Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
— Article III, Section 3, United States Constitution
The mainstream Democrats—represented, say, by Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Joe Biden, and Christopher Dodd—have not levied war against the United States. Their treason lies instead in committing the second offense: they adhere to enemies of the country, giving them aid and comfort.
The enemies are President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney. Like no other president and vice president in history, these men attacked their country.
It was not our geography George Bush and Richard Cheney invaded. Instead they abandoned and subverted the bedrock institution of our Constitutional democracy: the rule of law. By word and deed, Mr. Bush repeatedly and arrogantly sets himself above the law, claiming obedience to be a matter of Presidential choice. Mr. Cheney orchestrates, coaches, applauds and iterates.
This cannot stand if the country we know and cherish is to survive. George Bush and Richard Cheney are literally enemies of the state; long before now and by any measure of Constitutional justice they should have been impeached and removed from office.
Abjectly, continuously, and stubbornly refusing to hold them accountable, however, the mainstream Democrats adhere to this criminal president and vice president: nothing they have asked for has been denied, no barriers placed in their way. That is giving them aid and comfort, and that is treason.
George Bush and Richard Cheney took the country to war illegally, with a deliberate, carefully designed and executed package of fear-mongering propaganda: lies, distortions, and deceptions. No informed citizen entertains the slightest doubt about this.
Lying to the people and the Congress was the most despicable violation of the rule of law by Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, but many more followed: torturing prisoners, denying habeas corpus, spying on U.S. citizens, nullifying new laws with “signing statements,” and so on and on. The litany of impeachable offenses is long and painful, but the so-called “War on Terror,” these men insist, makes all of it acceptable, even necessary.
Nearly six years have elapsed since the Bush Administration first defeated the rule of law. For most of these years a Republican Congress saw fit not to intervene, or even to question this behavior, so effective was the Administration’s propaganda campaign, and so firm were the bonds of partisanship. But now the mainstream Democrats control the Congress.
Also during these six years the truth emerged, and now we can see the “War on Terror” truly for what it is—an overarching mega-lie: an untruth of such unimaginable scope and magnitude it recalibrates for an entire nation the perception of reality. (Aryan supremacy was the mega-lie of Nazi Germany.)
No one should be surprised that the threat of terrorism has increased, not diminished, since 9/11: the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were not even remotely intended to combat it.
We know the Bush Administration, when it took office, was indifferent to terrorism, brushing aside explicit warnings about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden; we know the President was planning instead, at least six months before 9/11, to invade both Afghanistan and Iraq; we know of a National Security Council memorandum dated February 3, 2001 speaking about the “capture of new and existing oil and gas fields” in Iraq; we have acquired with a lawsuit the maps of Iraqi oil fields Vice President Cheney’s “Energy Task Force” was studying a month later; we have learned how the privatized structure of Iraq’s postwar oil industry was designed by the Bush Administration a year before the war began; we know the Administration was negotiating pipeline rights-of-way with the Taliban, unsuccessfully, until five weeks before 9/11; we know the final threat to them was a “carpet of bombs”; we are aware of President Bush twice refusing offers from the Taliban to surrender Osama bin Laden, before and after the carpet of bombs was unleashed; we’ve read of the five “mega-bases” in Iraq, to house 100,000 troops for as long as 50 years; we’ve learned the U.S. Embassy compound under construction in Baghdad will be ten times larger than any other in the world; and we know Exxon/Mobil, Chevron/Texaco, Royal Dutch/Shell, and British Petroleum/Amoco are poised to claim immense profits from 81% of Iraq’s undeveloped oil fields.
Are these the activities and outcomes of a “War on Terror?”
We also know President Bush, a month before 9/11 in August of 2001, notified the governments of Pakistan and India he would launch a military mission into Afghanistan “before the end of October.”
Between the dates of the President’s announcement and his order to attack, the Trade Towers and the Pentagon were struck by the hijacked airliners. Seizing in a heartbeat this spectacular opportunity to disguise and launch the preplanned invasions, the Bush Administration concocted the mega-lie, and the “War on Terror” was born.
The “War on Terror” is a conscious and ingenious masquerade for the geostrategic pursuit and control of Middle Eastern oil and gas resources. The facts place this beyond dispute. Mr. Bush’s claim of “taking the fight directly to the terrorists…and the states that harbor them” was yet one more intentional deception, as subsequent events fully demonstrated. In Afghanistan the state was overthrown instead of apprehending the terrorists—Osama bin Laden remains at large—and in Iraq, when we invaded, there were no terrorists at all. But today both “states” are fitted with puppet governments and dotted with permanent U.S. military bases in close proximity to their hydrocarbon assets.
Only the Bush Administration continues to natter about a bogus “War on Terror.” Others are more candid:
o Republican Senator Senator Charles Hagel: “People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America’s national interest. What the hell do you think they’re talking about? We’re not there for figs.” (Speaking at Catholic University, 9/24/07)
o Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, in his book The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World: “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”
o Democratic Senator Jon Tester: “We’re still fighting a war in Iraq and people who are honest about it will admit we’re there over oil.” (Associated Press, 9/24/07)
o General John Abizaid, retired CENTCOM commander: “Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that.” (Speaking at Stanford University, 10/13/07)
The criminal fraudulence of the “War on Terror” is fully documented (see http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/63632/), but the contemporary press has been derelict in failing to expose the mega-lie and publicize it. The mainstream Democrats are equally derelict in ignoring it.
Failing to hold President Bush accountable for his crimes constitutes the most profound obstruction of justice. And failing to contradict his hideous mega-lie clearly reinforces the President’s hand: the mainstream Democrats are now accomplices.
The damage done by the Democrats’ treason is equally great in prospect. Without exposing the lie of the war in Iraq and acting upon the exposure, there is no credible and reliable way to stop the Administration’s insane intention of attacking Iran. The proffered rationales—and the fraudulence—are identical, as the Democrats stride toward complicity in yet another illegal and immoral war.
Why can’t the mainstream Democrats speak sublime truth to demonic power? Doing so, they claim, would be too “divisive” and jeopardize the party’s success in next year’s election.
This strategy is politically suicidal. A Democratic sweep in 2008 grows dimmer every day.
The rank-and-file Republicans who continue to believe Mr. Bush’s lies about the “war on terror” will not vote for a Democrat. The rank-and-file Democrats who see through the lies are increasingly enraged by the insipid waffling of their mainstream candidates. And roughly half the American people don’t bother to vote at all, repelled by the tawdry attack ads and negativity of bitterly partisan, superficial, sophomoric, and issue-avoidance politicking.
If the mainstream Democrats do nothing to change this, they will wind up where they’re headed—disappointed and defeated in 2008—and they will deserve it. Only by exposing and acting on the truth about the war can they change any Republican minds, regain the support of disenchanted Democrats, and attract the politically inert, indifferent Americans. A new style of politics needs badly to be engaged, one that is dedicated not merely to winning elections, but to a genuine concern for truth, for justice, for the rule of law, and for integrity in public service.
The most direct and honorable way of invoking such a style is by impeaching George Bush and Richard Cheney. Never in our history have the high crimes and misdemeanors been so flagrant, and the people of our country know it.
Yes, Congressman Kucinich sought with a “member’s privilege” motion to initiate an impeachment proceeding on the floor of the House of Representatives. But Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer moved immediately to kill the initiative, only to be thwarted by a Republican trick. Finally Nancy Pelosi, desperate to avoid a floor debate, managed to have the matter referred to the Judiciary Committee—where Chairman John Conyers has been sitting on the original bill since last April. The giving of aid and comfort to the enemies will, seemingly, continue.
But the mainstream Democrats now face a carpe diem moment of truly historic measure: if they choose, they can foreswear their treason. It was a majority, bipartisan vote that sent the impeachment bill to Judiciary, and that is all the political cover the Democrats need to take the next courageous and necessary step.
For the sake of the rule of law, for the sake of the integrity of the Congress, for the sake of the country’s future, and incidentally for the sake of a potential Democratic victory in 2008, the politics of truth and justice must be showcased. The Judiciary Committtee must hold hearings immediately, to see if impeachment is in fact warranted—and polls say the greater part of the country thinks it is.
If the mainstream Democrats will not do this, if their treason continues, then decent and thinking citizens everywhere—concerned patriots all—can only weep for their country.
Richard W. Behan lives and writes on Lopez Island, off the northwest coast of Washington state. He is working on his next book, To Provide Against Invasions: Corporate Dominion and America’s Derelict Democracy. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. (This essay is deliberately not copyrighted: it may be reproduced without restriction.)