By David Swanson
A recent poll found that a full 7 percent of Americans want to attack Iran: http://dontattackiran.org But 93 percent agreement and a dollar won’t even get you a Metro ride in Washington, D.C. The Congressional Progressive Caucus held a press event on Tuesday and publicly urged the Bush Administration to engage in diplomacy, which is sort of like asking a mule to dance in the ballet. We’ve seen bills, resolutions, letters, requests, demands, and downright whining and begging from Congress on this issue. What we hadn’t seen until Monday night was a serious effort by Congress to actually prevent an attack on Iran by impeaching President Bush.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich read 35 articles of impeachment into the record for five hours. Many of them dealt with the illegal attack on Iraq. One of them (Article XXI) addressed the build up to a possible attack on Iran. This article is worth reading. People can ask their representatives to cosponsor all 35 articles as a single resolution. A vote is expected Tuesday or Wednesday.
MISLEADING CONGRESS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ABOUT THREATS FROM IRAN, AND SUPPORTING TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN IRAN, WITH THE GOAL OF OVERTHROWING THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT
In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates misled the Congress and the citizens of the United States about a threat of nuclear attack from the nation of Iran.
The National Intelligence Estimate released to Congress and the public on December 4, 2007, which confirmed that the government of the nation of Iran had ceased any efforts to develop nuclear weapons, was completed in 2006. Yet , the president and his aides continued to suggest during 2007 that such a nuclear threat was developing and might already exist. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley stated at the time the National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iran was released that the president had been briefed on its findings “in the last few months.” Hadley’s statement establishes a timeline that shows the president knowingly sought to deceive Congress and the American people about a nuclear threat that did not exist.
Hadley has stated that the president “was basically told: stand down” and, yet, the president and his aides continued to make false claims about the prospect that Iran was trying to “build a nuclear weapon” that could lead to “World War III.”
This evidence establishes that the president actively engaged in and had full knowledge of a campaign by his administration to make a false “case” for an attack on Iran, thus warping the national security debate at a critical juncture and creating the prospect of an illegal and unnecessary attack on a sovereign nation.
Even after the National Intelligence Estimate was released to Congress and the American people, the president stated that he did not believe anything had changed and suggested that he and members of his administration would continue to argue that Iran should be seen as posing a threat to the United States. He did this despite the fact that United States intelligence agencies had clearly and officially stated that this was not the case.
Evidence suggests that the Bush Administration’s attempts to portray Iran as a threat are part of a broader U.S. policy toward Iran. On September 30, 2001, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of overturning the regime in Iran, as well as those in Iraq, Syria, and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted in then-Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith’s book, “War and Decision.”
General Wesley Clark, reports in his book “Winning Modern Wars” being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of governments that Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz planned to overthrow included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, and Somalia. Clark writes that the list also included Lebanon.
Journalist Gareth Porter reported in May 2008 asking Feith at a public event which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, to which Feith replied “All of them.”
Rumsfeld’s aides also drafted a second version of the paper, as instructions to all military commanders in the development of “campaign plans against terrorism”. The paper called for military commanders to assist other government agencies “as directed” to “encourage populations dominated by terrorist organizations or their supporters to overthrow that domination”.
In January 2005, Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker Magazine that the Bush Administration had been conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran at least since the summer of 2004.
In June 2005 former United Nations weapons inspector Scott Ritter reported that United States security forces had been sending members of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) into Iranian territory. The MEK has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, Canada, Iraq, and Iran. Ritter reported that the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had used the MEK to carry out remote bombings in Iran.
In April 2006, Hersh reported in the New Yorker Magazine that U.S. combat troops had entered and were operating in Iran, where they were working with minority groups including the Azeris, Baluchis, and Kurds.
Also in April 2006, Larisa Alexandrovna reported on Raw Story that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) was working with and training the MEK, or former members of the MEK, sending them to commit acts of violence in southern Iran in areas where recent attacks had left many dead. Raw Story reported that the Pentagon had adopted the policy of supporting MEK shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and in response to the influence of Vice President Richard B. Cheney’s office. Raw Story subsequently reported that no Presidential finding, and no Congressional oversight, existed on MEK operations.
In March 2007, Hersh reported in the New Yorker Magazine that the Bush administration was attempting to stem the growth of Shiite influence in the Middle East (specifically the Iranian government and Hezbollah in Lebanon) by funding violent Sunni organizations, without any Congressional authorization or oversight. Hersh said funds had been given to “three Sunni jihadist groups … connected to al Qaeda” that “want to take on Hezbollah.”
In April 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported that conflicts with insurgent groups along Iran’s borders were understood by the Iranian government as a proxy war with the United States. Among the groups the U.S. DOD is supporting, according to this report, is the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan, known by its Kurdish acronym, PEJAK. The United States has provided “foodstuffs, economic assistance, medical supplies and Russian military equipment, some of it funneled through nonprofit groups.”
In May 2008, Andrew Cockburn reported on Counter Punch that President Bush, six weeks earlier had signed a secret finding authorizing a covert offensive against the Iranian regime. President Bush’s secret directive covers actions across an area stretching from Lebanon to Afghanistan, and purports to sanction actions up to and including the funding of organizations like the MEK and the assassination of public officials.
All of these actions by the president and his agents and subordinates exhibit a disregard for the truth and a recklessness with regard to national security, nuclear proliferation and the global role of the United States military that is not merely unacceptable but dangerous in a commander-in-chief.
In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and Commander in Chief, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.