Monday, February 13, 2006

Blame Bush, or Congress?

The issue is not whether George W. Bush has committed impeachable acts. The issue is why congress hasn’t initiated hearings by the House Judiciary Committee to determine the exact nature and extent of these offenses.

A new book describes a meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Bush 3 years ago prior to the invasion of Iraq. The gist of the meeting was that they

…were not sure there was enough evidence to convince the Security Council. Without the council's explicit authorization, their plans for an invasion to depose Saddam Hussein could be difficult to defend under international law.

Bush proposed an alternative: paint a U.S. spy plane in United Nations colors and see if that didn't tempt Hussein's forces to shoot at it. In any case, he said, the war was "penciled in" for March 10 and the United States would go ahead with or without a second U.N. resolution.Blair replied that he was "solidly with" the president.

This is the latest in the long list of scenarios of lying Bush has told to congress and the American public for his personal campaign to invade and occupy Iraq. The untold damage in blood, money, and worldwide morale this futile enterprise has cost is worth immediate action by congress.

Added to this debacle, Bush is also accused of illegally authorizing surveillance of American citizens without court-issued warrants in the name of national security in the war on terror. The existence of a legislated secret court to issue these warrants, known as FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act)
which was mandated subsequent to the Nixon abuses under Watergate of similar illegally-authorized surveillance, vitiated the need for Bush to authorize any warrant-less bugging. Why did he not access these warrants which would have been secret anyway? Is it possible he was authorizing surveillance to gather more than just “foreign” intelligence? Was he on a fishing expedition in order to provide access to information he needed to gain additional power? Shouldn’t congress be chomping at the bit to find answers to these questions?

Does any of the following seem familiar?


…Endeavoring to misuse the Central Intelligence Agency, an agency of the United States.

…Making false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States into believing that a thorough and complete investigation has been conducted with respect to allegation of misconduct on the part of personnel of the Executive Branch of the United States

…He misused the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, and other executive personnel, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, by directing or authorizing such agencies or personnel to conduct or continue electronic surveillance or other investigations for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office

…Richard M. Nixon, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial and removal from office.

The Republican-led congress is not anxious to start impeachment hearings against their leader. Despite rumblings that even Bush’s congressional base sees problems with the NSA surveillance program, and now new reports that Libby, Cheney’s right hand man, says he was ordered to leak classified information to the press by his superiors of which there are two—Cheney and Bush--action has yet to be taken.

The urgency of probing Bush’s abuses of power is immediate in that inaction is costing lives every day in Iraq, and the diffusion of military and intelligence focus from protecting Americans from the onset of another domestic terrorist event continues with undue monetary and personnel deployment in Iraq. It has been stated repeatedly by Bush supporters and opponents who are terrorist experts, and who are in agreement on this point—there are terrorist cells in dozens of countries around the world, including within the US.

The insurgency potshots in Iraq which are disconnected from the game of causing mayhem on US soil are not worth containing anymore. But while Bush and Cheney maintain power, and their lust for a base in the Middle East, little will change in US policy on the Iraq occupation in the near future, or fast enough to prevent disaster in the US.

Congress cannot take action too soon to start formally investigating the offenses of the Bush administration. We the people cannot afford to sit back and hope for a better solution to this quagmire—we must be on the backs of our representatives to do their sworn duty to represent us, and in so doing, protect us all better than they have been doing so far.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments signed Anonymous will not be published.