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Hey Congress: It's "Go" Time!

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Vyan Donating Member (990 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 01:10 PM
Original message
Hey Congress: It's "Go" Time!
Edited on Sun Jul-15-07 01:21 PM by Vyan

There comes a point where tough talk simply doesn't cut it anymore; where words, threats and promises just aren't enough.

Literally, it's time to either sh*t or get off the fracking pot on two critical fronts.

  1. Iraq Prime Minister Maliki says that U.S. Troops can "leave whenever they want." It's time we took him up on his offer.
  1. The White House has blatantly defied Congressional Subpoenas, refusing to let Harriet Miers even appear to testify and denying access to documents related to the death of Pat Tillman. It's time that our Congress returned us to a nation of checks and balances by invoking their power of Inherent Contempt.

The ironic thing is that in order to move forward on the first issue, we may have to push the second to it's ultimate conclusion.

BAGHDAD (AP) Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki shrugged off U.S. doubts of his government's military and political progress on Saturday, saying Iraqi forces are capable and American troops can leave "any time they want."

One of his top aides, meanwhile, accused the United States of embarrassing the Iraqi government by violating human rights and treating his country like an "experiment in a U.S. lab."

Al-Maliki said his government needs "time and effort" to enact the political reforms that Washington seeks "particularly since the political process is facing security, economic and services pressures, as well as regional and international interference."

But he said if necessary, Iraqi police and soldiers could fill the void left by the departure of coalition forces.

"We say in full confidence that we are able, God willing, to take the responsibility completely in running the security file if the international forces withdraw at any time they want," he said.

Despite Maliki's claim that the Iraqi forces can take control of their own country, Sen Lindsey Graham today on Meet the Press wasn't buying it. Surprise, surprise.

The surge is working, we've accomplished things in the last two weeks in Anbar province that we could never do before. Let {our troops} win, don't pull them out now for political reasons.

Sen Jim Webb responded back forcefully.

It's taken a lot longer than two weeks. The President announced {the implementation} of his surge strategy in January. He promised that that all provinces of Iraq would be under Iraqi control by the end of the year, clearly that is not going to happen.

We need to do the hard work of putting together a political solution. The Iraqi Military isn't fighting al-Qaeda - what we've got going on there is "hillbilly" justice. These militia groups are fighting them, they don't like al-Qaeda, they won't like them when we leave.

The difficulty in this situation is oddly that just about everyone is at least particularly right simultaneously. The just released report that the Iraqi government has failed most of it's benchmarks does indicate that more time is needed for them to pull together the political reconciliation that needs to happen, yet at the same time our own troops have been pushed to the brink of their endurance and beyond with stop-loss and repeated deployments.

Time is what the Iraqis need, but time and patience isn't what we have any more of. Certainly not according to the latest polls.

Newsweek 7-11: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bush is handling the situation in Iraq?"

    68% Disapprove. 27% Approve

Do you think President Bush's 'surge' plan increasing U.S. troops in Iraq has been a success or a failure?"

    All - 22% Success - 64% Failure

    (D) - 7% Success - 85% Failure
    (R) - 47% Success - 31% Failure

Our Troop Levels in Iraq?

    19% Immediate Withdrawal - 24% Out Next Spring - 40% Fall Back to our Bases - 13% Make No Cutbacks

If they are truly a sovereign nation, Iraqis have to come up with the solution to their problems on their own and they have to do it on their own timetable, however we may be able to jump start that process a bit - but not by using our military.

I've said it before, I'll say it again - just as we did with the Dayton Peace Accords and the the Belfast Agreement it's time to put together a Summit Conference between all the major factions and forces vying for control of Iraq. This "Reconciliation Commission" - featuring a relatively small group of diplomatic representatives of the Sunni, Shia, Kurds, even al-Sistani and al-Sadr - needs to come together and hammer out the broad framework that can unite the nation and end the violence.

That is the only way this will work.

The current strategy of using our military forces as cannon fodder buffering an ever escalating civil war while the Iraqi parliament bickers and dithers is simply a recipe for failure, just as it would be if we were waiting for our own congress to take the initiative on any number of issues from immigration to health care while lives hang in the balance.

It's time we changed direction and put away some of our partisan manipulations just as Webb admonished Graham today.

Webb: This is one thing I object to, which is politicians who attempt to put their political views in the mouths of soldiers. The view of military reflect those of the general public. Only 35% of the U.S. Military agrees with the policies of this President.

And here with hit the crux of this problem - the President.

With his Veto of the Iraq Redeployment Bill several weeks ago Bush pretty much showed everyone just whose boss - at least for the moment.

The White House has issued signing statements that rationalize their clear violations of federal law. They've violated FISA, the Hatch Act, the Voting Rights Act, the Geneva Convention, the War Crimes Act and the UN Conventions against torture. Now they've blatantly thumbed their nose at Congressional subpoenas.

Congress has to ACT.

And at this point in time, there is only one viable path left.

Impeachment and Removal, though frankly necessary, is not yet a possibility except as a pointless exercise in vainglory. Just as failed subpoenas have further emboldened the rampant lawlessness of this Presidency, a failed Impeachment Vote or even a failure to Remove in the Senate would make Bush nigh unto a God. All powerful. Unstoppable. That can't happen.

Standard Contempt of Congress continues to have a limited possibility of success with Alberto Gonzales' hand-picked U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor still in place in D.C. until his Patriot Act enabled appointment expires in 3 months.

Only the Congress's power of Inherent Contempt cuts out the middlemen, and gets right to the heart of the issue.

It's time - as Congress John Conyers alluded to in his letter to Harriet Miers attorney George T. Manning upon learning of her intent not to testify - to pull the trigger.

A refusal to appear before the Subcommittee tomorrow could subject Ms. Miers to contempt proceedings, including but not limited to proceedings under 2 U.S.C. 194 and under the inherent contempt authority of the House of Representatives.

Inherent Contempt allows for the Congress to order the House Sargent at Arms to take the witness - in this case Miers - into custody and hold them in the Capital Jail where only Congress has jurisdiction. It is debatable whether a person held in such a way could be pardoned, my feeling is that they could not be - which means that either Miers cracks and testifies or she rots until the end of this Congressional Session.

It is my firm belief that without direct and damning testimony from Miers tantamount to that provided by former Nixon Counsel John Dean - Nobody is going to be Impeached - except for maybe Abu Gonzales for repeated perjury and obstruction with Monica Goodling, but Commander Guy and Fourthbranch's impenetrable shield of loyal lackeys will have kept them safe until they can slip out the back of Marine One on January 20, 2009.

This can't be allowed to happen.

Congress has to step up. The White House must be put on notice. Their numerous crimes, incompetence, deliberate willful ignorance and stonewalling has to end and it will only happen when Congress realizes - in order to save the legal fabric of our nation from completely unraveling, in order to save what's left of Iraq and finally begin Real Diplomacy, in order to save what's left of our armed forces, in order to get serious about stopping Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan - This is GO Time!

Congress has to Finally Win one of these battles with the White House before they can even begin to deal with the next issue like the obvious obstruction at play in the Libby Commute, or the next such as changing course in Iraq before or even after September. The White House is long overdue for a Congressionally delivered bloody nose.

It's GO NOW, or not at all.

Contact John Conyers and let him know that the time has come to take that next step at:

Vyan

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AzDar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 01:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. K & R .....
:kick:
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. Vyan, your point on impeachment is an excellent one.
Edited on Sun Jul-15-07 03:08 PM by mzmolly
Impeachment and Removal, though frankly necessary, is not yet a possibility except as a pointless exercise in vainglory. Just as failed subpoenas have further emboldened the rampant lawlessness of this Presidency, a failed Impeachment Vote or even a failure to Remove in the Senate would make Bush nigh unto a God. All powerful. Unstoppable. That can't happen.

Very good point. One I hadn't considered, go figure?

GREAT post!

Bookmarked and recommended.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I would disagree with this statement...

"It is my firm belief that without direct and damning testimony from Miers tantamount to that provided by former Nixon Counsel John Dean - Nobody is going to be Impeached"

There is plenty of damning testimony from other sources that can lead to impeachment, and there is a list of crimes that have already been commited. Congress and the media are deaf, dumb and blind when it comes to exposing any of this. The scope of Nixon's crimes were nothing compared to this.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Of course we can impeach, I think the question lies in the fact that some fear
Edited on Sun Jul-15-07 03:34 PM by mzmolly
we can't "remove."

Also, will a failed attempt embolden the mad man? "America has decided that we are doing the right thing." ~ George W - I can hear him already. That said, we HAVE to impeach him at some point but it may be prudent to wait, considering?
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Vyan Donating Member (990 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Impeachment of who?
Edited on Sun Jul-15-07 04:29 PM by Vyan
That's the question. I would argue there's sufficient evidence currently on the record via Sampson, Comey, Ashcroft and Goodling to Impeach Gonzo.

He absolutely has to go before a Special Counsel can be appointed - simply because he can block it and stonewall forever.

It might be possible to Impeach Cheney on the basis of his Fourthbranch claims, enabling torture, domestic espionage, ignoring security procedures, leaking classified data and repeatedly lying to the American public about links between Saddam and Osama - but that's still a stretch, since being a liar itself isn't a crime or impeachable. You have to admit he's covered his tracks like a criminal mastermind.

The odd point is that this has also protected Bush as effectively being Cheney's sock-puppet on the war and other issues. Cheney is the one who has been leaning forward hard on overreach of executive branch power, but I think it's really so he can use it himself not neccesarily for Bush. Cheney is the ultimate "It wasn't my idea" excuse for Bush when it all comes tumbling down - not that I think that claim will fly any further than a lame pheasant.

Vyan
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. The strategy of impeaching Gonzo first seems important...
but I also feel that time is of the essence. Impeaching Cheney could serve the purpose of educating the public and connecting all the dots that the media continues to fail to connect. I understand that there are some books coming out about the Niger forgeries. Once the dots are connected to the Plame outing, people should be fuming about the unimaginable treason and deception that has led to war.
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Vyan Donating Member (990 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Impeaching Gonzales is Imperative
Edited on Sun Jul-15-07 04:11 PM by Vyan
or else we'll have nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch.

Libby has been a pretty effective cock-block for Pat Fitzgerald, so I don't think we'll be mining much more from that particular vein on Cheney. But please remember, Impeachment isn't the investigation - it's the indictment followed by the trial, and hopefully Removal, in the Senate.

Right now, slamming Harriet Miers in the Congressional Clink - which if she cracks could net us Gonzales, Rove and possibly Cheney - is our best option.

Vyan
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
6. What I want to know
is what 7% of Dems think the surge is going well.

Probably not really Dems at all.

Impeach, dammit!

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:56 AM
Response to Original message
9. Only Impeachment Is A Real "Go"
Because anything else just leaves bushcheneyrove chuckling, and telling us all where we can "go."

--

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