I thought about writing on the separation of church and state in honor of the U.S. Independence Day, but then I thought to myself “I’ve got bigger fish to fry: George W. Bush and the unconstitutional abuse of his position in the Executive Branch.
This Presidency has had so many scandals, it’s impossible to remember them all. It seems like there’s a new major scandal every other week. Just this week, he commuted the prison sentence of one of his loyalists who maliciously outed a CIA agent. This is the same man who denied clemency to a mentally retarded man sentenced to death in Texas. This is the same man who indefinitely detains chauffeurs and cooks who pose no obvious threat.
It is time for me to add my voice to the chorus calling for the impeachment and removal of George W. Bush. Let me quote the charges set against him:
1. Seizing power to wage wars of aggression in defiance of the U.S. Constitution, the U.N. Charter and the rule of law; carrying out a massive assault on and occupation of Iraq, a country that was not threatening the United States, resulting in the death and maiming of over one hundred thousand Iraqis, and thousands of U.S. G.I.s.
2. Lying to the people of the U.S., to Congress, and to the U.N., providing false and deceptive rationales for war.
3. Authorizing, ordering and condoning direct attacks on civilians, civilian facilities and locations where civilian casualties were unavoidable.
4. Instituting a secret and illegal wiretapping and spying operation against the people of the United States through the National Security Agency.
5. Threatening the independence and sovereignty of Iraq by belligerently changing its government by force and assaulting Iraq in a war of aggression.
6. Authorizing, ordering and condoning assassinations, summary executions, kidnappings, secret and other illegal detentions of individuals, torture and physical and psychological coercion of prisoners to obtain false statements concerning acts and intentions of governments and individuals and violating within the United States, and by authorizing U.S. forces and agents elsewhere, the rights of individuals under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
7. Making, ordering and condoning false statements and propaganda about the conduct of foreign governments and individuals and acts by U.S. government personnel; manipulating the media and foreign governments with false information; concealing information vital to public discussion and informed judgment concerning acts, intentions and possession, or efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction in order to falsely create a climate of fear and destroy opposition to U.S. wars of aggression and first strike attacks.
8. Violations and subversions of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, both a part of the “Supreme Law of the land” under Article VI, paragraph 2, of the Constitution, in an attempt to commit with impunity crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes in wars and threats of aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq and others and usurping powers of the United Nations and the peoples of its nations by bribery, coercion and other corrupt acts and by rejecting treaties, committing treaty violations, and frustrating compliance with treaties in order to destroy any means by which international law and institutions can prevent, affect, or adjudicate the exercise of U.S. military and economic power against the international community.
9. Acting to strip United States citizens of their constitutional and human rights, ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to counsel, without charge, and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the Executive of a citizen as an “enemy combatant.”
10. Ordering indefinite detention of non-citizens in the United States and elsewhere, and without charge, at the discretionary designation of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Defense.
11. Ordering and authorizing the Attorney General to override judicial orders of release of detainees under INS jurisdiction, even where the judicial officer after full hearing determines a detainee is wrongfully held by the government.
12. Authorizing secret military tribunals and summary execution of persons who are not citizens who are designated solely at the discretion of the Executive who acts as indicting official, prosecutor and as the only avenue of appellate relief.
13. Refusing to provide public disclosure of the identities and locations of persons who have been arrested, detained and imprisoned by the U.S. government in the United States, including in response to Congressional inquiry.
14. Use of secret arrests of persons within the United States and elsewhere and denial of the right to public trials.
15. Authorizing the monitoring of confidential attorney-client privileged communications by the government, even in the absence of a court order and even where an incarcerated person has not been charged with a crime.
16. Ordering and authorizing the seizure of assets of persons in the United States, prior to hearing or trial, for lawful or innocent association with any entity that at the discretionary designation of the Executive has been deemed “terrorist.”
17. Engaging in criminal neglect in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, depriving thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi and other Gulf States of urgently needed support, causing mass suffering and unnecessary loss of life.
18. Institutionalization of racial and religious profiling and authorization of domestic spying by federal law enforcement on persons based on their engagement in noncriminal religious and political activity.
19. Refusal to provide information and records necessary and appropriate for the constitutional rigt of legislative oversight of executive functions.
20. Rejecting treaties protective of peace and human rights and abrogation of the obligations of the United States under, and withdrawal from, international treaties and obligations without consent of the legislative branch, and including termination of the ABM treaty between the United States and Russia, and rescission of the authorizing signature from the Treaty of Rome which served as the basis for the International Criminal Court.
There can be only one explanation for why this war criminal hasn’t been run out of town: the non-existence of an opposition. So there’s a group that calls themselves the Democratic Party, but so far they’ve shown as much spine as your average cephalopod. I hope they manage to find some spine before permanent damage is done to the rule of law and to our liberties. Pick one of his crimes and make it stick.
It’s enough to make me long for the days when the President got a little oral sex on the side and then lied about it to a grand jury, back when we just speculated that the President’s private character might reflect on his public service.