June 28, 2007
"(A free people has) an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge..."
"...I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers." - John Adams
Back in January, Lewis Lapham in Harper's Magazine laid out the case for impeachment. The most persuasive part of his argument is his discussion of how much We the People can (should) learn about Our government during the proceedings:
Democracy is born in dirt, nourished by the digging up and turning over of as much of it as can be brought within reach of a television camera or a subpoena. We can’t “lay out a new agenda for America” unless we know which America we’re talking about, the one that embodies the freedoms of a sovereign people or the one made to fit the requirements of a totalitarian state. We owe it to ourselves to know the difference. Seldom in our history have we been offered a better chance to learn a more useful civics lesson, and by holding up to the light the malfeasance, nonfeasance, and “all the other rot” embedded in the character and conduct of the Bush Administration, we might discover what we mean by America the beautiful. Like it or not, and no matter how unpleasant or impolitic the proceedings, the spirit of the law doesn’t allow the luxury of fastidious silence or discreet abstention...If you still don't think there are enough transgressions to warrant impeachment (even in light of Dick Cheney's recent claims to be above the law), here are just a few, courtesy of Lapham:
Both the security and the liberty of America have suffered heavy losses over the last fifty years, but none more apparent and therefore easier to weigh and count than those inflicted on the American political democracy by the military-industrial complex (a.k.a. the industrial autocracy, the commercial oligarchy) wearing the mask of the Bush Administration. The question now before the country is the one confronted by the man afraid of finding out that he’s been robbed. How much longer do we wish to pretend that nothing really happened, or that nothing really valuable is lost; that the crime is the losing of the Iraq war, not the making of it? That in place of the constitutional questions asking why, to what end, and in whose interest, we can afford to substitute the questions of logistics - how many troops to dispatch or withdraw over a period of how many days or months; when to tell the Iraqi government that we’re not renewing its social contract; what deals to cut with Syria and Iran; where to find another expedient lie to justify what we can present as an honorable exit strategy. The answers to the secondary questions will teach us nothing worth the knowing, but by impeaching President Bush the Congress not only can impart that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge without which a free people can’t know whether the adjective is true or false; it also might turn over enough dirt to unearth the American democracy buried at the feet of Uncle Sam.
1. A foreign war conceived as a means of advancing the Bush Administration’s imposition on the American people of a not-so-benevolent despotism, the army sent to fight and die not for the defense of country but for a corporate dream of commercial empire.Want to learn more? Start by going here and vote to impeach here. It's the least we can do for our country...
2. A government that tortures people classified as enemy combatants, denies their right to hear all the evidence bearing on their confinement and arrest, forbids their resort to petitions of habeas corpus.
3. The administration’s systematic plundering of the Federal Treasury on behalf of its accomplices in the arms and construction trades.
4. The National Security Agency directed to monitor, without first obtaining a court order, any and all telephone and email traffic suspected of carrying the germs of terrorism.
5. The president’s use of 136 signing statements since he took office to exempt himself from the rule of more than 1,000 federal laws.