Administration's Offenses Impeachable

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Let’s
consider an item from the news of about two weeks ago:

A
British citizen leaked a memo to London’s Sunday Times. The
memo was of the written account of a meeting that a man named Richard
Dearlove had with the Bush administration in July 2002. Dearlove
was the head of the England’s MI-6, the equivalent of the CIA. On
July 23, 2002, Dearlove briefed Tony Blair about the meeting. He
said that Bush was determined to attack Iraq. He said that Bush
knew that U.S. intelligence had no evidence of weapons of mass destruction
in Iraq and no links to foreign terrorists, that there was no imminent
danger to the U.S. from Iraq. But, since Bush was determined to
go to war, "Intelligence and facts are being fixed around the
policy." "Fixed" means faked, manufactured, conjured,
hyped – the product of whole cloth fabrication.

So
we got aluminum tubes, mushroom clouds imported from Niger, biological
weapons labs in weather trucks, fear and trembling, the phony ultimatums
to Saddam Hussein to turn over the weapons he didn’t have and thus
couldn’t. We got the call to arms, the stifling of dissent, the
parade of retired generals strategizing on the "news"
shows, with us or against us, flags in the lapel, a craven media
afraid to look for a truth that might disturb their corporate owners
who would profit from the war. Shock and Awe. Fallujah. Abu Ghraib.

It
was all a lie. Many of us have said for a long time it was a lie.
But here it is in black and white: Lies from a president who has
taken a sacred trust to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

So,
what does it mean? It means that our president and all of his administration
are war criminals. It’s as simple as that. They lied to the American
people, have killed and injured and traumatized thousands of American
men and women doing their patriotic duty, killed at least 100,000
Iraqi civilians, destroyed Iraq’s infrastructure and poisoned its
environment, squandered billions and billions of our tax dollars,
made a mockery of American integrity in the world, changed the course
of history, tortured Iraqi prisoners, and bound us intractably to
an insane situation that they have no idea how to fix because they
had no plan, but greed and empire, in the first place.

What
does it mean? It means that everyone in this administration should
be impeached. It means that our Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan
Collins and our Congressmen Tom Allen and Mike Michaud should call
for immediate impeachment. They were lied to by their president,
voted for war, and are thus complicit in the multiply betrayals
of the American people unless they stand up now for the truth.

Richard
Nixon was impeached for a cover-up of a two-bit break-in. William
Cohen, a young Maine Republican, played an important role for the
prosecution in those proceedings. Bill Clinton was impeached for
lying about sex with an intern. Now we have the irrefutable evidence
that George W. Bush lied about the reasons for taking the United
States to war. The intelligence wasn’t flawed. The weapons weren’t
hidden. Our elected leaders were lying.

Democracy,
like any sound relationship between people, is built on trust. We
trust our leaders to tell the truth so that the consent that we
give them is honestly informed. If the consent is won through manipulation,
propaganda, fear, or lies, the basis of our democracy has been subverted.
It is no longer democracy at all, but we continue to call it that
because we have not the courage or stamina to demand its overhaul.

We
live a lie when we fail to hold leaders accountable for their lies.
By not calling now for impeachment, we are saying that we condone
hypocrisy, pseudo-democracy, and murdering thousands of Americans
and Iraqis for strategic control of energy resources that we have
no right to. Patriotism demands that we insist on the ideals of
democracy, not that we support the "leaders" who cynically
destroy them.

What’s
curious is why anyone like me should have to even point this out.
Don’t our senators and congressmen feel betrayed? Are they content
to continue the murdering rather than do what truth demands? Do
they think they can lie to history, too. Do they think that this
little Iraq problem will somehow just go away, that the courageous
resistance to the United States occupation will give up and hand
Bush the keys to the oil wells? Do they think that any of the grave
crises facing the world now – energy consumption, global warming,
species extinction – can be solved by lying about them?

We
are living in an age of no accountability. It’s also an age upon
which may hang the survival of human life on this earth. One should
not bet one’s future on people who abjure responsibility. The first
courageous step is to come to terms with what we know is true: America’s
president lied to America’s people to create an unnecessary war.
I ask Sens. Snowe and Collins, Reps. Allen and Michaud to take that
step. Begin impeachment proceedings. It’s really no more or less
than their duty. It’s also the first step toward restoring America’s
integrity.

June
13, 2005

Robert
Shetterly [send him mail]
is a writer and artist who lives in Brooksville, Maine. He is the
author of Americans
Who Tell the Truth
. See his
website
. This first appeared in the Bangor News.

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