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Twice fooled - shame on us

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    Twice fooled - shame on us: The case for impeachment William John Cox Online Journal www.onlinejournal.com/Commentary/062505Cox/062505cox.html June 25, 2005 -
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 3 11:26 AM
      Twice fooled - shame on us: The case for impeachment
      William John Cox
      Online Journal

      June 25, 2005 - George W. Bush stole the 2000 election and we let him
      get away with it. While the Democrats cried because Al Gore had won
      the vote, the Republicans counted their loot and planned the next
      heist. Crime does pay when the justices of the Supreme Court are in on
      the caper, and they can't be impeached if the crooks control the Congress.

      At first, most of us (irrespective of politics) thought that, even
      though Bush was sort of a goofy guy, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the other
      retainers from the reigns of Ronnie the Great and George I would be
      able to run things for four years. The world was at peace, the economy
      was good, and, much as he had done for the Rangers baseball team, Bush
      would play the part, lead the cheers and leave the big decisions to
      those better equipped to think deep thoughts. Sooner or later, the
      voters would catch on that they'd been had, and the doofus would be
      replaced with someone who could read, write and think for him (or

      But, suddenly, on September 11, 2001, the game changed. At first,
      things appeared the same. While the president was flying around in
      circles, without a clue and out of touch, Cheney and the other
      grownups dealt with the emergency and scripted Bush's response.

      It has now been proven that Bush was repeatedly warned that Osama bin
      Laden was planning suicide attacks on the country with hijacked
      commercial jets; however, we will never know if he intentionally
      allowed it to happen or was just too dumb and distracted to care. We
      do know that by 9/11 the U.S. economy was in the toilet, the Bush
      administration was in trouble, and all of its policies and decisions
      were being driven by what was best for big business, the oil industry
      and the Saudi sheiks. The neocons in his administration probably
      didn't plan the 9/11 attack; they may not have knowingly allowed it to
      take place, but it was certainly fortunate for their program. And, we
      quickly learned what that program was all about.

      Within weeks, the constitutional rights of the American people were
      abrogated by the USA PATRIOT Act, and extraordinary powers were seized
      by the president, the Departments of Justice and Defense, and the CIA.

      Soon, video games no longer held Bush's interest. He was given a new
      game and its name was war. The fight against terrorism was exciting,
      but, in Afghanistan, it was over all too quickly. It didn't matter
      that Osama got away; the new game was far too much fun to stop, and he
      was eager to advance to the next level.

      The next step was to conquer Iraq, governed by Saddam Hussein, the
      ruthless dictator installed by the CIA and maintained in power by
      Ronnie the Great and George I. Saddam had become an embarrassment to
      the Bush family, and he controlled something very valuableâ€"112
      billion barrels of oil. The oil industry had bought and paid for the
      presidency and it wanted a return on its investment. Saddam had to go.

      The only problem was that, after years of sanctions and UN
      inspections, Iraq was essentially defenseless, and its citizens posed
      no threat to our national security. Although the New American Century
      neocons claimed the right and duty to rule the world, the rest of the
      American people required something more than corporate greed and
      access to oil to start killing people. There had to be some
      justification, otherwise an invasion of Iraq would violate
      international law and we would commit war crimes by killing its
      people. We had to be sold on the need to slaughter our fellow human

      In the summer of 2002, Bush's chief of staff said, "From a marketing
      point of view, you don't introduce new products in August." He went on
      to describe a "meticulously planned strategy to persuade the public,
      the Congress, and the allies, of the need to confront the threat from
      Saddam Hussein." Repeatedly, we were told that Saddam supported the
      terrorists involved in the 9/11 attacks and that he was going to
      supply them with the weapons of mass destruction he had hidden from
      the UN inspectors. The propaganda was successful; an overwhelming
      majority of us came to believe his lies, and Congress authorized Bush
      to "defend the national security of the United States against the
      continuing threat posed by Iraq."

      Ignoring the United Nations and the findings of its inspectors, Bush
      ordered the invasion of Iraq because: "the Iraq regime continues to
      possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised" and
      Iraq "has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives
      of al Qaeda." Although he claimed to be defending "the world from
      grave danger" of "an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with
      weapons of mass destruction," the rest of the world was of the opinion
      that it was the United States which posed the greatest danger to world
      peace. Time has shown that they were right and Bush was wrong. No
      weapons of mass destruction were ever located in Iraq, nor was any
      evidence ever discovered that Saddam had supported al Qaeda. But, who
      cares for the truth when there are games to be played and money to be

      Iraq's military forces collapsed almost as quickly as had the Taliban,
      and Bush got to dress up in a real pilot's suit to proclaim "Mission
      Accomplished." When the resistance continued to kill and maim American
      soldiers, Bush sneered, "Bring 'em on." His war became a magnet
      attracting terrorists to "where we want to fight them . . . to prevent
      the American people from having to go through other attacks back in
      the United States." The truth: we ended up fighting a losing battle
      against a primarily grassroots resistance to our illegal and immoral
      invasion and occupation. And, the resistance grows more powerful every
      day, as the legitimacy of Bush's war is diminished by every new
      exposure of his lies.

      We should have learned these truths by 2004 when the presidential
      elections rolled around again. But, the lies continued, largely
      unchallenged by our tradition of loyalty to our troops and their
      commander in chief and by our corporate media. Although we learned
      that Bush probably discussed the removal of Saddam during his very
      first National Security Council meeting and we suspected that Bush had
      shared his objective with Prime Minister Blair as early as September
      20, 2001, there was no clear evidence that his decision to go to war
      was made before diplomacy was attempted or any ultimatums were issued.

      Throughout the 2004 campaign, Bush claimed that war had been the last
      resort. In the presidential debate on September 30, he stated, "I was
      hopeful diplomacy would work in Iraq. It was falling apart. There was
      no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was hoping that the world
      would turn a blind eye. . . . So we use diplomacy every chance we get,
      believe me. And I would hope to never have to use force." And, some
      believed him.

      Once when Bush was trying to convince an audience in Tennessee that
      the United Nations needed to confront Saddam, he said, "We're trying
      to figure out how best to make the world a peaceful place. There's an
      old saying in Tennesseeâ€"I know it's in Texas, it's probably in
      Tennesseeâ€"that says, fool me once, shame on . . . shame on you. It
      fool me. We can't get fooled again." He was probably trying to say:
      "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me," which is
      what we should have been saying during the 2004 election. However, he
      once again fooled enough of us to give him another four years to play
      his deadly game, and we continue to sacrifice our brave young women
      and men on the altar of political arrogance and corporate greed where
      he secretly worships.

      The conspiracy of deception held for six months after the election,
      but on May 1, 2005, the Times of London published the classified
      minutes of a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair on July 23, 2002,
      wherein it was revealed that Bush, irrespective of the lies he was
      telling us at the time, was already committed to going to war with
      Iraq. Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of the British intelligence
      agency, M16, briefed Blair on his recent visit to Washington D.C.
      saying, "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 . . . There was little
      discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action"

      During a joint news conference with Blair on June 8, Bush responded to
      a question about the memo by stating, "And somebody said, well, you
      know, we had made up our mind to go to use military force to deal with
      Saddam. There's nothing farther from the truth." "Both of us didn't
      want to use our military. . . . It was our last option." Bush then
      said that his justification for war against Iraq was regime change,
      "The world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power."

      A series of related documents bearing earlier dates have been released
      in the last six weeks since the Downing Street Minutes were published,
      all of which conclusively establish, once again, that Bush has no
      regard for the truth. Excerpts from these documents are summarized
      below in sufficient detail to adequately provide context to and
      corroboration of the Downing Street Minutes:

      March 8, 2002 - A Secret UK Eyes Only "Iraq: Options Paper" summarizes
      that "The US administration has lost faith in containment and is now
      considering regime change." The paper concludes, "A legal
      justification for invasion would be needed. Subject to Law Officers
      advice, none currently exists." As a legal consideration, the paper
      states, "Of itself, REGIME CHANGE has no basis in international law."
      The paper goes on to say that "there is no recent evidence of Iraq
      complicity with international terrorism. There is therefore no
      justification for action against Iraq based on action in self-defence."

      March 14, 2002 - A Secret - Strictly Personal Memorandum from foreign
      policy advisor David Manning to the Prime Minister regarding his visit
      with Condi Rice reported, "Condi's enthusiasm for regime change is
      undimmed. . . . From what she said, Bush has yet to find the answers
      to the big questions: - how to persuade international opinion that
      military action against Iraq is necessary and justified; . . . - what
      happens on the morning after?" As a justification, Manning suggested
      that "The issue of the weapons inspectors must be handled in a way
      that would persuade European and wider opinion that the US was
      conscious of the international framework, and the insistence of many
      countries on the need for a legal basis. [Renewed refusal] by Saddam
      to accept unfettered inspections would be a powerful argument;" He
      concludes "I think there is a real risk that the Administration
      underestimates the difficulties. They may agree that failure isn't an
      option, but this does not mean that they will avoid it."

      March 18, 2002 - A Confidential and Personal Memorandum from U.S.
      Ambassador Christopher Meyer reporting on a meeting he had with Paul
      Wolfowitz, then U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, in which he advised
      Wolfowitz of the "need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors and The
      UN SCRs . . ." Meyer suggested "There might be doubt about the alleged
      meeting in Prague between Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker on 9/11,
      and Iraqi intelligence (did we, he asked, know anything more about
      this meeting?)"

      March 22, 2002 - A Confidential and Personal Memorandum from P.F.
      Ricketts, Political Director, in which he offered advice to Prime
      Minister Blair to "Help Bush make good decisions by telling him things
      his own machine probably isn't" Ricketts pointed out two problems,
      "First, the THREAT. The truth is that what has changed is not the pace
      of Saddam Hussein's WMD programmes, but our tolerance of them post-11
      September. . . . But even the best survey of Iraq's WMD programmes
      will not show much advance in recent years on the nuclear, missile or
      CW/BW fronts: the programmes are extremely worrying but have not, as
      far as we know, been stepped up." Ricketts went on to say that the
      U.S. "scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and Al Qaida is so
      far frankly unconvincing." The second problem "is the END STATE.
      Military operations need clear and compelling military objectives. . .
      . For Iraq, 'regime change' does not stack up. It sounds like a grudge
      between Bush and Saddam. Much better, as you have suggested, to make
      the objective ending the threat to the international community from
      Iraqi WMD before Saddam uses it or gives it to terrorists."

      March 25, 2002 - A Secret and Personal Memorandum from Foreign
      Secretary Jack Straw questions, "If 11 September had not happened, it
      is doubtful that the US would now be considering military action
      against Iraq. In addition, there has been no credible evidence to link
      Iraq with UBL [Osama bin Laden] and Al Qaida. Objectively, the threat
      from Iraq has not worsened as a result of 11 September." Straw sets
      forth two legal "elephant traps:" "(i) regime change per se is no
      justification for military action;" and "(ii) . . . whether any
      military action would require a fresh UNSC [Security Council] mandate
      . . . The US are likely to oppose any idea of a fresh mandate. On the
      other side, the weight of legal advice here is that a fresh mandate
      may well be required." Straw discusses the consequences, "A legal
      justification is a necessary but far from sufficient pre-condition for
      military action. We have also to answer the big questionâ€"what will
      this action achieve? There seems to be a larger hole in this than on
      anything. Most of the assessments from the US have assumed regime
      change as a means of eliminating Iraq's WMD threat. But none has
      satisfactorily answered how that regime change is to be secured, and
      how there can be any certainty that the replacement regime will be

      An undated Confidential - Iraq: Legal Background Memorandum concluded
      that it was up to the UN Security Council to "assess whether any such
      breach of such obligations [UN resolutions] has occurred. The US have
      a rather different view: they maintain that the assessment of breach
      is for individual member States. We are not aware of any other State
      which supports this view." Regarding the use of force, the Legal
      Memorandum advises, "For the exercise of the right of self-defence
      there must be more than 'a threat.' There has to be an armed attack
      actual or imminent. The development or possession of nuclear weapons
      does not in itself amount to an armed attack; what would be needed
      would be clear evidence of an imminent attack."

      July 21, 2002 - A Personal Secret UK Eyes Only briefing paper entitled
      "Iraq: Conditions for Military Action (A Note by Officials) was
      prepared two days before the Downing Street meeting. The introduction
      finds: "The US Government's military planning for action against Iraq
      is proceeding apace. But, as yet, it lacks a political framework. In
      particular, little thought has been given to creating the political
      conditions for military action, or the aftermath and how to shape it."
      It was deemed "important for the UK because it is necessary to create
      the conditions in which we could legally support military action.
      Otherwise we face the real danger that the US will commit themselves
      to a course of action which we would find very difficult to support."

      As a goal, the briefing paper reports, "US military planning
      unambiguously takes as its objective the removal of Saddam Hussein's
      regime, followed by elimination of Iraqi WMD. It is however, by no
      means certain, in the view of UK officials, that one would necessarily
      follow from the other. Even if regime change is a necessary condition
      for controlling Iraqi WMD, it is certainly not a sufficient one." To
      provide a legal excuse for invasion, "It is just possible than an
      ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject (because he
      is unwilling to accept unfettered access) and which would not be
      regarded as unreasonable by the international community. However,
      failing that (or an Iraqi attack) we would be most unlikely to achieve
      a legal base for military action by January 2003."

      As a risk of taking action, the briefing paper stated, "A post-war
      occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly
      nation-building exercise. As already made clear, the US military plans
      are virtually silent on this point."

      Neither Bush nor Blair have challenged the authenticity of these
      documents which, taken as a whole, clearly establish that Bush
      committed far greater crimes than just stealing two of our
      presidential elections. To feed corporate greed and play out his
      fantasies of ruling a world empire, our "pro-life" president tricked
      the American people into an illegal and immoral war that has killed
      1,909 soldiers of the "coalition of the willing," including 1,722
      American men and women under his "command," seriously wounded 12,855
      U.S. soldiers, and slaughtered more than 100,000 Iraqi men, women,
      children, and babies. If this is not an impeachable offense, what will
      ever be?

      When Bush caused the United States to violate its duties under
      international law, he also subjected himself to impeachment. Article
      VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution makes international
      treaties such as the United Nations Charter, which was ratified by the
      Senate in 1945, the "supreme law of the land."

      Not only did Bush cause the United States to violate the Charter, but
      he also operated extralegally beyond the authority granted him by
      Congress in its resolution of October 10, 2002. He was not acting to
      enforce "all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions
      regarding Iraq," nor was he acting to "defend the national security of
      the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq."

      Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution provides, "The
      President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States,
      shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of,
      treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." By
      committing war crimes in violation of the supreme law of the land,
      Bush also committed a high crime or misdemeanor within the meaning of
      the Constitution.

      Moreover, Bush is subject to impeachment for having lied to Congress,
      repeatedly; however, he made material misrepresentations during his
      State of the Union address on January 28, 2003, when he stated that
      the IAEA "confirmed in the 1990's that Saddam Hussein had an advanced
      nuclear weapons development program," and again when he stated, "The
      British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought
      significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

      Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1001 prohibits anyone from
      "knowingly and willfully" making "any materially false, fictitious, or
      fraudulent statement or representation" in "any matter within the
      jurisdiction of the . . . legislative . . . branch of the Government."
      The U.S. Supreme Court upheld felony prosecution under the statute in
      1955, and a violation of the statute is a crime.

      Bush also violated Section 1001 when he wrote to Congress on March 18,
      2003, as required by the congressional resolution authorizing the use
      of military force against Iraq. In the letter, Bush made material
      misrepresentations by stating he had determined that: (1) 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; and (2) acting pursuant to the
      Constitution and Public Law 107â€"243 is consistent with the United
      States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions
      against international terrorists and terrorist organizations,
      including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned,
      authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on
      September 11, 2001.

      The letter is completely false. Iraq never posed a threat to the
      United States, and further diplomatic and other peaceful means would
      have adequately protected our national security. The United States did
      not have to invade Iraq to enforce Security Council resolutions, as
      continued U.N. inspections would have likely succeeded. Most
      importantly, at the time Bush wrote the letter, he knew there was no
      evidence that Iraq had "planned, authorized, committed, or aided" the
      9/11 attack."

      With the overwhelming evidence we, the American people, now have
      before us proving beyond any reasonable doubt that our president has
      engaged us in an unlawful and immoral war, we cannot remain silent.
      Each of us has a responsibility to ourselves and to our posterity to
      do all within our power to stop this immoral war and our illegal
      occupation of a country that poses no danger to our safety.

      We cannot do nothing! Silence is complicity. We cannot allow Bush (or
      his co-conspirator Cheney) to remain in office. It is time to lock
      away the dangerous game of war that Bush has been playing and restore
      the United States to the path of peace. The soul of America is infused
      by the good will of our neighbors, and the future of our children
      depends upon the harmony they share with our common humanity.

      William John Cox is currently a senior prosecutor for the State Bar of
      California. As a professional police officer he authored the Policy
      Manual of the Los Angeles Police Department and the Role of the Police
      in America for a National Advisory Commission during the Nixon
      administration. Acting as a public interest, pro bono, attorney, he
      filed a class action lawsuit in 1979 on behalf of every citizen of the
      United States petitioning the Supreme Court to order the other two
      branches of the federal government to conduct a National Policy
      Referendum; he investigated and successfully sued a group of radical
      right-wing organizations in 1981 that denied the Holocaust; and he
      arranged in 1991 for the publication of the suppressed Dead Sea
      Scrolls. His recent book, "You're Not Stupid! Get the Truth: A Brief
      on the Bush Presidency" is reviewed at http://www.yourenotstupid.com

      The views expressed herein are the writers' own and do not necessarily
      reflect those of Online Journal.

      Email editor @ onlinejournal.com



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