Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I fought the law and the law won

There have been many articles posted on the left side of the web championing the idea of impeaching GWBush. Here's the latest, a particularly concise and good one from the Seacoast New Hampshire:

The Brief Against Bush
By John Perrault, Attorney

The law does not require a lie to find deceit. If you say something is true when it's not, and you are consciously indifferent to its truth, that's deceit.

A tells B that C has a gun in order to get B to attack C. B believes A, as A is a prominent figure whose word is unimpeachable.Relying on A's statement, B attacks C only to find no gun; and here comes a gang of C's friends to attack B!

Fifty stitches later B learns A was lying, or consciously indifferent to the truth of the statement, or had no solid basis for saying C had a gun. Does B have a case against A?

You bet. A is liable for B's injuries. That's the law of misrepresentation. If A intended for B to act and either knew his statement was false or was consciously indifferent to its truth, and B justifiably relied on the statement to his detriment, that's called fraud.

Even if A says he never intended to deceive B, A will still be liable to B if A was in a superior position and failed to exercise reasonable care to verify the truth of material facts asserted before making them. That's called negligent misrepresentation.

Also note that the law holds the boss responsible for his subordinates' acts that further the boss's agenda. That's called Respondeat Superior.

In the case before us, Bush Administration officials, urging invasion, made material statements alleging WMD and Al Qaeda in Iraq which have proven to be not true. They ignored dissents within the Departments of State, Energy, and the CIA. (See 9/11 Commission Report, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report of 7/7/04, and Top Weapons Inspector Duelfer's Report. See also 9/28/04 NYTimes on January 2003 Reports of National Intelligence Council). Repeatedly, they stated they "knew," that there was "no doubt" about their allegations. Were they lying? Or consciously indifferent to the truth of their statements? Or just plain negligent?

Let's look --

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."
--Dick Cheney, 8/26/02, Speech to VFW.

"There is no doubt that (Saddam Hussein) has chemical weapons stocks."--Colin Powell, 9/8/02, Fox News Sunday.

"(We) do know, with absolute certainty, that (Saddam Hussein) is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs…to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon."
--Dick Cheney, 9/8/02, Meet the Press.

"…(The tubes) are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs."
--Condoleeza Rice, 9/8/02, Late Edition, CNN

{Note: The 7/7/04 Senate Select Committee Report found that dissents within the Intelligence Community on the tubes were rejected by CIA due to a mindset disposed to conclude WMD. We now know that DOE experts rejected the theory that the tubes were intended as centrifuges.}

"…(O)n at least one occasion, we have reporting that places (Mohammad Atta) in Prague with a senior Iraqi Intelligence Official a few months before the attack on the World Trade Center."
--Dick Cheney, 9/08/02, Meet the Press.

" We know that Iraq and the al Qaeda network share a common enemy….We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts….Some of these Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq….We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases…. Saddam Hussein is harboring terrorists….The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program." --George W. Bush, 10/7/02, Speech in Cincinnati. {Note: The 9/11 Commission found no connection between Iraq and 9/11. The Duelfer Report found Iraq had no WMD.}

"The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." --George W. Bush, 1/28/03, State of the Union.

{Note: George Tenet admitted these words should not have been in the President's speech.}

"My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid evidence." --Colin Powell, 2/5/03, addressing U.N. Security Council.

"Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enough agent to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets…."
--George W. Bush, 3/6/03, Press Conference.

"And we believe (Saddam Hussein) has in fact reconstituted nuclear weapons."
--Dick Cheney, 3/16/03, Meet the Press.

"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…"
--George W. Bush, 3/17/03, Speech to Nation.

"We know where they (WMD) are. They are…around Tikrit and Baghdad."
--Donald Rumsfeld, 3/30/03, This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Deceivers or incompetents-take your pick. Fellow citizens, if we have not been deceived by George W. Bush & Co., deceit has no meaning and the dictionary should be burned. But it is we who have been burned. If we can't sue the man, we can fire him on November 2nd. The Republic for which we stand demands nothing less.

Copyright © 2004. John Perrault, all rights reserved.

Now, I suppose this may be taken for whining. I mean, after all, this can't have the global import of, say, consensual sex in the Oval Office. Nothing can demean the office of President and the entire US reputation worse than that. Why, I'll even bet that in God's eye, that sex was a sin!

And yet somehow, it was deemed so earth-shattering, so paramount in importance to all other business, that the noble, patriotic Republican controlled Senate and House just had to act to protest and punish the disgrace.

Unless someone steps forward in the closing days of this election cycle, I will have to conclude that, based on evidence, the Republican Party feels that a hummer in the Oval Office is far worse than death and taxes. Because that's what they've given us: death to over 1000 soldiers, and tax breaks for the wealthy.

Priorities, kids.

Vote your conscience, if indeed you have one.