This is the first "indictment" of the president,
the vice president, and their colleagues for defrauding us into war in Iraq.
I put that "indict" in quotes because what follows, as former federal prosecutor
Elizabeth de la Vega makes clear in her new book United
States v. George W. Bush et al., is "not an actual indictment." It can't
be, of course; but consider it the second best thing.
De la Vega has, in her career as a prosecutor, prepared numerous fraud indictments
and, as she argued in the first excerpt from her book posted earlier this week,
Worse than Enron," what George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and their senior officials
committed was a crime, not just in the colloquial sense of the word, but in
the legal sense too (and not a victimless crime either). While their crime was
of a magnitude that puts even Enron, no less run-of-the-mill fraud cases, to
shame, it also has all the elements of a typical, small-time scam.
De la Vega's "hypothetical indictment" of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald
Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and Colin Powell that you are about to read remains,
unfortunately, in the realm of fantasy. But only for now. Until our world comes
more fully to grips with the criminal nature of the Bush administration's acts,
you can at least turn to the full de la Vega book. A special project, produced
in conjunction with Seven Stories Press, a wonderful independent publisher,
it's officially published on December 1st (but available now).
You won't want to miss it. It's superbly done and – though I hesitate
to say it, given the nature of the subject matter – genuinely enjoyable
to read because De la Vega turns out to be as skilled a writer as she is a prosecutor,
and applies both her talents to the book. So check out the indictment, read
the first day of grand jury testimony, and in the meantime get the investigative
ball rolling by purchasing the book at Amazon.com.
After all, the excerpts can only give you a taste of the full case De la Vega
makes. This book should be the political stocking-stuffer of the Holiday
season. ~ Tom
The Indictment: United States v. George W. Bush et al.
by Elizabeth de la Vega
United States Attorney: Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. We're here today
in the case of United States v. George W. Bush et al. In addition to
President Bush, the defendants are Vice President Richard B. Cheney, former
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice – who's now the Secretary of
State, of course – Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Secretary
of State Colin Powell.
It's a one-count proposed indictment: Conspiracy to Defraud the United States
in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. I'll explain the
law that applies to the case this afternoon, but I'm going to hand out the indictment
now, so you'll have some context for that explanation. Take as long as you need
to read it, and then feel free to take your lunch break, but please leave your
copy of the indictment with the foreperson. We'll meet back at one o'clock.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ) Criminal No. Plaintiff, ) ) Conspiracy to Defraud
v. ) the United States ) GEORGE W. BUSH, ) 18 U.S.C. Section 371 RICHARD B.
CHENEY, ) CONDOLEEZZA RICE, ) DONALD M. RUMSFELD, and ) COLIN POWELL, ) Defendants
THE GRAND JURY CHARGES:
At times relevant to this Indictment:
1. The primary law of the United States Federal Government was set forth in
the U.S. Constitution ("Constitution"), which provides that the first branch
of government is the Legislative Branch ("Congress"). Pursuant to Article I,
Section 8, Congress has certain powers and obligations regarding oversight of
foreign affairs, including the powers to: (1) declare war; (2) raise and support
the armed forces; and (3) tax and spend for the common good.
2. Article II of the Constitution establishes the Executive Branch. The Executive
Power of the United States is vested in the President, who is also the Commander
in Chief of the Armed Services.
3. Defendant GEORGE W. BUSH ("BUSH") has been employed as President
of the United States since January 20, 2001. On that day, BUSH took a
constitutionally mandated oath to faithfully execute the Office of President
and to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. BUSH is also constitutionally
obligated to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
4. As Chief Executive, BUSH exercised authority, direction, and control
over the entire Executive Branch, which includes the White House, the Office
of the Vice President, the Departments of State, Defense, and others, and the
National Security Council.
5. Defendant RICHARD B. CHENEY ("CHENEY") has been employed as Vice
President of the United States since January 20, 2001.
6. Defendant CONDOLEEZZA RICE ("RICE") was employed as the National
Security Adviser from January 2001 to January 2005, when she became Secretary
of State, a position she holds as of the date of this indictment. As National
Security Adviser, RICE exercised direction, control, and authority over
the National Security Council, which coordinates various national security and
foreign policy agencies, including the Departments of Defense and State.
7. Defendant DONALD M. RUMSFELD ("RUMSFELD") has been employed as Secretary
of Defense since January 2001.
8. Defendant COLIN M. POWELL ("POWELL") was employed as Secretary of
State from January 2001 through January of 2005.
9. Before assuming their offices, CHENEY, RICE, RUMSFELD and POWELL
took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.
10. As employees of the Executive Branch, BUSH, CHENEY, RICE, RUMSFELD,
and POWELL were governed by Executive Orders 12674 and 12731. These Orders
provide that Executive Branch employees hold their positions as a public trust
and that the American people have a right to expect that they will fulfill that
trust in accordance with certain ethical standards and principles. These include
abiding by the Constitution and laws of the United States, as well as not using
their offices to further private goals and interests.
11. Pursuant to the Constitution, their oaths of office, their status as Executive
Branch employees, and their presence in the United States, BUSH, CHENEY,
RICE, RUMSFELD, and POWELL, and their subordinates and employees,
are required to obey Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, which prohibits
conspiracies to defraud the United States.
12. As used in Section 371, the term "to defraud the United States" means
"to interfere with or obstruct one of its lawful government functions by deceit,
craft, trickery, or at least by means that are dishonest." The term also means
to "impair, obstruct, or defeat the lawful function of any department of government"
by the use of "false or fraudulent pretenses or representations."
13. A "false" or "fraudulent" representation is one that is: (a) made with
knowledge that it is untrue; (b) a half-truth; (c) made without a reasonable
basis or with reckless indifference as to whether it is, in fact, true or false;
or (d) literally true, but intentionally presented in a manner reasonably calculated
to deceive a person of ordinary prudence and intelligence. The knowing concealment
or omission of information that a reasonable person would consider important
in deciding an issue also constitutes fraud.
14. Congress is a "department of the United States" within the meaning of
Section 371. In addition, hearings regarding funding for military action and
authorization to use military force are "lawful functions" of Congress.
15. Accordingly, the presentation of information to Congress and the general
public through deceit, craft, trickery, dishonest means, and fraudulent representations,
including lies, half-truths, material omissions, and statements made with reckless
indifference to their truth or falsity, while knowing and intending that such
fraudulent representations would influence Congress' decisions regarding authorization
to use military force and funding for military action, constitutes interfering
with, obstructing, impairing, and defeating a lawful government function of
a department of the United States within the meaning of Section 371.
The Conspiracy to Defraud the United States
16. Beginning on or about a date unknown, but no later than August of 2002,
and continuing to the present, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the
GEORGE W. BUSH,
RICHARD B. CHENEY,
DONALD M. RUMSFELD, and
COLIN M. POWELL,
and others known and unknown, did knowingly and intentionally conspire to
defraud the United States by using deceit, craft, trickery, dishonest means,
false and fraudulent representations, including ones made without a reasonable
basis and with reckless indifference to their truth or falsity, and omitting
to state material facts necessary to make their representations truthful, fair
and accurate, while knowing and intending that their false and fraudulent representations
would influence the public and the deliberations of Congress with regard to
authorization of a preventive war against Iraq, thereby defeating, obstructing,
impairing, and interfering with Congress' lawful functions of overseeing foreign
affairs and making appropriations.
17. The Early Months of the Bush-Cheney Administration: Prior to January
of 2001, BUSH, CHENEY, and RUMSFELD each demonstrated a predisposition
to employ U.S. military force to invade the Middle East, including, specifically,
to forcibly remove Saddam Hussein.
18. Since 1992, CHENEY has endorsed a "bold foreign policy" that includes
using military force to "punish" or "threaten to punish" possible aggressors
in order to protect the United States's access to Persian Gulf oil and to halt
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction ("WMD"), a term that is customarily
used to describe chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.
19. On or about January 26, 1998, RUMSFELD and seven other future BUSH-CHENEY
administration appointees signed a letter sent by a conservative policy institute
named "Project for a New American Century" ("PNAC") to then President William
Clinton, which called for U.S. military action to forcibly remove Saddam Hussein
20. In January 1999, BUSH named RICE and her future Deputy National
Security Adviser Stephen Hadley ("Hadley"), as his presidential-campaign foreign-policy
advisers, along with future Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz ("Wolfowitz")
and four others who had publicly advocated forcibly removing Saddam Hussein.
21. On or before September 2000, 12 future BUSH-CHENEY administration
appointees, including Wolfowitz, former Assistant to Vice President CHENEY,
I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and Rumsfeld's long-term aide Stephen Cambone, participated
in drafting "Rebuilding America's Defenses," a PNAC policy statement which asserted
that the "need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends
the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein." PNAC acknowledged that its goals
would take a long time to achieve "absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event
– like a new Pearl Harbor."
22. Once BUSH became the Republican candidate in the 2000 presidential
election campaign, he and CHENEY informed the general public that they
would be reluctant to use military force and did not believe that the United
States should engage in "nation-building."
23. On and after January 20, 2001, BUSH and CHENEY caused to be appointed
as senior foreign policy advisors and consultants, at least thirty-four persons
who had publicly endorsed the PNAC principles of United States global preeminence
and use of force to "punish" or "threaten to punish" emerging threats from weapons
of mass destruction ("WMD") or impediments to United States access to oil in
the Middle East. Of those appointees, eighteen had also publicly advocated forcibly
removing Saddam Hussein.
24. In late December 2000, BUSH and CHENEY advised outgoing
President William J. Clinton and others that, among potential foreign policy
issues, BUSH's primary concern was Iraq.
25. On February 11, 2001, BUSH ordered the first airstrikes since 1998
to be conducted outside of the United Nations ("UN") agreed-upon No-Fly zones,
to get Saddam Hussein's "attention."
26. The Attacks of September 11, 2001. On September 11, 2001, nineteen
men hijacked four commercial airplanes. They crashed two planes into the World
Trade Towers in New York City and another into the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
The fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania. In total, nearly 3,000 people died
as a result of the September 11, 2001, attacks ("9/11").
27. Shortly afterward, United States intelligence agencies determined that
9/11 was the work of the terrorist organization al Qaeda, spearheaded by Osama
Bin Laden. Fifteen of the nineteen hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, two from
Yemen, and two from Lebanon. This information, along with the conclusion that
no evidence linked the attacks to Saddam Hussein or al Qaeda, was immediately
communicated to BUSH, CHENEY, RICE, RUMSFELD, POWELL, and others.
28. BUSH-CHENEY administration members began discussing an invasion
of Iraq immediately after 9/11. BUSH, RUMSFELD and others also assigned
various subordinates, including former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke,
CIA Director George Tenet, and General Richard Meyers to look for intelligence
that could justify attacking Saddam Hussein's regime.
29. On September 17, 2001, BUSH secretly ordered the formulation of
preliminary plans for an invasion of Iraq, while admitting to his aides that
no evidence existed to justify an attack.
30. On or about September 18, 2001, in response to BUSH's request,
Clarke sent RICE a memo that stated: (a) the case for linking Hussein
to 9/11 was weak; (b) only anecdotal evidence linked Hussein to al Qaeda; (c)
Osama Bin Laden resented the secularism of Saddam Hussein; and (d) there was
no confirmed reporting of Saddam cooperating with Bin Laden on unconventional
31. On September 20, 2001, BUSH informed British Prime Minister Tony
Blair that after Afghanistan, the United States and Britain should return to
the issue of invading Iraq.
32. U.S. Intelligence Community Assessments of Risk from Iraq in Effect
on November 2001. On occasion, Executive Branch officials request assessments
of current intelligence on risks posed by WMD in a given country. Although such
assessments are coordinated by the Central Intelligence Agency ("CIA"), the
final product incorporates the analyses, including dissenting opinions, of the
intelligence branches of the Departments of State, Energy, Defense, the National
Security Agency, and others, which are collectively called the Intelligence
33. As of November 2001, the most recent assessment on Iraq was a December
2000 classified Intelligence Community Assessment ("ICA") called "Iraq: Steadily
Pursuing WMD Capabilities." This ICA was a comprehensive update on possible
Iraqi efforts to rebuild WMD and weapons delivery systems after the 1998 departure
of International Atomic Energy Agency ("IAEA") representatives and UN weapons
inspectors, who are collectively referred to as the United Nations Special Commission
34. Regarding Iraq's possible nuclear program, the December 2000 NIE unanimously
(a) The IAEA and UNSCOM had destroyed or neutralized Iraq's nuclear infrastructure,
but Iraq still had a foundation for future nuclear reconstitution;
(b) Iraq was continuing low-level theoretical research and training, and attempting
to obtain dual-use items that cold be used to reconstitute its nuclear program;
(c) if Iraq acquired a significant quantity of fissile material through foreign
assistance, it could have a crude nuclear weapon within a year; if Iraq received
foreign assistance, it would take five to seven years to produce enough weapons-grade
fissile material for a nuclear weapon; and
(d) Iraq did not appear to have reconstituted its nuclear weapons program.
35. Escalation of Military Activity and Planning for Invasion of Iraq.
On November 21, 2001, BUSH secretly ordered preparation of a formal war
plan for invading Iraq. Thereafter, for sixteen months, the BUSH-CHENEY
administration expended substantial U.S. government funds in military activity
and planning for invasion of Iraq, all without notice to, or approval by, the
36. BUSH did not receive an extensive briefing about possible WMD in
Iraq before ordering a war plan, nor did he discuss the legitimacy of grounds
for war with anyone. BUSH received no such briefing until December 21,
37. On or about November 27, 2001, RUMSFELD asked General "Tommy" Franks,
head of Central Command, which supervises Middle East operations, to immediately
prepare an Iraq war plan in response to BUSH's order.
38. Thereafter, Franks discussed numerous revised Iraq war plans with RUMSFELD.
Between December 2001 and August 2002, BUSH, CHENEY, RICE, RUMSFELD, POWELL,
and others held at least five lengthy meetings about Franks' plans. In August,
BUSH ordered Franks to prepare to invade Iraq using the "Hybrid Plan,"
a combination of the "Running Start" and "Generated Start" plans developed previously.
39. During 2002, the United States and Great Britain increased air strikes
in order to degrade Iraqi air defenses and began deploying troops to areas around
40. On or about July 30, 2002, without approval by, or notice to, Congress,
BUSH caused the diversion of $700 million from Afghanistan war funds
into Iraq invasion preparations.
41. On September 5, 2002, without approval by, or notice to, Congress, BUSH
caused approximately 100 United States and British aircraft to launch ballistic
missiles at Iraq's major western air-defense facility.
42. By September 12, 2002, without approval by, or notice to, Congress, BUSH
had caused the movement of 40,000 military personnel and over 350,000 tons of
equipment to areas around Iraq. Franks also ordered Central Command to be moved
to Al Udeid Air Base near Doha, Qatar.
43. Behind-the-Scenes Strategizing with British Officials: On or before
March 2002, BUSH, RICE, Wolfowitz, and others secretly began discussing
ways to persuade the public and foreign allies to accept Bush's goal of invading
Iraq, with British Prime Minister Tony Blair ("Blair") and his advisers.
44. On March 12, 2002, in Washington, DC, RICE met with Blair's Foreign
Policy Adviser Sir David Manning and informed him of BUSH's problems
with persuading "international opinion that military action against Iraq was
necessary and justified."
45. On March 17, 2002, in Washington, DC, British Ambassador Sir Christopher
Meyer advised Wolfowitz that the two countries should "wrongfoot" Saddam Hussein
by seeking a UN resolution that would require the readmission of weapons inspectors
with the expectation that Saddam would create a justification for war by obstructing
46. On April 6, 2002, in Crawford, Texas, BUSH and Blair discussed
strategies to sway public opinion regarding military action in Iraq. Blair agreed
to support a United States invasion if the two countries obtained a UN resolution
47. In mid-July, 2002, in Washington, DC, White House officials discussed
Iraq with visiting British officials. Upon their return to London, these officials
reported the talks to Blair in a meeting at 10 Downing St. on July 23, 2002.
Among other things, Blair's advisers suggested that he urge BUSH to devise
a more realistic political strategy for attacking Iraq, because a desire for
"regime change" would not justify military action under international law.
48. In mid-July, 2002, in Washington, DC, CIA Director Tenet and others talked
about the Bush administration's intentions regarding Iraq with Sir Richard Dearlove,
the head of British Intelligence.
49. On July 23, 2002, during the Downing St. meeting described above, Dearlove
informed Blair that in the United States "Military action was now seen as inevitable.
BUSH wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the
conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being
fixed around the policy."
50. On July 23, 2002, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw also noted that
BUSH had "made up his mind to take military action." Straw said he would
urge POWELL to persuade BUSH to seek a UN resolution requiring
Saddam Hussein to readmit weapons inspectors, in effect, suggesting the "wrongfooting"
strategy that Meyer had described to Wolfowitz.
51. Behind-the-Scenes Efforts to Fix Intelligence Around the Policy.
Within weeks after learning from Clarke, Tenet, and others that Iraq and Saddam
Hussein had no involvement with either 9/11 or al Qaeda, RUMSFELD caused
Deputy Undersecretary for Defense Douglas Feith ("Feith") to secretly create
the Counter Terrorism Group ("CTEG"), a small unit of political appointees whose
mission was to find links between Iraq and al Qaeda by reviewing raw intelligence
that previously had been discarded as unreliable. CTEG reported weekly to RUMSFELD's
long-term associate Stephen Cambone, and occasionally presented information
directly to Wolfowitz, thereby circumventing standard IC procedures.
52. At some time in 2002, Feith also designated political appointees to work
under his supervision in the newly-created Office of Special Plans, whose purpose
was to develop and package information for use in marketing the President's
plan for an invasion of Iraq. In the fall of 2002, this group presented information
directly to RUMSFELD, to RICE's office, and to CHENEY's
office, thereby circumventing standard IC procedures.
53. In the spring of 2002, CHENEY and his former aide, I. Lewis "Scooter"
Libby, began visiting CIA headquarters to question CIA agents' assessments about
Iraq. RUMSFELD and Deputy National Security Adviser Hadley also repeatedly
pressed CIA Director Tenet and his subordinates to present a stronger case against
54. Bush's Creation of the White House Iraq Group. By the summer of
2002, domestic and international support for BUSH's plan to invade Iraq
was lukewarm. At the same time, Bush's chief political strategist and Senior
Adviser Karl Rove and Kenneth Mehlman, head of the White House Office of Strategic
Initiatives, were beginning to coordinate the President's involvement in the
November 7, 2002, congressional election. Their overall goal was to gain Republican
majorities in both houses of Congress so that the President would have the greatest
possible support for his policies. Rove had specifically recommended that Republicans
"focus on war" as a way to win elections. Consequently, in the summer of 2002,
BUSH's efforts to win support for an invasion of Iraq and his efforts
to assist Republican congressional candidates became inextricably intertwined.
55. In the summer of 2002, BUSH caused the creation of the White House
Iraq Group, which was cochaired by BUSH's long-term political operatives
Karl Rove and Karen Hughes, who remained BUSH's close associate even
though she had resigned her position as Counselor to the President. This team,
also called WHIG, was largely a political and public-relations entity that included
RICE, Hadley, President's Chief of Staff Andrew Card, President's legislative
liaison Nicholas Calio, CHENEY's key aide and veteran Republican political
strategist Mary Matalin, CHENEY's senior adviser Libby, and James Wilkinson,
another Republican campaign consultant.
56. On or about September 6, 2002, Rove and Card publicly announced that:
(a) the BUSH-CHENEY administration was beginning to "roll out" its case
for an invasion of Iraq; (b) its public-relations campaign was specifically
directed at forcing Congress to pass a resolution authorizing the President
to use military force in Iraq; (c) BUSH wanted the resolution passed
in about five weeks, before the 2002 election; and (d) in the end, it would
be difficult for any legislator to vote against it.
57. The Defendants' Massive Fraud to "Market" an invasion of Iraq.
On or about September 4, 2002, BUSH staged a photo opportunity with a
bipartisan group of congressional leaders, after which he falsely and fraudulently
announced that Iraq posed a serious threat to the safety of the United States
and the world, while concealing from Congress and the American people the material
facts that: (a) he had no reasonable basis whatsoever for his assertion; (b)
he had never discussed the legitimacy of the grounds for an attack against Iraq
with anyone; (c) he had never extensively reviewed existing intelligence regarding
any possible threat from Iraq; (d) he had not requested an updated intelligence
assessment on Iraq; (e) the United States intelligence assessment then in effect
stated that Iraq had neither nuclear weapons nor a nuclear weapons program;
and (f) the IC had consistently reported that Iraq had no involvement in 9/11
and no relationship with al Qaeda.
58. On September 4, 2002, BUSH also falsely and fraudulently claimed
he was beginning an "open dialogue" with the American public, with Congress,
and with United States allies to decide how to respond to Iraq, while concealing
the material facts that he: (a) had requested a formal plan to invade Iraq nearly
a year before; (b) had been conducting significant military and nonmilitary
planning and attacks against Iraq for a year; (c) had directed significant military
deployment to areas around Iraq; (d) was planning a massive air assault against
Iraq's air defense facility for the next day; and (e) intended to work with
the UN only to create a justification to use military force against Iraq.
59. Thereafter, the defendants and WHIG executed a calculated and wide-ranging
strategy to deceive Congress and the American people by making hundreds of false
and fraudulent representations that were only half-true, or literally true but
misleading; by concealing material facts; and by making statements without a
reasonable basis and with reckless indifference to their truth, regarding, among
(a) their true intent to invade Iraq;
(b) the extent of military buildup and force used against Iraq without notice
to or approval by Congress;
(c) their true purpose in seeking a Congressional resolution authorizing the
use of military force against Iraq;
(d) their true intent to use their involvement in seeking a UN resolution
requiring Iraq to cooperate with weapons inspectors as a sham; and
(e) their claimed justifications for invading Iraq, including but not limited
* The alleged connection between Saddam Hussein and the attacks of September
* The alleged connection between Iraq and al Qaeda;
* The alleged connection between Saddam Hussein and any terrorists whose primary
animus was directed towards the United States;
* Saddam Hussein's alleged intent to attack the United States in any way;
• Saddam Hussein's possession of nuclear weapons and the status of any alleged
ongoing nuclear weapons programs;
* The lack of any reasonable basis for asserting with certainty that Saddam
Hussein was actively manufacturing chemical and biological weapons; and
*The alleged urgency of any threat posed to the United States by Saddam Hussein.
60. Congressional Joint Resolution to Authorize Use of Force Against Iraq.
As a result of the defendants' false and fraudulent "marketing" of the President's
plan to invade Iraq, on October 11, 2002, the U.S Congress, acting pursuant
to its Article I constitutional authority to oversee and authorize use of military
force, passed a Congressional Joint Resolution to Authorize Use of Force Against
Iraq ["the Resolution"] which stated:
The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States
as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to –
(a) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing
threat posed by Iraq; and
(b) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding
61. The Resolution required the President to, either before or within 48 hours
after exercising the authority to use force, make available to the Senate and
the House of Representatives his determination that:
(a) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful
means alone either (1) will not adequately protect the national security of
the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (2) is not
likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council
resolutions regarding Iraq; and
(b) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States
and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international
terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations
or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks
that occurred on September 11, 2001.
62. The Resolution also required the President to, at least every 60 days,
present Congress a report on "matters relevant to this joint resolution."
63. In furtherance of the above-described conspiracy, the defendants and their
coconspirators committed and caused to be committed the following overt acts:
A. On December 9, 2001, CHENEY announced on NBC's Meet the Press
that "it was pretty well confirmed" that lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta had
met the head of Iraqi intelligence in Prague in April 2001, which statement
was, as CHENEY well knew, made without reasonable basis and with reckless
disregard for the truth, because it was based on a single witness's uncorroborated
allegation that had not been fully investigated by U.S. intelligence agencies.
B. On July 15, 2002, POWELL stated on Ted Koppel's Nightline:
"What we have consistently said is that the President has no plan on his desk
to invade Iraq at the moment, nor has one been presented to him, nor have his
advisors come together to put a plan to him," which statement was deliberately
false and misleading in that it deceitfully implied the President was not planning
an invasion of Iraq when, as POWELL well knew, the President was close
to finalizing detailed military plans for such an invasion that he had ordered
C. On August 26, 2002, CHENEY made numerous false and fraudulent statements
including: "Simply stated there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons
of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against
our friends, against our allies, and against us," when, as CHENEY well
knew, this statement was made without reasonable basis and with reckless indifference
to the truth in that the IC's then prevailing assessment was that Iraq had neither
nuclear weapons nor a reconstituted nuclear weapons program.
D. On September 7, 2002, appearing publicly with Blair, BUSH claimed
a recent IAEA report stated that Iraq was "six months away from developing a
[nuclear] weapon" and "I don't know what more evidence we need," which statements
were made without basis and with reckless indifference to the truth in that:
(1) the IAEA had not even been present in Iraq since 1998; and (2) the report
the IAEA did write in 1998 had concluded there was no indication that Iraq had
the physical capacity to produce weapons-usable nuclear material or that it
had attempted to obtain such material.
E. On September 8, 2002, on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, RICE
asserted that Saddam Hussein was acquiring aluminum tubes that were "only suited"
for nuclear centrifuge use, which statement was deliberately false and fraudulent,
and made with reckless indifference to the truth in that it omitted to state
the following material facts: (1) the U.S. intelligence community was deeply
divided about the likely use of the tubes; (2) there were at least fifteen intelligence
reports written since April 2001 that cast doubt on the tubes' possible nuclear-related
use; and (3) the U.S. Department of Energy nuclear weapons experts had concluded,
after analyzing the tubes's specifications and the circumstances of the Iraqis'
attempts to procure them, that the aluminum tubes were not well suited for nuclear
centrifuge use and were more likely intended for artillery rocket production.
F. On September 8, 2002, RUMSFELD stated on Face the Nation:
"Imagine a September 11th, with weapons of mass destruction. It's not three
thousand, it's tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children," which
statement was deliberately fraudulent and misleading in that it implied without
reasonable basis and in direct contradiction to then prevailing intelligence
that Saddam Hussein had no operational relationship with al Qaeda and was unlikely
to provide weapons to terrorists.
G. On September 19, 2002, RUMSFELD told the Senate Armed Services Committee
that "no terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security
of our people than the regime of Saddam Hussein," which statement was, as Rumsfeld
well knew, made without reasonable basis and with reckless indifference to the
truth in that: (1) Hussein had not acted aggressively toward the United States
since his alleged attempt to assassinate President George H. W. Bush in 1993;
(2) Iraq's military forces and equipment were severely debilitated because of
UN sanctions imposed after the 1991 Gulf War; (3) the IC's opinion was that
Iraq's sponsorship of terrorists was limited to ones whose hostility was directed
toward Israel; and (4) Iran, not Iraq, was the most active state sponsor of
H. On October 1, 2002, the defendants caused the IC's updated classified National
Intelligence Estimate to be delivered to Congress just hours before the beginning
of debate on the Authorization to Use Military Force. At the same time, the
defendants caused an unclassified "White Paper" to be published which was false
and misleading in many respects in that it failed to include qualifying language
and dissents that substantially weakened their argument that Iraq posed a serious
threat to the United States.
I. On October 7, 2002, in Cincinnati, Ohio, BUSH made numerous deliberately
misleading statements to the nation, including stating that in comparison to
Iran and North Korea, Iraq posed a uniquely serious threat, which statement
BUSH well knew was false and fraudulent in that it omitted to state the
material fact that a State Department representative had been informed just
three days previously that North Korea had actually already produced nuclear
weapons. The defendants continued to conceal this information until after Congress
passed the Authorization to Use Military Force against Iraq.
J. Between September 1, 2002, and November 2, 2002, BUSH traveled the
country making in excess of thirty congressional-campaign speeches in which
he falsely and fraudulently asserted that Iraq was a "serious threat" which
required immediate action, when as he well knew, this assertion was made without
reasonable basis and with reckless indifference to the truth.
K. In his January 28, 2003 State of the Union address, BUSH announced
that the "British have recently learned that Iraq was seeking significant quantities
of uranium from Africa" which statement was fraudulent and misleading and made
with reckless disregard for the truth, in that it falsely implied that the information
was true, when the CIA had advised the administration more than once that the
allegation was unsupported by available intelligence.
L. In a February 5, 2003, speech to the UN, POWELL falsely implied,
without reasonable basis and with reckless disregard for the truth, that, among
other things: (1) those who maintained that Iraq was purchasing aluminum tubes
for rockets were allied with Saddam Hussein, even though POWELL well
knew that both Department of Energy nuclear weapons experts and State Department
intelligence analysts had concluded that the tubes were not suited for nuclear
centrifuge use; and (2) Iraq had an ongoing cooperative relationship with al
Qaeda, when he well knew that no intelligence agency had reached that conclusion.
M. On March 18, 2003, BUSH sent a letter to the Speaker of the House
of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate which asserted
that further reliance on diplomatic and peaceful means alone would not either:
(1) adequately protect United States national security against the "continuing
threat posed by Iraq" or (2) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant UN Security
Council resolutions regarding Iraq, which statement was made without reasonable
basis and with reckless indifference to the truth in that, as BUSH well
knew, the U.S. intelligence community had never reported that Iraq posed an
urgent threat to the United States and there was no evidence whatsoever to prove
that Iraq had either the means or intent to attack the U.S. directly or indirectly.
The statement was also false because, as BUSH well knew, the UN weapons
inspectors had not found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and wanted
to continue the inspection process because it was working well.
N. In the same March 18, 2003 letter, BUSH also represented that taking
action pursuant to the Resolution was "consistent with continuing to take the
necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations,
including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed,
or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001," which
statement was entirely false and without reasonable basis in that, as BUSH
well knew, Iraq had no involvement with al Qaeda or the terrorist attacks of
September 11, 2001.
All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.
A TRUE BILL
[Note: This is not an actual indictment]
Assistant United States Attorney: Ladies and Gentlemen, we're going
to spend the afternoon discussing the law that applies to your consideration
of the indictment...
The full discussion is omitted in this excerpt, but, in brief, this is the
legal question you will be deciding:
Is there probable cause to believe that the defendants used deceit, craft,
trickery, dishonest means – including lies, false pretenses, misrepresentations,
deliberate omissions, half-truths, false promises, and statements made with
reckless indifference to their truth – to obstruct, impede, or interfere
with Congress' lawful government function of overseeing foreign affairs, relating
to the invasion of Iraq?
We'll see you all tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. Our witness tomorrow will be an FBI
agent. She's from Boston, but we should be able to get by without a translator.
Have a good evening.
The Grand Jury Testimony
Testimony of FBI Special Agent Linda Campbell
Assistant U.S. Attorney: Good morning everyone. We're back here in
the case of United States v. George W. Bush et al. Let's start by looking
at Exhibit 1 in your packets. It's a chart that lists the main points we're
going to cover in the grand jury.
Evolution of the Fraud
• Bush, Cheney, et al. were predisposed to invade Iraq even before they were
* They secretly began to plan the invasion immediately after September 11.
Bush requested an Iraq war plan in November 2001 and began escalating military
* They enlisted biased political appointees to find evidence to justify a
war beginning in October 2001.
* They began, without a reasonable basis, to imply that Iraq was linked to
the September 11 attacks and posed an urgent threat in the fall of 2001.
* They began a massive fraud campaign in September 2002 to overcome weak public
support for an invasion and manipulate Congress into passing an authorization
allowing the President to use force against Iraq.
* They invaded Iraq in March 2003, knowing that their stated grounds for war
were false, fraudulent, and without reasonable basis.
Today, we'll talk about the administration's predisposition to invade Iraq.
Now, why is that relevant? Remember I told you that many fraud conspiracies
begin as legitimate enterprises? They evolve into criminal activity when people
begin to deceive others in response to problems or obstacles to achieving their
goals. So, in any fraud case we need to know what the defendants' original objectives
Would somebody go get our witness? Thanks. [Whereupon the witness enters the
room and is sworn]
Q. Could you please tell us your full name and what you do?
A. My name is Linda Marie Campbell and I'm a Special Agent with the
FBI – have been for sixteen years.
Q. What is your current assignment?
A. I'm one of eight agents on the task force that's investigating whether
the President and his senior advisers defrauded Americans about prewar intelligence.
But normally my office is in Boston. Home of Tom Brady – the Patriot –
and of course, Sam Adams – the beer and the patriot – with
a small "p." I do fraud cases, mainly.
Q. Could you tell us about your background? Sort of a Reader's Digest
A. Sure. I was an Air Force brat, so we lived all over – Georgia,
Germany, Hawaii – until I was about twelve, when we landed at Otis Air
Force Base on Cape Cod. After Boston College, I started teaching English at
Catholic Memorial. I was going to coach softball, go down the Cape in the summer,
eat fried clams. But one day I just thought, you know, I really can't stand
talking about Hester Prynne for one more minute, and it seemed as if it
would be wicked cool to become an FBI agent. So I applied.
Q. Has it been wicked cool?
A. Yes and no. One thing about the FBI is that they always send you
somewhere that's not where you want to be, even if no one else does
want to be where you want to be. Does that make any sense? So I asked to go
to Boston after Quantico . . .
Q. And where'd they send you?
A. Tulsa, Oklahoma. But only for two years, because I took a language
aptitude test and, next thing I knew, I was at the Monterey Defense Language
Institute, learning Russian. I worked in DC for a few years and finally got
back to Boston last summer. Although, now I'm in DC again working on this case.
I'm also on the Emergency Response and Disaster Recovery Team.
Not exactly condensed was it?
Q. No, but that's ok. You were, in fact, part of the team at the Pentagon
after 9/11, weren't you?
A. Yes, I was. I will never forget it.
Q. Jurors, you recall that you may only consider evidence your hear
from the witnesses? That means we occasionally present testimony about things
people already know.
Like, in this case, September 11, 2001. What happened on that day?
A. On September 11, nineteen men hijacked four commercial airplanes
– United Flight 175 and American Airlines 11 out of Logan, United Flight
93 out of Newark, and American Airlines 77 out of Washington/Dulles. They crashed
two planes into the World Trade Towers in New York and one into the Pentagon.
The fourth plane, United Flight 93, crashed in Pennsylvania after the passengers
stormed the cockpit. In all, nearly 3,000 people were killed. It was a nightmare.
Q. Were you working at the time?
A. I was at firearms training, but I called my supervisor and told
him I'd go wherever they needed me for disaster response. By 5:00 p.m., I'm
headed to DC on the Mass Pike, with my Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee. One of the
four essential food groups, by the way.
Q. Did you already know who committed the attacks?
A. Basically, yes. By late morning, really, everyone was talking about
it having been al Qaeda and, of course, Osama Bin Laden. It was even on the
radio. No specifics, but it was only a day or so before we heard those. The
main hijacker was Mohamed Atta, who, along with 14 others, was from Saudi Arabia.
Two were from Yemen and two were from Lebanon.
Q. We'll have more about this later, but – bottom line –
was there ever any evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in the September
A. No, not a bit.
Q. But your investigation has shown, has it not, that before the war,
a majority of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was somehow involved?
Q. Danny Crain – Special Agent Crain – will be testifying
about that in more detail, but in the meantime, have you determined how people
came to believe that?
A. Unfortunately, yes. President Bush – and Cheney and Rice and
Rumsfeld and Powell – deliberately gave people that impression, or allowed
them to have it. That's Danny's area of testimony, I know, but let me say this:
In fraud cases, we don't have to prove that people were actually deceived, but
the case is stronger when you can prove they were. And here we know that many
people came to believe many things about Iraq that were just false – including
that there was some 9/11 connection.
Q. Well, let's turn to –
A. May I just add something?
Q. Of course.
A. Sometimes, the best way to understand the impact of fraud is not
so much the number of victims, but the stories of the victims. Like in the movie
Why We Fight, Wilton Sekzer. He was a retired cop whose son died in the
World Trade Center. He strongly supported the war against Iraq, but only because
he thought it was related to 9/11.
So, in 2004, when the President said not only that he had no evidence linking
Saddam to the 9/11 attacks, but also "I don't know where people got the idea
that I connected Iraq to 9/11," Mr. Sekzer was devastated. I'll read what he
What did he [Bush] just say? I mean, I almost jumped out of the chair. I
don't know where people got the idea that I connected Iraq to 9/11. What
is he, nuts or what? What the hell did we go in there for? We're getting back
for 9/11. Well, if he didn't have anything to do with 9/11, why did we go
in there? I was mad. I was mad. My first thought is: you know, you're a liar.
Q. And he felt betrayed?
Q. Was he the only one?
A. No. As of July 2003, approximately 71 percent of the people in the
United States believed that the President had deliberately implied that there
was a link between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein.
Assistant U.S. Attorney: How's the temperature? I got GSA to turn off
the air conditioning.
Grand Juror: No kidding. Now it's way too hot.
Second Grand Juror: Are we allowed to vote someone off the Grand Jury?
Q. It's tempting.
Agent Campbell, what evidence shows that Bush et al. were predisposed to invade
Iraq before January 2001?
A. Well, we have to start back in 1992, after the first Gulf War.
Q. Ok. We're not going anywhere.
A. As some jurors may know, the ground-assault phase of the first Gulf
War had ended after a hundred hours, because George H. W. Bush decided not to
send troops on into Baghdad. Afterward, there was a bloodbath as Saddam Hussein
put down a Shiite rebellion in southern Iraq.
At the time, at least publicly, Cheney, who was Secretary of Defense, supported
Bush Sr.'s decision. He said if we'd gone into Baghdad, we'd still have forces
there and we would be running the country. Cheney didn't think Saddam Hussein
was worth "that damned many" casualties, meaning more than the 146 American
soldiers who had already died.
Q. Does it appear that Cheney later changed his mind?
A. Yes. But Libby and Wolfowitz disagreed from the beginning.
Q. Who are Libby and Wolfowitz?
A. Libby is I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's aide in 1992. In 2001 he became
a top adviser, mainly on foreign-policy issues, for Cheney and also for Bush.
Until he got indicted. Paul Wolfowitz was also Cheney's aide in 1992 and in
2001 became Rumsfeld's Deputy Secretary of Defense.
Libby, Wolfowitz, and Cheney had a foreign-policy philosophy that's been described
as neoconservative. They first wrote about it, as far as we know, in a 1992
paper called "Defense Planning Guidance." It was never published, but the draft
was leaked to the press, so we know its main points. They wanted the United
States to "assert world dominance" and to "to punish" or "threaten to punish"
possible future aggressors to protect U.S. access to Persian Gulf oil or stop
the proliferation of WMD – weapons of mass destruction. They also recommended
that the United States ignore the UN Security Council and act alone if it chose
to do so.
Q. How were those ideas received at the time?
A. About as well as Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents'
Q. Not a warm reception, I take it. So what happened to "Defense Policy
A. Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Libby published a watered-down version of
it in 1993 called "Defense Strategy for the 1990s."
Q. Did other future Bush-Cheney administration members publicly state
their positions about the Middle East and/or Iraq in the 1990s?
A. Yes, they did. In 1996 Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and David Wurmser
wrote a paper for the Israeli government, called "A Clean Break: A New Strategy
for Securing the Realm," that advocated invading Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein.
Q. And how did those three figure in the Bush-Cheney administration?
A. From 2001 to 2003, Perle was Chairman of Bush's Defense Policy Board.
Feith was Bush's Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and Wurmser was brought
in after 9/11 as part of the Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group that reviewed
raw intelligence looking for evidence of links between Iraq and al Qaeda or
Osama Bin Laden.
Q. In 1997, there was –
A. Also, oh, sorry –
Q. No, go ahead. But if we both talk at the same time, the court reporter
A. What I was going to say was that David Wurmser also publicly advocated
a United States invasion of Iraq. Twice, actually. Once in a 1997 Wall Street
Journal editorial and then in a November 2000 Washington Times op-ed,
where he argued that the United States and Israel should "strike fatally, not
merely disarm, the centers of radicalism in the region – the regimes of
Damascus, Baghdad, Tripoli, Tehran, and Gaza."
Grand Juror: Someone who had publicly advocated using military force
to remove Saddam Hussein and attacking Syria, Libya, Iran, and Gaza was
assigned to look for evidence to justify invading Iraq?
A. Yes. He is now Vice President Cheney's adviser on the Middle East.
Q. All right. In 1997, a group called Project for a New American Century,
or PNAC, was formed. What was that?
A. According to its website, PNAC is a think tank dedicated to "American
global leadership." Its stated principles were: (1) promoting a bold foreign
policy; (2) significantly increasing defense spending; and (3) meeting threats
"before they become dire."
Cheney, Rumsfeld, Libby, and Wolfowitz were founding members, as was Jeb Bush,
President Bush's brother.
Q. Did the founding statement mention Iraq?
A. No, but a letter the members of PNAC wrote to Clinton in 1998 did.
Q. Before we get to that, were there other public statements advocating
forcible removal of Saddam Hussein made by future Bush-Cheney people in 1997?
A. Yes, in a December 1997 issue of the Weekly Standard magazine
called "Saddam Must Go: A How-to Guide," Wolfowitz and the current U.S. ambassador
to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, called for "sustained attacks" on Hussein's military
and security forces to get rid of him.
Q. Early in 1998, the Project for a New American Century wrote the
letter you just mentioned, right?
A. Right. Yes, most of it is excerpted in Exhibit 2:
Excerpts from January 26, 1998 Letter from PNAC
to President William J. Clinton
We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy
toward Iraq is not succeeding and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle
East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. .
. . We urge you to . . . enunciate a new strategy . . . [that] should aim,
above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power...
The policy of "containment" of Saddam Hussein has been steadily eroding
over the past several months...
It hardly needs to be added that if Saddam does acquire the capability to
deliver weapons of mass destruction, as he is almost certain to do if we continue
along the present course, the safety of American troops in the region, of
our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant
portion of the world's supply of oil will all be put at hazard. As you have
rightly declared, Mr. President, the security of the world in the first part
of the 21st century will be determined largely by how we handle this threat.
Given the magnitude of the threat, the current policy, which depends for
its success upon the steadfastness of our coalition partners and upon the
cooperation of Saddam Hussein, is dangerously inadequate. The only acceptable
strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to
use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this
means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing.
In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power.
In any case, American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided
insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.
Q. Any familiar names in the signature block?
A. Twelve of the eighteen signers became Bush-Cheney advisers or appointees:
Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Khalilzad, Perle, as well as Elliot Abrams,
Richard Armitage, Paula Dobriansky, Peter Rodman, R. James Woolsey, and Robert
Q. Well, it's 12:30 and I'm "stahvin," as Agent Campbell would say.
So let's go eat.
Assistant U.S. Attorney: Did everyone make it back? Good.
Grand Juror: Agent Campbell, doesn't this 1998 letter contain the same
arguments that the Bush administration made in 2002?
A. Yes it does: (1) containment wasn't working; (2) inspections wouldn't
work; (3) Saddam would definitely have WMD if we didn't act immediately; and
(4) we didn't need to work with the UN.
Grand Juror: What does "containment" mean?
A. In the context of Iraq, it referred mainly to the use of UN sanctions
and restrictions to prevent Saddam Hussein from acquiring WMD and from threatening
Q. We're going to switch gears and turn to the 2000 election campaign.
Before that, any questions?
Grand Juror: Was Bush in PNAC?
A. No. But in 1999, he hired Condoleezza Rice and her future Deputy
National Security Adviser, Stephen Hadley, along with five PNAC people –
Perle, Wolfowitz, Armitage, Zoellick, and Dov Zakheim – to be campaign
foreign policy advisers. Four of those five had previously advocated forcibly
removing Saddam Hussein.
Q.> During the 2000 campaign, did Bush and Cheney talk about U.S. global
preeminence and taking preventive military action against possible threats from
WMD or to our oil interests in the Middle East?
A. No. Well, yes and no.
Q. Oh, okay. Everybody got that, then?
A. Well, behind the scenes, with the neoconservative crowd, Bush and
Cheney conveyed a very strong message. In fact, in September 2000 Libby, Wolfowitz,
and ten other future Bush-Cheney appointees signed a policy statement, called
"Rebuilding America's Defenses," that was posted on the PNAC website. The paper,
which described itself as a "blueprint for maintaining global U.S. preeminence"
that grew out of Cheney's 1992 "Defense Policy Guidance" paper, advocated substantially
increased defense spending. Regarding the Middle East, it said the "need for
a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the
regime of Saddam Hussein."
In plain English: We should have permanent military bases in the Middle East.
Q. Did the statement indicate whether PNAC thought the public would
agree with this strategy?
A. Yes. PNAC acknowledged that its goals would likely take a long time
to achieve, "absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new
Q. Anyone could look at this website, couldn't they?
A. Yes. But it was not well known outside of DC and certain conservative
circles, and publicly, especially in the general election, Bush and Cheney said
nothing whatsoever about a "bold" foreign policy or any other PNAC principles.
Q. Can you give us some examples?
A. Sure. On August 27, 2000, on Meet the Press, Cheney said
that the U.S. should not act as "an imperialist power, willy-nilly moving into
capitals in that part of the world, taking down governments." He was talking
about the Middle East.
Also, in the presidential debate against Al Gore at UMass on October 3, Bush
said he would "take the use of force very seriously" and "be guarded" in his
approach. He also said he disagreed with Vice President Gore about the use of
troops: "He [Gore] believes in nation building. I would be very careful about
using our troops as nation-builders."
Then, in the October 11 debate, Bush was asked how the world should view us
and he said they would welcome us "if we're a humble nation, but strong." He
also said we needed to "project strength in a way that promotes freedom."
Q. What did Bush say about the need for building coalitions?
A. One of Bush's main themes was that he was a leader and that leaders
build coalitions. On December 2, 1999, for example, he said he would "keep the
peace" by "strengthening alliances, which says [sic] America cannot go
alone, we must be peacemakers not peacekeepers." In the October 11 debate, he
said, "It's important to have credibility and credibility is formed by being
strong with your friends and resoluting [sic] your determination." It
was especially important to have strong ties in the Middle East, he said, because
of the oil there.
Q. Did Bush or Cheney talk about forcibly removing Saddam Hussein during
the 2000 campaign?
A. Cheney never did, but early on, Bush seemed to say just that, perhaps
inadvertently. In the December 2, 1999, New Hampshire Republican primary debate,
the Fox News reporter Brit Hume asked him what he would do differently from
Clinton regarding Saddam Hussein. And Bush said:
I wouldn't ease the [U.N.] sanctions, and I wouldn't try to negotiate with
him. I'd make darn sure that he lived up to the agreements that he signed
back in the early '90s. I'd be helping the opposition groups. And if I found
in any way, shape or form that he was developing weapons of mass destruction,
I'd take 'em out. I'm surprised he's still there. I think a lot of other people
are as well.
Now, it's odd. The transcript says "'em" – and I have no idea who's responsible
for that. But, at the time, Hume clearly thought Bush was referring to "him,"
as in Saddam Hussein. And he – Hume, I mean – said, "Take him
out?" And Bush responded, "To out [sic] the weapons of mass destruction."
Which did not follow from saying "I'm surprised he's still there."
Q. Did Bush ever say "take 'em out" relating to Iraq or Saddam Hussein
again during the campaign?
A. No. Although, in February 2000, he said, "There won't be any weapons
of mass destruction left in Iraq if I'm the Commander-in-Chief." Usually, though,
when Bush talked about Iraq, he'd say something like achieving world peace would
require "firmness with regimes like North Korea and Iraq."
Actually, when you look carefully at what he said, he conveyed almost no information
Q. Have you come across a notable instance where Bush used the term
A. Yes. In May 1999, during an interview with a family friend and reporter
named Mickey Herskovitz for a campaign book that someone else ended up writing,
Bush said, "One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as
a Commander-in-Chief." He also said:
My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis
out of Kuwait and he wasted it. If I have a chance to invade – if I had
that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything
passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency.
Grand Juror: In other words, Bush was saying that the way to be seen as a
great leader was to start a war?
A. It appears so.
Q. Let's take our afternoon break.
Assistant U.S. Attorney: Special Agent Campbell, you mentioned that
numerous advocates of the Project for a New American Century principles relating
to U.S. global dominance and preventive attacks ended up in the Bush-Cheney
administration in 2001.
How many of the people brought in by Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld were public
proponents of the PNAC principles?
A. Public proponents of the PNAC principles?
A. At least twenty-eight, including advisers and consultants, as well
as officials, appointees, and staff. They're all listed in Exhibit 3.
Q. Does everyone have Exhibit 3?
Public Proponents of PNAC Principles
1. Paul Wolfowitz: Deputy Secretary of Defense;
2. I. Lewis Libby: Assistant to the President/ Vice President's Chief of Staff;
3. Eliot Abrams: Assistant to the President/ Deputy National Security Adviser
for Global Security;
4. Stephen Cambone: Former Deputy Under¬secretary of Defense for Policy/current
Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence [newly created position];
5. Richard Armitage: Deputy Secretary of State;
6. Christopher Williams: Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense;
7. John Bolton: UN Ambassador/Former Under-secretary of Defense for Arms Control
and International Security;
8. Peter Rodman: Assistant Director of Defense for National Security Affairs;
9. Paula Dobriansky: Undersecretary of Defense for Democracy and Global Affairs;
10. Douglas Feith: Former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy;
11. David Wurmser: Middle East Adviser to the VP/Former Special Adviser to
the Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security;
12. Abram Shulsky: Director of Defense Department's Office of Special Plans;
13. Zalmay Khalilzad: Ambassador to Iraq/Former Special Assistant to the President
for Persian Gulf Affairs;
14. Barry Watts: Office of the Secretary of Defense/Director of Program Analysis
15. Dov Zakheim: Undersecretary and Chief Financial for Defense Department;
16. Mark Lagon: Deputy Assistant Secretary of State;
17. Robert B. Zoellick: Former U.S. Trade Rep-resentative/Former Deputy National
18. David Epstein: Staff, Secretary of Defense;
19. Richard Perle: Former Chairman, Defense Policy Board;
20. Eliot Cohen: Defense Policy Board;
21. Devon Gaffney-Cross: Defense Policy Board;
22. Henry S. Rowen: Defense Policy Board;
23. R. James Woolsey: Defense Policy Board;
24. Richard V. Allen: Defense Policy Board;
25. Daniel Goure: Consultant to Secretary of Defense;
26. Gary Shmitt: Consultant to Secretary of Defense;
27. Randy Scheuneman: Consultant to Secretary of Defense;
28. William Schneider, Jr.: Chairman, Defense Science Board
Q. Out of those, how many had specifically and publicly called for
the use of United States military force to depose Saddam Hussein?
A. Seventeen. The underlined names are people who had already called
for the forcible removal of Saddam Hussein.
Q. Those would include the Deputy Secretaries of Defense and State,
as well as seven additional high-level appointees in the State and Defense Departments,
A. Yes. Also, of course, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. Including Rumsfeld,
eighteen of the Bush-Cheney administration appointees had publicly called for
the removal of Saddam Hussein before 2001, including Rumsfeld.
Grand Juror: The evidence about Project for a New American Century,
and Bush talking about being a Commander-in-Chief?
Grand Juror: Are you saying that Bush and Cheney were definitely planning
to invade Iraq from the beginning?
Q. No, and that is not something you have to decide in this case. The
predisposition evidence shows the genesis and some of the motivation for the
fraud, but it's not intended to be proof of the fraud itself. You could decide
they were not predisposed to invade Iraq and still find probable cause
to believe that they conspired to defraud the United States beginning on or
before September 2002.
So, let's call it a day. Thank you for your testimony, Agent Campbell. Have
a good evening, everyone.
Note: For the final five days of grand jury testimony, be sure to pick
up a copy of United
States v. George W. Bush.
Excerpted from United
States v. George W. Bush et al. by Elizabeth de la Vega, published December
1, 2006 by Seven Stories Press and Tomdispatch.com.