Former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham (D-FL) was one of 23 Senators to have voted against the Iraq war resolution in October 2002. “With sadness,” he told his colleagues, “I predict we will live to regret this day, Oct. 10, 2002, the day we stood by and we allowed these terrorist organizations to continue growing in the shadows.”
Just four months after Bush launched the Iraq war, Graham floated the idea of impeachment. “Clearly, if the standard is now what the House of Representatives did in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the actions of this president [are] much more serious in terms of dereliction of duty,” he said. In an interview this week with ThinkProgress, Graham said he stood by his 2003 statement:
How many Americans would say that it is a greater dereliction of duty as President of the United States to have a consensual sexual affair or to take the country to war under manipulated, fabricated, and largely untruthful representations which the President knew or should have known. I think the answer to that question is clear.
Graham added that it’s unlikely Bush would be impeached, explaining that he learned the word impeachment is an “incendiary word” that Americans shy away from. “Americans don’t like impeachment because it connotes the kind of instability that so many other countries around the world have known.” But he added that his original remark regarding impeachment “was a truthful statement at the time and it’s even more truthful today.”
Right before the Senate vote on the Iraq resolution, the mild-mannered Graham sounded the alarms in unusually stark language. “If you believe that the American people are not going to be at additional threat,” he said, “then, frankly, my friends — to use a blunt term — blood is going to be on your hands.”
Asked to reflect on that statement today, Graham said, “There are 3,500 fewer American servicemen alive today in the world since the day I made that statement. There are tens of thousands of civilians who’ve lost their lives. The United States is at dramatically greater risk of terrorism… So I’m afraid that the blood has flown fuller, deeper, and redder that I thought it was going to.”
Graham also ridiculed Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s (I-CT) calls for taking “aggressive military action” against Iran:
I don’t know where we’re going to get the troops to take aggressive offensive action against Iran. Iran’s a country that’s approximately 2.5 times the population of Iraq. It has a GDP that’s twice that of Iraq. It is a much more significant force in the world. And we see how bogged down we are in Iraq, how in the world are we going to even consider using massive military force against Iran?