Is It Congressional Blackmail?
By James Donahue
Controversial radio personality Randi Rhoades this week offered a possible explanation why Democrats
in Congress are failing to get behind their colleagues, Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Rep. Robert Wexler, both calling for the
impeachment of President George W. Bush.
In her radio show on June 11, Rhoades suggested that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other high ranking
Democratic members of both the House and Senate have been briefed by high administration officials about torture and other
actions, now listed by Kucinich as impeachable acts, and are unwilling to let that dirty laundry get exposed.
Wexler joined Kucinich after the Ohio Congressman read 35 articles of impeachment against President
Bush on the house floor earlier this week. The charges included manufacturing a false case for going to war against Iraq,
failing to provide troops with vehicle armor, illegally detaining both foreign nationals and Americans, condoning torture,
mishandling the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and undermining efforts to address global warming.
By a vote of 251 to 166 House members passed the measure on to the Judicial Committee, which many observers
believe is a way of the issue aside for a silent death. Earlier filings of impeachment articles against Cheney in 2007 are
still locked up in committee, and an effort to file them against Bush in January was blocked by Congress.
Former Democratic Representative Cynthia McKinney also tried unsuccessfully in January, 2007, to fine
articles of impeachment against President Bush.
Pelosi has always insisted that impeachment would “not be on the table” during her term
as House Speaker, but she has never explained her position. One analyst suggested that Pelosi is attempting to protect a delicate
balance between different factions within the Democratic Party to assure a strong House majority vote in November.
The Rhoades revelation, however, has shed a whole new light on what may have been a clever advance form
of blackmail by the Bush Administration. Such a move may have been orchestrated by the master of dirty political tricks,
former Administrative Advisor Karl Rove, back in the months after 9-11 when even Congressional leaders were too stunned to
think clearly about their actions.
Said Rhoades: “I think it’s because Democrats were briefed on torture including water boarding,
black site prison renditions, and warrantless wiretapping of Americans. Democratic Leadership were taken on virtual tours
of overseas detention sites and shown the harsh techniques interrogators had devised. The full Intelligence Committees were
briefed in 2006. Democratic Leadership were also briefed on warrantless wiretapping.”
Rhoades also charged that few, if any members of Congress bothered to read the National Intelligence
Estimate before voting for the Iraq war. She said that because they all knew, or should have known what was going on
and did nothing to stop it, these key Congressional leaders are not willing to follow through with impeachment proceedings.
They are stalling even though some advisors warn it may be the only way to stop Bush and Cheney from leading our military
in yet another attack against Iran.
Kucinich said in a news report on Wednesday that he is not going to give up on his push for impeaching
Mr. Bush. “It is now imperative that the Judiciary Committee begins a review of the 35 articles,” he said. “I
will be providing supporting documentation to the committee so that it can proceed in an orderly manner.
“The weight of evidence contained in the articles makes it clear that President Bush violated
the Constitution and the U.S. Code as well as international law,” Kucinich said.
Kucinich said he plans to meet with Committee Chairman John Conyers of Michigan yet this week.
Even if he fails to launch impeachment hearings, Kucinich has managed to read a full list of misdeeds
by President Bush into the Congressional record, where it will remained preserved historians and possibly future courts to
study. Similar articles have been put in the record against Cheney.