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.