Email this page to a friend

Memo to the House Judiciary Committee
Democratic Staff

Mark A. Goldman                                                                   Dated:  12/20/05
                                                                                         Revised:   1/01/06


My Memo to the House Judiciary Committee
Democratic Staff Regarding...

A Constitution in Crisis
Issued by
The House Judiciary Committee
Democratic Staff


Dear Staff:

First, let me commend you for the work you have done so far in creating this report. It is long overdue, and it is welcome.  Regarding this report I would like to make the following observations:

You recommend that "the House should establish a bipartisan select committee with subpoena power authority to investigate the Bush Administration's abuses detailed in this Report and report to the Committee on the Judiciary on possible impeachable offenses." 

It appears to me that your language can be interpreted as to suggest that the investigation to be undertaken should be limited to the abuses detailed in your report.  This I find totally inadequate. This administration in the conduct of the war has, in my view, committed crimes against the people of Iraq that are not mentioned in your report which are also unmistakably impeachable offenses.  They are also so egregious as to be considered unspeakable international crimes, including the crime against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. 

Let me offer you the following list in no particular order. I offer this list as a starting point perhaps to be added to by others. It would, in my view, be unconscionable and a disgrace to have the select committee investigate the abuses detailed in your report and not have them investigate the abuses on my list at the same time. It would simply be unacceptable:

  1. The strategy that opened the war, which at the time was called "Shock and Awe," resulted in the death or dismemberment of hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent Iraqi citizens, including many children. Remember that it was widely known before the war that over 50% of the Iraqi population were children under the age of 15. The war began with this act of sheer cowardice.

  2. Under international law and as a matter of basic human decency, the United States had a fiduciary responsibility to conduct the war in such a manner as to protect and defend innocent Iraqi citizens—their lives, their homes, their records, their assets, and the infrastructure that supported them. In these matters Bush has been supremely negligent.

  3. Bush allowed the destruction or theft of priceless artifacts, historical documents and irreplaceable treasures... including antiquities from the dawn of civilization.

  4. Bush used Depleted Uranium weapons all across Iraq, poisoning the land, Iraqi children, and even many American soldiers— with no offers to take responsibility for what was done.  The use of these weapons are international crimes.  Our returning soldiers are even denied the tests and treatment they need to detect and treat DU poisoning.  And what about the needs of Iraqi children, their families, their friends?

  5. Bush dropped cluster bomb weapons in populated areas that are designed to leave behind thousands of unexploded bomblets that to children look like toys or food packages.  Many children were subsequently killed or dismembered when they picked one up or kicked one in the street. Sometimes children would pick these up and bring them to their parents who were then killed or injured by them. Who would use such a weapon in a populated area?

  6. Bush had soldiers set up automobile checkpoints where Iraqi citizens were supposed to stop. But the instructions citizens were given were often delivered so haphazardly that many were killed when troops opened fire before these people could figure out what was expected of them. This did not happen once or twice. It happened over and over and over and over again. Entire families were killed. Sometimes the children who were in the back seat of cars were splattered with their parent's brains. How many times must the same irresponsible brutal act take place before it is reclassified from "accident" to "criminal negligence" or simply cold blooded murder?  

  7. What happened to Iraqi oil fields and other state assets? Who owns them now? Who gave Bush authority to do anything but keep Iraqi assets safe until a legitimate government could decide what it wanted to do with them? Who benefited from the reorganization that was carried out? Did Bush take assets that belong to the Iraqi people and distribute them to foreign corporations or otherwise change their ownership? What is his fiduciary responsibility and how responsible was Bush in administering his duties?  

  8. How were the contracts for rebuilding Iraq negotiated?  How did $8.8 Billion become totally lost and unaccounted for? How much incompetence does it take before gross incompetence becomes a High Crime and Misdemeanor?

  9. What happened in Fallujah? Is it true that some soldiers were instructed to shoot anything that moved?  How many innocent people lost their lives in Fallujah, in Iraq? Did the Bush Administration have a duty to count and account for the deaths of innocent Iraqi citizens? Did he have a duty to care for the sick and wounded.  The homeless and the hungry? Were Iraqi citizens the enemy of the United States? If not, why were they treated like enemies, like non-persons?  How many were killed by American weapons? How can we justify even one death when the war itself was illegal? Who told Bush he had permission to incur "collateral damage" on behalf of Iraqi citizens?  At what point does "collateral damage" — the disrespect for life — become a war crime?

  10. Were hospitals bombed on purpose?  Over and over again?

  11. Were Ambulances fired upon? Over and over again?

  12. Were hospitals denied needed supplies to treat sick and injured citizens? How many innocent people died because Bush denied hospitals the supplies and services they needed?

  13. When there were not enough beds, is it true that sick and injured patients were thrown out of Iraqi hospitals so that US soldiers could be treated there instead? Is it true that in one case a father sat by his injured daughter who was removed from her bed to make room for a US soldier, and had to watch as his child slowly died there... on the ground, in the middle of the night, outside the hospital?

  14. Is it true that the homes of innocent citizens were violated, their inhabitants humiliated, some beaten, robbed, some murdered on the spot by American forces?  Is it true that husbands, sons and brothers were carted away and never heard from again without any reasonable suspicion that they committed a crime? Just because of their age?  Is it true some were later tortured, some killed?  Is it true some are still being held without cause?

  15. Is it true that bombs were 'mistakenly' dropped on innocent civilians and their homes? How many times did a 'mistake' like this take place?  How many times does it take for a 'mistake' to become criminal negligence or murder?

  16. Is it true that adequate food and water were not provided for citizens, a clear violation of international law? Is it true that children got dysentery and other diseases for lack of clean water, and others got sick and died of malnutrition? How many are sick and dying now of cancer due to DU poisoning?  What is our responsibility for this carnage?

  17. Has Bush now recently increased the bombing of populated areas in order to protect US troops even though the result will be the indiscriminate deaths of innocent civilians?  Would this be an impeachable offense do you think?

  18. Is it true that the callous manner in which this war was conducted has resulted in Americans now having to face many more enemies than we otherwise would have had to face, putting our homeland and our children at risk for decades to come, and forcing us into what might turn out to be a perpetual war?  Is it possible that such negligence and incompetence is a great threat to our nation's security and that the danger Bush has put our citizens in is an impeachable offense?

These alleged High Crimes and Misdemeanors should be investigated.  Who is responsible for these crimes, this inhumanity? How much inhumanity does it take for incompetence and negligence to equate to an impeachable offense? Who was the Commander in Chief when these things were going on? Where was he when this was going on?  What do the words "Commander in Chief" mean?

Do not forget these people. We will not let you forget these people. No one can sweep these crimes under the rug and then take their seat in the White House, the House of Representatives, or the Senate and pretend they do not have a responsibility in these matters... that it's not their job. 

The report you put together is very good.  It's just not good enough... it's incomplete; it needs to be amended.  

"The truth... the whole truth... nothing but the truth."  Isn't that the oath people testifying before the committee will take?  Is that the oath George Bush will take when he testifies before your committee?

Democracy, whether it be in the United States, Afghanistan, or Iraq, is just another word for tyranny if in practice it denies any citizen the essential attributes of liberty and justice.  Liberty and justice must be guaranteed to every person for a Democracy to offer the true blessings of freedom. Expressing the will of the majority is not enough. In freedom each citizen can tell the truth as they know it without fear. They can change their mind, their beliefs, their religion without judgment as long as they do not hurt others or deny them the right to do the same. Each citizen is protected by an equal and just application of the rule of law. Putting a ballot into a box is not freedom or true Democracy unless and until all the rights and freedoms enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is valued and acknowledged by a government elected of, by, and for, the People. The path to achieving such a Democracy depends on each citizen's intention to strive for it's attainment.

If anyone wants to add to my list, please send me an email:

Somebody please forward this to the people who are conducting this investigation and let me know who you sent it to. Thank you.

Mark A. Goldman



Articles of Impeachment
Prepared by Ramsey Clark, Former Attorney General of the Untied States

The Real Face of the Occupation
A Formula for Slaughter

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Return to Commentaries