Cheney impeachment buried in committee: The Swamp
 
The Swamp
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Posted November 6, 2007 5:24 PM
The Swamp

by Matthew Hay Brown

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer wasn’t able to table the articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney, but he appears to have found another way to kill them.

After Republicans voted to force a debate on the measure introduced today by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Democrats voted to refer it without further discussion to the House Judiciary Committee, where Chairman John Conyers has expressed his reluctance to take the matter up.

The articles of impeachment proposed by Kucinich charge Cheney with misleading Congress and the American public into the war in Iraq, and trying now to mislead lawmakers and voters into a war with Iran. The Ohio Democrat, who is also running for president, has gathered 21 co-sponsors for the effort.

Party leaders have sought to avoid debate on an issue that divides their base. But Hoyer’s attempt to table the matter ran into opposition from Republicans, who wanted to see just such a spectacle.

"We're going to help them out, to explain themselves," Rep. Pete Sessions, a Texas Republican, told the Associated Press. "We’re going to give them their day in court."

In what amounted to a game of legislative chicken, Republicans looking to force a debate were joined by Democrats who back impeachment to defeat the motion to table, 251-162.

Then Hoyer moved to send the measure to committee. That tactic reunified Democrats: those who back impeachment can say they moved the process along; those who don’t can say they sent it off to die. Before the vote, Conyers had warned that impeachment could open a split that could disrupt the majority for the remainder of the 110th Congress.

That motion passed in a largely party-line vote, 218-194.

Hoyer, caught off guard by the GOP maneuver, called it “a continuation of Republicans’ gotcha games that achieve nothing more than short-term entertainment for themselves.”

“I am surprised that Republicans would treat an issue as important as the potential impeachment of a vice president of the United States as a petty political game,” he said in a statement.

And the House moved on to a happier subject for Democrats: The Water Resources Development Act -- a veto by President Bush that Congress can override.

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Comments

"Cheney Impeachment Buried In Committee"

Looks like we're stuck with President Beavis and Vice-President Butthead until Jan. 09:
http://s201.photobucket.com/albums/aa206/PsychoKid999/?action=view¤t=beavis-butthead.jpg

God help us.


Spineless.


Twenty-one co-sponsors? Let me guess. Half of them are from Berkeley, Fremont, Oakland and San Francisco. And all of them are heavily funded by MorOn.org.
Typical half-baked kookland politics from the extreme left marginals in the House.


Finally, some good news from Congress.
I just can't believe it was the Republicans that made it possible.

well, on the other hand - it's not as if the Democrats have a spine.

Well done, Rep. Kucinich. Let's keep the pressure up on the Judiciary Committee and hold these bastards accountable for the mess they have made.


Isn't this what Democrats want? I guess they much rather blame Bush for everything and talk about more important issues, like spending tax money.


They should impeach the bum. He is a LIAR and a WARMONGER. He never went to war but wants others to do what he didn't do so he lied to get us into a war. He will be remembered for a VERY LONG TIME as an ARROGANT POMPOUS LIAR that cost the lives of thousands of people. Not just US but Iraqi as well.
I SAY IMPEACH THE BUM. OR SEND HIM TO IRAQ AND PUT HIM ON PATROL FOR A YEAR AND SEE HOW HE LIKES IT.


I love it! Great going Republicans! Show the American people that the Demoncratic Left is nothing but unAmerican distorters of reality and haters of the U.S. The real enemy to the U.S. is the Kook Left.

Can't wait to read all the love you folks gonna send my way. And, it's more fodder for you Lowlife Loons to save from me!!


"GOP THROWS OUT SACRIFICIAL LAMB"

TOO BAD CHENEY ISN'T A LAMB, BECAUSE THE VOICE BUSH HEARS THREW HIM RIGHT BACK AT HIM.

THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CAN NOW SIMPLY EXPLORE ON BEHALF OF THE REPUBLICAN GOP. THE REPUBLICAN FILLIBUSTER CREW MAY HAVE JUST FILLIBUSTERED HIS INABILITY TO RESIGN DUE TO FAMILY VALUES AND HAVE TO FACE THE SPEAKER.

THE REPUBLICAN GOP THOUGHT THEY WOULD PLAY THE BOY WHO CRIED WOLF GAME, AND HAVE SENT A REAL WOLF TO BE SACRIFICED ON THEIR BEHALF AND THEIR 6 (SIX) YEAR TENURE AND FAILURE TO HAND OVER AMERICA TO THAT ONE PERSON THAT WE ALL WOULD JUST GET IN LINE AND SERVE!

SORRY CHERTOF NOT THIS LIFE!

NOW HOPEFULLY WE WILL SEE EVEN MORE OF A REPUBLICAN EXODUST FROM WASHINGTON.

BRENT WILKES IS YELLING YES, I'M NOT GOING TO PRISON FOR 20 YEARS FOR NOTHING! TWO PROSTITUTUES, 2 BILLION IN CONTRACTS, 400,000 COUNTER CHECK FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT TO AKA REMODEL THE WHITEHOUSE. SO WHAT IF WE BOUGHT A NEW LUXURY LINER BOAT.

YOU GO REPUBLICANS, LOCK YOUR BOY UP BEFORE HE EAVESDROPS ON YOU, OR LETS SOME OF THAT DATAMINED INFORMATION ON YOUR FAMILY COME OUT OR BETTER YET FOLLOWS YOU TO THE NEAREST RESTROOM AND HAS YOU ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTING TO GIVE IT UP TO A WOULD BE TAKER.


Is there a possibility that that flying saucer Kookcinich saw may have escaped with his brain? Or did a little green man snatch his body? The world wants to know.


If anyone is playing games it is Hoyer. He and Pelosi should join the Republican party. They seeem to have forgotten they took an oath to protect and defend the Consititution rather than an oath to protect Bush and Cheney from accountability.


Seems to me that the Republicans are just giving Kucinich and the Far Left what they've been clamoring for. If the legislative "leaders" of the Democratic majority are so embarassed by crazy Uncle Dennis and his proposal then why did they not implore him not to introduce it in the first place?


You can't bury this, bud.

Kucinich is like the Chinese kid standing up against the tank in Tiananmen Square --- but this tank of repression is driven by both the phony two-party Republicans and Democrats committed to maintaining the global corporate Empire behind this facade of 'Vichy America'.

The question now will be whether the media powers in that 'Vichy America' also continue to oppress and repress the growing outrage of average American people to see their government restored to the real democracy against Empire that our founding fathers envisioned and died for --- or whether the media will also rebel against this stacked-deck of Empire and report the real truth to the American people.


Republicans never really did like government - I hope they impeach his ass. Let's talk about Cheney's outburst "Go F* yourself" in the hallowed Senate. I believe he also has impeachable offenses against him. I don't know why the democrats are backing down from this.


OK Really Hard-Core Bush-Cheney supporters give me at least 4 legit., water-tight reasons why Cheney (or Bush for that matter) should not be impeached for "High Crimes and Misdemeanors".

Remember 4 WATER-TIGHT reasons, not RNC talking points, real Constitutional stuff.

A Little Enlightenment Please?

Buckley


Funny that Hoyer forgot to mention those in his own party who started and are playing this "petty political game" too.


Let's see...articles of impeachment of the Vice President proposed by Rep. Kucinich, the guy who saw UFOs. What a wonderful presidential candidate he makes! I am sure democrats all over the House just love this guy!


Stupid Democrat party will never, ever learn.

They were sent to Congress in 2006 to stop Iraq war travesty and to clean things up. Instead they continue to fund this stupid war by stupid people and to try and stuff illegal immigration (slave labor) down our throats.

And they wonder about their approval rating? Take that back, they don't wonder. Takes a brain to wonder about anything.


Well it's about time, and the right person was chosen to impeach.

Regardless whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green Party, etc., the injustice by this administration, with Cheney as the REAL culprit pulling the strings, cannot be ignored any longer. We were told by this administration post 9/11 that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction - not true. We were told by this administration that Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden were working together to bring chaos to America - not true. We were told by this administration that our mission was to bring peace and democracy to Iraq and rid them of Hussein's treachery, yet that was only AFTER there were no weapons found in Iraq. This administration would not work with the UN, they wouldn't listen to the American people and they made a liar out of General Colin Powell, who subsequently resigned after being made the first African American Secretary of State in this country's history. Sprinkle in the CIA leak by Karl Rove and the commuting of I. Lewis Libby's sentence and you have all the makings of an 'old Boys Club' that looks out for one another, and to hell with the rest of us.

Dick Cheney is rotten to the core and needs to be disgraced in front of the people he stepped on (Americans) to get what he wanted.

db


Will the Dems remember they are not part of the Rep party??


And I'm surprised old Steny didn't gag on his own words as he spoke them!

Imagine, Republicans allowing an impeachment resolution to a vote and the Democrats turning into frightened rats in their hurry to jump ship!

"Playing political games" indeed.


Democratz speak:“I am surprised that Republicans would treat an issue as important as the potential impeachment of a vice president of the United States as a petty political game,”
Indeed, Impeachment is a serious issue and any accusation that warrants such grievous thing Must be investigated. The Democratz have been screaming for Impeachment for eight years, and its high time for them to show the world why. Lets visit all of the conspiracy theories under the light of day for once. Show us your evidence and please Bring It On.


We have been in Iraq 1689 days and have lost over 4000 of our young, brave soldiers. The Bush/Cheney Fascist Criminal Enterprise has increased our National Debt by over 57%. That amounts to almost $30,000 for every man, woman, and child in the USA. Impeach? Hell Yes!


After reading the posted comments, I'm reminded why most people are politically apathetic - you're all a bunch of boring losers.


Dennis took up this challenge on behalf of the American Public.
Its time for the Voter to give him
support... Bush is next he says.


Another democratic witch hunt. Instead of trying to pass meaningful, useful legislation, we get more vendetta...more bad blood. This will die before getting anywhere but only after we've wasted a huge amount of time and money...again.


Cheney's should have been Impeached from the beginning of outing Valerie Plame. He was the one who told Scooter Libby to spread the word on Joe Wilson's wife. Yellow Cake, phoney documents. Supplied by the Italians, er...CIA. Regardless of what the Democraps say? Cheney committed Treason. That is definitely an Impeachable offense.
Notice the majority of on line news have not mentioned the House vote on Cheney? Check it out.
I'll thank the Chicago Tribune for not censoring history.


Kucinich has some serious mental disorder(s). How can anyone take the guy seriously?

If you want to learn about Modern Liberals, of which Kucinich is probably at the far left edges, WATCH THIS VIDEO by Evan Sayet. Evan used to write for Bill Maher and he is a genius. He explains why Liberals are like they are. He calls them Modern Liberals to distinguish them from the old liberals of the past who actually shared values with regular people rather than seemingly being against everything that is good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaE98w1KZ-c

You'll need some quiet time. Don't be afraid to rewind it to pick up various things. I've watched parts of it many times now. Oh, make sure you watch the Q&A at the end. It's VERY good! Enjoy.


The House ended up doing the right thing in delaying the Cheney impeachment until after we get the spending bills worked out. Nobody wants a government shutdown. The Republicans’ juvenile attempt to debate the issue on the house floor could have backfired terribly. Have they seen Cheney’s polling numbers?!?! This debate would have been gold for the Democrats – especially if Republicans took the hit for neglecting the spending bills.

Of course being down in the polls wouldn’t justify impeaching somebody, but if Cheney lied about intelligence that got us into this poorly-managed war, he should be impeached, and impeaching Cheney first is the right order to proceed.


Cheney is a proud and honorable American who has taken a strong stand against terrorists, both foreign and domestic - such as Richard "Turbin" Durbin who called American soldiers Nazis. Gee, who's the one who should be impeached? The one taking a strong stand against criminals, working hard to fight them, or the one calling our soldiers names and trying as hard as he can to block funding to them while they are in a combat situation? Anyone who cannot see that liberals are criminals and traitors to the United States is either blind, or on their side.


This is what is outrageous. The Democrats ran on the issue that BUSH LIED. He mislead the nation. Right? They did it to gain the majority in the house. Right? So why did they use this as a campaign tactic and then when they becamse majority they forget about it. This is why Democrats are nothing more then a bunch of frauds. Lying ass frauds. I cannot think of anything more horrible then lying to the nation - so if they lied then why are you taking responsibility and proving to the nation that you were right???


A split that would disrupt the majority Democrats? If anything proves that all of their bluster about accountability and change leading up to the election a year ago was a hollow pack of lies, this is it. The independent voters who gave the Republicans a much-deserved swift kick in the rear end a year ago need to rise up and put the Democrats on notice. We need a viable third party badly.


Maybe the Democrats didn't want to waste precious time and resources and embarras the American people by stooping to a childish vandetta such as the Republicans did so vigorously against Clinton. After all, Cheney and Bush are lame ducks, facing eternal international shame. Why derail that?


Buckley,
Shouldn't the onus be on the left and the Dems to give a water tight reason why he should be impeached?
Not left wing folklore or DNC talking points please.

You don't even need 4. Give us 1. Remember, no DNC talking points/left wing folklore.


I find it highly presumptuous for the Tribune to be so quickly speculating that H.Res. 333 is "killed" and "buried in committee." My God, the legislative action on that resolution only happened a few short hours ago! You have no more idea as to the ultimate disposition of that measure than I do -- and I worked on Capitol Hill for years!

When I want to read political spin, then I'll download the pertinent press releases directly off the congressional website myself, thank you very much.

In the meantime, Mr. Brown, let's please see less thinly-veiled opining on your part, and more basic reporting of facts and relevant information.


It is so sad to see so many defend this gangster administration, knowing fully well what they have done but keep sticking their heads in the sand. Look to the future and Blackwater and what the combination of a rogue regime and civilian army that is accountable to no one can do to finish off our country. fear mongering? Ha


Congress! You cannot remove Darth Sidious (AKA The Penguin, if happen to prefer Batman) just yet! The Imperial Force (Blackwater,and the other Vulcans) have not yet completed The Death Star (a U.S. run, operated, owned Middle East)!!


This is high comedy at its greatest. Dennis Kucinich, who always has too much tin foil in his hat to pass through a metal detector unchallenged, proposed a resolution calling for the impeachment of VP Cheney. The only problem is that his resolution failed to allege anything that could remotely support Cheney’s impeachment or removal from office.

But Kucinich wouldn’t let that little detail deter him. Oh, no. Reality never deters him. So, he introduced it anyway, at which time the Republicans House members read it and laughed their asses off. They too knew full well that what he alleged could never form the basis of any serious impeachment vote. However, there was mischief to be had.

Sensing the same, Hoyer tried to hide the whole thing by tabling it. But, no, the Republicans were onto something of great fun. So they initially voted for Hoyer’s resolution, but then turned around en masse and changed their votes to oppose it. Apparently, at some point, they decided a full debate on the matter will make its author and sponsors appear to the public to be as ignorant and idiotic as they really are.

Failing the motion to table Kucinich’s pride and joy, the Democrats then teamed up for one more vote, only this time it was a vote to save face. After all, they have to give the appearance of having some purpose in Congress, even if it’s only for the 11% of the public that still supports them. So, they voted to send it back to committee – which is a safe place for it to hide until it dies the quiet death of mootness.

But there’s more. Some Democrats actually voiced their displeasure with Kucinich’s maneuver in public. The funniest one came from none other than Alcee Hastings who was once impeached and removed himself. He said, Kucinich "is on a quest of his own. He sees flying saucers and he acts like one." A flying saucer, Alcee? Don’t you mean the E.T. flying it?

And then Hoyer got all mad at the Republicans for changing their votes and making sport of it. He knew that’s what they were up to. That's why he called the Republicans' vote, “a continuation of Republicans’ gotcha games that achieve nothing more than short-term entertainment for themselves.” He can really spot entertainment when he sees it.

And some of you don’t think its worth it to follow politics? Heck, this is better than what’s on TV, especially since the strike.


Buckley,

I assume you just arrived to America. In this country, the burden is on the prosecution to find "watertight" reasons to prosecute (or impeach), not on the defense to avoid it. Check the constitution before replying.

Do people STILL think Iraq didn't have WMD? What is the point in avoiding the truth? Iraq had WMD, and used them against Iran and the Kurds. Choosing to ignore that fact doesn't resolve you from making ridiculous statements like "Cheney should be impeached because he lied about WMD."

Iraq was a threat to their neighbors, and a possible breeding ground for terrorists. It has been established that there were ties between Hussein and Al Queda. Not a working relationship, but ties.

Hussein should have been removed during Gulf War I, but Bush I went through the UN, and Russia and France would NEVER have allowed Hussein to be removed. In any case, we had him contained. Thanks to the spineless UN, Hussein had 8 years to do basically what he wanted. Clinton didn't push the UN, so Iraq became a problem again. Bush II understood that, and decided not to go through the UN for Gulf War II.

The UN is a corrupt and spineless organization. The Oil For Food program is one recent example.

The Bush II Doctrine is to proactively go after the terrorist, and those who harbor them. That is why we are in Iraq, and that is why we've gone over 6 years without a terrorist attack in the US. The Bush II Administration has their problems, especially with spending, but they are keeping us safe.


A Republican above accuses Democrats of following a "...witch hunt. Instead of trying to pass meaningful, useful legislation, we get more vendetta...more bad blood."

Are you kidding me?

After all of the phony and useless witch hunts during the Clinton administration, which really hurt our national security and accomplished nothing, after the Whitewater claims that turned out to be nothing, the phony charges about Vince Foster's death, the hundreds of hours or investigation and depositions on the travel office firings, and every other piece of nonsense that the Republican Congress pulled during the 90s. After all of that it is the Democrats who lead witch hunts??? Are you serious???

I can't understand how wanting to impeach a vice president for organizing a campaign to lead us into war for false reasons is somehow a witch hunt while all of the lies and conspiracy claims we heard during the 90s from Republicans are somehow ok.

What planet do you live on? What version of reality are you in? Because this is NOTHING compared to the utter stupidity and foolishness of the Republican Congress during the 90s.


Dave,
I have no idea what "facts" you are trying to quote. This administration did in 3 months what Clinton in 8 years failed to do. THe US was attacked on 9/11 and the Taliban was out of control and Al Qaeda in hiding before Jan 2002. Saddam Hussein committed over 200 violations of the cease-fire agreement, corrupted the UN "Food for Oil" program, threw out the weapons inspectors and Clinton did NOTHING. Clinton supported a failed and disastorous UN mandated manhunt in Somalia in 1993, yet managed to screw-up with the UN and fail to prevent the genocide in Rwanda. Plame was working in DC when she was"outed" and this after her lame move to appoint her hubby to head the investigation in Africa (which he did a hlf-assed job on). Lewis Libby? Please. Go check your Clinton administration pardons. That dog ain't going to hunt bud. Yet you talk about impeaching Cheney???? Does it really bother you that much that a GOP presidency is far more effective at foreign policy than the democrats were under Clinton? Yea, I guess if I were a liberal I would be really embarrassed too.


Do not let this opportunity to set in motion our constitutional right as American citizens to remove from office one of the most corrupt officials ever to be elected. Write/call the members of the United States Judiciary committee and voice your desire to impeach Vice President Cheney. I am an independent gay voter who has served in the armed forces who, up until the last presidential election, has always voted republican. Because I have voted republican in the past, I ultimately voted against my own personal issues, however, I have always believed that the good of the country comes before the good of self as any loyal American should do. I happen to believe in smaller government, but I do not believe in the extremist measures for the comprehensive dismemberment of government such as the Bush/Cheney administrating has so blatantly and arrogantly been establishing since their rise to power. Their complete disregard for our Constitution is incomprehensible. Cheney is obviously the catalyst for these inconceivable actions and he must be removed from office, or at the very least, be held accountable for the molestation of the American Constitution. The fear mongering and propaganda imposed by this administration is unprecedented. I have never before been ashamed to be an American citizen, yet due to the actions of this administration, I now hang my head in shame. This must stop now!


Ha ha. Go Dennis, go!


Emerson:

First of all, Valerie Plame did not "appoint" her husband. She had no power to do that.

Secondly, the misadventure in Somalia started under Bush I, not Clinton.

Most importantly, the Clinton National Security team told Condi and company to be aware of AlQaeda and Bin Laden, as they posed the biggest threat to the country. Condi and friends forgot that, put their eyes on getting rid of Saddam, ignored a PBD in August 2001 about Al Qaeda flying planes into buildings, and then left Afghanistan before THAT was finished to start this war in Iraq.

Oh, and the Taliban that W took care of?? Seems to me that they are starting to take power again in Afghanistan. And Bin Laden?? Seven years later, and he is still free.

So tell me again about this effective foreign policy.


Bobin, it has been proven over and over and Valerie Plume recommended her husband for the mission. It's also been proven that Ms. Plume has given different testimonies before different committees about this whole affair. Course, the Dem-run Congress will never charge her with perjury. It's also been proven that Joe Wilson's so-called "report" on Niger was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Buckley and the rest of your sick, little ilk, don't you folks believe that since Cheney is not a left wing Loon that automatically counts as a high crime and misdemeanor?


Dennis Kucinich is a
mental case he sees UFO's.
The GOP Congress minority are wanting to debate this publicly it's about time to shut up leftist wierdos who have a Bush/Cheney syndrome. Get it out in the open and let the liberal Democrats be seen as who they really are wackos who tax and spend.Jerry White, Springfield, IL


Johnny D:

So if she perjured herself, why didn't the REPUBLICAN controlled Congress charge her?? They had 4 years to do it. And "recommending" him is nothing like "appointing" him to the job, which is what Emerson said.

And please tell me what part of Joe Wilson's report was wrong? And again, how about citing the source, as long as it is not some right wing nutjob site that you normally quote from.

Face it Johnny - your time is running out. The latest poll shows Hillary leading Rudy 51% - 45%.


Poster Buckley's questions could have probably been better stated about "iron-clad reasons". But in the 18 hours since he posted them, very little has been put forth here in Cheney's defense EXCEPT his own disproven talking points for going to war. Cheney's defenders here can do no better than smirk at Kucinich's mental state, or the disingenuousness of liberals? Fine, and thanks for your opinions.

But that doesn't change the fact that there is still a compelling argument that can be made to at least introduce the possiblity that this vice-president has done such a poor job as cheerleader for a disastrous five-year bloodbath that removing him from office is both the will of the people and the right way to go as spelled out in the Constitution. Given that the Iraq occupation still lacks an exit strategy and has cost $300 to $400 million dollars a day for close to five years, the House Judiciary Committee would certainly be within their bounds of Constitutional law to bring the matter to the table.

If Clinton's indiscretions and perjury could be grounds for impeachment, then there's no reason why Cheney's failings can't at least be looked at.


FACT: the major “evidence” used for going to war with Iraq, was based on documents from Nigeria – Iraq in 1993, stating Iraq was brokering a deal to buy yellowcake uranium from there. These documents were examined by the Pentagon, Italian, French, British, German and American intelligence agencies. All of these agencies (and Pentagon) stated the documents were false. Some of the documents, supposedly signed by the Nigerian Prime Minister, who had already been dead three years after his signature was stamped on the dated document (oops). Oh, a little incidental – the Nigerian Embassy in Rome, three months before the official back and forth documents began between “Iraq” and “Nigeria”, had been mysteriously robbed. What was taken? Absolutely nothing – oh – except The Embassy stationary and official Nigerian stamps.

FACT: NO WMD’S existed in Iraq at the time of President Bush’s official announcement that there was evidence. By the way, the definition of a WMD can also include among other things, a grenade. Therefore, they could have been right on a technicality.

FACT: President Bush did not agree initially to send our military to Iraq after 9/11, despite the Vulcans ( for those of you who apparently do not follow politics that would be Cheney, Wolfowitz, Libby, Michael Ledeen, Rove, Rumsfeld and others) hard push, and sent troops to Afghanistan instead, however, the Vulcans got their way in the end and manipulated Bush into going into Iraq, leaving the job in Afghanistan half-done, and now in worse shape then ever before (not to mention the impending now-stronger-then-ever return of our friends, the Taliban).

FACT: hatred for the United States in the Middle East and other Arab countries is the highest in recorded history. Good going guys – more mini-Osamas then ever before.

FACT: The Iraq War is the most profitable and privatized war in history. Mismanaged & Wasted dollars in Iraq - $60.5 billion. Due to KBR’s failure to supply clean water as per contract to U.S. Military (because they never bothered, but did collect the money) U.S. Military are coming down with Typhoid, Malaria, Cholera and other related illnesses.

FACT: What might be called The Revolt of the Generals has rarely happened in the nation's history. More than 20 retired U.S. generals have broken ranks with the culture of salute and keep it in the family – including, General Anthony Zinni, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, Lt. General Gregory Newbold, General Wesley Clark, Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, Maj. Gen. John Batiste, Brig. Gen. John Johns, Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni – and, let me quote Gen. William Odom, the former head of the National Security Agency under President Reagan, who said, “The final step should be to put this administration on notice that if legislative action is ignored and they try to extort Congress into providing funds by keeping U.S. forces in peril, impeachment proceedings will proceed in the House of Representatives. Such presidential behavior surely would constitute the “high crime” of squandering the lives of soldiers and Marines for his own personal interest”. Let me sum up his words for you – “Withdraw funds, pull out, impeach”.

FACT: Gen. James T. Conway, the Marine Corps feels that being in Iraq is militarily useless and in an unprecedented (yes, that word again) act, is pressing to remove its forces (Marines, presently numbering 26,000) from Iraq and instead to Afghanistan, to take over the leading role in combat there, where the military presence and threat to our country TRULY is –

Our troops are suffering, our military is suffering, our tax dollars are being raped and going into the pockets of the 1% (why do you lemmings keep supporting the people who care about you?), our reputation has suffered, our constitution violated. To support Cheney and his Vulcans is not only un-Republican, un-Democratic, it is un-American, and un-Patriotic, for the reasons stated above. Maybe impeachment is not correct. What I’d really like to see is a war crime tribunal – maybe then you will wake up.


Emerson:

It's amazing that you failed to acknowledge anything that I'd written, and though your disdain for Bill Clinton is duly noted, that has nothing to do with my posting. Clearly you are a student of the "Cheney" Administration and thrive in creating smoke and mirror games. Well let me tell you one thing - throwing up gays, Democrats, the Clintons and liberals will not get in the way of me making a clear assessment of the truth; and in this case, the truth is Dick Cheney has helped lower our country's level of respect in the global community.

When you're ready to engage in a factual debate about this particular topic, I will be glad to accomodate you. My e-mail address is attached.

db


Buckley,
I assume you just arrived to America. In this country, the burden is on the prosecution to find "watertight" reasons to prosecute (or impeach), not on the defense to avoid it. Check the constitution before replying."
OSD

OK genius, I am fully aware of what the Constitution says and does not say. . . this is not a court and as such I or anyone else here does not need to prove why Cheney should be impeached, the record clearly speaks for itself, and as the Clinton impeachment was politically motivated, I would like to hear real arguments to the contrary on why Cheney should not be impeached, because as of this date all I have heard are politically motivated statements (not unlike those that were uttered when Nixon was in office - "When the President does IT, it isn't illegal".

Thanks Sunny Jim, as you correctly point out, no one has explained why Cheney should not be impeached, only infantile defenses that revolve around Democrats being - for terror, for bin Laden, on and on, yet no actual defensive proof. The more there is silence, the more I believe that the supporters of this administration would rather dispose of the Constitution and rule of law and replace it with Conservative Absolutism, because as some of Cheney's actions are clearly illegal, people that defend those illegal actions (regardless the reason) and thus justify this behavior are the real threat to the liberty of Americans.

And please, when arguing against this point of view, leave Clinton out of it, we are talking about Bush and Cheney and their actions. Answer my question and stick to the point.

Buckley


The Vice President, in his own name using his constitutional powers can only break ties in the Senate. He can be wrong in his recomendations or lie through his teeth but policy decisions are made by the president. Being hated, even by a majority, isn't a crime for if it were Hillary wouldn't be free for a century.


Whatnow-

I agree with you. But a Bush impeachment would be misdirected, as I liken Bush to the perfect "Manchurian Candidate" (the 1st film).

A war crime tribunal would yield more fruitful results and force the true criminals to face their crimes on facts alone.


Buckley,
Here is your reason:

He hasn't committed treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors

Thank you.

Good night and good luck.

Remember, no DNC talking points or left wing folklore in reply.


JD-

Conspiracy to commit torture overseas is aviolation of federal law and clearly a high crime.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/11/cia-rendition-t.html

There is ample evidence that Bush and Cheney are guilty of this crime.

Good night and Good Luck.

Remember no RNC talking points or folk lore in return.


Dear Mr. Brown:

Re your column yesterday, George W.. Bush's own words concerning 9/11 provide a sound basis to remove Pres. Bush and Vice Pres. Cheney from office.

I refer you to Pres. Bush's comment made on Aug. 16, 2004 during a campaign speech in Traverse City, Mich., when Mr. Bush stated the following:

"After 9/11, we must take threats seriously."

Obviously, the "we" Pres. Bush was referring to could only be himself, Mr. Cheney and members of their team. In effect, Mr. Bush admitted that before 9/11 he and the Vice President, in violation of their sworn duty to protect and defend our nation, had failed to take seriously the threats of imminent terrorist attack upon the U.S. which were circulating during the summer of 2001.

According to the 9/11 Commission Report, via an August 6, 2001 President's Daily Brief, Mr. Bush and his team had been warned by two CIA analysts that "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." was "CURRENT AND SERIOUS."

According to the 9/11 Report, Pres. Bush told the 9/11 commission that -- despite the fact Mr. Bush himself had asked the CIA to advise him if the terrorist threats indicated an attack upon the United States -- Pres. Bush considered the Aug. 6, 2001 PDB warning to be "historical in nature"!

Fox News Analyst James P. Pinkerton, who worked in the White House under Presidents Reagan and George H.W,. Bush, wrote in his April 9, 2001 Newsday column, "George W. Bush got a blunt warning five weeks before 9/11 and he did little or nothing."

Dave Futornick


Buckley, your post is silly. The burden of proof is not on Cheney to prove why he should not be impeached. The burden is on the loony left, as JD has pointed out repeatedly, to present concrete, admissible evidence that Cheney comitted treason, bribery or other high crimes . . . This whole Kucinich thing is a gift to the GOP and an embarrassment to Democrats, with Swamp liberals being the last to get the joke.


If Vice-Prseident Cheney has broken the law by committing an impeachable offense; isn't it the DUTY of the Speaker Pelosi and the rest of the Congress to conduct impeachment procedings?

If they don't conduct these procedings, isn't speaker Pelosi and her minions deglecting their swore oath to uphold the constitution? If that is the case, shouldn't they be booted from office for not upholding the constitution.

Come' on Nancy, time to show off your nads!!!


There is ample evidence that Bush and Cheney are guilty of this crime.

* * * * *

Posted by: AJF | November 7, 2007 6:38 PM

Ample evidence, huh? Good luck finding ample evidence. Try and find the group of people who can connect an actual violation of that law to an order given by the president. Try to find anyone who will be able to authenticate any part of the paper trail that would inculpate the President or VP. In the unlikely chance of succeeding, see if those people don’t take the Fifth themselves. If they don’t take the Fifth, see if they don’t give something like the common mob answer of old:

I didn't see anything,
I wasn't there;
or, if I was there, I was asleep.

You have to remember the anecdotal rumors we read about in the newspapers aren't admissible in court, and don’t count as ample evidence.

Like I said, good luck finding all this ample evidence.


* * * * *

Posted by: Krista Errickson | November 7, 2007 1:47 PM

That's all very good and well, Krista. Now explain how any of this makes the Vice President or the President guilty of an impeachable offense? Go look at Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution before you answer.

And then, if you can't answer that, tell me: What war crimes tribunal has jurisdiction over the matter? We are not a signatory of the World Court. The United States, quite correctly, has refused to accept an extra-territorial government over Americans by non-Americans.

Take your time, but do answer.


* * * * *

Posted by: Dave Futornick | November 7, 2007 7:02 PM

So, Dave, you are so wise and intelligent, please favor us with what Mr. Bush was supposed to do with the intelligence that he got? Give me some sense of what you, in the exercise of your superior intellect, could have done to stop the attack on 9/11 if you were in his shoes.

But before you respond, you should know the rules of the game. I’m only interested in action that would actually have stopped the 9/11 attack. Maybes and Speculation on your part doesn’t count.

So, let’s here it.


DEFINITION:TREASON from Britanica dictionary: 1. violation of allegiance or of faith and confidence 2. a crime that undermines the offender's government 3. disloyalty by virtue of subversive behavior 4. an act of deliberate betrayal

DEFINTION: HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS:
For more than six hundred years, "high crimes and misdemeanors" has referred exclusively to conduct requiring impeachment. An impeachment conviction in the Senate merely removes a statesman from his office of "honor, trust, or profit" with the United States. The criminal law is for personal punishment; impeachment is for keeping statesmen virtuous. A "high misdemeanor" refers not, as it is commonly construed, to a criminal offense just short of a felony, but to simple misbehavior -- bad demeanor, if you will.

Let’s take a little ride through history. Bear in mind, all of these examples have been incorporated to what constitutes HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS AND ARTICLES FOR IMPEACHMENT TODAY.

The 1450 impeachment of William de la Pole, was charged under this title. He was charged with using his influence to obstruct justice, cronyism, and wasting public money. Other charges against him included acts of high treason.

After the Restoration, the scope of the charge (of high crimes and misdemeanors) grew to include negligence, and abuse of power or trust while in office. For example, charges in the impeachment of Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford in 1701 included many violations of trust and his position.

The legal parlance of the 18th century, defined it as "against the State". A high crime is one which seeks the overthrow of the country, or which injures the country to the profit of an individual or group.

A 1974 high crime sample used for impeachment from Congress: 1) exceeding the constitutional bounds of the powers of the office; (2) behaving in a manner grossly incompatible with the proper function and purpose of the office; and (3) employing the power of the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain.

In the end, it is really up to the judiciary committee to decide the definition of high crimes and misdemeanors, anyway. Not you.

My fellow blogger, I wanted to make sure I kept out any “left wing folkore” out of the definitions, just for you. If you require facts from this administration that can be applied to any or all definitions above, don't hesitate to challenge me.

About four out of 10 Americans favor impeaching the president and vice president. Yesterday’s poll taken from the conservative site – HumanEvents.com.

To Whatnow – a President or any high officer of the federal administration can be impeached.

Jump ship. The Sith Lords have hijacked the Republican Party.


Buckley,

If the Keebler elf’s attempt at articles of impeachment is any indication of the case against VP Cheney, then there is only one reason needed to explain why he shouldn’t be impeached. This is the reason: The House of Representatives can’t think of anything Cheney has done that constitutes an impeachable offense.

Knowing full well that you know the Constitution doesn’t permit impeachment for anything less than treason, bribery, “or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” you know there must be some alleged crime. And when the Constitution refers to a crime, it refers to an act or omission to which the law attaches a punishment, and which the written law denounced prior to the time of the act. Federal law, like that of most states, doesn’t have any common law or judicially created crimes. It is all statutory.

So what statute did Dickie Boy fracture? Before you repeat AJF’s mistake and suggest that Cheney is guilty of conspiracy to commit torture abroad, consider the fact that an allegation is not evidence. Also consider the fact that getting enough people to prove a conspiracy on this ground will be next to impossible – even on the dubious assumption that such witnesses actually exist, or that he is guilty. Remember, also, that a trial on such ground requires evidence in the form of live witnesses.


Like I said, good luck finding all this ample evidence.

Posted by: John W. | November 7, 2007 8:13 PM

John W-

Cover up is now an alibi in your opinion?

So much for your supposed abhorence of torture. You claim you hate it, but any time anyone suggests doing anything about it you are the first to jump in to shout down the idea.

Here's some reading for you:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/cheney/chapters/pushing_the_envelope_on_presi/

There is documentary evidence. You can choose to ignore it, but it is still there. The memos exist.

Dick Cheney and his merry band of torturers thank you for your support. It gives them a warm glow after a day of beating someone senseless to know that you've got their back.


AJF You've got to be kidding.

....so the CIA believes this guy and his tales of torture....tells others about it...declassifies it, and somehow this constitutes Cheney as engaging in treason, bribery, high crimes and mis demeanors???

Tell me why and how the CIA would go public with this if it was all part of a Bush and Co. cover up?

Also, the supposed "tortureres" were in Egypt. We don't know if this guy was wanted in Egypt for something he did there.....the story isn't complete (imagine that)

Also, the story starts by implying that "we" tortured him in Afghanistan with "loud music" Ooooohhhhhh

But then...after being transferred to Egypt "the threats became real"

Basically admitting we didn't actually do anything to this guy.

I have a feeling that the left defines torture as "anything that will make the Bush administration look bad"

The left is a joke and I hope the Cheney impeachment goes to debate so the rest of the country can finally see the JOKE that is the left wing of today.


Phew. That was work. OK, John W. – now, knowing someone like you will not stand for generalities, I am giving you the specifics you asked for. I also had to edit numerous backup examples of the same charges, please remember for each charge, I can back it up with at least five examples. Now bear in mind, I have to think of others who would like to post, so I have only given you the facts leading into the war – not all of the high crimes and misdemeanors committed during the war, including betraying our own troops welfare, and war profiteering –like Cheney, former head of Halliburton, who has steered numerous no-bid no-compete contracts for the War on Iraq to his former company, and oddly, as a result, Cheney’s personal Halliburton stock options which have risen 3,281% since 2004. But I know you’re a guy who wants details, of high crimes so let’s stick to those:

1. Misleading Congress and the American Public Concerning the Decision to go to War, Determination to Go to War Before Congressional Authorization –
Evidence backed up by – the declassified Downing Street minutes meetings between Bush, Cheney and Blair (see Downing Street Minutes).

2. Unauthorized War Actions and Provocations
Czech investigation has found that there is evidence the Bush Administration redeployed military assets in the immediate vicinity of Iraq and conducted bombing raids on Iraq in 2002 in possible violation of the War Powers Resolution, Pub. L. No. 93-148, and laws prohibiting the Misuse of Government Funds, 31, this information is backed up by SISMI, The Italian Intelligence Force.

3. Misstating and Manipulating the Intelligence to Justify Preemptive War –
With regard to general linkages between Iraq and al Qaeda, members of the Bush Administration ignored at least five separate reports including a report shortly after September 11 prepared by Counterterrorism Coordinator Richard Clarke finding no connection with Iraq that was “bounced back,” with Cheney writing “[w] rong answer….do it again”. A September 21, 2001 classified intelligence briefing that “the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda.”

4. Unauthorized War Actions and Provocations
Credible evidence the Bush Administration redeployed military assets in the immediate vicinity of Iraq and conducted bombing raids on Iraq in 2002 in possible violation of the War Powers Resolution, Pub. L. No. 93-148, and laws prohibiting the Misuse of Government Funds.

5. Lying to the United Citizens about WMD’s
a.) The CIA determined by December 2001 that the misleading nature of the Bush Administration ’s misstatements regarding mobile chemical weapons laboratories by virtue of the fact that they ignored numerous contrary information provided by the German and British Intelligence, as well as CIA officials. As early as 1995 the CIA had been informed that “after the gulf war, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stock; “cannot confirm [the uranium] reports ” (which the IAEA quickly found to be “not authentic”).

b.) In May 2003, President Bush stated “we found the weapons of mass destruction”; and Secretary Powell asserted “we have found the biological weapons vans; ” however, on The Washington Post subsequently reported that on May 27, 2003, a U.S./U.K. fact finding mission issued a 122 page report concluding the vans “had nothing to do with biological weapons. ”

c.) Vice President Cheney’s December 9, 2001 statement that the meeting between Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague had been “pretty well confirmed ” was either knowingly or recklessly false. This includes the fact that Czech government officials had expressed doubts the meeting had occurred; both the CIA and FBI had concluded that “the meeting probably did not take place; ” and Administration records indicated that Mr. Atta was in Virginia Beach, Virginia at the time of the meeting. When pressured by Cheney’s office to substantiate the meeting, the Deputy CIA director stated, “We’ve done our work. We’re not going back on this one”.

d.) A January, 2003 CIA report that the “Intelligence Community has no credible
information that Baghdad had foreknowledge of the 11 September attacks or any
other al-Qaeda strike. ” A January, 2003 CIA report that the “Intelligence Community has no credible information that Baghdad had foreknowledge of the 11 September attacks or any other al-Qaeda strike”. Given this record, it is particularly hard to justify Administration statements such as Secretary Rumsfeld’s September 22, 2002 claim that he had “bulletproof” evidence of ties between Saddam and al Qaeda.

e.) That Iraq was within six months of obtaining a nuclear weapon. A 1999 IAEA report that there was “no indication that Iraq possesses nuclear weapons, or any practical capability. British intelligence officials confirmation that Iraq ’s nuclear weapons program was “effectively frozen. ” lacked “persuasive evidence that Baghdad has launched a coherent effort to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program. ’ Given this record, it is difficult to defend statements such as Mr. Cheney’s March 16, 2003 declaration that “we believe [Saddam] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. ” There is also evidence that the Vice President ’s statement on August 26, 2002
that the Administration has learned about Hussein ’s efforts to reacquire nuclear
weapons from “Saddam’s own son-in-law,” Hussein Kamel al-Majid, was knowingly or recklessly false. This is first because Kamel was killed in February, 1996, so he “could not have NIE indicating that Iraq did not have and was not trying to reacquire nuclear weapons; and the State Department for the production of such material. ”

f.) And my favorite: False Statements to Congress of Iraqi Acquisition of Uranium from Niger. President Bush and members of his Administration made numerous false statements that Iraq had sought to acquire enriched uranium from Niger. In particular, President Bush ’s statements and certifications before and to Congress may constitute Making a False Statement to Congress in violation of 18. Please read my first post FACT, which refers directly to this.

Chapter 2 - Why was this war orchestrated? And even more nasty high crimes...To be continued.....


* * * * *

Posted by: Krista Errickson | November 7, 2007 8:25 PM

Sorry Krista, that one just doesn’t fly.

First of all, you are starting with the wrong definition of treason. The Constitution states that “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” (U.S. Const, Art. III, Sec. 3.) The federal treason law, 18 U.S.C. § 2381, tracks the language of Article III, Section 3 almost word for word.

Thus, this is the definition that has to be used when trying to say someone ought to be impeached for treason, rather than your fuzzy definition out of the Britannica dictionary. This is so because this is the only way treason can be defined under U.S. law. The Constitution forbids any other definition – regardless of whether it is to be used in a criminal or non-criminal setting.

Second, the material you quote (which itself contains no citations of authority) assumes that an impeachment does not have to be based on a crime, as the term “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” (cf. U.S. Const., Art. II, Sec. 4) was not limited to crimes at common law. This is a question clearly left unanswered by the debates in the constitutional convention and by all subsequent proceedings.

Initially, however, I wouldn’t place too much emphasis on ancient common law authorities – as you did, or as did the author you quoted (without citation). At common law, a person could be indicted and convicted of a crime that was invented by judge. The common law of crimes permitted courts to define criminal behavior even when the Parliament failed to do so. That, of course, is not the case in the United States. To the contrary, the courts rather strictly adhere to the maxim “nullum crimen nulla poena sine lege.” In any event, the language of the Constitution, itself, doesn’t square completely with the common law in this regard (as more fully discussed below).

Similarly, impeachment proceedings at common law also permitted the imposition of criminal punishments, making it singularly unlike the impeachment procedure either prescribed by the Constitution, or practiced by our national legislature. (See U.S. Const., Art. I, Sec. 3.) I might add further that most, if not all, of your common law examples of impeachable offenses are crimes today. Thus, I suggest that the fuzzy non-distinction between “indictable” and “impeachable” offenses at common law are singularly unhelpful.

I believe the better method would be to examine the language of the Constitution to determine the nature of impeachable conduct. The language of the Constitution is fortunately clear in stating the grounds of impeachment and removal from office as being for “Treason, Bribery or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The words “or other” implies, in context, that Treason and Bribery, themselves, are within the category of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” and that any other “high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” used as the basis for impeachment and removal from office must be of the same character as those offenses. This is required by the rule of construction known as ejusdem generis - which provides that, where general words follow specific words in a statutory enumeration, the general words are construed to embrace only objects similar in nature to those objects specifically enumerated. Thus, the phrase, “or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors” – which is the general language, requires some offense equally serious as Treason and Bribery which are described in the specific language. In turn, if we look at the crimes of Treason and Bribery we know that both of them involve serious criminal behavior against the nation and its government.

Thus, it is simply not true, as you have stated, that a "high misdemeanor" refers “to simple misbehavior -- bad demeanor, if you will.” As you correctly noted later, with great contradiction I might add, the word “high” – as in “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” – refers to offenses against “the State.” A “high Misdemeanor,” therefore, cannot refer to simple misbehavior - like tattooing a child under 18 years or hunting from a motor vehicle, even though both of are statutory “crimes” and at least statutory misdemeanors in a number of States. The conduct, itself, must be of a nature that its occurrence harms the state or some aspect of the government.

So, now, to answer the question – “Does impeachment and removal from office under the Constitution require proof of a crime?” – you have to ask whether there is any conduct that is as serious or dangerous to the nation and its government as Treason or Bribery, and that is committed with an evil or corrupt intent equal to that of those offenses – that isn’t already made a crime under the laws of the United States. In the unlikely chance that such conduct could exist without already being a crime, then, yes, it could form the basis of a proceeding to impeach and remove a President, Vice-President or civil officer. If not, then the answer is “No.”

Not that I count much, but I am not personally convinced that the answer isn’t “No.” I cannot conceive of any behavior as serious as Treason or Bribery that isn’t already made a criminal offense under U.S. law. Can you?

In any event, when judged by the correct standards, neither Kucinich’s proposed articles nor your fuzzy ideas of “treason” reach the threshold level of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” under the Constitution. Making misrepresentations, or being disloyal, to the People of this country, however blameworthy, pale in comparison to Treason, Bribery or any other similar “high” offense against the Nation or its government.

And, yes, I realize that Congress is going to sort this out all on its own, and that the Courts have declared the subject matter to be “non-justiciable.” However, I also know that members of Congress are bound by oath to support the Constitution (U.S. Const., Art. 6), and that failure to scrutinize articles of impeachment under the correct standard is, itself a failure of that oath. I also have a First Amendment right to speak out against proposed illegal behavior by Congress, and the right to vote against those in my State and district who engage in such behavior.


Very impressive Krista,

1450, 1701? Yeah,...lets keep it in recent memory....and when....you know....there was such a thing as the USA and our constitution.

1974...ok, now we're getting somewhere. Please point to D. Kucinch's reasons for impeachment and explain how they could possibly fit in with :
1) exceeding the constitutional bounds of the powers of the office; (2) behaving in a manner grossly incompatible with the proper function and purpose of the office; and (3) employing the power of the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain.

Please again, no folklore about Halliburton etc......

(are you starting to get the picture that those calling for impeachment are a bit....crazy?)

The Republicans are salivating over this proposition and Nancy P. is scared over it.

Doesn't that tell you guys something?


ADDENDUM

Krista,

After further reflection and study, I have a couple more comments regarding the law of impeachment, especially concerning the conduct warranting it.

My perusal of Blackstone’s Commentaries confirms that it is erroneous to view impeachment proceedings as having been non-criminal at common law, or to believe that a “high misdemeanor” was not a crime.

In Book IV of his commentaries, Blackstone treats the subject of “Public Wrongs.” In chapter 1, he clearly states:

“I. A CRIME, or misdemeanor, is an act committed, or omitted, in violation of a public law, either forbidding or commanding it. This general definition comprehends both crimes and misdemeanors; which, properly speaking, are mere synonymous terms; though, in common usage, the word ‘crimes” is made to denote such offenses as are of a deeper and more atrocious dye; while smaller faults, and omissions of less consequence, are comprised under the gentler name of ‘misdemeanors’ only.”

(IV William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 5 (16th ed. 1825).

He then goes on to explain immediately thereafter that “[i]n the English law offenses are technically divided into felonies and misdemeanors, - under the latter terms are comprised all offenses which are not felonies, whether against common or statute law, whether indictable or subject only to summary punishment.” (Ibid, fn. 2.)

Hence, contrary to what you wrote or cited, the term “misdemeanor” was a legal term of art to describe a crime, and not merely to “simple misbehavior” that was not condemned by the law.

In several subsequent places, Blackstone reinforces the point, as he uses the term “high misdemeanor” to denominate crimes, short of felonies, which are punishable “short of death” by both fines and imprisonment. (See e.g., Id., at Ch. 9, at pp. 120-121; Ch. 10, at pp. 131-132; & Ch. 16, at p. 221.)

This, not surprisingly, was also the understanding of the colonists in America until well after the revolution and the ratification of the Constitution. In 1794 – Congress made it a crime – a ‘high misdemeanor” in fact – for any person within the jurisdiction of the United States "to set out on foot or provide or prepare the means for any military expedition" against a foreign sovereign "with whom the United States are at peace.” (1 Stat. 31, 384, § 5, 3d Cong., 1st Sess. (1794).) Until 1979, New Jersey classified all crimes as felonies, high misdemeanors, misdemeanors, and disorderly person offenses.

Thus, not only was it false to suggest that a “high misdemeanor” was not a crime, it certainly doesn’t appear to have been understood to be a non-crime either at common law or in early American history. Wherever you got your information regarding “high misdemeanors” not being crimes, that information is just plain wrong.

During the same perusal of Blackstone, I was confronted with this curious description of a “high misdemeanor” known as “. . . the mal-administration of such high officers, as are in public trust and employment.” This offense, according to Blackstone, “is usually punished by the method of parliamentary impeachment: wherein such penalties, short of death, are inflicted, as to the wisdom of the house of peers shall seem proper; consisting usually of banishment, imprisonment, fines, or perpetual disability. . . .” (4 Blackstone, supra, Ch. 9, at pp. 121-122.) This is rather positive evidence that impeachment proceedings were, in fact, used to adjudicate and punish criminal behavior at common law.

All of the foregoing makes me go back to my original assertion that impeachment can be had only for a crime. Treason, Bribery and “high Crimes” are certainly all crimes under both the common law and pursuant to statute. And now we also see from Blackstone that a high Misdemeanor is also a term of art for a criminal offense at common law. Thus, all the enumerated objects in the list of grounds for impeachment are crimes. It makes sense, under the previously described rule of ejusdem generis that all conduct for which impeachment could be had – that is of the same or similar type to Treason and Bribery – would also bear the characteristic of being criminal offenses. This likewise comports with the part of the Constitution that anticipates criminal prosecutions following impeachment proceedings (See U.S. Const., Art. I, Sec. 3), as well as Alexander Hamilton’s statement in Federalist 69 that, “[t]he president of the United States would be liable to be impeached, tried, and, upon conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors, removed from office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law.” (The Federalist (Heritage Press, Avon Connecticut, 1973), No. 69, at p. 461.)

Thus, if Kucinich’s attempt at articles of impeachment were shaky before, they are entirely unsustainable under the view that impeachment and removal requires allegations and proof of a crime. The same is true of the particular facts and theories you suggested regarding Cheney’s misconduct.


I am happy to fianlly see a move to investigate the way we were led into war.

Let the truth return.

I think the Republicans may have made a major tactical mistake here.

The majority of the people would like to see impeachment.

It is an often seen bumper sticker in my area. I am not sure how it is in other parts of the country.


"I am happy to fianlly see a move to investigate the way we were led into war."

I'd love it too.
It will be great to see the left's reaction when they realize everything the left wing blogs and media have been telling them isn't exactly true. Doh!

They'll actually be forced to look at both sides and the entire history of who said what and who voted for what....and what the actual intelligence completely said. Not just MSM sound bites.

It's funny....most people on the left just take it at face value that Joe Wilson's OP Ed somehow proved Bush lied, or that there were no Al Queda Iraq ties. Its hysterical to read. I guess that is what happens when you insulate yourself in left wing media outlets and blogs.

I wonder how many people here have actually READ the entire 9/11 comission report as opposed to just reading excerpts the media provided.


Regarding my post on "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" - most of the excerpts were taken from Ann Coulter's book, "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" - in which she puts forth reasons for why Clinton should be impeached. She has endless chapters devoted to the history and proving Obstruction of justice and perjury was enough to impeach a president. I want to thank Ann for that book and say to her - "Hey, Ann, right back at ya!"

All of your quotes of black and white in the constitution don't give a flip about a definition of high crimes, because I repeat, in the end,it is up to judiciary committee to decide what a "high crime" is. Since everyone else is full of poop in your eyes despite GLARING evidence to the contrary- I suggest you read her book.

Again, I ask you, why do you insist on defending criminals that are getting sickeningly rich day by day who could care less if you dropped dead tomorrow (unless they need your to vote to keep them in office another 15 months, then you can drop dead) our troops ( oh, I beg you, ask me for some examples) and civilians are dying NOT from battle but by our OWN actions (purposely not giving clean water to bathe).

LET ME CLARIFY: THIS IS NOT A CONDEMNATION OF THE WHOLE REPUBLICAN PARTY. But I say to the Republican Party - CLEAN YOUR HOUSE BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

Now, when we get pass this ridiculous and exhaustive reasons proving that Cheney is a scum criminal, we can actually have a dialogue as to WHY and what were the motives.


According to the Constitution: "...Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors". Treason and Bribery are clear. The definition of "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" was left intentionally vague by the founders but is generally considered to refer to misconduct or a violation of the public trust that is injurious to society. They are not limited to statutory violations (breaking regular laws).

In the midst of Watergate, the Judiciary wrote a report on impeachment.[1] They stated:

'Two points emerge from the 400 years of English parliamentary experience with the phrase "high Crimes and Misdemeanors." First the particular allegations of misconduct alleged damage to the state in such forms as misapplication of funds, abuse of official power, neglect of duty, encroachment on Parliament¹s prerogatives, corruption, and betrayal of trust. Second, the phrase "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" was confined to parliamentary impeachments; it had no roots in the ordinary criminal law, and the particular allegations of misconduct under that heading were not necessarily limited to common law or statutory derelictions or crimes.'

The subject of impeachment was debated by the Founding Fathers during the Constitutional conventions. The Federalist Papers give rationale for many parts of the Constitution and are often used to interpret the intent of the framers.

In Federalist No. 65 [2], Alexander Hamilton described the subject of impeachment as:

"those offences which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself"

James Iredell at the North Carolina Constitutional convention, argued that the President:

"Must certainly be punishable for giving false information to the Senate. He is to regulate all intercourse with foreign powers, and it is his duty to impart to the Senate every material intelligence he receives. If it should appear that he has not given them full information, but has concealed important intelligence which he ought to have communicated, and by that means induced them to enter into measures injurious to their country, and which they would not have consented to had the true state of things been disclosed to them,"

Back in 1970, Rep. Gerald R. Ford defined impeachable offenses as "whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history." That is probably a reasonable definition, consistent with the intentions of the Founding Fathers.

Since the Military is sworn allegiance to the Constitution, you might understand why over 20 Generals have broken ranks and are now speaking out. Now save me the trouble of doing the work for you and read exactly what these Generals are saying.


According to the Constitution: "...Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors". Treason and Bribery are clear. The definition of "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" was left intentionally vague by the founders but is generally considered to refer to misconduct or a violation of the public trust that is injurious to society. They are not limited to statutory violations (breaking regular laws).

In the midst of Watergate, the Judiciary wrote a report on impeachment.[1] They stated:

'Two points emerge from the 400 years of English parliamentary experience with the phrase "high Crimes and Misdemeanors." First the particular allegations of misconduct alleged damage to the state in such forms as misapplication of funds, abuse of official power, neglect of duty, encroachment on Parliament¹s prerogatives, corruption, and betrayal of trust. Second, the phrase "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" was confined to parliamentary impeachments; it had no roots in the ordinary criminal law, and the particular allegations of misconduct under that heading were not necessarily limited to common law or statutory derelictions or crimes.'

The subject of impeachment was debated by the Founding Fathers during the Constitutional conventions. The Federalist Papers give rationale for many parts of the Constitution and are often used to interpret the intent of the framers.

In Federalist No. 65 [2], Alexander Hamilton described the subject of impeachment as:

"those offences which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself"

James Iredell at the North Carolina Constitutional convention, argued that the President:

"Must certainly be punishable for giving false information to the Senate. He is to regulate all intercourse with foreign powers, and it is his duty to impart to the Senate every material intelligence he receives. If it should appear that he has not given them full information, but has concealed important intelligence which he ought to have communicated, and by that means induced them to enter into measures injurious to their country, and which they would not have consented to had the true state of things been disclosed to them,"

Back in 1970, Rep. Gerald R. Ford defined impeachable offenses as "whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history." That is probably a reasonable definition, consistent with the intentions of the Founding Fathers.

Since the Military is sworn allegiance to the Constitution, you might understand why over 20 Generals have broken ranks and are now speaking out. Now save me the trouble of doing the work for you and read exactly what these Generals are saying.


JD-

Learn to read.

"Conspiracy to commit torture overseas."

It's a violation of federal law. It is a felony.

One does not have to commit the torture in order to have committed a crime. Turning someone over to be torture by another would constitute "Conspiracy to commit torture."

We turned over the man to the egyptians to be tortured. It makes no difference if he commited a criminal act in Egypt. A US citizen cannot legally facilitate torture in other countries.


For John W. regarding 9/11 Accountability, here are quotes from respectable Republicans, all verifiable on the internet:

1) Conservative writer Deroy Murdock, in his National Review column of March 15, 2002 wrote about

"...the outrageous lack of accountability for the most calamitous intelligence and law-enforcement blunder in U.S. history. ... When will heads roll over 9/11?"

2) Town Hall columnist and National Review Editor Rich Lowry, in his Sept. 13, 2005 National Review column, wrote:

"A vigorous blame game is still the only way to keep government failures from being conveniently ignored."

3) Fox News analyst James P. Pinkerton, who worked in the White House under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, in his April 9, 2004 Newsday column, wrote:

"President George W. Bush got a blunt warning five weeks before 9/11 and he did little or nothing. He even presided over a stand-down in preparations, concentrating on other concerns. ... Plenty of people in Washington had their 'hair on fire' about the terror threat in the summer of 2001. But not Bush, apparently. On Aug. 4, he went off on a working vacation to his ranch in Texas."

4) Pres. Bush, speaking before a crowd of supporters in Traverse City, Mich. on Aug. 16, 2004, said:

"AFTER September the 11th, we must take threats seriously, before they fully materialize. It is a vital lesson our country must never forget. It's one of the lessons of that terrible day."

I compare government's lack of vigilance prior to 9/11 to a sentry on duty at a military post who dozes off and as a result the garrison suffers heavy losses. What would happen to that sentry?

Why shouldn't the people in high office whose sworn duty it is to protect and defend us be held accountable for their failure to take the necessary precautions when they were well aware that terrorist action against the U.S. was imminent?

Crtainly the loss of 3,000 lives on our soil should warrant accountability.

DaveF


"Conspiracy to commit torture overseas."

OK....and Dick Cheney did this how?

If this was the "Cheney" policy/conspiracy, why would the CIA document this and take his claims as seriously as they did and declassify the info?

Wouldn't Cheney need the cooperation of the CIA to "conspire" in the torture? Why would they implicate themselves by declassifying this info?

See AJF, this is what happens when you believe left wing folklore.
You make leaps of logic that a guy being tortured by Egyptians, our finding out about it, reporting and declassifying it so the public and you can read about it....somehow constitutes the Vice President of the United States of having commited a conspiracy to torture.

You actually want to impeach our 2nd in command over the testimoney of the highest ranking Al Queda memeber we've had in custody.

Wow, if only you would give our leaders the same benefit of the doubt you give Al Queda prisoners, Saddam Hussein, Iran, Syria, N. Korea...you know....our documented enemies.

I know the war to you is Abu Graib, Halliburton and waterboarding...but for most sane people it's not.

This is why the Republicans want to get kooks like Kucinich and supporters like you out in the open so the American people will say "YIKES!" "These guys are NUTS!"

King of like we do on a daily basis after reading some of your posts.


OK, AJF ....the two links you provided are your supposed "smoking guns"

A) The so called "torture memo" drew the line on threatening being buried alive.

From your link to the Wash Post article.

"The opinion drew the line against one request: threatening to bury a prisoner alive."

From your link to the ABC story:

"Here was a cable then that informed Washington that one of the key pieces of evidence for the Iraq war -- the al Qaeda/Iraq link -- was not only false but extracted by effectively burying a prisoner alive."

Again, from your link.

It looks like the CIA retracted evidence based on what they thought was obtained thru "torture" Cheney's own lawyer's thought of this as "torture" and wouldn't allow it.

Congrats AJF....you've cleared Cheney.


JD-

We gave the guy to Egypt specifically to be tortured. It's called Extrodinary Rendition and it is an official policy of this government. You may believe it's "left wing folklore" but many countries see it as a serious crime.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/humanrights/story/0,,1567896,00.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/humanrights/story/0,,1567896,00.html

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P6-TA-2006-0316+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200506/jtselect/jtrights/185/18511.htm

http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/10/27/arar-torture051027.html

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/06/08/europe/EU-GEN-Italy-CIA-Kidnapping.php

http://www.venice.coe.int/docs/2006/CDL(2006)077-e.pdf

You have lost too much of your humanity to be saved if torture no longer bothers you. If you believe that US governemnt complicity in torture does not deserve investigation, and prosecution you have become morally indistinquishable from those we fight in the War on Terror.



Krista,

Just to keep organized, I will answer you in the following numbered points:

1. You ask why I am interested in defending people who don’t care about me. I will tell you. I have defended people, as a profession, over the space of more than 20 years. It’s in my blood to defend people, and I never cared if they were rich or poor, or powerful versus disaffected or disenfranchised. I am capable of professional detachment – of which people bent on a particular crusade are incapable.

2. Do I like Dick Cheney or Duh’bya? Not particularly. On a political level, I think they have been terrible for the Republican Party. In general, I believe neo-cons have steered the Republican party away from its good conservative traditions, and especially from its traditions of favoring fiscal responsibility, small government and non-entanglement in foreign militarily affairs. I’m not suggesting that Republican administrations in the last 40 years have done much to entirely fulfill those ideological aspirations. However, some of them have at least tried. Duh’bya, on the other hand, has never tried. Most Republicans I know are horrified that Duh’bya has allowed governmental spending to proceed apace, and that he has expanded the institutions and power of the federal government beyond its limits.

3. Telling me that Ann Coulter wrote the book which you used your sources makes everything perfectly clear. I will decline your suggestion that I read anything further of hers. Despite the fact that she and I are technically in the same party, our views on many things are quite far apart. I find her books just a little bit too mean spirited, not to mention disorganized and wildly inaccurate.

For example, in her book “Godless,” she attempted to portray the U.S. Supreme Court under Earl Warren (in the 50s and 60s) as one of the main sources of what is evil and wrong with this country. As an example of this, she claimed the Warren Court invented the “exclusionary rule” as a remedy for Fourth Amendment violations in the case of Mapp v. Ohio. That, of course, was simply not true. The exclusionary rule was first applied by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383 (1914) – forty seven years before Mapp. But, of course, this little bit of detail would have ruined Coulter’s opportunity to blame everything on the Warren Court; so she omitted it. Her tirade against the judiciary went on like this for so long on the basis of mean and false accusations that I had to put it down.

I don’t believe it is beneath Ann Coulter to fabricate and distort things. This much is further reinforced by the examples from the book “High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” from which you quoted. No one – and I mean no one – who seeks to understand the English Common Law, and especially its effect on American law, would omit Blackstone’s Commentaries from their studies. In colonial America, Blackstone’s Commentaries were viewed as “the bible” on the common law. That work has long been quoted by the U.S. Supreme Court throughout its history, and it is still quoted by the Court today. Thus, I consider it further evidence of her general disingenuous methods to omit the discussion of the portions of Blackstone’s Commentaries that I furnished earlier. That discussion clearly disproved her non-lawyerly methods of claiming that impeachment was not a criminal procedure at common law, and that the term “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” could embrace, within its meaning, “simple misbehavior -- bad demeanor, if you will.” If I could find the correct law with a small amount of work, I’m sure that such a well published author like Ann Coulter could do the same with all of her resources. Then again, I don’t suppose it would surprise you to know that even you probably know more about criminal law than Ann Coulter does.

4. You seem to believe discussion of the meaning of “high crimes and misdemeanors” is moot for public discussion because “in the end, it is up to judiciary committee to decide what a ‘high crime’ is.” This is not true. The Senate, in trying a public official on articles of impeachment, also has the power to determine whether the articles allege impeachable offenses. If the Senate were to decide the articles of impeachment did not allege impeachable offenses, it could simply dismiss the case without proceeding to trial on the matter. This has been done before. I might also remind you that an official facing an impeachment trial in the Senate has the right to representation by counsel. Any attorney worth his or her salt would move to dismiss the articles of impeachment on the ground that it failed to state and impeachable offense – especially if articles of impeachment were as unsubstantial as those drafted by Kucinich, or based on your disjointed ideas of what constitutes a crime.

5. This brings me to your comment that Cheney is a criminal. I don’t necessarily disagree that he has the character of a criminal, but the law of crimes does not work on the basis of character. To be a criminal in a legal sense, one must violate some statutory law that defines a crime – as the United States has entirely discarded the common law power of judges to define crimes in the absence of legislative action. Despite requesting the same, I still haven’t heard from you any indication as to which law you believe Dick Cheney fractured. You have simply forked up clouds of what you perceive to be misconduct on his part and claim that such conduct is criminal. Again, I ask you, on the assumption that all of what you say is true, what statute did Dick Cheney violate in doing any or all of this stuff? Until you can answer that question, it does not lie in your mouth to call him a criminal.

6. Finally, your further references to Coulter’s work, or to the Judiciary report from the Watergate proceedings, are just more evidence of ignorance in high places when it comes to the Constitution’s definition of impeachable offenses. As I already established, Treason and Bribery are crimes. Obviously, a “high Crime” is a distinct reference to a criminal offense. The only place Ann Coulter or anyone else could wiggle or fudge, was in claiming that a “high misdemeanor” embraced something other than a crime and could refer to “simple misconduct.” That of course, was proven false by reference to early American law and Blackstone – who unhesitatingly defined all misdemeanors and high misdemeanors as synonymous with crimes. If all items on the list of impeachment grounds are crimes, then it is fair to state that one must be guilty of a crime – as opposed to some unparticularized misconduct – for impeachment to lie. Moreover, the Constitutional requirement that the crime or misdemeanor be a “high” one likewise indicates that the particular crime must be one directed at “the state.”

The Judiciary committee’s statement that “the phrase ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors’ was confined to parliamentary impeachments; it had no roots in the ordinary criminal law, and the particular allegations of misconduct under that heading were not necessarily limited to common law or statutory derelictions or crimes” – entirely misapprehended the nature of parliamentary impeachment proceedings. Again, as Blackstone plainly states, parliamentary impeachment was a criminal proceedings. We know this because Parliament handed out punishments for impeachable offenses that went far beyond removal or disqualification from office. The punishments handed out, according to Blackstone, included fines, imprisonment, banishment and even the pillory. None of those are remedies resulting from non-criminal proceedings.

Unlike the structures of government on this side of the Atlantic, criminal trials in the English Parliament were not uncommon at all. In fact, a bill of attainder – now prohibited by Article I, Section 9 of our Constitution – was an act condemning a person as the result of another parliamentary trial procedure. Thus, while it might be true that an impeachable offense might not be tried in the courts – because they were tried before Parliament – it is not the same as saying that such offenses are not crimes. They were simply crimes tried in a different manner. Remember, also, that in England, unlike the situation in America, crimes could be invented and punished without a prior, written law. The courts there did so all the time. Ex post facto laws and bills of attainder, both now prohibited by the Constitution, were examples of how the Parliament would persecute people for behavior that was not criminal, but that was made criminal at the same time as Parliament sought to punish those individuals. Thus, relying on the history of the English Parliament to determine what is criminal and what is not a criminal procedure is pure folly.

Predictably, Iredell’s statements, as well as those of Hamilton have been distorted to make them mean something those individuals never intended. If one looks at the context in which each of the statements were made, one will find that neither Iredell or Hamilton intended to define what is or what is not an impeachable offense under Article II, Section 4. Iredell’s comments were made during the North Carolina ratification convention in direct response to claims by Samuel Spencer that the impeachment power would be ineffectual – rather than as an attempt to clarify the scope of impeachable offenses.

Lastly, the idea that either the President or Vice-President could be subject to impeachment as the result of non-criminal behavior runs against the whole idea of specifying Treason, Bribery and high Crimes and Misdemeanors as the basis for impeachment. The purpose of specifying these grounds was to insure the American Executive, in Madison’s words, would not leave the president only to serve “during pleasure of the Senate” (2 Farrand, “The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787” (Yale 1911), at p. 550) - which would certainly occur if partisan politics rather than some identifiable wrong were to determine how long a President remained in office. In fact, Madison preferred the trial of impeachments to be done by the courts if the president were subject to impeachment for crimes denominated misdemeanors. (Id., at p. 551.)

Madison was right even if he didn’t get his way on judicial trials. If we are free to depart from the notion that impeachment can lie for anything but a serious offense against the government, reflecting on the incapacity of the official to serve, then the Executive Branch exists only at the mercy of the House and Senate, and is no longer a co-equal branch. That would also mean we no longer have a constitutional republic, and the procedures in Congress have no more dignity than a game of “capture the flag” or “king of the hill.”

In this context, Gerald Ford's statement – that “high Crimes and Misdemeanors “means whatever a majority of the House thinks it means,” was wrong. The House is restricted by the words of the Constitution to impeach only for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” If we assume the framers meant no limitation on the powers of the House to impeach, then these explicit grounds for impeachment, as stated in Article II, Section 4 are nothing but surplusage and useless. If there is any true rule of construction applicable to the Constitution, is that all of its words were intended to mean something, and that readings which render words surplusage cannot be permitted.


AJF:

First, don’t put words in my mouth. I never said that cover up is an alibi or a substitute for one.

Second, I do abhor the very idea of torture. That is not changed by the fact that I confront you with the practical difficulty of unearthing evidence against the Vice President regarding his involvement in authorizing the misconduct you complain of. I was trying to confront you with the fact the cult of anonymity and the institution of secrecy grown up around the intelligence community would make it extremely difficult to document a trail from Cheney all the way to the actual perpetration of some crime.

Playing the devil’s advocate, as I do, tends to keep people within the realm of reality, rather than being overcome by their own partisan goals. It also helps people formulate realistic strategies, rather than just assuming everything they want is going to fall out of the sky. If you have to shoot me – the messenger – just because I raise difficulties, then you should consider the possibility that you are not being objective.

Third, there is a certain truth about the office of Vice President – which I assumed you understood - and which I had in the back of my mind when I said “good luck.” The Vice President has no power under the Constitution to do anything but preside over the Senate. Cheney hardly does even that. The only other way for Cheney to have power would be for the President to appoint him to a cabinet level post. To my knowledge, he holds no such post. He is officially part of the president’s inner circle more as an advisor than as a person who exercises any particular cabinet function.

So what official power could he have exercised that would result in his responsibility for an order authorizing torture? He could not, in his own right, authorize such an order. At best, he could only have influenced Duh’bya, Alberto Gonzales or “Rummy” to make such decisions; but the actual decision, if any, wasn’t on his dime.

The fact that the A.G., the Defense Secretary and the D.C.I. would have to make the ultimate decisions regarding interrogation techniques would naturally lead the paper trails to their doorsteps, but not all the way back to the Vice President. Indeed, it is doubtful that any verifiable paper trail could lead back to the White House and put a smoking gun in Cheney’s hand. In fact, the Bybee memorandum – which can be seen as the opinion justifying cruel activity – came from one of Alberto Gonzales’ underlings, and not one of Cheney’s. Even Yoo blames everyone but Cheney for the so-called “torture memo.” In my mind, that contradicts Yoo’s own claim that it was Cheney’s office that pushed the issue of vigorous interrogation techniques. The article you provided is full of such interesting contradictions.

If you care to call that “documentation,” then go right ahead and believe it. I’m not going to stop you from believing anything. But I would be a little more critical of an article that starts out from the perspective of assuming everything is Cheney’s fault, and then bolsters it with the details. If you want to see documentation, then look for the actual words of the individuals quoted, without the particular spin of the person writing the article.

Lastly, as an afterthought, I have to ask: What good it would do to take up the impeachment of Mr. Cheney? The worst the Senate can do is remove him from office and declare him ineligible for any further office of trust. That would likely consume the time and effort of both the House and Senate for the rest of Duh’bya’s term. We would get nothing out of Congress (not that we get much now), and Cheney would be removed from office just in time for his office to expire anyway. In the unlikely event that Congress moved fast on articles of impeachment, and the Senate swiftly tried the case and convicted Cheney of an impeachable offense, Duh’bya would simply be allowed to appoint Cheney’s successor. So, I ask again, is it really worth all the effort?


John,

OK, at least we agree that the Republican party has been hijacked by this administration. We can get past that issue.

1.Clinton was successfully impeached on the charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying about a blowjob. So please do not tell me what the H of R and Judiciary Committee can or cannot define as a high Crime in order to impeach the highest official in this land. Can you honestly tell me that this administration is not guilty of at least these crimes???

2.When you can respond to the grounds for impeachment that I put forth just LEADING UP TO THE WAR, from my lengthy post of November the 7th 11:22 am, in which I directly answered what high Crimes this administration is guilty of, as you seem to have ignored that post, then we can debate further.

3.Bully for you that you defend people in a broad spectrum. Did any of those people have the potential to directly affect your future, your way of life, or your children on a monumental level?

4.Disjointed ideas of crimes? Lying and deceiving Congress and the American public for entering war in the first place? (again I refer to same post previously mentioned) did I concoct that on what you think of as my liberal ideas ( I am not a liberal, by the way) then I guess I am in cahoots with CIA, FBI, MIA, SISMI, DIA and French Initelligence. Take the main documents used by the administration to enter the war – just that- in addition, weigh in this:
Even after the information in the Niger documents was repeatedly rejected by the C.I.A. and the State Department, hawkish neocons managed to circumvent seasoned intelligence analysts and insert the Niger claims into Bush’s State of the Union address. Officials (named below) believe the Niger documents were part of a covert operation to deliberately mislead the American public. Those officials (in part) are Milt Bearden, 30 – year C.IA. veteran, Colonel W. Patrick Lang, who served as the D.I.A.’s defense intelligence officer for the Middle East, South Asia, and terrorism; Melvin Goodman, a former division chief and senior analyst at the C.I.A. and State Department; Ray McGovern, a C.I.A. analyst for 27 years; Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who served in the Pentagon’s Near East and South Asia division in 2002 and 2003, Larry C. Johnson, a former C.I.A. officer who was deputy director of the State Department of Counterterrorism from 1989 to 1993; former C.I.A. official Philip Giraldi; and Vincent Cannistraro, the former chief of operations of the C.I.A.’s Counterterrorism Center.

5.Why do I target Cheney? Because it is he who is responsible – along with Michael Ledeen, John Bolton, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and David Wurmser, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby – AKA known as the Vulcans (who can never be prosectuted), who are the architects of this war. Bush is the perfect Manchurian Candidate. Operation Iraqi Freedom, it turns out, was never a war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. It was an invasion of the federal budget, and no occupying force in history has ever been this efficient. This administration’s war in the Mesopotamian desert was an experiment of sorts, a crude first take at his vision of a fully privatized American government. In Iraq, the lines between essential government services and for-profit enterprises have been blurred to the point of absurdity -- to the point where wounded soldiers have to pay retail prices for fresh underwear, where modern-day chattel are imported from the Third World at slave wages to peel the potatoes we once assigned to grunts in KP, where private companies are guaranteed huge profits no matter how badly they screw things up.
6.In your crusade to defend the poor and wealthy, you might want to consider taking up the recovering stolen funds from KBR, Blackwater, or, I have a good one you can take over! Parsons, a private construction company who built a facility that was supposed to house and train at least 4,000 recruits in Iraq. Two years and $72 million (tax payer dollars) later, in one of the great engineering screw ups of all time, they built a facility that was a practically useless pile of rubble so badly constructed that its walls and ceilings are literally caked in poop and piss, a result of subpar plumbing. The House Oversight Committee demanded a hearing because you see, they wanted to know how Parsons managed to spend $72 million on a literal pile of shit. Congress wants the money back. Parsons refuses. The administration put pressure on the Committee (yes, documented) to drop the case. Maryland congressman Chris Van Hollen said at the end, "It just shows the contempt they have for us, for the taxpayer, for everything."
What the Bush administration has created in Iraq is a sort of paradise of perverted capitalism, where revenues are forcibly extracted from the customer by the state, and obscene profits are handed out not by the market but by an unaccountable government bureaucracy. This is the triumphant culmination of two centuries of flawed white-people thinking, a preposterous mix of authoritarian socialism and laissez-faire profiteering, with all the worst aspects of both ideologies rolled up into one pointless, supremely idiotic military adventure -- American men and women dying by the thousands, so that Karl Marx and Adam Smith can blow each other in a Middle Eastern glory hole.


Krista,

1. I do not think the House of Representatives overstepped its Constitutional limitations in impeaching Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice. They were impeachable offenses because: a) both of them are crimes as defined and denounced by statute law (see 18 U.S.C. §§ 1503 & 1621); b) both are crimes against the government, namely, against its judicial branch and judicial operations – which makes them “high crimes;” and 3) both crimes demonstrate moral turpitude, thus reflecting negatively on ones fitness for public office. These factors match up with the requisite criteria I discussed earlier.

And furthermore, he wasn’t impeached just because he lied to the public about playing tonsil hockey with Monica. If all he did was lie to the public that, there would have been no crime.

He was impeached for lying to a grand jury, perjury during a deposition, for allowing his attorney to make false and misleading statements to a federal judge in a civil rights action against him, and for his corrupt efforts at influencing the testimony of a witness, procuring false evidence and impeding discovery in that civil rights action. See
http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/resources/1998/lewinsky/articles.of.impeachment/
for the text of the articles of impeachment against him.

So, please, don’t tell me that was an example of the House doing a poor job of defining a high crime or misdemeanor. It wasn’t. The same cannot, however, be said for the House’s current efforts.

2. Unlike perjury and like crimes, making misrepresentations to the public is not a crime. I realize this might sound like some sort of technicality, but it’s true. Ling to the public is simply not an offense defined by any law or the common law. Lying is only a crime in limited circumstances and contexts, such as when one fibs to federal investigators (e.g. Martha Stewart); or to a Grand Jury (e.g. Bill Clinton and Scooter Libby); or during a deposition (e.g. Bill Clinton), or in sworn testimony before Congress (e.g. Ollie North and Alberto Gonzales), or while testifying in a trial. Certain other types of misstatements can be actionable in both civil and criminal courts if one damages another’s reputation, or deprives another person of property through false or deceitful statements. This may not be a comprehensive list of ways in which lies become crimes, but its close. The point is that lying is only a crime in certain contexts.

But, realistically, if lying to the public in general were a crime, we would soon have to arrest everyone in Congress and the halls of government, and fill our jails with those miscreants. In fact, if lying to the public were a crime, then the House of Representatives would have had yet another ground to seek Bill Clinton’s impeachment. He lied over and over about ML and his other escapades.

So, yes, to the extent you seek to perpetrate the label of “criminal” based on their alleged “lies” to the public, you have provided disjointed ideas of what is criminal. The same is true of Dennis Kucinich, only worse.

3. Unlike you, I am unconvinced that the public was mislead by any of the WMD rhetoric. I am also CERTAIN that Congress wasn’t mislead by any of it. And do you know why?

Members of Congress weren’t mislead because they had been preaching the same sermon about WMDs, they already believed it, and Democrats in Congress, in particular, had been doing so for many years before Bush came to office. See:

http://www.cnn.com/US/9802/04/us.un.iraq/
http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/02/18/iraq.political.analysis/
http://www.fas.org/news/iraq/1998/02/20/98022006_tpo.html
http://www.house.gov/pelosi/priraq1.htm
http://www.iraqwatch.org/government/US/Letters,%20reports%20and%20statements/levin-10-9-98.html

So much for being deceived into going to war.

4. Unlike you, I am also not quite sanguine about the claim that Bush or Cheney knowingly or intentionally lied about most of the stuff they said – even if what they said was untrue. A “lie” – unlike merely uttering an untruth – implies an intent to deceive.

Given what was known and unknown – particularly Saddam’s failure to account for large, known stockpiles of weapons, and his refusal to cooperate in resolving the discrepancies, it was not unreasonable to conclude that he was still hiding something. After all, if he had nothing to hide, why did he continue to stonewall weapons inspectors until the end? It was akin to the idea, found in criminal law, that deception or “flight” from the scene of a crime is circumstantial evidence of one’s consciousness of guilt.

In addition, folks in the intelligence community had given Clinton and Bush, the same intelligence estimates on WMDs. They did not revise any of those figures for reasons known only to them. Reliance on the intelligence estimates, however flawed those estimates may have been, gives color to the claim that Bush and Cheney actually believed the stuff they were saying. That makes their statements somewhat less than lies.

Furthermore, we DID find some stockpiles of weapons that Saddam and Co. failed to account for. We just didn’t find the large quantities that had been anticipated. We discovered that a lot of the stuff had been buried without the knowledge or okay of U.N. inspectors. You mean you really didn’t know that?

The claims regarding “yellow cake” are different. Yes, those probably were lies. However, I don’t think anyone was deceived into going to war in Iraq over yellow cake. U.N. inspectors said that Saddam’s nuclear weapons program had been trashed and that it would take years to re-build, yellow cake or no yellow cake. Members of Congress knew this, in which case I don’t think it had much influence, even if it was a deception.

But, in any event, this is all aside the point. I don’t care to be seen as defending the decision to invade Iraq, or even the shenanigans that have gone on there since. I never agreed with the decision to invade Iraq, as I always thought it was foolish and contrary to the sound Republican tradition of non-intervention. Even assuming Iraq had WMDs, they posed no imminent threat to us. Even the last inspectors estimated that Iraq had very few stockpiles of weapons left, and that they had no delivery mechanism available to hit us. Furthermore, even a cursory examination of the history of Iraq during the 20th Century would have given ample grounds to predict the popular anarchy and blood-letting that we have witnessed. It was only after Saddam put his thumb down on the collective necks of the population that anything resembling peace occurred. All previous rulers suffered uprisings and rebellions in rapid succession. If ever there was a place to try to grow democracy, Iraq wasn’t it.

5. Where were you hiding during Bill Clinton’s last term as President? Bill Clinton constantly maintained U.S. assets in the gulf region in order to protect S.A. and the emirates, as well as to police the no-fly zones and, on occasion, bomb Iraqi targets. The armed forced under Bill Clinton killed a lot of Iraqi civilians in bombing raids to enforce U.S. will. This was especially the case after Clinton launched “Operation Desert Fox” in December of 1998 – a 70 hour bombing campaign against purported weapons facilities, which was undertaken as retaliation against Iraq for ending the U.N.’s inspection regime. One journalist described the no-fly zone enforcement as the “longest sustained bombing campaign since Vietnam.” Another went further, describing it as the longest Anglo-American bombing campaign since the end of World War II.

I might add that Clinton justified all of this conduct under United Nations Security Council Resolutions 660, 678, 687, and 688 as justification, especially since Resolution 678, in part, authorized “Member States cooperating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, . . . the above-mentioned resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area; . . .” Relevant subsequent resolutions included U.N.S.C.R 687 – which required Iraq to submit to international supervision in disarming as a condition of the cease-fire, and 688 which condemned Iraq’s humanitarian crisis arising from military operations against the Kurds in the north and the Shia in the south. Congress signed off on all of it during Daddy Bush’s term when it passed Public Law 102-1 and, 102-90, which authorized said military action against Iraq. In fact, Public Law 107-243, a Joint Resolution of the House and Senate, cited with approval the efforts to police the no-fly zone.

Furthermore, no one ever complained about any of this during Clinton’s administration on the ground that it violated the “War Powers Resolution, . . . and laws prohibiting the Misuse of Government Funds.” And, of course, no one would complain because it had already been authorized. But all of a sudden, this not only becomes a crime, but an impeachable offense when the armed forces continue this policy, without skipping a beat, just because George W. Bush became president? How is that so? How is it that he becomes impeachable for conduct that Congress authorized?
6. If you care to dislike Bush and Cheney, go for it. I’m not going to stop you from believing anything you want to believe. My main point is that one cannot look at a mass of general misconduct and call it a crime unless there is some law that makes it a crime. This is true regardless of how much we may dislike or condemn such conduct, and regardless of how objectively reasonable it is to condemn the conduct as immoral, unethical, or whatever else. Lying to the public is probably immoral in the eyes of most people, myself included, but it doesn’t constitute a crime.

Lying to the public represents 90% or so of the gravamen of your complaint against Dick Cheney and Duh’bya, and 100% of the substance of Kucinich’s articles of impeachment. But, since it isn’t a crime, it isn’t a basis upon which to bring articles of impeachment against either one of them. The balance of your claim relates to improper use of military property and the unauthorized use of force – which seems to have been fully authorized.

That’s why I don’t think you have stated much in the way of grounds for impeachment based on everything you posted so far.


[This is an edited version of a response I posted yesterday, which, for some reason never made it.]

Krista,

1. The House of Representatives did not overstep its Constitutional bounds by impeaching Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice. Those are impeachable offenses because they are: a) “crimes” as defined and denounced by statute law (see 18 U.S.C. §§ 1503 & 1621); b) “high crimes” – as they harm the government, and its judicial branch and judicial operations in particular; and 3) crimes of moral turpitude, thus reflecting negatively on one’s fitness for public office. These factors match up with the requisite criteria I discussed in earlier posts.

And furthermore, he wasn’t impeached just because he lied to the public about his indiscretions with M.L. If that was all he did, he would have committed no crime (see 2. below). He was impeached for lying to a grand jury, perjury during a deposition, allowing his attorney to make false and misleading statements to a federal judge; as well as for his corrupt efforts at influencing the testimony of a witness, procuring false evidence and impeding discovery in a civil rights action against him. See
http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/resources/1998/lewinsky/articles.of.impeachment/
for the text of the articles of impeachment.

So don’t tell me that was an example of the House doing a poor job of defining a high crime or misdemeanor. Those were clearly “high crimes.” The same cannot, however, be said for the Kucinich’s current efforts.

2. Lying, in general, is not a crime. It is only a crime in limited circumstances, such as when one lies to police or government investigators, or to a Grand Jury, or during a deposition, or in sworn testimony before a legislative or regulatory body, or while testifying in a trial, or even in papers submitted to a government agency. Certain other types of misstatements are actionable in both civil and criminal courts if one deprives another person of property through false or deceitful statements. This is not a comprehensive list of the ways in which lies become crimes, but its close.

But, realistically, if lying to the public in general were a crime, we would have to arrest everyone in Congress and fill our jails with those miscreants. In fact, if lying to the public were a crime, the House of Representatives would have had yet another ground upon which to impeach Bill Clinton. He lied all over the place, and especially about M.L.

So, yes, to the extent you seek to perpetrate the label of “criminal” based on their alleged “lies” to the public, you have provided disjointed ideas of what is criminal. The same is true of Dennis Kucinich, only worse.

3. Unlike you, I am CERTAIN that Congress wasn’t mislead by any of the rhetoric regarding WMDs. Members of Congress already believed that Saddam had WMDs, and they believed it long before Bush and Cheney were in office. See:

http://www.cnn.com/US/9802/04/us.un.iraq/
http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/02/18/iraq.political.analysis/
http://www.fas.org/news/iraq/1998/02/20/98022006_tpo.html
http://www.house.gov/pelosi/priraq1.htm
http://www.iraqwatch.org/government/US/Letters,%20reports%20and%20statements/levin-10-9-98.html

So much for being deceived into going to war.

4. Where were you hiding during Bill Clinton’s presidency? Clinton constantly maintained U.S. assets in the gulf region in order to protect S.A. and the emirates, police the no-fly zones and, on occasion, to bomb Iraqi targets. Journalists described the no-fly zone enforcement under Daddy Bush and Bill Clinton as the “longest sustained bombing campaign since Vietnam.” Another went as far as to describe it as the longest Anglo-American bombing campaign since the end of World War II.

I might add that Daddy Bush, Clinton and Duh’bya all justified this conduct under U.N. Security Council Resolutions 660, 678, 687, and 688. More importantly, Congress signed off on policing the no-fly zone, including the bombing, with the passage of Public Laws 102-1 and, 102-90, and others. In fact, Public Law 107-243, a Joint Resolution of the House and Senate, later cited the no-fly zone police efforts with approval.

No one ever complained about any of this during Clinton’s administration on the ground that it violated the “War Powers Resolution” or “laws prohibiting the Misuse of Government Funds.” And, of course, no one would complain because it had already been authorized. Thus, I seriously doubt your suggestion that the same conduct could become illegal, much less an impeachable offense, just because Duh’bya continued it after he became president.

6. If you care to dislike Bush and Cheney, and what is going on in Iraq, go for it. I’m not going to stop you from believing anything you want to believe. And, like I said, I’m no fan of that whole mess. My main point was (and is) that one cannot look at a mass of general misconduct and call it a crime unless there is some law that makes it a crime. This is true regardless of how much we may dislike or condemn such conduct, and regardless of how objectively reasonable it is to condemn the conduct for any reason.

Lying to the public represents 90% or so of the gravamen of your complaint against Dick Cheney and Duh’bya, and 100% of the substance of Kucinich’s articles of impeachment. But, since it isn’t a crime, it isn’t a basis upon which to bring articles of impeachment against either one of them. The balance of your claim relates to improper use of military property and the unauthorized use of force – which seems to have been fully authorized. That’s why I don’t think you have stated much in the way of grounds for impeachment based on everything you posted so far.


This is where I tell this freaking country I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!

I can't count the number of timesI was trash talked and called anti American for telling people thjat Bush and Cheney were evil incarnate! I was against their election, which never happened, and against re election, and I was called a traitor and threatened and told to leave this country by virtually everyone I talked to about it.

I TOLDYOU THEY WERE EVIL!!!


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