Zogby: Americans Support Impeachment if Bush Lied about Iraq Intel

A Zogby poll due out later today apparently shows most Americans supporting the impeachment of President Bush if he committed any crimes by lying to the Congress or the public about intelligence leading up to the Iraq War.

Zogby poll: Majority of likely voters support considing impeachment over Iraq, 51-45 percent (Raw Story)

A new poll of likely voters by Zogby International has found that a majority of Americans support Congress considering the impeachment of President Bush if he “did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq,” RAW STORY has learned.

The poll, to be released this afternoon, finds that 51 percent of likely voters want Congress to eye impeachment, while 45 percent do not. It was commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a coalition of progressive groups seeking a Congressional investigation of the events leading up to war in Iraq. Not surprisingly, Democrats supported the consideration of impeachment by a broad margin (76 percent) while Republicans opposed (66 percent). However, 29 percent of Republicans told Zogby pollsters that they supported Congress examining impeachment over Iraq.

“These results are stunning,” AfterDowningStreet.org co-founder Bob Fertik said in a statement. “A clear majority of Americans now supports President Bush’s impeachment if he lied about the war. This should send shock waves through the White House – and a wake-up call to Democrats and Republicans in Congress, who have sole power under the Constitution to impeach President Bush.”.

I would have to see the survey results (not yet showing on Zogby’s site) before being able to offer much substantive analysis.

Clearly, the poll was commissioned by an activist group that had this result in mind. Question wording would have a huge influence on the results. Indeed, I would support Congress looking into impeachment if we had reasonable evidence that Bush fabricated intelligence or intentionally misled the public; I just don’t believe it exists.

While no new poll is up, this “story” from earlier in the week is:

Remember When the GOP Wanted to Impeach Earl Warren? – Thinking About Impeachment

There is little doubt that the even if the Bush administration doesn’t go down in flames, it will go down in history as one of, if not the most incompetent, corrupt and dangerous presidencies in the history of the republic.

The question is, with crimes so colossal, why isn’t there a public demand for his impeachment?

In fact, there is a powerful and growing popular sentiment for impeachment–we just don’t hear about it. The Zogby organization, the only polling outfit to have posed the question to date, found last June that 42 percent of Americans felt Bush should be impeached if he lied about the war (a much larger percentage believe he lied). That, of course, was before the mainstream media began finally reporting, as a result of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation of Plamegate, on the disinformation campaign for war against Iraq directed by Vice President Dick Cheney and the White House Iraq Group. It was also before Bush himself was found to have been in on the cover-up of the outing of Valerie Plame by Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and presidential advisor Karl Rove. It was also before the US death toll in Iraq topped 2000.

Why a reputable polling firm is putting such claptrap on its website is unclear.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Langtry says:

    I saw the coverage on “Good Morning America” regarding this poll. I kept saying out loud “Who conducted it?”

    Now that I’ve seen your post, I had ample reason to be skeptical of it. That and the fact that so many of the respondents seemed to think the “Plamegate” story was a serious matter. They have no idea what that story (non-story, really) is about.

    One of the things that really bothers me about the Bush Administration is that they don’t do a very good job at getting the word out: who they are, why they are doing something, what the end result would be if we didn’t follow the course of action they propose. The Democrats are infinitely more skilled at controlling and skewing the debate, and we Republicans just let them get away with it. It’s as if we are afraid of fighting back at the ruthless and unscrupulous Dems.

  2. odograph says:

    Whoops, combined with this one:

    On Iraq, a new high — 55 percent — say the Bush administration intentionally misled the American public in making its case for war, up 12 points from last spring. Sixty percent say the war was not worth fighting, up seven points just since August to another high.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/PollVault/story?id=1278080

    All these numbers are trending in the wrong direction for Bush.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Odo: Sure. But they’ve been subjected to a barrage of news from the point of view of a prosecutor whose job it is to make the case that Libby did something wrong and to keep suspicions very high on others in order to pressure them into testifying. In that environment, it’s hardly surprising that people believe things for which there’s no evidence.

  4. odograph says:

    James – That is one explanation. It is a little bit of supposition though since neither you nor I are one of “them.” We both retain our prewar positions.

    I can remember though, that I did want to believe the standard President’s position (any President can use it) of “I know secrets I can’t tell you, which support this course of action.”

    Even as the war started, and I really didn’t trust any longer, I still … hoped.

    My supposition is that this happened on a broad scale. Many people trusted the President and hoped that their faith would be confirmed.

    Two things have happened since then. One, the facts have been running against the President and/or Vice President Cheney, and of course the war itself went less well than many hoped or expected.

    So my answer is no, unfortunately for the “cabal” it isn’t just a PR problem. The progress of the war (or lack thereof) has thrown a harsh spotlight on a period that many hoping/trusting Americans probably would have forgotten … had things gone differently.

  5. odograph says:

    As to why they did it – I think the Whitehouse thought they would lie, but that the war would be a cake walk, and that no one would go back and ask quesitons about such an obvious victory.

  6. ken says:

    James, I really do not understand your continuing support of Bush lying us into a war. Just pause for a moment and think about your reaction if any other major power’s leader led his nation into war with a propaganda compaign based upon lies.

    Yes, James they were lies. If you don’t know something to be the absolute truth, yet assert it to be the absolute truth, you are lying. If the purpose of the lies is to convince a nation to go to war it is not just morally wrong but, as any reasonable person knows, is also a ‘high crime’. Impeach the bastards.

  7. paladin says:

    This goes back to that queazy feeling I had about the Clinton impeachment (who, BTW, I thought was a sleazbag) that every President thereafter would be subjected to the impeachment trial.

  8. Steve Verdon says:

    I think the problem you are having James, is in the assumption Zogby is reputable. He is the same guy that hosted an article that Bush stole the election in Florida using party affiliation data.

  9. odograph says:

    The CBS poll shows similar trends:

    AFAIK it is independent of the Zogby poll, and the ABC poll.

  10. Frank Sintatra says:

    It would be pretty cool if Bush were impeached!! Lots of material for blogging, that’s for sure!

  11. Herb says:

    Ken and Odo:

    There you go again. All assumptions and no evidense or proof of any kind. You guys are indeed suffering from a bad case of “Wana Be Right”

    I again CHALLANGE both of you to produce the evidense that you seem to have that Bush lied.

    You owe it to everyone here as well as every American to produce the evidense to support your charges

    NOW, PUT UP OR SHUT UP

    And don’t dodge this challange like you always do.
    PUT UP OR SHUT UP NOW

  12. odograph says:

    Ah Herb, if it was just me and Ken, you wouldn’t have polls from ABC, CBS, and Zogby showing that a majority of Americans feel this way.

    You better go challenge America, with all caps, to prove themseves to you.

    P.S. – When I made my “supposition” above I labeled it as such.

  13. odograph says:

    Just to give you something to froth over though, here is a handy “lie list:”

    http://www.alternet.org/story/16274/

  14. Herb says:

    Is that all you got Odo,

    Now, you made the charge, what have you got?

    Let’s see your evidense, or is all you have is from the usual left side of nowhere..

    You know, you Democrats just don’t seem to get the picture that you are doing a hell of a lot of damage to our country. You Dems have devided this country to the point of national weakness. In fact, you Dems so weakened the country that you emboldened OBL to pull off 9/11 and kill 3000 Americans. When are you going to quit this treachery and live up to the expected standards of being an American. Just keep you actions up and you and people like you will destroy America.

    Once Again ODO, Let’s see your evidense. In other words,

    PUT UP OR SHUT UP

  15. ken says:

    Herb, weren’t you around when Bush and Cheney and Rice and Rumsfeld were telling us that Saddam absolutely had WMD and was absolutely a threat to America?

    He didn’t say, ‘well you know guys Saddam maybe perhaps still has WMD, but we don’t know for sure, and if he has them he would be a danger to our country so we are going to bomb his country, kill a lot of people, invade his country and kill a lot more people, cause we just gotta find out if he really has those WMD.’

    The way Bush put it was a lie. If you are too dumb to know that…., well never mind, you are too dumb.

  16. bruhaha says:

    Ah Herb, if it was just me and Ken, you wouldn’t have polls from ABC, CBS, and Zogby showing that a majority of Americans feel this way.

    You better go challenge America, with all caps, to prove themseves to you.

    OK, maybe I’m a little dense and I missed where in there you offered proof of your charge that Bush lied.

    The debate is not whether a majority people who listen to the major media or respond to these polls THINK Bush lied (though there are often problems with the polls themselves that might make the question worthy of debate).

    Nobody asked for proof of the OPINION of people responding to polls. The challenge was for you to present proof THAT Bush lied. And you offered, precisely, none.

    Sadly, but not surprisingly, the drumbeat “he lied, he lied. . .” will get a number of people to echo back the refrain. And the less they’ve actually delved into the story, the more likely they will be to yield this response. But that, thankfully, doesn’t determine the FACTS of the case one way or the other!

    In fact, if you ask those same people WHY they think he lied you will likely hear back a lot of dubious and discredited information. For heaven’s sake, even our local rag (Philadelphia Inquirer) in its latest Sunday editorial simply parroted Wilson’s own storyline — not even his most recent one, but what he was saying TWO YEARS AGO, before several key assertions he made were undercut. If THAT’S what people are reading –Joe Wilson regurgitated– you call THAT proof?!

    The point is — a lot of the people being polled are ignorant about the things they’re being polled about. Note, I did not say they are STUPID. They just don’t know the facts — and one significant reason for that is that the Democrats and most of the MSM doesn’t particularly WANT people to know the facts!

    So it’s not that I don’t trust the American people to be able to judge. I’m confident that many who accept the Dem and MSM line “Bush lied” (and so would say “I think Bush lied” if that same MSM polled them), would respond differently if given a fair chance. IF placed on a panel, presented with the evidence from BOTH sides and charged with carefully considering it — if given that kind of opportunity and incentive to stop and look through the evidence, people in general would judge fairly . In that case, based on all that has been made known to date (including, e.g., all the statements from 1998 to 2003 by Clinton and numerous other Democrats, that THEY believed the WMD’s were there…), I believe Bush would easily be vindicated.

    And I’m hopeful something like that will happend in the cour to of public opinion, if the GOP decides to truly “push back”, or if Libby’s lawyers do a good job bringing out the contradictions in Wilson’s stories and putting hard questions to certain folks at the CIA and certain members of the press…

  17. bruhaha says:

    Herb, weren’t you around when Bush and Cheney and Rice and Rumsfeld were telling us that Saddam absolutely had WMD and was absolutely a threat to America?

    OK, I’m game. Go back and give us their EXACT quotes. Oh, and while you’re at it, give us the exact quotes of Clinton, Gore and various Democratic members of Congress who commented on the issue from 1998 into 2003. (Not to mention intelligence agencies all around the world!)

    What will you do when you find that they all said the very same things (and that Clinton and the Democratic senators –who saw the SAME intelligence as the White House under both Clinton and Bush– often used STRONGER language than Bush & co.!) Will you, as your logic demands, conclude that ALL of them lied to us from 1998 till AFTER Iraq was invaded in 2003?

  18. ken says:

    Go back and give us their EXACT quotes.

    Why should I do that? Do you not remember, or were you out of the country, or asleep, during the months leading up to the War on Iraq?

    Just do a google search and you will find plenty of quotes, if that is what you want.

  19. ken says:

    Bruhaha,

    You may not understand the American people very well.

    We are smart enough to know that only half the truth is the same as a complete lie. If a drug company tells doctors that their new drug can help cure certain illness, but does not tell them that some respected research indicates that it may actually kill them instead, are they really telling the truth? Or are they lying to get their product sold?

    If an accountant sells you a tax shelter and neglets to tell you that if it is disallowed by the IRS your penalties will be doubled, is he telling you the truth while he is selling you the tax shelter?

    The evidence of WMD in Iraq was weak. The CIA acknowledged it was weak and told anyone who would listen. Bush wouldn’t listen. Instead of making sure he had an airtight case he cherry picked the raw intellegence, some of which was based upon forged documents, and gave that to us as if it were the absolute uncontroversial truth.

    Bush intentionally mislead us into believing something that he did not have solid evidence to present as absolutely true. Yet he presented it to us in a manner so that we could count on it as justification for WAR. That makes it a lie.

  20. anjin-san says:

    Herb,

    Once again, did Bush lie about what a great job “Brownie” (aka “fashion god”) was doing or was he simply clueless about what was going on during a major disaster in America?

    I predict Herb will, once again, run lie the wind from a direct question.

    Don’t issue challanges unless you can rise to one yourself.

  21. Herb says:

    Bruhaha:

    When you answer Ken, you are answering to a brick wall. Ken has his mind made up and you just can’t change it. He has read some left wing material and concluded it to be from God. The problen with Ken is that he and others like hin glory in running this country into the ground and doing everything to keep us devided. It’s guys like Ken, who want this country devided, and emboldened OBL to strike on 9/11. Its guys like Ken, who never served a single day in the service of our country and let everyone else do his fighting for him, that are keeping the US devided and giving the terrorists the Media victorys they crave. Ken is a leach on our society that just takes and takes while never giving anything in return. Give Ken a liberal inch and he will take a extreme liberal mile.
    Guys like Ken will be the downfall of our country.

    Anjin San:

    You would do better to direct your comment to the Governor of Louisiana. Myabe she will listen to you and take heart, She is a Lefty Liberal also.
    And Anjin San, when you someday really get to know America and Americans, then maybe you may have a right to put your lefty questions into play.
    Until then Anjin San, STUFF IT

  22. Charlie (Colorado) says:

    Guys, you’re having a little trouble with the word “lie”. A lie is a purposeful untruth. A lie is not the same as an error. Anjin, it’s not a lie if your opinion isn’t the same as someone else’s.

    Ken:

    Why should I do that [give exact quotes]? Do you not remember, or were you out of the country, or asleep, during the months leading up to the War on Iraq?

    The reason he’s asking for exact quotes is that if you search for them, you won’t find them. What you will find is that Bush’s opinion about WMD in Iraq corresponds in every particular to what both Clintons, Jay Rockefeller, Robert Byrd, John Kerry, and a whole raft of others were saying. Believing, and saying, something that turns out to have been misinformed isn’t a lie.

  23. Barry says:

    James: “Odo: Sure. But they’ve been subjected to a barrage of news from the point of view of a prosecutor whose job it is to make the case that Libby did something wrong and to keep suspicions very high on others in order to pressure them into testifying. In that environment, it’s hardly surprising that people believe things for which there’s no evidence.”

    James, you’re thinking of Starr, perhaps. Fitzgerald has run a remarkably leak-free investigation, and, in his press conference last month, was very restrained in what he accused people of.

  24. odograph says:

    Ken and bruhaha, I used the word “supposition” which maybe you need to look up.

    Beyond that … the way to get the “proof” you ask for is to get a full investigation into the intelligence handling at the start of the war. I support that, do you?

  25. odograph says:

    Charlie, we won’t really know until (or if) all information becomes available. I’ve said that there is a “plausible arc” from the Downing Street Memos to the Plame outing and attempted cover up. I think there is.

    Could all that “fixing” and “covering” have somehow done that “honestly?”

    I don’t really think so. It is reported that the Vice President made many (a dozen?) trips to the CIA offices asking specifically for information proving that Iraq had WMDs. Or proving that Iraq had an Al-Queda connection.

    Anybody who has worked in any kind of bureaucracy knows what happens when you do that. If a powerful player repeatedly asks, not for a fair assessment, but a specific result … someone will give it to him. It may be a sycophant who just wishes to climb in power, or it may be that a selection process takes place (out of ten guys in the room, nine stay quiet, and the one guy who agrees speaks up).

    A powerful player who does that, therefore, is either really dumb, or is building (broadly speaking) a “lie.”

  26. anjin-san says:

    What is “your” America about Herb? Sending kids to die in Iraq to deal with phantom WMD? While your sorry ass sits as home?

    I guess in whatever universe you inhabit it is a state official’s fault if Bush appoints an incopetent hack to a critical position in the federal government.

    As I suspected you have nither the courage or the intelligence to answer a straight question. Go put Rush on, he will tell you what you think.

  27. anjin-san says:

    Charlie,

    You do make a point. If it was just Bush’s opinion that Brown was taking care of business while he was in fact, presiding over a train wreck while he was busy bragging about his wardrobe and feeling sorry for himself (mind you, this is while Americans were dying) then Bush is simply an incompent hack who is in way over his head, and not , in this case at least, a liar.

  28. exdem13 says:

    Funny, I never got contacted by Zogby for this poll. Of ocurse, I live in the middle of Ohio (red state) and I think Bush didn’t lie to us about anything. I think he was truthful about the war, and that his administration has been doing fine. If there is any “lie” involved, it is the recent bout of lies told by treacherous, backbiting CIA flakes left over from the Clinton days who want to stop a war they don’t like. Ditto for all the anti-warllying statements by Democratic politicians who knew that Saddam had WMD in 1998, knew Saddam had WMD in 2002, but who promptly forgot about it in 2003 to try to get some votes.

  29. Herb says:

    Anjin San

    I served my country in the Armed Forces of the US.

    DID YOU?

    Your “High and Mighty” attitude along with your elevated intellegence ego just don’t get here. I have dealt with guys like you on many many occasions and you are all alike. All mouth and very little brains to go along with it.

    You guys are all alike, you only think you know America and Americans, but you liberal foriegn attitudes and ways only show everyone just how little you do know about America and Americans

    Again Anjin: STUFF IT

  30. anjin-san says:

    Herb,

    No one is impressed that you were a REMF once upon a time…

    You don’t have the guts to answer a straight question, and you basically whine like a little kid.

    If I am so “liberal” why did I vote for Reagan twice?

    Don’t strain yourself trying to figure it out.

  31. Herb says:

    Anjin San

    WOW I am impressed. At least you did one thing right (Voting for Reagan)

    Now if you just work a little harder, you just might vote for a Rep. again.

    Whould you like some cheese?

  32. anjin-san says:

    The only cheese I like comes from France. Port Salut is excellent. Herb, you sound like a velveeta man.

    I will vote GOP again when they run someone with an IQ over 90 who did not refuse to take a mandatory physical during wartime, then hide behind his daddy.