FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Impeachment as the Message

Suppose I seize
The ship, make it my own and, bit by bit,
Seize yards and docks, machinery and men,
As others have, and then, unlike the others, Instead of building ships, in numbers, build
A single ship, a cloud on the sea, the largest Possible machine, a divinity of steel,
Of which I am captain. Given what I intend,
The ship would become the center of the world.

–Wallace Stevens,
“Life on a Battleship” (1939)

John Dean’s July 18th FindLaw column calling for a special prosecutor to investigate President Bush and his administration presents a thorough analysis of “misstatements” in the now-notorious State of the Union Address. It should be required reading for every American, and the issues presented should be openly aired and argued.

Politicians misstate the facts and the truth all the time. Or, to put it more accurately, they lie. Citizens have grown so accustomed to this false face they can barely manage a shrug when another whopper comes bellowing down the pike. So tangled is the current linguistic web of politics that it’s nearly impossible to know which statements are true and which are false.

Those of us who carefully followed the Bushvolk buildup to the takeover of Iraq doubted much of the “solid evidence,” and experienced analysts were granted little space in the major press to demonstrate the questionable nature of that evidence. When, for example, much of the material Secretary of State Powell presented in his much-hyped address to the United Nations was later shown to be highly suspect, even manipulated, it barely raised a ripple.

As John Dean and others have said, this is a scandal of major proportions. Yet the press and the politicians are still pussyfooting around the issues, possibly hoping they”ll all go away. Will there be some smoking gun so blatantly hot that even the more die-hard administration supporters and their hyperbole-shouting talk-show commentators find it possible to ignore or condone? There is more, but how much more is needed? Are there no Republicans who value fairness and honesty more than downplaying and excusing administration actions that have cost many lives, spun the nation further into debt and possibly (am I the first to project it?) put the nation on the edge of a depression?

Regarding those famous “16 words” and administration blather about Saddam Hussein’s “nuculer” capability, consider this quotation:

“In mid-December, a British diplomat told me that the decision to attack Iraq had been made; all that remained was the need to strengthen the case for the action, he said. The Administration had tried to point to an impending Iraqi nuclear-weapons problem; however, the case for any such near-term threat, about which nothing had been heard [earlier], seemed to collapse under expert commentary.”

Those words were written by Elizabeth Drew in The New Yorker for February 18, 1991. Twelve years later is it “deja vu all over again”? Apparently it is, with many of the same players reworking the same old playbook.

Whether George W. Bush should be impeached depends on the evidence a special prosecutor uncovers, but John Dean is correct: a special prosecutor must be appointed, and one with far more credibility than Kenneth Starr. If serious misdeeds have been committed, those being investigated must be denied the “biased prosecutor” defense. There is another reason, however, why this writer believes impeachment may be necessary.

The impeachment of a President of the United States may be the most serious action this nation can take “against” its elected leader. When frustrated, angry members of the House and Senate chose to impeach President Clinton, the causewas truly trivial compared to the possibility that the Bush Administration lied to take the nation into a war it had long-since decided upon. Still, the message sent was clear: With few exceptions, Presidents shouldn’t lie, whether under oath or in public pronouncements.

Politicians are notoriously thick-skinned and cavalier when it comes to their public pronouncements. However, the impeachment of President Bush could send a signal to present and future political leaders that their lies will be their undoing. It would also send a signal to those who sought the head of President Clinton that over the pit, the pendulum swings both ways.

DOUG GIEBEL lives in Big Sandy, Montana. He can be reached at: dougcatz@ttc-cmc.net

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
David Yearsley
Bollocks to Brexit: the Plumber Sings
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail