Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Clinton, Bush, Lies and Impeachment

 

Everyone agreed that it was not the sex. It was the lying, right? If having extramarital sex in the White House were an impeachable offense, the impeachment of presidents would long ago have become a routine affair. We’d have seen Roosevelt, Ike, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Bush the Elder in the dock for sure, and maybe Ron, too.

But everyone agreed it wasn’t the sex that got President Clinton in trouble. It was the lying. The audacious bending of the meaning of the word is and the word sex. Right?

But has lying ever been practiced so blatantly as it is being practiced today in the White House?

At least President Clinton’s lies were about his personal behavior. This administration has done its share of that kind of lying, to be sure. For example about the President’s cowardly conduct during the 9/11 attacks, or about Vice President Cheney’s dealings with Enron executives as the company was tanking. Or about President Bush’s year as an AWOL guardsman during the Vietnam War.

But this administration’s lying has gone far beyond that, and has led to the deaths of thousands, including well over a hundred Americans (and counting). This is prevarication on a scale that rivals the Johnson Adminstration’s lie about the purposted attack on an American destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin, or the Nixon Administration’s lie about its secret war in Cambodia.

Like Johnson’s big lie, which led to the deaths of over 50,000 Americans and of millions of Southeast Asians, the Bush Administration’s lies about Iraq–that it had biological and chemical weapons ready to use and that it was well on the way to developing nuclear weapons of that it was directly supporting Al Qaeda–were deliberately designed to trick Congress and the American Public into supporting a war that otherwise would not have happened–in the first instance against North Vietnam and in the second against Iraq.

Both of these deceptions were murderous lies.

Remember: Nixon’s lie about U.S. aggression against the neutral nation of Cambodia–another murderous lie–was one of the articles of impeachment that were voted against him in the House of Representatives. Johnson never had to face the music for his monstrous lie, but perhaps had he not decided not to seek a second elected term of office, he too might have ended up being impeached for it.

Now it’s Bush’s turn.

But where are the voices calling for his impeachment?

Where is the public outcry demanding that he be called to account for his shameless and bloody deception of the American public and the Congress?

It is likely that with American troops still patrolling the streets of Baghdad, and still getting attacked and killed there, and with most American’s still revelling in the thrill of the military’s quick victory over Saddam Hussein’s army, nobody’s ready to call Bush and his cronies on their crimes of falsehood.

But the buoyant nationalistic mood is liable to shift dramatically as the Iraq situation continues to deteriorate, and as the American body count continues to rise. Particularly if, as is likely, the economy stays in the doldrums.

At some point it will start to become politically acceptable to start asking, “If everybody’s mad at us, why are we over there?” Once that happens, the next question will be “How did we get into this mess in the first place?”

That’s when Bush’s big lie will start to loom large in the public’s assessment of this administration.

As for impeachment, as long as Congress remains in the hands of the Republican Party, it’s not likely. That makes the 2004 election doubly important. Even if Bush manages to eke out a narrow victory again in 2004, it is critically important that Democrats regain control of at least one house of Congress.

It may seem hard to imagine today, but if the voters manage that, we may yet see another impeachment drama.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. A collection of Lindorff’s stories can be found here: http://www.nwuphilly.org/dave.html

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail