Bill Clinton was
impeached) for allegedly lying to a grand jury regarding Paula Jones (who had sued him for sexual harassment), and about the nature of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
Should George Bush be impeached?
- In 1970 the domestic production of oil in the United States peaks. American oil production has since done nothing but fall.
- In 1973 and 1978 the Saudi oil embargo, and then the Iranian revolution, disrupt U.S. oil consumption. Oil prices soar, causing widespread panic over an imminent energy crisis.
- In 1997 the Project for the New American Century is formed. The PNAC is billed as a political think tank whose goal is to promote American global leadership. The PNAC believes America must act alone if international organizations cannot be used to promote American goals. In 1998 the PNAC writes President Clinton, imploring him to invade Iraq and remove Saddamn Hussein from power. A great number of PNAC members go on to fill positions in George W. Bush's administration - including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, I. Lewis Libby, Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton (currently American ambassador to the U.N.).
- In 2000 the presidential election comes down to a few thousand votes in Florida, a state governed by Jeb Bush, George's brother. Bush wins the election, despite widespread voting irregularities, including the alleged disenfranchising of black voters, and disposal of ballots in black (and Democratic) townships.
- New White House Officials who have oil industry links? Condoleezza Rice was a Chevron Director from 1991 until January 15, 2001. For a long time a Chevron oil tanker was named "The Condoleezza." Vice President Dick Cheney was Chairman and Chief Executive of Dallas based Halliburton Corporation, the world’s largest oil field services company with multi-billion dollar contracts with oil corporations including Chevron.
George Bush himself, who was a long time (unsuccessful) oil executive in Texas.
- In Ron Suskind's The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill, former U.S. treasury secretary O'Neill documents how removing Saddam Hussein from power was a White House priority only days after taking office, and long before Sept. 11, 2001. At one meeting, Rumsfeld rejected a suggestion from Colin Powell for new targeted sanctions against Iraq, pushing instead for the actual overthrow of Saddam. "Imagine what the region would look like without Saddam and with a regime that's aligned with U.S. interests," Rumsfeld exclaims. (See Linda McQuaig's
It's the Crude, Dude).
- In March 2001, Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force studies maps of Iraqi oil fields, and lists of foreign suitors for Iraqi oil. Iraq, by some estimates, has the second largest reserves of oil in the world. Although currently under embargo, Iraq has oil drilling contracts with French and Russian companies. Once U.N. sanctions against Iraq are lifted, these companies will be free to drill Iraqi oil. A regime change in Iraq would tear up these contracts, allowing American companies access to the oil.
- September 11, 2001.
- On Sept. 14 the U.S. Congress gave President Bush the authority to use "all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons [which the president] determines planned, authorized, committed or aided" the attacks of Sept. 11.
- As the United States goes to war in Afghanistan, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld demand that their staffs find a way to link Iraq to Sept. 11. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and others begin a media blitz with appearances on current affairs shows, terrorizing the nation with images of Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction and the nuclear mushroom clouds they could cause.
- In Against All Enemies, Richard Clarke, who was the top counter-terrorism expert in the White House before resigning in 2003, documents a pre-9/11 focus on Iraq in the White House, and a corresponding failure to pay attention to intelligence
regarding Al Qaeda. On Sept 12, 2001, Clarke walked into a meeting where the discussion was already bent upon removing Saddam from power. He realizes that "Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were going to take advantage of this national tragedy to promote their agenda about Iraq." Later that same day, Clarke is pulled aside by Bush and told to find a way to link Saddam to 9/11.
- On Saturday Sept 7, 2002, Tony Blair and George Bush cite a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency which, they say, details new construction projects at abandoned nuclear sites in Iraq. Later that same day the IAEA itself denies that such a report exists.
- In Jan/Feb 2002 Vice President Cheney's office is seeing intelligence reports which state that Iraq tried to buy uranium yellowcake (used in nuclear arms) from Niger. Cheney's office sends Joseph Wilson, a career diplomat, to Niger to investigate this deal between Iraq and Niger. Wilson finds no evidence of such a deal. In fact, he discovers that the intelligence reports cite a contract signed by government officials who had actually retired long before the contract was signed. Wilson returns to the U.S. and tells Cheney's office that there is next to no chance that Iraq bought yellowcake from Niger. In January 2003, Wilson is shocked to hear President Bush continuing to spout the Iraq-Niger connection as evidence of Iraq's possession of WMD. In July 2003 Wilson writes a column in the New York Times titled What I Didn't Find in Africa. By telling the U.S. public the truth of what he found in Africa, Wilson also hints that the U.S. administration is lying about its goals and intentions regarding Iraq.
- The Wall Street Journal will report in Jan. 2003, that Halliburton officials met informally with representatives of Vice President Cheney's office in October 2002 (i.e. several months before a decision to go to war is officially made) to determine how best to jumpstart Iraq's oil industry following a war. Cheney and Halliburton deny this. Thaddeus Herrick, U.S. Oil Wants to Work in Iraq.
- In July 2002, what would become known as the Downing Street Memo is created. The memo details a meeting of British officials discussing the push for war. The most alarming statement comes from Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6. Dearlove had just returned to the U.K. from meetings with U.S. security officials. He told British defence and intelligence figures that "(in Washington) there was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence facts were being fixed around the policy." A top secret U.K. document, the memo does not become known to the general public until 2005.
- On March 3, 2003, Joseph Wilson is quoted in The Nation magazine as saying that "America has entered one of its periods of historical madness."
- On March 20, 2003, the United States and Britain invade Iraq. Having given up trying to link Iraq and Al Qaeda, the official reason for the invasion is that Iraq illegally possessed weapons of mass destruction, in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1441, and had to be disarmed by force.
- In late 2003, in an apparent attempt to get revenge on Joseph Wilson, Bush officials "out" Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame Wilson. Valerie Wilson was a long time CIA operative. After her name and role are released to the American and world press, her cover is blown and she cannot continue with the CIA. However, the disclosure of a CIA operative's identity and status is illegal. In July 2006 Wilson filed a civil suit against Cheney and his chief of staff, I. Lewis Libbey for their role in the disclosure of her CIA status.
- No Weapons of Mass Destruction are ever found in Iraq.
- No ties between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda are found.
- In December 2005 Michigan Representative John Conyer introduces Resolution 635, which called for a "select committee to investigate the Administration's intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, retaliating against critics, and to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment."
- His resolution 636 incidentally was to censure Bush for "refusing to respond to requests for information" regarding the war, and 637 was to censure Cheney for the same failing. For these and any other American bills, go to The Library of Congress's "Thomas" Database. It helps to know the name of the Representative who introduced the bill.
Want to read more?
See Lewis Lapham's
The Case for Impeachment article in the March 2006 Harper's Magazine. Or, Elizabeth Holtzman's The Impeachment of George W. Bush article in the January 2006 issue of The Nation.
And what does all this have to do with cycling between Toronto and Oshawa? Oh, nothing. I just read a lot, and when you're on a bike for 2 1/2 hours each morning lots of stuff goes through your mind. : )