Saturday, November 25, 2006Check out this site, where impeachment is clearly framed for discussion.
Should We Impeach Bush and Cheney?
Yes. In ,Articles of Impeachment against Bush and Cheney, Eternal Hope lists fourteen grounds for impeaching Bush and Cheney. These grounds include:
1. Leaking classified information by disclosing the identity of Valerie Plame to reporters.
2. Lying to Congress--passing false information about Iraq's WMD capacities.
3. Extraordinary renditions.
4. Detentions without trial.
6. Misappropriation of funds.
7. Bombing Iraq without Congressional approval.
8. Conspiracy to pass false information.
9. Lying about Niger connection.
10. Contempt of Congress.
11. Illegal wiretaps.
12. Concealment of the existence or nature of domestic intelligence programs.
13. Destruction of evidence.
14. The use of white phosphorus in Iraq.
It is clear that this administration has a pattern of breaking the law. There is sufficient evidence in the public record to justify an intrusive and thorough investigation of the administration on these and other matters. Congress needs to use its investigation powers to do a zero-based appraisal of what the administration has been doing on intelligence gathering, use of the military, oversight of contractors, and domestic operations. If clear evidence of criminality is produced, then this should be used as the narrow basis of charges against the President and Vice President for impeachment. These charges should then be further investigated specifically by the Senate, and Senators should vote to remove these officers if they have broken any federal laws or violated their Constitutional oaths.
Why should we remove these officers if all Presidents violate federal laws to some extent? Will this be good for the country?
Yes, it will be good for the country because it resets the standards for the office. Of course, Presidents from Washington to Bush have technically violated the law, and many have failed to enforce parts of it they disagreed with. The behavior of this administration is qualitatively different. The neoconservatives have sought to undermine the law itself, and they did so to help out a narrow segment of society, their rich corporations and friends. They introduced the idea that the President is above the law. Impeachment sends a strong signal that this is not the case.
The President has enormous power, and that power affects people all over the world. Its occupant must look out for what is best for us all. To do that, they must operate within the bounds of the Constitution. No one person can always understand and do what’s best. That can only come out of the legitimate operation of the system, where checks on power can limit personal influence and many minds can look at the information to render the best course of action.
When the President violates the Constitution and operates outside the checks and balances of the other branches of government, they take the country off track. This is directly related, as we’ve seen, to how well (or poorly) our government performs.
If we don't impeach Bush and Cheney, who have deliberately operated outside the limits of the Constitution and federal laws, then some other person will try to do the same thing in the future. Neither we as a country nor the world as a whole can tolerate that.
If it were simply a matter of not enforcing controversial laws until the Supreme Court had decided, then bowing to that decision, and if it were not just a matter of operating according to the best judgment of the administration until Congressional investigation and oversight indicated a change of course, then we could tolerate this administration. They have a very different concept of what is right than the average American and certainly different from what Democrats would prefer. But we can and should tolerate this difference of opinion from anyone working within the system. It is the fact that the Bush Administration has gone outside the system that warrants impeachment and removal.