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So let’s get this straight.
Douglas Feith, who headed up the insidious Office of Special Plans at the Pentagon that was created to develop, gin up, and manufacture “evidence” to justify a US attack on Iraq, has been reprimanded in a long-delayed report by the Pentagon Inspector General’s office, which concludes that the whole OSP project, while perhaps not illegal, was “inappropriate.”
Feith and the Republican establishment are taking that as the final word, and as an official okay for the OSP’s activities.
But wait a minute.
When is the last time we heard the term “inappropriate behavior” used?
It was Bill Clinton and his cigar in the Oval Office.
And that “inappropriate” behavior, according to the Republican Congress, was grounds for siccing a special prosecutor on the president, for calling him before a grand jury and grilling him, and finally for impeaching him in the House and trying him in the Senate. All over an “inappropriate” consensual sexual escapade that didn’t hurt anyone.
Feith’s inappropriate behavior, however, which was organized by the White House, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, was central to the president’s obsessive plan to invade Iraq. It was Feith’s OSP operation that developed the false evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, that developed false evidence of Iraqi efforts to develop a uranium centrifuge, and that developed the false evidence that Iraq had tried to buy uranium ore from Niger. Feith and the OSP were central to the administration’s success in gaining Congressional support for an attack on Iraq, and for the ensuing conflict that has killed over 3100 Americans and as many as 650,000 innocent Iraqi men, women and children. If there were any sense of integrity, courage and patriotism in Congress today, members of the House would be lining up to file a bill creating a special prosecutor to investigate Feith, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, the White House and the whole OSP story. They’d be lining up too, to file bills of impeachment against the president and vice president.
If there is any sense of integrity, courage and patriotism abroad in the nation at large, we will see resolutions of impeachment passed in coming weeks in the legislatures of Vermont, New Mexico, New Jersey, and perhaps other states like Washington, Oregon, Rhode Island and California, demanding the commencement of impeachment hearings in the House.
Even if what the OSP did was not technically illegal-which is a big if-it was clearly inappropriate, as well as duplicitous, and in a matter as serious as sending the nation to war, clearly rises to the level of an impeachable offense.
Equally inappropriate is the House leadership’s refusal to take action on such a serious matter as fraudulent evidence being used to justify a war.
Americans and Iraqis are continuing to die in ever-greater numbers because no one in Congress has shown the courage to put a stop to the ongoing atrocity. Now that the Pentagon’s own inspector general has at least had the courage to rule that the activities of Feith and his treacherous colleagues was “inappropriate,” such legislative cowardice can no longer be tolerated.
Every day that passes without Congressional action to call the criminals of the Bush administration to account for the war in Iraq means more blood on the hands of the party that now runs the House-the Democrats.
Every day that we, the American People, don’t demand action from our representatives, means more blood on all our hands.
It is time for all this “inappropriate behavior” in Washington to come to an end.
Impeach the President! Impeach the Vice President!
DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s newest book is “The Case for Impeachment“,
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org