Man was I wrong. I even talked about reasons not to impeach on my radio show this morning. The reasons not to impeach go like this. We need to focus on one thing at a time. We need to focus on getting our troops out of Iraq. Also, because of the partisan atmosphere that Tom Delay and his gang created during the last impeachment (Clinton), we don’t need a repeat of that.
The argument that the president has over reached is true but I was unmoved. On the Bill Moyer’s Journal, John Nichols, from the Nation, and Bruce Fein, an adjunct scholar from the conservative American Enterprise Institute, discuss the pros for impeachment last night. It was Fein and not Nichols who convinced me that impeachment not only should be on the table but needs to be priority #1. In a nutshell, Nichols and Fein say that Cheney and Bush have thumbed their noses at the constitution. They have broken the law not just once but multiple times.
Here’s a short list of what Fein, a constitutional lawyer, believes are the offenses against the constitution and we, the people:
- Asserted Presidential power to create military commissions, which combine the functions of judge, jury, and prosecutor in the trial of war crimes.
- Claimed authority to detain American citizens as enemy combatants indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay on the President’s say-so alone.
- Initiated kidnappings, secret detentions, and torture in Eastern European prisons of suspected international terrorists.
- Championed a Presidential power to torture in contravention of federal statutes and treaties.
- Engineered the National Security Agency’s warrantless domestic surveillance program targeting American citizens on American soil in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
- Orchestrated the invocation of executive privilege to conceal from Congress secret spying programs to gather foreign intelligence, and their legal justifications.
- Summoned the privilege to refuse to disclose his consulting of business executives in conjunction with his Energy Task Force.
- Retaliated against Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame, through chief of staff Scooter Libby, for questioning the administration’s evidence of weapons of mass destruction as justification for invading Iraq.
John Nichols has an article on The Nation’s web site. Cheney’s Actions Put Impeachment on the Table. Nichols then goes on to state – “House Members are backing impeachment for a number of reasons, including anger with Cheney’s involvement with manipulations of intelligence regarding Iraq, illegal spying on Americans and the promotion of torture, as well his recent attempt to avoid scrutiny by claiming that the Office of the Vice President was not part of the executive branch. And then there was President Bush’s decision to commute the 30-month prison sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Cheney’s former chief of staff and co-conspirator in moves to punish former Ambassador Joe Wilson for exposing the deceptions that led to war.”
“The founders were very clear about the fact that abuses of the presidential authority to pardon or otherwise lift the burden of the law from subordinates was an impeachable offense. And a number of House members who take constitutional matters seriously have spoken up for impeachment since the commutation of Libby’s sentence.”
“As Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. said after Bush commuted the sentence of a former aide who could connect the dots outlining presidential and vice presidential wrongdoing, “In her first weeks as leader of the Congress, Speaker Nancy Pelosi withdrew the notion of impeachment proceedings against either President Bush or Vice President Cheney. With the president’s decision to once again subvert the legal process and the will of the American people by commuting the sentence of convicted felon Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, I call on House Democrats to reconsider impeachment proceedings.”
In summary, to save our Nation and our Constitution, we need to impeach Cheney and Bush. We have to point out that this is not a partisan witch hunt. There are very important issues at stake. For example – The president throwing executive privilege around like anyone who talks to him should never have to reveal anything about that conversation to Congress. Harriet Miers and Sara Taylor should be the first 2 people who should be held in contempt of Congress.
Congress has work to do to restore our great Democracy. Congress get to work!!!