FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Congress Needs to Defend Itself

by DAVE LINDORFF

The last couple of weeks have brought confirmation—as if it were needed—even in the corporate media, that President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and the gang of thugs and sycophants around them in the White House, engaged in a massive conspiracy to lie the country into a war in Iraq.

The release of a confessional book by former White House press spokesman Scott McClellan and the subsequent release of a long blocked report by the Senate Intelligence Committee make it clear that Bush, Cheney & Company deliberately lied to Congress and the American public back in 2002 and early 2003 about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein (there was none). McClellan also states that Bush and Cheney conspired to “out” CIA undercover operative Valerie Plame Wilson, as part of a compaign to prevent her husband from exposing a major part of that campaign of lies: the claim that Saddam Hussein was seeking to build nuclear weapons.

It would be hard to overstate the extent of or the damage caused by these crimes that are now exposed to the light of day.

Beginning in 2001, making the most cynical use of the tragic killing of nearly 3000 Americans in the 9-11 attacks, Bush and Cheney moved to aggrandize as much power as possible in the executive, and then, to consolidate that power grab, engineered a full-scale war against Iraq, enabling them to claim that any opponent of their dictatorial usurpation of power was a traitor to the nation.

It was all a lie.

Saddam Hussein had no links to Al Qaeda, and he had no nuclear program. He had no weapons of mass destruction. His country was broken, thanks to years of international sanctions and war.

As a result of these lies, we have a country that no longer even remotely resembles what the Founders had intended. The Congress has been shorn of its once exclusive authority to legislate, and even its Constitutional power to investigate the executive branch has been successfully defied. It is now an atrophied relic. The federal  judiciary, right up to the Supreme Court, has been packed with administration sycophants and Federalist Society advocates of unfettered executive power.

We also have been saddled with an unwinnable war in the Middle East that has claimed the lives of 4500 Americans, destroyed the lives of another 30,000—or perhaps several hundred thousand, if we add in all those suffering psychological damage, or genetic damage from exposure to depleted uranium weapons. That war has also killed over 1 million innocent Iraqis, including countless chiildren, destroyed their country, bankrupted this nation, and made the US a pariah and a rogue state in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Most Americans long since came to the conclusion that the Bush administration was a gang of idiots. Just watching their handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster unfold was enough to make that clear. But the new reports from McClellan and from the Senate Intelligence Committee should make it clear that this was not just stupidity. The disasters that have befallen this nation, or that it has brought on the rest of the world, over the past eight years have been the result of deliberate lying and deceit and of the conspiratorial policies of a cabal of leaders whose goal from day one was undoing the Constitution and establishing the presidency as a kind of dictatorship.

Most of the corporate media have been unable to bring themselves to state this clearly. They edge around the issue by talking about the White House having been “misleading” or “untruthful.”  And little is said about the lasting damage that has been done to the Republic and the Constitution, or about what is to be done about a still bloody war that never should have been fought in the first place.

The answer is clear. Impeachment proceedings should be initiated against both Bush and Cheney. These two arch criminals must not be permitted to leave office with their titles intact. They need to be tossed out in disgrace, and then indicted for war crimes and for crimes like perjury, conspiracy and perhaps treason.

We are already seeing the long-term damage that has been wrought. John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee for president, is saying that the president’s use of the National Security Agency to spy, without any court order, on tens or hundreds of thousants, or perhaps millions of Americans, is legal, and would continue under a McCain administration. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has said that he would continue Bush’s use of “signing statements” to ignore Congressional legislation that he felt impaired his Constitutional powers as president.

The nation is at a dangerous crossroad. Either Congress reasserts its authority now, via impeachment, drawing a Constitutional line in the stand in defense of Article I of the Constitution—the article that defines the power of Congress as absolute in terms of passing legisation—or it forever surrenders that role, leaving us with what can only be called a dictatorship.

We clearly cannot count on the next president, whoever that may be, to surrender powers usurped by the current one. What leader in history has willingly and voluntarily surrendered authority, after all?

Such power must be wrested back by Congress, and the only way for that to happen is impeachment—a course laid out clearly by the authors of the Constitution for just such a crisis.

DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback edition). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net

Your Ad Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

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
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
Tommy Raskin
Syrian Quicksand
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Still Tries to Push Dangerous Drug Class
Jill Richardson
The Attorney General Thinks Aspirin Helps Severe Pain – He’s Wrong
Mike Miller
Herb March: a Legend Deserved
Ann Garrison
If the Democrats Were Decent
Renee Parsons
The Times, They are a-Changing
Howard Gregory
The Democrats Must Campaign to End Trickle-Down Economics
Sean Keller
Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East
Ron Jacobs
Re-Visiting Gonzo
Eileen Appelbaum
Rapid Job Growth, More Education Fail to Translate into Higher Wages for Health Care Workers
Ralph Nader
Shernoff, Bidart, and Echeverria—Wide-Ranging Lawyers for the People
Chris Zinda
The Meaning of Virginia Park
Robert Koehler
War and Poverty: A Compromise with Hell
Mike Bader – Mike Garrity
Senator Tester Must Stop Playing Politics With Public Lands
Kenneth Culton
No Time for Olympic Inspired Nationalism
Graham Peebles
Ethiopia: Final Days of the Regime
Irene Tung – Teófilo Reyes
Tips are for Servers Not CEOs
Randy Shields
Yahoomans in Paradise – This is L.A. to Me
Thomas Knapp
No Huawei! US Spy Chiefs Reverse Course on Phone Spying
Mel Gurtov
Was There Really a Breakthrough in US-North Korea Relations?
David Swanson
Witness Out of Palestine
Binoy Kampmark
George Brandis, the Rule of Law and Populism
Dean Baker
The Washington Post’s Long-Running Attack on Unions
Andrew Stewart
Providence Public School Teachers Fight Back at City Hall
Stephen Cooper
Majestic Meditations with Jesse Royal: the Interview
David Yearsley
Olympic Music
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail