David Swanson: ...yes...it's interesting because among those who ARE relatively well informed, when you bring up the topic of impeachment, at least for the past several months and probably the next two weeks at least, you never hear "there's not a good case, there's no evidence, there's no grounds."
What you hear is this litany of fears: Fear of Cheney being president, fear of looking radical, fear of it not being plausible and draining energy from something else and so on. Do you get those sorts of responses, and how do you reply to them if you do?
Dennis Loo: Yes, I do get those kinds of responses, and how do I reply to them? Well first of all, what's more important than opposing the kinds of things that this regime is responsible for? If you let this kind of injustice go unanswered, even if you don't win the particular battle that you're engaged in at the moment, you can't allow these things to go down without fighting them. There's the stripping of habeas corpus, the spying on all Americans, torturing people as official policy, murdering people on mass scale, breaching the church/state divide and on and on and on, or denying global warming and endangering the future of this planet. These are horrible things, so that's one point.
You cannot, no matter what the political justifications or logic that people are trying to advance at any moment about why you should let these things go, you cannot allow these things to go down, and secondly, as for Cheney becoming president, if impeachment proceedings and investigations were actually to start, the subtitle of our book is 'The Case Against Bush and Cheney', because we certainly don't want Cheney to take over, but if those investigations were to begin, there is no way that Cheney would survive that process, besides Bush being knocked out of office, they would both go, and their whole cabinet would go, because the kinds of crimes and corruption and terrible things that they are doing, I mean, we only see the tip of the iceberg at this point; imagine with the tip of the iceberg looking the way it looks, imagine what's under the surface. I know I haven't completely answered your question; but why don't you ask me a follow-up question, and we'll get into further.
David Swanson: (laughing)... no I think that those are excellent answers and are ones that I have tried to use as well; I think in addition, it can be useful to point out to people that Cheney is largely running things now, and to have him upfront as the face of the Republican Party would be advantageous to us, but I think your first answer is the fundamental answer; we can't let this pass, and impeachment is not for selecting a president, it's for removing a criminal president, and then we'll address the next one when he or she is in there.
Dennis Loo: Yes, absolutely. Were you and I alone in the world today to recognize that this was going on, it would still be a fight that you and I would have to fight, and then we would have to bring other people along, but it isn't only you and I, in fact; roughly 50% of the American population, the people in polls since last year, the fall of last year or late summer of last year, Zogby, at least, began polling people and asking Americans, if Bush lied about the reasons for going to war in Iraq, would you favor the articles of impeachment being drawn up? If he has been spying on Americans without court warrant, would you be in favor of articles of impeachment being drawn up, 40% to 50% of the people have been saying yes, so we, in fact, there is a huge latent support for impeachment.
The Democratic Party is ignoring this as an organization. If they really were a party of opposition, they could sweep the chambers of Congress simply by saying this is our platform; we need to impeach this administration, but they are not doing that obviously, so the situation, those people who say that it's not possible politically to impeach this administration, and that we would be unwise, are contributing to the demise of everything that many of these people say is so sacred; the U.S. Constitution, international law and so on and so forth; they have just taken a hatchet to these things. They are taking a bark saw to the Constitution, and the Democrats.... even the New York Times said on the Military Commissions Act of 2006, they said if you are going to filibuster anything, filibuster this, and the Democrats didn't. What did they do? John Kerry, Senator Feinstein, when they took the vote on the floor of the Senate, what did they say about this bill? Did they say this thing is unthinkable, it is barbaric? No, they didn't say these things, they said, "Oh the GOP is going to use this against people who vote No in the November elections," as if partisan bickering was the issue here, as if their careers was the issue, as if the elections of 2006 were the issue; no, the issue is much more fundamental than that, but they didn't speak to it."
Investigate, impeach, indict, convict and sentence
Sun Oct 22, 2006 at 04:27:41 AM EDT
The diary "Newsweek: 51% of Americans support impeachment" by MarcTGFG contains some great back-and-forth discussion of the necessity and possibly utility (or futility) of impeaching Bush and Cheney with only two years left in their
reign of terrorterms of office.
We're approaching a potential landmark election. The topic is one currently reserved to bloggers, the media and the pundits; the Democrats haven't been pressing it of late. While it does, indeed, cloud the issues that must be addressed and risk deferring thought and concentration on winning the upcoming elections, it's a topic that should not be avoided. Here are my thoughts on it.
I'm going to reference MarcTGFG's diary and comments for part of this, so keep the link handy.
One point raised centered around whether the investigations are even necessary, given Bush's own admission that he has broken, and will continue to break, the law. (Read the linked comment, and the two below.)
Another poster doubted that impeachment could make it through the Senate.
Still others believed that the whole process -- impeachment, indictment and conviction -- was necessary, to properly restore our nation's integrity and to stop the train wreck that is BushCo before it can jump the tracks and avoid prosectution.
The question that hit me the hardest, however, wasn't "whether" or "should" -- it was "why bother" if we get a Dem majority back into Congress. It wasn't a question posed by a commenter; rather, it was postulated as a rather small piece within a larger comment:"the American public may consider it petty of us to try to remove him with only two years left in his term"It's a great thought -- I was glad that the poster, PhoenixWoman, brought it up. It left me thinking of what an adequate response would be -- could be -- to such ambivalence by even a small minority of the populace. I posted a reply, which I've reproduced below.
It's the reply that constitutes my reason for this diary tonight; please read it, and comment below on your take regarding both it, and the question of investigations and impeachment of Bush/Cheney.
These are items that I feel we must put some preparatory thought into, even as we press forward with the drive to win the impending elections. If we are not already thinking about our answers to future questions such as this, and we await the last possible moment to reflect upon them, we could very likely lose the opportunity or upper hand at playing a deciding role in the outcome.
:: :: My reply... :: ::
Pithy or not, they could do untold damage if left (0 / 0)
where they are for two years.
Every day, every signing statement, every wiretap, every time someone is whisked away in darkness for rendition and secret tribunal and every opportunity that the current Republican majority has to push through "protective" measures, a little more is chipped away at the foundations of freedom and accountability, and the light of liberty and truth shines a little less brightly.
The self-serving corruption is blatant. The arrogance and contempt for the "quaint" principles of law, of equality, of accountability and for the need for oversight within the framework of checks and balances is unbridled.
The moral and social outrage should be palpable; it grows daily.
Not a minute longer than absolutely necessary as dictated by proper procedure and observance to the process of responsible government should these people remain in office.
The "petty" principle pales in comparison to realities on the ground. Any cries of outrage at an attempt to impeach, to try, to convict and imprison these criminals should be met with the scorn and contempt for our nation that has been foisted upon us for these many years, times three.
...but, then again -- you, and I, and we already know this. It will be incumbent upon the new Congress to take this charge of realigning our government with our founding principles, and to do so with expedience and efficiency that belie the paramount importance of the task. For if we do not find it within the next Congress to right the wrongs of the past six years, and if these clowns of ultimate buffoonery are permitted to complete their terms unchallenged, unchecked and undeterred, then we will have well and truly lost that which our forefathers bequeathed to us; the "American Dream" will be lost, replaced by a cheap imitation born of marketing genius and built by cheap offshore labor.
And most likely stamped "Made in China" somewhere on the bottom.
"...And while we're impeaching Bush for supporting torture, secret prisons and denial of the right of habeas corpus even to naturalized U.S. citizens, perhaps we might want to add the names of Democratic senatorial candidate Rep. Harold Ford (D-Tenn.), considered a "rising star" in the party, or Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) to the charge sheet. They, along with 42 of their Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate, voted to legalize these atrocities as the U.S. Congress wrapped up its business last month.
Of course, the liberal advocates of impeachment don't dwell on Democrats' complicity with Bush's impeachable offenses. Their strategy for impeachment depends on the election of a Democratic Congress that will have subpeona power to launch investigations of the Bush administration.
This may be the biggest leap of faith that the pro-impeachment liberals regularly take. They hope that once Democrats run Congress, the same group of bumblers who would not mount a filibuster against the torture bill--for fear of facing Republican attack ads accusing them of being "soft on terrorism"-- will now become champions of the people.
They forget that if the Democrats win, they will set their sights on winning the White House in 2008. And their leaders will look on the impeachment of Bush as a "divisive" sideshow that will fire up Republicans and impede their ability to rake in corporate contributions."