Governor Dean Calls for Resignations

July 23, 2003

Last week, when the nation was focused on the sixteen words included in the President's State of the Union address, I said that the issue raised sixteen important questions about the Iraq matter. Today, as more senior officials in the Bush White House have taken responsibility for including the discredited Niger uranium sentence in the President's State of the Union address, we are one step closer to understanding how those sixteen words came to be. But the sixteen questions still remain unanswered.

I call on those who misled the President to resign immediately. It is unacceptable for anyone who misled the President on an issue as significant as a rationale for war to continue to retain a post in government. What is clear is that this President and his Administration misled the American people about the cause for war and did so in the solemn forum of the State of the Union address. Not only have the lives of many U.S. service men and women been lost as a result of that questionable rush to war, but the Administration has been allowed to establish a dangerous precedent for unilateral, preemptive war at the President's sole discretion.

It remains to be seen whether the President himself was misled, whether those around him intentionally kept the information from him, or whether the President knowingly misled the American people. I sincerely hope that the latter is not the case. We do know this: officials in the Vice President's office, the Defense Department, the State Department and the White House had reason to know that there were significant doubts not only about the Niger evidence, but about many elements of the case for war.

Let me reiterate what I have said now many times before: those who included this faulty information in the President's address know who they are and should resign immediately. There is no place for them in a government that prizes honor and integrity.

Furthermore, I urge the White House to answer the sixteen questions I presented last week so that the American people can learn the truth and can retain confidence in their government. Finally, because the story line continues to change from day to day on this matter, I once again call for an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate these serious allegations.

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