The recent disclosures of secret memos of meetings involving British Prime Minister Tony Blair's staff have underlined just how cynical and deceitful the people entrusted to lead the United States were in fabricating intelligence to get this war under way. It has become clear that they never had any intention of letting the United Nations try to settle the dispute. It seems clear now that they had made up their minds nearly a year before that Saddam Hussein was to be forcibly deposed.
Yet Bush and his lieutenants kept telling the American people that war would be waged only as a last resort.
As Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, said last week, "The veracity of those statements has - to put it mildly - come into question."
They Died So Republicans Could Take the Senate
Richard Nixon authorized the Watergate burglary and subsequent cover-up to advance his own political ambitions. Because Nixon's lies were done for the craven purpose of getting and holding political power, his lies - in the minds of the majority of the members of Congress - were elevated to the level of impeachable "high crimes and misdemeanors."
Bill Clinton had sex in the White House with Monica Lewinsky, but Congress concluded he'd lied about it to maintain political power. Another impeachable crime.
The real scandal of the Downing Street Memos, with the greatest potential to leave the Bush presidency in permanent disgrace, is their implication that lies may have been put forward to help Bush, Republicans, and Blair politically. If Bush lied to gain and keep political power, precedent suggests he and his collaborators in the administration may even be vulnerable to impeachment.
"The entire world thought Saddam had WMD," [Condeleeza Rice] and other Bush representatives suggest over and over again. "We had bad intelligence."
"The entire world" was, in fact, watching and listening to Hans Blix, who was telling us that he couldn't find any evidence of WMD - or any other sort of threat - in Iraq. Most of our allies were convinced that Saddam did not have WMD, or that if he did have some small stockpiles left they were so insignificant and degraded that they were irrelevant.
It [the war] was, pure and simple, well planned years in advance, a war to solidify Bush and the Republican Party's political capital.
Lying presidents need to be impeached. That's what the Republicans in Congress told us only a few years ago.
BBA | After Downing Street