PORTSMOUTH - The evidence for impeachment of the president and vice president is overwhelming, former CIA analyst and daily presidential briefer Ray McGovern told a room full of people at the Portsmouth Public Library Monday night.
McGovern, who provided daily briefings for former presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush as well as other high ranking officials during his 27 year CIA career, said he has witnessed a "prostitution of his profession" as the Bush administration lied to the American people about the evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
"Don't let anyone tell you the President was deceived by false intelligence ... they knew," McGovern said.
For the next 40 minutes, he relayed a series of events leading up to 9/11 which illustrate the President's desire to go to war with Iraq well before 9-11, that reliable CIA evidence showed that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction and was presented to the administration and the "facts were fixed" in order to legitimize the invasion.
"The estimate which said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was prepared to the terms of reference laid down by Dick Cheney in a speech on Aug. 26, 2002. It was the worst estimate of intelligence and came to the wrong conclusions, but it was designed to do that," McGovern said.
McGovern has been an outspoken commentator on intelligence-related issues since the late 1990s and since 2002 has been publicly critical of Bush's use of government intelligence in the lead-up to the war.
The recent report detailing Iran's stopping its nuclear weapons program four years ago, is an example of how the administration knows it can no longer hide such "incontrovertible evidence" from the American people in the fallout from the misinformation they received on the Iraq War, McGovern said. He added that he had almost given up on believing their were people still working at the top with a conscious and enough people at the top willing to let analysts do their job and accept independent analysis.
In late 2005, Congress requested an estimate on Iranian nuclear capabilities.
"My former colleagues got really good, incontrovertible evidence that the program, such as it was, has been ordered stopped since 2003. The evidence was such that not even Dick Cheney could deny it. That's why the report was not produced until three weeks ago," McGovern said, adding that the Bush administration has been putting "spin" on their rhetoric ever since.
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McGovern also addressed the reasoning he believes is behind the threat of war with Iran. He said he believes Israel thinks they have a pledge from the White House to deal with Iran before Bush leaves office and relayed the story of the U.S.S. Liberty, which was attacked by the Israelis in 1967 and covered up by the United States. Thirty-four U.S soldiers were killed and about 170 were seriously injured.
"It seems to me, that on June, 8, 1967, Israel realized it could literally get away with murder," McGovern said.
McGovern said he also believes Congress will be of little help. Recently House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admitted to learning about torture and illegal eavesdropping in briefings, but said it was her understanding when briefed, that she will not share the information with anyone else, including other members of the House Intelligence Committee.
McGovern called Pelosi out on violating her oath to uphold the Constitution "against enemies, foreign or domestic" by allowing acts in violation of the Constitution to continue by not saying "diddly."
He added that although an impeachment bill currently in Congress is gaining more support, Democrats are shying away because of the influence of lobbies and political analysts telling them to "wait it out" until the election.
Charges in the impeachment bill sponsored by Dennis Kucinich, are very detailed and "as good as any," McGovern said, and referenced the illegal eavesdropping of American citizens. He added that the President has "admitted" to this "demonstrably impeachable offense."
"The argument for impeachment is overwhelming," Randy Kezar of Kingston said after the event. "Impeachment is constitutionally required."
McGovern's visit was co-sponsored by NH Codepink, Seacoast Peace Response, NH Peace Action, NH American Friends Service Committee, Seacoast 9-11 Questions Group, NH Veterans for Peace and Witness for Peace-N.E.
© 2007 Foster's Daily Democrat