This week, we as a nation find ourselves in a surreal political position. We are awaiting the results of the "Petraeus" report as if that report were actually an independent account untouched by the White House Communications Office and as if this piece of propaganda could in any way alter the Bush agenda.
General Petraeus is the same good soldier who breathlessly announced to the press that Saddam had mobile weapons labs when he knew those vehicles were weather balloon stations. Remember? That Petraeus.
This same week, all over the country, anti war and impeachment activists are preparing for demonstrations on 9/15. There will be a march on Washington. There will be marches and vigils and protests all over the country. Here in San Francisco, three thousand of my neighbors and I will spell out the word "Impeach" with our bodies. This is our third attempt to convey our needs visually and materially to our ever more remote representative, Nancy Pelosi.
We invited the Speaker to take the fourth seat in the chopper that will video tape our action -- so she could get the best possible view of her constituents' wishes. Pelosi was unable to find a two hour block to hold a town hall meeting during the August break so we thought; this would be an efficient way for her to reconnect with her district.
Unfortunately, she is unavailable that day. When we offered the seat to anyone on her staff, we were told no one was available that day. I can only hope that the whole office is out hitting the streets that day, helping homeless veterans retrieve the lives that the Bush Administration has stolen from them.
My representative is not a timid person or politician. She coined the phrase "miserable failure", if I'm not mistaken, giving a timely expression to what so many of us felt and knew. But that was years ago. That "miserable failure" has since morphed into a global danger and a domestic menace.
Note to Speaker Pelosi: Even The National Coalition of American Nuns is calling for impeachment. Who are we waiting for, the Pope?
As I've said before, I don't know what is possible. I don't know if we can impeach George W. Bush or Dick Cheney but I know we must try. Not holding our government accountable in the past allowed seasoned and skilled felons to continue in our government today. Men to whom our values are at best abstractions they can mentally wave away like so many flies -- habeas corpus, due process, international law, clean elections. The Salvador Option has migrated to Iraq. These career scofflaws are nothing if not catastrophically efficient.
But I know one thing. If you don't try, you foreclose possibility. And I am not willing to foreclose the possibility that these men, men who let us die on September 11, who let us die when the levees breached, who let us die every day from IEDs or preventable disease, will be held to account for those irrevocable losses of precious human life. Our lives, life itself, must be more important than political calculation.
Recently Mr. Conyers explained to Amy Goodman on her program, Democracy Now! that, with respect to impeachment, he had the Constitution in one hand and his calculator in that other. That while there was no doubt that the Bush Administration had committed impeachable offenses, we don't have the time or the votes to do it and, as the argument goes, the Democrats only have a nominal majority so putting the 2008 election in peril would be a grave error.
With all due respect to one of our most courageous and progressive Congressmen, Mr. Conyers, you are wrong. It is the job of Congressional Democrats to find both time and votes. Because your oath was to the Constitution, not to expediency. Your calculator is misleading you because it has no conscience.
Alexander Hamilton wrote: "The President of the United States would be liable to be impeached, tried, and upon conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors, removed from office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law."
Note to Mr. Conyers: Mr. Hamilton did not qualify this statement with, "if we have the time, the votes and the go ahead from our suicidal political leadership."
The 2008 election is not only not a reason to forgo impeachment, it is the reason impeachment must go forward. If a certain Democratic frontrunner doesn't want the word "impeachment" wafting in the air during her campaign, then she might be a frontrunner but she is no leader. In fairness to Senator Clinton, her advisors may have made this call for her. I hope for her sake (and for ours) that this isn't the same group that advised Mr. Kerry to concede an election that wasn't his to give away. It was ours and it was stolen from us - there is no other construction that fits the facts of that election.
Note to the Democratic leadership: No one was held to account for the massive election fraud of 2004, so our next Federal election is already in jeopardy. You must impeach now if you have any hope for a clean election in 2008. You have won and not been seated twice. There's no need to make it a trifecta. On the contrary, it is incumbent on you to make sure we are not robbed again.
Most urgently, if Mr. Bush and President Cheney have time to bomb Iran in our name and via recycled lies broadcast in our fully owned media, we must find time to impeach them first. Enough. Impeach.