Cheney Impeachment Watch: Now There are Eight
By Dave Lindorff
It’s getting almost entertaining to watch how long it will take for the corporate media to finally admit to the American public that there is a serious move underway in Congress to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney for high crimes and misdemeanors.
Almost two months ago, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) submitted a bill of impeachment (H. Res. 333) against the vice president, charging him with lying about the reasons for invading Iraq, and for illegally threatening to invade Iran—something we know that Cheney is still doing with a vengeance. Almost no major media outlet reported on the Kucinich bill. The New York Times only grudgingly mentioned it in passing while reporting on the first Democratic presidential debate, and then only because candidate Kucinich was asked about it.
' The well-trained corporate media press corps in Washington has also politely refrained from asking House Speaker Nancy “Impeachment is off the table” Pelosi about the Kucinich bill. They haven’t pressed House Judiciary Chair John Conyers either (though I suspect his wife, Detroit City Council President Monica Conyers, who rammed through a council resolution calling on the House to initiate impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney, does probably ask him every morning at breakfast when he’s going to act on his own professed convictions).
This polite silence is as incredible as it is shameful and unprofessional—the kind of thing you’d expect to see in a country with a state-controlled media like China, or in a quasi-police state like Russia, but not in a nation which boasts of its “free” press.
Meanwhile, over the past few weeks, members of a cowed, Pelosi-whipped Democratic congressional caucus have slowly been coming around to support Rep. Kucinich’s bill. One by one, progressive legislators have signed onto the bill as co-sponsors. The most recent co-sponsor is Rep. Maxine Waters, a popular black congresswoman from Los Angeles who heads the House Out of Iraq Caucus and who has openly talked of impeachment of both Bush and Cheney in the past.
While six earlier co-sponsors signed on to H Res. 333 quietly, Waters announced her support for the Cheney impeachment bill on June 13 in a joint press conference with Kucinich. Her decision to support Cheney’s impeachment will certainly embolden other members of Congress to sign on too.
Still, the Waters-Kucinich press conference received almost no mainstream press coverage. The right-wing Moonie paper The Washington Times was the only daily to report on the event.
One wonders how many members of Congress will have to become co-sponsors of the Cheney impeachment drive before the corporate media will finally treat it seriously as a news story. A companion question is how many members will have to add their names to the bill before the House leadership will feel compelled to bring the matter up in the House Judiciary Committee.
House Democratic leaders, along with their counterparts in the Senate, are recognizing that the American public is fast losing patience with their inaction and ineffectiveness since taking power after the November election that handed them control of the Congress. Fifteen state Democratic Parties have now passed resolutions calling for impeachment, along with over 70 towns and cities and one state senate (Vermont). The public clearly wants an end to the Iraq War, and polls make it clear they also want action on impeachment. Yet the leadership remains enamored of a disastrous strategy of do-nothingism, hoping that the Bush administration and the Republican Party will simply self-destruct, if Democrats just keep their heads low.
The American public knows better. They know that the Bush administration is capable of anything, and that it is hell-bent on war and more war. And they are sick of this administration, with polls showing support for Bush falling still further, into the 20s (Cheney has been in single digits for some time now).
It has become a waiting game.
Watch as the number of Kucinich impeachment bill co-sponsors rise.
At some point, a somnolent press corps will have to react and announce that impeachment is happening.
At some point, Pelosi will have to start setting the table for impeachment hearings.
DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based investigative journalist and columnist whose work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net. His latest book, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky and just out in paperback, is “The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office (St. Martin’s Press).