On Impeaching Dick Cheney

In early November the House of Representatives voted, with bipartisan support, a bill of Impeachment sponsored by Dennis Kucinich to the House Judiciary Committee.

Now, we can question why the bill had bipartisan support. A cynic might say the Republicans were trying to embarrass the Democratic leadership of the House. An optimist might think that House Republicans wanted to rid themselves of an albatross.

Frankly, I’m a cynic.

Be that as it may, the fact is there’s a bill of impeachment in the House Judiciary Committee.

That was six weeks ago.

Has there been any movement on the bill? No.

Three members of the Judiciary Committee — Robert Wexler of Florida, Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin — have written an editorial arguing the need for hearings on the resolution:

The issues at hand are too serious to ignore, including credible allegations of abuse of power that if proven may well constitute high crimes and misdemeanors under our constitution. The charges against Vice President Cheney relate to his deceptive actions leading up to the Iraq war, the revelation of the identity of a covert agent for political retaliation, and the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.

Now that former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has indicated that the Vice President and his staff purposefully gave him false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert agent to report to the American people, it is even more important for Congress to investigate what may have been an intentional obstruction of justice. Congress should call Mr. McClellan to testify about what he described as being asked to “unknowingly [pass] along false information.” In addition, recent revelations have shown that the Administration including Vice President Cheney may have again manipulated and exaggerated evidence about weapons of mass destruction — this time about Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

Ignoring the crimes of Bush and Cheney — and their usurpation of Congressional prerogatives — will only embolden future Administrations to do the same. If this Administration is not bound by the rule of law, what is to say that the next Administration — either Democratic or Republican — will be?

Republicans reading this, I ask you — would you want a President Hillary Clinton and her Administration to engage in wiretapping and torture? Would you want a President Barack Obama knowingly lying about the security threats that other nations pose? If these hypothetical possibilities concern you, then shouldn’t you be concerned by the very real violations of civil liberties and the intelligence failures and lies of the present Administration?

Dick Cheney is at the center of all of these.

If your Representative is on the House Judiciary Committee, I implore you to contact them. Implore your Representative to lobby Chairman John Conyers for Impeachment hearings, to take up consideration of Kucinich’s resolution.

The conclusion of Representatives Wexler, Gutierrez, and Baldwin:

Holding hearings would put the evidence on the table, and the evidence — not politics — should determine the outcome. Even if the hearings do not lead to removal from office, putting these grievous abuses on the record is important for the sake of history. For an Administration that has consistently skirted the constitution and asserted that it is above the law, it is imperative for Congress to make clear that we do not accept this dangerous precedent. Our Founding Fathers provided Congress the power of impeachment for just this reason, and we must now at least consider using it.

It needs to be done.

Impeach Dick Cheney.

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