The missing WMD’s = Big trouble for Blair and Bush
The WMD issue is approaching critical mass, both in Britain, and here. People from all over the political map are asking, why have no WMD’s been found, and were Bush and Blair lying about them?
Tony Blair’s own spy agencies so mistrusted him that they secretly taped meetings to prove that the Blair administration was putting pressure on them to phony up the data about Iraq.
From The Independent:
“Intelligence officers are holding a “smoking gun” which proves that they were subjected to a series of demands by Tony Blair’s staff in the run-up to the Iraq war.
The intelligence services were so concerned about demands made by Downing Street for evidence to use against Iraq that extensive files have been built up detailing communications with Mr Blair’s staff.
“A smoking gun may well exist over WMDs, but it may not be to the Government’s liking,” said one senior source. “Minuted details will show exactly what went on. Because of the frequency and, at times, unusual nature of the demands from Downing Street, people have made sure records were kept. There is a certain amount of self-preservation in this, of course.”
And now, after days of denial, Blair is cracking.
“Downing Street is to express regret about the fundamental flaws in the second ‘dodgy dossier’ on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.
Senior Whitehall sources told the Observer that the officials who will be called before the Intelligence and Security Committee inquiry into the weapons issue will say that the second dossier on Saddam’s history of deception undermined public trust in government information.
If Blair is questioned on the issue, he will concede that mistakes were made.”
Which brings us to Bush.
John Dean, of Watergate fame, lays it out in a CNN column.
“Is lying about the reason for a war an impeachable offense?
In the three decades since Watergate, this is the first potential scandal I have seen that could make Watergate pale by comparison. If the Bush Administration intentionally manipulated or misrepresented intelligence to get Congress to authorize, and the public to support, military action to take control of Iraq, then that would be a monstrous misdeed.
This administration may be due for a scandal. While Bush narrowly escaped being dragged into Enron, which was not, in any event, his doing. But the war in Iraq is all Bush’s doing, and it is appropriate that he be held accountable.
To put it bluntly, if Bush has taken Congress and the nation into war based on bogus information, he is cooked. Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence data, if proven, could be “a high crime” under the Constitution’s impeachment clause. It would also be a violation of federal criminal law, including the broad federal anti-conspiracy statute, which renders it a felony “to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose.”
Now is the time to organize, and organize hard on this. Even people who supported the Iraq invasion are getting twitchy about why no WMD’s have been found – and that includes some Republican Senators.
This is an easy issue for people to understand, and thus to organize on. 1) We went to war because Bush said Iraq had WMD’s. 2) No WMD’s have been found. 3) Was Bush lying?
I leave you with the words of the magnificent Robert Byrd from the floor of the U.S. Senate on June 5.
“Now, nearly two months after the fall of Baghdad, the United States has yet to find any physical evidence of those lethal weapons. Could they be buried underground or are they somehow camouflaged in plain sight? Were they destroyed before the war? Have they been shipped out of the country? Do they actually exist? The questions are mounting. What started weeks ago as a restless murmur throughout Iraq has intensified into a worldwide cacophony of confusion.
The fundamental question that is nagging at many is this: How reliable were the claims of this President and key members of his Administration that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction posed a clear and imminent threat to the United States, such a grave threat that immediate war was the only recourse?”
Here’s my suggestion of what to do:
That and make this a central issue for the country. It could well mean the end of Bush.