Senate Dems Distort, Divert, and Divide; Next Phase of Rocky's Impeachment Plan Now in Progress
Senate Democrats, seeing the political momentum in Washington swing decisively back to the Republicans, today brought Senate business to a halt and forced a closed-door session at which they bloviated about the investigation of pre-Iraq war intelligence. This move was unprecedented, unannounced, and clearly the next step in a plan to eventually call for the President's impeachment that was first articulated in a 2003 memo by the staff of Senator Jay Rockefeller.
If you don't remember, two years ago, Rockefailure's staff drafted a strategy memo that outlined a comprehensive strategy toward undermining the legitimacy of the Iraq war. Although the "I" word was never mentioned, there can be no denial that impeachment of the President and/or Vice President would be the remedy sought for any alleged deception for which the left would claim to have proof.
The schemes concocted by the left in this area cannot succeed without weak-spined Republicans on the Hill who go along to get along. Now is not the time for appeasement, even if one supports in concept independent boards of inquiry regarding highly disputed facts of great public consequence. The left has no hard evidence of their suspicions and is seeking a deep sea fishing expedition to propagate the notion the administration was bent on war and was engaged in a relentless campaign to seek or concoct a casus belli.
On this issue, I am in the same camp as Don Surber. We had plenty of reasons to bring regime change to Iraq regardless of weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, the only difficulty in making the case for Iraq regime change was the endless array of reasons for doing so that one would be hard-pressed to condense into a distinct, standalone cause for war.
The benefit of hindsight is guaranteed 20/20 vision. The President sought to build an international coalition to remove Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime. Weapons of mass destruction was believed to be the most compelling cause for receiving the support of other countries. Before the war, the international intelligence community was of unanimous opinion: Saddam Hussein had active WMD programs, was seeking to acquire WMD, and he was most definitely not in compliance with the obligation he assumed under the 1991 cease-fire to prove that he not only had no WMD but that he also had no WMD programs and was not seeking in any way to reconstitute his WMD and means of delivery.
Saddam Hussein had 6 months of warning of our invasion. We obviously don't know whether he actually had WMD stockpiles. What we do not know is why there was such a tremendous disconnect between the judgment of all the major intelligence services from countries both for and against the war. Those countries that opposed the war did not dispute the underlying facts, only that war was the answer. I contend that either Saddam Hussein had WMD and hid them in another country during the 6-month warning before the war or he did not have them and was performing an elaborate charade to make everyone think he was not a paper tiger, assuming that demonstrating his full compliance with the 1991 cease-fire would surely invite rebellion or invasion and his reign would end either way.
Despite all the focus on weapons of mass destruction, there were many other reasons for regime change in Iraq. Indeed, Congress had enacted the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998 establishing regime change in Iraq as official U.S. policy. H.J.Res. 114, the Iraq war resolution, cited many causes for war:
Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq's war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;
Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism;
Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;
Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;
Whereas in Public Law 105-235 (August 14, 1998), Congress concluded that Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in `material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations' and urged the President `to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations';
Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;
Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolution of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;
Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people;
Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;
Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;
Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens;
Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;
Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;
Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 (1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (1991), repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 (1991), and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949 (1994);
Whereas in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1), Congress has authorized the President `to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolution 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677';
Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it `supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1),' that Iraq's repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and `constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region,' and that Congress, `supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688';
Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;
Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to `work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge' posed by Iraq and to `work for the necessary resolutions,' while also making clear that `the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable';
Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq's ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;
Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President 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, or harbored such persons or organizations;
Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate 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, or harbored such persons or organizations;
Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and
Whereas it is in the national security interests of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region