Citizen groups ask Congress to file formal "Resolution of Inquiry" against Bush

Sunday, May 29, 2005

A coalition of citizen groups will ask Congress to file a formal "Resolution of Inquiry", the first necessary legal step to determine whether U.S. President Bush has committed impeachable offenses. The request, written by Boston constitutional attorney John C. Bonifaz on behalf of the citizen groups, cites the Downing Street memo and issues surrounding the planning and execution of the Iraq war. The full text of the request is available here.

The request was written on behalf of several groups, including:

And cites the possible grounds for impeachment:

"[The President] has not given [the Senate] full information, but has concealed important intelligence which he ought to have communicated, and by that means induced them to enter into measures injurious to their country, and which they would not have consented to had the true state of things been disclosed to them."

Bonifaz says that the official minutes of a secret US-UK meeting were the impetus for the request. Those minutes were recently leaked to The Sunday Times, and are popularly known as the "Downing Street memo" or alternatively the "smoking gun memo". In it, British intelligence MI-6 director Richard Dearlove said, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

The phrase "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." has been the center of attention in reports and discussions surrounding the memo. It has received this attention because critics of the Iraq war believe that it reaffirms their fundamental criticisms: that Bush's decision to go to war was not based on the intelligence, but, rather, intelligence was used selectively and exaggerated, while debunking intelligence was forcefully suppressed, for the sole purpose of rallying consent for the war, and that this was all done deliberately.

Bonifaz wrote: "The recent release of the Downing Street Memo provides new and compelling evidence that the President of the United States has been actively engaged in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people."

Some Republican congressmen who had voted for the war have since stated that they believe the war was a mistake. For example, Walter Jones, the coiner of the phrase "freedom fries", is now the most vociferous opponent on Capitol Hill. "If we were given misinformation intentionally by people in this administration, to commit the authority to send boys, and in some instances girls, to go into Iraq, that is wrong," he has stated, "Congress must be told the truth."

On May 26th, the group launched a campaign to Congress to investigate whether President Bush committed impeachable offenses relating to the Iraq war.