yesterday, in the washington post,
1972 democratic presidential candidate
george mcgovern joined the call for
the impeachment of cheney [and bush].
he did so as a senior statesman, in
courtly and careful terms, but he also
did so to underscore the point that
the crimes committed by nixon and
agnew pale by comparison to those
alleged against cheney and bush.
here is some of it — go read the rest:
. . .Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty
of numerous impeachable offenses. They
have repeatedly violated the Constitution.
They have transgressed national and inter-
national law. They have lied to the American
people time after time. Their conduct and
their barbaric policies have reduced our
beloved country to a historic low in the
eyes of people around the world. These are
truly “high crimes and misdemeanors,” to
use the constitutional standard. . .
In a more fundamental sense, American
democracy has been derailed throughout the
Bush-Cheney regime. The dominant commitment of
the administration has been a murderous,
illegal, nonsensical war against Iraq. That
irresponsible venture has killed almost 4,000
Americans, left many times that number mentally
or physically crippled, claimed the lives of
an estimated 600,000 Iraqis (according to a
careful October 2006 study from the Johns
Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and
laid waste their country. The financial cost
to the United States is now $250 million a day
and is expected to exceed a total of $1 trillion,
most of which we have borrowed from the Chinese
and others as our national debt has now
climbed above $9 trillion — by far the
highest in our national history. . .
I have not been heavily involved in singing the
praises of the Nixon administration. But the
case for impeaching Bush and Cheney is far
stronger than was the case against Nixon and
Vice President Spiro T. Agnew after the 1972
election. The nation would be much more secure
and productive under a Nixon presidency than
with Bush. Indeed, has any administration
in our national history been so damaging
as the Bush-Cheney era?
It happened in part because the Bush-Cheney team repeatedly deceived Congress, the press and the public into believing that Saddam Hussein had nuclear arms and other horrifying banned weapons
that were an “imminent threat” to the
United States. The administration also
led the public to believe that Iraq was
involved in the 9/11 attacks — another
blatant falsehood. . .
Another shocking perversion has been
the shipping of prisoners scooped off
the streets of Afghanistan to Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba, and other countries without
benefit of our time-tested laws of habeas corpus.
Although the president was advised by
the intelligence agencies last August that
Iran had no program to develop nuclear
weapons, he continued to lie to the country
and the world. This is the same strategy of
deception that brought us into war in the
Arabian Desert and could lead us into an
unjustified invasion of Iran. I can say
with some professional knowledge and ex-
perience that if Bush invades yet another. . .
oil state, it would mark the end of U.S.
influence in the crucial Middle East for decades.
Ironically, while Bush and Cheney made
counterterrorism the battle cry of their
administration, their policies — especially
the war in Iraq — have increased the terrorist
threat and reduced the security of the United
States. . .
Today, after five years of clumsy, mistaken
policies and U.S. military occupation, Iraq has
become a breeding ground of terrorism and bloody
civil strife. It is no secret that former President
Bush, his secretary of state, James A. Baker III,
and his national security adviser, Gen. Brent
Scowcroft, all opposed the 2003 invasion and
occupation of Iraq. . .
as most already know, rep.
wexler joined the call for im-
peachement of cheney — now re-
siding on chairman conyers’ judiciary
committee desk — in december 2007.
[backgrounder: here is the full-text
of rep. dennis kucinich’s bill,
styled HR 333 — it contains
the proposed articles of
i m p e a c h e m n t. . .]
i reprint here his statement — and
embed his youtube video — as a
reminder that we all need to press
chairman conyers on this topic now,
early in the new year. . . and perhaps,
add a count for war crimes [torture] to
the list of potential allegations. . .
December 14, 2007
Congressman Wexler released
the following op-ed on need
for impeachment hearings with
Reps. Gutierrez and Baldwin:
A Case for Hearings
On November 7, the House of Representatives voted to send a resolution of impeachment of Vice President Cheney to the Judiciary Committee. As Members of the House Judiciary Committee, we strongly believe these important hearings should begin.
The issues at hand are too serious to ignore, including credible allegations of abuse of power that if proven may well constitute high crimes and misdemeanors under our constitution. The charges against Vice President Cheney relate to his deceptive actions leading up to the Iraq war, the revelation of the identity of a covert agent for political retaliation, and the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.
Now that former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has indicated that the Vice President and his staff purposefully gave him false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert agent to report to the American people, it is even more important for Congress to investigate what may have been an intentional obstruction of justice. Congress should call Mr. McClellan to testify about what he described as being asked to “unknowingly [pass] along false information.” In addition, recent revelations have shown that the Administration including Vice President Cheney may have again manipulated and exaggerated evidence about weapons of mass destruction — this time about Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
Some of us were in Congress during the impeachment hearings of President Clinton. We spent a year and a half listening to testimony about President Clinton’s personal relations. This must not be the model for impeachment inquires. A Democratic Congress can show that it takes its constitutional authority seriously and hold a sober investigation, which will stand in stark contrast to the kangaroo court convened by Republicans for President Clinton. In fact, the worst legacy of the Clinton impeachment – where the GOP pursued trumped up and insignificant allegations – would be that it discourages future Congresses from examining credible and significant allegations of a constitutional nature when they arise.
The charges against Vice President Cheney are not personal. They go to the core of the actions of this Administration, and deserve consideration in a way the Clinton scandal never did. The American people understand this, and a majority support hearings according to a November 13 poll by the American Research Group. In fact, 70% of voters say that Vice President Cheney has abused his powers and 43% say that he should be removed from office right now. The American people understand the magnitude of what has been done and what is at stake if we fail to act. It is time for Congress to catch up.
Some people argue that the Judiciary Committee can not proceed with impeachment hearings because it would distract Congress from passing important legislative initiatives. We disagree. First, hearings need not tie up Congress for a year and shut down the nation. Second, hearings will not prevent Congress from completing its other business. These hearings involve the possible impeachment of the Vice President – not our commander in chief – and the resulting impact on the nation’s business and attention would be significantly less than the Clinton Presidential impeachment hearings. Also, despite the fact that President Bush has thwarted moderate Democratic policies that are supported by a vast majority of Americans — including children’s health care, stem cell research, and bringing our troops home from Iraq — the Democratic Congress has already managed to deliver a minimum wage hike, an energy bill to address the climate crisis, assistance for college tuition, and other legislative successes. We can continue to deliver on more of our agenda in the coming year while simultaneously fulfilling our constitutional duty by investigating and publicly revealing whether or not Vice President Cheney has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.
Holding hearings would put the evidence on the table, and the evidence – not politics – should determine the outcome. Even if the hearings do not lead to removal from office, putting these grievous abuses on the record is important for the sake of history. For an Administration that has consistently skirted the constitution and asserted that it is above the law, it is imperative for Congress to make clear that we do not accept this dangerous precedent. Our Founding Fathers provided Congress the power of impeachment for just this reason, and we must now at least consider using it.
# # #
indeed, ’tis the
word of the morning.
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