Saturday, June 18

DSM - Take it to the Courts

Y'know what the problem with (some) Democrats is? They still expect other people to do the important things that need being done for them.

It's time for that to stop.

This weeks Downing Street Hearing was a great thing, but exactly how much of a groundswell it's going to start with the media remains an open question. We can't wait for government to do something here. (Even if their were impeachment hearings now, there's no way they'd be effective under a Republican Controlled Congress) and we can't wait for the media to finally begin taking this story seriously. Neo-Conartist Republicans control the White House, Congress and a significant portion of the press, so we have to attack using the one vehicle that they don't completely or significantly control.

The Courts.

Title 18, Section 1001 of the U.S. Codes states the following:

Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

The ACLU has already shown us the way on the issue of tortue, and has sued Donald Rumsfeld - like them if we really want the truth about how the U.S. entered the war on Iraq, if we want to find the matching U.S. meeting minutes and notes to the Downing Street Documents, we're going to have to sue the Bush Administration to get them using the Freedom of Information Act.

First, If both British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Intelligence Chief Sir Richard Dearlove felt that U.S. Officials had given them the impression that War with Iraq was inevitable, as they both stated in the Downing Street Minutes, there have to be matching American documents which either confirm or invalidate this view. If Dearlove did in fact meet with George Tenet and Condoleeza Rice just prior to the meeting which generated the DSM, as was alleged during the Downing hearing, there has to be a paper trail. If so, it is simply not a reasonable expectation that the Bush Administration would divulge this information unless it was forced to by subpoena or court order. With a Republican Congress, we aren't going to have any subpoenas, nor is an Special Prosecutor likely to be appointed, however neither of these is required during the discovery phase of a class-action lawsuit. Documents and evidence can be subpoenaed by the court and depositions can be taken, even the President can be deposed. (And if Clinton had a problem with "Is Is", you can just imagine what kind of Perjury trap can be set of George W.)

(Cindy Sheehan at the Downing Street Hearing)
Clearly there is precedent for his action: During the Clinton years, the Supreme Court ruled that a sitting President could be sued, and in recent years the Congress has passed laws which require Class-Action suits to be handled by Federal Court.

Second, Every Father and Mother like Cindy Sheehan, who has lost a loved one to this illegal war and feels the need to find redress, should join together and file suit against this President and his subordinates for wrongful death, siting his willfully false and misleading statments leading to the unneccesary War with Iraq, supported by Downing Street Documents and further information obtained via FOIA.

(Explosives left behind at Al Qaqaa)
Third, A second wrongful-death suit should be filed against Donald Rumseld by the family of any soldier who was killed or injured as a result of insuffiencient or "Hillbilly" armor. Despite his claims that we "Go to war with the armor we have", it seems to me and many that Rumsfeld has had this armor for five years now, and although the suppliers are fully capable of providing the materials, our soldiers are still not fully protected. There is no excuse for this.

Forth, the families of civilian contractors who've been killed by IED's that were contructed from explosives taken from Al QaQaa should sue Donald Rumsfeld and the Department of Defense of contributory negligence.

There's only so much our Democratic leaders can do, particular if they can't even have a meeting in an genuine hearing room. We have to take responsibility for holding this government accountable ourselves, first in the courts and secondly - at the polls in 06.

If a silly hick like Paula Jones could bring down Clinton (no offense intended to all our proud Democrat and Liberal "red-necks" out there fighting the good fight deep in the heart of Dixie), we should be able to crush George W. to powder.



Danny said...

"Forth, the families of civilian contractors who've been killed by IED's that were contructed from explosives taken from Al QaQaa"

Garbage. This "missing explosives" story was debunked long ago.

And you have the temerity to not only bring it up as if it were fact, but add your own additional lie to the story ("contractors who've been killed by IED's that were contructed from explosives taken from Al QaQaa")

Vyan said...


I read your links, and you are incorrect. Though there was some initial doubt tossed on the theory that explosives from Al-Qaqaa had been left unguarded by U.S. forces - the worst fears were proven true with the discovery of photos and footage by a local news crew who had been embedded with U.S. Forces following the fall of Bagdad. (Those were the photo I included in the Original Post).

From KABC 5 Eyewitness News, Minneapolis, MN.

Using GPS technology and talking with members of the 101st Airborne Division, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has determined the crew embedded with the troops may have been on the southern edge of the Al Qaqaa installation, where the ammunition disappeared. The news crew was based just south of Al Qaqaa, and drove two or three miles north of there with soldiers on April 18, 2003.

During that trip, members of the 101st Airborne Division showed the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS news crew bunker after bunker of material labelled "explosives." Usually it took just the snap of a bolt cutter to get into the bunkers and see the material identified by the 101st as detonation cords.

"We can stick it in those and make some good bombs." a soldier told our crew.

There were what appeared to be fuses for bombs. They also found bags of material men from the 101st couldn't identify, but box after box was clearly marked "explosive."

In one bunker, there were boxes marked with the name "Al Qaqaa", the munitions plant where tons of explosives allegedly went missing.

Once the doors to the bunkers were opened, they weren't secured. They were left open when the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew and the military went back to their base.

"We weren't quite sure what were looking at, but we saw so much of it and it didn't appear that this was being secured in any way," said photojournalist Joe Caffrey. "It was several miles away from where military people were staying in their tents".

Officers with the 101st Airborne told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the bunkers were within the U.S. military perimeter and protected. But Caffrey and former 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Reporter Dean Staley, who spent three months together in Iraq, said Iraqis were coming and going freely.

"At one point there was a group of Iraqis driving around in a pick-up truck,"Staley said. "Three or four guys we kept an eye on, worried they might come near us."

They even have VIDEO.


Vyan said...

More non-debunking of the Al Qaqaa story from Media Matters for America:

On the May 26 edition of "The Point," Sinclair Broadcast Group commentator Mark Hyman echoed the false claim that The New York Times' report of the looting of explosives from the Al Qaqaa weapons facility in Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion had been "discredited." In fact, the evidence that has emerged since the publication of the Times' original report strongly supports the Times' suggestion that Al Qaqaa was looted after U.S. troops initially passed through the site. Hyman also characterized the Times' decision to attach a disclaimer that appears at the bottom of columns of its recently departed public editor Daniel Okrent as "an action meant to discredit his work." In fact, similar disclaimers accompany the ombudsman columns of numerous media outlets.

In an effort to impugn the Times' credibility, Hyman offered the paper's October 25, 2004, article on alleged looting of the Al Qaqaa weapons facility, which he described as "the now-discredited Iraqi ammunition dump story." In fact, while conservatives repeatedly tried to debunk the Al Qaqaa story, claiming that Iraqi troops removed the explosives before the invasion, the Times has stood by its report, and strong evidence exists that the weapons cache was in fact looted after the invasion. This evidence includes eyewitness accounts from American soldiers [Los Angeles Times, 11/4/04] and a video of the facility recorded by a Minnesota television crew indicating that explosives were present at Al Qaqaa two weeks after U.S. troops first arrived at the site.