Are you tired of being lied to and manipulated yet?
Well here’s one way you can respond. Tell Congress you expect them to hold Bush accountable. They probably won’t, but you never know, if the pressure gets great enough, they’ll crack.
Dear MoveOn member,
During the buildup to war, President Bush said the United States “must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud…. We have every reason to assume the worst, and we have an urgent duty to prevent the worst from occurring.” 1
On the eve of sending troops into battle, Bush asserted that “intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.” 2
Now David Kay, the CIA’s chief weapons inspector, has testified before Congress that these weapons do not exist.
In an attempt to evade responsibility for the misleading statements that pushed the nation into war, Bush has announced plans to form an independent inquiry to look into what went wrong. An inquiry would serve the Bush administration well: it would envelop the issue in a fog of uncertainty, deflect blame onto the intelligence services, and delay any political damage until 2005, after the upcoming election. 3
But the facts need no clarification. Despite repeated warnings from the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency, President Bush and his administration hyped and distorted the threat that Iraq posed. 4 And now that reality is setting in, the President wants to pin the blame on someone else. We can’t let him.
Congress has the power to censure the President — to formally reprimand him for betraying the nation’s trust. If ever there was a time for this, it’s now. Join our call on Congress to censure President Bush at:
It’s clear that we’ve been misled:
- David Kay said last week, “I’m personally convinced that there were not large stockpiles of newly produced weapons of mass destruction,” and “We don’t find the people, the documents or the physical plants that you would expect to find if the production was going on.” 5 Kay said these things shortly after resigning from his post as Bush’s chief weapons inspector in Iraq.
- Bush, in his 2003 State of the Union address, said, “the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” 6 Yet Ambassador Joe Wilson, who was sent to Niger in February 2002 to determine whether Iraq was trying to purchase uranium materials there, concluded that “intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.” 7
- A CIA report in February 2003 said: “We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since  to reconstitute its Weapons of Mass Destruction programs.” 8
It’s also clear that the misleading was deliberate:
- The respected Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently found that the administration “systematically misrepresented the threat” from Iraq. 9
- The basis for President Bush’s African uranium claim was known at the time to be forged and not credible.10 “Top White House officials knew that the CIA seriously disputed the claim that Saddam Hussein was seeking uranium in Africa long before the claim was included in Bush’s January address to the nation,” according to the Washington Post.11
- Secretary of State Colin Powell became alarmed at the level of intelligence distortion. When he read the first draft of his speech to the UN — prepared for Powell by Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff — he was so upset that he lost his temper, throwing several pages in the air and declaring, “I’m not reading this. This is bullsh–.”12
Our democracy only works when we know the truth. We now know President Bush and his administration deliberately misled Congress and the American people. Censure is the least we should expect in response.
The independent inquiry will need a year or more to come to a conclusion, according to the Bush administration. It took less time than that for the country to go to war. We don’t need more investigation, we need accountability, and we need it now.
Join our call on Congress to censure President Bush at:
We’ll be holding a press conference in Washington on Thursday, announcing our campaign for Censure. If you sign on now, we can count your signature at the press conference. Please sign on right away.
- Adam, Carrie, Eli, James, Joan, Laura, Noah, Peter, Wes, and Zack
The MoveOn.org Team
Tuesday, February 3, 2004
4. An excellent, comprehensive rundown on the Bush administration’s deliberate distortion of intelligence is available from the Center for American Progress
7. Joseph Wilson Op-Ed, New York Times, July 6, 2003
Note: Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, had her CIA cover blown, possibly by the White House, in apparent retaliation for Wilson’s contradicting the White House’s line on WMDs.
12. US News & World Report, June 9, 2003
Note: This article with the Powell quote is available for purchase from the US News & World Report archives for $2.95.