copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may say impeachment is off the table; nonetheless, on June 9, 2008, Congressman Dennis Kucinich placed it on the floor. For five hours, the Ohio Representative stood before his colleagues and an expectant national audience. Kucinich spoke of what has remained unmentionable for far too long. The President of the United States of America has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.
The contents of thirty-five articles affirmed President George W. Bush deceived the nation. Congressman Kucinich contends, the President violated his oath of office. The Commander-In-Chief led our country into the Iraq war under false pretenses.
On hundreds of occasions, George W. Bush made use of signing statements. These declarations allowed the Administration to disobey laws. With the stroke of a pen, the President proclaimed a ban on torture was extraneous to his reality. Mister Bush decided to shun provisions he endorsed and proposed when he explained the need for a Patriot Act. The list of laws George W. Bush disregarded is extensive.
A year ago, the Ohio Congressman and former Presidential hopeful, introduced a resolution to censure Vice President Dick Cheney. Dennis Kucinich understood that this Vice President exerted more power than any other person who previously held his position. Indeed some argue, Dick Cheney is more if not equally culpable for crimes enacted by the Executive Branch. The resolution censure Cheney was referred to the House Judiciary Committee. Thus far, no action has been taken on the motion.
However, members of the Committee have verbalized their support. Florida Representative Robert Wexler, Congressman Luis Gutierrez from Illinois, and Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin vehemently called for hearings. The three believe as does Dennis Kucinich does, grounds for an arraignment are sufficient. For these outspoken Representatives, Vice President, Richard Cheney, along with the President, George W. Bush violated the War Crimes Act of 1996. They ignored the anti-torture Act. Bush and Cheney authorized the abuse of detainees, who have been illegally held at the Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp.
The President and Vice President repeatedly sullied the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. This law requires court approval for presidential wiretaps. None were obtained before millions of Americans telephones were bugged. The President defiantly dismisses any public concern. He has no problem with deferring the public’s right to privacy.
Early in their joint terms, George Bush and Dick Cheney warned, there was an eminent threat of a nuclear attack. They said the United States was in danger of inhalation. Desirous of oil in the Middle East, Texas tea tycoons alleged Saddam Hussein purchased uranium in Niger. Evidence furnished by envoy, Joseph Wilson validated this was not true. Nonetheless, the Chief Executive and his chum declared the leader of Iraq wanted aluminum tubes for uranium enrichment. George W. Bush and Richard Cheney understood the claims were fallacious. The two Executives would take care of any attempt to present accurate information to the people. The Administration would destroy the messenger.
Mister Bush and Mister Cheney were aware that others within their Administration questioned the validity of Intelligence Reports, which stated a need for concern in reference to Iraq. At least one, former Secretary of State Colin Powell tried to convince the President and his Vice an attack on Iraq was unadvisable. Not to be dissuaded, the two “leaders’ withheld facts form the public. The Administration purposely warped the data in an attempt to usurp Congress’ Constitutional powers to declare war.
Yet, regardless of the volumes of reports released over the course of many years, Congressman Kucinich and those on the Judiciary Committee who support censure, have much opposition.
Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, who served on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of Richard Nixon, does not disagree with the Representatives who endorse impeachment of the current Administration. Conservative Constitutional Scholar Bruce Fein, a Republican who served in the Reagan Justice Department does not quarrel with the need to commence hearings. Former Senator and Democratic presidential nominee, George McGovern published an op-ed, demanding impeachment proceedings for both Bush and Cheney. None of these esteemed individuals question the motivation or the measure.
The only deterrent to the necessary action is found on Capitol Hill. Politically savvy officials in the nation’s Capitol choose to set a precedent that historians’ caution is unwise. Elizabeth Holtzman states.
Whether or not they bring electoral rewards in 2008, impeachment proceedings are the right thing to do. They will help curb the serious abuses of this administration, and send a strong message to future administrations that no president or vice president is above the law.
Sadly, her words will not be heard on heeded. Too many Democrats and Republicans have become deaf and dumb to the proper rule of law. For too long, average Americans and elected officials trusted the Chief Executive. They allowed themselves to be persuaded by a unscrupulous President and his Vice.
The people may no longer have faith. Perhaps, the public is just too embarrassed to face the fire. The adage heard in the halls of Congress and on the streets of many a city is, “We hired them. If we dismiss the two, what might that say of our judgment.” Hence, Americans lay bare the lie, we have learned nothing from history.
A vote on the Resolution is expected on June 11, 2008. Those in support of impeachment can only hope our Representatives will act more responsibly than we, the American people, or our Administration has.
References for what might never be officially realized . . .
- Articles of Impeachment. Submitted By Congressman Dennis Kucinich. June 9, 2008
- Articles of Impeachment, George W. Bush. Presented by Congressman Dennis Kucinich. June 9, 2008
- Presidential Signing Statements; Hoover – G.W. Bush. The American Presidency Project
- Bush challenges hundreds of laws President cites powers of his office, By Charlie Savage. Boston Globe. April 30, 2006
- Bush could bypass new torture ban, Waiver right is reserved. By Charlie Savage. Boston Globe. January 4, 2006
- Bush shuns Patriot Act requirement, In addendum to law, he says oversight rules are not binding. By Charlie Savage. Boston Globe. March 24, 2006
- What I Didn’t Find in Africa, By Joseph C. Wilson IV. The New York Times. Sunday, July 6, 2003
- A ‘Concerted Effort’ to Discredit Bush Critic, Prosecutor Describes Cheney, Libby as Key Voices Pitching Iraq-Niger Story. By Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer. Washington Post. Sunday, April 9, 2006; Page A01
- Bush Began to Plan War Three Months After 9/11, Book Says President Called Secrecy Vital. By William Hamilton. Washington Post. Saturday, April 17, 2004; Page A01
- Powell tried to talk Bush out of war, By Sarah Baxter. Times Online. July 8, 2007
- Rep. Kucinich introduces Bush impeachment resolution. Associated Press. June 9, 2008
- Kucinich introduces impeachment resolution. United Press International. June 9, 2008
- Judiciary Committee Should Move to Impeach Bush and Cheney, By Elizabeth Holtzman. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Sunday 27 January 2008