resign. Letter
from 91 Members of Congress to President George W. Bush (July 14, 2005), available at
48 President George W. Bush, Remarks in the East Room (July 18, 2005), available at
49 National Security Implications of Disclosing the Identity of a Covert Intelligence Officer: Hearing
Before the S. Democratic Policy Comm. & Democratic Members of the H. Gov=t Reform Comm., 109th Cong., 1st Sess. (2005).
50 Erik Eckholm, Army Contract Official Critical of Halliburton Pact is Demoted, N.Y. TIMES, Aug. 29, 2005, at A9.
51 David Johnston & Richard W. Stevenson, Cheney Aide Charged with Lying in Leak Case, N.Y. TIMES, Oct. 29, 2005, at A1. See also United States v. Libby (D.D.C. Oct. 26, 2005) (grand jury indictment), available at www.usdoj.gov/usaoil/n/osc/libby_indictment_28102005.pdf . There was one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements. Id.
52 Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, Press Conference (Oct. 28, 2005).
53 Carl Hulse & David D. Kirkpatrick, Partisan Quarrel Causes Senators to Bar the Doors in an Unusual
Closed Session, N.Y. TIMES, Nov. 2, 2005, at A22.
54 Press Release, Senator Carl Levin, Levin Says Newly Declassified Information Indicates Bush
Administration's Use of Pre-War Intelligence Was Misleading (Nov. 6, 2005), available at
55 Bob Drogin & John Goetz, How U.S. Fell Under the Spell of 'Curveball,' L.A. TIMES, Nov. 20, 2005.
56 Richard Morin & Dan Balz, Survey Finds Most Support Staying in Iraq; Public Skeptical About Gains Against Insurgents, WASH. POST, June 28, 2005, at A1.
57 Warren P. Strobel, Iraq Emerges as a Terrorist Training Ground, KNIGHT RIDDER, July 5, 2005.
According to classified studies by the CIA and the State Department, AIraq has replaced Afghanistan as
the prime training ground for foreign terrorists who could travel elsewhere across the globe and wreak
58 Linda Bilmes, Op-Ed, The Trillion-Dollar War, N.Y. TIMES, Aug. 20, 2005, at A13 ("Factors keeping costs high include inducements for recruits and for military personnel serving second and third deployments, . . . as well as more than $2 billion a year in additional foreign aid to Jordan, Pakistan, Turkey and others to reward their cooperation in Iraq and Afghanistan. . . . The biggest long-term costs are disability and health payments for returning troops, which will be incurred even if hostilities were to
stop tomorrow. . . . These payments are likely to run at $7 billion a year for the next 45 years."".
The following are links to the Investigative Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff The Constitution in Crisis; The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War (This Report is 273 pages.) Chapter 1 - Executive Summary Chapter 2 - Chronology: Last Throes of Credibility Chapter 3 - Detailed Factual Findings; Determination to go to War Before Congressional Authorization Chapter 3 - Detailed Factual Findings; Misstating and Manipulating the Intelligence to Justify Pre-emptive War Chapter 3 - Detailed Factual Findings; Encouraging and Countenancing Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment Chapter 3 - Detailed Factual Findings; Cover-ups and Retribution Chapter 3 - Detailed Factual Findings; Thwarting Congress and the American Public: The Death of Accountability under the Bush Administration and the Republican-Controlled Congress Chapter 4 - Legal Analysis Chapter 5 - Recommendations Exhibit A -- Relevant Law and Standards Exhibit B -- Analysis of Powell Statements to UN Exhibit C -- House Government Reform Committee Democratic Staff Report Iraq on the Record Exhibit D -- Key Documents
In addition, Ranking Member Conyers introduced three House Resolutions concerning the serious allegations contained in this Report. The first establishes a Bi-Partisan Select Committee in the House - H.Res. 635; the second calls for the Censure of the President - H.Res.636; and the third calls for the Censure of the Vice President - H.Res. 637.
The Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights
Impeach George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for violating the Constitution of the United States
Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts
Bush's Secret 'Kangaroo' Court
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