Warehouse F

Parting Shots

The Unseen Enemy
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Bush Should Have Been Impeached Two Years Ago

By James Donahue

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to allow the Democratic dominated Congress to bring impeachment hearings against President George W. Bush for a variety of offenses has left the door open for a continuation of this man’s misdeeds, some now threatening to have a long-lasting effect on the nation, the environment and especially the new administration that succeeds his.

The last time Congress held impeachment hearings was over a charge that former President Bill Clinton had an inappropriate sexual affair with a White House intern. While it caused a big rhubarb in Washington at the time, the hearings did not lead to the impeachment of President Clinton.

The Bush list of misdeeds is far more serious. Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has made various attempts to call for impeachment hearings with charges that include launching an unprovoked and preemptive war in Iraq, calling for the torture of captured prisoners, illegally detaining U.S. citizens and foreign captives without charge, ordering the wiretapping of private telephone, fax and Internet conversations without court order, and various other violations of law by merely declaring his intent to do it on a piece of paper.

Every effort by Kucinich to launch hearings has been referred to committee. There they lay dorment and for all purposes, forgotten since Pelosi refuses to allow the issue on the table for full Congressional consideration.

Now, while Americans and the media are preoccupied with the national Presidential elections, and Legislators are out of session so members can campaign for their own seats, the Washington Post has uncovered the latest package of skullduggery being plotted by the Bush Administration as a parting gift to the nation.

It seems that the Washington gang is working on a set of federal regulations designed to weaken existing government rules drafted over the years to protect consumers and the environment. As many as 90 new rules are planned, all lifting restrictions on private industry including power plants, mines and farms.

By drafting the rules just before leaving office, the Post story says the president is going to make it difficult for the next president to undo them. One spokesman for OMB Watch, a nonprofit group that keeps an eye on government regulations, called the action “a last-minute assault on the public” and the Earth.

Once the rules take effect, they can be undone only through a laborious new regulatory proceeding that includes lengthy periods of public comment, drafting and mandated reanalysis.

Two of the rules that are known would ease limits on carbon emissions from coal fired power plants to match the highest levels produced by the plant. The Environmental Protection Agency, which stands opposed to the rule changes, warns that they would allow millions of tons of additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year and affect the air we breathe for years.

Other rule changes would include regulatory initiatives to lift constraints on such things as drinking water, gas pipelines, and commercial fishing.

Overseas, raids by U.S. forces into Pakistan and Syria and the bombing deaths of civilians have tested the two governments. The attacks were in blatant violation of international law and threaten to get us involved in additional wars. Are the raids an intentional attempt to make it difficult for the next president to bring the wars Bush started in Afghanistan and Iraq to a quick conclusion and establish peaceful relations with other world leaders?

International law provides only three reasons for use of arms against another country. They are in defense against imminent military attack, an overwhelming humanitarian catastrophe, or by a UN Security Council resolution.

Mr. Bush would have been stopped from causing any further harm if he had been impeached. Even the act of holding impeachment hearings, if they never led to Senate action, would have sent a message to the world that not everyone in Washington condones the things this president has done.