Bush, Cheney should be impeached

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 | 10:00 a.m. CST; updated 11:18 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It is urgent that we start impeachment procedures immediately for both George Bush and Dick Cheney.  In the two months they have left in office, they can do even more damage to our foundering economy, our environment, and our freedom.  The Bush team has been working furiously to put in place dozens of what are called “midnight regulations” before Nov. 22 so the new rules will already be in effect by Jan. 20, and thus much more difficult for President Obama to undo.

These regulations — or more accurately, deregulations — will continue to harm the environment by, for example, allowing power companies to build polluting facilities close to national parks.  Other regulations being rushed into effect will further erode our privacy by allowing employers to contact an employee’s health care provider directly, weaken workplace safety protections, take away the family and medical leave provision, and allow local police to spy on us, according to Democracy Now!


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These are not the “high crimes and misdemeanors” that impeachment must be based upon, of course.  The “midnight regulations” are legal and have been used by former presidents, but not usually in time to be in effect by Jan. 20.  And not usually in the face of overwhelming citizen negative input during public comment periods.  But if impeachment proceedings were in progress, we might be able to derail such activity.  

Ample groundwork has been laid for impeachment of both Bush and Cheney.  In January of this year, the clerk of the House of Representatives gave a first reading of the Article of Impeachment of President George Bush submitted by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who selected just one article from the 35 articles he introduced in December of 2007.  His H Res 333 was for impeachment of Dick Cheney, which also contains justification of impeachment, according to the Constitution.

Rep. John Conyers, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, along with 38 other House Representatives, sponsored H Res 635, to create a Select Committee to look into the grounds for recommending George Bush’s impeachment.  The legal framework for impeachment is readily available.  An online search brought up nine books (two by Conyers, one by Kucinich) detailing the “high crimes and misdemeanors” of the Bush-Cheney administration.

Impeachment proceedings could begin quickly if we pressure our representatives to act.  Here are three good reasons for us to do so:

 1)  As mentioned above, two months is time for this administration to intensify and make more permanent the harm they’ve done since January 2001.  They could waste additional billions if not trillions of public funds (probably either borrowed from Asia or simply printed) continuing to bail out the financial institutions that created the mess without requiring any accountability whatsoever.  If the federal treasury is depleted, we’ll have no funds left to effectively get the economy moving again by creating good jobs in sustainable energy and infrastructure repair, by refinancing mortgages to reflect actual value and prevent foreclosures, by helping banks only on condition that they actually lend these funds to help business cash flow and make sound mortgage loans so people can sell homes they can’t afford and buy ones they can.

2)  If we do not impeach Bush and Cheney for deliberately lying to the public in order to get their war on Iraq, which has spilled so much blood on both sides, for spying on Americans, for breaking treaty agreements, especially on the issue of torture, and all the other articles of impeachment drawn up, then we will allow a precedent to be set for other usurpers of power to take advantage of in the future.  We could well lose the important balance of power among the three branches of government set up in our Constitution, making a dictatorial executive the norm.

3)  Since we impeached Clinton for lying about private affairs, we must certainly impeach Bush and Cheney for deliberately deceiving the world in order to justify the war in Iraq, for violating treaties and authorizing torture, among their long list of high crimes.  If we do not do this, what are we saying to the world about our values?

Call or write your U. S. representative now to urge him or her to get impeachment procedures rolling right away before any more harm can be done.  In the 9th District of Missouri, Representative Kenny Hulshof voted twice against the disastrous bailout bill, responding to overwhelming citizen outcry against it.  This admirable resistance to Congressional pressure to pass it (which a majority succumbed to) shows that Mr. Hulshof may respond again to citizen pressure to start impeachment proceedings in the House.  We cannot let a president get away with considering himself above the law and with shredding our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Claire Garden is a member of Peace Works and Missourians for Safe Energy. She is often part of the rush hour peace demonstrations on the corner of Broadway and Providence each Wednesday.


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Amber Hanneken November 18, 2008 | 11:28 a.m.

Why are we giving this front page precedence on the site?

(Report Comment)
Jake Sherlock November 18, 2008 | 11:39 a.m.


We regularly put opinion pieces on the front page of the site; otherwise, columns never make the front page, and I'd hate for readers to miss something that they'll either really love or really disagree with. I'm hoping it will inspire conversation in the form of comments, letters to the editor or other op/ed submissions.

Just because it's on the front page doesn't mean the Missourian is endorsing the viewpoint.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz November 18, 2008 | 11:48 a.m.

If anyone thinks Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi will let impeachment proceedings begin, they are fooling themselves. If Democrats (and Republicans as well) had not abdicated the Congress' power to declare to Bush with the authorization to use military force, the Iraq War would not have happened. Impeachment now accomplishes not a darn thing.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 18, 2008 | 12:06 p.m.

Claire Garden great article and I agree. Impeach them both.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 18, 2008 | 12:09 p.m.

How about criminal charges against the members of Congress (e.g., Barney Frank) who created the housing debacle?

(Report Comment)
Max Drown November 18, 2008 | 2:56 p.m.

Why is this news? This drivel is someone's opinion, not news. Please stop posting this stuff. Stick to news and facts please.

(Report Comment)
Rob Weir November 18, 2008 | 3:45 p.m.

Max, see Jake's response above. We believe, and teach our students, that part of the function of a newspaper is to serve as a place for community conversation -- an open forum for opinions. That's why we allow and encourage commenting, as a way for people to have their opinions heard.

(Report Comment)
Irene E Lynch November 18, 2008 | 3:49 p.m.

As someone who was born in KCMO and spent a lot of time around the state until my marriage in 1958, I am thrilled with this column. I have worked for Dennis Kucinich during both of his runs for president, especially having travelled to NH to volunteer this January. This man is truly a statesman, something we haven't seen for a long, long time. I am proud to say, that I knew in my heart Barack Obama would win, so I wrote in Dennis Kucinich with the knowledge that I had voted my preference for the first time in years. It was a great feeling of freedom!

Irene Fehlig Lynch, who misses the realness of Missourians
Colts Neck NJ

(Report Comment)
John H Kennedy December 4, 2008 | 8:42 a.m.

"We could well lose the important balance of power among the three branches of government set up in our Constitution, making a dictatorial executive the norm."


Our Congressmen have failed to protect the power of their own branch of government. Ludicrous!!

Call 800-828-0498 and ask for all of your State's Congressman in turn and demand that they each offer their own single subject resolution calling for impeachment hearings. If Missouri's Congressman have read the Constitution and are Patriots, they will do it. Next week. The lame duck House session may be the last chance to hold Bush and Cheney accountable.

The Constitution reads "shall impeach".

(Report Comment)
Jennifer Gerling December 4, 2008 | 9:13 a.m.

Jake, as a soon to be alum of the J-School I find that this piece just shouldn't be on the front page. I know you say that the Missourian doesn't support her ideas, but that is exactly what is coming off as. I'm sure people out there are fully aware of the fact people want Bush impeached. They do not need the Missourian to be that source of information. Let the liberal New York Times put that on the front page. You can defend the paper all you want, but people form their opinions on what they read and notice. The Blaire Vandiver story on the front page...another bad choice. I'm sure the Missourian had its reasons, but people don't see those reasons until after they've formed their opinions.

(Report Comment)
Jake Sherlock December 4, 2008 | 10:44 a.m.

Vox Fox,

Thanks for your feedback, but I'm going to respectfully disagree with you. As long as we clearly label it on the home page as an opinion, and as long as we do that with opinions of all types, I really don't see the harm.

Opinions are a viable part of any newspaper, and one of the flaws in the design of this site, in my humble opinion, is that there is no other place for opinion content out front. My hope is that by putting opinions of all types out front, more people will want to contribute to the conversation. Why write if nobody can find what you're writing about?

As for the Blair story, I wasn't part of that decision, so I can't really speak to that process. But I do think if we had held that story a week and then put it out front, it wouldn't have gotten the negative feedback it received. In the wake of the historic election, I think a light-hearted feature out front qualified as "too soon." And while the story itself wasn't my personal cup of tea, it didn't offend me that we put it out front. But again, just my opinion.

(Report Comment)

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