Kucinich Interview


Dennis Bernstein

Representative Dennis Kucinich took another bold step today in calling for the impeachment of the President of the United States and his removal from office for deceiving congress with fabricated threats of Iraq’s WMDs to fraudulently obtain support for the authorization of the use of military force.  Kucinich said today that it’s time to speak out on behalf of those troops who will be in Iraq for at least another year, courageously representing our nation while the Commander-in-Chief sent them on a mission that was based on falsehoods meanwhile the House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi who up until this time has refused to take on impeachment may be relenting. Pelosi told reporters that quote, "This is a Judiciary Committee matter, and I believe we will see some attention being paid to it by the Judiciary Committee."  We’ll see what that means.  But joining us from Washington, DC from the House of Representatives is Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio.  Welcome back to Flashpoints, Congressman.

 

Dennis Kucinich

Thank you very much.  Appreciate the chance to be on.

 

Dennis Bernstein

Well it’s very good to have you on.  Tell us about the timing.  Why did you decide to go back on the House floor and introduce this single article of impeachment in the context of already having introduced 35 articles?

 

Dennis Kucinich

I wanted to give the Congress an opportunity to focus on one irrefutable case for impeachment, and that is that the President submitted to Congress information that was designed to induce Congress to vote to authorize the use of military force against Iraq, and it was all about weapons of mass destruction, Iraq intending to attack the United States, either planning … and is developing nuclear weapons or having biological and chemical weapons and even in conjunction with Al Qaeda.   This was an incontrovertible lie and so I’ve gone to … I put it in an impeachment resolution with 160 thousand of our troops still in Iraq, with congress just having again given more money to keep the war going somebody has to go back to square one here and say, "Wait a minute! We went to war based on information that was deceitful, fabricated and just plain not true."

 

Dennis Bernstein

All right, help us, if you will, Congressman.  Count the lies.  I mean very specifically how were we lied to?

 

Dennis Kucinich

Well the … administration told Congress that Iraq was continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability.  That wasn’t true. He said that Iraq was actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability.  Not true.  He said that they were continuing to threaten the national security interests of the United States.  Not true.  That they demonstrated a willingness to attack America.  Not true. That they’re connected with Al Qaeda.  Not true.  That the attacks on the … They tried to link Al Qaeda and Iraq with 9/11 … you know inferentially, and of course that … you know Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.  They said that Iraq would employ weapons of … mass destruction to launch a surprise attack against the United States.  Ridiculous.   That an extreme magnitude of harm would result to the people of this country.  You know there was a risk of that … an attack that just not true and that the … it justified all this justified action by the United States to defend it …  itself well, it didn’t ..  because we weren’t threatened and that … and that Iraq posed a threat and that we had to respond so you know all those things were contained in the resolution that the White House sent over to Congress and were material representations that turned out to be false  and so put them in an article of impeachment, documented the … what the truth is.  And I’m going to ask for an opportunity to present this case to the Judiciary Committee.

 

Dennis Bernstein

Now we’re … we have reported on a number of occasions that Nancy Pelosi has as you know said in the past that impeachment was off the table.  We did see interesting comments from her.  Have you spoken with her directly?  Do you think that she is more open now based on having more information perhaps?

 

Dennis Kucinich

Well I … You know I’ve been in constant contact with the staff.  She’s the speaker.  She’s pretty busy.  But I can tell you that … I have presented the case to the speaker’s staff and other leaders of Congress.  I’m hopeful they’ll support a request for … to give me an opportunity to make a formal presentation of these articles … of this article to the Judiciary Committee.  And we’ll wait and see what happens.  I mean what I … you know …  the next step will be that the resolution will be read on the floor of the House on Tuesday.  I will move to refer to Committee because I want a hearing and then let’s see if we can get a hearing.

 

Dennis Bernstein

Now I want to talk to you about the timing again but this time in the context of the relationship between the war in Iraq and the potential US/Israeli war against Iran.  Is there a concern … would you be going back on the House floor in part to try and call attention to what happened in Iraq because in a way some of the same kinds of hoodwinks are in progress?

 

Dennis Kucinich

Hoodwinking is a very apt description because there … as has been pointed out by … other people, there are  interesting parallels between the build-up for an attack on Iraq and a build-up that is occurring right now to try to set the stage for an attack against Iran.  … We really have to get out of this preemptive war business, stop building an empire, stop putting our troops in harm’s way and risking the peace of the world and … death to masses of innocent people.  It’s time for America to turn a new leaf.  And so the articles of impeachment’s a way for Congress to regain it’s essential power as a coequal branch of government and to reassert a system of checks and balances.  This is what needs to be done.  This goes beyond party, beyond ideology; it goes to the Constitution of the United States.

 

Dennis Bernstein

And again, … Congressman Kucinich, you want the President, you are calling for the President’s impeachment, you’re calling for his removal from Congress.  Would you support a movement to have the administration tried for war crimes?

 

Dennis Kucinich

Well this is not what this resolution’s about, but in a previous resolution with 35 articles, I absolutely covered the area of war crimes. There’s just no question about it.  That the administration violated international law and have brought themselves within the reach of a war crime tribunal except that the US excused itself from those kinds of … deliberations and under international law, we’re … liable for … an act of aggressive war for the loss of lives of innocent civilians, for the destruction of infrastructure, for the long-term effects, adverse to their interests, of the people of Iraq, for trying to steal their oil.  I mean these are all things that are relevant in a, you know, war crimes prosecution.  And … it did not escape my notice when I was drawing the 35 articles, and there are, you know, are causes here, but the one that I brought to Congress today, and the one that I think has a chance to get heard by the committee hopefully will be the one that deals with … the President presenting Congress with a case for war that turned out to be based on untruths that he deceived Congress with fabricated threats of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and fraudulently obtained support for the authorization of the use of force.

 

Dennis Bernstein

I want to talk to you about the saber rattling in the context of missile tests, but let me say it this  way.  What’s your response to the recent missile tests by Iran and by Israel because I’m thinking we have to take it as a piece.

 

Dennis Kucinich

Well you know the United States clearly has to do its part to stop an escalating condition.  You know the … if Iran feels that it is going to be attacked, it stands to reason that it will send a signal, not just physically but diplomatically and otherwise, that it is not going to take it lying down.  Iraq is not Iran.  Iraq has a real army.  Iraq has real potential to defend itself this simple-minded thinking that somehow that we can go over there and drop a … bunker buster missile on a … or bomb … on a nuclear research facility … it belies the fact that Iran has the ability to respond, and it’s not the United States that’s likely to pay the price.  It would be Israel.  So what the United States needs to do is to ratchet down the rhetoric, stop looking for ways to create a confrontation with Iran, to find a way to come to a diplomatic resolution, which is something this administration has no talent for but something that they need to learn in the last six months in office.  We’ve got to be very careful that we do not end in … an escalation that sends us over the brink.

 

Dennis Bernstein

All right, finally, you say in your very moving statement I … might say before Congress today regarding the introduction of this latest article of impeachment.  You say in part, "I understand that many members of Congress voted in good faith to … authorize the use of force against Iraq.  And I understand that many in the media supported that action.  When the President of the United States makes representations on matters of life and death we all want to believe in, and give him the benefit of the doubt."  Tell me your thinking now, Dennis Kucinich, in terms of where the press is.  Are they any better?  Are your colleagues more interested, more willing, now than before to take action, to restrain more, and to hold this administration accountable?

 

Dennis Kucinich

… We’ll see.  I think that the press is slowly waking up to the fact that they were sold a phony bill of goods in Iraq.  The credibility of all institutions in our society has suffered as a result, the media, the Congress, the Presidency, and of course we need to mention that a million innocent Iraqis have lost their lives as a result of this … war action.  I think that Congress needs to look at this article and hopefully I’ll have the chance to make a formal presentation to the Judiciary Committee at which time as members reflect on the totality of the evidence and the gravity of the offense, that they will decided that this President must be held to an accounting, not only to rescue our Constitution and hold this President to the rule of law, but also to send a message to the next President, whoever that would be. 

 

Dennis Bernstein

Who … 

 

Dennis Kucinich

… That such conduct is not going to be tolerated.

 

Dennis Bernstein

So you’re now, just to conclude, you are now waiting will your speaking to us in the Bay Area.  This is national show, but this is the home of Nancy Pelosi, and you’re now, so we understand this correctly waiting for  the word from the House Judiciary whether they’re going to allow you to make the presentation?

 

Dennis Kucinich

Well I … we were all notified today that the speaker for the first time indicated that there may be a hearing in the Judiciary.  That’s an encouraging note, and I want to see what that means. What I’m hopeful for, and again this is not my decision, but what I’m hopeful for is the opportunity to make a formal presentation of the articles to the Judiciary Committee.  … I would hope for that at the least.  That’s what what i’ve been looking for.  When the bill comes Tuesday and is read by the clerk to the House, I’m going to move to refer to committee so we can have a hearing.  … I think that it’s important.  … It’s one bill, one article.  It’s not 35.  It’s not going to take a lot of time.  … It’s really very simple.  …. Did the President or did he not deceive the Congress with fabricated threats of Iraq weapons of mass destruction to fraudulently obtain support for the authorization of war?  That’s the question and if … Congress looks at that and decides that there’s probable cause that the President did do that, then Congress should do the next thing, which is to vote to send this bill to … a debate in Judiciary and then perhaps to the floor of the house for action.

 

Dennis Bernstein

 …. Is there some way that you would suggest that the people listening to this broadcast, the people of this country can take an action right now to support you?

 

Dennis Kucinich

… Well the … first of all, read the article.  You know, go to the web and read the article.  There are many places where you can obtain it.  Secondly I think it’d be important to contact your member of Congress, whoever that may be and indicate your support for … the rule of law and for the reestablishment of … the rightful role of Congress as a check and balance to administration abuse of power and for … returning us to the path of truth, because we’ve strayed from it.  … You know, our country’s at risk here.  … We went to war based on lies  I can’t think of any graver offense of a government  than to lie to its people for a cause of war, causing the deaths of soldiers, innocent civilians the cost involved, the … destabilization of the peace in the world, … you know we have a very fragile world here.  You can’t … play with this war power, and this President … unfortunately took liberties with the truth and the cost has been catastrophic for our nation and for Iraq and for the world.  He has to be held to account so I would ask everyone’s listening … support the effort.  But first read the articles and if you agree with it then you’ll know what you need to do.  You know who you should contact and this is a good weekend to do it.  I’m so grateful to have a chance to be on your show, and I look forward to continuing our discussion as we try to reinstate the Constitution and … the rule of law in this country.  That’s all that we have. … If this country is to survive as a nation we have to stand for the truth, and we’ve got to stop the use of war as an instrument of policy.  We’ve got to reject the building up of empires and … squandering our money on massive amounts of spending for war when we’ve got all of these domestic needs of education, healthcare, job creation, housing, that are being swept aside by this … drumbeat and military adventurism so I’m … you know this … resolution for impeaching the President is just … a step along the way of … our need to have a period of truth and reconciliation in this country that will reclaim America.

 

Dennis Bernstein

All right.  Well, we want to thank you very much we’ve been speaking with US Congressman Dennis Kucinich from Ohio.  He again introduced an article of impeachment one regarding the deception by the administration of Congress in fabricating information to lead us into an illegal war.  Congressman, we are grateful and thank you for being with us on Flashpoints today.

 

Dennis Kucinich

Thank you very much.  Bye now.

 

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