The Alternatives to Impeachment

A comment by Shahryar

my fantasy remains this….  

“I, Barack Obama…..blah blah blah….so help me God”

pause….Obama turns and points to Bush and Cheney and says “Arrest these men!”

This ‘fantasy’ is, By the Blessed Blinded Eyes of Justice, what SHOULD happen.


The President of The United States has broken the Law, and we are (in theory) a Nation of Laws, not a Nation of Men. Justice should know no boundaries of rank or privilege. True justice does not.

Be we do not live in a world of true justice. We live in a world of conditional justice, where there is one form of ‘justice’ for the poor and disadvantaged and differently colored, and another justice for the rich and privileged and connected.

I shall not address here, the ridiculous claim that one commenter med that there have been no crimes committed or no evidence fit to present for prosecution. Our President is guilty. Guilty of domestic spying by his own admission, and guilty of torture by his signed authorizations. Retroactive immunity passed by a cowardly and complicit Congress does not alleviate that guilt, it merely adds accessories. Corrupting the Department of Justice to the point of your henchmen, minions and co-conspirators there to the point that they will not allow even an investigation by serving subpoenas does not obliterate his guilt, it merely obscures it.

Or…perhaps…he is not. Perhaps the aggressive invasion of a sovereign nation in direst contravention of the Nuremberg accords was…an accident. Perhaps they really believed that attaching electrodes to a prisoners genitals or beating them to death while they were chained and helpless was just…a misunderstanding. perhaps the treasonous exposure of an entire CIA counter-terrorism unit for spite and politics was ….hmmmmm, even my imagination can’t come up with anything for that.

But….This is why we have TRIALS.

And when it comes right down to it, every cry of Impeach! is at it’s heart a cry for a trial. A demanding of just the basic machinery of justice that is implemented when the mere possibility that a crime has been committed is discovered. Investigate thoroughly, and then give them a fair trial. Why is this so much to ask?

After all, the last two Republican Presidents who served two terms each got a trial….why should George Bush be deprived of one? Nixon resigned just before being impeached (making him the last honorable Republican President?) and what were his crimes?

On June 17, 1972, and prior thereto, agents of the Committee for the Re-election of the President committed unlawful entry of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, District of Columbia, for the purpose of securing political intelligence. Subsequent thereto, Richard M. Nixon, using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation of such illegal entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.

The means used to implement this course of conduct or plan included one or more of the following:

  1. making false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States;

  2. withholding relevant and material evidence or information from lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States;

  3. approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and counselling witnesses with respect to the giving of false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States and false or misleading testimony in duly instituted judicial and congressional proceedings;

  4. interfering or endeavouring to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the Department of Justice of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force, and Congressional Committees;

  5. approving, condoning, and acquiescing in, the surreptitious payment of substantial sums of money for the purpose of obtaining the silence or influencing the testimony of witnesses, potential witnesses or individuals who participated in such unlawful entry and other illegal activities;

  6. endeavouring to misuse the Central Intelligence Agency, an agency of the United States;

  7. disseminating information received from officers of the Department of Justice of the United States to subjects of investigations conducted by lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States, for the purpose of aiding and assisting such subjects in their attempts to avoid criminal liability;

  8. making or causing to be made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States into believing that a thorough and complete investigation had been conducted with respect to allegations of misconduct on the part of personnel of the executive branch of the United States and personnel of the Committee for the Re-election of the President, and that there was no involvement of such personnel in such misconduct: or

  9. endeavouring to cause prospective defendants, and individuals duly tried and convicted, to expect favoured treatment and consideration in return for their silence or false testimony, or rewarding individuals for their silence or false testimony.

In all of this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore Richard M. Nixon, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.

Pretty lightweight stuff, more juvenile delinquency minor infraction type criminality, when compared to the crimes of Bush and Cheney! They did that kind of stuff before breakfast every morning!

And yet Nixon was ‘tried’ and forced to resign…by his own, pre-Gingrich and Rove corrupted Party.

But no trial for Bush.

Reagan got his trial too, during which the mantra of the modern Republican Party was born and has since spread to any Republican charged with even a traffic ticket. His infamous reply to every question asked “I do not recall at this time,” has since spread like a plague amongst the poor, afflicted, Republicans.

The Wiki: (all bolding mine)

The Iran-Contra affair was a political scandal which was revealed in November 1986 as a result of earlier events during the Reagan administration. It began as an operation to increase U.S.-Iranian relations, wherein Israel would ship weapons to a moderate, politically influential group of Iranians opposed to the Ayatollah Khomeini; the U.S. would reimburse Israel for those weapons and receive payment from Israel. The moderate Iranians agreed to do everything in their power to achieve the release of six U.S. hostages, who were being held by Hezbollah. The plan eventually deteriorated into an arms-for-hostages scheme, in which members of the executive branch sold weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of the American hostages, without the direct authorization of President Ronald Reagan. Large modifications to the plan were conjured by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North of the National Security Council in late 1985. In North’s plan, a portion of the proceeds from the weapon sales was diverted to fund anti-Sandinista and anti-communist rebels, or Contras, in Nicaragua. While President Ronald Reagan was a supporter of the Contra cause, there has not been any evidence uncovered showing that he authorized this plan.

After the weapon sales were revealed in November 1986, Ronald Reagan appeared on national television and stated that the weapons transfers had indeed occurred, but that the United States did not trade arms for hostages. The investigation was compounded when large volumes of documents relating to the scandal were destroyed or withheld from investigators by Reagan administration officials. On March 4, 1987, Reagan returned to the airwaves in a nationally televised address, taking full responsibility for any actions that he was unaware of, and admitting that “what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages.”

Many investigations ensued, including those by the United States Congress and the three-man, Reagan-appointed Tower Commission. Neither could find any evidence that Reagan himself knew of the extent of the multiple programs. In the end, fourteen administration officials were charged with crimes, and eleven convicted, including then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. They were all pardoned in the final days of the George H. W. Bush presidency, who had been vice-president at the time of the affair.

Were the destroyed reams of documents and Reagan’s faulty memory part of a cover-up of Presidential crimes? “I do not recall.”

But all of this is a mere aside, the illustration of not just an incredible pattern of illegal and immoral behavior by every two term Republican President since 1968, (Bush’s dad did a MUCH better job of covering-up any crimes he may have committed, that time as head of the CIA and the knowledge of covert operations really helped!) and perhaps as guideline or reminder to us all that even Presidents must be accountable to the Rule of Law.

And accountability starts with two things: A FULL investigation…and a trial…or hearing…or commission, where the criminal President in question is forced under oath to give an account, a counting of, the actions that he took or that he authorized or that were committed in his name and on his watch.

Oh yeah, I left out Bill Clinton, whose impeachable crime was that he didn’t want to admit to his wife and the American public that he was too stupid to keep his zipper closed. Horrors. Which lead to the longest most expensive investigation and trial in American political history.

But no trial for Bush?

Shahryar’s fantasy is what should happen, that would be the start of a justice that fits the crimes committed. But it is not what will happen. Not because of anything to do with justice of course, but because of politics. Coincidentally, because of the politics that The Republicans have have poisoned over the years to protect their own and to blatantly politically attack any and all Democrats. Such as Don Siegelman. Attack viciously and unrelentingly and regardless of the cost or consequences. Over something as minor in world scope as a Presidential sexual indiscretion….while TWO Republican Senators still sit in that hallowed chamber…after being busted for sexual indiscretion in an airport men’s room and admitting to getting diapered by a prostitute.

But, as it stands now, no trial for Bush.

Impeachment at this late date is, quite frankly, no more than an empty threat, given the poisoned political reality the Republicans have inflicted on our nation. The threat to impeach when Bush pardons (as his father did) the felons who served under him, serves two functions. One, it appeals to his conscience and points out the moral consequences and perhaps will give him pause. (I will wait until you stop ROFLYAO’ing…ok, thanks) and second, to shine the light of justice on both the illegal acts he has committed and the pardons he is almost certainly about to bestow on people like Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Don Rumsfeld et al.

Impeachment is a tool to highlight, to hold in the spotlight, the years of illegal behavior of the Bush Administration and to demand….when it comes right down it…a trial.

There are four paths to justice for George Bush and his…associates. impeachment and the investigation and trial that it represents is one. The investigation and trial would NOT be rendered moot by the ending of his term. Impeachment can take place for a president who has kleft office, especially if it begins while he s still in office. At this point it is foolish to believe that this will actually happen. I am more than willing to be the fool who proposes it if it shines even the dimmest light under the carpet where most seem to wish it would be swept. I believe in the Rule of law. And I believe that it MUST apply to everyone if it applies to any of us. You can be sure it applies to YOU, if you are ever even suspected of a crime.

But no trial for Bush?

The three alternatives to impeachment are these.

Obama’s Department of Justice, under a forceful and fearless Attorney General, investigates and charges the guilty parties. Amidst the howls of (see above) “Politics!” and “Witchhunt!” from the Right Wing and every Republican and…unfortunately, many Democrats as well. This by far the best possible outcome. The full weight and resources of the FBI and the DOJ brought to bear.

A Truth and Justice Commission, or Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as RUKind was kind enough to outline here. And that has been used in several situations fairly successfully. Please read it, if you have the time.

Then as a last resort, we can ‘hope’ that Obama will re-sign (it was unsigned by one George Bush, for some reason) the United States to the International Criminal Court Treaty. And that they will overlook the fact that they were chartered only to investigate and try international and War Criminals that could not be prosecuted by the corrupt legal processes of their own country.


Unless Obama again makes the US a signatory to the treaty, there is virtually no chance that Bush will be prosecuted internationally. Though many European countries that were affected by the illegal rendition and torture programs have investigations on going, the prospect of say, Great Britain trying to extradite bush to face trial there is, shall we say, unlikely.

That is what we face.

And NONE of it will happen, given the political circumstances we find our country in….unless We The People demand justice.



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  1. Photobucket


  2. . . . while Cheney and Papa Bush and Baby Bush are still alive.  But where is the Democratic Congress–or any Congress–with the stomach to do it?

    If only we could get Wexler as Speaker!

    • Edger on November 13, 2008 at 20:57

    • OPOL on November 13, 2008 at 20:58

    To stop the blanket pardons if for no other reason.

  3. today at Salon titled Obama’s Plans for Probing Bush Torture.

    With growing talk in Washington that President Bush may be considering an unprecedented “blanket pardon” for people involved in his administration’s brutal interrogation policies, advisors to Barack Obama are pressing ahead with plans for a nonpartisan commission to investigate alleged abuses under Bush.

    The Obama plan, first revealed by Salon in August, would emphasize fact-finding investigation over prosecution. It is gaining currency in Washington as Obama advisors begin to coordinate with Democrats in Congress on the proposal. The plan would not rule out future prosecutions, but would delay a decision on that matter until all essential facts can be unearthed.

    Its a great article that does a quick overview of the various options available to an Obama administration and also looks at the whole issue of the potential for across-the-board Bush pardons.

  4. Shoot them in the back.

    No. Seriously.

  5. …for so long, I’m suffering a termporary case of laryngitis.

    So, in a raspy, but forceful, whisper I say Impeach!  Impeach!  Impeach!

    And/or investigate, and/or do whatever needs to be done to uphold law and order and restore the Constitution.

  6. Please try not to get too worked up over this (cough, cough), but, well, I don’t know what to say, but just show you this for a good laugh, if nothing else:

    Rep. Conyers Promises Post-election Impeachment Hearings

    Jodin | Daily Kos

    While speaking on the topic of impeachment Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) promised that after the November 4 elections, he would pursue legal actions against the Bush administration. Conyers is in a unique position to initiate impeachment. As the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee (the body which would be responsible for initiating impeachment), he has been the sole obstacle to impeachment occurring ever since he and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA, Speaker of the House) took Impeachment “off the table.”

    However, now it appears that Conyers will be pushing impeachment. At the “Take Back America Conference”, Conyers replied, “Yes, you have my word on that.” He then shook the hand of a questioner resolutely. The congressman was speaking in a panel, “The Republic Against the Rogue Presidency.” Conyers described what was keeping him from pursuing impeachment. He said that he wanted to wait until Obama was elected, as he feared that impeachment would become an election issue.

    Please write to Congressman Conyers and thank him for finally pursuing accountability:

    Rep. John Conyers

    [email protected]


    2426 Rayburn Building

    Washington, DC 20515

    (202) 225-5126

    (202) 225-0072 Fax

    Also please contact your own Congressperson and ask them to support Conyers in finally holding the Bush Administration accountable.

    Congressional Switchboard (just give switchboard your zip):


    Jodin Morey

    Impeach for Peace Cofounder

  7. Buhdy, MinStPaul and Edger were having a most interesting discussion on Buhdy’s thread From “The Homeland” . . . . (I got there late, ponied those commenting [didn’t take] and commented [the discussion is about midway in the thread and is worth reading), but I think my comment ties in here, as well

    I don’t give a damn what the Repugs think period!

    The thing of it is that if exposure was had via hearings, or whatever plausible method, most or all Repugs would probably recoil from their stance, since to protect criminals would expose them, as accomplices or being in accord with criminal behavior.  The same with many Dems!

    We are asking for much greater trouble, IMHO, if we do not find a way to create exposure, via Impeachment, preferably. Like the Iran-Contra convicted, who now enjoy good jobs, some “inside” jobs — you ain’t seen nothing yet, I think.  These people let off scot free will, with all their power and wealth, much greater than in 2001 — thanks to us — be pushing buttons in the “shadows,” pushing this person, that person/corporation and creating “phantom-like” havoc behind the scenes and we will know from whence it comes, but be unable to pin-point anything.  This is the fear I have.

    As noted above, they are sociopaths and narcissists, and there will never be any remorse coming from them for anything — even if exposed.  These behaviors are deeply ingrained and nothing that is done will redeem or remove those behaviors from their beings.  These people would never even commit suicide.  Hitler committed suicide, and the worst of his Reich were found and brought to justice, ultimately.

    Nonetheless, exposure before us and the world is the ONLY way we can hope to warn others with like evil dreams that we have zero tolerance for those who would destroy our  Constitutional principles, our national and International laws, all of which form our democracy, and, obviously, in place to counter the evil we have witnessed these past years.  

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but, in my gut, I will never, ever feel right, even with the most wonderful victory we have just experienced, if this all goes down without accountability.  It will leave me with a sick feeling inside and the kind that can never be cured!


    • ctrenta on November 15, 2008 at 03:33


    • robodd on November 15, 2008 at 17:15

    Nationwide Bushco Mass Spanking Tour.  Coming to a town or city near you soon.

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