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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Libby fingers Bush: How will the RNC debate Iraq while avoiding impeachable offenses?

The RNC wants to debate Iraq. Libby’s testimony before the Grand Jury shows Bush was behind the leaks on Iraq. The RNC can only be serious about an Iraq debate if they address the assumptions behind the Iraq invasion and planning: False information which Libby linked to one person -- the President of the United States. Indeed, if the RNC is serious in 2006 about a debate on Iraq, they should be serious about impeachable offenses.

America supposedly invaded Iraq to bring law and order. How will the RNC leadership in Congress impose law and order at home in the White House? How they answer -- and what they do or don't do -- will tell Americans whether they are serious about leadership and having a debate; or avoiding leadership and the President's impeachable offenses.

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Links: "Bush Authorized Plamegate Leak": Bush and Cheney fully involved on Libby's July 8 revelation to Miller on Plame identify [Click ]; Libby fingers Bush, approved leak of Plame to NYT's Miller: [ Click
FitzgeraldOne of the key conversations that will be proved at trial took place between defendant and
reporter Judith Miller at the St. Regis Hotel on the morning of July 8, 2003.Ref: 22 of 39, Response to Libby]

Review this quote, what the NIE and Bush smearing are really about:
I will provide a cause for the war
Whether true or not is irrelevant for propaganda purposes

-- Adolf Hitler, quoted on plaque at Auschwitz

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The RNC wants to debate Iraq. Also, Libby's announced that Bush was behind the leaks on Iraq.

Call your RNC elected officials, and let them know you support a debate on Iraq and their plan to discuss the impeachable offenses.

Ask your RNC leadership about the Libby revelations and the following clauses in the Constitution related to Iraq:

Article 1 Section 8: Exclusive congressional powers

  • A. Bush's leaks on Iraq shows he's willing to lie to get Congress to appropriate funds for an illegal war. How can the RNC discuss Iraq without considering the misstatements Bush made that deceived Congress to appropriate money, ignored military tribunals, ignore exclusive powers to Congress to punish t piracies?

  • B. False statements about Iraq constitutes Propaganda in violation of the Smith Act. How does the RNC plan in 2006 to debate in Congress Iraq without mentioning the false basis for war?

    Article III Section 2: Judicial role on matters of treaties

  • C. The UN Charter and Geneva Conventions require there be an imminent threat before using combat forces to attack another nation. Libby’s statements before the Grand Jury shows that Bush lied about Iraq, there was no imminent threat. How does the RNC plan to discuss in 2006 the Iraq situation without considering the war crimes committed by the President?

  • D. The Rules of Procedure and rules of evidence require information to be correct, truthful, and based on something linked to admissible evidence. Evidence must be factual. In 2003 the White House statements were used to mobilize the nation for war. The DC Court of Appeals heart statements from the White House on the basis for war. Despite efforts to stop the war, the DC court affirmed the decisions to wage war. In 2006, we learn that the basis for the war was propaganda. How does the RNC in 2006 plan to discuss the Iraq situation without reviewing the apparent fraud committed upon the court; and the apparently misleading statements the DC Court of Appeals relied upon to not stop what is now known to be an illegal war?

    Article II Section 3: Executive responsibility to enforce the law

  • E. Libby’s testimony before the Grand Jury raises questions about what the Executive was or was not doing in 2002 and 2003. The laws of war and laws of the land require truthful statements to Congress. Article II Section 3 states the President shall enforce the law. Propaganda is not lawful and a violation of the Smith Act. Also, there is no basis to say that Congress was given truthful information. It is not credible to believe that providing propaganda and manipulating Congress is consistent with the Executive’s duty to enforce the law. Rather, by all accounts he’s done the opposite: Failed to enforce the law, violated the law, waged illegal war, and provided false information to unlawfully get appropriations for an illegal war. How does the RNC plan to discuss the Iraq situation without discussing matters related to impeachment?

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    Libby’s testimony before the Grand Jury is an opportunity. Libby’s statements before the Grand Jury show that the President lied about Iraq to violate US treaties. This is a matter under Article III Section 2 to be brought before the court. Indeed, the President has already lied about Iraq before the court in 2003.

    It remains to be understood how the RNC plans to talk about Iraq without talking about the Executives violations of the law. The President illegally self-delegated exceptions to the law to mobilize the nation for and illegal war. He knew what he was doing: Violating the Constitution.

    The White House connection to the false information on Iraq showed the White House had a clear goal to undermine Article 1 Section 8 powers of Congress on the basis of fraud; and ignored the Executive's responsibility under Article II Section 3 to enforce the statutes, not circumvent the law based on fraud.

    This Executive shows he is not willing to comply with the law. He’s ignored the FISA court. How does Congress plan to discuss Iraq without pointing to what is self-evident: The basis for war in Iraq hinges on impeachable offenses, and Libby’s testimony shows us the President knew full well what he was doing.

    * * *

    We welcome the RNC attempt to have a serious discussion about Iraq, and the impeachable offenses related to Article I Section 8, Article II Section 3, and Article III Section 2.

    It is impossible for the RNC to discuss anything related to Iraq unless they are serious about discussing impeachable offenses. The Congress relied on this false information; the country was deceived into an illegal war; and Bush knew that the statements were false, and that the war was not linked with any imminent threat required to satisfy the law.

    If the RNC does not discuss these issues, the public will see that the RNC is not serious about discussing Iraq. Rather, they are serious about having a phony debate about matters that should be well discussed: Whether there is or is not enough evidence to charge the President with impeachable offenses.

    If the RNC wants to debate Iraq but they refuse to discuss the impeachable offenses, then they are not serious about leading the country or protecting the Constitution. Rather, they are serous about avoiding their oaths. They are not fit to govern.

    * * *

    Added 9:45P EST 6 April 2006: Now the quibbling starts, but simply raises new questions.

    CNN corrected the claim to more accurately reflect the content of the testimony, noting that it was Vice President Dick Cheney who Libby testified had told him the President had ok'ed the leak of classified information relating to pre-war intelligence. This means the President did not directly, by Libby's account, authorize him to leak classified information.Raw

    OK, so the President indirectly through Cheney -- as Bush would have confidence Cheney would do -- got Libby to do something that was not lawful, disclose information with full knowledge it was false, misleading, and disclosed information to reveal a CIA agents' names.

    This is merely an excuse, and does nothing to defend the President. Rather, given this is the "best that they can offer," we can only ask new questions:

  • A. What happened after Libby did what the VP-Bush wanted done: Did Libby send a message back -- like Rove did -- "Hay, it's all taken care of. . ."; and how did the President and Vice President react when they discussed the news that Plame's name had been outed?

  • B. Does it mean that there's a distinction between an illegal order from the Vice President and illegal order from the President? This merely makes the conspiracy larger, and widens the pool of people who were involved and failed to remove themselves.

  • C. Or, are we to believe that the Vice President wasn't truthful, and Bush didn't really do what the Vice President said? This raises credibility issues with Cheney; and raises more questions about a communication problem between Cheney, Bush and Libby -- if this communication problem were real, then it should have been well known: What steps, if any, did the Congress and Vice President take to ensure they understood exactly what was going on?

  • D. If someone you trust tells you to violate the law -- because the President said so , and you do it -- does it matter whether you obeyed an unlawful order, or whether you were given an unlawful order? Again, this doesn't defend anyone, merely shows us that there are more people who failed to do what they should have done. This is not simply malfeasance, but an impeachable offense by both Cheney and Bush.

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    Added: 10:50P EST, 6 April 2006

    Issue: Caught on tape, admissible: Cheney and Libby contradict eachother: Cheney's transcript on Fox shows he was trying to keep the President out of the picture; Libby did the opposite by implicating the President.

  • Diversion 1: Equating data declassification with revealing the agent of a CIA agent

  • Diversion 2: Diverting attention from Cheney's inconsistent statements

    Recall these words:
    "If it turns out that Cheney was actively involved in decisions related to the disclosure of a CIA officer's identity, and if the truth of it is that he was orchestrating the disclosure of information to the media, it seems to me that's a fundamentally different case than one centered around the activities of Libby." -- Former Whitewater independent counsel Robert RayRef Google

    The Mess

    Rather than focusing on whether there is or is not a crime, the apologists are saying that the leak was permissible. That makes no sense. They're trying to argue that the revelation of a CIA agent identify is somehow the same as declassifying information. That's non-sense.

    "Data and the release of that data" is not the same as exposing the identify of an undercover agent. [ Click ] Cheney asserted that it was "OK" for Libby to have done what he did, and that Cheney had the power to declassify the information -- leaving us with the impression that the President was not involved. [ CLick ] [ Check the transcript of Cheney's appearance on Fox before 26 Feb 2006. Click ]

    Now we know that Cheney was trying to make it look like Bush was out of the picture, but Libby has told us otherwise. It remains to be seen what Cheney has told the Grand Jury or Fitzgerald that was misleading: Who was involved; whose decision it was; and whether it was or was not appropriate.

    At this point, none of their stories add up, and it's a feeding frenzy.

    Sidetracks: Media Matters monitors the red herrings: click and Conyers asks the right question: When is Bush going to fire himself of this? [ Click ]