Dennis Kucinich: To Impeach, or Not to Impeach? That Is the Question

Alright – here’s another one of my stories that I’m posting as a catch-up from vacation.

Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) testified before the House Judiciary Committee (chaired by John Conyers [D-MI]), saying, “The decision before us is whether to demand accountability for one of the gravest injustices imaginable.”

Conyers reminded everybody that House rules specifically prohibit “personal abuse, innuendo or ridicule of the president,” so no direct accusations at the president were really supposed to be made, but that was largely ignored.  In fact, the hearing wasn’t an impeachment hearing, but actually was entitled, “Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations.”

I’ll briefly sum up the witnesses:

  • Former Los Angeles County Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi (he tried Charles Manson), author of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, was obviously in favor of impeachment.
  • Bruce Fein, a Deputy Attorney General in the Reagan administration – one of the smartest men I’ve ever seen.  He’s a Constitutional Law attorney and was just BRILLIANT about anything legal or historic.  The man was like an encyclopedia.  He was also in favor of impeachment, but didn’t let that bias his testimony.  He seemed to be the fairest and the most unbiased of them all.
  • Former Representative Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY) – she was strongly for impeachment, but didn’t testify much.
  • Former Representative Bob Barr (R-GA), turned Libertarian.  Now their party’s Presidential nominee – for impeachment, but he had to leave early, and didn’t testify much.
  • Ross “Rocky” Anderson, founder of High Roads for Human Rights and former mayor of Salt Lake City – he, didn’t testify much, and had to leave early, also for impeachment.
  • Stephen Presser, from the the Northwestern University School of Law – very smart.  He said that if the allegations are true (that Bush lied to get us deliberately into a war), he should be impeached, but he says he doesn’t interpret the evidence the way that the pro-impeachment people do.  A VERY smart man, but I think his bias stood in the way some.  Overall, I probably agreed with him the most (a cross between him and Fein).
  • Jeremy Rabkin, from the George Mason University School of Law – you could tell he was VERY biased, but he shared the argument that Presser had, regarding the evidence.
  • Elliot Adams, President of Veterans for Peace – pro-impeachment.  I think he left early as well – I didn’t hear much from him. from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law – He also sat on the Church Committee, and was pro-impeachment, but not the the bias of Bugliosi.
  • Frederick A. O. Schwarz Jr.,

Kucinich’s articles of impeachment have yet to reach the full House, but the impeachment is not expected to go anywhere, and would probably fail in the House.  I’m not sure if the Committee voted on it at all, or not.

Overall, it was a VERY interesting hearing (I saw most of it [about the last 4 hours] the first time, and then the beginning 2 hours when I watched the re-run).  Of course, my sister mocked me for watching C-SPAN on our vacation, but I loved it.  I even had my father watching it.

Here’s my opinion: I don’t think that Bush intentionally lied to get us into Iraq.  On that note, I can’t see us impeaching him.

One of the things that Fein brought up a lot was his refusal to obey Congress and send people to testify (which I think they SHOULD do, as I indicated about Karl Rove).  He brought up some of the wiretapping and surveillance stuff.  And honestly, those are the areas that I could see a real impeachment case come up, NOT over Iraq.

But here’s the problem – we’ve only got 6 more months of Bush in office.  The amount of time and money that would go into an investigation would not make it worth it, because the Republicans in Congress would never vote to impeach Bush.  The Democrats don’t have enough support (just like the Republicans didn’t with Clinton), and I don’t see this to be a wise decision.

If Congress wants to investigate Bush after he leaves office, I say, sure, go ahead!  But I just cannot justify an investigation when we know the outcome of the impeachment.  I’m not taking a side on the impeachment.  I think a LOT of what Bush has done has gone WAY over the limits of the Constitution, but many war-time Presidents have done the same.  I would not be opposed to an investigation into this Administration, but I see an impeachment more of a way to make the Republicans look bad in an election year, than an actual attempt to remove Bush from office.

I know I’m going to take some heat from Republicans for saying this stuff, but I’m tired of partisan wars.  If Bush has done nothing wrong, an investigation will show that, but I think that, considering the severity of the accusations, for the good of the country, we do need an investigation.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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3 Responses to “Dennis Kucinich: To Impeach, or Not to Impeach? That Is the Question”

  1. Bob Says:

    So even if you don’t think he is impeachable on that count what about Kucinich’s 34 other counts?

  2. inkslwc Says:

    Bob – I’m heading out right now, and I work late tomorrow. Since I haven’t read all of Kucinich’s articles, I can’t answer that now, but I promise, I’m not ignoring your question – I will answer it.

  3. inkslwc Says:

    OK, here are the articles:

    Article I
    Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.
    I don’t believe that Bush intentionally lied about Iraq.

    Article II
    Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With
    Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of
    Aggression.
    Same as Article I

    Article III
    Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of
    Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War.
    Same as Article I

    Article IV
    Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat
    to the United States.
    Same as Article I

    Article V
    Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression.
    Same as Article I

    Article VI
    Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114.
    Same as Article I – I think Bush thought that the use of force was necessary.

    Article VII
    Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.
    Not impeachable offense, since Congress OKed the invasion.

    Article VIII
    Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter.
    Not impeachable offense.

    Article IX
    Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor
    Not impeachable offense – that’d be Congress’s appropriations job anyway.

    Article X
    Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes
    No proof that Bush was involved.

    Article XI
    Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq
    Not impeachable offense.

    Article XII
    Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation’s Natural Resources
    Same as Article I.

    Article XIII
    Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other
    Countries
    Not an impeachable offense.

    Article XIV
    Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in
    the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency
    This is one of those instances where I WOULD support an investigation.

    Article XV
    Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq
    Another area where I’d support an investigation. I never liked the fact that we’re using defense contractors.

    Article XVI
    Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors
    Another area I’d support an investigation.

    Article XVII
    Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign
    Captives
    I’d support an investigation.

    Article XVIII
    Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan,
    Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy
    I’d support an investigation

    Article XIX
    Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to “Black Sites” Located in Other
    Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture
    Support investigation.

    Article XX
    Imprisoning Children
    This is one of those instances where I believe that war-time Presidents can ignore some laws.

    Article XXI
    Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist
    Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government
    That’s kinda a pre-emptive impeachment.

    Article XXII
    Creating Secret Laws
    I’d support an investigation.

    Article XXIII
    Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act
    Part of the War on Terror, so it makes it hard to differentiate between military and police. Border patrol is protecting our borders though, and that’d be legal.

    Article XXIV
    Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the
    Fourth Amendment
    Support investigation (as I said directly in the blog post).

    Article XXV
    Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the
    Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens
    Support investigation.

    Article XXVI
    Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements
    Although not impeachable, hte signing statements could be overturned in court.

    Article XXVII
    Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply
    Wholeheartedly support investigation.

    Article XXVIII
    Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice
    Support investigation.

    Article XXIX
    Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965
    Support investigation, but jamming phone lines wouldn’t be illegal.

    Article XXX
    Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare
    Support investigation.

    Article XXXI
    Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil
    Emergency
    That was Mayor Ray Nagin’s fault, and Governor Blanco’s.

    Article XXXII
    Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global
    Climate Change
    You can’t impeach something when the National Climatic Data Center hasn’t even reached a conclusion on global warming. You can’t impeach somebody for not sharing a scientific opinion.

    Article XXXIII
    Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist
    Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.
    It was a mistake, not impeachable offense.

    Article XXXIV
    Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001
    Support investigation

    Article XXXV
    Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders
    It was a mistake, not something intentional.

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