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Closing In On The Bushites

By James Donahue

Finally, at the eleventh hour and long after the damage is done, Washington’s Democratic leadership has begun to close in on the crooks who have been cooking the books, stealing billions of tax dollars, creating world havoc on behalf of big business interests, ravaging the Constitution and turning America into a Fascist regime.

Here is what is happening this week:

Rep. Dennis Kucinich has temporarily set aside his 35 articles of impeachment and is concentrating, instead, on a single effort to impeach President Bush for the most visible crime of his tenure, leading the country to war based on lies. He said his 34 other articles are still on the back burner and he promised an update on them before the week is out.

Jason K. Burnett, a former Environmental Protection Agency associate administrator, revealed in a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer that “an official” from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office edited out six pages and thus censored congressional testimony by Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that named public health threats linked to global warming. Boxer said the administration worked to prevent legislation to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels.

The Valerie Plame scandal is also rearing its ugly head. Rep. Henry Waxman says his Oversight Committee will vote soon to hold Attorney General Michael Mukasey in contempt if he continues to refuse to hand over transcripts of an FBI interview with Vice President Cheney. He said the transcript is vital to the investigation of Cheney’s role in the outing of Plame as a former CIA agent. Mukasey, a recent Bush appointee to the office, has invoked executive privilege and is refusing to hand over the material.

The Senate this week was locked in open debate over what critics say is a flawed surveillance bill designed to let certain telephone companies and President Bush off the hook for their participation in an illegal warrantless wiretapping program following the 9-11 attack. The FISA bill, which passed in the House last week and the Senate this week, makes the activity legal and retroactive. Sen. Russ Feingold argues that he opposed the bill because “the president broke the law and should be held accountable. When these lawsuits (against the telephone companies) are dismissed, we will be that much further away from an independent judicial review of this illegal program.” Thus the Bushites won a major battle that will allow them to hide more of their crimes behind a smokescreen created by the very people who should be forcing the White House doors open to public scrutiny.

The valiant efforts by a few of our committed and un-sold-out elected officials are scraping at what appears to be only the tip of a massive iceberg created by eight years of troubling activities by Bush, Cheney, and the gang of crooks that moved into top office jobs with them in 2001. The 9-11 attack at the beginning of the administration served to establish what Bush called a “War on Terror” that he used to claim himself as a “war president.” Under that guise, he declared executive privilege, operating under the cloak of secrecy because of what he called national security during wartime.

If the truth were known, it may all have been a staged chain of events that led our nation into two illegal wars, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, and all designed to make certain people very wealthy.

SF Gate Columnist Mark Morford recently put the Bush legacy into perspective when he wrote: “Let us be reminded, the Bush virus will be with us for years, generations. Aside from the shambles of Iraq and the Middle East, aside from handguns and the decided mixed blessings of the Supreme Court’s recent spate of decisions, there are maneuvers and decisions we don’t even know about, nefarious arrangements, a corruption so deep that normally staid historians are behaving more like alarmed climate-change scientists: We know it’s going to be bad, but we just don’t know how bad.”

Morford went on to review what we already know, but have apparently lacked the courage to do anything about:

There are destroyed nations, mauled infrastructures, horribly compromised federal agencies from FEMA to the EPA, the CIA to the FCC. There is a rogue outsourced military, citizens who can no longer sue gun manufacturers, six straight years of increased poverty, untold numbers of homophobic, misogynistic judicial appointees, devastating environmental policies the consequences of which could take generations to comprehend, much less repair.

Where do you dare to look?” Morford asks. “Women’s rights? Science? Foreign policy? Currency devaluation? Big Oil? Halliburton’s billions in war profit? Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and the Dick Cheney agenda of torture and pre-emptive aggression? What about unchecked corporate cronyism, the shunning of the United Nations and of international law, Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, wiretapping and surveillance and “evildoers” galore?

And finally, what of all those families, the thousands of dead U.S. soldiers, the tens of thousands of brain-damaged, disabled, permanently wounded? Bush’s legacy isn’t just one of staggering social ineptitude combined with shocking success at serving his corporate masters. It’s foremost a legacy soaked to the bone in blood.”

Morford concluded that he believes “the record will reveal that no president in modern history has done more to unravel the American identity, to dumb down the populace and cater to the basest instincts of man than the one about to mispronounce his way into the history books. Even Nixon didn’t leave office with Bush’s incredible range of ignominy.”