Monday, December 05, 2005

Begin the Impeachment Process Now

If Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice are not investigated by the House of Representatives to determine whether they should be impeached, the impartial structure of laws on which this nation is built will be discredited. Our system of justice will be undermined if the highest crimes that can be committed are not pursued with the full force of the law.

The White House cabal is finally being exposed by the press, which is beginning to recover its integrity after having failed citizens in the run-up to the war. The New York Times and other major papers have publicly confessed their negligence.

Already on June 1, 2002, the President at West Point signaled his intention of removing Saddam Hussein by a pre-emptive attack. During that summer there was little eagerness to go to war expressed by the public or Congress and least of all the press. At the end of August the Vice President before the Veterans for Foreign Wars began his hard sell, insisting that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and would use them against us as he had on 9/11. Both charges have of course by now been exposed although Cheney still refuses to take personal responsibility for them, passing them off to bad intelligence.

Through September of that year Congress seemed skeptical, and early in October the administration came up with its instant National Intelligence Estimate, extracted from the CIA with unaccustomed haste. The administration, we now know, deleted views that dissented from the case for war from the version of the NIE that it presented to most members of Congress and the public. This alone should make clear Bush’s intention to deceive us.

Panicked by impending mid-term elections in November, Congress fell into line and voted the President unconstitutional authority to go to war at his own discretion.

Then there was Bush’s allegation in his 2003 State-of-the Union address that Hussein posed an imminent threat due to his effort to purchase of weapons’ grade uranium from Niger. When it was later revealed that the evidence was known by the CIA in advance to be bogus, a Bush aide and CIA director Tenet had to take the rap.

Sixteen days before the invasion of Iraq Newsweek reported that it had learned that Hussein’s son-in-law, who was in charge of weapons production, revealed to the CIA in 1995 when he defected that all WMD had been destroyed in 1991. This should have raised serious doubts about the justification for the impending attack. But never mind, the drumbeat for war silenced dissent, except for the hundreds of thousands of protestors who took to the streets.

If the present Congress does not recognize its responsibility now to investigate and prosecute the deliberate deceptions of the Bush cabal, then it becomes complicit in the wrongs that have been committed.

Even though it may seem to be asking too much for a Republican majority to impeach a Republican president, the party will go down in history as compounding its earlier caving in to the law-breakers for partisan reasons. The only way that the party can restore its integrity is by acting in the interest of justice now.

As for the congressional Democrats, a majority of their minority in the House of Representatives and a smaller proportion in the Senate, refused in October, 2002, to be stampeded into granting the President war-making power. It should therefore be easier for them to urge impeachment even though they are still in the minority.

At very least Democrats standing for next year’s elections for the House should pledge now that if their party wins a majority, they will pursue impeachment. Given the fact that more than a majority of citizens recently polled believe that Bush lied the nation into this war and that therefore he should be impeached, the candidates’ promise to impeach should help the Democrats recover a majority in the House.

If citizens do not insist that Congress acts, they, too, must share the guilt. Many of us have lived through the impunity with which the Vietnam War was deceptively sold. Can our history tolerate another such stain? How is a future war by deceit to be prevented if we do not set this wrong right? How many more soldiers and civilians must needlessly die?


Blogger Jaimelo said...

I think that it will be crucial to impeach the entire Bush dinasty today or tomorrow, it's unimportant which. Ideally would would like them to answer today, but this is not feasible. Even after they are gone and no longer, it will be important to impeach them through the courts as a symbolic measure. This must be done today or tomorrow, does not matter, but it must be done if humanity cares to advance towards a just reality.

3:04 PM  

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