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.
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):
"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":
-- H.R. 636 [PDF], Resolution calling for Censure of George W. Bush:
-- H.R. 637 [PDF], Resolution calling for Censure of Richard B. Cheney:
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...