June 21, 2005

Impeachment Time!

So what do these new Downing Street Memos actually mean? Given the new evidence, what should we do about it? The answer is pretty clear to me, although some in the anti-Bush/anti-war movement seem a little fuzzy at the moment (OK, it does take a bit of effort to get your head around the idea that the titular head of the USA is a War Criminal capable of such outrageously BIG lies).

What to do? Doug Thompson at Capitol Hill Blue says it loudly and clearly:
I, for one, don’t want a liar as my President. I don’t want a man who is willing to send 1700-plus Americans to their deaths in a war based on lies running what used to be the greatest nation on earth.

Yes, George W. Bush should be impeached. If we can impeach Bill Clinton for lying about spraying ejaculate all over an intern's face and dress then we can damn well impeach a President whose illegal actions qualify him as a war criminal.

Six months ago, I would have disagreed that Bush’s actions merited impeachment. But six months ago I had not read the Downing Street Memo or examined the other documents and information that support it. Bush continues to lie, Americans continue to die and it is time to put an end to both...

America might be able to survive until 2006 to replace the scandal-ridden GOP leadership of Congress but the country cannot afford to wait until 2008 to get rid of George W. Bush. His criminal acts merit immediate impeachment and then removal of office.

Then he should be tried as a traitor for his crimes. War criminals deserve no less.
Dave Zweifel at The Capital Times is also right on track.

Last week, the Wisconsin Democratic Party passed a resolution calling for the president's impeachment. The Green Party of the United States has been calling for the impeachment of George W. Bush since 2003. David Cobb is still pleading with the public:
"The Downing Street Memo confirms what we already knew -- that a conspiracy to deceive the American people led us into the war, and that this conspiracy constitutes 'high crimes and misdemeanors' according to the U.S. Constitution."
Ralph Nader and Kevin Zeese have repeated the call in the Boston Globe:
The impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, should be part of mainstream political discourse...

The president and vice president have artfully dodged the central question: ''Did the administration mislead us into war by manipulating and misstating intelligence concerning weapons of mass destruction and alleged ties to Al Qaeda, suppressing contrary intelligence, and deliberately exaggerating the danger a contained, weakened Iraq posed to the United States and its neighbors?"

If this is answered affirmatively Bush and Cheney have committed ''high crimes and misdemeanors." It is time for Congress to investigate the illegal Iraq war as we move toward the third year of the endless quagmire that many security experts believe jeopardizes US safety by recruiting and training more terrorists. A Resolution of Impeachment would be a first step. Based on the mountains of fabrications, deceptions, and lies, it is time to debate the ''I" word.
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Francis Boyle, Professor of Law, have already drafted an "Impeachment Resolution Against President George W. Bush" - sign it here!

Gerard Donnelly Smith at Axis of Logic cites John W. Dean's book "Worse Than Watergate" in providing this list of issues to be discussed at the impeachment:
1) lies to justify the War in Iraq,
2) leaking the name of a CIA operative.
3) Ohio election fraud,
4) authorizing the torture of prisoners,
5) the Downing Street Memo,
6) illegal wiretaps of UN diplomats,
7) authorizing the kidnapping of "terror" suspects,
8) depriving citizens of First Amendment rights during the 2004 campaign and during his so-called town-hall meetings,
9) using federal tax-dollars to plant stories in the press, and
10) transferring $700 million from the Afghanistan war budget to preparations for the Iraq war.
There's more, of course, like:

11) the secret "rendering" of terror suspects to known torturers, or
12) the failure to provide legal rights to captives in Gitmo and elswhere.

But is impeachment a real possibility, I hear you ask. A lengthy piece by four "constitutional scholars" at Salon.com debates the impeachment issue and concludes that the existing evidence will not be enough:
The Nader-DeLong position has no legs politically because Republicans in the House and Senate -- a majority in both houses, after all -- support the Bush administration's policy. And, because it has no legs politically, it has no legs legally either.
So the truth is irrelevant, and there is no legal remedy in the US Consitition for such monstrous deceit? The government can do what it likes, provided their propaganda machine keeps getting them across the line? That sounds like Fascism to me... The Salon.com piece says the impeachment process against Clinton was wilfully un-Constitutional and argues that Democrats should not repeat such a "nutty" "publicity stunt". Yet it also leave the legal door for impeachment open with this little caveat:
To be sure, it would be more than objectionable to find a clear demonstration that "intelligence and facts" were, in fact, "fixed" to support a predetermined course of war. We could even imagine circumstances in which such a demonstration would be a plausible basis for considering impeachment...
Well, folks, the impeachment process is meant to be an open forum where evidence is provided from a wide range of sources. Bush & Co can be forced to provide key documents, and even more whistleblowers will be sure to come forward in such an environment. Even if you disagree with my stance and do not accept that the crimes and misdemeanors listed above, including the Downing Street Memos, provide enough evidence per se for impeachment, there are still enough facts to warrant more serious discussion. The problem is, thanks to Bush's control or intimidation of the US media, we are not even getting that!

And heck, even GOP 501(c) groups like RealityCheck.org are ready to go along with an impeachment!
By all means, let's conduct an inquiry if the evidence warrants it....
So let's get going! Donnelly Smith even suggests a clever game plan for the lengthy political tussle of the impeachment process:
Whether or not impeachment proceedings will be enacted by this Congress is not the issue. The mid-term elections are the issue. Howard Dean, as the Chairman of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), has the opportunity to take back the House and the Senate, if he and his party can develop a platform that will appeal to the populace. Since the Bush Regime's approval ratings are low -- due to the aforementioned high crimes and misdemeanors -- Dean should make impeachment the DNC's rallying cry!

Shifting the balance in Congress, so that Democrats have even a slim majority will be enough to ensure that an impeachment resolution is passed. Giving the American public that opportunity should be Dean's and the DNC's primary goal. In order to remove the Bush Regime ASAP, American voters must, first, take back the Congress from the Republican "yes men" who have allowed these crimes to go unchallenged; second, demand that the 110th Congress impeach the bastards!
Of course, as Robert E. Meyer kindly reminds us:
An impeachment would put Dick Cheney in the Oval Office, and the libs already "know" that the Vice-President has always run the show anyway.
So we need Bush, Cheney, Rumseld, Rice and a whole host of others in the dock, stat. Let's start with Bush.

And let's get started now!

Click here to join 16 House members in demanding the IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL of U.S. troops from Iraq.


elendil said...

It is interesting to note that the Freepers are trying very hard to believe that the memos are faked. I think that it implies that they find the content difficult to deal with.

Exadios said...

"...are trying very hard to believe that the memos are faked.":

They must be very frustrated by the refusal of Blair, or any other British official, to deny the veracity of the memos.

The basic problem is the "Official Secrets Act". This piece of Stalinist legislation makes it a felony for a government official to disclose just about any government information whether it is classified or not. Therefor it is necessary to destroy the originals in order to protect the source.

The Republicans in Congress have attempted to introduce a US version of this act. The last attempt was vetoed by Clinton.

elendil said...

Therefor it is necessary to destroy the originals in order to protect the source.

Indeed this forms their central argument. 'Why else', they ask, 'would the reporter claim to have destroyed the originals if not because there were no originals to begin with?' I'm not sure if there is a way around that, short of pointing out what you just did.

They must be very frustrated by the refusal of Blair, or any other British official, to deny the veracity of the memos.

If I recall correctly, both said words to the effect that the memos do not reflect their recollection of the meetings. That's a clever thing to do, because I've seen a few Freepers argue that saying this is equivalent to saying that they are fakes. However, if the shit hits the fan, they won't have been caught in an objective lie. One can still maintain that position, esp. considering that the first memo at least describes Dearlove's impressions.


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