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Bush impeachment hearings essential
by Jake Highton
Jul 19, 2008 | 683 views | 2 2 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There are too many idiots on this Earth.

—Frantz Fanon, “Black Skin, White Faces”

Among the idiots are President Bush, members of his enabling Congress and Americans who twice voted for him.

Bush, the worst president in U.S. history, is sponsoring wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are imperialistic, unilateral, illegal, immoral and unjustifed. They have not been declared by Congress.

Bush has given about 10 reasons for the Iraq war, all of them lies. What he has not said is the real reason: oil.

His colonialism was epitomized in a cartoon by Paul Conrad of the Los Angeles Times during the First Gulf War. It showed a GI sprawling on the sand saying to his buddy: “Do you think we’d be here if all the Middle East produced was broccoli?”

No less an authority than Alan Greenspan, former Republican chairman of the Federal Reserve, confessed in his memoir: “Everybody knows that the Iraq war is largely about oil.”

Dick Cheney, CEO of the energy behemoth Halliburton before he became vice president, told the oil industry: “By 2010 we will need on the order of an additional 50 million barrels a day … While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East, with two-thirds of the world’s oil … is still where the prize ultimately lies.”

The Geneva Conventions makes it illegal to invade other countries for their resources. But Bush violates the Constitution and the nation’s laws so international conventions mean nothing to him.

As for the so-called Democratic Congress, the leaders in the Senate, Harry Reid, and in the House, Nancy Pelosi, have been appalling. Both have cooperated in the Bush destruction of the Constitution.

Reid is a conservative at heart and Pelosi is gutless, beginning her feckless Speakership by declaring that impeachment is off the table.

It shouldn’t be. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio has the fight that Pelosi lacks. He first introduced 35 impeachment articles then narrowed it to one: falsifying reasons for invading Iraq,

Congress has no intention of removing Bush from office. Moreover, even people who hate Bush ask why bother because he has just six months left in office.

Because it is worth the bother. The “high crimes and misdemeanors” and war crimes of Bush should be embedded in history.

Impeachment hearings would hold King Bush accountable. They would provide a record of his great betrayal of American ideals. They would prove to be a valuable teach-in, educating the people about his usurpations.

The catalog of abuse of power by Bush is staggering: smashing international laws against torture; torture rendition; abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib; making Guantánamo a global symbol of injustice while adopting communist torture tactics; spying on American citizens; obstructing justice in the outing of a CIA agent; politicizing the misnamed Justice Department; destroying the credibility of federal agencies; and issuing signing statements that defy the will of Congress.

But the Congress too is the great betrayer of the Constitution, repeatedly capitulating to Bush, repeatedly passing laws to back the Bush positions.

Jonathan Turley, constitutional law professor at George Washington University, said the Framers “would have been astonished by the absolute passivity, if not the collusion” of the Democrats in protecting Bush.

Congress made a pact with the devil, funding the Afghanistan and Iraq wars for another year while pardoning telecommunication firms for crimes committed while spying.

Seymour Hersh, writing in the July 7 New Yorker, revealed another of the daily outrages of the Bush administration agreed to by Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress.

They authorized—in secret—$400,000 for a Presidential Finding to destablize the Iranian government. Hersh writes: “The Finding was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change. ”

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Prime Minister Mossedegh nationalized Iran’s oil so he was overthrown in 1953 by a CIA-engineered coup.

The limits of presidental power were spelled out by the Supreme Court in Youngstown Sheet and Tube v. Sawyer (1952). The court overturned President Truman’s seizure of steel plants to end a strike during the Korean War.

Justice Jackson, in a concurring opinion, said seizure “represents an exercise of authority without law.” The president should never be above the law.

Using the ersatz cover of executive power, Bush has done extensive damage to the sacred beliefs of America, worldwide opinion of the United States and democracy.

Jake Highton teaches journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
July 19, 2008
Impeachment hearings would have an intriguing effect on the campaign. It would completely upstage the campaign and the distraction would likely backfire on the Democrats in November. Impeachment didn't exactly help Republicans in 1998. A portion of the Democrats might like them, but I don't think they would play well with swing voters. Focus on the future, not the past.
July 19, 2008
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