News Releases

Biden and War: “Lies all the Way Down”

Yahoo News is reporting: “#CNNisTrash trending for perceived bias against Bernie Sanders at Democratic debate.” See from The Intercept: “At Iowa Debate, Bernie Sanders’s Biggest Opponent Was CNN.”

JULIE HOLLAR, jhollar at fair.org, @FAIRmediawatch
Hollar is senior analyst for FAIR’s Election Focus 2020 project, which will feature a piece on last night’s debate this afternoon. She recently wrote the piece: “Steady Hand Joe Turning Biden’s support for Iraq War into foreign policy ‘experience.'”She noted that Biden continued with his pattern of lying about Iraq without comment from the moderators of last night’s debate. Said Biden: “I said 13 years ago it was a mistake to give the president the authority to go to war if, in fact, he couldn’t get inspectors into Iraq to stop what — thought to be the attempt to get a nuclear weapon. It was a mistake, and I acknowledged that.”As Hollar noted in her recent piece: “In the July debate, Biden was asked about his October 2002 vote authorizing the use of force in Iraq; he responded with an outlandish claim: ‘From the moment “shock and awe” started, from that moment, I was opposed to the effort, and I was outspoken as much as anyone at all in the Congress.'”It was an obvious falsehood; Biden continued to defend his vote until more than three years later (‘Meet the Press,’ 11/27/05), when he first called it a ‘mistake’ — and even then, not because the war itself was wrong, but because ‘we went too soon. We went without sufficient force. And we went without a plan.’ (At that point, support for the war had tanked to the point where people who believed the Iraq War wasn’t worth it outnumbered those who thought it was by 2-to-1.)”

SAM HUSSEINI, samhusseini at gmail.com, @samhusseini
Senior analyst with the Institute for Public Accuracy, Consortium News yesterday published his piece “Biden Has Been Lying About His Record on Iraq for Years.”

He said today: “It fits official agendas to focus on ‘Warren vs Sanders’ — partly because it lets Biden off the hook on Iraq, just as there is finally some attention to foreign policy. And people hear the word ‘mistake’ and want to end it there.

“But it’s lies all the way down with Biden regarding war, and especially the Iraq invasion because his actual position is indefensible. He talks about Bush not being able to ‘get inspectors into Iraq’ — but Iraq agreed to allow the inspectors back in mid-September 2002 — just after IPA had organized a delegation to that country. Biden (see his floor speech) didn’t vote to authorize war until Oct. 11.

“And it should be noted that the inspectors had to be let back in not because — as Biden himself has claimed — Saddam Hussein ‘kicked them out’ — but because Bill Clinton got the UN to withdraw them in 1998 for the Desert Fox bombing campaign just before his scheduled impeachment vote.

“Bush similarly withdrew the weapons inspectors in 2003 to launch the bombing that began the invasion in 2003. If Biden had honestly been fooled by Bush and thought that Bush wanted the Congressional vote for some kind of leverage regarding weapons inspections, then he would have denounced Bush the moment the bombs dropped — as Biden, at times, claims he did. But he didn’t. Biden backed Bush until — because Iraqis were blowing themselves up — the war finally became unpopular in the U.S. years later.

“But it’s kind of outlandish to think that someone like Biden could be fooled rather than at times wanting to pretend to be fooled by Bush. From the publicly available evidence, before the invasion, IPA put out a series of news releases with headlines like ‘White House Claims: A Pattern of Deceit.'”

Regarding Biden’s claims of Iraq moving toward a nuclear weapon, see Newsweek report before the invasion cited on FAIR’s Iraq invasion timeline: General Hussein Kamel “the highest-ranking Iraqi official ever to defect from Saddam Hussein’s inner circle, told weapons inspectors that ‘after the Gulf War, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapon stocks and the missiles to deliver them.'”

Also see former Iraqi nuclear scientist Imad Khadduri in the Irish Times from Jan 6, 2003: “Iraq has no N-weapons, claims expatriate scientist.” Khadduri was just featured on an accuracy.org news release: “Completing the Circle? Biden Helped Bush with Iraq Invasion; Is Trump Resurrecting Biden’s Iraq Partition Scheme?”

Husseini added: “This week marks 28 years that the U.S. has been bombing Iraq. Unless you want to make it another 28, with all the mystery and threats that entails, there needs to finally be a reckoning.”

Biden’s Iraq War Lies: Off the Hook?

CNN and the DNC are holding a debate this evening.

JULIE HOLLAR, jhollar at fair.org, @FAIRmediawatch
Hollar is senior analyst for FAIR’s Election Focus 2020 project. She just wrote the piece: “Steady Hand Joe: Turning Biden’s support for Iraq War into foreign policy ‘experience.'”

She writes: “If journalists were consistently calling out Biden’s Iraq War lies — not to mention reminding viewers and readers that the war cost hundreds of thousands of human lives, aside from a financial cost in the trillions of dollars — their worn-out tropes about Biden’s foreign policy ‘steadiness’ would be incredibly difficult to sustain.” See from FAIR: “Iraq and the Media: A Critical Timeline.”

SAM HUSSEINI, samhusseini at gmail.com, @samhusseini
Senior analyst with the Institute for Public Accuracy, Husseini wrote the piece “With this week’s debate, Joe Biden is now pushing his Iraq war falsehoods to the max,” which was published by Salon in September.

Husseini said today: “While Biden and his surrogates like John Kerry continue to falsely claim that he was not for the Iraq invasion, the Sanders camp has rightly highlighted more documentation, including video, of his support for the Iraq invasion after it happened, like his statement about Bush at the Brookings Institution in July 2003: ‘The president of the United States is a bold leader and he is popular.’

“But it’s the tip of the iceberg. That address to Brookings (video) itself contains brazen pro-war falsehoods, with Biden claiming that Saddam Hussein ‘violated every commitment that he made. He played cat and mouse with the weapons inspectors. He failed to account for the huge gaps in weapons declarations that were documented by UN weapons inspectors and submitted by them to the UN Security Council in 1998, and every nation in that Council believed he possessed those weapons at that time. He refused to abide by any conditions.’

“It’s a pack of lies. The Iraqi government released a massive amount of information in 2002, it agreed to allow the UN weapons inspectors in well before the Congressional vote that authorized war — a vote that Biden has claimed was justifiable to give Bush a stronger hand in getting inspectors into Iraq. Additionally, the prior weapons inspection regime, UNSCOM, was ended in 1998 not because Saddam Hussein kicked them out, but because Bill Clinton ordered them withdrawn on the eve of his scheduled impeachment vote to make way for the Desert Fox bombing campaign.

“It’s remarkably fitting that the Biden camp has put out Kerry on this issue since Kerry’s falsifications regarding Iraq are remarkably similar to Biden’s. Kerry might be the Democratic senator whose record helped the Iraq war as much as Biden’s. This notably led to his contortions in the 2004 election when he was the Democratic Party nominee and lost to George W. Bush.

“When I questioned Kerry in 2011 about his vote for the Iraq invasion, he claimed that ‘I didn’t vote for the Iraq war. I voted to give the president authority that he misused and abused. And from the moment he used it, I opposed that.’ Another lie. Kerry actually attacked the notion of a withdrawal from Iraq at that point, even saying in December of 2003: ‘I fear that in the run-up to the 2004 election the administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut-and-run strategy,’ effectively taking position even more militaristic that Bush.” Also see from August 2004 from CNN: “Kerry stands by ‘yes’ vote on Iraq war.”

Husseini added: “It’s remarkable how little scrutiny Biden has gotten for his role in the Iraq invasion. Sanders has mostly criticized Biden’s vote, but Biden was chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has been criticized by leading analysts and weapons inspectors for the hearings he presided over that led to war. Tulsi Gabbard, viewed by many as an antiwar candidate, has outright let Biden off the hook. At a debate last year, Gabbard said of Biden: ‘He was wrong — he said he was wrong.’ Thus, Biden may be positioned to become the Democratic nominee — and face Trump in the general election — with minimal scrutiny for his major role in the worst policy decision of our lifetimes. He’s also in a worse position to take on Trump’s phony ‘America First’ isolationism than Hillary Clinton was in 2016.”

See interview with Husseini: “The Entire U.S. Establishment Helped Lie Their Way into the Iraq War.” And for FAIR: “Film Official Secrets Is Tip of Mammoth Iceberg.”

Completing the Circle? Biden Helped Bush with Iraq Invasion; Is Trump Resurrecting Biden’s Iraq Partition Scheme?

CommonDreams reports: “#JoeVotedForTheWar Trends After Sanders Camp Fires Back at Biden’s Denials of Support for Iraq Invasion.” Julie Hollar recently wrote for FAIR: “Steady Hand Joe: Turning Biden’s support for Iraq War into foreign policy ‘experience.’” Former Sen. John Kerry has been outspoken in his defense of Biden’s Iraq invasion record. See “Kerry’s Endorsement of Biden Fits: Two Deceptive Supporters of the Iraq War” by IPA executive director Norman Solomon.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting: “U.S. Warns Iraq It Risks Losing Access to Key Bank Account if Troops Told to Leave.”

Jim Lobe and Derek Davison write in Responsible Statecraft: “Has the Trump Administration Now Launched a ‘Maximum Pressure’ Campaign Against Iraq?” Asking: “In the last three years, Trump has increasingly aligned Washington’s Middle East policies with Netanyahu. He’s slashed aid to the Palestinians, moved the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He’s withdrawn from and systematically violated the nuclear deal with Iran (JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] ), declared the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] a terrorist organization, assassinated Soleimani, and pursued his ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against Iran. Do his latest moves to bully and threaten (possibly with support for partition) Iraq constitute a new ‘maximum pressure’ campaign and an even greater alignment with the Israeli Right?”

The prior champion of partitioning Iraq was Biden; see from the July 30, 2007 New York Times: “Biden plan for ‘soft partition’ of Iraq gains momentum.”

IMAD KHADDURI, khadduri.imad at gmail.com
Now retired in Toronto, Khadduri is author of the book Iraq’s Nuclear Mirage: Memoirs and Delusions and blogs at Free Iraq. He worked on the Iraq nuclear program and left the country in the late 1990s. See a piece in the Irish Times from Jan 6, 2003 on him: “Iraq has no N-weapons, claims expatriate scientist.”

In 2006, he appeared on an accuracy.org news release: “Myth: Israel’s Strike on Iraqi Reactor Hindered Iraqi Nukes.” Khadduri states that the Iraqi nuclear program was peaceful — until Israel bombed their Osirak Iraqi reactor in 1981.

RAED JARRAR, jarrar.raed at gmail.com, @raedjarrar
Jarrar is an Iraqi-born human rights activist and writer based in Washington, D.C. He just wrote the piece “Iraq’s Vote to Kick Out U.S. Troops Reflects Growing Anti-Imperialist Movement.”

He was recently quoted by USA Today: “The U.S. and Iran are seen by the majority of Iraqis as partners in crime when it comes to supporting these sectarian militias,” Jarrar said. “The right move is to de-escalate, withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq, and end U.S. military aid to the Iraqi government and its deadly sectarian militias.”

War Powers Resolution “Riddled with Holes”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at illinois.edu
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He said today regarding moves in Congress on Iran: “The Kaine resolution and the Slotkin resolution are riddled with so many holes that Trump/Pompeo et al. will drive a truck through them. The legislation proposed by Ro Khanna and Sanders has some problematic rhetoric, which should be dropped, but it is not in the operative provisions and it is consistent with the War Powers Resolution and the War Powers Clause of the Constitution and the United Nations Charter and would make a real difference.”

Boyle noted: “Slotkin’s — who notably came out of the CIA — resolution talks of the president being free to act in case of ‘an imminent armed attack.’ This is not consistent with the War Powers Resolution and will likely assist Trump committing aggression.

“Part of the reason we have these continuous wars is that Congress has failed to live up to its responsibilities. I advised Rep. Henry B. González and wrote the first draft of the Gonzalez Impeachment Resolution, introduced in 1991. George H. W. Bush would later write in his memoirs that if the Gulf War ‘drags out, not only will I take the blame, but I will probably have impeachment proceedings filed against me.’ So that might have helped stop the first president Bush from trying to go to Baghdad in 1991.

“Rep. Robert F. Drinan tried to impeach over Nixon’s bombings and got shot down by most of the rest of Congress. If they had lived up to their responsibilities then, we’d live in a much better world.” See New York Times report from Aug. 1, 1973 on the first moves to impeach Nixon — over bombing Cambodia.

Boyle advised Sen. Patrick Moynihan and Rep. Dan Crane in the first use of the War Powers Resolution, after Reagan placed Marines in Lebanon. He added: “Unfortunately, a ‘compromise’ was struck and predictably led to disaster with the Marine barracks bombing.” See New York Times report from Sept. 21, 1983: “Congress And Reagan Back Compromise On War Powers Keeping Marines In Lebanon.”

Boyle added: “Part of the problem is my profession. As Noam Chomsky just noted: ‘there is a respected profession, called “international lawyers and law professors,” who can learnedly explain that words don’t mean what they mean.’”

See accuracy.org news release just after Clinton’s 1998 bombing of Iraq on the eve of his scheduled impeachment, featuring Boyle and the late head of the Center for Constitutional rights, Michael Ratner.

For more crucial background, including the Obama administration’s fears that he would be impeached if he bombed Syria, see recent accuracy.org news release: “Why Not Impeach Trump for War Crimes?”

Boyle has been featured on several accuracy.org news releases with Paul Findley, the main author of the War Powers Resolution who died last year at 98.

Killing of Soleimani: “Another Gulf of Tonkin Deception”?

GARETH PORTER, porter.gareth50 at gmail.com, @GarethPorter
Porter is co-author of a book on the U.S.-Iran crisis — From CIA Coup to the Brink of War — due out Jan. 24. His past books include Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.

He said today: “It is widely believed in the U.S. that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program, but if you follow the evidence that I documented in Manufactured Crisis, it is clear that Iran’s nuclear program was never designed to produce a nuclear weapon.”

The American Conservative is due to publish a piece by him shortly: “The Killing of Soleimani: Another Gulf of Tonkin Deception,” in which he reports that on Dec. 27 “a rocket attack on the K1 Iraqi base near Kirkuk killed an American contractor, as the ‘Operation Inherent Resolve’ command confirmed. The Trump administration immediately went into crisis mode, discussing both killing Soleimani and retaliatory strikes against Kataib Hezbollah. …

“If there was indeed an investigation that turned up information indicating that Kataib Hezbollah was responsible, it would certainly have been released publicly, but no further information on the incident has been forthcoming from either Iraqi or U.S. commands. The only specific information available was a Reuters report from ‘security sources’ who ‘said security forces found a launchpad for Katyusha rockets inside an abandoned vehicle near the base,’ which further deepened the mystery. But Pompeo was eager for the United States to provoke a military confrontation with Iran, just as Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara was eager to begin airstrikes against North Vietnamese targets in 1964.”

Trump Fulfills Israel’s Wishes

In October, Jefferson Morley wrote the piece “Is Israel Targeting Iran’s Top General For Assassination?

Fox News is now reporting: “Netanyahu says Israel should ‘stay out’ of fallout from U.S. killing of Soleimani, per report.”

But Morley notes that Israel “began striking at the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq last year” — see partial list below.

JEFFERSON MORLEY, morleyj at gmail.com, @jeffersonmorley
Morley is editor of The Deep State. He spent 15 years as an editor and reporter at the Washington Post. His latest book is The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster, James Jesus Angleton.

He just wrote the piece “Trump Fulfills the Wishes of Israel’s Mossad,” which states: “Last October Yossi Cohen, head of Israel’s Mossad, spoke openly about assassinating Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

“He knows very well that his assassination is not impossible,” Cohen said in an interview. Soleimani had boasted that Israel tried to assassinate him in 2006 and failed.

“’With all due respect to his bluster,’ Cohen said, ‘he hasn’t necessarily committed the mistake yet that would place him on the prestigious list of Mossad’s assassination targets.’ …

“Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, under indictment for criminal charges, was the first and only national leader to support Trump’s action, while claiming that that Trump acted entirely on his own.

“’Just as Israel has the right to self-defense, the United States has exactly the same right,’ Netanyahu told reporters in Greece. ‘Qassem Soleimani is responsible for the deaths of American citizens and other innocents, and he was planning more attacks.’

“In recent years, Soleimani led two successful Iranian military operations: the campaign to drive ISIS out of western Iraq in 2015 and the campaign to crush the jihadist forces opposed to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. The United States and Israel denounced Iran’s role in both operations but could not prevent Iran from claiming victory.”

July 31, 2019: Jewish News Syndicate reported: “A senior commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Abu Alfazl Sarabian, was killed in Iraq in an attack by ‘Israel and the United States’ on July 19, according to Iran’s Young Journalists Club news agency.”

August 1, 2019: The Wall Street Journal reported: “Israeli Jets Appear to Have Struck Iraq for the First Time Since 1981.”

August 20, 2019: Times of Israel reported: “Netanyahu hints Israel behind strikes on Iraq, says Iran not immune anywhere.”

August 23, 2019: AP reported: “An Israeli airstrike on an Iranian weapons depot in Iraq, confirmed by U.S. officials, is threatening to destabilize security in the volatile country that has struggled to remain neutral in the conflict between Washington and Tehran.”

September 10, 2019: Haaretz reported: “Report: 21 Iraqi Militia Members Killed in Explosion in Iran-linked Arms Depot.” “It remains unclear who is behind the blast however reports have linked the incident to a series of recent attacks, some of which have been attributed to Israel.”

* Trump Lies on Iran * Biden Iraq War Lies

STEPHEN ZUNES, zunes at usfca.edu, @SZunes
Zunes is a professor of politics and coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco. He just wrote the piece “There’s No Evidence Iran Is Responsible for the Deaths of Hundreds of Americans” for The Progressive.

Newsweek reports that in response to criticism about his role in the invasion of Iraq, Biden said: “I don’t respond to Bernie’s ridiculous comments. … Bernie’s got enough baggage.” The Hill reports: “In response to an Iowa voter who expressed concern about Biden’s foreign policy record, the former vice president over the weekend said that he opposed the Iraq War ‘from the very moment’ it began in 2003, according to CNN.

“’The president then went ahead with “Shock and Awe,” and right after that — and from the very moment he did that, right after that — I opposed what he was doing and spoke to him,’ Biden said of President Bush on Saturday.”

Zunes has noted: “More than three months after U.N. inspectors returned, Biden defended the imminent launch of the invasion by saying, ‘I support the president. Diplomacy over avoiding war is dead. … I do not see any alternative. It is not as if we can back away now.’ He added, ‘Let loose the dogs of war. I’m confident we will win.’

“He then co-sponsored a resolution supporting Bush and the invasion.

“Despite the fact that three months of unfettered inspections had revealed none of the chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear programs, or sophisticated delivery systems Bush and Biden claimed Iraq possessed, Biden insisted in May 2003 that, ‘There was sufficient evidence to go into Iraq.’” See accuracy.org news release: “Biden’s Escalating Iraq War Lies.”

REESE ERLICH, ReeseErlich2 at hotmail.com, @ReeseErlich
Erlich is author of Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis and is interviewing sources in Iran to get first-hand reactions to the assassination.

See recent interview with him: “What’s really going on with the US and Iran?” In response to the question: “Does Iran pose a danger to U.S. national interests?” Erlich responded: “Iran’s government is a right-wing, religious-based regime that represses its own people. It seeks regional influence, mainly in countries with large Shia populations such as Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Bahrain, but also Syria. Washington cares little about human rights violations in Iran or anywhere else. It wants to reestablish a pro-U.S. regime in Iran that will allow U.S. oil companies to once again dominate the economy. The people of the U.S. have no national interest in protecting oil company profits. Recent events have shown that people in the region don’t want to be dominated by any foreign power, whether the U.S. or Iran.”

Was Soleimani Killed Because He Was Trying to Avert Conflict?

Liberation News reports: “Soleimani was in Iraq to ease regional tensions; then Trump said ‘Kill him.’ The New York Times also offers reporting on this, see below. Tuesday morning, Secretary of State Pompeo denied this, saying Soleimani “was not there on a diplomatic mission trying to resolve a problem.”

DOUGLAS VALENTINE, dougvalentine77 at gmail.com. Skype: Douglas_Valentine
Valentine is the author of The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World. His rare access to CIA officials has resulted in portions of his research materials being archived at the National Security Archive, Texas Tech University’s Vietnam Center and John Jay College. He has written three books on CIA operations, including the Phoenix Program: America’s Use of Terror in Vietnam, which documented the CIA’s elaborate system of population surveillance, control, entrapment, imprisonment, torture, and assassination in Vietnam.

He said today: “As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated in April 2019 while visiting Texas A&M University, that as CIA director, ‘we lied, we cheated, we stole.’ If the CIA assassinated or lured Soleimani because he was trying to defuse tensions, the U.S. government obviously wouldn’t admit it. That’s SOP [standard operating procedure].”

In his new interview with Parsi Policy, “Soleimani’s Assassination Act of Psychological Warfare,” Valentine states: “Psychological warfare — the shaping of beliefs, and thus political and social movements — is the most highly prized and effective of all intelligence operations. …

“Like all administrations, the Trump administration has ‘stated’ policies that satisfy its political base, and it has ‘unstated’ policies that are necessary to satisfy the Establishment. The CIA conducts Trump’s ‘unstated’ policies. …

“The CIA and military have ‘long range’ strategic plans in place. For example, the military has 800 bases around the world to ensure that U.S. corporations have access to foreign markets, and that the U.S. military dominates the world.”

See Valentine’s recent interview in CovertAction Magazine: “Inside the Organized Crime Syndicate known as the CIA: an Interview with Douglas Valentine.”

The New York Times reports: “President Trump and other American officials have said that General Soleimani was in the midst of planning attacks on United States forces when he was killed. But the general may have also been working as a go-between in quiet efforts to reduce the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“Hostility and competition for influence had grown for years between the two regional rivals, but in recent months, Iran and Saudi Arabia had taken steps toward indirect talks to defuse the situation.

“In an address to the Iraqi Parliament on Sunday, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi of Iraq said that he was supposed to meet with General Soleimani on the morning he was killed.

“It was expected that he was carrying a message for me from the Iranian side responding to the Saudi message that we had sent to the Iranian side to reach agreements and breakthroughs important for the situation in Iraq and the region,” Mr. Mahdi said.

“The content of the messages was not immediately clear, but Mr. Mahdi’s comments suggested that the drone strike ordered by Mr. Trump may have interrupted a diplomatic back channel aimed at averting conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia.”

Peace Movements in Iraq and U.S.

RAED JARRAR, jarrar.raed at gmail.com, @raedjarrar
Jarrar is an Iraqi-born human rights activist and writer based in Washington, D.C. He just wrote the piece “Iraq’s Vote to Kick Out U.S. Troops Reflects Growing Anti-Imperialist Movement.”

The New York Times reports: “Antiwar Protesters Across U.S. Condemn Killing of Suleiman.”

KATHY KELLY, kathy at vcnv.org, @voiceinwild
Kelly is with Voices for Creative Nonviolence and has worked on Iraq and other peace issues for over 20 years. She said today: “Beginning in 1990, Iraqis were afflicted by both military and economic warfare, waged by the U.S. Now, President Trump threatens sanctions ‘like they’ve never seen before.’ Will hundreds of thousands more children under age five die gruesome deaths because of a new round of U.S.-imposed economic sanctions?” See “Autopsy of a Disaster: The U.S. Sanctions Policy on Iraq” from the Institute for Public Accuracy, which documents the reports of the carnage resulting from the sanctions as well as the continuously shifting legal justifications from the U.S. government.

Kelly added: “In Baghdad, during the 2002 Shock and Awe bombing, I sat outside an emergency room next to a woman convulsed in sobs. How could she tell her badly maimed teenage nephew, in surgery for amputation of both his arms, that she was now his only surviving relative? Ali learned from a surgeon that he had lost both his arms. ‘Will I always be this way?’ he asked. Ali’s agonized words beg from us an impassioned question: ‘Will we always be this way?'”

SEAN REYNOLDS, joveismad at juno.com
Reynolds, also with Voices for Creative Nonviolence, has recently been to Iran. He spoke at a one of dozens of rallies around the country over the weekend — see his remarks — and stressed the extent to which wars ultimately have support from both the Republican and Democratic Party establishments.

Why Not Impeach Trump for War Crimes?

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at illinois.edu
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law.  Boyle was legal adviser to Rep. Henry B. González and wrote the first draft of the González Impeachment Resolution in 1991. George H. W. Bush would later write in his memoirs that if the Gulf War “drags out, not only will I take the blame, but I will probably have impeachment proceedings filed against me.”

Boyle said today: “Hypocrisies and hypocrites abound. Trump should be impeached for his attacks and threats against Iran. These are far more brazen violations of the War Powers Clause of the U.S. Constitution than anything regarding Ukraine.

“Some Republicans claim that Trump did nothing wrong regarding the Ukraine. That’s clearly wrong. Some Democrats are claiming that they are standing up for the rule of law and to prevent further illegal acts by impeaching Trump for his actions there. But that doesn’t withstand a moment’s scrutiny. Trump should have been impeached for his illegal bombings in Syria. He wasn’t, so predictably, he has gone on to target Iran and is making further threats against it and Iraq.”

Boyle was on an accuracy.org news release on the War Powers Resolution, which was largely written by Rep. Paul Findley, who died last year at 98.

In 2017, Ben Rhodes, Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor, and foreign policy speechwriter, told Politico that President Obama feared impeachment if he targeted the Syrian government:

Rhodes: “The only country in the world that was prepared to join us [in attacking the Assad government] was France. And we had no domestic legal basis. We actually had Congress warning us against taking action without congressional authorization, which we interpreted as the president could face impeachment.”

Politico: “Really? Was the prospect of impeachment actually a factor in your conversations?”

Rhodes: “That was a factor. Go back and read the letters from Boehner, letters from the Republican members of Congress. They laid down markers that this would not be constitutional.”

House Speaker John Boehner wrote to Obama in 2013: “It is essential you address on what basis any use of force would be legally justified and how the justification comports with the exclusive authority of Congressional authorization under Article I of the Constitution.”

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