Of Lawyers, Guns and Money: GOP DOJ Guts Justice for All [REPOST from 2007]

Originally posted on the old Scoop site on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 07:06:45 AM EST. No information within is changed or updated -- there is a section specifically related to the GAO "Report Retort" that rba mentions. I thought it was worth pulling this back up to remind folks of what we were seeing even before the GAO report came out.

1978 -- that was the year that President Jimmy Carter accomplished one of the major achievements of his presidency: the Camp David Accords. Interestingly enough, the final week of the historic talks began on September 11th. The accords brought a degree of peace to the Middle East, unlike the events of that same fateful day twenty-three years later.

1978 also brought about the release of Warren Zevon's album "Excitable Boy," which contained the track "Lawyers, Guns and Money."

Back then, nobody could've anticipated the dark shadows gathering ahead for the nation in the form of an ever-corruptible GOP and a DOJ run amok.  Now, I can almost hear George W. Bush calling out to his father...

Send lawyers, guns and money
Dad, get me out of this

:: ::


The past six years of the George W. Bush presidency has brought into sharp focus the dangerous imbalance of power and corruption in the hands of neoconservatives and the Republican Party. The malfeasance has reached new, terrifying depths within the inner workings of our national government, affecting the FBI, the Department of Justice and our federal court system to a degree that meets or exceeds the worst of the McCarthy years and Watergate era combined.

We have not only watched as the Executive Branch seized an unprecedented amount of power without any Congressional oversight and no accountability, we have also noted the erosion of serious Constitutional rights and freedoms through the use and misapplication of Unitary Executive theory, extremely narrow interpretations of Constitutional law and highly partisan cover by big business and Republican political appointees. The overwhelming "thumpin'" that the Republican party received in the 2006 elections signaled that the nation as a whole has had enough; it was time to pull the plug and drain the festering swamp that was drowning our nation.

The Republicans reacted as one would expect a child to react when caught with both hands and feet in the cookie jar: they freaked. While it appears that Dick Cheney quietly retained the services of an industrial paper shredding service, others lawyered up while promising a cataclysmic fight to the death over any investigations regardless of whether they received any subpoenas.

In spite of all this, the investigations have begun, and continue. The Plame Affair has unveiled senior White House involvement in both the leaking and cover-up of a serious breach of National Security for the dual purpose of protecting an illegal war while punishing political opponents. The fiasco known as the Iraq War marches on, with serious failures by the Republican leadership to support the troops both at home and abroad coming to light amid stories of rampant abuse by corrupt contractors. Investigations into the Iraq debacle have culminated in the exposure of a wounded Veterans' Administration that has been hobbled by decreased budgets, increased incompetence and ill-conceived outsourcing. Other investigations have also revealed repeated violations and abuse by the FBI and its Department of Justice parent of the already-vast powers granted in the Patriot Act. Still more investigations have been initiated at the unprecedented mid-term removal ("massacre") of up to eight or more U.S. Attorneys -- an action that focused a spotlight on a particularly insidious political game that is only now revealing the true extent of the corruption and treachery that taken root at the very core of the American system of government. The long-dominant Republican party, now led by neoconservative zealots who control the White House, has ultimately proven out that long-held proviso, "absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Here's a thumbnail sketch of the twisted interplay of the GOP, the White House and the Department of Justice along the lines of lawyers, guns and money.

Lawyers

One of the most damning investigations of the Bush/Gonzales "Justice" Department began when a spate of firings came to light. An additional revelation of how up to fourteen acting or interim attorneys who were never officially nominated by the President could now -- thanks to the March 2006 reauthorization of the Patriot Act -- serve indefinitely added fuel to the ire of Congressional investigators, bloggers and the traditional media. What we know so far isn't pretty:

  1. Firings were politically -- and possibly criminally (as in "obstruction" and "interfering") -- motivated.
  2. Fired Attorneys generally didn't toe the line; caught too many Republicans, or didn't dwell on WH-preferred cases
  3. Freed up positions were slotted for fill-up directly, bypassing the Congressional approval process
  4. Replacements were political, to shore up their resumes and groom them for judgeships or other special purposes
  5. List approval -- and perhaps even compilation -- was made from the top -- the Bush White House, and their associated minions.

The careful, deliberate replacements and inadequately explained justifications highlight the severe damage to the appointment process, politicizing it in a manner never before possible.

The "Attorney Massacre" isn't the only example of corruption within the Gonzales Department of Justice; it's simply one of the most overt. Some of the premier changes have been far more subtle, and dangerously more insidious. Two articles in the past nine months provided our first look inside:

Both articles depicted the disturbing trend, begun under the tenure of John Ashcroft, to select a more distinctly conservative crop of lawyers. Nearly all candidates selected for employment had some of the following characteristics:

  1. Worked on a Clinton scandal (Whitewater, the Kenneth Starr investigation, or the impeachment)

  2. Work in Florida on the election process that resulted in Bush's selection in 2000

  3. Associated with or past work with extreme right-wing religious organizations or membership/participation in ultra-conservative organizations or assignments (membership in the Federalist Society, or clerking assignments with judges like Antonin Scalia and Michael Luttig) (hat-tip Chris White)

One of the most subtle changes made by Ashcroft, however, went unnoticed. Through information obtained from a ten-year veteran of the Department of Justice, we've learned that the list of preferred schools from which new talent should be selected was changed to reflect Ashcroft's vision of making the USDOJ "more like America." The revised list was accompanied by an announcement by Ashcroft that future hires would no longer come from ivy-league universities, but instead from other schools like Bob Jones University. (That was, according to our source, the only school mentioned by name as a viable alternative.) Schools like Georgetown and Harvard would no longer be the first pick.

It's a change that wouldn't garner much notice, but could have a major impact over time.

(Note: We would appreciate additional information and confirmation of this, preferably in the form of any emails or a physical copy of the preferred schools list. If you have additional information that can help us investigate further and can substantiate whether this policy lasted beyond Ashcroft, send a note to leads@epluribusmedia.org. Thank you.)

Guns

In May of 2002, PBS Frontline ran a story about international arms dealer Jean Bernard Lasnaud. It appears that both Interpol and Argentinean prosecutors actively sought Mr. Lasnaud in connection with a massive illegal arms trafficking case.

He had a website from which he sold tanks, rocket launchers, SCUD missiles, fighter planes and even 400-bed field hospitals. He'd been accused of arms smuggling and attempted fraud in Europe, and the US DOJ and State Department had a multitude of arrest requests from Argentina. In spite of this, however, Lasnaud wasn't exactly a "man on the run."

For nearly three years, the Justice Department has deviated from standard extradition procedure and has refused to arrest Jean-Bernard Lasnaud, curiously citing lack of evidence. Argentinean prosecutors are stunned at this refusal; a documentary trail of faxes, money transfers and email points to Lasnaud's knowledge and participation in the sales.

The DOJ never arrested Lasnaud, but not because he was hard to find -- he was living in a luxury condo within a gated community in South Florida.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Now, a sane person might wonder why, in the midst of the battle for our very existence against the evil terrorists of the world -- while the US DOJ is approving and conducting warrantless wiretapping and the President is being actively advised that secret torture and rendition is good -- someone who runs a website that sells tanks, rocket launchers, SCUD missiles and fighter planes and had amassed international charges for illegal arms smuggling and attempted fraud would be ignored. Unfortunately, there aren't many sane people in the Bush Administration, and apparently even fewer at the DOJ nowadays.

According to the article,

Lasnaud now stands accused in Buenos Aires courts of brokering sales of Argentinean weapons to Croatia and Ecuador from 1992 to 1995, in violation of U.N. and international embargoes.

As a result, in 1999 Interpol issued a "red notice" for Lasnaud, a high-priority request for immediate arrest and extradition. "An Interpol red notice is the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today," says the U.S. Justice Department Web site. A red notice has been issued for Osama bin Laden -- and for hundreds of accused arms dealers, murderers and drug traffickers most people have never heard of.

So, how the hell does this Administration expect to gain international cooperation in the search for Osama bin Forgotten bin Laden if it won't honor arrest warrants for people who are sought by our allies? Oh, wait -- I forgot. We don't ask, and don't tell -- we just go in and get 'em. How's that working out for ya, George?

It's possible that the DOJ didn't consider Lasnaud dangerous, or didn't believe the folks with the warrants were serious, or -- perhaps -- they wanted to keep him around in case someone in the White House decided to ask him how to resolve their logic discrepancy with regard to their own recent arms trades. Who knows?

Surely the DOJ understands the importance of the Global War on Terror ("GWoT"). The Department has, after all, been reporting a tremendous number of successes in their pursuit of victory. (Ignore the report by the Inspector General ("IG") that indicates that the majority of these claims are blatantly false. The IG is obviously un-American and wants to embolden the terrorists.)

M'ok. Maybe -- just maybe -- the Department of Justice is a little lost on the concept of foreign relations; perhaps the "big picture" is a little foggy. How've they been doing on domestic issues? They must have a position on the basics -- like gun ownership, and the right to bear arms. That's a biggie for folks in both parties, and a real sticking point. Let's take a peek at what the DOJ is accomplishing there...uh oh.

Apparently, the Department of Justice under John Ashcroft's leadership pissed off Senator Schumer in 2002:

SCHUMER CRITICIZES NEW DOJ DECISION TO CHANGE CONSTITUTIONAL DEFINITION OF GUN OWNERS

Schumer: Ashcroft Decision Betrays Promise "To Follow Letter of the Law" Made During His Controversial Confirmation Hearings

Changing Definition of 2nd Amendment Could Undermine State, Local Gun Laws, End Vital Legal Protections That Reduced Gun Violence, Crime

US Senator Chuck Schumer today criticized the Justice Department's sudden change of interpretation of the Second Amendment, after decades of long-held policy. For over sixty years, the Justice Department has interpreted the Second Amendment as applying to those with a reasonable relationship to a well regulated militia. Now, in a stunning reversal of long-held policy, the Justice Department has argued before the Supreme Court that the Constitution broadly protects the rights of individuals to own firearms.

Schumer made the following statement at a press conference today:

"Yesterday, the Justice Department used footnotes in two Supreme Court briefs to announce a massive change of course in our nation's gun control policy. For the first time in 60 years, the federal government is saying that the right to bear arms is an individual right.

"This decision wasn't made after discussion, debate, and open dialogue. It wasn't made in consultation with Congress and the states. And it wasn't put forward with the kind of detail and analysis that such a significant policy shift would usually come with. Instead, it was done undercover, buried in footnotes.

"The broad principle that there is an individual right to bear arms is shared by many Americans, including myself. I'm of the view that you can't take a broad approach to other rights, such as First Amendment rights, and then interpret the Second Amendment so narrowly that it could fit in a thimble." [...there's more...]

[Emphasis mine.]

The issue itself, as outlined by Senator Schumer, is not as important in this instance as the last part of the excerpt with regard to the DOJ of today: "you can't take a broad approach to other rights, such as First Amendment rights, and then interpret the Second Amendment so narrowly that it could fit in a thimble."

The careful parsing and coddling of terms, narrowly defining some areas of the Constitution while broadly interpreting others, and the habit of seeking out ("cherry picking") select opinions or obscure rulings to augment Presidential power has been an ongoing habit of the DOJ, regardless of whether it was headed by Ashcroft or Gonzales. Combined with actions in concert with the Attorney Massacre, the "new" selection process for attorneys in the DOJ, and the the Republican majority in Congress played in helping to stack the courts, our nation's system of federal courts and the capacity to pursue justice for all is facing a serious challenge by the right-wing ideologues:

How did this happen? In two phases:

1) In the period 1995-2000, the GOP-controlled Senate held up any hearings on President Clinton's judicial nominees, thus creating a huge number of vacancies on Federal benches.

2) In the period 2003-2006, the GOP-controlled Senate approved the vast majority of The Drunk's judicial nominees to fill the backlog of vacancies built up since 1995. All of them were conservative activists. The Democrats were able to put up a fight to keep a few of the absolute batcrap worst off the bench, but that was only a few out of dozens.

And so, kids, this ruling, while a good omen for gun rights, is a very dark omen for a whole host of other issues -- environmental protection, free speech, abortion, civil rights, and so on. And it means that as we carry forth a progressive agends that is vital for restoring this nation's place in the world, we're going to have a huge judicial minefield to navigate for the decades to come.

If you wonder why elections matter -- this is a part of it, right here.

The habit of using narrow and obscure opinions, along with the political stacking of both the courts and the USAs, has become so entrenched and applied so ham-handedly under Alberto Gonzales that Senator Schumer recently called for his resignation.

It's amazing, now, to look back and remember that, early on, the DOJ investigation of the Halliburton no-bid contracts showed so much promise. What was I thinking?

Money

"Money makes the world go 'round" according to some; for others, money ~is~ their world.

From Bloomberg via DailyKos (hat-tip leveymg):

A large global hedge fund, Cerberus Capital Management (dba, Cerberus-Gabriel), is at the center of an emerging Pentagon and CIA contracting scandal that has the attention of three Congressional Committees.

[...snip...]

The scandal involving Cerberus' holding, International American Products (IAP) Worldwide Services, awarded a $120 million contract to manage facilities at Walter Reed, is only the latest in a long line of serious problems involving the company and its officers. IAP’s President, Alfred V. Neffgen, was formerly Chief Operating Officer for KBR's government operations group, which was forced to repay tens of millions of dollars to the Defense Department for food and fuel overcharges in Iraq. IAP has other contracting connections with Dick Cheney’s Halliburton/KBR. Most recently, IAP bid on part of the Iraq oil reconstruction project as a partner with Halliburton/KBR.

[...snip...]

Cerberus owns, or had a major interest in, a string of now-bankrupt companies that had contracts with U.S. defense and intelligence agencies that were found to have a common pattern of large-scale fraud, security problems, and financial scandals involving GOP lawmakers and lobbyists.

IAP is also tied-in with Halliburton/KBR on multi-billion dollar Iraq contracts.

[...snip...]
Four years after the initial invasion and occupation of those fields, Iraq is still not producing at its prewar levels, a threshold that would require termination of the RIO contract.

The entire piece is very detailed and worth a read. Or three. What it helps to clearly illustrate is the use of a hedge fund to infiltrate virtually our entire defense industry and appropriations process, resulting in and adversely affecting not only our intelligence agencies but also our capacity to provide quality medical care to veterans. Note, too, the first part of the conclusion (and only the first part -- go read the piece to get the whole thing, dammit!):

CONCLUSION

Both the MZM-Cunningham and Jerry Lewis cases involve the funneling of foreign money to the GOP through a neocon controlled global hedge fund, Cerberus Capital Management, that was dispersing money to a number of key GOP figures and organizations in various ways, including Bush, Rumsfeld, a number of GOP Congressmen, and the RNC. The case is also tied up with the Walter Reed scandal, and the effort to privatize many Pentagon and CIA functions, which resulted in catastrophic failures at both. http://www.democraticunderground.com...

A tangled web, indeed. Now, how is that significant for our efforts? Well, glad you asked. A recent Washington Post article (hat-tip David Sirota) tells of how Big Business is attempting to push the SEC to scrap burdensome rules, reduce "costly" litigation, and get the prosecutors to "lighten up."

Call it the end of the post-Enron era.

A major anti-regulatory offensive culminates this week with a one-two punch thrown by Washington and Wall Street's most moneyed institutions, as the Treasury Department convenes a star-studded meeting tomorrow and the nation's largest business lobby issues its own call to action a day later.

[...snip...]

Five years after debacles at Enron and WorldCom ushered in the Sarbanes-Oxley law and forced companies to spend more to detect fraud, the campaign to shake off government watchdogs again is in full swing.

Industry is presenting its wish list. The key requests are to streamline corporate rules, dial back on cases against business in favor of going after individual employees, and impose new limits on investor lawsuits.

One of the key phrases given in the WaPo article for this push?

And the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it is hunting for evidence of rampant insider trading that cheats average investors.

Why would the SEC think such a thing? Oh, I dunno...perhaps if we jump back to this source, we'll find something relevant:

Hedge fund executives also say the SEC should focus its resources on better protecting the 91 million U.S. holders of mutual funds. The SEC's move to increase regulation of the private investment pools has gained pace since New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer alleged 10 months ago that ``illegal trading schemes'' enabled some hedge funds to buy mutual fund shares at prices not available to most investors.

Canary Capital Partners LLC and its managing principal, Edward Stern, agreed on Sept. 3 to return $30 million in profits and pay a $10 million fine. Since then, regulators have imposed more than $2.3 billion in sanctions against about a dozen companies including Bank of America Corp. and Alliance Capital Management Holding LP.

Those amounts are nothing to sneeze at. The companies aren't happy. Not that they don't actually deserve those fines and fees, of course; that's apparently not the point.

What does this have to do with the DOJ?

Plenty, particularly when you consider that the Gonzales Department of Justice is even more blatantly subsumed into the neoconservative machinery than the Ashcroft version. Some of the same names keep popping up: Dick Cheney, via the Halliburton connection; Donald Rumsfeld, who owned shares of Cerebus; Dan Quayle, who's listed on the IAP board of directors (hat-tip Dallasdoc). These names, and quite a few others, also pop up with regard to other companies and organizations. Take, for example, the PNAC -- all three of those just listed were major players.

It all appears to be tied up with the same basic elements: money and power. The SEC plays a pivotal role in oversight and fraud prevention. Weakening the SEC oversight helps reduce "costs" to these companies, particularly if they are found to have engaged in "Enron-style" accounting methods.

The U.S. Attorney Massacre plays into this -- the removal of prosecutors who may be too dogged in their pursuit of convictions can cost companies billions. Likewise, by allowing newly appointed prosecutors -- those appointed without Congressional approval -- to serve as U.S. Attorneys, they gain experience and advance one step closer to placement in a federal judgeship on a circuit court. The result could be a string of federal circuit court judges that play havoc with the law in pursuit of right-wing policies, unbalancing the scales of justice for all but a very narrowly defined segment of the population.

Another major significant player in the corporate watchdog realm is the FTC. It deals with the issues of monopolies and anti-trust violations. In essence, it keeps companies from becoming too powerful, so that they can't game the market and garner unfair advantage.

That's the theory and the goal, anyway.

The DOJ often plays in the same sandbox, and doesn't always play nice. According to the blog Hong Kong Competition Law, there has been a bit of friction.

The US Department of Justice (the DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) both have law enforcement powers under the competition (antitrust) laws in the US.

Yet there is a surprising (or not) degree of acrimony between them at present, and allegations by the head of the FTC that the DOJ is actually trying to scuttle FTC investigations raise serious issues.

The post on Hong Kong Competition Law goes on to quote from an article in Antitrust Review,

For five years, the FTC had been pursuing a case against the companies alleging that Schering-Plough offered a payment to the other two firms to delay their entry into particular drug market.

Its decision was overturned by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in May 2005.

The Supreme Court then refused to hear the case after the Solicitors General’s Office, according to Kovacic, on the advice of the Department of Justice’s antitrust unit, told the court it didn’t believe the FTC had a case.

“It is as though the expertise that is supposed to entitle us to some deference entitled us to exactly none,” he said, still visibly angry at what happened.

“I think from both the antitrust division and the 11th Circuit we got the deference that a wayward child would get from an irate parent, which is to say zero.”

Since the start of the George W. Bush era, it's not uncommon to find instances where the DOJ has acted more in the interest of the Bush Administration than in the best interests of the nation, the law or the Constitution. In the case of high-powered corporations, money-rich scoundrels, or Republican Congressional representatives, it has even failed to act. To ensure that a few key cases are protected from political interference, the Inspector General (IG) or a special prosecutor has been enlisted.

One bright and promising exception to this is the impending trial of Conrad Black, Lord of Crossharbour.

The former proprietor of The Daily Telegraph, driven from the helm of his newspaper empire four years ago, finally gets his day in court next week. The three-month trial in Chicago, beginning with jury selection on Wednesday, could clear his name, restore his access to the elite world of wealth and power, and provide a barrel-load of ammunition to pursue libel suits against each and every journalist who has damned him as a "corporate kleptocrat"; Or he might go to jail for 101 years.

In what looks set to be the media trial of the decade, he faces 14 counts of fraud, racketeering and obstruction of justice, accused of looting more than $80m (£41m) from Hollinger International, the stock market-listed part of a media business that was once the third-largest in the English-speaking world.

The players in this drama may just shed some light on some interesting, if strange, bedfellows as the story unfolds. Get a load of some of the key participants:

PATRICK FITZGERALD: The Prosecutor

[...snip...]

He returned to Chicago last week for a final glance over preparations for the trial fresh from securing the conviction in Washington of Scooter Libby. The aide to Dick Cheney was found guilty this week of perjury after Mr Fitzgerald's dogged - many said "over-zealous" - three-year investigation into journalists' sources and leaks from the White House.

[...snip...]

HENRY KISSINGER: The Star Witness

Henry Kissinger is famously clever. Conrad Black is famously keen on showing how clever he is. The two struck up a friendship that gave Lord Black an entrée into polite political circles in the US, and eventually saw Kissinger join Hollinger's board. His addition provided a dash of celebrity and a touch of intellectual gravitas - but did not necessarily provide the independent scrutiny that may have prevented Lord Black from finding himself in the dock. The 12 jurors will be debating how much Kissinger knew about all the deals, the lavish expenses and claims the Blacks' were transferring money from company coffers into their own pockets. An appearance on the witness stand could not fail to dent Kissinger's reputation.

[...snip...]

RICHARD PERLE: The Friend In High Places

Mr Perle, a stalwart of American neoconservatism for two decades and one of the biggest cheerleaders for the invasion of Iraq, was right at the heart of the conflicts of interest and personal enrichment that characterised Conrad Black's Hollinger empire in its pomp.

[...snip...]

Eventually he became the only outside director on Hollinger's powerful three-man executive committee. Mr Perle was said to have been paid $5.4m in fees for various Hollinger posts over a period of five years.

Yes, that Patrick Fitzgerald. And the other familiar names should also arch an eyebrow -- Kissinger and Perle.

What an interesting affair...I'm truly looking forward to the interesting revelations that should come out of that one. I've included it here as an example that could provide a lot of great "guilt by association" information for people to dig into.

I've already got my best spork ready.

Hitting the fan...

The New York Times recently carried a scathing editorial critique of Mr. Gonzales, enumerating his various failures and serving him up as a veritable incarnation of twisted incompetence. Quoting the ThinkProgress summation:

The Times examined Gonzales’ record beyond the U.S. Attorney purge and the FBI’s Patriot Act violations:

– Gonzales “repeatedly defended Mr. Bush’s decision to authorize warrantless eavesdropping on Americans’ international calls and e-mail.”

– Gonzalez “was an eager public champion of the absurd notion that as commander in chief during a time of war, Mr. Bush can ignore laws that he thinks get in his way.”

– Gonzales “was disdainful of any attempt by Congress to examine the spying program, let alone control it.”

– Gonzales “helped formulate and later defended the policies that repudiated the Geneva Conventions in the war against terror, and that sanctioned the use of kidnapping, secret detentions, abuse and torture.”

– Gonzales “has been central to the administration’s assault on the courts, which he recently said had no right to judge national security policies, and on the constitutional separation of powers.”

– Under Gonzales, the Justice Department “has abandoned its duties as guardian of election integrity and voting rights. It approved a Georgia photo-ID law that a federal judge later likened to a poll tax, a case in which Mr. Gonzales’s political team overrode the objections of the department’s professional staff.”

– Under Gonzales, the Justice Department “has been shamefully indifferent to complaints of voter suppression aimed at minority voters. But it has managed to find the time to sue a group of black political leaders in Mississippi for discriminating against white voters.”

The scales of Justice have become wildly unbalanced under the influence of the Republican party and the neoconservative, ultra-right ideologues. How unbalanced? A very telling -- and vastly under-reported -- statement of facts appeared in the March 2004 issue of Harpers:

Months after the Justice Department began investigating Enron in 2001 that an Enron executive was jailed : 21

Days after a columnist outed an undercover CIA officer last year that the Justice Department began investigating it : 74

Days after Paul O'Neill criticized the President on TV in January that the former treasury secretary came under investigation : 1

No, the Justice Department hasn't been politically motivated under the George W. Bush Administration. Perish the thought.

With the hits coming fast and furious, the US-SOS George W. Bush Administration has begun to leak, take on water, list dangerously and launched the lifeboats. If we can keep the pressure on Congress to pursue the investigations and unravel the tangled web of corruption that spans from the shores to CNMI to the Halls of Justice, we may finally see the flagship of the Republican fleet sink to the bottom of the ocean, leaving nothing but a devastating oily smear and a smoking pirate flag on the once-friendly political waters.

The Republicans in Congress must recognize this, and finally admit that continued adherence to this Administration constitutes treason of the highest order. Their ship has sailed, and sunk; it's now time to impeach, not simply for show or posturing.

It's time to save the nation, and reclaim the Constitutionally-inspired freedom of that veterans from the past through the present have fought, suffered or died to preserve.

Impeach Alberto Gonzales, then impeach Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. Initiate both of the latter impeachments simultaneously, then pursue Cheney's through completion. Let Bush get bullied by those remaining to appoint a new Veep for caretaking, then complete his impeachment.

Prevail upon the Republicans -- and any willful Democrats -- in both the House and Senate to fight hard for impeachment, conviction and removal.

While you're at it, think of George after the dust settles, making a desperate call back home:

Now I'm hiding in Honduras
I'm a desperate man
Send lawyers, guns and money
The shit has hit the fan

Other than substituting Paraguay for Honduras, I'm finding that song to be quite prescient and appropriate.

Special thanks to Cho, standingup and Roxy of ePluribus Media for their assistance with this piece.

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Comments

...it's a mystery to me how we get out of this mess. I've come to the conclusion the only option is one foot in front of the other and keep moving.

Don't be a party to the shenanigans and sometimes that means saying no to very tempting offers and situations.

Live small...there's power in money so choose very carefully how and where you spend it.