by Donald Clegg It's scary to think that in a mere 18 months or so, our President-by-Florida-voter-fraud may ride the war wave to his first victory. It is our duty and responsibility as citizens to hold our government accountable for its actions, and boy, does it have lot to account for! If we wish to halt the all-too-visible march towards Banana Republican-hood, perhaps impeachment, the Republicans' method of choice during the Clinton years, should be used.
President Clinton was impeached, essentially, because of extramarital sex. If that was cause enough for Bill, W. should be a shoe-in, given the allegations against him. Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark has written 17 articles of impeachment (go to votetoimpeach.org to read them), and 317 law professors from 87 different U.S. law schools signed a petition stating that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was illegal, violating not only the U.S. Constitution, but also U.S.-signed U.N. charters, as well as the Nuremberg Act. Though, like Henry Kissinger before him, it is unlikely that Mr. Bush will be indicted for war crimes, it is only the power of the U.S. in the international community that protects him.
His most egregious offenses, both in and out of office, have been passed over almost entirely, and none have been addressed with the seriousness warranted -- at least by the U.S. media. To run through a few highlights, let's recall that
-- Mr. Bush was AWOL from the National Guard for at least a year, yet not only was he not called to active duty (and a trip to Vietnam), he was allowed to terminate his "service" early.
-- His baseball team tenure reeked with conflicts of interest and out-and-out illegalities, as in the attempt to condemn desired property next to the stadium and just grab it. As he said, "The idea of making a land play, absolutely... that's kind of always been the strategy."
-- Moving on to more current matters, many have questioned his role in the 9/11 attack, and it's clear that he obstructed investigations and policies that could well have prevented it. This is enumerated in one of Mr. Clark's articles of impeachment.
-- Enrongate just begs for a Special Prosecutor, as does the Halliburton scandal.
-- His mishandling of the economy may be the worst of any president -- though I suppose that's one item for which he isn't impeachable.
Perhaps most damaging to our system of government is the rape of the Bill of Rights and the constitutionally protected freedoms Bush swore to uphold. Under the auspices of "Homeland Security" and the "Patriot Act," many of our liberties have been suspended -- should the government consider you a threat.
John Ashcroft openly considers all dissidents to be traitors who are guilty of sedition. There is great pressure to remain silent these days. The same folks who castigated Clinton for Kosovo now say that we must always support the President in time of war. If free speech -- the First Amendment-- isn't dead it's certainly wearing a Purple Heart.
Not just wounded but currently on life support, are the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments; respectively, the freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, the right to due process and the right to a speedy and public trial. The Patriot Act considers them irrelevant, but our president shouldn't.
I think the main problem in keeping up with Mr. Bush's offenses is not only the media's apparent disregard for his transgressions. There's also the simple fact that he's un-done so many protections -- from civil liberties to environmental regulations, from worker's rights to humanitarian aid programs -- that it's just hard to keep up.
He may flaunt international law, mangle the Constitution -- and the language -- but let's take him for what he means. We can't afford George W. Bush. Our liberties can't afford him. Our standing in the world can't afford him. The environment can't afford him. Our pocketbooks certainly can't afford him. And our senses of decency, integrity and honor can't afford him. Let's not risk another illegal election. Impeach him now.