By Ed Ciaccio
On Friday, July 25, 2008, the House Judiciary committee will finally hold a hearing about George W. Bush’s excessive abuses and unconstitutional expansion of his executive powers. But Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, a Democrat heeding the proclamation of Speaker Nancy Pelosi that impeachment is “off the table”, has already declared that this hearing will not lead to impeachment. Conyers, Pelosi, and all members of Congress who oppose the impeachment of George W. Bush are betraying the oath they all swore when they took office and should be condemned for this betrayal. Following are the reasons why the impeachment of George W. Bush is necessary.
We now know that, in January, 2001, soon after taking office, but eight months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Dick Cheney’s energy task force, consisting of representatives of the oil and natural gas industries, but excluding environmentalists, held meetings using maps of Iraq’s oil fields. As even Alan Greenspan finally admitted recently, the war was “about oil.” We also now know that representatives of Afghanistan’s Taliban government were in the U.S. attempting to negotiate a deal with Unocal, with Bush administration help, to build oil and natural gas pipelines from the Caspian Sea through Afghanistan to Pakistan, negotiations which failed in July, 2001. That, two months prior to the 9/11 attacks, is when the Bush administration decided to attack Afghanistan to remove the Taliban government by November, 2001. The 9/11 attacks then moved up the Afghanistan attack by one month, to October, 2001.
The recently-released Phase II of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on the lead-up to the Iraq invasion makes clear that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Wolfowitz, among many others in the Bush administration, in lying about the threat allegedly posed by Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction, links to al-Qaeda, and connections to the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks, perpetrated fraud on the American people, which resulted in the unnecessary, avoidable deaths of over 4,100 U.S. soldiers and the maiming of tens of thousands more. From the National Intelligence Estimate (N.I.E.) of early October, 2002, the Bush administration knew that the case against Iraq was weak and circumstantial, at best. Yet they continued to beat the drums for war with exaggerated threats (“a mushroom cloud”) to mislead the U.S. into war. Such deliberate fraud resulting in unnecessary, avoidable deaths and suffering to U.S. citizens is a felony capital crime punishable by life imprisonment or the death penalty. Deliberately causing the unnecessary deaths of U.S. military personnel also constitutes treason against the United States.
The post-World War II Nuremberg Trials declared waging a preventive war of aggression to be “the supreme international crime.” Bush’s unnecessary bombing and invasion of Iraq was such a preventive war of aggression. In its wake, U.S. forces have tortured; kidnapped for torture (extraordinary rendition); used napalm (Mark-77 firebombs), depleted uranium, white phosphorous, cluster bombs and many other indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction which killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians; and caused over four million Iraqi refugees (ethnic cleansing). All of these are war crimes punishable by death.
Kofi Annan, when Secretary General of the United Nations, declared that the U.S. attack on Iraq was a violation of the U.N. Charter. U.S. forces’ mistreatment and torture of prisoners is a violation of the Geneva Conventions. These violations of international law are also violations of Article VI, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the Supremacy Clause.
In addition, in December, 2005, Bush admitted he violated FISA many times, which is a felony punishable by five years’ imprisonment, and a violation of the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution, which all members of our government swore to uphold, protect, and defend, “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
All these clear violations of international laws and the U.S. Constitution are egregious offenses which more than constitute the “high crimes and misdemeanors” called for by our Constitution as being necessary to merit impeachment.
Much more serious than Bill Clinton’s lies under oath about his extramarital consensual sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky which caused his impeachment, these lethal crimes must be punished by impeachment so that the perpetrators are held legally accountable and so that no future president ever dares to commit such crimes again.
Members of Congress who oppose this necessary impeachment of George W. Bush, required by our Constitution for committing so many serious criminal offenses, are not only betraying their oath of office, but also their responsibility to the citizens of the United States.
Knowing that many of them would, themselves, be exposed as complicit in contributing to and/or condoning these serious crimes, these anti-impeachment, anti-Constitution Democratic and Republican members of Congress have blocked the one prescribed remedy for the Bush administration’s years of criminal behavior. They have clearly chosen their own reputations and political careers over what is necessary to serve, and, indeed, save, our democratic republic from even further deterioration into an authoritarian state with an excessively-powerful chief executive and weakened legislative and judicial branches.
In doing so, these selfish members of Congress have shamed themselves, earned condemnation from us, and endangered our future. Voting to re-elect any of these traitors to our Constitution, our country, and us, is voting against our best interests and, as such, a colossal act of folly. We must all keep this in mind come Election Day. It is the strongest argument for the dismantling of the corrupt two-party system which has led us so far from our hard-won civil liberties, our principles, and our values.