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Reply #186: Unlike "a Prosecutor that rushes to trail and blows it". . . [View All]

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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-27-07 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #126
186. Unlike "a Prosecutor that rushes to trail and blows it". . .
Edited on Fri Jul-27-07 02:11 PM by pat_k
. . .the House can vote out the same charges, or some variation thereof, as many times as they wish.

Even if that weren't the case, the notion that impeaching Bush and Cheney right now (or even the day they convened in January) would be "rushing it" is a notion that doesn't stand up to scrutiny on any level. I don't mean to single you out. You're invoking one of the false memes that enable their dereliction -- false memes that must be challenged whenever possible.

Bush and Cheney turned the USA into a War Criminal nation that illegally spies on its own citizens in plain sight. The case is simple, compelling, and complete. Bush and Cheney made the case against themselves with public statements, public actions, and executive orders.

No Member has described the evidence they've considered, and then explained why that evidence is somehow insufficient. More than a few have done the opposite. They've described the intolerable violations of the Constitution, declared them intolerable, and then declared their intent keep the ONLY weapon capable of enforcing the dictates of the Constitution "off the table."

There was never any doubt that Geneva applied to Gitmo. The SCOTUS ruling in Hamdan was a declaration that three years of War Crimes has already occurred. (There's a reason War Crimes are subject to the penalty of death. So that those with the power to commit such crimes have a powerful motive to stay far away from "the line." There is no "unringing" the bell. "I didn't know where the line was" is not a legitimate defense.)

When the need to protect the sanctity of the Constitution is weighed against the privilege of remaining in office, the threshold must be a low one. As the following quote from Madison demonstrates, suspicion is more than enough.

If the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds to believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found

By any reasonable definition, we passed the "impeachable" threshold long ago. It's been adjudicated all the way up to the Supreme Court.

It is impossible to imagine how any Member of the House or Senate could possible defend the belief that the public record is "not enough." Particularly when people who otherwise defend the fascist fantasy of unitary authoritarian power have concluded that:

. . .we cannot in good conscience defend a decision that we believe has compromised our national honor and that may well promote the commission of war crimes by Americans and place at risk the welfare of captured American military forces for generations to come.. . .

War Crimes and the White House
By P.X. Kelley and Robert F. Turner
Washington Post, July 26, 2007

Even if Members of Congress think the powerful case they have isn't "enough," the widespread belief that our President and Vice President are War Criminals is itself an intolerable threat to our constitutional democracy. Their oath to defend demands that they seek to remove the War Criminals, or seek to assure the public that Bush and Cheney are not war criminals.

If the articles they vote out go down because there is some "hole," all they need to do it plug the "hole" and vote out another set of articles. As noted at the outset, unlike a criminal prosecution, they can impeach on the same charges, or variations thereof, as many times as they please.

If the Senate fails to remove because too many fascist minions render a decision that is at odds with the obvious facts, impeachment in and of itself is our only means to shed the bonds of complicity. It is an unequivocal rejection of bushncheneyism. It forces the people we send to the House and Senate to choose -- American Principle or Fascist Principle. And we will judge the choice in next election. If our Congressional leaders deny us that opportunity, they expose their own fascist tendencies and their disdain and distrust of the electorate.

In War Crimes and the White House, Kelly and Turner issue the following warning:

Policymakers should also keep in mind that violations of Common Article 3 are "war crimes" for which everyone involved -- potentially up to and including the president of the United States -- may be tried in any of the other 193 countries that are parties to the conventions.

In other words, Members of Congress themselves are vulnerable to trial for war crimes. Members of the 109th Congress who voted for the War Criminals Protection Act made themselves direct parties to the White House war crimes. Any of those 193 countries could conclude that Members of the 110th Congress are party to the torture that continued while they used their power to keep impeachment "off the table."

If a Member won't demand impeachment to rescue the Constitution, perhaps they will to ensure that they can travel without fear that some other country will pick them up and put them on trial as an accomplice to war crimes.

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