Just another blog, created on the spur of the moment; may or may not contain earth-shattering epiphanies, boring personal observations, or various and sundry trivialities...

...oh, and once in a while, some politics...

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year, Folks...It'll sure be happier if George, Dick, and company resign-or are finally impeached!

High Crimes and Misdemeanors
Talkin' About the "I"-Word
Richard Cohen, the finely-calibrated syndicated columnist for the Washington
Post, wrote a column on October 28, 2004 which commenced with this straight
talk: "I do not write the headlines for my columns. Someone else does. But
if I were to write the headline for one, it would be 'Impeach George Bush'."
Cohen stated the obvious then. Bush and Cheney had plunged the nation into
war "under false pretenses." Exploiting the public trust in the Presidency,
Bush had persuaded, over the uncritical mass media, day after day, before
the war, a majority of the American people that Saddam Hussein possessed
chemical, biological weapons and nuclear weapons programs, was connected to
al-Qaeda and 9/11 and was a threat to the United States.
These falsehoods, Cohen wrote, "are a direct consequence of the
administration's repeated lies--lies of commission, such as Cheney's
statements, and lies of omission."
Fourteen months later, no widely syndicated columnist or major newspaper
torial has called for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Not even Cohen again. Yet the case for impeachment is so strong that,
recently, hardly a day goes by without more disclosures which strengthen any
number of impeachable offenses that could form a Congressional action under
our Constitution. An illegal war, to begin with, against our Constitution
which says only Congress can declare war. An illegal war under domestic
laws, and international law, and conducted illegally under international
conventions to which the US belongs, should cause an outcry against this
small clique of outlaws committing war crimes who have hijacked our national
An illegal, criminal war means that every related U.S. death and injury,
every related Iraqi civilian death and injury, every person tortured, every
home and building destroyed become war crimes as a result--under established
international law.
There are those on talk radio or cable shows who scoff at international law.
They rarely tell their audiences that the United States has played a key
role in establishing these treaties, like the Geneva Conventions, and the
United Nations Charter. When these treaties are agreed to by the U.S.
government, they become as binding as our federal laws.
By these legal standards and by the requirements of the U.S. Constitution
(Article 1, Section 8, the war-declaring authority), George W. Bush and Dick
Cheney are probably the most impeachable President and Vice President in
American history. An illegal war based on lies, deceptions, cover-ups and
their repetition even after being told by officials in their own
administration--not to mention critical retired generals , diplomats and
security specialists--of their falsity should have prodded the House of
Representatives into initiating impeachment proceedings. But then, Bush did
not lie under oath about sex.
A majority of the American people have turned against this war-quagmire,
against its intolerable human and economic costs, against the increased
danger this war is bringing to our nation's interests. They want the
soldiers to return safely home. In increasing numbers they sense what Bush's
own CIA Director, Porter Goss, told the U.S. Senate last February. He noted,
along with other officials since then, that U.S. soldiers in Iraq are like a
magnet attracting and training more terrorists from more countries who will
return to their nations and cause trouble. Many national security experts
have said, in effect, you do not fight terrorists with policies that produce
more terrorists.
Now comes the most recent, blatant impeachable offense--Bush ordering the
spying on Americans in our country by the National Security Agency. This
disclosure stunned many N.S.A. staff who themselves view domestic
surveillance as anathema, according to Matthew M. Aid, a current historian
of the agency.
Domestic eavesdropping on Americans by order of the President to the
National Security Agency violates the 27-year-old Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act unless they obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act (FISA) Court. This court meets in secret and has rejected
only four out of 19,000 applications.
So why did Bush violate this law and why does he defiantly say he will
continue to order domestic spying as he has since 2002? Not because the FISA
Court is slow. It acts in a matter of hours in the middle of the night if
need be. The law actually permits surveillance in emergencies as long as
warrants are requested within 72 hours or 15 days in times of war.
Bush violated the law because of the arrogance of power. Ostensibly, he
believes that a vague Congressional resolution after 9/11 to fight al-Qaeda
overrides this explicit federal law and the Fourth Amendment to the
Constitution. Bush even claims he can unilaterally decide to domestically
spy from the inherent powers of the Presidency to fight wars. (To him
Congressionally-undeclared wars are still wars).
Other than his legal flaks in the White House and Justice Department making
such transparently specious arguments as "good soldiers", the overwhelming
position of legal scholars is that Bush and Cheney have violated grave laws
protecting the liberties of the American people.
The crime, says Professor David Cole of Georgetown Law School, is
"punishable by five years in prison." Professor Jonathan Turley of George
Washington University Law School said that the President ordered such a
crime and ordered US officials to commit it.this is a serious felony.what
happened here is not just a violation of Federal law, it's a violation of
the U.S. Constitutionan impeachable offense."
It matters not that a Republican-dominated Congress has no present interest
in moving to impeach Bush-Cheney. What matters is that impeachment in this
case-- based on the authority of Congress to charge the President and Vice
President with "high crimes and misdemeanors"--is a patriotic cause rooted
in the wisdom of our founding fathers who did not want another King George
III in the guise of a President.
As Senator Russell Feingold said a few days ago: The President is not a
King, he is a President subject to the laws and Constitution of the land.
Apparently, George W. Bush seems to believe and behave as if his unlimited
inherited powers flow from King George III, given the way he has shoved
aside both federal law and the nation's Constitution.
Both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney should resign. They have disgraced their
office and bled the nation. They have shattered the public trust in so many
serious ways that will only become worse in the coming months.

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