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Three articles this weekend suggest that President Bush and his aim-challenged vice president are being abandoned by key elements of their base, and are facing a growing threat of impeachment.
In the New York Times Sunday Book Review, Dexter Filkins, one of the best reporters covering the Iraq War, reviewing a new book by former U.S. occupation viceroy L. Paul Bremer, reports on how Bremer says he asked for 40,000 more troops, and got a sympathetic hearing from Gen. Sanchez, who made it clear that he couldn’t get them. The reason: The Bush administration was politically committed to keeping troop levels at no more than 130,000, and reducing them if possible. The article makes it clear that Bremer saw the war and occupation as a failure.
In the current issue of National Review, William Buckley says Bush has to admit that his grand Iraq adventure has been a failure. While one can take issue with Buckley’s conclusion–that the disaster in Iraq shouldn’t mean that the U.S. can’t continue to meddle in other countries around the world–his major point is that for Bush and the U.S. in Iraq, it’s over. For Buckley only challenge remaining is for the president and his administration to admit defeat.
What this means is that Bush has lost both the corporate Republican backing for the war, as represented by Bremer, a fixture of the Wall Street establishment, and the mainstream Conservatives, as represented by Buckley.
Put that together with a third report–so far ignored by the major corporate media–that special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has obtained some 250 "missing" emails concerning the outing of Valerie Plame, and we have a whole new ballgame regarding the Bush administration’s remaining three years in office.
If Jason Leopold’s special report is correct (and Leopold has been pretty dead-on with regard to developments in the Fitzgerald probe), these new emails would appear to tie Cheney directly to the outing, and would be powerful evidence that the vice president lied to investigators regarding his knowledge of and involvement in the attack on Plame and ambassador Joseph Wilson.
With his allies dwindling, and evidence of his administration’s criminality edging closer and closer to the Oval Office, Bush appears to be developing more and more of a bunker mentality.
It’s all very reminiscent of the latter years of the Nixon administration, and we know how that one ended …
DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled "This Can’t be Happening!" is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s new book, "The Case for Impeachment",
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky, is due out May 1.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org