Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Elizabeth Holtzman
An Analysis of Kucinich's Impeachment Case Against Bush
Posted June 11, 2008 | 10:22 PM (EST)


The House should commence an impeachment inquiry forthwith. In fact, in a sense, it is already beginning. Rep. Kucinich introduced the articles, the House has referred them to the Judiciary Committee and the Senate Intelligence Report goes a long way toward furnishing the investigative work Congress needs to do in the course of impeachment, at least as regards the run-up to the war (Congress should also look at other serious abuses of power, including President Bush's refusal to obey duly enacted laws, as evidenced by hundreds of signing statements, his violations of the laws on wiretapping and mistreatment of detainees).

The next step is to start asking, what did the president actually know and when did he know it? Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill has stated that President Bush seemed determined to overthrow Saddam Hussein at the beginning of his administration, well before 9/11. There was also the British "Downing Street" memo written in the summer of 2002 stating that President Bush was going to "fix" the intelligence to fit the policy of overthrow. It's now incumbent on Congress to take these matters up in impeachment hearings.

Yes, even at the end of their terms, President Bush and Vice President Cheney can still be impeached and removed from office. There might just be sufficient time to finish impeachment before they leave office, and technically they could be impeached even after that. This administration can still be held accountable for the consequences of the unnecessary Iraq War and other grave abuses. The American people still have a chance to witness the Constitution in action as it appropriately limits the powers of this president, preventing further abuses by him (such as bombing Iran without approval of Congress) or by his successors.

This would be an important lesson in democracy. We last learned it 34 years ago during the Nixon impeachment process, which reminded Americans how the Constitution works. But our collective memory of those far-off events may have faded, especially after the past eight years of President Bush asserting extreme claims for presidential power, coupled with the failure of Congress to respond forcefully. As a result, as a nation we may have a diminished level of constitutional literacy compared to 1974. It's time to reinvigorate that literacy. We need to understand once again that acquiescing in this president seriously deceiving us into war means ignoring what the Constitution says, and jeopardizing our democracy...[Open in new window]


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