On both sides of the Atlantic criticism mounts over Bush & Blair s claims of weapons of mass destruction: As weapons inspectors scale back their search in Iraq we talk to reporters from the Washington Post and the London Independent and hear White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer defend the administration s claims; Worse than Watergate? Nixon s chief counsel on why Bush could be impeached over Iraq
9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:40: U.S. military units assigned to hunt for Iraq s alleged weapons of mass destruction are receiving time off and are being assigned to other duties. Why? According to the Associated Press, they have run out of places to look. Over the past week, several U.S. teams searching for weapons have been taken off assignment completely. They are writing letters home and brushing up on target practice. Col. Keith Harrington s team has been cut by more than 30 percent. He told the AP: "It doesn't appear there are any more targets at this time. He said, "We're hanging around with no missions in the foreseeable future." The weapons inspectors say they are now waiting for a large team of Pentagon intelligence experts to take over the effort. This comes as the controversy over why no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq has reached the boiling point on both sides of the Atlantic. Time and time again, President Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell and British Prime Minister Tony Blair drummed the same message home: Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. They told the American people this. They told the British people this. They told Arab states this. They told the U.S. Congress, the British Parliament, and the U.N. Security council this. It was all to try to justify an unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation. But now, two months after U.S. tanks rolled into Baghdad, no weapons have been found. No evidence of weapons has even been found. Meanwhile, a series of intelligence leaks and anonymous interviews with intelligence officers indicate that the White House may have overstated its own evidence. The Washington Post reported Saturday that an internal report by the Defense Intelligence Agency found there was no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing or stockpiling chemical weapons or whether Iraq has or will establish its chemical agent production facilities. We are going to be joined by reporters Walter Pincus of the Washington Post and Kim Sengupta of the London Independent in a minute. But first we want to play an excerpt from yesterday s White House press briefing with Ari Fleischer * Ari Fleischer, White House Press Secretary responding to questions from reporters on weapons on mass destruction on June 9, 2003 * Walter Pincus, National security reporter for the Washington Post who has written several reports on the administration s weapons of mass destruction claims over the past week. * Tony Blair, British Prime Minister responding to critics * Kim Sengupta, reporter with the Independent of London 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:40-9:58: 30 years after the Watergate break-in shook Washington, John Dean says President Bush could be impeached if he mislead the American public and Congress on Iraq s weapons of mass destruction threat. On June 17, 1972, five men employed by the Committee to Re-elect the President (later known as CREEP) were arrested while breaking into the Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel. They went in to plant listening devices in the phone and steal campaign strategy documents. The White House attempted to cover-up the burglary. Among those found guilty was Richard Nixon s chief counsel John W. Dean. He was charged with obstruction of justice and would eventually serve 127 days in jail for taking part in the cover-up. Before being jailed he was the first White House insider to testify about the existence of the White House taping system which eventually led to Nixon s demise. Today, Dean says, Washington may be facing a scandal on the scale of Watergate if the Bush Administration mislead the American public and Congress on the threat of Iraq s alleged weapons of mass destruction. He just published a column for the Findlaw.com website titled Is Lying About The Reason For a War an Impeachable Offense? * John Dean, former counsel to President Richard Nixon. He also served as the chief minority counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, the associate director of a law reform commission, and associate deputy attorney general of the United States. Link: Is Lying About The Reason For a War an Impeachable Offense? : http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20030606.html 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Sharif Abdul Kouddous, Ana Nogueira, Elizabeth Press with help from Noah Reibel and Vilka Tzouras. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer. Thanks also to Uri Galed, Angela Alston, Emily Kunstler, Orlando Richards, Simba Rousseau, Rafael delaUz, Gabriel Weiss, Johnny Sender, Rich Kim, Karen Ranucci, Fatima Mojadiddy, Denis Moynihan and Jenny Filipazzo.