Time to put impeachment back on the table

Joe Biden said it recently about bombing Iran and impeachment. Hell, some loudmouth said it back in February as well. But we can’t afford to wait for the smoking gun about whether we will bomb Iran to be the mushroom cloud over Iran, right?

Noted terrorist loving communist far left radicals such as Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan are calling for hearings into who knew what and when. And frankly, we know that there was highly questionable behavior with respect to the “when”.

We know that there were thinly veiled threats about avoiding World War III and Iran having the knowledge to make nukes by Mister Bush at a time when he most likely knew (or should have known, and someone was deliberately keeping that information from him). We know that the White House still isn’t coming clean, as they demanded that Iran do. We just found out that Israel may have known about this for more than a month before Bush claimed he knew about it.

And now that this NIE contains information that isn’t all too pleasing to Cheney, Bush, John Bolton or the other neocon warmongers, let’s remember what Cheney said back in 2003 about the 2002 NIE that he had changed:

Last October, the Director of Central Intelligence issued a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's Continuing Programs of Weapons of Mass Destruction. That document contained the consensus judgments of the intelligence community, based upon the best information available about the Iraqi threat. The NIE declared -- quote: "We judge that Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction program, in defiance of UN Resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons, as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions. If left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade." End quote.

Those charged with the security of this nation could not read such an assessment and pretend that it did not exist. Ignoring such information, or trying to wish it away, would be irresponsible in the extreme. And our President did not ignore that information - he faced it. He sought to eliminate the threat by peaceful, diplomatic means and, when all else failed, he acted forcefully to remove the danger.

And certainly, the White House defended its’ reliance on the 2002 NIE on numerous occasions (of course there is plenty written about Cheney pressuring the CIA and intelligence community in 2002 for an NIE that was ultimately changed).

So here we are again. There is something very wrong going on here. There was a deliberate use of the words “World War III”, “Iran” and “nuclear weapons” in the same sentence. There is more documented evidence coming out, and more people are stepping forward contradicting Bush, Cheney or some of their war drum banging cohorts. There is an intent to deceive the public regarding whether Iran is a threat, how big of a threat it is, who they are a threat to and why they are such a big threat.

There is no coalition-of-the-anything now except for a coalition of countries who are laughing at us for the predicament that we have let our “leaders” get us into and who scoff at anything that our “leaders” say due to a complete lack of credibility. There will be no more sanctions. There will be no more trust in Bush, Cheney or anyone else from Russia, China, Germany or the other major UN countries.

Congress was pretty complicit, at least by turning the other cheek in 2003 – 2006 as first their own party leaders in the administration and then this past year with the opposition party leaders in the executive branch regarding Iraq, illegal wiretapping, deleted emails, ignoring subpoenas or whatever other crimes this administration may have committed in the past.

And somehow, Congress is yet again given a chance to redeem itself for shirking its responsibility so many times over the past six years with these new developments. Crimes may very well have been committed. Illegal pressure may yet again have been put on the intelligence community by members of the executive branch. There certainly was a campaign to obfuscate and distort the truth – over and above the general “guilt by association” language used so often in the run up to Iraq about Saddam, al Qaeda and 9/11.

On top of all that, it is looking increasingly clear that people at the highest levels of this government (once again) knew one thing and deliberately said another. This country deserves to know if impeachable offenses were committed by Bush, Cheney or anyone else.

Scarborough and Buchanan are right. Investigations are warranted. I know that Rep. Conyers is up for the challenge. I know that he, and a good number of other very fine patriots in the House, knows what is at stake. It’s time to see what happened, who knew what, when they knew it, and whether they deliberately hid it from others that should have known or deliberately tried to conceal it from and deceive the public.

And that means that impeachment can be off the table no longer.

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If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. ~ George Carlin

Although in July, the view of the American public was fairly evenly split on the desirability of impeaching Bush, this may not be so now. Even if opinion has become more favourable towards the idea, as more and more is beginning to be revealed about Bush's administration, this desire to see him indicted may not be sustained over the length of the impeachment process.

This is particularly so at a time that the attention of the public turns towards the Primaries and the certainty of a new president at last is more tangibly in sight.

The possible reaction against impeachment has always been problematic for Democrats - they saw how it did nothing to reduce Bill Clinton's popularity and deny him a second term. It remains so and I do not think that any of the Democratic presidential candidates would welcome the risk that might be involved from a backlash occurring if their party was successful in overturning the solid arithmetic in Congress that has prevented impeachment from happening.

Those of us who experienced the shock of your country over Nixon - and the shock of your country over Vietnam - know that its first instinct is to bury such embarrassments, even if they remain deep in its psyche. There is no reason to feel it will be any different this time and that the electorate will not award votes to those who remind them of the perfidious nature of the last eight years. It would be a very dangerous strategy in what appears may be a very close election in twelve months time.

Indeed, impeaching Bush would enable the public to view the disaster as being his responsibility and, as with Nixon, allow them to ignore much deeper fault lines in their society and operation of their political system.

Even the hope that impeachment would end the Iraq war more quickly is now time expired as a justification. It will not happen at least until a new president is now installed.

The reaction on our sites that supports impeachment arises from and is made possible by the painstaking and often frustrating investigations that have been taking place in Congressional committees, the media and, yes, the blogs. It is these investigations that should be supported and encouraged. It is their work that will be noticed by the electorate and these revelations will increase as an end of term White House becomes less able to control its information and hide its past actions.

Apart from all the above reasons for not now impeaching at this late stage, however, there is one over riding one. It is not Bush that should now be the target for liberals. It is the ideology of the Right that is responsible for the misdemeanours that should have led to impeachment. More importantly, it is an ideology still evident in the GOP presidential candidates today.

It is they who should be the subject of attack. Bush is becoming increasingly a spent force and no more than a distraction if he remains the centre of our attention that would be a consequence of his impeachment now.

America and its allies would gain most from a thorough, non-emotional, hard and honest look at what has occurred over the last few years. If Bush were to be impeached he would simply be a Paris Hilton circus for a few months, when what we need is serious, long-term searching deep into the souls of our countries, not of just one of its citizens.

but this is something that is happening now in real time. I mentioned in a diary the other day that I can almost get behind Pelosi's reasoning for not pursuing impeachment this year for things about Plame or Iraq since that was old.

But Iran lies and actions are happening now, and there are too many inconsistencies (and similarities to the run up to Iraq) to not even have hearings.