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Three Good Reasons Not to Fund Another Year in Iraq

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The House is stalling, but don't be fooled.  Don't let your guard down.  Don't relax.  They still intend, possibly next week, to dump the hard earned pay of your as yet unborn descendants into funding another full year or more of occupying Iraq, paying for the occupation well into the next Congress and presidency, plus enough in interest payments to China that we could have, with the same amount of money, provided clean water and basic nutrition to everyone on the planet.  

And they may try to provide a thin cover for this by attaching a relatively teeny bit of funding for veterans' education.  Our response should be that we want a GI Bill, not a GI Amendment.  This GI Amendment will be attached to a bill so huge that we could provide free college to everyone for many years, veterans and non-veterans alike.  We could give some struggling students the option to choose not to become veterans (or corpses).  We should demand No votes on the war money, no matter what they attach to it.  

Why?  We can't afford the financial cost.  We can't afford the cost in boosting hatred and terrorism.  We can't approve of the death and injuries and destruction that would result.  We can, if we choose, withdraw our troops and bring them home alive and healthy.  

But there's another set of reasons to stop funding this war.  The war has been fully exposed as a fraud and a crime.  Given that fact, funding it amounts to aiding and abetting, at the very least, as well as encouraging and licensing future wars of aggression.  And the next one may come very soon.  In fact, if President Bush intends to attack Iran, there is every reason to assume he will illegally take money from this Iraq funding to pay for attacking Iran.  He misspent Afghanistan funding, by the billions, on beginning to attack Iraq, and Congress has never made a peep about it prior to this week.  

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On Monday evening, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, in the course of introducing 35 articles of impeachment against Bush, including one for that misspending of funds, provided the following three detailed reasons to stop funding the occupation of Iraq:

Article II
FALSELY, SYSTEMATICALLY, AND WITH CRIMINAL INTENT CONFLATING THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 WITH MISREPRESENTATION OF IRAQ AS AN IMMINENT SECURITY THREAT AS PART OF A FRAUDULENT JUSTIFICATION FOR A WAR OF AGGRESSION.

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, executed a calculated and wide-ranging strategy to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States into believing that there was and is a connection between Iraq and Saddam Hussein on the one hand, and the attacks of September 11, 2001 and al Qaeda, on the other hand, so as to falsely justify the use of the United States Armed Forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner that is damaging to the national security interests of the United States, as well as to fraudulently obtain and maintain congressional authorization and funding for the use of such military force against Iraq, thereby interfering with and obstructing Congress's lawful functions of overseeing foreign affairs and declaring war.

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The means used to implement this deception were and continue to be, first, allowing, authorizing and sanctioning the manipulation of intelligence analysis by those under his direction and control, including the Vice President and the Vice President's agents, and second, personally making, or causing, authorizing and allowing to be made through highly-placed subordinates, including the President's Chief of Staff, the White House Press Secretary and other White House spokespersons, the Secretaries of State and Defense, the National Security Advisor, and their deputies and spokespersons, false and fraudulent representations to the citizens of the United States and Congress regarding an alleged connection between Saddam Hussein and Iraq, on the one hand, and the September 11th attacks and al Qaeda, on the other hand, that were half-true, literally true but misleading, and/or made without a reasonable basis and with reckless indifference to their truth, as well as omitting to state facts necessary to present an accurate picture of the truth as follows:   

(A)  On or about September 12, 2001, former terrorism advisor Richard Clarke personally informed the President that neither Saddam Hussein nor Iraq was responsible for the September 11th attacks. On September 18, Clarke submitted to the President's National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice a memo he had written in response to George W. Bush's specific request that stated: (1) the case for linking Hussein to the September 11th attacks was weak; (2) only anecdotal evidence linked Hussein to al Qaeda; (3) Osama Bin Laden resented the secularism of Saddam Hussein; and (4) there was no confirmed reporting of Saddam Hussein cooperating with Bin Laden on unconventional weapons.

(B)  Ten days after the September 11th attacks the President received a President's Daily Briefing which indicated that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the September 11th attacks and that there was "scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda."

(C)  In Defense Intelligence Terrorism Summary No. 044-02, issued in February 2002, the United States Defense Intelligence Agency cast significant doubt on the possibility of a Saddam Hussein- Al Qaeda conspiracy: "Saddam's regime is intensely secular and is wary of Islamic revolutionary movements.  Moreover, Baghdad is unlikely to provide assistance to a group it cannot control."

(D) The October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate gave a "Low Confidence" rating to the notion of whether "in desperation Saddam would share chemical or biological weapons with Al Qaeda."  The CIA never informed the President that there was an operational relationship between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein; on the contrary, its most "aggressive" analysis contained in Iraq and al-Qaeda-Interpreting a Murky Relationship" dated June 21, 2002 was that Iraq had had "sporadic, wary contacts with al Qaeda since the mid-1990s rather than a relationship with al Qaeda that has developed over time."   

(E) Notwithstanding his knowledge that neither Saddam Hussein nor Iraq was in any way connected to the September 11th  attacks, the President allowed and  authorized those acting under his direction and control, including Vice President Richard B. Cheney and Lewis Libby, who reported directly to both the President and the Vice President,  and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, among others, to pressure intelligence analysts to alter their assessments and to create special units outside of, and unknown to, the intelligence community in order to secretly obtain unreliable information, to manufacture intelligence or reinterpret raw data in ways that would further the Bush administration's goal of  fraudulently establishing a relationship not only between Iraq and al Qaeda, but between Iraq and the attacks of September 11th.

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(F)  Further, despite his full awareness that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had no relationship to the September 11th attacks, the President, and those acting under his direction and control have, since at least 2002 and continuing to the present, repeatedly issued public statements deliberately worded to mislead, words calculated in  their implication to bring unrelated actors and circumstances into an artificially contrived reality thereby facilitating the systematic deception of Congress and the American people.  Thus the public and some members of Congress, came to believe, falsely, that there was a connection between Iraq and the attacks of 911.  This was accomplished through well-publicized statements by the Bush Administration which contrived to continually tie Iraq and 911 in the same statements of grave concern without making an explicit charge:

(1) " [If] Iraq regimes [sic] continues to defy us, and the world, we will move deliberately, yet decisively, to hold Iraq to account…It's a new world we're in. We used to think two oceans could separate us from an enemy. On that tragic day, September the 11th, 2001, we found out that's not the case. We found out this great land of liberty and of freedom and of justice is vulnerable. And therefore we must do everything we can -- everything we can -- to secure the homeland, to make us safe." Speech of President Bush in Iowa on September 16, 2002.

(2)  "With every step the Iraqi regime takes toward gaining and deploying the most terrible weapons, our own options to confront that regime will narrow.  And if an emboldened regime were to supply these weapons to terrorist allies, then the attacks of September 11th would be a prelude to far greater horrors."  March 6, 2003, Statement of President Bush in National Press Conference.    

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http://davidswanson.org
David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
 

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