New York City activist

June 13, 2008

Dennis Kucinich’s articles of impeachment of President George W. Bush

In recent comments, Gregory called attention to Dennis Kucinich’s recent articles of impeachment of President George W Bush. Here is a link to those articles of impeachment.


The relevant articles are:

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression.

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001.

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders.

Of these, the most relevant for our purposes are Article XXXIII and Article XXXIV.

The page begins with a summary of the articles, followed by more detailed versions of each of them. The more detailed version of Article XXXIII says:

ARTICLE XXXIII

REPEATEDLY IGNORED AND FAILED TO RESPOND TO HIGH LEVEL INTELLIGENCE WARNINGS OF PLANNED TERRORIST ATTACKS IN THE US, PRIOR TO 911

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 under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” has both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates, together with the Vice President, failed in his Constitutional duties to take proper steps to protect the nation prior to September 11, 2001.

The White House’s top counter-terrorism adviser, Richard A. Clarke, has testified that from the beginning of George W. Bush’s presidency until September 11, 2001, Clarke attempted unsuccessfully to persuade President Bush to take steps to protect the nation against terrorism. Clarke sent a memorandum to then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice on January 24, 2001, “urgently” but unsuccessfully requesting “a Cabinet-level meeting to deal with the impending al Qaeda attack.”

In April 2001, Clarke was finally granted a meeting, but only with second-in-command department representatives, including Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, who made light of Clarke’s concerns.

Clarke confirms that in June, July, and August, 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) warned the president in daily briefings of unprecedented indications that a major al Qaeda attack was going to happen against the United States somewhere in the world in the weeks and months ahead. Yet, Clarke was still unable to convene a cabinet-level meeting to address the issue.

Condoleezza Rice has testified that George Tenet met with the president 40 times to warn him that a major al-Qaeda attack was going to take place, and that in response the president did not convene any meetings of top officials. At such meetings, the FBI could have shared information on possible terrorists enrolled at flight schools. Among the many preventive steps that could have been taken, the Federal Aviation Administration, airlines, and airports might have been put on full alert.

According to Condoleezza Rice, the first and only cabinet-level meeting prior to 9/11 to discuss the threat of terrorist attacks took place on September 4, 2001, one week before the attacks in New York and Washington.

On August 6, 2001, President Bush was presented a President’s Daily Brief (PDB) article titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” The lead sentence of that PDB article indicated that Bin Laden and his followers wanted to “follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and ‘bring the fighting to America.’” The article warned: “Al-Qa’ida members–including some who are US citizens–have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks.”

The article cited a “more sensational threat reporting that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a US aircraft,” but indicated that the CIA had not been able to corroborate such reporting. The PDB item included information from the FBI indicating “patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.” The article also noted that the CIA and FBI were investigating “a call to our embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Laden supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives.”

The president spent the rest of August 6, and almost all the rest of August 2001 on vacation. There is no evidence that he called any meetings of his advisers to discuss this alarming report. When the title and substance of this PDB article were later reported in the press, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice began a sustained campaign to play down its significance, until the actual text was eventually released by the White House.

New York Times writer Douglas Jehl put it this way: “In a single 17-sentence document, the intelligence briefing delivered to President Bush in August 2001 spells out the who, hints at the what and points towards the where of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington that followed 36 days later.”

Eleanor Hill, Executive Director of the joint congressional committee investigating the performance of the US intelligence community before September 11, 2001, reported in mid-September 2002 that intelligence reports a year earlier “reiterated a consistent and constant theme: Osama bin Laden’s intent to launch terrorist attacks inside the United States.”

That joint inquiry revealed that just two months before September 11, an intelligence briefing for “senior government officials” predicted a terrorist attack with these words: “The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass casualties against U.S. facilities or interests. Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning.”

Given the White House’s insistence on secrecy with regard to what intelligence was given to President Bush, the joint-inquiry report does not divulge whether he took part in that briefing. Even if he did not, it strains credulity to suppose that those “senior government officials” would have kept its alarming substance from the president.

Again, there is no evidence that the president held any meetings or took any action to deal with the threats of such attacks.

In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, 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.

The more detailed version of Article XXXIV says:

ARTICLE XXXIV

OBSTRUCTION OF INVESTIGATION INTO THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

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 under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” has both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates, together with the Vice President, obstructed investigations into the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Following September 11, 2001, President Bush and Vice President Cheney took strong steps to thwart any and all proposals that the circumstances of the attack be addressed. Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell was forced to renege on his public promise on September 23 that a “White Paper” would be issued to explain the circumstances. Less than two weeks after that promise, Powell apologized for his “unfortunate choice of words,” and explained that Americans would have to rely on “information coming out in the press and in other ways.”

On Sept. 26, 2001, President Bush drove to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters in Langley, Virginia, stood with Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet and said: “My report to the nation is, we’ve got the best intelligence we can possibly have thanks to the men and women of the C.I.A.” George Tenet subsequently and falsely claimed not to have visited the president personally between the start of Bush’s long Crawford vacation and September 11, 2001.

Testifying before the 9/11 Commission on April 14, 2004, Tenet answered a question from Commission member Timothy Roemer by referring to the president’s vacation (July 29-August 30) in Crawford and insisting that he did not see the president at all in August 2001. “You never talked with him?” Roemer asked. “No,” Tenet replied, explaining that for much of August he too was “on leave.” An Agency spokesman called reporters that same evening to say Tenet had misspoken, and that Tenet had briefed Bush on August 17 and 31. The spokesman explained that the second briefing took place after the president had returned to Washington, and played down the first one, in Crawford, as uneventful.

In his book, At the Center of the Storm, (2007) Tenet, refers to what is almost certainly his August 17 visit to Crawford as a follow-up to the “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US” article in the CIA-prepared President’s Daily Brief of August 6. That briefing was immortalized in a Time Magazine photo capturing Harriet Myers holding the PDB open for the president, as two CIA officers sit by. It is the same briefing to which the president reportedly reacted by telling the CIA briefer, “All right, you’ve covered your ass now.” (Ron Suskind, The One-Percent Doctrine, p. 2, 2006). In At the Center of the Storm, Tenet writes: “A few weeks after the August 6 PDB was delivered, I followed it to Crawford to make sure that the president stayed current on events.”

A White House press release suggests Tenet was also there a week later, on August 24. According to the August 25, 2001, release, President Bush, addressing a group of visitors to Crawford on August 25, told them: “George Tenet and I, yesterday, we piled in the new nominees for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Vice Chairman and their wives and went right up the canyon.”

In early February, 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney warned then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle that if Congress went ahead with an investigation, administration officials might not show up to testify. As pressure grew for an investigation, the president and vice president agreed to the establishment of a congressional joint committee to conduct a “Joint Inquiry.” Eleanor Hill, Executive Director of the Inquiry, opened the Joint Inquiry’s final public hearing in mid-September 2002 with the following disclaimer: “I need to report that, according to the White House and the Director of Central Intelligence, the president’s knowledge of intelligence information relevant to this inquiry remains classified, even when the substance of the intelligence information has been declassified.”

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, also known as the 9/11 Commission, was created on November 27, 2002, following the passage of congressional legislation signed into law by President Bush. The President was asked to testify before the Commission. He refused to testify except for one hour in private with only two Commission members, with no oath administered, with no recording or note taking, and with the Vice President at his side. Commission Co-Chair Lee Hamilton has written that he believes the commission was set up to fail, was underfunded, was rushed, and did not receive proper cooperation and access to information.

A December 2007 review of classified documents by former members of the Commission found that the commission had made repeated and detailed requests to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 for documents and other information about the interrogation of operatives of Al Qaeda, and had been told falsely by a top C.I.A. official that the agency had “produced or made available for review” everything that had been requested.

In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, 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.

At some point I should dig up primary sources for various details mentioned above. Hopefully Dennis Kucinich’s website will soon be providing supporting documentation, as it did for H.Res. 333 last year.

It doesn’t seem likely that impeachment effort will go anywhere, given non-support by leading Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi, and given that Bush’s term is almost over anyway.

What I do hope is that Bush, Cheney, et al can be tried for various crimes after they leave office. If/when Kucinich provides supporting documents for his articles of impeachment, he will thereby aid subsequent efforts to push for a criminal indictment of Bush, Cheney, et al.

I looked up some relevant threads in the JREF forum:

In the first of the above two threads, a post by Pardalis contains a link to a page on Mark Roberts’s site claiming that “The EPA’s assurances that the air was safe to breathe applied the neighborhoods near Ground Zero, not at Ground Zero.” [sic] At some point I should look further into this claim.

Jon Gold posted about Kucinich’s articles of impeachment on 911blogger. Gold wrote:

Dennis Kucinich just introduced 35 articles of impeachment. Number 33 had to do with criminal negligence with regard to 9/11. Number 34 had to do with obstruction of justice with regard to 9/11. Number 35 had to do with how this administration has treated the 9/11 First Responders.

Thank you Dennis Kucinich!

Pat at Screw Loose Change responds:

You know how it is, the Troofers believe the government pulled off 9-11. Negligence implies that the government did not pull it off. But they’ll take it anyway.

Not everyone in the 9/11 Truth movement advocates the idea that “the government pulled off 9-11.” In particular, I don’t think Jon Gold does.

The central aim of the 9/11 Truth movement is not to promote any specific theory of what happened, but simply to call for an independent investigation, with subpoena power, of possible government wrongdoing in connection with 9/11. People in the 9/11 Truth movement vary quite a bit in their perception of what kinds of wrongdoing are likely.

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10 Comments »

  1. So tragic how the media is sleeping through this. I seriously see an exact comparison to Nazi Germany- the people are so sadly asleep to what is going on and they think they are in some free country.

    Sad and also hopeless.

    Comment by realitydesign — June 14, 2008 @ 4:58 am | Reply

  2. Oh and Dennis is one of the few congressmen with a nutsack (pardon the vulgarity) along with Wexler and Ron Paul.

    Cheers Dennis, you da man.

    P.S. Dennis has seen a UFO.

    🙂

    Comment by realitydesign — June 14, 2008 @ 5:04 am | Reply

  3. The mass media aren’t totally ignoring it (see this New York Times article and this AP report) but indeed they are giving it no more than perfunctory attention.

    It’s probably not considered newsworthy because it’s unlikely to go anywhere in Congress. The mass media don’t cover every bill that gets introduced in Congress, by any means. If it were actually to come up for a debate on the floor of the House, it would probably get at least a little more attention from the mass media.

    Anyhow, please don’t bring up UFO’s and theories about aliens except in this thread.

    I agree that Dennis Kucinich is one of the few people in Congress with any courage.

    Comment by Diane — June 14, 2008 @ 1:43 pm | Reply

  4. When Kucinich’s resolution came up before the House the two alternatives were to either vote in favor of an immediate floor debate on impeachment or defer it to the Judicial Committee. Why did Kucinich vote in favor of deferment if he was serious about the matter? Most Democrats who voted for deferment did so because they did not wish to be caught in a position of having to take a public stand either way. The Republicans who voted in favor of immediate floor discussion did so because they were confident that people like Conyers and Pelosi would back off if put in the position of having to take a definite stand. But what motive could Kucinich have for voting in favor of deferment, unless the only purpose of this game is to reinforce the credibility of the Democrats? It should be obvious that destroying the credibility of the Democrats is an essential task for anything which could be labeled as “progressive.” The fact that some pro-Bush Republicans would also like to shred the credibility of the Democrats by demanding a floor debate on impeachment does not mean that it’s a bad idea. So why would Kucinich vote in favor of deferment of the resolution to the Judiciary Committee if he were serious about this?

    Kucinich’s only purpose is to make sure that people don’t quit the Democratic Party and begin seeking other parties outside of the Republican/Democrat paradigm. Conyers had introduced an impeachment resolution back in April 2005 when the Republicans were in control, but he tabled it as soon as the Democrats were voted in. Kucinich knows all of this, but seeks to minimize the damage which it causes to Democrats. He acts as a Left figleaf for the Democrats, but no more.

    Comment by patricksmcnally — June 15, 2008 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

  5. I just now came across this post on Democratic Underground claiming that the only one of Kucinich’s articles of impeachment on which an eventual conviction of Bush is at all likely is “Article XXIV: Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment.” I’m not sure whether Angleae’s reasoning is correct, but, if so, it might explain why Kucinich favored deferring the resolution.

    Comment by Diane — June 16, 2008 @ 1:24 am | Reply

  6. > I’m not sure whether Angleae’s reasoning is correct,

    At best they’re highly misleading. The point seems to be that certain things are not illegal and hence could not be used for a conviction. That may well be true, but has no relevance for an impeachment resolution. Lying about a blowjob is not illegal, but a Congress with sufficient gumption can call for a President to be impeached over such if they wish. A Congressional demand for impeachment does not have to operate according to the standards of a legal conviction. Impeachment proceedings represent a Congressional assessment that a President has in some fashion been derelict in duty in ways which may or may not be legally adequate for conviction in a court of law.

    > but, if so, it might explain why Kucinich favored deferring the resolution.

    No it would not, and if Kucinich attempted to invoke such an explanation it would at best demonstrate a very poor understanding of what the function of impeachment as a Congressional procedure is supposed to be. Kucinich accepted the deferment because he knew that the Democrats wished to avoid being put in the position of actually having to take a public stand on impeachment and it was not his intent to embarrass the Democrats. His intent was to keep the faith in them alive by letting the word get out to the public that there still is a segment of the Democratic Party which is seeking to impeach Bush and so this isn’t the right time to dump the Democrats just yet. Kucinich, Pelosi, Conyers and every other Democrat knows that impeachment is a procedure which the Congress has a right to enact without concerning itself with finding grounds for a legal conviction. They simply don’t wish to go there.

    Comment by patricksmcnally — June 16, 2008 @ 3:09 am | Reply

  7. If anyone is not clear about the difference between grounds for impeachment and grounds for legal prosecution, a review of this document may be helpful:

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/starr_report/7grounds.htm

    Worthy of note is the following:

    —–
    XI. There is substantial and credible information that President Clinton’s actions since January 17, 1998, regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky have been inconsistent with the President’s constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws.

    Before, during, and after his January 17, 1998, civil deposition, the President attempted to conceal the truth about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky from the judicial process in the Jones case. Furthermore, the President has since lied under oath to the grand jury and facilitated the provision of false information to the grand jury by others.

    The President also misled the American people and the Congress in his public statement of January 26, 1998, in which he denied “sexual relations” with Ms. Lewinsky. The President misled his Cabinet and his senior aides by denying the relationship to them. The Cabinet and senior aides in turn misled the American people and the Congress by conveying the President’s denials and professing their belief in the credibility of those denials.
    —–

    Notice that the civil deposition itself came about because in this case the President was called to make such, and even then the charges still stress the point that “Before, during, and after his January 17, 1998, civil deposition, the President attempted to conceal the truth about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky…” With regard to the claim by Angleae that “Lying to the american public and/or congress, unless under oath (and he never is), is not illegal,” it would be just as easy for a Congress today to first demand a civil deposition of Bush, and then accuse him of lying “Before, during, and after his … civil deposition…” They simply don’t wish to do anything of the sort. Apologetics for the Democrats and Kucinich are totally out of place here.

    Comment by patricksmcnally — June 16, 2008 @ 4:15 am | Reply

  8. Another reason why Kucinich might have voted for deferment is that he didn’t have his documentation ready yet. Perhaps he had simply assumed, from the beginning, that of course the measure would NOT come up for a vote immediately, and was expecting to put together his documentation (or at least finish getting it all organized and written up) while the measure was in committee.

    Comment by Diane — June 18, 2008 @ 11:37 am | Reply

  9. There was never any question that the Democrats would have rejected any attempt to bring the issue to the floor, and Kucinich certainly knew that. Conyers had been talking about impeachment until the Democrats got control of the House and then he dumped the issue. Kucinich certainly knows all of that. There was never a danger of the issue coming to floor with people like Conyers and Pelosi in positions of leadership. They Conyers and Pelosi protect Bush, but Kucinich protects Conyers and Pelosi by circulating a rumor that an impeachment resolution is going about without putting Conyers and Pelosi in a position where they have to answer hard questions about why they tabled the resolution without bringing it to the floor. It would be hard to ask them a serious question of this type, when they can point to the fact that Kucinich himself voted for tabling it. Likewise, it would be hard to ask Bush a serious question about anything, when he can simply point to the fact that Democrats like Conyers and Pelosi have gone along with everything very willingly. It’s like a line of successive back-scratchers with Bush at the front and Kucinich at the back of the line. But they’re all scratching each other’s backs in the line.

    Comment by patricksmcnally — June 18, 2008 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  10. Well, hopefully Kucinich’s tossing in of the towel over this health care debate will put an end to any illusions in him. Kucinich has a long running track record of playing these games to keep alive the myth that Democrats are fighting for the commoners. But Kucinich has always thrown in the towel at the crucial moment. His support for Kerry in 2004 was one example of that. The late-term abortion attempt on the Bush administration represented by this impeachment bill was another. Now we have his trip on Air Force One with Obama as an example of how fast Kucinich can be turned around. If people are still holding illusions in him then they are probably beyond help.

    Comment by patricksmcnally — March 23, 2010 @ 9:11 pm | Reply


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