Warehouse A

High Crimes

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Kucinich Impeachment Move Sheds Light On Executive Misdeeds

By James Donahue

The fresh attempt by Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich to force Congress to act on a measure calling for impeachment hearings against Vice President Dick Cheney has caused the media to examine the growing list of misdeeds committed not only by Mr. Cheney, but his boss, President George W. Bush.

When we look at the list . . . launching an unprecedented and un-provoked war based upon lies, the torture and unconstitutional imprisonment of suspected terrorists without due process, illegal wiretapping and surveillance of American citizens, declaring executive privilege to hide information even to Congress, the breaking of international treaties including a nonproliferation pact with Russia to dismantle nuclear arsenals and a vital Kyoto agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow global warming . . . we have to wonder why Congress is refusing to follow Kucinich's lead.

CNBC news host Tucker Carlson questioned the logic of an impeachment this close to the 2008 presidential election when he interviewed Kucinich on Nov. 6. Carlson, perhaps like the other members of the House and including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, suggested it would be a waste of everybody's time and energy with only a year left in the Bush Administration's grip on the nation.

Kucinich reminded the nation that Vice President Cheney is busy, even now, giving out false information to provoke yet another un-provoked and illegal attack, this time on Iran. He said the vice president needs to be reined in through "an accounting" and that the Constitution provides for this through the impeachment process.

The Ohio Congressman disclosed that the administration is even now retrofitting Stealth B-2 bombers to equip them with heavy bombs that would be used in an attack on Iran. "That would create an ecological and humanitarian disaster," Kucinich warned. (Is he suggesting nuclear?)

Carlson pressed the question: "But, why not wait?"

Kucinich: "We can't afford to wait. Are you kidding, (do you have any understanding) in a year how much damage could be done?"

Carlson: "But this isn't going to happen between now and then."

Kucinich: "Don't be so sure."

Indeed, Congress has been reluctant to do to war ever since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and has given the president the power to decide on every military engagement America has entered since that time. That includes Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, the two attacks on Iraq and a variety of smaller skirmishes in between.

There is virtually nothing standing in the way of Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney ordering a bombing assault on Iran between now and the end of the Bush term in office.

A recent editorial in the Detroit Free Press compared the Bush assault on Iraq to the decision by Hitler to attack Poland at the beginning of World War II. The editorial said:

"The so-called Bush doctrine is in reality an echo of the illegal Nazi doctrine of preventive war, which asserted that any country that may pose a future non-specific threat can be attacked and occupied. This is not 'higher moral law,' rather it is a repugnant Nazi doctrine last heard when Germany attacked Poland."

The Free Press article quoted from Bob Woodward's new book, Plan of Attack, that even though there was no evidence linking Iraq to the 9-11 attacks, Bush and Cheney made plans to attack Iraq within days after this event.

"Bush gave Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld the orders to draw up the secret war plans. Once enacted, these plans made George W. Bush a war criminal, just like the Nazi generals at Nurenberg," the Free Press charged.

"To commit a crime against peace, one must engage in 'planning, preparation, initiation or waging of war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties . . . or participation in a common plan or conspiracy . . . to wage an aggressive war.' Bush is guilty on all these counts," the editorial concluded.

Even before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the San Francisco Chronicle echoed the thoughts of the Free Press. An editorial comment in that newspaper said: "to justify military action without Security Council approval, the president invoked the doctrine of 'pre-emptive' self-defense. In doing so, he dismissed a centuries-old principle of international law and opened the door to a world of unknown dangers and grave moral challenges.

"The doctrine of pre-emptive self-defense imposes on us the moral obligation to judge our evidence scrupulously and to act only in case of a genuine, vital threat to our security. If we attack Iraq, we will be judged both by the quality of our evidence and by the moral justification for force in the face of a peaceful alternative. Those of us outside the Bush administration's inner circle have no way to scrutinize the administration's evidence that Iraq poses a genuine near-term threat to U.S. security. But although the public cannot scrutinize the administration's evidence, history surely will," the Chronicle concluded.