Greens say president lied to support war policies.
by North Carolina Green Party†
GreenPages, Vol 7, No.3
The North Carolina Green Party called in August for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush for allegedly misleading statements that led to a U.S. and British invasion of Iraq.
As evidence mounts suggesting that the president bent the truth in his campaign for an Iraq invasion, state Green Party officials called Bush’s actions “criminal and impeachable.”
“It appears that George W. Bush lied to the American people and to the world in order to build support for an invasion,” said party co-chair Gerald Surh. “If this is true, the president is guilty not only of lying but also of international war crimes. If Bush exaggerated evidence he knew was not there, his invasion would be the equivalent of premeditated murder. Congress needs to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible.”
The Greens called for impeachment not just because Bush allegedly lied about evidence, but also because, if evidence was lacking or greatly exaggerated, the president has knowingly flaunted international law, human rights conventions and the criminal laws of the United States, all “high crimes” impeachable under the U.S. Constitution.
As Surh said, “The lie was bad, but the resulting invasion becomes unforgivable once we find out there was no evidence to justify it.”
From the time the invasion began until the party’s announcement, 294 American and British soldiers had died, according to CNN, and The Guardian claimed as many as 1,500 American soldiers had been wounded. Because of the large number of military bases in the state, this toll has particularly affected North Carolina families.
According to a number of private groups, more than 5,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed, as well as several thousand Iraqi soldiers.
The Green Party called all of these deaths needless and avoidable and said continued weapons inspections, as supported by the United Nations and numerous U.S. allies, would have shown that Iraq had disarmed and that invasion and occupation was unnecessary.†
Recent media stories have focused on Bush’s State of the Union address and the president’s suggestion that Saddam Hussein was attempting to acquire uranium for nuclear weapons.†
However, based on evidence that has been mounting for nearly a year, the North Carolina Green Party believes that most, if not all, of the invasion’s supporting evidence was weak, exaggerated or downright false.
This allegedly “tweaked” evidence included details about aluminum tubes that “might” have been used for nuclear weapons, trailers labeled “mobile chemical weapons labs,” details of a 1980s gassing of Iraqi civilians which the CIA concluded was Iran’s fault, and truncated 1995 quotes from Iraqi defector Hussein Kamal, to name a few.
In response to mounting evidence that the U.S. should never have invaded Iraq, Bush has played down the importance of Iraqi weapons programs as the justification for the invasion, claiming that the main reason for war was the human rights record of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
“The president cannot hide behind the evil figure of Saddam Hussein,” said party co-chair Alan Burns. “George Bush told us Iraq had dangerous weapons and that they could be deployed quickly against the United States and our allies. That was apparently not true.”
According to Burns, Bush’s actions have undermined international laws, treaties and institutions designed to prevent future world conflicts: “Not only have they cost American taxpayers $70 billion so far, they have cost thousands of innocent Iraqi lives as well as a daily increasing toll of young Americans bewildered that they are still in Iraq.”
Burns concluded, “Bush has not only deceived the Congress and the American people but also the world community and the troops he has put in harm’s way. A pre-emptive war policy demands exacting truth; Bush has failed to uphold his oath of office, and that is impeachable.”
Surh called the manipulation of foreign intelligence troubling and said it was part of an extremist pattern that has spilled over into domestic politics: “Undemocratic policies abroad have produced undemocratic policies at home, such as the undermining of civil liberties, the invasion of privacy, the denial of habeas corpus and the anti-terrorist fear-mongering produced regularly by the Bush administration.”
At its national convention in July, the Green Party of the United States also called for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings.