Sunday, July 08, 2007

Impeachment Matters

It is time for Congress to break ground on what will certainly be an extraordinarily difficult but necessary undertaking. They must begin right away; they must ignore the partisan cries of those who would downplay the very serious crimes about which a significant portion of the American people are, and have long been, justly outraged.

We don't put accused criminals on trial for the purpose of emotional satisfaction--we do it because it's part of due process under the law: their due process, and the state's due process. If during the course of the trial, evidence is presented that exonerates the accused, or if, at the conclusion of said trial, a jury finds the accused to be innocent, the defendant goes free, without punishment. And if the verdict is guilty, he or she receives punishment as prescribed by the law.

We do this for embezzlers and drug peddlers; bank robbers and con-men; child molesters and rapists and murderers. We do not stop in our tracks and say, "This will cost too much--let's not even ask the questions." No. We may enter into plea-bargains that lower the charges and thus reduce the punishment, but we don't pooh-pooh the alleged crime before even exploring its severity and the quality and quantity of the evidence available to prove that the accused is, indeed, guilty, saying it would be too expensive, too time-consuming, and too deleterious to the state's morale to even try.

Good God, people, America has not come to this, has She?

The law is the law. Isn't it? And crimes are crimes, aren't they? Because insofar as the law is concerned, there are plenty of crimes on the table before us.

- The Bush Administration lied the country into war with a sovereign nation that did us no harm and posed no imminent threat, which crime has resulted in the following:

- 3,600+ American soldiers are dead

- Tens of thousands of soldiers are wounded--suffering lost limbs, lost eyesight, broken souls, shattered lives, and broken marriages and families, and

- Scores of thousands--possibly into the six figures--of innocent Iraqi civilians are also dead--men, women, and children. Families no different from yours or mine, but who had the bad fortune to be situated above the oil and beneath the bombs.

Consider, further, the following:

- Private corporations, many if not most of which are friends and on-the-record benefactors of the President and Vice President (with one notable example being the VP's ex-employer) continue to profit from all this, to the tune of countless billions of our tax dollars, with vast portions of military work--duties once carried out by military personnel, from intelligence gathering to base-building to meal preparation to interrogation and on and on--now privatized and operating in the murky area some three nanometers on the other side of accountability, the FOIA, and open books. We'll never know how much of our money has evaporated courtesy of these gray clouds, and that's exactly the way the cronies and their obfuscating puppetry intended it.

- Those gentlemen who hold the two highest public offices in the land are, and have been, subverting the law and attempting to destroy the Constitution at every turn. Examples of this include torturing prisoners and denying them due process in violation of international law; hiding thousands and thousands of official records through illegal private communications (the famous "lost" emails); spying on Americans in America--ordinary Americans accused of nothing; holding secret meetings about energy policy (holding secret meetings about everything, in fact); demonizing, smearing, and/or firing critics, and so on, ad infinitum.

And beyond that, there is even more.

It doesn't matter how much it costs, or how long it takes, or how painful it might be to watch for some, or how inconveniently timed this is (as though that were not carefully planned, too).

If this is indeed a nation of laws, not men, we must demand that our representatives in Congress follow those laws and begin proceedings to impeach--and, if the evidence discovered and uncovered should call for it soon enough, remove from office--the President and Vice President of this great nation, that it may once again be a great nation.

Also at Ezra Klein.

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