Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Indict first, Then Impeach

As the investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name hurtles to an apparent conclusion, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has zeroed in on the role of Vice President Cheney's office, according to lawyers familiar with the case and government officials. The prosecutor has assembled evidence that suggests Cheney's long-standing tensions with the CIA contributed to the unmasking of operative Valerie Plame.—Washington Post 10/18/05

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's CIA-leak inquiry is focusing attention on what long has been a tactic of U.S. President George W. Bush's administration: slash-and-burn assaults on its critics, particularly those opposed to the president's Iraq war policies.

If top officials are indicted, it could seriously erode the administration's credibility and prove yet another embarrassment to Bush on the larger issue of how he and his national security team marshaled information -- much of it later shown to be inaccurate -- to support their case for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.—CNN 10/18/05

I have been anticipating the impeachment of Bush and Cheney since the Iraq War started under the nefarious rationale of Hussein as an imminent threat to the US. In this blog I have talked about the “upcoming” impeachment hearings several times:

...Nixon was charged with impeachable offenses for covering up a “third rate burglary,” the Watergate caper. His conduct of the Vietnam War was never an issue with the House Judiciary Committee, for which he should have had to answer.

So--Can’t we nail Bush on some charge for showing favoritism or whatever, or kissing Saudis on the mouth, or an inability to speak English?--so we can impeach his ass too, like we did Nixon over Watergate, even though at that time it was for all the wrong reasons?

...What else is illogical, is that impeachment hearings have not been scheduled yet, when the case of “high crimes and misdemeanors” required by the Constitution clearly has been met. Short of treason and bribery which are the obvious reasons to impeach an official, Bush and Cheney have lied to congress about reasons for the Iraq invasion, and these lies by themselves meet two out of three of the...

...schools of thought about the appropriate definition: (1) serious criminality evidenced by breaking existing law; (2) an abuse of office, and (3) the Alexander Hamilton standard (Federalist 65) of "violation of public trust."--CSPAN

...It doesn’t matter why Bush gets impeached. The matter is that we, the people, need to tell a leader heading down the unbridled path toward dictatorship that we won’t stand for that in these United States. And don’t worry that Cheney will become president when Bush is convicted of the impeachable offenses, because he’ll be in on the indictment as well.

I used to think that impeaching Bush and Cheney because they allowed the revelation of Valerie Plame’s occupation in the CIA, instead of for going to war in Iraq under false pretenses, was like impeaching Nixon for covering up the Watergate burglary, instead of his secret expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia. Now it is clear that indictment for the Plame outing in retribution for her husband’s, Ambassador Wilson’s, criticism of the Iraq War, is the same reason as indicting for lying.

The House Judiciary Committee would be better off conducting hearings on the whole scenario, rather than trying to sort out individual criminality. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice and the rest—they all need to be brought up to moral speed. As it is now, this republic is on an easy path into a tyranny of the special interests and super rich that Caesar himself would admire.

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