Resolutions Call for Censure of Bush, Cheney and Creation of 'Select Committee' to Investigate Impeachable Offenses
-- Complete Texts of Resolutions, Links to Report, Petion Campaigns in Support, Conyers Press Release in Full, and More...
By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2005, 11:42am PT  

Lots of fur flying this morning, and us West Coast bloggers, of course, are as ever behind the time-zone eight-ball. So consider this a first volley as we try to bring you the nuts and bolts and offer a lot of summarized raw data and links for you to read through it all yourselves, even as we do same.

The skinny is that the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Democrats, led by ranking minority member John Conyers (D-MI) have now released their full 250-page report, said to be more than six months in the making, on the Administration's use/abuse of pre-war intel, torture policies and much more. The BRAD BLOG first reported exclusively on all of this as 'coming soon' last week. Yesterday, we added quite a few details about what to expect in this report. Our friends at RAW STORY have several articles, including links to the Full Report and its Executive Summary.

-- Report Executive Summary here
-- Report in full here [PDF]
-- Report by chapters here (Includes links to all exhibits, key documents, etc.)

Along with the report, Conyers has introduced three resolutions in the House which call for the Censure of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for failure to provide oversight materials to Congress and for "misstatements" in their lead-up to war. One of the resolutions also calls for the creation of a new "Select Committee" --- with subpeona power --- to discover whether there are grounds for Impeachment of both Bush and Cheney. This committee has been described to us by a Judiciary Committee staffer as "similar to the Ervin Committee on Presidential Campaign Acitivites that kicked off Watergate, to conduct further investigation of the matters described in the report." The committee would then refer evidence constituting impeachable offenses to the House Judiciary Committee.

The report --- entitled THE CONSTITUTION IN CRISIS: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Toture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War --- is described by Conyers this way in a Press Release this morning (complete text of Press Release posted at end of this article):

"In brief, we have found that there is substantial evidence the President, the Vice-President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq; misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in Iraq; and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of their Administration. There is at least a prima facie case that these actions that federal laws have been violated - from false statements to Congress to retaliating against Administration critics."
...
"The Report rejects the frequent contention by the Bush Administration that there pre-war conduct has been reviewed and they have been exonerated. No entity has ever considered whether the Administration misled Americans about the decision to go to War, and the Senate Intelligence Committee has not yet conducted a review of pre-war intelligence information, while the Silberman-Robb report specifically cautioned, that intelligence manipulation "was not part of our inquiry." There has also not been any independent inquiry concerning torture and other legal violations in Iraq; nor has there been an independent review of the pattern of cover-ups and political retribution by the Bush Administration against its critics, other than the very narrow and still ongoing inquiry of Special Counsel Fitzgerald."

The three House Resolutions created along with the report, were filed in the House on Sunday. Links to the complete draft text of each Resolution, and the introductory paragraph for each follow:

-- H.R. 635 [PDF], Resolution calling for creation of a "Select Committee":

Creating a select committee to investigate the Administration's intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, retaliating against critics, and thwarting congressional oversight, and to make recommendations regarding grouns for impeachment.

-- H.R. 636 [PDF], Resolution calling for Censure of George W. Bush:

Censuring President George W. Bush for failing to respond to requests for information concerning allegations that he and others in his Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for the war, counteananced torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of persons in Iraq, and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of his Administration, for failing to adequately account for specific misstatements he made regarding the war, and for failing to comply with Executive Order 12958.

-- H.R. 637 [PDF], Resolution calling for Censure of Richard B. Cheney:

Censuring Vice President Richard B. Cheney for failing to respond to requests for information concerning allegations that he and others in the Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for the war, countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of persons in Iraq, and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of the Administration and for failing to adequately account for specific misstatements he made regarding the war.

As we reported yesterday, the AfterDowningStreet.org advocacy website has introduced a new look along with a new URL. In addition to their previous name, they are now also known as CensureBush.org.

Conyers has set up some actions items at his own website JohnConyers.com where he is asking Americans to sign his letter informing George W. Bush about his intentions to censure and call for a Select Committee. A similar letter, asking for answers in regards to the so-called "Downing Street Documents" was signed by more than half a million Americans and delivered to the White House by Conyers' earlier this year.

As well, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) has created a letter writing campaign to allow you to ask your own Representatives to support the resolution calling for the creation of a "Select Committee". You can send that letter to your reps here.

We'll update this item as appropriate throughout the day with additional material and/or links as we move through things.

The complete text of John Conyers' Press Release as issued this morning follows...

For Immediate Release: December 20, 2005

CONYERS RELEASES REPORT ON MISCONDUCT OF BUSH ADMINISTRATION CONCERNING IRAQ WAR

Calls for Censure of President Bush and Vice President Cheney

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representative John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement regarding today's release of a staff report entitled "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retributions and Cover-ups in the Iraq War." The Report is my best effort to examine all of the charges of misconduct by the Bush Administration concerning the Iraq War.

Conyers Report: http://www.house.gov/jud..._democrats/iraqrept.html

"In brief, we have found that there is substantial evidence the President, the Vice-President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq; misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in Iraq; and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of their Administration. There is at least a prima facie case that these actions that federal laws have been violated - from false statements to Congress to retaliating against Administration critics.

In response to the Report, I have already taken several initial steps. First, I have introduced a resolution (H. Res. 635) creating a Select Committee with subpoena authority to investigate the misconduct of the Bush Administration with regard to the Iraq war and report on possible impeachable offenses. In addition, I have introduced Resolutions regarding both President Bush (H. Res. 636) and Vice-President Cheney (H. Res. 637) proposing that they be censured by Congress based on indisputable evidence of unaccounted for misstatements and abuse of power in the public record. There are a number of additional recommendations in the Report that I expect to be taking up in the coming weeks and months.

The Report rejects the frequent contention by the Bush Administration that there pre-war conduct has been reviewed and they have been exonerated. No entity has ever considered whether the Administration misled Americans about the decision to go to War, and the Senate Intelligence Committee has not yet conducted a review of pre-war intelligence information, while the Silberman-Robb report specifically cautioned, that intelligence manipulation "was not part of our inquiry." There has also not been any independent inquiry concerning torture and other legal violations in Iraq; nor has there been an independent review of the pattern of cover-ups and political retribution by the Bush Administration against its critics, other than the very narrow and still ongoing inquiry of Special Counsel Fitzgerald."

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