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Truthdigger of the Week: Rep. John Conyers

Truthdig salutes Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, who released a 371-page report last week that attempts to detail every alleged instance of wrongdoing that the Bush administration made during the run-up, prosecution and aftermath of the war in Iraq.

Its title is “The Constitution in Crisis; The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War, and Illegal Domestic Surveillance.”

  • News report (good overview)
  • Draft summary (.pdf files)
  • Full report
  • Conyers’ official website
  • Conyers at Wikipedia
  • Conyers released the full report on a Friday afternoon, which had the unfortunate effect of burying it in the little-read Saturday news reports. However, his compilation is a damning one, and we at Truthdig feel it is necessary to give it attention.

    TPM Muckraker quoted Conyers about the origins of this report.

    “We could get no response from the president” about their concerns over pre-war intelligence and the march to war in Iraq, [Conyers] said. “Then we tried to get hearings in the Judiciary Committee,” which met with a “no way” response, according to Conyers.

    “We said, ‘look, we’ll do it ourselves’ ” — compile a document that lists every instance of alleged wrongdoing by the Bush administration’s handling of intelligence, the war in Iraq, and retaliation against those who tried to speak out about it. “Every sentence, every allegation, every accusation that we have in this 371-page report has a citation or a reference to it of where we got it.”

    Should the Democrats retake control of the House after the 2006 midterm elections, Conyers would become the chairman of the Judiciary Committee — which would give him the power to call hearings and subpoena witnesses. It is widely whispered that should Conyers ascend to the chairmanship, he may initiate articles of impeachment against the president.

    Asked by TPM Muckraker to comment on that possibility in light of his just-released report, Conyers played coy:

    “There’s no way I can predict whether there will ultimately be an impeachment proceeding underway or not,” Conyers replied. But with three months to go until the midterm elections, “to be putting together a list, an agenda for the Judiciary Committee. . . smacks me as being a little. . .” he didn’t finish the sentence.

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