Bombing Iran? Impeachment first!

Bush_cheney_2005By Robert Silvey

Bad news. Now that Bush and Cheney’s approval has fallen into the lower depths, the two-headed president no longer has anything to lose. Therefore, according to Ewen MacAskill and Julian Borger of the Guardian, Iran is again in serious danger of being attacked. At some point before Bush leaves office, a preemptive strike is very likely:

The shift [in thinking] follows an internal review involving the White House, the Pentagon and the state department over the last month. Although the Bush administration is in deep trouble over Iraq, it remains focused on Iran. A well-placed source in Washington said: “Bush is not going to leave office with Iran still in limbo.”…

The vice-president, Dick Cheney, has long favoured upping the threat of military action against Iran.… [A]t a meeting of the White House, Pentagon and state department last month, Mr Cheney expressed frustration at the lack of progress and Mr Bush sided with him. “The balance has tilted. There is cause for concern,” the source said this week.…

“Cheney has limited capital left, but if he wanted to use all his capital on this one issue, he could still have an impact,” said Patrick Cronin, the director of studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

The Washington source said Mr Bush and Mr Cheney did not trust any potential successors in the White House, Republican or Democratic, to deal with Iran decisively.…

No decision on military action is expected until next year. In the meantime, the state department will continue to pursue the diplomatic route.

There is only one way to stop these madmen from starting another catastrophic war: double impeachment. Nancy Pelosi must put that option back on the table—it’s the only way to preserve what’s left of the American republic. As John Nichols told Bill Moyers last Friday on his PBS Journal:

Bill Moyers, you are making a mistake. You are making a mistake that too many people make.…

You are seeing impeachment as a constitutional crisis. Impeachment is the cure for a constitutional crisis. Don’t mistake the medicine for the disease. When you have a constitutional crisis, the founders are very clear. They said there is a way to deal with this.

This is the way: Impeach Dick Cheney. Impeach George Bush. Now.

18 replies »

  1. A president/vice-president combo with nothing to lose and the cavalry calling to take them away? No opportunity for rehabilitation or redemption?

    The democrats already control both houses and the next election will go to a moderate (whether from the left or right).

    If you are serious about reform, if you are true to the idea of a future built on mutual respect, surely it starts by offering an olive branch to your president?

    Otherwise, what are you bringing to this that is in any way different to the accusations you level at an enemy you wish to publicly eviscerate?

  2. Before, I would have resisted any move to impeach Bush and Cheney.
    Well, no longer. I think that they need to go and go right now! What
    we have is tyranny.
    And, not being a constitutional scholar, I know enough about that
    sacred document to state that the Founding Fathers feared a tyrant.
    That is why We The People have a legal means to remove such persons from elected office that is built into our Constitution.
    Bush is “power-mad” and I agree – He will either order a air strike on
    Iran or quietly encourage Israel to do so – “We will cover your ass”….
    The end result will be a bigger mess than we are already in.

  3. Rehabilitation, Redemption, Future built on mutual respect, Olive branch?

    This is not church, Whythawk, and we, the people of the United States are not responsible for, nor need to be concerned about the rehabilitation of this dangerous duo. We are, however, responsible to minimize the damage they can do with the continuance of their forever war and the envisceration of the laws of the land, unless we like the piles of bodies and someone tapping our phones and e-mail.

    Odd as it seems considering the actions of presidents, they really are bound by law and just like the guy who robs the 7-11, they are aware of the penalties, and just like the robbing of the 7-11, if it is tolerated we have decended several levels into the morass of chaos.

    Seems to me 2 countries bombed and upward to a million bodies should be enough for any bloodthirsty beast out to prove how tough he is.

  4. John Dean once said, “There’s a cancer growing on the Presidency….” Well, now we have two tumors – one the size of Texas, the other the size of Wyoming.

    Better a Constitutional fight here than a debacle in Iran that will start a war from which we may never extricate ourselves. I think you’re right, Robert. Impeachment has to go back on the table. My preference would be to go after Cheney. That might scare the Shrub enough that he backs off the Iran idea. And it would get rid of the guy I think of as the greater of two evils.

    But first the Dems are going to have to show some gumption. I worry about that…a lot….

  5. Gavin,

    Some people you can rehabilitate. Some you can negotiate with. But not these people. Sgt Axley is right – these two are the closest we’ve ever come to having the living, fire-breathing incarnation of what the framers feared the worst. And yes, that means they’re worse than Nixon.

    They need to be removed, if not from office (which is going to be hard to do given the number of votes the GOP still has in the Senate), then at least from any real handle on power.

    Some months back I agreed when Pelosi said taking on impeachment was a bad option. I don’t anymore.

  6. On the Bill Moyers show, John Nichols makes the additional point that the toolkit of available presidential powers is now much larger than Before Bush

  7. The question is: impeach on what charges that will stick? I imagine that impeaching a president is a tricky thing to do. I’ve read a great deal on both sides of the impeachment divide.

    Left-wing writers seem to think the evidence is so clear that a trial will yield an obvious result. Right-wing writers demand to hear charges. And I, an admitted outsider, can see the loathing but am not sure of the crime. Too many house democrats and republicans agreed with the decision to invade Iraq. Was it illegal to enter Iraq? How clear is that?

    And, wouldn’t a trial like that have to go before the UN?

    Perhaps this is my challenge: write the charge-sheet. Let people discuss the nitty-gritty rather than simply shouting the odds.

    In this my interest is closer to home. My president has deliberately chosen to deny life-saving medication and advice to people both infected and exposed to HIV / AIDS because he disputes the scientific evidence. I consider this a clear act of genocide. I’d like him charged by the international criminal court.

    Show me how it’s done.

  8. Gavin, no need to go before the UN, and the legal requirements are much less demanding than in a normal criminal trial. The relevant section of the US Constitution reads, “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” These are terms that admit of many meanings, as was clear when Bill Clinton was impeached. The House of Representatives requires only a majority to impeach, and the Senate only a a two-thirds majority to convict. No penalties other than removal from office are attached, though criminal charges may be filed separately (and later).

    The potential charges are legion. A good place to start is Elizabeth de la Vega’s book United States v. George W. Bush et al., an excerpt of which appears here on TomDispatch.

    I don’t know the South Aftican requirements, but I hope for our sake we can show you how it’s done.

  9. What are the chances of getting a two-thirds majority? What are the repercussions? The attempts to impeach Bill Clinton resulted in the election of … er, Bush. Can you get random outcomes again?

  10. No, the Supreme Court put Bush in office, as the Repubs had populated the court with that sort of thing in mind.

  11. There are no random outcomes in American politics. There’s a strong inverse correlation between the intelligence of a thing and the likelihood of it happening, which suggests that something systematic is work.

  12. I would guess that the chances of a two-thirds Senate majority are slim for Bush, though the chances against Cheney would be much greater. Nevertheless, the cautionary and educational effects of an impeachment and trial would be salutary for Congress and for the public (and Bush might even resign, as Nixon did, rather than face the music). The lessons, I think, are more important than the punishment, however well deserved.

  13. On January 20th, 2009, if George Bush and Dick Cheney are not appropriately held to account this administration will hand off a toolbox with more powers than any president has ever had, more powers than the founders could have imagined. And that box may be handed to Hillary Clinton or it may be handed to Mitt Romney or Barack Obama or someone else. But whoever gets it, one of the things we know about power is that people don’t give away the tools. They don’t give them up. The only way we take tools out of that box is if we sanction George Bush and Dick Cheney now and say the next president cannot govern as these men have.

    Good explanation. Also in tne Moyers discussion.