Time for A Special Prosecutor

December 8, 2003

Before the Iraq war the Secretary of Defense told the Congress that he knew where the weapons of mass destruction were. He named the cities. He said they were in Tikrit and Baghdad and the Sunni triangle. He of course did not know, and nearly a year later no such weapons have been found. Secretary of State Powell told the United Nations that there was an active program for making biological weapons and that certain boxes which he illustrated on colorful wall slides were biological weapons laboratories. In fact, aerial photos could not show the insides of these laboratories and therefore Powell could not actually know what was in them so he drew their contents from imagination. He did not tell the world that George Tenet, head of the CIA, who was sitting behind him, did not know any more than he did. Instead he used Tenet to lead the world to believe that he did know. We tell school children that to make an elaborate show that you do know, when in fact you know you do not know, is lying.

In the months before the war, Vice President Cheney systematically mined intelligence reports to find phrases and lines which could be used to build a case for war. He took small details from long reports and re-worked them. When existing conclusions of the CIA or State Department were not sufficiently alarming he created his own office of planning in the Pentagon to write reports confirming his own, earlier, personal conclusions. Cheney had urged President Bush I to invade Iraq in 1992 and President Clinton to invade Iraq in 1998. He came into office in 2000 with the same agenda. He used September 11 to create a new case for that invasion. He did not need evidence from the CIA that there was any Al Qaeda connection, but he made it appear as if he did and he made it appear as if the CIA agreed.

When Ambassador Joe Wilson told the American public and the Congress that, in spring, 2002, he had gathered and delivered to the CIA evidence refuting the claimed Niger-Iraq nuclear connection National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice denied she had known of Wilson’s report. She told Meet the Press that she had paid very close attention to the CIA in October, 2002, but it somehow got away from her in January 2003, when she was preparing the President to issue the call to war. For Rice to say that she did not know results of Wilson’s trip which had been requested by the Vice President is hardly credible. It is widely believed that the White House then retaliated against Ambassador Wilson by dramatically exposing the Ambassador’s wife as a CIA agent.

It is against the law to expose a CIA operative. It is against the law to supply false information to Congress. It is probably against the law to concoct documents such as the Niger yellow cake forgeries and the finger of suspicion for these forgeries points toward this administration. No one else had a motive. It was surely against international law to attack another nation which was not an imminent threat. It is against public morality to mislead the American people. To mislead and violate the law consciously and repeatedly renders the oath of office to uphold the Constitution—taken by all these people—meaningless.

A special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate the actual intentions of this government to invade Iraq on the day it came into office—making a fraud of the post-inaugural justifications. The investigation should be wide enough to require disclosure of documents relating to Vice President Cheney’s energy policy advisory group—which met before 9/11—and their possible intentions with regard to Iraq. It should be broad enough to require disclosure of the 9/11 documents that the White House will not disclose, and to put all these together to see what pattern they form. It should line up the bravado of last year with the truths of this year and let the people judge who’s telling the truth.

We once had a special prosecutor to see if President Nixon lied about Watergate and another to see if President Clinton lied about a sexual relationship. Neither offense cost the government one dollar or the loss of one life. As a result of Mr. Bush’s war we have already paid with over 400 lives and are going to waste at least 87 billion dollars. Compared to Watergate and Lewinisky these consequences are gargantuan. It is time for a special prosecutor to uncover who decided, and when, and for who’s benefit, to go to war in Iraq.