Sign up to stay up to date on the latest headlines via email.
Dick Cheney’s statutory crimes are notable for their severity, their number, and his public confessions to them. Torture is the least of it.
We can start with the crimes found in the three articles of impeachment contained in H Res 333 in the 110th Congress:
1. “Cheney has purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States by fabricating a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the use of the United States Armed Forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging to our national security interests, to wit:” (H Res 333 goes on to list evidence).
2. “Cheney purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States about an alleged relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda in order to justify the use of the United States Armed Forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging to our national security interests, to wit” (H Res 333 goes on to list evidence).
3. “Cheney has openly threatened aggression against the Republic of Iran absent any real threat to the United States, and done so with the United States proven capability to carry out such threats, thus undermining the national security of the United States, to wit:” (H Res 333 lists evidence, or rather, absolute proof, since this act was completely and by definition public. It was also repeated in later instances than those documented).
H Res 333 does not mention, but it is also relevant, that post-invasion Cheney clung to the idea that Iraq had WMDs, continuing to state the same lies even after near-universal admission by the U.S. corporate media that they were false.
H Res 333 also does not include much explanation of how we know that Cheney knew he was lying. Congressman Henry Waxman posted a searchable database of lies (since deleted when the Oversight Committee was effectively disbanded to accomodate the new president). It included (and I’m sure it still exists somewhere) 51 Cheney WMD and al Qaeda lies, and explained how we know in each case that he was lying.
Further documentation would begin with this:
CHENEY (August 26, 2002): “But we now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Among other sources, we’ve gotten this from the firsthand testimony of defectors — including Saddam’s own son-in-law, who was subsequently murdered at Saddam’s direction…During the spring of 1995, the inspectors were actually on the verge of declaring that Saddam’s programs to develop chemical weapons and longer-range ballistic missiles had been fully accounted for and shut down. Then Saddam’s son-in-law suddenly defected and began sharing information…That should serve as a reminder to all that we often learned more as the result of defections than we learned from the inspection regime itself.”
But here’s Kamel, the son-in-law, on CNN on September 21, 1995:
CNN: Can you state, here and now, does Iraq have any weapons of mass destruction left?
KAMEL: No. Iraq does not possess any weapons of mass destruction.
In the notes from Kamel’s 1995 debriefing by the UN, he’s asked:
PROF. ZIFFERERO: were there any continuation of , or present nuclear activities, for example, EMIS, centrifuge?
And here’s a declassified CIA document from their interrogation of Kamel:
“SOURCE HAS STATED SPECIFICALLY THAT THE CENTRIFUGES HAVE BEEN DESTROYED, AND NONE ARE LEFT HIDDEN”
Finally, we know someone at the White House was asking the CIA about Kamel at the beginning of 2002, because the WMD Commission refers to this document: “Senior Executive Memorandum (Jan. 12, 2002) (discussing the value of Kamel’s information)”.
Senior Executive Memoranda are produced by the CIA in response to high-level questions from the executive branch. But what this specifically said is unknown, because the CIA has turned down FOIA requests for it from the National Security Archive.
The Scooter Libby trial also exposed the lead role of Vice President Cheney’s office in manipulating pre-war intelligence to defraud Congress into authorizing the invasion of Iraq. Sworn testimony revealed that Cheney’s office managed the evidence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, all of which proved to be lies. Cheney personally visited the CIA several times before the invasion to pressure the CIA to distort pre-war intelligence. And Cheney exerted “constant” pressure on the Republican former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee to stall an investigation into the Bush administration’s use of flawed intelligence on Iraq, according to the next chairman, Senator Jay Rockefeller.