Rep. Barbara Lee calls for U.S. Congress probe into Iraq War planning

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Friday, July 22, 2005

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), co-chairwoman of the Out of Iraq Caucus and a member of the International Affairs Committee, along with 26 co-sponsors, proposed yesterday a Resolution of Inquiry in the House of Representatives which, if passed, will require the White House and the State Department to "transmit all information relating to communication with officials of the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq." The resolution, was submitted in the House of Representatives and referred to the U.S. House Committee on International Relations.

Barbara Lee

The resolution comes in response to questions that have been raised about the handling of pre-war intelligence by the Bush administration, and the planning and execution of the Iraq war. “We would like to see a member of Congress look into whether or not the president committed impeachable offenses,” said John Bonifaz, a constitutional lawyer. “We’ve been having that discussion with a number of offices.”

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary Minority leader, recently met with John Bonifaz and representatives. But Conyers is reluctant to take such a bold step just yet. “My inclination at this time is not to do something like that,” Conyers said, although he noted that he wanted to press for an investigation in other ways, including sending committee investigators to London.

Earlier this month, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said at a forum held by Conyers “If you read the record of the writing of the Constitution, ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ had a very particular meaning at the time of the drafting of the Constitution. It certainly didn’t mean lying about sex, but it might well mean lying to the Congress about a large public purpose such as Iraq.”, referring to Republican's filing of such a resolution in 1998 in an effort to remove Bill Clinton from office.

Rep. Barbara Lee's resolution of inquiry is a less-drastic parliamentary maneuver that would ask the administration to provide more information related to the claims in classified British memos that suggest that pre-war intelligence in Iraq was "fixed" in order to justify the invasion. The Resolution of Inquiry is a privileged resolution, which means that if it is not acted on in 14 legislative days after it is introduced, the member of Congress who introduced it is entitled to request that it be brought to the House floor for a vote. The committee may take the matter up right away, and could vote it down before the August recess. If they do not, they will be required to take it up by September 16th.

Text of the Resolution

RESOLUTION

Requesting the President and directing the Secretary of State to transmit to the House of Representatives not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution all information in the possession of the President and the Secretary of State relating to communication with officials of the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq.

Resolved, That not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution—

(1) the President is requested to transmit to the House of Representatives all documents, including telephone and electronic mail records, logs, calendars, minutes, and memos, in the possession of the President relating to communications with officials of the United Kingdom from January 1, 2002, to October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq, including any discussions or communications between the President or other Administration officials and officials of the United Kingdom that occurred before the meeting on July 23, 2002, at 10 Downing Street in London, England, between Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom, United Kingdom intelligence officer Richard Dearlove, and other national security officials of the Blair Administration; and

(2) the Secretary of State is directed to transmit to the House of Representatives all documents, including telephone and electronic mail records, logs, calendars, minutes, memos, and records of internal discussions, in the possession of the Secretary relating to communications with officials of the United Kingdom from January 1, 2002, to October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq, including any discussions or communications between the Secretary of State or other officials of the Department of State and officials of the United Kingdom that occurred before the meeting on July 23, 2002, at 10 Downing Street in London, England, between Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom, United Kingdom intelligence officer Richard Dearlove, and other national security officials of the Blair Administration.

Original co-sponsors

  • Rep. John Conyers
  • Rep. Tammy Baldwin
  • Rep. William Lacy Clay
  • Rep. Danny Davis
  • Rep. William Delahunt
  • Rep. Lane Evans
  • Rep. Sam Farr
  • Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva
  • Rep. Luis Gutierrez
  • Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich
  • Rep. Carolyn C. Kilpatrick
  • Rep. Jim McDermott
  • Rep. Jim Oberstar
  • Rep. Major R. Owens
  • Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.
  • Rep. Don Payne
  • Rep. Charles Rangel
  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky
  • Rep. José E. Serrano
  • Rep. Pete Stark
  • Rep. Bennie Thompson
  • Rep. Diane Watson
  • Rep. Robert Wexler
  • Rep. Lynn Woolsey

External links

Sources

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