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Most of the fawning corporate media (FCM) coverage of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's resignation Monday was even more bereft of context than usual.
It was as if Musharraf looked out the window and said, "It's a beautiful day. I think I'll resign and go fishing." Thus, the lead in Tuesday's editorial in the New York Times, once known as the newspaper of record: "In the end, President Pervez Musharraf went, if not quietly, with remarkably little strife."
Certain words seem to be automatically deleted from the computers of those writing for the Times. Atop the forbidden wordlist sits "impeachment." And other FCM—the Washington Post, for example—generally follow that lead, still.
Very few newspapers carried the Associated Press item that put the real story up front; i.e., that Musharraf resigned "just days ahead of almost certain impeachment." In other words, he pulled a Nixon.
How short our memories! Three articles of impeachment were approved by the House Judiciary Committee on July 27, 1974; Nixon resigned less than two weeks later. But what were those charges, and how do they relate to George W. Bush today? Among the charges were these:
-- Without lawful cause or excuse [Richard M. Nixon] "failed to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House…and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas…thereby assuming to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested in the Constitution in the House of Representatives."
-- "Endeavouring to cause prospective defendants…to expect favoured treatment and consideration in return for their silence or false testimony."- Advertisement -
-- "Endeavouring to misuse the Central Intelligence Agency."
The New John Conyers
Fortunately, John Conyers, who now chairs the House Judiciary Committee, was among those approving those three articles of impeachment. Unfortunately, he seems to have long- as well as short-term memory loss.
On subpoenas, he has let the Bush administration diddle him and the committee.
What about favored treatment and consideration in return for silence or false testimony? What did Conyers do when President George W. Bush commuted Libby's sentence, in a transparent, but successful, attempt to prevent Libby from squealing on his bosses?
Conyers moved manfully to do what he always does: he expressed "frustration," wrote a letter to the president, held a hearing, and then—nothing. This, despite special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's parting admonition, "There is a cloud over the vice president…And that cloud remains because the defendant [Libby] obstructed justice."
Misuse of the CIA
What about this serious charge? Here too Conyers' behavior has been nothing short of bizarre, even though he has been repeatedly briefed on how the Bush administration played games with intelligence to "justify" an unnecessary war.
If further proof of the misuse of intelligence were needed, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller provided it in early June, when he released the findings of his committee's exhaustive investigation of administration misrepresentations of pre-Iraq-war intelligence. Rockefeller summed it up succinctly: