By Meg White
with commentary by independents Unbound's D. A. Dedman
"This isn't just about impeachment. It's about reorienting our politics to a position which respects morality. Our moral compass needs to be reset here." -Rep. Dennis Kucinich
In an exclusive interview with BuzzFlash Friday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) discussed the 35 articles of impeachment he introduced against President George W. Bush earlier this week. Though the word on the Hill is that the call for impeachment will not go anywhere, the Ohio representative is undeterred.
"This is a very grave matter that cannot be and will not be swept under the rug by some kind of a legislative trap," he said.
Wow, does Kucinich know something that we don't about this? Becuase everything else has been swept under the national rug, as in going to committee, which has become another word for black hole, when it comes to justice for the Bush administraion and thier co-conspirators in and out of government.
Representatives Robert Wexler (D-FL), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) have signed on to the resolution, and Kucinich expects more co-sponsors in the coming days and weeks.
Can't wait to see who else has the intestinal fortitude and the simple morality to sign on.
"There will be more. I'm quite confident of that, and as members start to read the document it'll keep growing," he said.
The proposal is now in the Judiciary Committee, where many expect it to stay at least until after the November elections.
I am so sick and tired of everything from domestic legislation to troop movements revolving around politics and elections! Is there no one is D.C., with certain notable exceptions, who can stand up for justice and doing the right things for the people, for the country and for the world?
Maybe this is one of the reasons why I am a life long independent and maybe it is the reason that this new generation of Americans, who are coming of age now, are registering as independents in droves.
"Some bills are sent to committee to be acted upon," Kucinich said. "But in this case it's widely assumed, based on statements by House leaders, that it'll be sent to committee and nothing's going to happen."
Yep and I can certainly understand why. There is a long history of just that, unless sex is involved, of course.
Kucinich entered the articles of impeachment as a privileged resolution, which means it can be reintroduced. He said that if the committee does not act on the resolution within 30 days, he will bring the subject up again in more detail.
Way to go, Dennis. We can use all the details you have, because we don't plan to let go of this until our dying day.
"I think it's reasonable to give the committee 30 days," he said. "There are other areas of law that I have not, in the interest of time, put in the resolution that was introduced. But they will be put in the next one if no action is taken."
Good. That is what we need; more details about the laws involved. The more details the better.
When taking over as Speaker of the House in 2006, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said impeachment was "off the table." She has stuck to that statement thus far. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the man in charge of calling Kucinich's resolution up for debate, said at the Take Back America Conference earlier this spring that he would consider waiting until after the presidential elections to pursue impeachment.
Conyers seems to have been told to back off by someone, maybe Pelosi....or maybe the wiretappers.
Kucinich does not see this as an option.
"If we wait, we're licensing further abuses of power. There's been broad concern that this administration could attack Iran. Why should we give them the opening to do so by failing to challenge the lies that they told that took us into war with Iraq?" he asked. "We cannot wait for after the election. We don't know what could happen in the next six months with respect to a further erosion of our democratic process. And what the impeachment process would do would be to have a chilling effect on further abuses of the Constitution and on creating another war."
We all hope that impeachment hearings wold have that the effect Dennis Kunich believes that it would: Stop further abuses of power and, possibly, and esclation of the Neocons war on the Middle East, like bombing Iran back to the stone age. However, we are not as convinced as Mr. Kunich that it would. It could have just the opposite effect. The question becomes are we dealing with rational people in this administration? I am not conviced at all that we are.
Nevertheless, some of us believe it is a chance we have to take. One reason is that we have every indication that Bush intends to launch an air attack on Iran before he leaves office, no matter what and Cheney is is even more in favor of doing so. If I believed for one second that impeachment proceedings would cause an attack on Iran, I would be absolutely against it, but I think that an attack is inevitable and that impeachment is, maybe, the only chance we have of stopping it.
Then there is always the chance of another "terrorist" attack on American soil, leading to the public suspension of the constitution, martial law and, perhaps the postponement of elections, indefinitely. Think it can't happen? Just think about the last 7 years. How much has already happened that we thought never would?
We are at one of the most perilous times in our history. As one of our founders said, "These are the times that try men's souls. " I would add women to the list of souls being tried, but the fact that these are perilous times remains the point. In times such as these, I have found that it is always best to contemplate, as best we can, the facts as we know them and what we strongly suspect to be true and then do the next right thing. For Congress, that means impeachment. For the people it means insistng on impeachment and, if that doesn't happen, we go to plan B.
He's also concerned after the election there could be a drop-off in interest.
How could it get any lower than it has been?
Historically, such conditions led to President Gerald Ford's controversial pardon of his predecessor President Richard Nixon. In addition, Bill Clinton did not pursue the Reagan/Bush I violations of the law, particularly the Iran-Contra and BCCI illegal activity.
And all that led directly to the nightmare in which we currently find ourselves. Politicians are a lot like children. If we keep allowing them to get by with criminal behavior with pardons and the like, they will just do something even more horrible. Gerald Ford should have never pardoned Richard Nixon. I understand why he did it, but it was wrong. To just allow the Iran/Contra crimes to fade away as if they were nothing all that bad has led directly to the crimes of this administration. My God, many of the same people are involved, both in and out of the government.
We must hold these people accountable. I frankly don't care how. If we can do it by the book, if Congress wakes the hell up, fine. If not, we will try regular old law enforcement after the criminals leave office. If they won't do anything, then the people must act in the most lawful way we can find, but what is for sure, is the need to hold these people accountable to the fullest extent of International if not American law. If we have to look to other nations for justice, it will simply prove that we do, in fact, live in a lawless land where the wealthy, powerful and the elite can get by with just about anything, while the American people are almost as much victims of their ruthlessness as the Iraqis and many others around the world
"If they refuse to act, you know what'll happen. The election's over and it's like, 'Well, let's not go back. That was yesterday. Let's move forward.' That's what'll happen," he predicted. "The House leadership, which is above Congressman Conyers, and even the leadership of the Democratic Party now are joining in and saying, 'Well, we just can't do this.' Well, you know what? This isn't about politics anymore. This is about whether or not there's such a thing as the rule of law, and you can't have a political agreement to violate the law."
Yep, that is exactly what will happen. Let's just sweep this under the national rug and move forward. Problem is, there is already so much stinky garbage under the national rug that we may not be able to find a way forward, and I'm not sure we should be able to until the American people demand a real house cleaning.
People, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing the right thing, no matter how much it may hurt our pride as Americans and humilate some of us, because any pride we may feel now is most certainly false pride. The Bush administration has turned our beloved country into a pariah nation. We have lost what moral authority we may have had left after some of the other criminal acts of past administrations. Our national moral compass has been broken for a long time. The Bush administration is simply the last damn straw, or it should be unless we want our progeny to grow up in a world rightly hostile to Americans, because we sat on our over-fed, ignorant, lazy butts and did nothing about the criminals leading this nation and their co-conspirators both in and out of government, not to mention a nation which no longer honors the constitution as law, leaving them in a lawless land, where they could be busted for possessing an ounce of cannabis and never heard from again.
(It does appear that the Supremes did, in their ruling regarding the inmates at Guantanamo, reinstate habeas corpus, the Great Writ. But let us all note who voted against it. The usual suspects: Roberts, Alito, Scalia and, of course, Thomas. Kennedy was the swing vote. Thank You, Justice Kennedy and the rest of the justices who know what the the Great Writ means to the people and that includes even judges and justices who sometimes run afoul of the law themselves. for doing what the Congress did not have the will to do, but who pays any attention to congress any way?)
I love my country, but love of country, especially a country we bill as a Democratic Republic, means making things right when they are so clearly wrong. It doesn't take a federal prosecutor to understand that crimes, terrible crimes, have been committed by this administration and those crimes have led to the deaths of millions, including Americans. Those crimes have led to the horrible maiming of hundreds of thousands more, many of whom are American soldiers, coming home with some of the worst war injuries I have ever seen. These people's lives and those of their families are forever changed and for what? Lies, damned lies...the worst kind of lies; those which involve fear-mongering of the worst sort and those which encourage vengeance seeking.
Of all the lies the American people were told, over and over again, these two were the worst:
1) We don't want the smoking gun to be in the form of a mushroom cloud. The British have learned that Saddam is seeking yellow cake from Africa?
If you want to scare the wits out of Americans, just bring up a nuclear attack on American soil. Admittedly, this type of fear-mongering is an oldie but, apparently, still a goodie. It certainly kept us willingly feeding the beast, known as the military-industrial complex, for years during the cold war. Even after good intelligence had informed the Reagan administration that the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse, we began funding all kinds of new nuclear weapons and paying hundreds of dollars for toilet seats and hammers. If anyone thinks that war-profiteering has been criminal during this illegal, unjust war in Iraq, you must not have any idea about the money that was flushed down the toilet during the so-called cold war which, as I recall, was hot more than cold most of the time. 57,000 American soldiers, sailors and Marines died in Vietnam, alone. I don't know the death count in the Korean war, I'm ashamed to say, but one was too many. Then there were Reagan's "secret" wars in Central and South America, often covered by his "war on drugs" and God only knows how many innocent people were tortured and killed in those illegal "involvements," or how many innocent people are still dying, being imprisoned and having their lives ruined because of Reagan's war on inanimate objects. Of course, anyone with more than three neurons firing knows that the war on drugs is and was a war on people; people like our own young people, for example Those illegal "involvements" rarely made the news to any great extent, until news of the Iran/Contra crimes finally broke, unless nuns were raped and killed by the very people the administration were supporting with Iranian money which we received from arms sales, routed through Israel of all places, and drug money, in violation of the Boland amendment and all human decency, which forbade support for the Contras. This is just one more example of how Republicans, in particular, never let the law get in the way of their plans.
2) The lie about the connection, which aparently only existed in the twisted mind of Dick Cheney, between Saddam and Osama.
This whopper was necessary for two reasons. One, of course, was to whip the country into a frenzy of vengeance seeking, never a good idea. The second reason was a bit more legalistic. After 9/11 the Congress had O.K.ed money for military action against Al Qaeda and anyone associated with them who were responsible for the attacks on the U.S, such as other terrorist organizations and including states that supported or harbored them. The administration had to find or make up a link between Saddam and Osama because, without the knowledge of Congress, the administration was moving supplies and people in unifom to ready the military forces to attack Iraq, who had nothing to do with 9/11, long before attacking Iraq was even being talked about in Congress or among the people . They couldn't find any connection that would stand up to any real scrutiny, so they made one up. I do not recall any other member of the administration actually saying that there was hard proof of a connection with the exception of Dick Cheney, but other members of the administration played fast and loose with the truth, using a very old propaganda trick. If one continues, every chance one gets, to say Saddam and Osama in the same sentence or paragraph over and over again, along with 9/11, long enough, people will begin to link the two in their minds and the national opinion will be changed to support a war that we never should have started and for which there was little support before the P.R. machine in the White House got rolling.
The biggest problem with this kind of lie, is that a military force that the American president was saying was for purposes of national defense and for the liberation of the people of Iraq from an insane dictator and his sociopathic sons, becomes a war of vengeance and an illegal war....a war of aggression, the mother of all war crimes, which then leads to all kinds of horrific war crimes like those we saw at Abu Ghraib and that was only the tip of the iceberg.
What's worse, is that we later find out that Abu Ghraib and other horrors like it were not just a matter of "hicks with sticks"..."a few bad apples" or whatever. It was Bush administration policy, American policy. A-M-E-R-I-C-A-N policy. That means...us, Dear Reader...you and me and every other American citizen. You see, people, we now know all of this, with the exception of people who are clinically insane or suffer some form of retardation. We can no longer plead ignorance, as many Germans did after WWII, when asked about the concentration camps, where Jewish people and many, many others were used as slave labor for Hitler's war machine, treated as sub-human, used in medical experiments, starved and/or gassed and piled in mass graves. (Yes, President Ahmadinejad, it did happen. One of my uncles was with other Americans who liberated one of the concentration camps. He took pictures; pictures so horrible that I wasn't allowed to see them, until I was a teenager. My family shopped regularly at a dress shop that was owned by a very nice Jewish family. I saw the tatoo the Nazis put on the woman's forearm. I won't name the town or the couple who owned the shop, simply because they might not want to be named on the Net at this time in history. But I wlll never forget them and I will never forget what was done to them and millions of other people. Nevertheless, I will never forget the pictures of Jena several years back; a Palestinian ghetto, where the conditions are terrible and the people are treated inhumanely to say the least. Those news pictures are burned into my consciousness, President Ahamdinejad, in much the same way as my uncles pictures from WWII.
This is about whether or not there is law at all, anymore, in this nation. Does the Democratic Party want anarchy? What starts at the top will begin to happen all over the land, if nothing is done to uphold all the laws which have been broken by this administration.
Kucinich differs with those who have suggested that the hearings could be divisive. He sees impeachment as an opportunity for healing both the partisan divisions between people and the mistrust Americans have for their government.
After this administration, it will be a cold day in hell before I can even think of trusting the government anymore, even to the rather small degree I did in the past. Frankly, I think this nation may well be beyond redemption, especially if the criminals in this administration are not held accountable under the law and to its fullest extent, no pardons or other legal/illegal wrangling, as happened with Scooter Libby.
While law enforcement has no choice but to respect pardons issued by a criminal president (or do they, in the final analysis?), the people of this country do not have to and should not respect such pardons.
"This war has been a wedge, which has driven Americans apart," he said. As for Congress, he said that "there is no logical explanation for their position. We cannot abdicate our responsibilities. If we abdicate our responsibilities, we end up being in collusion. Why are we not acting? There's a reason why the Congress is so low in polls and I think it's because the American people feel we won't stand up."
You got it, Mr. Kucinich. Congress can go straight to hell as far as we are concerned, right along with the criminals they are protecting, unless they get it together fast. For Congress to abdicate their constitutional responsibility does, in fact, make them complicit in some very high crimes and misdemeanors and, again, contributes to the lawlessness beginning to "trickle down," to coin a popular Republican phrase.
Kucinich said Congress is not living up to its responsibilities to the American people. But he has personal feelings about the resolution that drove him to move forward on impeachment.
"Where's our heart here? What is going on that we can't connect with the suffering of other people?" he asked. "We can't say, 'Oh, yeah, we went into a war, they didn't tell the truth and all these people died. Sorry about that. Pass the Grey Poupon.' We can't do that. We cannot become so callous that we don't care that innocent people are killed. This is what's driving me."
We are beginning to think that Congress is just a bunch of sociopathic fools. On the other hand, it may be that many of them know they have been being wiretapped since the early months of this administration and are afraid of what might come out in this election year if they dare take on the Bushes. But, as much as I can understand that, now is a time to set all of their fear aside and do their jobs. It is a time for courage, not only in the Congress but in the public as well.
Any casual reader of the articles of impeachment can tell the Iraq war figures heavily in the resolution. Of the 35 articles, Kunich said around half are at least tangentially related to Iraq. While some articles deal with election fraud and offenses against Medicare, Kucinich is clearly bothered by the lead-up to the war.
"I can't think of any more grave offense than that the people of this country, at a moment of peril in post 9/11, would be lied to in order to get their support for a war," he said. "There's a difference between just being wrong and lying. And there's a pattern of lies here."
I can think of one even more grave offense and that was allowing the events of 9/11 to happen in the first place, and that is exactly what they did and they did it knowingly and were complicit in the worst terrorist attack on America soil in history.
However, Kucinich said that the effort is not only about Constitutional law and his personal feelings. He wants to demonstrate to future U.S. presidents and the international community that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated by Congress.
Or by the people of the United States, so the Congresss or someone in law enforcement had better act or the people will have no choice. Has anyone read the declaration of Independence lately? If not, they should.
These are not just symbolic concerns; Kucinich raised the specter of international involvement:
"How awful it would be if the Congress looks the other way and within the next few years some nation decides to prosecute a member of the Bush Administration for war crimes at a time when we clearly knew that there was sufficient evidence to proceed with hearings?"
Awful? I think it would be awful if someone doesn't prosecute them. Clearly our own government doesn't have the moral compass nor any interest in holding to account some of the worst war criminals in recent history. These people who have attempted to destroy our constitution under the guise of a bogus war on terror should be tried, convicted in the senate and jailed. No more pardons. Let the people enforce it. They will all be safer in prison.
When this administration is finally over, there is going to be the worst economic collapse this world has ever seen, as our economy is pretty much gerry-rigged now, held together with bubble gum and bailing wire, while the Bushites hope and pray it will hold until they are gone. There is going to be a huge mass of people who aren't going to take that very well at all and they aren't stupid enough to blame the new administration. Is there any wonder that the Bushes are buying land in Paraguay? It won't do them much good. They can run but they can't hide. Just like Poppy's old friend Pinochet, sooner or later they will be taken into custody somewhere, their assets stripped from them and justice will be done.
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.) The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.