Kucinich Testifies on Abuses of Executive Power (text)

Dandelion Salad

by Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Jul 25, 2008

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) testified about President Bush’s culpability for leading the country to war today at a House Judiciary Committee hearing entitled “Executive Power and its Constitutional Limitations.”  The full text of the statement follows:

Our country has been at war in Iraq, and has occupied the streets and villages of Iraq for five years, four months, and 6 days.  The war has caused the deaths of 4,127 American soldiers and the deaths of as many as one million innocent Iraqis.  The war will cost the American people upwards of $3 trillion and is the main contributing factor to the destruction of our domestic economy.

Mr. Chairman, I would ask unanimous consent to enter S.J. Res. 45 into the record.  The primary justifications for going to war, outlined in the legislation which the White House sent to Congress in October of 2002, have been determined conclusively to be untrue:

• Iraq was not “continuing to threaten the national security interests of the United States”
• Iraq was not “continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability. . .”
• Iraq was not “actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability”
• Iraq did not have the “willingness to attack, the United States”
• Members of Al Qaeda were not “known to be in Iraq”
• Iraq had not “demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction. . .”
• Iraq could not “launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces”
• Therefore there was not an “extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack”
• The aforementioned did not “justify the use of force by the United States to defend itself”
• Iraq had no connection with the attacks of 9/11 or with al Qaeda’s role in 9/11
• Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction to transfer to anyone
• Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and therefore had no capability of launching a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces and no capability to provide them to international terrorists who would do so

However, many Members of Congress relied on these representations from the White House to inform their decision to support the legislation that authorized the use of force against Iraq.  We all know present and former colleagues who have said that if they knew then what they know now, they would not have voted to permit an attack upon Iraq.

The war was totally unnecessary, unprovoked and unjustified.  The question for Congress is this: what responsibility do the President and members of his Administration have for that unnecessary, unprovoked and unjustified war?  The rules of the House prevent me or any witness from utilizing familiar terms.  But we can put two and two together in our minds.  We can draw inferences about culpability.

Mr. Chairman, I would ask unanimous consent to enter H. Res. 333, H. Res. 1258, and H. Res. 1345 into the record.  I request that each Member read the three bills I have authored, bills which are now awaiting consideration by the Judiciary Committee. I am confident the reader will reach the same conclusions that I have about culpability.

What, then, should we do about it?

The decision before us is whether to honor our oath as Members of Congress to support and defend the Constitution that has been trampled time and again over the last seven years.

The decision before us is whether to stand up for the checks and balances designed by our founding fathers to prevent excessive power grabs by either the judicial, legislative or executive branch of government.

The decision before us is whether to restore faith in government, in justice, and in the rule of law.

The decision before us is whether Congress will endorse with its silence the methods used to take us into the Iraq war.

The decision before us is whether to demand accountability for one of the gravest injustices imaginable.

The decision before us is whether Congress will stand up to tell future Presidents that America has seen the last of these injustices, not the first.

I believe the choice is clear.

I ask this committee to think, and then to act, in order to enable this Congress to right a very great wrong and to hold accountable those who have misled this Nation.

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7 thoughts on “Kucinich Testifies on Abuses of Executive Power (text)

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  4. I don’t even know where to begin in replying to your comment.

    Did you watch any of the hearing? Where do you get your info?

    I’m not a supporter for Obama, but I do know that he is a Christian.

    Have you heard of signing statements?

  5. Previous impeachment proceedings has been for naught. A BIG WASTE OF OUR TAX DOLLARS.
    Since we have very few months left of President BUSH’s administration, I DO NOT SEE ANY GOOD TO COME OF SUCH ACTION. The Congress and the HOUSE can at any time, veto, over his signing of any bills or appointments. They have the final approvals. I think he has been what they call the “Lame Duck” in these last 4 years or at best, last 2 years. He has been at a disadvantage. I see also that his hair has gotten so much more gray, of late. And the lines in his face and forehead tell HUGE Amounts of information.
    No ONE, absolutely, NO ONE, can assume that office, and not be affected, both mentally and physically. Some are saying that OBAMA will become KING of this country, if elected. If that is what you want, then support him. But I think that was the whole point of our forefathers/mothers fought for in the 1770s. To break away from that type of further persecution. African countries have these types of people running them, and how many thousands, women and children are dying by the millions. If you wish to return to the 11th Century, then by all means, Impeach Mr. BUSH, and you will be happy. I for one, will not, can not, vote for anyone who goes against the Constitution of the United States of America, and the Declaration of Independence, will not put their hand over their heart, as they say the Pledge of Alliance to the Great Flag of the United States of America. Also thinks that wearing a US FLAG PIN, is going to do detriment to the his public. And all that they have stood for lo, these many hundreds of years.
    I truly DO NOT believe that someone who was raised by an ATHEIST is the best candidate for the Highest Office in the Land. What values of RIGHT and WRONG were those people taught, and by what type of “Jerking Up” could be used as a measure for the future?
    Thank you so much, for letting me point out a few things that may have been overlooked in these last months, and will again come up in the future months till the final vote is tallied.

  6. Kucinich has been right on this from the beginning; however, nothing has happened as of yet, and it looks as though there is little possibility of Bush and fellow criminals being held responsible

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