Impeachment: The only way the war will end.

T.A. Barnhart

By the time I finish writing this piece, the bodies of dozens of Iraqis are likely to be found, murdered and dumped, or perhaps simply shredded by yet another suicide bomber. By the time the first comments are posted and we begin arguing among ourselves, another American will probably have died; several will certainly have been injured, maybe horribly. Millions of dollars will be thrown away, money that we don't actual possess but have borrowed from China. Here at home, citizens will grow more divided, anger will build, and pain will spread. 24 hours from now, the measure of suffering in the world will have increased perceptibly, and one man can be held rightfully responsible for that: President George W Bush.

In Washington, DC, the new Democratic Congress speaks of healing wounds and working cooperatively with their vanquished but still powerful political foes. I have no problem with that. Differences of belief and opinion should foster creative solutions to the difficult problems that afllict us all; we need compromise because we do not believe the same things. I do not want the new Democratic leadersthip to act vindictively towards the GOP, no matter how mightily their neocon christianist corporate-fascist leadership deserves to be stomped upon for the past twelve years of abuse of power. Congress' job is to fix and to improve; let the voters punish those who fail at that job.

But however much we need Congress to fix and improve circumstances in this country, howeer much that will require bipartisan cooperation, the avoidance of impeachment is wrong. There are some simple facts to face, and a simple conclusion these facts deliver.

  1. The President and his people lied us into this war. Does anyone still doubt that they knew the wmd's were a fiction? Does anyone truly believe they were being honest when they spoke about being on the brink of nuclear attack by Saddam? Every threat they raised was a lie, and they knew it. It was transparently clear before we invaded — Howard Dean did not have secret information, but he saw the truth that Hillary Clinton and others in Congress somehow did not. Those like Clinton who gave the administration the benefit of the doubt now knows they got suckered big time.
  2. Bush let bin Laden escape. We had him trapped in Afghanistan, we had the Taliban crushded, and we had Islamic nations like Pakistran ready to help us capture him for his crime against humanity (remember, on 9/11 people from all over the world were murdered). But Bush called off the hunt, sent the troops to Iraq (on a lie) and let bin Laden continue to build his network. I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist; I don't think it's necessary to believe this was done at the request of Bush family friends in Saudi Arabia. All I have to know is that bin Laden got away. Listen to people like Kevin Tillman, Pat's brother, asking Americans to hold the President accountable for an illegal war and the death of his brother:
  3. [O]ur elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. ... the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

    This was a man who gave up a baseball career to serve his nation after 9/11. It cost him his brother to learn how his leaders betrayed them.

  4. Bush violated many international laws. Maybe he thinks we're not answerable to the United Nations or the Geneva Convention, but his opinion on the matter is irrelevant. If we sign an international treaty, it's American law. Bush agreed to abide by UN Resolution 688; instaed he used it to justify the "pre-emptive" attacks. His savage and inhumane treatment of prisoners at Guantanomo Bay, many of them taken illegally and all held in violation of the immutable right of habeas corpus, is a war crime under the Geneva Convention and a violation of his pledge of office.
  5. He has encouraged, if not explicitly licensed, war profiteering by doing nothing to stop it. The sale of contracts to Halliburton and the refusal of Bush and his Congressional cronies to appoint a body similar to the Truman Commission of World War II is unconscionable. Cheney's buddies make billions while Americans and Iraqis die by the thousands.
  6. He has no intention of stopping this war. As far as George W Bush is concerned, this war will continue until 12 noon, January 20, 2009; he can then crawl off to Crawford to chop brush, secure in his deluded belief that he did his best to win the war on terror. He will have done no such thing, and every day this war continues, the number of dead and maimed for which he is personally responsible will grow larger. He will not stop unless we make him stop, and his arrogance is so great — this is a man who believes he has been ordained by God Almighty to wage this holy crusade — he will allow thousands more Americans and hundreds of thousands more Iraqis — to die.
  7. He wants to expand his Holy War. Since we are on the brink of victory in Iraq, it's time to deal with the next great threat: Iran. Defeat Iran in Jesus' Name, and the world will see "His truth is marching on." Bush believes this, truly and fervently believes his own word is just and right and blessed by God.

This is but an abbreviated list of the crimes committed by President Bush. Others have done more thorough, more eloquent work in stating the case. Many people will, for various reasons, refuse to accept these as facts, or draw the conclusion that Bush has committed impeachable acts. I am incredulous that people are willing to interpret his actions as either legal or justifiable, but I accept that many do. If, however, you agree with me that these are statements as fact, you must, I think, recognize and acknowledge them as criminal and as violations of his oath of office.

This, I believe, is the bottom line: The lies and crimes of George W Bush are manifold and at least the equal of Richard Nixon's. He has sent thosands of Americans to their deaths, and he has done so based on deliberate lies. This is murder, pure and simple.

Congress may want to play nice, but they do not have that option. Their job is to end the war in Iraq; even those late to the realization of what a bad war this is know this. The American people demand that this war end, and that it end sooner than later — much sooner. But Bush will not end the war on his own, and Congress has yielded their authority their own authority to do so. There is but one way to end the illegal war in Iraq and to save thousands of American lives: Congress must impeach the President. On the first day of the new Congress, articles of impeachment must be introduced, the process must be followed through rapidly, he must be impeached, and he must be tried and convicted by the Senate.

And to ensure that the purposes of impeachment are served, Vice-President Cheney and Secretary of State Rice must go, too. This is not about retribution; it's about saving lives and ending the slaughter. There will never be justice for these murderers, but at least we can end their killing spree. Impeach them, and bring our people home.

While we still can.

  • LT (unverified)

    Comment: done well (like Nixon in the 1970s), impeachment can take a couple years, and by that time it will be 2008.

    Question: Somewhere I heard that once they leave office Bush and Cheney are subject to the court system. As I recall, the Paula Jones case does make a sitting president vulnerable to civil suit, incl. deposition. How would impeachment affect those? (Does double jeopardy apply--could impeachment short circuit criminal prosecution later?)

    I understand the anger. But I have also read many books on Watergate. And however much of a foregone conclusion that impeachment looks like now, it was a series of very contentious baby steps over a long period of time. I think they did it right, and we should expect no less this time.

    The object is to hold them culpable, not to make a political statement. I wouldn't want anything done which could cause problems with prosecution down the road.

    Lets have oversight hearings and see where those lead.

    There is an incident in HOW THE GOOD GUYS FINALLY WON by Jimmy Breslin where Tip O'Neill is speaking to a civic group (maybe a Rotary Club) in someplace like Wyoming and he speaks off the cuff until he gets to impeachment and then he speaks from notes because it is such a serious subject. When he sees heads nodding, he knows it is all over for Nixon if such folks in an inland state agree with him.

    This election was won in close elections in places like Montana and Virginia. Go slow on this sort of thing so as not to lose that public support. I understand the anger--they really should be tried for war crimes. But there is only one chance to get that right and what we need is the successful prosecution, not just the sensationalism that Hyde et. al used to impeach Clinton. The Clinton impeachment should be studied as an example of the wrong way to do things.

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    TA... The Constitution's Article II, Section 4 reads:

    The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    Could you describe how you apply your bill of particulars to that constitutional phrase - "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors"?

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)

    Once investigations begin and there is realy oversight on the part of Congress, the specific transgressions will come out. The real trick will be to tie Bush or Cheney to the high crimes or misdemeanors, but as people get indicted, they'll start to squeal.

    Not perhaps one of the biggest issues, but the shenanigans around the Medicare prescription bill, where the guy in charge of the numbers was forced out and other bureaucrats were forced to fudge the figures, is definitely at least a misdemeanor.

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    Kari, seriously? "high crimes and misdemeanors"? if the lies and deceptions Bush used to get us into this war don't qualify as high crimes, nothing does.

    and the betrayal of our troops, leaving them over there to be slaughtered -- treason of the worst crime. Cheney & Rice were part of the entire scheme, as was Rummy, Rove and many others.

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    Sorry, TA, I wasn't clear. I'm not talking about "high crimes" as you and I might use that phrase over a beer. I'm talking about the constitutional definitions, as vague and ill-defined as they might be in our history.

    Sure, the US House defined Bill's blowjob-lie as a "high crime" but I think most constitutional scholars will see that as a low point in American history.

    I guess if we're going to be making constitutional claims, I'd like to see some constitutional arguments.

    George W. Bush and his corrupt little band of morons, sycophants, and egotists are clearly way over their head, have committed egregious acts of omission and commission, and have failed the American people in ways that we are only beginning to comprehend.

    But I take impeachment very seriously. I took it seriously when his pals were wielding that sword against Bill Clinton's manhood - and I take it seriously now.

    Let's have some consitutional argument, not ideological pamphleteering.

    Make no mistake: a move toward impeachment will consume this Congress, and render impossible any and all other political and policy objectives.

    If we're going to suggest that our elected representatives head down this path and abandon all others, it should be in full recognition of those costs, a plan to take it all the way, and a full understanding of the constitutional weight of the matter.

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    Two things about impeachment:

    First, I think part of the problem is that the Republicans made a tactical error in trying to impeach Clinton (which may now play in their favor in a way). Many people will say there is no connect between the two situations, but I believe there is. My thinking is because the Republican Congress (along with some Democrats) started impeachment hearings against, that people don't take the idea of impeachment very seriously anymore. Granted in the case of Nixon, there was a good case for impeachment. I'm not saying that there isn't a good case for impeaching Bush, but instead most people won't get behind the idea.

    Let me state that I am for impeachement (despite the fact that impeachment would lead to President Cheney). I think it is something the Democrats will probably continue threaten to impeach Bush to put political pressure on Bush and the Republicans to cooperate to an extent. However, I don't think it's something that will happen.

    Second, I think the arguement could be made that Bush has neglected dealing with regions which could become more unstable if they are not dealt with. Most of the focus has been on the two wars having to do directly with Middle East countries, but little has really been done in terms of North Korea. His foreign policy has been too focused on one region, almost to the point of an obsession.

  • Luke (unverified)

    Wait... wasn't this guy the same guy that was proclaiming himself to be an Independant "moderate" just a few weeks ago??


    Congress has MANY ways it can end a war that have nothing to do with impeachment. They just would be a lot better for the nation and wouldn't allow the oh-so-hateful extreme left to vent their rage.

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    He has sent thosands of Americans to their deaths... But Bush will not end the war on his own, and Congress has yielded their authority their own authority to do so.

    The reason impeachment doesn't work is the complicity of Congress, and the complicity of Democrats.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    The reason impeachment doesn't work is the complicity of Congress, and the complicity of Democrats.

    Baloney. The reason impeachment doesn't work is that here aren't the votes to convict even if impeachment were possible. Its a silly waste of time that will accomplish nothing except to discredit the new Congress. If you impeach Bush, Cheney becomes president.

    I don't think there is any question that Bush's violation of the Geneva Convention's prohibition on torture is an impeachable offense since that is a "high crime and misdemeanor" by any reasonable definition. It is a direct violation of US law with criminal penalties attached.

    On the other hand, impeaching Cheney would be extremely difficult. The Vice-president doesn't really have the authority to commit any "high crimes and misdemeanors", so impeaching Cheney would be entirely a political act. So you can impeach Bush and make Cheney president. <sarcasm>A brilliant first step toward ending the war.</sarcasm>

  • Karl Smiley (unverified)

    I think Frank put his finger on it. Bush won't be impeached because of the complicity of dems in congress. This is a shame and a crime. I don't see how we can move forward in a positive way without dealing with the criminal responsibility for crimes that got us into this horrible mess. At the same time, I can't see why, if congress had the heart, they couldn't deal with impeachment and cleaning up the mess at the same time.

    How will the world ever respect us again if we let these guys skate? Wouldn't that make us equally culpable? What does it say about our character as a nation? We shouldn't be acting like the girl who got raped and is afraid and ashamed to name and confront her rapist.

    I don't think that anyone who understands what these guys have done has any doubts that they have commited treason and high crimes.

  • Gary Adamsek (unverified)

    What team did Pat Tillman play BASEBALL for?

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    This was a man who gave up a baseball career to serve his nation after 9/11. It cost him his brother to learn how his leaders betrayed them.

    That would, of course, be football - with the Arizona Cardinals. Hardly the point.

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    Oh crap. That's wrong. And so are you, Gary Adamsek.

    Pat Tillman played football, but the person TA is talking about is Kevin Tillman -- who was drafted by the Anaheim Angels, but joined Pat in becoming an Army Ranger. Source

  • Peter the Great (unverified)

    Every time Democrats say the word "Impeachment," Republicans win.

    So T.A....Do you want Republicans to win?

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    we can argue "high crimes" and politics and all manner of important stuff. meanwhile, this morning on

    A U.S. soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad on Saturday night and a U.S. Marine died during combat in Anbar province on Sunday, the military said, raising to at least 2,865 the number of U.S. service members who have died since the beginning of the Iraq war. This month in Iraq, 47 American service members have been killed or died. The Iraqi death toll, meanwhile, rose to at least 1,371 for the first 20 days of November — the highest for any month since The Associated Press began tracking the figure in April 2005. In all, 25 Iraqis were killed Monday in a series of attacks in Baghdad, Ramadi and Baqouba, police said. The bodies of 75 Iraqis who had been kidnapped and tortured also were found on the streets of the capital, in Dujail to the north of Baghdad and in the Tigris River in southern Iraq. The Iraqi death toll this month is already well above the 1,216 who died in all of October, which had been the deadliest month in Iraq since the AP began its count. The actual totals are likely considerably higher because many deaths are not reported. Victims in those cases are quickly buried according to Muslim custom and never reach morgues or hospitals to be counted.

    if someone can think of a quicker way to end this war, let me know. we cannot think "strategically" or take "measured" actions; we must simply take action to end this war however we can. since there will be hearings on this war (and especially the profiteering) it might as well be done right: impeachment will root out enough of the facts and truth to force an end to the quicker than anything else i can think of. that's my concern: an end to the war. an end to the slaughter.

  • lin qiao (unverified)

    As for ending the war: well, nothing we as US citizens can do will end the civil war in Iraq. If Congress stops appropriating moneys for the war, that would end US involvement, right? Just how impeachment hearings would accomplish the same purpose is a complete mystery to me.

    Nixon resigned because he would have in fact been impeached and convicted, with many GOP senators voting to remove him from office. (Nixon resigned a few days after a group of GOP senators went to the White House to tell him precisely that.) He was pretty unambiguously shown to have aided and abetted crimes committed in the United States: crimes such as burglary and obstruction of justice. He was not(!!!) facing removal from office for his actions in Southeast Asia--such as the invasion of Cambodia--that arguably cost many more lives than the actions of Dubya and his minions in Iraq. That's because--like it or not, and I definitely do not like it--presidential decisions in the course of war are not "crimes" in the legalistic sense of the US Constitution.

    Let's forget the entire impeachment fantasy. Impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives would make great political theater. Impeachment hearings would neither stop the civil war in Iraq nor bring US troops home.

  • Zak J. (unverified)

    In discussing George W. Bush, it is worth remembering the nation we used to be, that is, the nation we were and the things we stood for in regards to human rights before he drug our good name through the mud. The 1996 War Crimes Act, passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support, allows for the DEATH PENALTY in cases when intentional abuse of a prisoner of war leads to the death of that person. We now have over 100 cases of deaths in custody of prisoners in the so-called War on Terror. No one can seriously argue that this number of deaths is the result of a pattern of abuse authorized and encouraged by the Bush administration, including W., Cheney, and Rumsfeld.

    Impeachment is too good for W., but it's better nothing. This man must be repudiated by America in the strongest terms if we are ever to regain our moral standing in the world.

  • Zak J. (unverified)

    Sorry, that should read: "No one can seriously argue that this number of deaths is the NOT result of a pattern of abuse authorized and encouraged by the Bush administration, including W., Cheney, and Rumsfeld."

    My editing slips when I get angry.

  • Zak J. (unverified)

    "...NOT the result..."

    Ok. I'm done. Too much emotion. But seriously, Bush demeans us all.

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    if someone can think of a quicker way to end this war, let me know. we cannot think "strategically" or take "measured" actions; we must simply take action to end this war however we can.

    No. Impeachment shouldn't be done for policy reasons. It should be done for constitutional ones. Provide a constitutional argument, and I'll listen.

    Until then, you're just using "impeachment" to mean that you really "super duper" hate George Bush and his war - even more than regular ol' hating.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    we cannot think "strategically" or take "measured" actions; we must simply take action to end this war however we can.

    Which is exactly the kind of reasoning that got us into the war in the first place. And following that reasoning now is just as likely to extend the war as it is to end it.

    The reality is George Bush won the 2004 election. We need to get someone elected in 2008 who is committed to ending the war. And we shouldn't assume that is inevitable. Especially if the Democrats spend the next two years making themselves look foolish and inept.

    Impeachment shouldn't be done for policy reasons. It should be done for constitutional ones.

    Impeachment is a political decision. It should be done for whatever reasons the congress decides are "high crimes and misdemeanors". Going to war without proper preparation and executing the powers of office ineptly is a good enough reason, but only if it will win sufficient votes in the congress. It won't.

  • Buckman Res (unverified)

    Sure, the US House defined Bill's blowjob-lie as a "high crime" but I think most constitutional scholars will see that as a low point in American history.

    Clinton was impeached for lying under oath to a grand jury, and deservedly so. If Bush has committed an impeachable offense then the House has a duty to begin impeachment proceedings. Removal is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish taking, I believe, a 2/3rds vote of the Senate.

    Many of those who voted for Democrats this last time ‘round are lusting for impeachment. To placate them and help insure success in the ‘08 presidential election it would be good strategy to at least look like impeachment was being seriously considered by the Democrats in power.

    Pelosi’s “impeachment is off the table” stance is shortsighted politics at best and a dereliction of the House’s constitutional oversight responsibility at worst.

  • djk (unverified)

    "high crimes and misdemeanors" are not defined in the Constitution. They are whatever Congress defines them to be.

    Intentionally misleading Congress in national security -- and orchestrating a massive campaign of deception among numerous senior members of the administration -- is a high crime if Congress says its a high crime.

    But you want a "constitutional" argument that the actions of Bush and Cheney are a "high crime"? Art. II, Sec. 1, paragraph 8: "Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: -- "I do solemly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

    Also, Art. II, Sec 3 requires the President "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed[.]"

    We could argue what "faithfully" means, but to me it means "good faith." That's a subjective standard, but to intentionally mislead Congress in matters of national security with the object of starting an unprovoked war is "bad faith" if I've even seen it. And I think violating a basic constitutional duty would be a "high crime and misdemeanor."

    As far as the politics: Congress could quickly impeach both Bush and Cheney for their respective roles in conspiring (with other members of the administration) to mislead Congress. Yes, numerous Democrats gave the President war authority, but they have easy political cover: "I never imagined the President would lie about something as critical as the security of our nation and the lives of our troops." The facts already are out there; a dozen Congressmen could put a couple of their staffers on it, and have pretty solid evidence to proceed with impeachment.

    It's also in the interests of Republicans to get these guys out of office. If Bush and Cheney are still around in the fall of 2008, they will remain the most prominent face of the Republican party. That's an albatross around the neck of every Republican running for re-election. Pure political self-preservation should be enough to get the smarter Republicans to ditch Bush and Cheney in favor of someone else.

    Of course, it's very much in the interests of Democrats, for purely political reasons, to keep Bush and Cheney in power until 2008, simply so they can, once again, nationalize the elections.

    Here's one more wrinkle, though: If Congress were to impeach Bush and Cheney at once, and remove them from office, Nancy Pelosi becomes President. No matter how much the current administration is dragging down the party, Republicans will never go for that. Democrats would need to broker a deal: either Pelosi (briefly) steps down when the Senate begins the impeachment trial, and the House selects a new Republican speaker (of the Democrat's choice) to wait on deck for Bush and Cheney to be removed, or the Senate impeaches Cheney, and then a bipartisan coalition selects a new Vice President and informs Bush "appoint this guy and then step down, or we impeach you an put Pelosi into power."

    As long as impeachment is seen as a partisan "Republican v. Democrat" exercise, it's a non-starter. If it's approached as a bipartisan "Congress v. out-of-control Executive" with the power and prestige of Congress at stake, it might be doable. However, the plan would have to involve keeping the White House from changing parties, which means the caucuses of both parties would need to agree on an acceptable Republican to replace Bush.

    I'd say its important to the future of our country that both parties work together to impeach Bush and Cheney over lying to Congress to start the war. The ultimate political sanction for this kind of extreme misconduct will be the best possible deterrent to future executives doing the same thing.

    And I really have no problem with Congress holding the President to the absolute highest standards of honesty and faith in executing the office.

    Impeachment isn't about ending the war. It's suitable punishment to the administration for tricking American into the war in the first place.

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    Kari, the soundest Constitutional arguments I'm aware of are that the Bush administration violated both the UN Charter and Geneva Conventions--both of which the President is mandated by law to acknowledge and adhere to as international agreements--in their invasion of Iraq. No formal authority for unilateral, unprovoked invasion and toppling of the regime was ever granted by a national or international body with jurisdiction over such matters. If you recall, the administration opted not to seek the 2nd, qualifying resolution that would have given the UN's imprimatur for invasion--because they would have lost the vote.

    Both the British Foreign Minister (I believe) and Paul Wolfowitz have acknowledged during interviews that the invasion was very possibly illegal under international law.

  • Joe12Pack (unverified)

    Shrieking Moonbat: "Impeach Bush!" Rational Individual: "On what grounds?" Shrieking Moonbat: "Because I hate him, I hate him, I hate him!" [begins ranting hysterically]

    Seriously folks, this is the type of off the wall drivel I'd expect to see over at portland indymedia. What's next, posts about chemtrails and 9/11 conspiracy theories? Heck, what about trying Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the hawks at the Hague for war crimes?

    Sorry, you cannot impeach Bush for being a lousy president. You can't bounce the guy for his ill-advised invasion of Iraq either, given the fact that most members of congress and a few other nations went along with him, and Iraq was in violation of U.N. resolutions. Sure, there was no shortage of flawed intelligence data but W. didnt draw it up. He was a true believer.

    Bushco will be out of business in 2 years. Devoting time & energy to silly notions about impeachment proceedings is counterproductive and harmful to everyone. The last thing we need is another racorous show trial. Listen to your fearless leaders and keep such ideas off the table.

  • lin qiao (unverified)

    As long as impeachment is seen as a partisan "Republican v. Democrat" exercise, it's a non-starter. If it's approached as a bipartisan "Congress v. out-of-control Executive" with the power and prestige of Congress at stake, it might be doable.

    Puhleeze. Is there really any credible scenario in which the impeachment of Dubya and Cheney would not be seen as a partisan exercise? The Senate was ready to convict Nixon in 1974 because it had become a black-and-white affair thanks to Nixon's very own recordings, and because his crimes were serious. Once those GOP senators told Nixon to leave or be impeached, he resigned.

    Yes, Clinton lied to a grand jury. He lied to cover up an extramarital affair, not to cover up burglary and obstruction of justice, as Nixon did. Did any Republicans seriously believe there was a snowball's chance in hell of the Senate actually convicting Clinton? No!! It was 100% political theater.

    By all means the Congress should do its damnedest to investigate and expose the Administration's lies and deceptions about Iraq, Guantanamo, and so on. But an impeachment circus would just be a distraction. Just as there was never a credible chance of convicting Clinton, there is no credible chance of convicting Bush and Cheney unless they go on the tube to announce their culpability.

    I loathe what Bush and his minions have done to this country (not to mention Iraq). But let's get over the revenge fantasy.

  • djk (unverified)

    Sorry, you cannot impeach Bush for being a lousy president. You can't bounce the guy for his ill-advised invasion of Iraq either, given the fact that most members of congress and a few other nations went along with him, and Iraq was in violation of U.N. resolutions.

    The issue isn't being a "lousy president" or even the invasion. It's intentionally misleading Congress about a critical national security issue. If he'd gone to Congress and said something like "I want American to invade Iraq and take over the country to remove Saddam Hussein from power and untertake an exercise in nation-building that will set a shining example of freedom and democracy for the entire Middle East" and Congress approves it, that's one thing.

    But to claim that the invasion was a war of necessity, and that we were threatened by an existing stockpile of weapons of mass destruction and shadowy alliances with terrorists ... that's something else altogether. Orchestrating numerous senior members of the administration to conduct an intentional campaign of deceit is the sort of abuse of power that not only warrants impeachment, but pretty much demands removal from office.

    Incompetence isn't an impeachable offense. Intentional dishonesty most certainly is, especially when the lie costs (and is intended to cost) thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars.

    Devoting time & energy to silly notions about impeachment proceedings is counterproductive and harmful to everyone

    Or very productive and beneficial to everyone if it actually works. There are solid reasons to impeach Bush and Cheney, and there are enough Democrats in the House to send the matter to the Senate for trial. Getting a 2/3rds vote in the Senate to remove them from office is harder, but it's really just a matter of offering the right carrots and waving the right sticks.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)

    BushCorp has been operated as a series of nested 'babushka' dolls with Bush/Cheney at the tiny secret center, so their conspiracy would require impeachment of both, I concur. I do not want to put this country through that trauma, an earth-shaking trauma, when the duo are already lame ducks, if only they can accept that status. I think we need to keep our powder dry, reserving that option for an extremity of threat which they can yet avoid posing.

    They are still powerful, and the Democrats' power is hardly unassailable even now. I want to see our representatives work on rolling back the abuses of power BushCorp has committed, not "shoot their wad" and miss!

    We came to power in Congress with a wide coalition of independents and disaffected conservatives disgusted by the partisan power-play of the NeoCons under Bush, and to make him a martyr now will shatter that coalition.

    To have our government devolve into partisan battling wil certainly do nothing to restore our standing among nations.

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    and at the end of the day, if the hearigs are held and the info comes out, we'll know who had the guts and honesty to hold this administration accountable -- including those who failed to do their job first time around. if Hillary cops to her failure and says she was wrong and that Bush is criminally negligent, i will feel much better supporting her candidacy. and if certain Dems refuse to impeach, or to convict in the Senate, then we (progressives who believe Bush has committed high crimes) know who has lost our support for good.

    now is the time to step up. do some of you actually not understand that real people are dying every fucking day and that Bush is the person responsible?

    how will you stop the war? how will you explain to a dead soldier's child the "necessity" for mommy or daddy's death?

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    I'll repeat something I've written in several threads:

    Folks who want us out of Iraq would be more effective saying "end the occupation" than "end the war." It is more descriptive, more doable, and offers less for super-patriot types to grumble about.

  • Garrett (unverified)

    You know something. I would love to see Bush and Cheney impeached maybe more than anyone here...but if you think that unless they did it without a bipartisan effort like the Republicans did to Clinton and it won't hurt Democrats and progressives politically for the next decade you are an idiot.

    The mood of the nation would have to be so pro impeachment that anybody who would vote against impeachment would immediately make their seat in Congress heavily vulnerable no matter how Red or Blue their district was. Unfortunately the mood of the country is still roughly 50-50 and after seeing an ugly partisan impeachment proceeding against Clinton, which if you'll recall had no prayer of happening in the Senate, once in our lifetimes the American people will not take it again.

    To build the proper mood in the country will take time. Probably more than the 2 years Bush is going to be in office. I'm not saying hearings shouldn't be held about what led to 9/11 and the war but I seriously doubt that there will be enough evidence to turn Republicans pro-impeachment. The nation knows they were lied to. They know what kind of war we're in and the info is out there. The problem is it doesn't affect them. They don't care. Johnny Reb is still gonna support his boy W and the Liberals are going to demand impeachment.

    To think that this Congress is going to be dumb enough to begin impeachment proceedings with 2 years left in a President's term without a smoking gun being held by the President himself is juvenile. Impeachment right now would be rash and stupid. We have an opportunity to cement a Democratic majority for years to come and trying to impeach Bush with the current mood of the country would be the equivalent of pissing all over ourselves in public and then trying to ask Jennifer Aniston out to dinner. I get people are dying and Bush is responsible. Have hearings and make the case to the public. You can't begin impeachment proceedings unless Republicans and Democrats both agree on his guilt. I just think its unrealistic to think we're going to get that in 2 years. There are other ways to get our troops out of Iraq other than impeaching Bush and I suggest we focus on those.

    Remember how crazy Delay and his cronies looked when they were going after Clinton? That's exactly what Dems that go after Bush will look like to right wingers. I don't care what our moral high ground will look exactly like a witch hunt to the other side. If you remember they claimed the moral high ground then as well. I don't care if that was lying about a BJ and this is about murder...the right wingers don't care...unless the public is so charged by this its a colossal and pathetic waste of time and momentum to try to impeach...the only way to do that is to take the time to bring up the facts about what happened.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)

    BushCorp is ultimately responsible for killing Iraq as a country, but this is a democracy and they couldn't do it without the assent of a majority of reponsible adults in this great country. Making the capo-tutti-capo a martyr for our collective sins will not absolve us, nor prevent commensurate atrocities being perpetrated later. Our task will be to build an electorate that is ethical enough to refuse to be led astray by glib hucksters like BushCorp ever again.

  • djk (unverified)

    Is there really any credible scenario in which the impeachment of Dubya and Cheney would not be seen as a partisan exercise?

    If a substantial number of Republicans support impeachment, it's not a partisan exercise. You want a credible scenario?

    Imagine that the Republicans, for some reason known only to them, are bitter about losing control of the House and Senate. Let's stretch that further: a substantial number of Republicans decide that the results of the 2006 elections were a rebuke of Bush, the war on Iraq, and Republican support of Bush up to that point. So maybe guys in that position would be pretty pissed off at BushCo at that point. (I know I would be.)

    Now imagine that Republicans would rather go into 2008 with a different set of Republicans in the White House than Bush and Cheney. Say, a President who was generally seen as honest and capable, and respected by both parties. A President who had served less than two full years, and would be eligible for re-election in 2008 and 2012. A President who probably wouldn't drag down the party.

    Next, pretend that the Democrats have the guts to go through with impeachment, and put Bush and Cheney on trial before the Senate with a pretty convincing case that both men were involved in offenses of constitutional magnitude: deceit, abuse of power, and other misconduct on the level of bribery or treason. (Nancy Pelosi has flat out stated they won't do this, but she could change her mind.)

    The Democrats, for the public reason of "taking the politics out of these proceedings" by ensuring the White House doesn't change parties, puts a Republican Speaker into the House just for the duration of the trial. (I don't have anyone specific in mind, but out of roughly 200 Republicans, is there even one left with the honesty and integrity to conduct himself properly as President? Even one who is respected by large numbers of is Democratic colleagues as a statesman rather than a partisan hack?)

    That's where my scenario breaks down... I don't know if there is a real-world Arnold Vinnick in Congress. But pretend there is. Republicans would have every reason to dump Bush and Cheney and replace them with someone who respects the Constitution and the integrity of our system, and to vote for removal if the evidence shows it's more likely than not that Bush and Cheney both engaged in misconduct of constitutional magnitude.

    And if they don't -- well, a majority, shy of 2/3rds, still is a rebuke. And if Democrats were to do this right up front (say, next Spring), there will still be a year-and-a-half of investigation, hearings, and general exposure of the massive corruption of this administration. Every revelation makes Bush, and by extension every member of his party who stood up for him during impeachment, look worse. Every Republican who protected this scandal-ridden administration would have to answer for it in 2008.

    So yes, I see a plausible, bi-partisan way to successfully impeach Bush and Cheney. It requires the Democrats offer up a Republican president in trade, allowing the Republicans to keep the White House. But if Democrats were willing to take that step (which absolutely require's Pelosi's cooperation), Bush and Cheney could be back in Texas by next summer.

    Thing is, this would help Republicans in 2008, which means the most partisan thing the Democrats can do is leave Bush and Cheney in power and not even try to remove them, regardless of the damage it causes to America or the moral duty of Congress to deal with constitutional transgressions by the executive.

    Democrats should at least be discussing something along the lines of the strategy outlined above (but quietly, more as speculation than a plan) and with nobody ruling it out. Pelosi's take on impeachment shouldn't be "no way" but "we'll see." At very least, a credible threat of impeachment might be a good way to keep Bush and company in line for the next year or so.

  • djk (unverified)

    Remember how crazy Delay and his cronies looked when they were going after Clinton? That's exactly what Dems that go after Bush will look like to right wingers. I don't care what our moral high ground will look exactly like a witch hunt to the other side.

    It doesn't matter how it looks to right-wingers. The opinions of the wingnuts are immaterial. They're never going to offer anything other than staunch opposition to Democrats, no matter what the Democrats do or fail to do.

    What matters is how impeachment looks to folks in the broad center. Impeaching Clinton for lying about marital infidelity blew up in the Republicans' faces because it was a partisan exercise and was genuinely trivial.

    Impeaching Bush for lying to get us into a very unpopular war is a very different matter, as long as there is solid evidence that the administration sold Congress and the American people on the war with a completely fabricated threat to our national security. If Republicans stand firm behind Bush and prevent impeachment, there's a very good chance that will blow up in their faces as well, once the numerous investigations launched by the Democrats bear fruit.

    I'm guess if you ask the average, non-partisan, not-very-political American if a president should be impeached for lying about his sex life, the answer would be "no." If you ask if a president should face impeachment for intentionally starting a bloody and costly war under false pretenses, you'll find a heck of a lot more support.

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    The American people haven't voted to impeach Bush. They have voted for --and the Democrats have promised-- a change in direction. That's what we need to be persuing with all vigor, not waiting for new elections. Over the next few months we will be debating two options: expanding the war, or pulling out. The idea that we can continue to tread water and somehow maintain the status quo puts folks who believe that on the wrong side of history. We're not in the driver's seat, Ross, and events will soon overtake us.

    We need to bring our troops home, as soon as possible. They are accomplishing no good. The situation is awful, and much of it is of our making, but much of it --the growing civil war-- reflects long-standing issues that have nothing to do with our occupation. Our occupation only exacerbates the situation. We are helping no one.

    We need to focus on getting out. As soon as we can. To say that only a change in Presidents can make that happen totally denigrates the changes that committed citizens can make happen. Why have a civil rights movement? Why march against the Vietnam War? We only needed to elect a Democrat...wait, that was a Democrat's war. Ended under a Republican president, whose administration certainly did not want to end that war.

    If out of this "bring the troops home now" effort, and impeachment becomes an organic part of that strategy, then fine. But "impeachment now," and "holding this administration responsible," needs to take second place to pressing forward to bringing the troops home.

    Democrats can elect to work on this, or they can sit on the sidelines waiting for a change in who is heading the Imperial Presidency. I'd rather see a little democracy in action, and have our Congress rightfully assume its responsibilities.

  • lin qiao (unverified)

    Barnhart: "now is the time to step up. do some of you actually not understand that real people are dying every fucking day and that Bush is the person responsible? how will you stop the war? how will you explain to a dead soldier's child the "necessity" for mommy or daddy's death?"

    I'm sorry, Mr. Barnhart, but holding impeachment hearings will no more stop the war than will holding budget hearings. So stop the posturing, guilt-tripping, and slander of people who generally agree with your politics. (Not that I think abusing anyone else is a worthy idea, either.) Moreover, as Mr. Civiletti pointed out, what we as a nation can actually do is end the US occupation of Iraq, but we sure can't end the civil war. So quit acting as though you're the moral fellow who wants to "stop the war" and the rest of us are unprincipled weasels.

  • bama_barrron (unverified)

    I think the assumption that impeachment is the only way to stop the occupation in iraq is a bit overly simplified. i sincerely believe the occupation will stop before 08, if for no other reason, that the gop doesnt want another drubbing at the polls. a bipartisan plan to end the occupation can be worked out if both sides don't get overly arrogant and greedy. I for one think this is the best solution.

    if the democratic party really wants to pursue justice long term, i suggest we take this opportunity to change the war powers act while trimming the wings of an imperial presidency. in my mind, this would be one of the most important actions our party could puruse.

    impeachment would be my third option for many many reasons ... although i would dearly love to see bush in a prison somewhere i also know i am being more then a little personally greedy when i obsess on this wish.

  • mark (unverified)

    what a joke.

    built on a lie. that nonsense argument was given up by serious lefties a long time ago.

    wmd's and terror links were long ago found....

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    When the Republicans spent years trying to tear Clinton down with serial lies, character assassination, and impeachment, Clinton's popularity numbers, climbed and, for the most part remained above 60%.

    The public understood what it was all about even if they weren't clear on the particulars.


    When BushCo spent years lying us into this war, people supported him out of fear. They now get that they were scammed, but they will not appreciate or side with a crowd alternately screaming "I told you so" and Hang 'em high".

    In this case, reminding people that they were hustled, every day for the next two years, will probably cause them to dig their heels in and swing back to the Republicans.


    Journalist Richard Cohen summed up that position nicely yesterday with this basic meme:

    I would have been against the war sooner, but I'll be damned if I'll ever admit that the Greasy Hippies were correct three years ago.

    If anyone thinks that the recent election signaled a seachange in favor of the reality based community, they are, to reference Menken, sadly oversestimating the American Public.


    Impeachment has been thoroughly discredited as a partisan tool by Republicans under Clinton. Any Dem effort in that direction will just irritate the voters. The perception of fair play is way more important than the facts here.

  • ClueLess Blue (unverified)

    Does anyone have proof that the President "intentionally misled" the Congress, other than T.A.'s really, really, really, really strong hope and belief that the President lied?

    There is no proof, because, the President relied upon intelligence from an intelligence agency who had been gutted by the prior administration (T.A. never mentions this fact). And, more importantly, we have found nuclear material and other contraband in Iraq (another fact that T.A. conveniently avoids - see prior post for source).

    The more you Dems talk about impeachment, the more the GOP stands to gain in 2008.

    So, by all means, keep talking!

  • Garrett (unverified)

    "I'm guess if you ask the average, non-partisan, not-very-political American if a president should be impeached for lying about his sex life, the answer would be "no." If you ask if a president should face impeachment for intentionally starting a bloody and costly war under false pretenses, you'll find a heck of a lot more support."

    Have you been anywhere outside of Oregon? The President didn't lie about his sex life to just the American public. He lied in front of a grand jury and the American Public. Don't get me wrong...I don't think that was an impeachable offense but a good 40-50% of the American public thought lying to a grand jury was. Don't kid yourself into thinking the rest of the country is as blue as Oregon. You have to be realistic about these things and impeaching Bush is a pipe dream.

  • genop (unverified)

    The current administration is dysfunctional, it has promoted policies out of touch with reality. It has produced legislation consistent with a warped sense of the needs of this country and left us with serious problems which need to be resolved now(today). The longer we remain fixated on holding the players responsible, the less time we spend solving the problems crying out for resolution. The mid-term results acknowledge popular dissatisfaction and reflect a mandate for change now. Beginning in January, the Democratic Congress must show solidarity and move swiftly to repeal the most harmful and self serving legislation fostered by the administration. Let Bush veto a slate of corrective measures to fix his mess and the presidential election will take care of itself. The first step in January should be to adopt a sane exit strategy from the Iraq occupation and start bringing troops home. This is the most urgent problem. Congress must establish a list of priorities in touch with reality and work through each to develop legislation responsive to the real problems which confront this country. To wallow in acrimony about why things got this way and assign blame is non-productive and would be a huge mistake. Like the end of any dysfunctional relationship, sometimes it's best to just move on and let it go.

  • Joe12Pack (unverified)

    "although i would dearly love to see bush in a prison somewhere i also know i am being more then a little personally greedy when i obsess on this wish."

    Several adjectives come to mind as better substitutes for the term "personally greedy" in your last sentence. "Delusional" is the first that comes to mind.

    On a more encouraging note, most here seem to be capable of distinguishing reality from fantasy. Pursuing impeachment is a non-starter and a sure-fire recipe for a Democratic implosion.

  • nick (unverified)

    Impeach! Impeach! Let's hear it for President Cheney!

  • Karl Smiley (unverified)

    It doesn't have anything to do with hating Bush or not. If we don't even try to impeach we just show the world we have no respect for law or even our own constitution. We just continue playing with our political strategies while the slaughter goes on.

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    i was about to be convinced that there are other, better options for ending the war, but your point is exactly why the Dems need to push forward with impeachment. right now the world thinks all of America is behind Bush's war (yes it's an occupation but it sure looks like war). if the Congress, even just part of Congress, begins impeachment proceedings, they tell the world that a large part of America thinks Bush behaved in criminal manner. and that helps set the ground for 2009, to let the new president begin to undo the damage Bush et al have done.

    thanks for keeping me on task, Karl.

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    if the Congress, even just part of Congress, begins impeachment proceedings, they tell the world that a large part of America thinks Bush behaved in criminal manner.

    The flip side of that, though, is that if the impeachment effort fails what does that "tell the world?" That's it's not just Bush's war, but Congress' as well. Which, of course, at this point it is.

    Coming out against the war, which a majority of people are now doing, --including more and more of Congress-- doesn't require a level of agreement that impeaching the president does. And people can oppose it for a variety of reasons: incompetence, criminality, failure to support our troops adequately, or just plain war-weariness.

    Why take this coalition of the unwilling --unwilling to continue this war-- and drive wedges into it over impeachment? Look at the wedge this issue creates even here at Blue Oregon among people who oppose the war?

    We need to be uniters, not dividers, and uniting the broadest coalition of forces to end this war is what is going to accomplish that.

  • curt (unverified)

    "built on a lie. that nonsense argument was given up by serious lefties a long time ago.

    "wmd's and terror links were long ago found...."

    Oh .. geez. Dude. You really need to read a better class of web page. No, WMDs were not found. Some obsolete abandoned stuff was found, probably years after it had fallen off a truck and gotten lost in the desert, and was too old to work in any case. That's NOT what we were looking for.

    What we were looking for.. we did not find.


  • DAN GRADY (unverified)

    Allow me to stir the pot, and understand I do so for my love of America, and belief that strength is the only assurance of survival in the world.

    We have choices and those choices are these:

    1. Draw back to Kuwait, the northern Kurdish region, and maintain a two carrier group presence in the Persian Gulf the way we have in the Med, thus let the civil war play out and contain it in the boundaries of Iraq and not allow it to spill over with the current volunteer forces.

    2. Stay and make marginal increases with the volunteer forces and allow the partitian of the country to its original tribal and ethnic boundaries, and hope we can get out in the next 18 to two years. Then maintain the same large presence we had in the Clinton years, along with a two carrier group commitment in the Persian Gulf.

    3. Is a Draft of 2.5 million new ground forces over a 1 year period. The world and more importantly the Middle-East & Middle-Asia nations of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, along with Afghanistan and Pakistan would be watching as our military would be revitalized over that time. The psychological effect would be as forceful as a deployment over time, as the world knows the consequence of a 500,000 American forces on their soil. We should have start this in Afghanistan with the attitude that they were now American Territory and would stay so until they proved to the American public sufficiently that they were ready to take control of their own nation. Iraq would be American soil until the Iraqi's want their nation their own, and proved it by governing without chaos.

    The first two options are likely; the third is the comprehensive approach that fixes the problem for the future.

    The Political will that would still be there had we only invaded Afghanistan, and made Pakistan concerned that they would end up American Territory would have neutralized any terrorist protection, or safe havens, and would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives in Iraq, and Afghanistan. We would have had Iraqi's scrambling now as we speak for ways to avoid Afghanistan's fate!!!

    War is not a half measure, when it is it is a bloody disaster!!! Overwhelming force and political will is the only way to use military force.

    Not So Happy Thoughts;

    Dan Grady

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    Sorry, Dan. A draft is unpalatable, and rightly so.

    We will have no "American territory" in the Middle East. That route is madness.

    Can you imagine Britain telling us how to resolve OUR civil war?

    We just need to leave. And end this war, and end this hopeless and impossible occupation.

  • DAN GRADY (unverified)

    Sorry Frank, we already have territory in Iraq and are paying $2 billion a week to hold it and paying to private contractors and mercs to do so. This method of American foriegn policy is an abomination!!

    American's should not be privatizing War!! We made the effort half hearted and as a result we're paying for a full effort and getting less than the half assed result!!

    Afghanistan should be a passive, thriving territory of industrious Afghanies not harvesting opium, instead we have a thread of control, the largest heroin crop in history and a safe haven for Al Queada right under our nose!!

    Either we should have stayed home, or gone completely, I don't beleive half measures are going to solve anything. We'll be back in a short time for not having taken care of business the first time.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    Dan -

    Aside from being politically unrealistic, drafting, training and equipping 2.5 million soldiers would be enormously expensive. Its not even clear we could actually manufacture the equipment needed using current capacity. Take a look at how long it has taken to get soldiers body armor and there are still vehicles operating with home made reinforcement because properly armored vehicles aren't available.

    You are talking about drafting about 10% of the population, male and female, between the ages of 19 and 25. The impact of taking that many people out of the economy would be startling. This is not the Vietnam generation with a huge surplus of young workers.

    The assumption that more troops would give us the ability to end the violence in either Iraq or Afghanistan is a doubtful one. We put a half million troops in Vietnam. We lost anyway. All more troops will likely do is increase the number of targets for violence and the number of American casualties.

    Even if we were successful after many years, it would not have been worth the price we paid either in blood or money. Which was the strategic mistake of invading - we couldn't "win" because there was little or nothing really to be gained to begin with. We overthrew Saddam and the world is better for it, but we continue to pay a very heavy price for that rather modest achievement.

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    Either we should have stayed home, or gone completely...

    <h2>We should have stayed home, but having missed that opportunity, it's time to go home.</h2>

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