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Time for Congress to Stand Up in Its Own Defense: Impeach Bush and Cheney Now!

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By Dave Lindorff

The last couple of weeks have brought confirmation—as if it were needed—even in the corporate media, that President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and the gang of thugs and sycophants around them in the White House, engaged in a massive conspiracy to lie the country into a war in Iraq.

The release of a confessional book by former White House press spokesman Scott McClellan and the subsequent release of a long blocked report by the Senate Intelligence Committee make it clear that Bush, Cheney & Company deliberately lied to Congress and the American public back in 2002 and early 2003 about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein (there was none). McClellan also states that Bush and Cheney conspired to “out” CIA undercover operative Valerie Plame Wilson, as part of a compaign to prevent her husband from exposing a major part of that campaign of lies: the claim that Saddam Hussein was seeking to build nuclear weapons.

It would be hard to overstate the extent of or the damage caused by these crimes that are now exposed to the light of day.

Beginning in 2001, making the most cynical use of the tragic killing of nearly 3000 Americans in the 9-11 attacks, Bush and Cheney moved to aggrandize as much power as possible in the executive, and then, to consolidate that power grab, engineered a full-scale war against Iraq, enabling them to claim that any opponent of their dictatorial usurpation of power was a traitor to the nation.

It was all a lie.

Saddam Hussein had no links to Al Qaeda, and he had no nuclear program. He had no weapons of mass destruction. His country was broken, thanks to years of international sanctions and war.

As a result of these lies, we have a country that no longer even remotely resembles what the Founders had intended. The Congress has been shorn of its once exclusive authority to legislate, and even its Constitutional power to investigate the executive branch has been successfully defied. It is now an atrophied relic. The federal judiciary, right up to the Supreme Court, has been packed with administration sycophants and Federalist Society advocates of unfettered executive power.
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We also have been saddled with an unwinnable war in the Middle East that has claimed the lives of 4500 Americans, destroyed the lives of another 30,000—or perhaps several hundred thousand, if we add in all those suffering psychological damage, or genetic damage from exposure to depleted uranium weapons. That war has also killed over 1 million innocent Iraqis, including countless chiildren, destroyed their country, bankrupted this nation, and made the US a pariah and a rogue state in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Most Americans long since came to the conclusion that the Bush administration was a gang of idiots. Just watching their handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster unfold was enough to make that clear. But the new reports from McClellan and from the Senate Intelligence Committee should make it clear that this was not just stupidity. The disasters that have befallen this nation, or that it has brought on the rest of the world, over the past eight years have been the result of deliberate lying and deceit and of the conspiratorial policies of a cabal of leaders whose goal from day one was undoing the Constitution and establishing the presidency as a kind of dictatorship.

Most of the corporate media have been unable to bring themselves to state this clearly. They edge around the issue by talking about the White House having been “misleading” or “untruthful.” And little is said about the lasting damage that has been done to the Republic and the Constitution, or about what is to be done about a still bloody war that never should have been fought in the first place.

The answer is clear. Impeachment proceedings should be initiated against both Bush and Cheney. These two arch criminals must not be permitted to leave office with their titles intact. They need to be tossed out in disgrace, and then indicted for war crimes and for crimes like perjury, conspiracy and perhaps treason.

We are already seeing the long-term damage that has been wrought. John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee for president, is saying that the president’s use of the National Security Agency to spy, without any court order, on tens or hundreds of thousants, or perhaps millions of Americans, is legal, and would continue under a McCain administration. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has said that he would continue Bush’s use of “signing statements” to ignore Congressional legislation that he felt impaired his Constitutional powers as president.
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The nation is at a dangerous crossroad. Either Congress reasserts its authority now, via impeachment, drawing a Constitutional line in the stand in defense of Article I of the Constitution—the article that defines the power of Congress as absolute in terms of passing legisation—or it forever surrenders that role, leaving us with what can only be called a dictatorship.

We clearly cannot count on the next president, whoever that may be, to surrender powers usurped by the current one. What leader in history has willingly and voluntarily surrendered authority, after all?

Such power must be wrested back by Congress, and the only way for that to happen is impeachment—a course laid out clearly by the authors of the Constitution for just such a crisis.
DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback edition). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net


Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)

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Mr. Lindorff, thank you for this deeply important ... by Ellison Horne on Friday, Jun 6, 2008 at 9:51:14 AM
As The possibility of a new regime rises to challe... by Sleeper on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 12:13:10 PM
Another useless drive by comment hits an innocent,... by WML on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 6:54:01 AM
Skeptics who tell us to give up on trying are as i... by Nick van Nes on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 9:01:11 AM
and he has been been made impotent by Na... by Susan Nelsen on Friday, Jun 6, 2008 at 10:56:58 AM
It is not up to John Conyers. Joe Lieberman breaks... by pratliff94 on Friday, Jun 6, 2008 at 11:38:05 PM
beside the Blue Dog Democratic's in the House ... by Susan Nelsen on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 1:25:08 PM
We need to organize and find out which reps are o... by Nick van Nes on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 6:31:47 AM
An excellent article as usual Dave. Unfortuna... by Munich on Friday, Jun 6, 2008 at 12:45:56 PM
We have been demanding Impeachment for how long no... by Michael Cavlan on Friday, Jun 6, 2008 at 1:13:07 PM
        &n... by chris rice on Friday, Jun 6, 2008 at 2:43:58 PM
the citizens of this country accept the current in... by Richard Mynick on Friday, Jun 6, 2008 at 2:48:24 PM
I will vote for Ralph Nader unless the House impea... by David Diderot on Friday, Jun 6, 2008 at 3:03:41 PM
For the lazy people who are so sure impeachment wi... by Ellison Horne on Friday, Jun 6, 2008 at 8:24:24 PM
on page 8 ... page 8 ... no big deal, hey psst! Pr... by Mr M on Friday, Jun 6, 2008 at 8:43:09 PM
 how many American families are faced with th... by zephyr on Friday, Jun 6, 2008 at 10:25:06 PM
The "Laws" of this country are strongly ... by August Adams on Friday, Jun 6, 2008 at 10:59:19 PM
I'm not so sure a general strike is the right ... by gravity32 on Friday, Jun 6, 2008 at 11:02:55 PM
Dave,I am sure they can do that having a majority ... by pratliff94 on Friday, Jun 6, 2008 at 11:34:44 PM
Let's do the math.  If we can get 10 Repu... by Kevin Anthony Stoda on Sunday, Jun 8, 2008 at 1:18:50 AM
What fantasy land are you living in or what is in ... by pratliff94 on Friday, Jun 6, 2008 at 11:44:28 PM
 It is time for the American public to demand... by Archie on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 12:02:33 AM
But let's not kid ourselves. Elected democrats... by Nick van Nes on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 8:53:09 AM
I've signed so many calling for impeachment le... by shirley reese on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 12:53:04 AM
Tell congress to www.TakeBackTheFed.com... by Mark Wyatt on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 12:58:25 AM
I can offer no hard proof in any documented form, ... by Michael McCoy on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 3:57:19 AM
The anthrax attack on Congress in the immediate af... by WML on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 7:38:53 AM
The pre 9-11 warrantless wiretapping dug up enough... by Brad Griffeth on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 8:56:14 AM
We need to organize and find out which reps are op... by Nick van Nes on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 7:16:11 AM
....but there will be no impeachment, the problem ... by Rafe Pilgrim on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 7:27:20 AM
They should have been impeached months ago, its to... by Gary Denson on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 8:06:07 AM
This is an excellent article, but until someone fi... by Bill Cain on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 8:42:04 AM
Impeach? Oh come on guys. It's not gonna happ... by jersey girl on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 9:22:00 AM
We in the D.C. area worked very hard on impeachmen... by alan17b0 on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 9:24:30 AM
Which is why they won't impeach. They don'... by Darren Wolfe on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 2:32:55 PM
I "came out" for impeachment last July a... by Margaret Bassett on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 8:53:27 PM
The Udall Campaign in Colorado is placing pro Uda... by John H Kennedy on Saturday, Jun 7, 2008 at 9:01:01 PM
Well that is great but won't you have to find ... by gravity32 on Sunday, Jun 8, 2008 at 10:58:57 AM
What's really funny is we want change, we vote... by don bybee on Sunday, Jun 8, 2008 at 9:34:46 PM