|Southwest Asia News Digest
LaRouche: There's Enough Evidence To Impeach Bush-Cheney
Speaking from Berlin, Germany on Sept. 6, Lyndon LaRouche made clear that Democrats in the U.S. Congress have more than enough evidence to impeach the President George W. Bush on his abuse of power, and violations of the Constitution, and that Vice President Dick Cheney is a full criminal accomplice. LaRouche has emphasized that it is precisely those issues raised by the Senate Intelligence Committee (see below) that provide the basis for impeachment. LaRouche said, "Look, we have enough on this case, to bounce these two clowns out of there now! The problem is that people who don't have the guts to do it, are saying, 'Well, we don't have enough evidence.' I mean, you catch a guy committing rape! You say, 'Well, I've got to go out and get more evidence before I can stop this thing.' That's what's going on now."
On Sept. 8, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released two sections of a report investigating the useand misuseof intelligence by administration officials. From these reports alone, which are posted on the U.S. Senate website at http://intelligence.senate.gov/phaseiiaccuracy.pdf, and http://intelligence.senate.gov/phaseiiinc.pdf, it is clear that LaRouche is right. The evidence is there.
U.S. Senators Accuse Bush, Cheney of Deceiving the American People on Iraq
On Sept. 8, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) told the U.S. Senate that the Senate Intelligence Committee's "Phase II" report which was released that day, "is a devastating indictment of the Bush Administration's unrelenting, and deceptive attempts to convince the American people that Saddam Hussein was linked with al-Qaeda...." Twice, during his 28-minute floor statement, Sen. Levin used the term "indictment" when referring to the Bush Administration's misuse of intelligence. Levin took the floor after an opening statement by SSCI Vice Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) who detailed how the Republican chairman of the committee, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) had shut down the Intelligence Committee, in December 2003, rather than allow an investigation into the White House role in spreading, or organizing fabricated intelligence.
The SSCI report that was released to the public is unclassified, and was substantially rewritten to protect the White House.
In his statement, Levin charged that a massive "coverup" is underway, and that the public must see the full report:
"The intelligence assessments contained in the Intelligence Committee's unclassified report are an indictment of the administration's unrelenting and misleading attempts to link Saddam Hussein to 9/11. But portions of the report which the intelligence community leaders have determined to keep from public view provide some of the most damaging evidence of this administration's falsehoods and distortions.
"...Among what remains classified, and therefore covered up, includes deeply disturbing information. Much of the information redacted from the public report does not jeopardize any intelligence source or method but serves effectively to cover up certain highly offensive activities."
Levin said that, "while the battle is waged" to declassify the full report for the public, "every Senator should read the classified version of the report."
This combined Rockefeller/Levin floor statement releasing the report has been poorly reported to the American public, with very few quotes. The silence of the American press is another reason that the Bush-Cheney dictatorship has been able to succeed. EIR provides key excerpts to our readers.
The White House 'Deceptive Strategy'
Rockefeller opened the discussion with an announcement of the release of the SSCI's "Phase II" reports, saying:
"Fundamentally, these reports are about accountability. They are about identifying the mistakes that led us to war and making sure those mistakes never happen again, so far as we can do so.
"Let me share some important excerpts from the report which reflect both my own views and the views of all of my Democratic colleagues on the committee.
"The committee's investigation into prewar intelligence on Iraq has revealed that the Bush administration's case for war in Iraq was fundamentally misleading....
"Most disturbingly, the administration, in its zeal to promote public opinion in the United States before toppling Saddam Hussein, pursued a deceptive strategy prior to the war of using intelligence reporting that the intelligence community warned was uncorroborated, unreliable, and, in critical instances, fabricated....
"Some of the false information used to support the invasion of Iraq was provided by the Iraqi National Congress, the INC....
"The committee also found the July 2002 decision by the National Security Council directing that the renewed funding of the INC contractthe Iraqi National Congress, the Chalabi operationbe put under Pentagon management was ill advised given the counterintelligence concerns of the CIA and warnings of financial mismanagement from the State Department....
"The administration'sthis is keythe administration's repeated allegations of the past, present, and future relationship between al-Qaeda and Iraq exploited the deep sense of insecurity among Americans in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks, leading a large majority of Americans to believe, contrary to the intelligence assessments at the time, that Iraq had a role in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. [emphasis added]
"The administration sought and succeeded in creating the impression that al-Qaeda and Iraq worked in concert and presented a single unified threat to the United States of America. The committee's investigation revealed something completely different.
"The committee found that there was no credible information that Iraq was complicit or had foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks or any other al-Qaeda strike anywhere... [and] that Iraq did not provide chemical or biological weapons training or any material or operational support to al-Qaeda prior to the war.
"Furthermore, no evidence was found of any meeting between al-Qaeda and the Iraq regime before the war, other than a single meeting that took place years earlier in 1995, in fact, in the Sudan. That meeting was at a fairly low level, and that meeting did not lead to any operational cooperation at all. Osama was there, but the Iraqi representative was at a low level....
"During the buildup to war, the intelligence community was placed under pressure to support the administration's position that there was a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda. This is particularly distressing. This pressure took the form of policymakers repetitively tasking analysts to review, to reconsider, to revise their analytical judgments, or simply asking the same question again and again.
"The committee investigation revealed evidence that this prewar pressure to conform to administration policy demands may have led to the co-option of the intelligence community...."
'A Devastating Indictment'
After the above remarks, Rockefeller turned the floor over to Levin (the next ranking Democrat), who detailedin their own wordshow Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Powell, and Tenet covered up what the U.S. intelligence community had found: There was no connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda. Levin stated:
"President Bush said Saddam and al-Qaeda were 'allies'his words. And that: 'You can't distinguish between al-Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror.'
"The bipartisan report released today directly contradicts that linkage which the President has consistently made in his effort to build public support for his Iraq policy....
"Just 2 weeks ago, the President said in a press conference that Saddam Hussein 'had relations with Zarqawi.' Our Intelligence Committee report demonstrates that statement made 2 weeks ago by the President was false. The committee report discloses, for the first time, the CIA's October 2005 assessment that Saddam's regime: 'Did not have a relationship, harbor, or turn a blind eye towards Zarqawi and his associates.'
"The President's statement made just 2 weeks ago is flat out false.
"The drumbeat of misleading administration statements alleging Saddam's links to al-Qaeda was unrelenting in the lead-up to the Iraq war, which began in March, 2003...."
And the most damning evidence is against Cheney:
"The misleading statements by administration officials didn't stop there....
"On December 9, 2001, Vice President Cheney was asked about the report on 'Meet the Press.' The Vice President said: 'It has been pretty well confirmed that hethe 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Attadid go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official with the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia [sic] last April, several months before the attack.'
"On March 24, 2002, the Vice President told 'Meet the Press': 'We discovered, and it has since been public, the allegation that one of the lead hijackers, Mohammed Atta, had, in fact, met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague.'
"But the Intelligence Committee report released today cites a June 2002 CIA paper that said: 'Reporting is contradictory on hijacker Mohammed Atta's alleged trip to Prague and meeting with an Iraqi intelligence officer and we have not verified his travels.'
"The Intelligence Committee report released today declassifies, for the first time, a July 2002 Defense Intelligence Agency paper that said: 'Mohammed Atta reportedly was identified by an asset, not an officer, of a Czech service, only after Atta's picture was widely circulated in the media after the attacks, approximately five months after the alleged meeting occurred.'
"And that: 'There is no photographic, immigration, or other documentary evidence indicating that Atta was in the Czech Republic during the time frame of the meeting.'
"Two months later, in September 2002, the CIA published its assessment that 'evidence casts doubt' on the possibility that the meeting had occurred and that: 'The CIA and FBI have reviewed the reporting available so far and they are unable to confirm that Atta met al-Ani in Prague.'
"None of those assessments stopped the Vice President from continuing to suggest that the report of the meeting was evidence that Saddam's regime was linked to the 9/11 attack.
"On September 8, 2002, in a 'Meet the Press' interview, the Vice President said that the CIA considered the report of the meeting credible, although again, that same month, the CIA said there was evidence that cast doubt on it having occurred.
"In January 2003, the CIA published an assessment stating that: 'A CIA and FBI review of intelligence and open-source reporting leads us to question the information provided by the Czech service source who claimed that Atta met al-Ani.' [emphasis added]
"The January 2003 paper stated that the CIA was 'increasingly skeptical'increasingly skeptical'that Atta traveled to Prague in 2001 or met with the IIS officer, al-Ani,' and that 'the most reliable reporting to date casts doubt on this possibility.'
"But the Vice President was undeterred by the CIA's skepticism.... 8 months after the CIA said that the most reliable reporting cast doubt on the possibility of a meeting between Atta and the Iraqi intelligence officer, Vice President Cheney was still citing as this having possibly occurred.
"On January 14, 2004, a full year after the CIA expressed serious doubts about the meeting and the fact that not a shred of evidence had been found to support the claim of a meeting, the Vice President told the Rocky Mountain News that the Atta meeting was 'the one that possibly tied the two together to 9/11.' "
On June 17, 2004, Cheney was still saying that we have "never been able to knock down" the unreliable report of the Prague meeting.
As LaRouche says, it is time for the impeachment, now.