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A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Impeachment: It's Not Just for Blowjobs Anymore

Impeachment: It's Not Just for Blowjobs Anymore

Neither is it just for democrats, liberals and other assorted leftists anymore. Congressional republicans have joined the calls for an investigation and the momentum for impeachment is steadily growing. Bob Barr, a former U.S. Representative who was active in Clinton's impeachment is now turning the same ire on shrubya, saying "This is just such an egregious violation of the electronic surveillance laws." Robert Levy, a Senior Fellow of Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute - and Board Member of the Federalist Society - makes some excellent points regarding limits on presidential power before concluding that shrubya has "overreached." I think he was euphemizing.

In a recent interview with Diane Rehm, conservative scholars Bruce Fein and Norm Ornstein were a bit more blunt. Ornstein is quoted as saying, "I think if we’re going to be intellectually honest here, this really is the kind of thing that Alexander Hamilton was referring to when impeachment was discussed." Fein was not so reserved:

I think the answer requires at least in part considering what the occupant of the presidency says in the aftermath of wrongdoing or rectification. On its face, if President Bush is totally unapologetic and says I continue to maintain that as a war-time President I can do anything I want – I don’t need to consult any other branches – that is an impeachable offense. It’s more dangerous than Clinton’s lying under oath because it jeopardizes our democratic dispensation and civil liberties for the ages. It would set a precedent that … would lie around like a loaded gun, able to be used indefinitely for any future occupant.


But I think even they were too restrained. The right-thinking members of the right must make themselves heard on this issue; eloquent comparisons to loaded guns will, I'm afraid, get lost in the translation. Unlike their GOoPer doppelgangers, true conservatives are serious in the things they say and the sentiments they express; they also tend to know a lot more on the subjects at hand. They are actually capable of arguing their points and could truly reach people - if they can be heard above the RWNM.

And they must be; this has nothing whatsoever to do with partisanship and the dittoheads of the world need to understand that this is real. Which is why I was so happy to see Fein kickng it up a notch in an op-ed for the very conservative Washington Times yesterday. He lays out the finer points of the legal violations involved and pretty much shreds the administration's defenses, saying "the Constitution's separation of powers is too important to be discarded in the name of expediency."

President Bush secretly ordered the National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop on the international communications of U.S. citizens in violation of the warrant requirement of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, abominations.

...Mr. Bush has adamantly refused to acknowledge any constitutional limitations on his power to wage war indefinitely against international terrorism, other than an unelaborated assertion he is not a dictator.

...Volumes of war powers nonsense have been assembled to defend Mr. Bush's defiance of the legislative branch and claim of wartime omnipotence so long as terrorism persists, i.e., in perpetuity.

...President Bush preposterously argues the Sept. 14, 2001, congressional resolution authorizing "all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons [the president] determines" were implicated in the September 11 attacks provided legal sanction for the indefinite NSA eavesdropping outside the aegis of FISA. But the FISA statute expressly limits emergency surveillances of citizens during wartime to 15 days, unless the president obtains congressional approval for an extension.

...Moreover, the White House has maintained Congress was not asked for a law authorizing the NSA eavesdropping because the legislature would have balked, not because the statute would have duplicated the war resolution.


Yes; they were too stupid/drunk with hubris to even lie about it. Why does it always come down to "criminal or incompetent" with this bunch? Not only did shrubya brazenly admit to breaking the law; he also vowed to continue doing so. Even Barron's - a conservative stalwart owned by the WSJ - was appalled.

"the Bush administration has been fighting terrorism by intercepting communications in America without warrants. It was worrisome on its face, but in justifying their actions, officials have made a bad situation much worse: Administration lawyers and the president himself have tortured the Constitution and extracted a suspension of the separation of powers.

...Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later. The members of the House Judiciary Committee who staged the impeachment of President Clinton ought to be as outraged at this situation.

...It is important to be clear that an impeachment case, if it comes to that, would not be about wiretapping, or about a possible Constitutional right not to be wiretapped. It would be about the power of Congress to set wiretapping rules by law, and it is about the obligation of the president to follow the rules in the Acts that he and his predecessors signed into law.

...the president said: "It was a shameful act for someone to disclose this very important program in a time of war. The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy."

Wrong. If we don't discuss the program and the lack of authority for it, we are meeting the enemy -- in the mirror.


But even they were too generous. As encouraging as these pieces are, none of these conservatives has yet called for impeachment directly. I wish they were all as vociferous as Paul Craig Roberts, who has been calling for outright impeachment since at least circa the Downing Street Memos. The current outrage is another in a long line of impeachable offenses as far as he's concerned. He's also delightfully scathing in his criticisms. After Katrina, he described this administration as "the most incompetent government in American history and perhaps in all history." With the suspension of habeus corpus, he characterized shrubya and the GOP as "bringing evil to the world and tyranny to America." Now that man knows how to castigate!



wing tip to dkosser fabooj for the title. also, don't miss this fabulous collection of quotes from republicans on the importance of the rule of law. and mark your calendars - impeachment rallies are being planned for March!

1 Comments:

Blogger Grodge said...

I read this entry on Booman Tribune and wanted to thank you directly for the great links to the true conservatives who have taken issue to Bush's radical politics.

When Bob Barr, Norm Ornstein and Barron's can agree with assorted Democrats, then one should take pause at the message.

Bush's gross incompetence was inexplicably honored with re-election; perhaps now this nation can awaken from the slumber that has allowed such treasonous crimes to have been perpetrated.

12:15 PM  

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