America in Iraq; Bull in China Shop

BllChnShp

“Bull in China Shop” Art By Vic Roschkov [Canadian Editorial Cartoonist]

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

Americans are five years into a battle gone awry.  Citizens of the United States cry out, “too much blood has been spilled, too many lives and limbs were lost,” we the people want to, “Bring the troops home.”  Hence, Congress holds hearings.  The inquiry is intended to help define the future.  For many it is time to exit Iraq and end a futile war.  The people have questions; when and how will we complete a failed mission.  On April 8, 2008, the Senior Commander of multinational forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, American envoy to Baghdad, spoke to United states Senators and attempted to address the public’s concerns.

General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker described an Iraq torn and in turmoil.  Each official spoke of the significant, although still-tenuous political progress.  The civil servants assured the United States Senators, Iraq is more stable and secure than it was a mere seven months earlier.  However, they state improvement is “uneven.”  

Senators, who supposedly speak on behalf of the people, proposed there must be a plan.  Several said America needs to make a correction.  A few pronounced the course must be stayed.  All agreed; Americans must have a strategy if Iraq is to ever be a successful, sovereign nation.  These thoughts have been expressed for years, and little truly changes.  A near million [or more] innocent Iraqis have lost their lives and many millions more have no home.  For refugees and residents, employment is but a vision from eras long passed.  Electricity and essentials are not part of daily life.  Nonetheless, reports are progress has been made.

The rhetoric rises high up into the halls of the Capitol.  As the world listens, people cannot help but be reminded of a bull in a china shoppe.

In a boutique, filled with fragile leaded crystal, porcelain wares of superior quality, sumptuous silver, fine figurines, and cherished collectibles, a beast, unfamiliar with the etiquette or elegance in this setting, enters and effectively destroys what once was beautiful.  

Initially, the bovine is attracted to the glimmers of light.  Refracted beams glow as the bull observes the glorious finery.  The shiny surfaces are hypnotic for the animal.  In a stupor, the bull moves towards what attracts him.

The bovine is as Americans.  Citizens of this country are drawn to the radiance of black gold.  Those who depend on petroleum products are mesmerized when they think of a place where the supply seems as endless as their demand.  People who  profit from the sale of fuel are also charmed.  Indeed, those who have the means are more enamored.  The oil-rich know that they can profit from the sale of the substance.  Two of these tycoons work in the White house.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are the biggest bulls man has seen for some time.  These leaders of the herd were spellbound as they gazed upon fields of oil.  Moneyed moguls who work within the Executive Branch of government led the herd into a crystal palace, or a nation State known as Iraq.  

The two oilmen elected to office, bullies that they are, had smiled at the mere mention of Texas Tea in the fields of Iraq long before they ever claimed to have reason to invade the symbolic china shoppe.  The aggressive cattle, also known as the Bush Administration, may have appeared clumsy in their calculations.  However, these cows planned their entrance into the specialty store.  The tycoons expected to shock the shopkeepers, and awe their fellow Americans.  The bulls thought they would quickly clean up the mess they made.  Then, they would exit triumphantly with treasures in hand.  The bovine projected that they would accomplish their mission just as suddenly as they crossed the threshold.

However, the livestock did not understand; boutique proprietors and patrons might not welcome the destruction of valuable property.  

Raging bulls rarely contemplate how a perilous circumstance would effect any sane storeowner, shopper, or sovereign nation.  A charging bovine does not comprehend why the clientele within the walls of the shop, or civilians within the confines of a country’s borders does not greet the charging creature with rose petals and open arms.  

Again, we are reminded of an American Administration and the prospects the leaders of the herd envisioned as they proposed the United States and its allies attack Iraq.  

The bulls, President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, and then Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice did not consider the culture, the civilization, or the fact that every being has the right to choose independence or his or her leaders.  Nor did the creatures who replaced a few of those in the corral.  Future leaders of the herd were as blinded by the light of power as the previous beefy bulls were.

The cattle now labeled the Cabinet, are no more conscious of what occurs when you purposely break the treasures of others than the earlier group of mammals was.

Hence, the axiom framed by the former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, cattle extraordinaire continues to guide Americans, “If you broke it, you must fix it.”

Indeed, the awkward, unaware animals busted the bone china, crushed the crystal, smashed the silverware, and flattened the figurines, and they continue to do so.  

Fortunately, these bulls have money; although admittedly they beg, borrow, steal, or print the dollars and cents used to fund a futile attempt to fix the country they fractured.  Regrettably, the beasts of burden do not realize they cannot repair what has never made sense to them.  The bulls cannot restore health to a shop that was not fashioned in a style they are familiar with.  Few of these creatures reflect on the wisdom of a physicist, the genius of a man who studied the scientific principles of matter, energy, force, and motion.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

~ Albert Einstein


What the bulls believe is best is send in the young.  Calves trained to act as the bigger beasts did and do, now crash into china shop doors and obliterate the fragile finery that is, or once was life in Iraq.  Generals and Ambassador, similar to the elders in a herd, gather the broken glass.  They collect the cattle in one locale or another.  The emissaries, just as the leaders in a pack, attempt to repair relations with proprietors and the public.  

However, these persons also approach those in the Persian Gulf as the Commander-In-Chief did and does.  To the people in Iraq a bull is a bull is a bull.

None of the livestock fully understand as long as they occupy the shop, more treasures  will be trampled.  The merchant wants no missionaries, or mammals to demolish what for him was his own.  Nor does the retailer appreciate a brutal beast in his shop or State.  The Iraqi citizens, just as customers in the shattered shoppe do not crave advise from cruel cattle.  “Correct” information from a bull who demolishes all creature comforts, seems contrary to those who have been terrorized by out of control cows for too long.

Information is not knowledge.

~ Albert Einstein

Money will not mend what was shattered and what will be razed as long as the bulls reside in country.  Yet, the bulls bellow that they cannot continue to finance the destruction they have done and do.  Cattle exclaim too much cash has gone to cracked crystal.  Senator Clinton, who aspires to be the Lead of the American beasts explains, “We simply cannot give the Iraqi government an endless blank check.  The question might be asked, why not.  

The cattle found the dollars to destroy as they desired.  Why might the Lead bulls and those who wish to have the title of Cattle Commander-In-Chief believe they have the resources to remain in the shoppe, with the promise to be less visible and destructive; yet, the bovine does not have greenbacks available for repair or recompense.

Might the bovines consider as long as Americans stay in the boutique and break the bone china, we owe the proprietor reparations.  We bulls cannot ever fully compensate for what we caused.  The only way we, “the American people,” can clean up the mess we allowed our herd to make is to leave now, with sincere sorrow, and issue a blank check as a meager attempt to pay for the horrors we have wrought.

We cannot turn back the clock; nor are we able to replace the antique vases, or extraordinary entities once titled Mom, Dad, son, daughter, friend, or family.  Bovine blunders and bungles will not provide property owners and patrons to live their lives free of fear and further folly.  Perchance the adage bulls might adopt is, “If you break it; you pay for it and then, please, immediately leave the premises.”

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

~ Albert Einstein

Sources and the Reality of Americans in Iraq; Bull in China Shop . . .

Vice President Dick Cheney Defines Fallen Soldiers; Volunteers For Death



Cheney the man who cares

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

In a “glowing” statement, perhaps meant to glorify the horrific deaths of the soldiers slain in Iraq, Vice President Dick Cheney offered, “I think it’s a reminder of the extent to which we are blessed with families who’ve sacrificed as they have.”  The man who, in his youth sought five deferments in order to avoid service during the Vietnam War, went on to state, “A lot of men and women sign up because sometimes they will see developments.” Richard B. Cheney helps us to recall the terror Americans felt as they witnessed the Twin Towers fall on September 11, 2001.  He explains, this event and the thought of a terrorist threat “stimulated a lot of folks to volunteer for the military because they wanted to be involved in defending the country.”  “The thing that comes through loud and clear is how much they are committed to the cause, to doing what needs to be done to defend the nation,” Cheney proclaimed.  Yet, citizens cognizant of the reasons for a possible rise in recruitment remember more than a moment that changed the course of life for many young men and women.

Promises made by this Administration were ample.  The pledge to protect and defend was the battle cry in the States.  Those whose parents sacrificed to secure a life in America believed, to serve in the Armed Forces would be an honor.  Jesus Suarez was one of many immigrants who felt a need to fulfill a commitment to his homeland, past and present.

Yo Soy el Army

If you’re an immigrant, at least Uncle Sam wants you

By Deborah Davis

Metro Active

September 19, 2007

JESUS was an easy mark for the recruiter.  He was a boy who fantasized that by joining the powerful, heroic U.S. Marines, he could help his own country fight drug lords.  He gave the recruiter his address and phone number in Mexico, and the recruiter called him twice a week for the next two years until he had talked Jesus into convincing his parents to move to California.

Fernando and Rose Suarez sold their home and their laundry business and immigrated with their children.  Jesus enrolled at a high school known for academic achievement.  But the recruiter wanted him to transfer to a school for problem teenagers, since its requirements for graduation were lower, and Jesus would be able to finish sooner.  He was 17 1/2 when he graduated from that school, still too young to enlist on his own, so his father co-signed the enlistment form, as the military requires for underage recruits.

Three years later, at the age of 20, his body was torn apart in Iraq by an American-made fragmentation grenade during the first week of the invasion.  In the Pentagon’s official Iraq casualty database, his death is number 74.  Now Jesus is in a cemetery, and his parents, who blame each other for his death, are painfully and bitterly divorced.

We might inquire, was Jesus a volunteer or a victim of rabid recruiters?  Are émigrés dedicated to a cause, devoted to a country, or obligated to enlist.  Perhaps, fantasy fashioned Jesus’ faith in a military system gone awry.

In the Iraq war, citizenship is being used as a recruiting tool aimed specifically at young immigrants, who are told that by enlisting they will be able to quickly get citizenship for themselves (sometimes true: it depends on what the Immigration and Customs Enforcement branch of the Department of Homeland Security finds) and their entire families (not true: each family member has to go through a separate application process).  Nevertheless, with the political pressures on Latino families growing daily under this administration, many young Latinos are unable to resist the offer, which immigrants’ rights activists see as blatant exploitation of a vulnerable population.

The number of immigrants who fight or fought for personal freedom is high.  The statistics suggests those who were not born in this country do battle for the United States.  Some are invited to come to the States, as Jesus Suarez was.  Others, with Green Card in hand, realize the rights of citizenship are easily acquired if or when an individual joins the Armed Forces.

About 70,000 foreign-born men and women serve in the U.S. armed forces, or about 5 percent of the total active-duty force, according to the Pentagon.  Of those, nearly 30,000 — or about 43 percent — are not U.S. citizens.

Aware of the toll the war takes on recruitment, many Americans ponder the possibilities.  Might the United States government allow persons in America without papers to join?  If people will not volunteer, bribe them.  Millions in this country and across the borders are victims of need.  

The Bush Administration thought an Army of recruited refugees a fine idea.  Thus, they encouraged Congress to pass an immigration Bill that would provide citizenship for those in need.  The contingency, people without official papers must serve this country in order to receive vital documents.

Immigration bill offers a military path to US dream

By Bryan Bender

Boston Globe Staff

June 16, 2007

Washington — A little-noticed provision in the proposed immigration bill would grant instant legal status and ultimately full citizenship to illegal immigrants if they enlist in the US military, an idea the Pentagon and military analysts say would boost the Pentagon’s flagging efforts to find and recruit qualified soldiers.

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, is part of the stalled package of proposals that many in Congress are seeking to resurrect.  The proposal, applicable to an estimated 750,000 undocumented residents of military age, stipulates that those who arrived in the United States before age 16, graduated from high school, and meet other qualifications could immediately enter the path to citizenship in exchange for at least two years’ service in the armed forces.

Though the overall immigration bill was sidetracked earlier this month amid bitter infighting, the prospect of using military service as one pathway to citizenship appeals both to lawmakers who side with immigration rights advocates and those who want tougher immigration laws and tighter borders.

Military service for undocumented did not disturb those in the House or the Senate.  Other issues were of great concern.  There seems to be agreement; those from abroad could serve this country well.  Immigrants want to come to our shores; so let them travel to America, conditionally.  If a non-native is killed in battle, so be it.  The Administration will say, the fallen foreign-born volunteered.  The rationale is all the Armed Forces are free to join, liberated to die.  The question is, “Are those who sign up volunteers or people paid to perform at the pleasure of the President and Vice President Cheney?”  Immigrants who fight for America may be fatalities of faith.

Children, born and raised in this country, also trust.  They are understandably convinced the cost of living in America is great.  Education is expensive.  Many young lads and lasses are lured by promises of “money for college.”  In an era when the cost of education accounts for countless debts, any assurance can calm the nerves of those anxious to create a better life for themselves.  Consider the plight of the young and poor who know, only a college degree can take them away from a world filled with woe.  This was true during the first Persian Gulf War and remains valid today.  Many military “sign ups” are casualties of the sum charged to attend college.

GI Blues

Military recruiters promise ‘money for college,’ but recent veterans find that tuition benefits fall short

By Elizabeth F. Farell

The Chronicle of Higher Education

May 13, 2005

Cheyne Worley graduated from high school at age 16 in 1985 and spent about a year and a half pumping gas and bagging groceries before deciding it was time to get on with his life.  Signing up for the Army seemed like the best option — not only would he keep his family’s tradition of military service alive (his grandfather, father, and uncle had all served), but a recruiter’s promise of money for college made enlistment a no-brainer. . . .

The promise of easing the financial burden of higher education is a recruiter’s most effective selling point.  According to a 2004 survey conducted by GfK Custom Research, an independent research firm, “money for college” is the leading reason civilians enlist, even as the war in Iraq makes more young people skittish about committing to military service.

The tuition perk offered as part of the Montgomery GI Bill, passed in 1984, has become even more important during the past year, as the military has attempted to reverse declining enlistment numbers by increasing its recruiting staff and its efforts to sign up high-school students.  The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has also given recruiters more opportunities to reach young people, allowing them access to home phone numbers and addresses of high-school students and the same visiting privileges at secondary schools as college or job recruiters.

And the pitch military representatives make on those campuses sounds good.  In exchange for having $1,200 withheld from their first-year military salaries, active-duty soldiers become eligible after completing their enlistment term (three years, on average) for up to $36,144 toward their education expenses.  (Those who pay in an additional $600 receive $5,400 more toward their education.)

But the benefit covers only about 60 percent of the average cost of college, according to the College Board’s estimates.

If a potential enlistee learns of the promises not kept, there is another appeal to be made.  For those adventurous at heart, the military may seem a free ride to travel.  The opportunity to flee from a life filled with trouble.  For a few, those who volunteer for tour after tour, the trauma evident on the field was not part of their truth initially.  When it is, they conclude it is time to return home.  Yet, when faced with a reality that is far from the fantasy of wedded bliss, or a better job, they retreat to what is familiar.  Please ruminate over the role the military plays in the life of Jake Holland.

Iraq Diary: Why Jake Volunteered for a Third Tour

Signing back up for Iraq was a way to deal with the boredom, and the pain.  Yeah, he had met a woman on Yahoo personals.  And things were starting to look serious.  But Holland needed to go.  “It allowed me to get away from home for a while, kinda wrap my head around sh*t.  I know it sounds funny, but that’s the way it was,” he says.  “I needed to do this.”

The money was nice, too.  “Another factor – I’ m not going to lie to you – as was $50,000 tax-free dollars.  Lump sum.  Here you go.  Have it,” Holland says.  For a former Indiana farm boy, whose favorite meal growing up was “fried squirrel and milk gravy,” that was a serious haul.  “It took care of all my bills inherited from the divorce.  An F-250 pickup, paid for.  And quite a bit of savings.”

Plus, a good chunk of Holland’s first tour had been spent behind a desk, playing dispatcher to bomb disposal teams.  “I’d take a nine-line [form for describing a bomb site], hand it to the guys, who would go get shot at.  That wore on me worse than anything.  Worse than going out the gate,” he says, using military slang for the base’s walls.

But there was action waiting for him, back in Baghdad, with the 754th EOD company.  Snipers took shots at his head.  Bombs went off around his armored vehicle, crushing the windows.  One day, he got rid of eight improvised bombs and three unused explosives.  On another, a soldier’s head pretty much crumbled in front of him.  “They’re blowing stuff up like it’s cool,” he IM’ed me.  The worst was the bomb that went off at a West Baghdad power station: a rigged-up dump truck that disintegrated four Humvees, charred the earth, and threw up a blast that could be seen for ten miles around.

It was “overwhelming” enough to make Holland think about giving Iraq a rest.

However, while not committed to the cause Vice President Cheney cited, Jake Holland seems devoted to finding a deliverance from the “evil” that he experiences is his life back home.  Holland volunteered to fight for freedom; his own.  Jake suffered.  Unlike many of the troops who feel the Administration let them down or deceived them, for Jake, a potential peace in his personal life can be more attractive that the supposed tranquility of the streets of America.  Jake Holland did not feel a sense of harmony when at home.  For him the fight in Iraq was a flight to freedom.  In the Armed Forces, he had friends he felt more loyal to than those in the States.  Another serviceman may speak for more than the few.  

One soldier, speaking under condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said, “I don’t think that the American public realizes just how many soldiers and service members in general really do have reservations about what is going on over there … “

Tis true.  Those who serve this country have much to say of the realities that threaten their lives.  The truth is, in the minds of many a soldier, the Bush Administration may be considered a greater menace than the combatants in the Middle East.  Poor plans and promises not kept aside, a total disregard for necessary training endangers the troops more so than an improvised explosive device might.  A bomb can only do you in once; the  lack of instruction can destroy a military man or woman daily.

Schreck, a soldier from CT, January 23, 2005: “If there is one thing that has always stood out in my head during my deployment it was when we were told ‘The Army will never put you in a losing situation.’  At this point of my deployment, that statement could not be further from the truth.  Not only were our vehicles in an unserviceable condition, we were also putting the unit whom we were escorting at risk.”

Awbalth, a soldier from CA, October 20, 2004: “The thing we needed most in Iraq wasn’t bullets, body armor, cash, air conditioning, hot chow, or armored vehicles, although we were short on all of these things; the thing we really needed the most was training and preparation.

We had no or very little training on urban combat tactics, raids to detain or kill targeted individuals, collecting, reporting, analyzing, and using human intelligence, developing sources of information, using interpreters, bomb/unexploded ordinance detection and disposal, handling of detainees, questioning detainees, use of non-lethal force, cordon and search operations, and riot control.  This lack of training has caused the deaths of untold numbers of soldiers and Iraqis.”

While some servicemen and women may speak of what they needed publicly, most will not voice their deepest concerns.  Soldiers share stresses with each other, and on occasion with family.  At times, Mom’s and Dad’s are the voice of volunteers who are no longer in awe of the Armed Forces they willingly joined.  Nancy Lessin addresses concerns common among the troops.  She mourns for what her stepson Joe, a Marine, did not realize.  Joe was deployed in 2002.

“Our loved ones took an oath to defend this country and our Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.  But there is a commitment our government makes to our troops in return: that it will not send our young men and women in uniform into reckless misadventures that put them at risk needlessly.

This is the part of the bargain that has been broken.

Yes, war is hell; but this is something else, and our loved ones and all our troops have been betrayed. We were all betrayed by this administration when it cited a litany of reasons for invading Iraq that shifted like desert sands and seemed to be based upon quicksand . . .

We were betrayed by a lack of planning-active military and their families are now dealing with back-to-back two-year deployments, announced a few weeks ago. And today National Guard and reservists and their families are reeling from the news about their tours of duty being extended. And yes, there is a problem with troops being short on water, short on food, short on supplies and short on equipment. This morning we received an email from a mother whose son is in Iraq. The email read:

“Our soldiers have been killed because there were not enough Kevlar vests to go around. One of my son’s friends was shot in the back in Fallujah and two of his platoon members were killed in an ambush in May because they only had 30 vests for 120 men. No one at his checkpoint had a vest, thus nine people were injured.”

Sad as all this seems, apparently, what the soldiers and their families experience is nothing in comparison to the weight the President of the United States carries, according to Vice President, Dick Cheney.  In the now illustrious interview with Martha Raddatz, Dick Cheney reminded Americans, the truest victim of this fateful war is George W. Bush.  The Commander-In-Chief did not volunteer for the onerous path he has been forced to travel.

“The president carries the biggest burden, obviously,” Cheney said. “He’s the one who has to make the decision to commit young Americans. . . .”

One can only wonder, did George W. Bush act voluntarily or was he too, in truth, a victim of circumstances.  Did George W. Bush expect to fulfill a fantasy, as Jesus Suarez did.  Might the President have presumed war would be the answer to what ailed him? Could the Chief Officer have been bored as Jake Holland was.  What drove the man in the Oval Office to make such a seriously flawed determination.  Was a need satisfied when the President sent troops to their death, or was fate the cause for his charitable engagement?  Pray tell Dick Cheney.  Certainly, your worldview is most definitive.



“Soldiers Speak Out” Trailer

Volunteer Forces and Resources . . .

Wexler, Gutierrez, Baldwin, Kucinich, and the People Call For Cheney Censure



Rep. Wexler Wants Cheney Impeachment Hearings

copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

May I offer my sincerest gratitude to Representatives, Robert Wexler, Luis Gutierrez, and Tammy Baldwin.  These glorious members of the House Judiciary Committee, recently raised the volume on the issue of impeachment for Vice President Cheney.  The three invite us, the average citizen, to join them.  Please express your distress; sign the petition.  Call for Hearings. Without you the Vice President will continue to avoid an official and necessary censure.

Please sign the petition. Join Congressman Wexler’s Call For Cheney impeachment Hearings.

Please do not stop there.  Americans have seen what occurs when we are complacent.  For too long Congressman Dennis Kucinich spoke of what many thought obvious, and only a few listened.  

Throughout his term, Vice President, Richard B. Cheney acted on questionable  information.  He made decisions that many considered problematic.  Cheney “may” have committed numerous “high crimes and misdemeanors.”  However, no matter how many millions of Americans joined in the call to censure, the cry was hushed.  The mainstream media barely and rarely spoke of the measure.  Only a scant number of Representatives endorsed House Resolution 333, submitted by the Representative from Ohio.

As House leaders sat silent, Vice President Cheney continued to violate the doctrine known as the United States Constitution.  He did so without charge or challenge.  

For years, Richard B. Cheney declared the Executive Branch has “supreme” power.  Many scoffed; however, Congress initiated no formal action.  The Vice President did not stop doing as he pleased.  Complaints from the House and the Senate mounted; yet, Cheney remained safe from censure.

It seemed the Vice President’s skin, and his contempt for law, were impenetrable.  Richard B. Cheney refused and rebuffs accountability.

The Vice President prefers aggression and plans attacks against other Nation States.  Until now Congress, and the American people stood by.  Finally, the tide may have turned.  

Each day, Americans and Legislators discover much occurred within the White House walls over the last seven years.  We are increasingly certain the Vice President acted with dubious authority.  The more we learn, the more we realize a need to impeach Richard B. Cheney.  Representatives and House Judiciary Committee Members Robert Wexler, Luis Gutierrez, Tammy Baldwin, and the cyberspace community have stated their extreme concern.  However, just as Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich realized during his campaign to hold Cheney accountable, the media would rather not address this state of affairs.

If we the people are to be served, if we are to honor the rights afforded us by the United States Constitution, we must do more than wait for Congress to act.  Our signature on a petition will not be enough to convince a reluctant House Speaker that it is time to embrace this cause.  I invite you to submit a Letter to the Editor of any and every newspaper.  For Representative Wexler alone, although he tried, cannot create the news storm necessary for impeachment.

I offer my own submission for your review.  Please request coverage.  Ask Journalist nationwide to report on more than this Administration wants us to hear.  I thank you for all that you are and all that you do.

If you wish to use my letter, without the links and signature, I offer a Portable Document Format [pdf] version.

  • Letter to the Editor, Call to Cover Cheney Impeachment Hearings.

  • Dearest Editorial Staff . . .

    I am aware of a troublesome campaign to ignore the call to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney.  I write to express my distress and to request coverage.

    On Florida Progressive Radio, Representative Robert Wexler spoke of what he and his colleagues experienced when they submitted an Op-Ed essay on the topic.  The major print media outlets did not publish this important treatise on impeachment.  The message was not muffled; it was ostensibly silenced.

    The mainstream media acted as though an investigation into the practices within the Oval Office, or the Office of the Vice President, were permanently “off the table.”  No matter the outcry from the masses, the media continues to dismiss the call.  

    Auspiciously, after the news organizations cast the cry for censure aside, Representative Wexler turned to the public.  The cyberspace community connected to the memorandum the Congressman and his colleagues wrote.  Those that surf the Web not only endorsed the crucial communication, Internet users garnered greater support for the proposition.  An ambitious online effort heralded the need for immediate impeachment hearings.  Within a short time, more than a hundred thousand signers stated they were in favor of a move to censure Vice President Dick Cheney.  

    Constitutional scholars have warned us.  The precedent we set when we overlook what an arrogant Administration does will forever damage our nation.  If Americans do not uphold democratic principles, we weaken our Constitution.

    For too long, Presidential aspirant Dennis Kucinich has been a lone Congressional voice.  On more than one occasion, Kucinich spoke of the need to censure Vice President Cheney.  In November 2007, Representative Kucinich presented a Privileged Motion on the floor of the House.  Even that bold overture received little press.  

    Nonetheless, some of his fellow Representatives considered the possibility.  With the introduction of new evidence, three prominent Representatives felt as though they too had reason to move forward with an investigation and hearings.  

    Representatives Robert Wexler (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), all Members of the House Judiciary Committee, considered the novel revelation offered by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.  The Vice President and his staff purposefully gave then Press Secretary McClellan false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson, a covert Central Intelligence agent.  Dick Cheney and his team intentionally chose to release erroneous reports to the American people.  This realization prompted the newly stated and amplified concern for impeachment.  

    Only after much protest from readers did the Miami Herald print an edited version of the original letter from the Representatives.  However, it seems that Florida publication and all other periodicals are happy to leave the issue behind.  We, the people are not willing to remain silent.

    The need to impeach is imperative.  I implore you.  I invite your newspaper to truly inform Americans.  Rather than encourage apathy, please tell the people, print, more than the White House wants us to know.

    Sincerely . . .

    Betsy L. Angert

    Florida

    Dear friends, family, and familiars; I thank you all for your interest and participation in the process.  On behalf of Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Representatives, Robert Wexler, Luis Gutierrez, Tammy Baldwin, our country, and the Constitution may I extend my deepest appreciation for your thoughts, words, and deeds.  We can only hope that United, America will peacefully stand strong again.  We cannot know unless and until we begin to censure those that fight against us.  We are one, or were, the United States of America, a democratic nation, of, by, and for the people.  Together we can take our country back.

    References and Resources in Support of Impeachment Hearings . . .