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Life and Fate

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Repudiation, Not Impeachment

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Posted on May 31, 2007
Bush
AP Photo / Ron Edmonds

By Scott Ritter

It is a question I am faced with at every public event I participate in:  What are my views on the impeachment of President Bush and others in his administration?  Generally, the question is preceded by an emotional statement listing the “crimes” which Mr. Bush is accused of committing, and the questioner has already found him guilty. Whether it is the war in Iraq, conspiracy theories about 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, or any given variation of the theme of constitutional abuse of power, the one thing all of the questioners have in common (besides the desirable outcome) is their singular conviction that the president is guilty.

I have considerable sympathy for this stance.  I myself have stated on more than one occasion that I believe President Bush has lied to Congress and the American people about the reasons for going to war with Iraq (i.e., the whole WMD/al-Qaida intelligence fabrication/misrepresentation fiasco).  I also believe that the president’s sanctioning of warrantless wiretapping, along with a litany of other abuses of power stemming from the Patriot Act approved by Congress after Sept. 11, 2001, likewise constitutes grounds for impeachment.  Several Democrats in Congress are actually discussing the possibility of impeachment of President Bush, and the irrepressible Congressman Dennis Kucinich has actually introduced articles of impeachment for Vice President Dick Cheney.

Even some Republicans are getting on board the impeachment bandwagon, although with caveats.  “Any president who says ‘I don’t care’ or ‘I will not respond to what the people of this country are saying about Iraq or anything else’ or ‘I don’t care what the Congress does, I am going to proceed’—if a president really believes that, then there are ... ways to deal with that,” Sen.  Chuck Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska, said of President Bush in obvious reference to impeachment.

Hagel is correct:  Impeachment is the constitutional remedy for a unilateral president whose governance is an insult to traditional American democratic norms and values.  However, impeachment alone is simply a measure which addresses the symptoms of a larger malaise that has stricken America.  The arrogance associated with the concept of the unitary executive is prevalent throughout mainstream American political life.  The passivity of the legislative branch is one byproduct of the dominance of the unitary executive.  It is also an indicator that the will of the people, as expressed through their election of the people’s representatives to the Congress of the United States, no longer has the weight and bearing long associated with the American democratic experience.

Any effort to impeach Bush and any of his administration found to be engaged in activities classifiable as “high crimes and misdemeanors” would fail to rein in the unitary executive core of any successor.  One only has to listen to the rhetoric of the Democratic candidates for president to understand that this trend is as deeply rooted among them as it is with President Bush.  Americans today look for leaders without recognizing the absolute necessity of electing team players.  The Founding Fathers deliberately designed the executive branch to be strong and independent, but also made sure, through an elaborate system of checks and balances, that it operated merely as one of three separate but equal branches of government.

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The “in your face” efforts of the Bush administration to minimize the role of Congress and to achieve political control of the judiciary are simply more public manifestations of trends that occurred in a more quiet fashion in past administrations, Republican and Democratic alike.  When America elects a leader who states clearly that he or she will work with their equal partners in governance, the Congress, for the good of the country, and who will acknowledge the supremacy of law set forth in the form of binding legislation passed by the will of Congress, void of any limiting or contradicting “presidential signing statement,” then we will finally have a leader who is truly worthy of the title “President of the United States of America.”

But this will not happen of its own volition.  The impeachment of President Bush would not in and of itself terminate executive unilateralism.  It would only limit its implementation on the most visible periphery, driving its destructive designs back into the shadows of government, away from the public eye, and as such, public accountability.  Impeach President Bush, yes, if in fact he can be charged with the commission of acts which meet the constitutional standard for impeachment (and I believe he could, if Congress only had the will to do its job).  But to truly heal America, we must repudiate everything President Bush stands for, in terms of not only public and foreign policy, but also in terms of his style of governance, since the former is derived from the latter.

Repudiation is a strong term, defined as “rejecting as having no authority or binding force,” to “cast off or disown,” or to “reject with disapproval or condemnation.”  In my opinion, the complete repudiation of the presidency of George W. Bush is the only recourse we have collectively as a people to not only seek redress for the wrongs committed by the Bush administration, but also to purge society of this cancer that threatens to consume and destroy us as a whole, and which would continue to manifest itself in our system of governance even after any impeachment proceedings.

Like any cancerous growth, the Bush administration has attached its malignancy to the American nation in a cruel fashion, its poisonous tentacles stretching deep into our national fabric in a manner that makes difficult the task of culling out the healthy from the diseased.  But we cannot truly repudiate something without its complete and utter elimination from our midst.  As such, there must be a litmus test to help us differentiate the good from the bad, that which must be restored from that which must be eliminated.  For me, there is only one true test:  that of constitutionality.  There will be those who argue, and have argued, that the time is well past for an oppressed people (and one would be a fool not to comprehend that under the Bush administration, the American people have in fact been oppressed) to rely on the niceties of legal argument, especially when the system of law we seek to use in our defense has been so thoroughly corrupted by those who seek to impose tyranny. 

I was recently in Ireland, where I delivered a presentation on the current situation in the Middle East.  In criticizing the Bush administration’s policies, I launched into a staunch defense of the Constitution of the United States and decried what I believed to be the inadequacies of Congress and the American people in defending their constitutional inheritance.  Afterward, I was confronted by an Irishman who challenged me on the validity of our Constitution.  As he pointed out, none other than President Thomas Jefferson himself, the author of the Declaration of Independence and a proponent of constitutional law, is famously quoted as saying, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”  If, as I maintained, the Bush administration was deviating so far off course from the ideals and values set forth in the Constitution, was it not time for a new American Revolution to “refresh” liberty with “the blood of patriots and tyrants?”

There can be no doubt that Jefferson was a promoter of resistance to the forces of tyranny.  It was he who, after all, who penned the famous words proclaiming the need for American independence from the tyranny of British rule: “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness ... when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

If faced with a situation today in which the American people felt that our current form of government sought to imprison them “under absolute Despotism,” would we not be obligated to apply “natural manure”  in an effort to refresh the “tree of liberty?”

Short of a complete and total abdication on the part of the Congress, the collapse of the judiciary system, and a shocking decision by those men and women who wear the uniform of the armed forces of the United States to lend force of arms to the will of a dictatorial president, I cannot ever envision a time in which conditions in these United States could deteriorate to the point that a violent revolution “of the people and by the people” would be required to restore constitutional legitimacy and authority.  Having said that, I remind the reader that with so few Americans professing any working understanding of the Constitution, it is difficult to speak of people defending that which they remain ignorant of.


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By Joe R., June 1, 2007 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not only should Bush be impeached, but he should go on trial for the many crimes that he has committed.  Al Gore’s new book, the Assault on Reason, reads like a criminal indictment of the entire Bush tenure. 

When former President Ford passed away, I remember hearing that when he pardoned Nixon, that was his finest hour.  Who wanted to see a President go to jail.  Bull Shit! The biggest mistake ever made was not putting Nixon in prison forever.  They should never be placed above the law.  The reason there are excesses in power now is because they think they can get away with it.  The Bush administration is nothing but an extension of the Nixon crime syndicate.  They should go to prison like everyone else.  Then maybe the country would straighten out.

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By jai, June 1, 2007 at 9:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

how do you repudiate a sociopath who don’t give a damn what you think

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By Jonas South, June 1, 2007 at 9:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The list of Ritter´s repundiations is conveniently focused our recent problems with Bush et al. We, we, we all the way. The more moral list would begin with our established, and well documented policies since at least the fifties, with respect to the domination of smaller, or more pacific, countries. Then as now, we enabled torture, stolen elections, extra-judicial incarcerations and killings, and corporate-state corruption. Yet the U.S. citizenry chose to be ignorant or silent. Now that the same narrow economic interests have started to step on our own toes, Ritter would have us rise to denounce them. How dare they, we Americans cherish our rights! But I am afraid we have failed to look into the mirror for so long that, even when our own future is threatened, as it is now, our collective civil eyesight has atrophied to the point of no return.

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By dihey, June 1, 2007 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

The US President is the “Commander-in-Chief”. I expect that a commander-in-chief has experience commanding large army units. Now, let’s see which US Presidents had such an experience. Washington, Jackson, Taylor, Grant, and Eisenhower. That’s all! Hence, the overwhelming majority of US Presidents had not the foggiest about grand military strategy and tactics on any timescale with, occasionally, disastrous consequences (1812, Cuba twice, Philippines, Vietnam, Lebanon, Mogadishu, Iraq).
One lesson from the “affaire Iraq” is that the Constitution’s scrambling of “civilian” and “military” authority in our President creates serious problems. I even think that our Constitution is defective on this point and needs an “unscrambling” to make the Administration and the Congress jointly responsible only for the political goals, strategy, and ramifications of war and potential occupations.  A military leader is appointed “commander-in-chief”. The constitutional vehicle to bring this about this already exists. It is called Constitutional Convention. The case of Truman vs. McArthur (who was the de-factor caommander-in-chief in the Korean war)demonstrates that insubordination and power-grabbing by such a commander cannot succeed against a determined President and Congress.

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By Verne Arnold, June 1, 2007 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

Is “the military-industrial complex” the military? or the corporations who make their profit from the huge budget allotted for the corporations that supply the military?

I think it’s the latter and the very thing Eisenhower warned about in his famous but forgotten speech.  At this point however, it’s irrelevant. 

Tao Walker is closer to the truth than any other post on this site including mine.  This Indian “sees” and “knows”.  Once upon a long time ago so did I in my limited way.

We will and are going down.  What could possibly be worse than willingly building your own cage…for eternity?  I think nothing!  Free wild humans…what a concept!

Nations, that resonates with me…it’s not divisive.  Every American needs to read Howard Zinn’s “History of America”.

I know in my heart of hearts, everyone who posts here cares in their own way or they wouldn’t bother; the passion flows…we need to retreat into our hearts and find the thing we really want…find the path…I think we can no longer afford this individualism that has defined us…Mr. Walker says it far better than I…listen to this man.

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By TAO Walker, June 1, 2007 at 12:25 am Link to this comment

The “tribal governments” Tigress Dem (#74381) is so sensibly leery of are another consequence of the euro-american “occupation” of Turtle Island.  These alien arrangemnts were essentially forced on those of us already more-or-less confined to the concentration camps called “reservations,” under threat of what are called here in these latter days “sanctions.”  A lot of good men and women struggle to make them work for their people, but they are between the “rock” of BIA corruption and malfeasance and the “hard place” of always being kept carefully starved for resources.

Tribally “owned” casino gambling has “solved” the money problem here and there, but has brought its own well-known degradations in its wake.  What it might be helpful to keep in mind is the critical distinction between us “ickche wichasha,” the free wild Indians, and those of our own immediate sisters and brothers who have been roped into the uses and abuses of civilization.

This old heathen has said elsewhere on this site that being ickche wichasha is in no way a “racial” thing.  The tiyoshpaye to which this person belongs includes others of every hue of skin, color of hair and eyes, and “ethnic” ancestory.  What’s more, we don’t any of us belong to any “tribe,” which is just one more pejorative label pasted onto us by the occupying forces of civilization.  We are all native Turtle Islanders, and members of various native Nations. 

Neither are any of us “individuals,” which are the cheap imitation plastic substitutes civilization has employed to displace us natural Persons in its pyramid scheme of things.  Which helps to explain why that make-believe monstrosity is even now collapsing from the weight of its own internal contradictions.

Tigress Dem needn’t worry about running afoul of “politics,” if she was to throw in her personal lot with those native people she already knows and trusts.  We had more than our fill of that lethal concoction a long time ago. 

She might, on the other hand, recover fully from the ravages of civilization on her life up to now, and find herself a fully functioning human being in the beneficially effective company of others of her kind.  Playing along with the Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself opens up a Living Universe of possibilities presently unavailable to those of our kin still stuck in the tormentors’ insane contraption.  We aim to do something about that. 

Hell, we ARE doing something about it.

HokaHey!

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By national-security-4-us, May 31, 2007 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

REALISTICALLY IT IS BEYOND IMPEACHMENT 4 THAT WOULD BE LETTING HIM OFF THE HOOK 4 ALL OF THE CRIMES THAT
“WERE COMMITTED”

ALL THOSE WHO COMMITTED CRIMES MUST BE CHARGED/
ARRESTED/INDICTED/TIRED & CONVICTED 4 OPENLY BREAKING
LAWS - EVERYONE ELSE IS TOLD 2 UPHOLD OR ELSE.

HE OR HIS CRONIES ARE NO DIFFERENT - “NO-1 IS ABOVE THE LAW” - SUPPOSEDLY - IT SURE DOESN’T LOOK THAT WAY
MANY WERE NAMED IN HERE ALREADY.

THE DISCLOSURE OF VALERIE PLAME WAS & IS ENOUGH RIGHT
THERE WHERE PUNISHMENT 4 TREASON MUST GO BACK TO THE OLD DAYS 4 EFFECTIVE RECIDIVISM 2 CEASE 2 EXIST.

TREASON IS A CRIME PUNISHABLE BY DEATH - POINT BLANK.


HERE’S SOME MORE CRIMES WHICH WERE ORDERED - SILENCED
& SUPPRESSED FROM EVERYONES’ MIND WHO COLLUDED & WHO
CONSPIRED TO COVER THESE MATTERS UP FROM EVER GETTING
2 THE PEOPLE.

W/IN 72 HRS. OF ASHCROFT/MUELLER 5/26/04 PRESS CONF.
2 OF THE 7 PEOPLE WHO ID WERE RELEASED WERE CAPTURED IN PORT ST.LUCIE,FLORIDA AT 6 PM ON 5/29/04.

1 WAS WANTED 4 QUESTIONING = AAFIA SIDDIQUI
1 WAS A MOST WANTED TERRORIST UNDER U.S. FEDERAL INDICTMENT FOR 1998 EMBASSY BOMBING IN AFRICA + HAD A
$ 25 MILLION DOLLAR REWARD = FAZUL ABDULLAH MOHAMMED.

INSTEAD OF HONORING THE 14TH AMENDMENT SECT.4 AS WELL
AS A 1984 LAW CONGRESS PASSED 2 COMBAT INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM = “PUBLIC LAW-98-533” - AKA THE REWARDS 4 JUSTICE PROGRAM UNDER bush W/NO OVERSIGHT WHATSOEVER.

I GOT PLENTY OF CONFIRMATION FROM MULTIPLE SOURCES AT EVERY LEVEL OF LAW ENFORCEMENT + IT WAS MY EYES WHO IDENTIFIED THEM IN THE 1ST PLACE IN ORDER 4 ME 2 CALL 911.

THEY WANT 2 STEAL THE REWARDS INSTEAD OF HONORING THEIR WORD = COVER IT UP.

WELL TOLD DAMN NEAR 70 - 80% OF CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS
ABOUT THIS CORRUPTION LAST SESSION - WROTE/CALLED/E-
MAILED CHAIRS/CO-CHAIRS OF BOTH CHAMBERS IN BOTH INTEL/JUDICIARY COMMITTES + OTHERS AS WELL = NOTHING.

THE ON 6/6/04 I SPOT ANOTHER (MWT) WHO WAS CAPTURED HERE & FLOWN OVERSEAS 2 GET OUT OF PAYING HIS $25 MILLION REWARD - BOTH REWARDS WERE DROPPED AFTER BOTH WERE CAPTURED MID/LATE 2004.

AHMED KHALFAN GHAILANI - U.S. FED. INDICT. 4-1998 EMBASSY BOMBING IN AFRICA WAS FLOWN 2 PAKISTAN 2 SAY THEY FOUND HIM.

2 MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT F.A.M. WAS HELD 4 LIKE 30 MONTHS & RECENTLY SURFACED IN SOMALIA 2 BE TARGETED 4
ASSASSINATION W/AIRSTRIKES IN 1/2007 - YET HE GETS AWAY.

BOTH HAD A LAPTOP WHICH LED 2 MANY MORE GLOBAL CAPTURES IN THE FALL OF 2004.

NOW 4 THIS 2 BE COVERED UP BECAUSE THE ALPHABET SOUP AGENCIES DID NOT SOLELY FIND THEM - OR JOE Q. PUBLIC-ME WAS NOT GOING 2 BE COMPENSATED ACCORDING 2 THE LAWS OF THE LAND - SIMPLY BECAUSE GREED/JEALOUSY/ENVY
ENTERED THEIR EVIL/WICKED HEARTS.

LEADS ME 2 THIS BELIEF - THAT THESE PEOPLE WERE HERE
INTENTIONALLY 2 DO THEIR DIRT SO THE CONSTITUTION COULD BE SUSPENDED & MARTIAL LAW ENACTED = THE BEGINNING OF THE END 4 AMERICA.

OBVIOUSLY I FUCKED-UP SOMEBODYS’ GAME PLAN 4 MY LIFE
2 B DESTROYED BEYOND BELIEF 4 DOING SUCH A NOBLE DEED
AS A DHS OFFICER SAID 2 ME IN 6/2004 OUT OF D.C.

SO 2 RELEASE A (MWT) UNDER U.S. INDICTMENT 2 SILENCE
HIM 4-EVER BY TRYING 2 KILL HIM WHICH FAILED ARE SOME
SERIOUS MAJOR HI-CRIMES.

SO ALL THE TALK ABOUT THE G.W.O.T. IS A JOKE IF THE ALPHABET SOUP AGENCIES WERE NOT SOLELY RESPONSIBLE 4
GETTING THEM OR IF THEY WERE HERE INTENTIONALLY 2 DO
THE DIRTY DEED.

SO THE WAR ON TERROR - BECAME “CATCH & RELEASE” 

THEIR WERE ENOUGH CRIMES COMMITTED HERE 2 REMOVE THE
WHOLE HEIRARCHY OF CABINET LEVEL OFFICIALS & THEN SOME MORE - OTHERS WHO WILLFULLY CONSPIRED TO CONCEAL
THE TRUTH FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE

http://national-security-4u.blogspot.com/ - 911 call

http://low_down69.livejournal.com/ - a call 2 harm me

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By commonsense, May 31, 2007 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

In his article, Scott Ritter references remarks made by Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel. Please don’t be seduced by Hagel’s recent rhetoric and criticism of Bush…its all smoke from a wealthy professional politician with presidential aspirations.  I live in Nebraska and in the last Congress no one voted more consistently for Bush policy than Hagel…something like 93% of the time…and no one backpedaled faster when the Dems took the majority.  Additionally, before the purge, Hagel campaigned in Nebraska for loser Republican Pete Ricketts, a rich Karl Rove toady whose family founded and recently merged Ameritrade with TD Waterhouse.  Traditionally red Nebraskans didn’t buy into Hagel supported Rickett’s phony campaign and after the elections Hagel, like many Republicans, suffered mightily from voter shock.  Once he collected his political self he launched into his lame Bush distancing realignment in an effort to salvage presidential candidate status.  Hagel maintains a multi million dollar home in the D.C. area and a token residence in state, undoubtedly so he can stay close to the elitist action.  Occasionally I writeto all three Nebraska Congressmen on a broad range of issues, and although I regularly receive replies from the offices of Congressman Lee Terry and Senator Ben Nelson, I have never heard from Hagel.  My sense is that Nebraskans may very likely vote him out in 2008.

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By William Lewis, May 31, 2007 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

I think that Mr. Ritter is as I have said before, a very smart guy, but also one who seems to be standing in front of a mirror and saying “Gee isn’t there anyone smart enough to be up here on this lofty strata with me?” Well I suppose not. Even though he brings up some valid points, and I do agree with some of them, however he seems to be over complicating the situation.
Yes, we the American people, are not perfect, who is?
Lets just simplify this since the American people are not on trial just now.
I think all would agree that Bush and his little band of supporters must go. This is the whole premise of impeachment.
Repudiation is a cool word, however it doesn’t get much accomplished.
I don’t agree with Mr. Ritter’s conclusion that someone just as bad will inevitably take his place, who could be as bad as Bush? We have some excellent candidates on the Democratic side, Like Dennis Kucinich. If he were elected to the presidency, I have no doubt that things would quickly change.
Mr. Ritter seems to have a low regard for the American people in general, At least for their ability to think. He needs to understand that most of us don’t have the time to study the intricacies of the constitution, and the absurdity of politics in general. We are too busy making ends meet, and the intricacies of every day living, in the non-privileged realm.
Things need to be simple. Impeach Bush, Elect a president who has convictions he or she will stand by, convictions guided by intelligence integrity, compassion and strength.

It’s true; we do have here, in the US, the stupidest of the stupid, however we also have the smartest of the smart, and all of the myriad shades in between. And we have citizens who have made this their home, from every nation in the world.
So any kind of generalization of the American people is shortsighted to say the least.

If Mr. Ritter is reading these comments, and I think he should. I would like to ask him to please break out of his immature sage role. Quit talking around in circles, truth is simple.

If you are afraid to directly confront the concept of violent revolution in this country then don’t.
Revolution in a complacent society will never happen. But if it were to, it would likely end up very similar to what is happening in Iraq right now.

I have little doubt that this volunteer military that was easily convinced to massacre hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iraq, would also turn on their own people. Perhaps millions would die. Very few, as in Iraq, would be military.

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By 911truthdotorg, May 31, 2007 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

Scott Ritter is part of the problem.
So is Al Gore. He’s against impeachment, too.

The criminal-in-chief is the poster child for impeachment!

From Crooks and Liars:

By all reports, President Bush is more convinced than ever of his righteousness.

Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated “I am the president!” He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of “our country’s destiny.”

If he’s not impeached, The Constitution is dead.

Google videos: 9/11 Press for Truth, Loose Change 2nd Edition

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By Tom Doff, May 31, 2007 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TAO Walker, it is not my place to volunteer you for unwanted tasks, so let’s just call this a suggestion: Let’s give all the National Forests and all other lands currently ‘titled’ to the US government, back to the owners from which they were stolen, the Merry Band of Indians of which TAO Walker is a member.

Not only would this be the fair and just thing to do, but it will give all white eyes a possible place of refuge when the lights go out on our ‘modern civilization’, and our ‘economic miracles’ and our ‘humongous hummers’ run out of gas. When we are reduced to stumbling in the dark, with no ‘gps’ to tell us where to go, a deep, dark, peaceful forest populated by competent folk, Indians, would seem like, and be, true Nirvana. (Aware folk, in time, would find that to be really, really true).

Who would you rather have lead you to berries and nuts, to sustenance, American Indians or the Bush Boobs?

KyOhTah

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By KT, May 31, 2007 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As a veteran, I swore an oath to uphold and defend the constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.  Bush and Co. are not the constitution, but have definitely proven to be its enemies.  Impeachment and then jail time for the whole lot—preferably GITMO since their actions are defined by their own definition of terrorist.

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By kelt65, May 31, 2007 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

The system is way beyond reform; I think at this point it’s destruction must run it’s course. The only activism at this point which is valid is the General Strike: stop going to work and shut the whole damn system down.

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By DennisD, May 31, 2007 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There must be a price to pay for Bu$h Inc. and impeachment should be just the start. Jail time for the whole cabal would be appropriate and I mean a lot of it and not in Club Fed. If it takes the fear of the repercussions of not being honest to keep them that way then let it be so. When our elected and appointed elite start to see enough of themselves heading to prison the rest will get that good old jail house religion real fast. We need to start holding everyone in our broken system of government accountable until it fixes itself.
If we put the top people away everyone else will know they’re not safe and they’ll fall into line. The main problem we have is that we expect the criminals in one branch of government to go after the criminals in the others and out of professional courtesy for each other as criminals, that won’t happen.
An international court is probably the only way to make it happen.

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By Expat, May 31, 2007 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

#74377 by Douglas Chalmers on 5/31 at 5:58 pm

Yes, you are correct.  Thailand has never been colonialized.  This in itself has some very interesting consequences.

As to Democracy; methinks it may be highly over-rated…at least the American version of it.

I have read things that lead me to think the present military leadership is unhappy with the way they have been used.

The problem I think is not so much the military itself, but the corporatism (aka, Fascism), which you addressed well.

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By C.P.T.L., May 31, 2007 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is not only America needs fixing.

Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 and was not a threat to America and you know it, and I know it, and everyone in the world knows it.

Impeachment is the beginning of a process that says to everyone on the planet that rule of law does matter, that what we know to be right, just and decent matters.

Right now we are living in a world changed by the knowledge that lies, subterfuge and crime paid, they got away with it, their Big Lie, their plot, their oil scheme.

Not impeaching President Bush and Vice President Cheney would be one of the biggest political mistakes we see in our lifetimes on the order of a world-altering non-happening: the happening that did NOT occur to put things back the way things should be.

The world has been altered, impeachment is the event that will begin to put things on course again.

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By GDAEman, May 31, 2007 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Charge Bush and Co-Conspirators with Capital War Crimes

The deterrent effect must be more forceful than impeachment in year-8. The international community should muster the power to bring Bush and his co-conspirators up on crimes agains peace. They must face the death penalty.

Then, we need to negotiate their lives in exchange for a re-distribution of the wealth that they have stolen. Some of that will have to be used to pay reparations.

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By nonukes, May 31, 2007 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

But Scott, it’s our DUTY to defend the Constitution!

As usual, most of what you say is basically right - too bad that means nothing to those in power.

I agree that repudiation of unitary power (with global corporate domination) is an essential long-term need for the planet vs. impeachment’s relative ‘quick fix’. And I agree that our Constitution serves well as a litmus test of right action. So consider:

  * it is the duty of a citizen to protect the Constitution, and to hold our representatives accountable to their sworn oaths to do so as well - that duty is independent of the expected outcome of the effort
  * impeachment IS the Constitutional remedy for a holder of high office who violates the law and threatens the well-being of the nation; to ignore this remedy given the Bush assault would be a horrible precedent
  * the impeachment process will help educate the uninterested, uneducated and uncaring citizenry (who will never hear your repudiation ideas, Scott)
  * impeachment will serve to check future tyrants’ acquisition of unitary powers

I say Impeach! Let it begin the repudiation. Then convict the neocon war criminals (yes, I’m convinced that they are sufficiently guilty for an indictment, aka impeachment), then keep working to end consumerism and domination as national ideals.

The biggest problem I see is, “Repudiate weak senators or representatives, especially those with a track record of abrogating their constitutional mandate.” The vast majority of Congress is complicit it this wholesale attack on our nation and has a vital self-interest in covering-up what’s been done.

http://www.capecodpeaceandjustice.org/index.php?q=impeach

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By Tigress Dem, May 31, 2007 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker

Funny at one time I had wondered if getting a delegation together and seeing what our chances might be with the “Other Soverign Nation” within US borders might be an option.

But I think with the whole gambling industry polluting many of the tribal council’s objectivity, that option isn’t all that appealing anymore.

I’ve known Indians personally who I would feel comfortable working with toward a solution, but I would feel just as adrift with tribal politics at this point.

Tell you one thing. I would much rather the national forest land *ush is selling off for profit would be returned to Native Americans. Especially anyone who wanted to teach their own and others about traditional conservation methods that the world could surely use these days.

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 31, 2007 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

Quote #74202 by Expat on 5/31 at 7:10 am: “...Fortunately for Thailand they have the best King in the world extant.  He is revered by the people and his genius has kept the country from disaster….”

Thanks for your interesting comments , Expat, and “Hi!” to your students. Despite appearances, Thailand was never a colonized country and, yes, the Thais have an enduring monarchy based on the integrity of the people at the palace. Could Americans imagine their generals and admirals getting down on their knees to their president?

Then again, what is “a strong democracy” anyway if what you have is only a legitimized form of corruption? Isn’t that what happened to Thai Rak Thai? The trouble though is that, in the Western world, none are strong enough to ban any of the major political parties although the corruption of the system of party campaign funding always leads to a government bought by corporations and sleazy individuals.

Can you imagine a military take-over in the USA? It will never happen because it doesn’t need to. They have already infiltrated the White House and the administration and the military-industrial complex (the war hardware and munitions and services industries and the military) and the Bush administration are one and the same. The USA is run by corporate America and the Pentagon and has been since 1945.

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By Tigress Dem, May 31, 2007 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

WARNING—Average American RANT to follow:

This article is what I would call a circular argument. Talk about beating around the *ush.

F Y I —- The VOTE in NOVEMBER wasn’t about the 1) WAR 2)The pRes 3)Election Fraud 4)A particular candidate’s misdeeds

IT WAS ABOUT ALL OF IT. CORRUPTION HAS CEASED TO BE AMUSING TO AMERICANS. Anyone paying attention is outraged and wants our due process back. NOW.

Start any dang place you want, but let’s get-er-done.

Impeachment of any and all offenders would be a start. More than investigations, convictions are needed for those who have actually done what anyone with eyes can see they have done. Wreck America’s checks and balances and destroy civil liberties with the sweeping stroke of the unitary executive pen. He decalred himself king 5/9/2007.

The DEMS have a herd of cats underneath them. If they donkey around with trying to keep these powers in place, they will see recall elections in spades. We have 8 DEMS running for President. As long as we get the repukes out we can keep weeding DINOs as long as it takes.

*DEM In Name Only

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By Martha, May 31, 2007 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I won’t say “with all due respect” to Scott Ritter and will assume the reason for that is obvious.  (Hint: I am a mother with two teenage daughters.) I thought the point about “What am I supposed to do? Go up to Bush and say I repudiate you” was a good one.  I also laughed each time I saw “repudiation is mental masturbation.”  I have to wonder when Scott Ritter became a Constitutional Law expert but the best point was the person who said that it’s not a we/people issue.  We the people are outraged.  Scott Ritter chooses to point the finger at us.  Point it at Congress.  Congress won’t listen to the people on impeachment the same way they won’t listen on Out of Iraq.  I found the article useless but the comments were lively and informed.  Everybody, even the ones I disagreed with, obviously cares deeply about this topic.

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By heavyrunner, May 31, 2007 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

#

It is possible and completely acceptable to discuss the Constitution without pomposity or being verbose.

The Impeachment process contained in our Constitution is badly flawed, because it does not freeze the process of appointing a Vice President during the impeachment, so Presidents that break the law get to appoint their successor and they are able to negotiate a pardon, like Nixon did.  We needn’t worry about Pelosi taking office.  Cheney would resign and Bush would appoint Mitt Romney or someone equally weird and then resign.  Our Constitution would actually allow that.  The pardons would go down and the mess would continue.

The Founding Fathers did not mention political parties in the Constitution, and probably did not anticipate the possiblity of a shameless criminal cabal taking over and using the appointment of a crony and the pardon power to castrate impeachment.  They had just overthrown a King by force of arms, and probably assumed that the American people would do the same before it got even close to this bad.

Now the impeachment power over the Supreme Court Justices is another matter, because their replacements would have to be appointed by someone else and then approved by the Senate, so their impeachment would be real.

Please vote on the issues next time.  Dennis Kucinich is the only candidate talking about appointing an Attorney General who will seriously consider filing war crime charges against the Bush administration officials after they leave office.  He has my vote and financial support.  And not just for that.  He also is the only candidate talking about single payer universal health care.  He understands energy, transportation, and peace conversion.

What we really need is a complete overhaul to a Parlimentary system where the executive (Prime Minister) leaves office if his party loses the majority in the Congress.  Under that type of modern democracy Bush would have been out last November.

I am not sure how bad things have to get before we make major changes like that, but we are going to really suffer until we do.  And the assumption that actual complete disasterous catastrophe can’t happen first is a false one.  How about nuclear holocaust as and example of what these fools have the power to create by accident or stupidity?

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By Paul Fretheim, May 31, 2007 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is possible and completely acceptable to discuss the Constitution without pomposity or being verbose.

The Impeachment process contained in our Constitution is badly flawed, because it does not freeze the process of appointing a Vice President during the impeachment, so Presidents that break the law get to appoint their successor and they are able to negotiate a pardon, like Nixon did.  We needn’t worry about Pelosi taking office.  Cheney would resign and Bush would appoint Mitt Romney or someone equally weird and then resign.  Our Constitution would actually allow that.  The pardons would go down and the mess would continue. 

The Founding Fathers did not mention political parties in the Constitution, and probably did not anticipate the possiblity of a shameless criminal cabal taking over and using the appointment of a crony and the pardon power to castrate impeachment.  They had just overthrown a King by force of arms, and probably assumed that the American people would do the same before it got even close to this bad.

Now the impeachment power over the Supreme Court Justices is another matter, because their replacements would have to be appointed by someone else and then approved by the Senate, so their impeachment would be real.

Please vote on the issues next time.  Dennis Kucinich is the only candidate talking about appointing an Attorney General who will seriously consider filing war crime charges against the Bush administration officials after they leave office.  He has my vote and financial support.  And not just for that.  He also is the only candidate talking about single payer universal health care.  He understands energy, transportation, and peace conversion.

What we really need is a complete overhaul to a Parlimentary system where the executive (Prime Minister) leaves office if his party loses the majority in the Congress.  Under that type of modern democracy Bush would have been out last November.

I am not sure how bad things have to get before we make major changes like that, but we are going to really suffer until we do.  And the assumption that actual complete disasterous catastrophe can’t happen first is a false one.  How about nuclear holocaust as and example of what these fools have the power to create by accident or stupidity?

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By TAO Walker, May 31, 2007 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

A lot of smart, aware, conscientious people “post” here.  Lee (#74265), for just one ready example, observes trenchantly that “....the situation is too far out of hand,” to be any longer susceptible to the kinds of establishmentarianist “remedies” (including impeachment) recommended in this and most all other applicable articles on this site.  The thing is, such noble sentiments and their high-flown accompanying rhetoric’ve been a hallmark of the allamerican character for the entirety of its thankfully rather brief rampage here in Indian Country.  In its actual deeds and daily practices, though, america has a history of coming-up far short of its loftily enscribed but largely only lip-serviced ideals.

What Scott Ritter advocates here today is, unfortunately, altogether in-keeping with that “tradition.”  It is much too little far too late, and fails utterly “....to penetrate to the roots,” (in the words of the Book of Changes) of the problems it proposes to address.  It fails to acknowledge, for example, that the reason theamericanpeoples’ republic was so quickly and easily hijacked from them, by the same entrenched plutoligarchs who invented it in the first place, was their own eager complicity in the long-running criminal enterprise known here in its terminal throes as “The Project for a New American Century.”

That theamericanpeople find their own selfs and each others’ today up Shit Creek (drinking high-priced shit tea), the paper canoe of their Constitution shredded beyond repair even with the very improbable “....blood of patriots” used for glue, their paddles long since tossed away in-favor of a high-horsepower engine they can no longer afford to fuel, can seem shocking only to anybody wrapped-up in that “coccoon” (turning rapidly into a shroud) Mr. Ritter rightly describes as the comfort uber alles, consumerist semi-coma called theallamericandream.

Probably some americans will waste much of what little time remains to them (as americans) trying vainly to do the kinds of “finger-in-the-dike” exercises called-for here and elsewhere.  Many others will just keep-on with business and politics “as usual,” ‘til it all comes off the rails in what promises to be a spectacularly catastrophic series of events.

This old savage offers here a possibly viable alternative.  Americans can surrender, unconditionally, to us “ickche wichasha,” us free wild natural human beings.  They can take their not-all-that-bad chances that we’ll treat them one whole hell of a lot better than ever they have us.  For those among them who still believe they have something, (besides the chains of perpetual debt service) to lose, maybe it’s time they took a good hard look at america’s “balance sheet.”  ‘Cause right now none of ‘em owns even the clothes on her or his back.

No blame….just fact.

HokaHey!

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By Khufu, May 31, 2007 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

Even the responses to this excellent article show the problem involved, as many readers assumed that Ritter is opposed to impeachment, although he explicited states that he isn’t. Yet Truthdig readers are probably among the more intelligent, responsible citizens—sigh.

It’s probably hard for a man like Ritter who is deeply involved in things public not to feel that the American hordes are “void of principle or creed,” and polls showing that around half of Americans endorse torture and the bombing of civilians bear out this view. Still, a person who gives way to contempt for the people can’t benefit them much, especially in a democracy. The people may be ignorant and lazy, but like children, they bear in their hearts the seed of the solution to their own problems. A leader can’t scorn those he would lead, Mr. Ritter. That’s a fact of political life that is more basic than the Constitution.

Ritter’s going back to the basics of the Constitution is wise, but his opponents, the neo-cons, have taken their cue from their alleged godfather, Leo Strauss, and gone to something still more basic. In other words, they ask what it is that makes a documentlike the Constitution and the polity based on it possible in the first place. Such neo-cons as Harvey Mansfield go back to Macchiavelli, particularly his view that new states must be founded on the exercise of ruthless power. From their point of view it is might that makes right, because might is real and right is merely conventional. From this viewpoint, laws are all conventional, as is the concept of rule by law; they’re nice stuff to keep in line the common herd, whose greatest ambition is simply to be left alone. But for the few, those that are ambitious of political power, you have to be willing to use untrammeled force.

That’s the perspective on which the idea of the unitary executive is based; just read Mansfield’s Taming of the Prince alongside his recent WSJ op-ed and Glenn Greenwald’s commentary on the same, and you’ll get the idea. A lot of political people on both sides of the aisle tacitly accept it, especially the apparently pious. If Ritter really wishes to repudiate the Bush agenda, he’ll have to respond to this perspective and offer something better.

But isn’t the Bush agenda just a logical extension of America’s longheld hegemonic ambitions? Isn’t repudiation of Empire a repudiation of 20th century American history? Including, Mr. Ritter, repudiation of covert intelligence operations and perhaps the very existence of the CIA and kindred agencies.

So Ritter is right to take issue with those clamoring for a “practical” solution like impeachment, which would likely be just one more item in the politics-as-entertainment cart. But to really repudiate the Bushevik agenda, he has to go deeper. After all, as Harry Jaffa shows in Crisis of the House Divided, to have an empire or not was the issue at the core of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Find out why Lincoln was opposed to imperial expansion, and you’ll find out why we should repudiate the agenda Bush represents. There is something more basic than either the Constitution or Might Is Right.

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By Tom Doff, May 31, 2007 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ritter has earned repudiation.

Bush deserves impeachment.

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By TAO Walker, May 31, 2007 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

It’s interesting Scott Ritter brings up Article 6 of the Constitution here.  If it were to be conscientiously observed and fully implemented, all those treaties with Indian Nations (presently “honored,” without exception, only in the breach) would be given full force and effect, altering drastically not only the shape of the European “occupation” here on Turtle Island, but the distribution of all the “wealth” derived from its mostly corporate-sponsored and wage/slave carried-out exploitation.

On the other hand, us Natives might be more inclined here in these latter days simply to declare all those broken “agreements” null-and-void, on account of all that official U.S. government (and citizen condoned and abetted) duplicity….or because so many of them were extorted from us anyway, thus rendering them invalid and “inoperative” even before the ink was dry. 

Scott Ritter and many otherwise fairly informed commentors here might bone-up a little on the basics of institutional “architecture.”  The Constitution of the United States of America is not in fact “the foundation” of the make-believe “nation” the mostly European-origened people tried to establish here.  That document, and everything derived from it and added to it, is actually america’s “superstructure.” 

Turtle Island is the living ground upon which all Life here is “based,” and Turtle Island is not what FrostedFlakes (#74235) so cavalierly calls “our (meaning her/his, as an american) country.”
Turtle Island is, always was, and will always be Indian Country.

“No brag….just fact,” ala a “real McCoy.”

HokaHey!

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By Tom Lowe, May 31, 2007 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Basically what Scott Ritter says is valid. But it has a false assumption at its root. That America the Exceptional has fallen from grace in the past six years, but can redeem itself by repudiating the acts of those years.

As Gore Vidal and Chris Hedges have each pointed out in their comments on this site, the problem lies in a mindset that has it’s 40th Anniversary this year: the Cold War drive to run the world by an American agenda. You have to speak truths to that illusion before you can hope for change.

And look what trying to do that got Martin Luther King Jr. 39 years ago…

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By kelt65, May 31, 2007 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Scott,

It’s too late for this.

At a bare minimum, the following things would have to happen:

corporations would have to have most of the privileges and “rights” they’ve won through the courts taken away; that model would be replaced with the worker owned co-op

the entire news media would have to switch to a non profit model (at the least) with no advertising

campaign contributions would have to be abolished

a moratorium would have to be declared on image based advertising

the education system, which is based on the Prussian Empire’s model, would have to be abolished, and redone


I’m afraid the implosion will have to run its course.

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By Pablo, May 31, 2007 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

Just as Ronald Reagan was a Richard Nixon on steroids, comparing Iran Contra with Watergate, so too is George Bush a Ronald Reagan on steroids comparing the misdeeds of his administartion compared with Reagan’s.
I shutter to think what precedents are being laid now for the next ‘pub in office.

It’s too bad that the dems choose to play along citing political expediency when lives are being lost each day because of Bush policies. When politics come face to face with morality, politics should come second.

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By LoveOverGold, May 31, 2007 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

and how does one “repudiate”? do I walk up to bush and say"I repudiate you.” I mean really, the only solution is IMPEACH Bush, Cheney, Rice, Gonzales, all of the lying bastards that led us to unnecessary war.
p.s.
The picture of bush looks like he’s playing the “squish your head” game. heh.

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By Billy the Dik, May 31, 2007 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

‘Tis true, but this side of sending the entire administration, their handlers, and their families to the front lines and/or Git Mo, what will ever drive home the point through such greedy, pathetic, lying skulls?

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By Hammo, May 31, 2007 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

As Ritter indicates, there may be downsides to impeachment. It might not accomplish what is required.

When Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for any crimes Nixon might have committed (he had not been charged), we saw how simply replacing a president might be counterproductive in some ways.

Food for thought in:

“Going in circles: Vietnam, Iraq, calls for impeachment”

PopulistAmerica.com
Populist Party of America
January 14, 2007

http://www.populistamerica.com/going_in_circles_vietnam_iraq_calls_for_impeachment

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By nikto, May 31, 2007 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Impeachment?

Of Bu$hCo?

You’ll get much better results with this
2-step process:

1.Waterboarding

2. Drawing and quartering (use 2 pickup trucks instead of the “strong steeds” that were such a crowd-pleaser in the middle-ages).

Maybe….Iron Maidens anyone?

Do they come in Cheney and Rove’s sizes?

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By buckles, May 31, 2007 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

The Congress has a duty to impeach, regardless of the current attention span of citizens. Perhaps it would take the scandal of another impeachment to give people a wake-up call—I would hope that, if nothing else, would be carried by the networks. Never give up… IMPEACH!

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By Josh Robinson, May 31, 2007 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You lay a lot of blame on “we the people” for our apathy and inaction, but in reality, many of “us people” do and are continuing to care and take action.  We came out in droves to elect new representitives, in an expression of our will, our desire that Bush be repudiated, that something change.  However, it seems our representitves have failed us, have done nothing. I don’t think this is a case of a complacent ignorant populace, only the case that the govenment is not truly working for us people, they only serve their corporate masters and have become so entrenched and corrupt that the system is broken.  We need a viable third party or more to shake up the corruption and tell the demopublicans they can be thrown out, that as I see it is the only hope to restore some “representative” government back into our failing system. 

The only other option is ...

Sic semper tyranis

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By kelley b., May 31, 2007 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Think you’ll rein in the Unitary Executive without impeachment?

You’re kidding yourself.

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By ocjim, May 31, 2007 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

Good analysis and comments, but I must disagree. The problem lies in the tyranny of BushCo, including Cheney, Rove, the Machiavellian, amoral propagandist, and Bush himself. When the Democrats and Pelosi came in, I agreed with no impeachment, but now it is evident that BushCo could do untold damage in their short period remaining in office: they could attack Iran, further intermably alienate allies and enemies. The corrupt BushCo is even capable of creating a crisis and suspending elections and instituting martial law. This sounds far-fethced but so did the tyranny of Bush before 9/11.

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By Mark A. Goldman, May 31, 2007 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve been a strong proponent of impeachment for a long time.  http://www.gpln.com/commentary.htm 

My thought has been that if we actually pursued impeachment with integrity, it would be an educational experience for every American and others as well… and an important reminder of what our responsibilities are as citizens.  http://www.gpln.com/citizen.htm

But I appreciate Scott’s arguments.  There’s no evidence that anyone in Congress has the heart to fight for the Constitution as our framers would have hoped and expected.  That in itself is a sad commentary on the state of the Union. http://www.gpln.com/halfheartedattempts.htm

Surely, if we were to repudiate Bush and all he stands for, his impeachment would necessarily have to follow.  It would be utter hypocrisy otherwise.  It is the responsibility of every citizen to defend the rule of law.

In any event, I applaud Scott’s effort to improve the conversation.  Bush needs to be repudiated and we all need to take responsibility for how far we’ve drifted away from our roots.  Impeachment is not enough, but it is surely a necessary component to our defense of the Constitution.

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By Lee, May 31, 2007 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bumper stickers??
Trot down to your local stationery store and buy some repositionable bumper sticker paper. Figure out how to print it or get your kid to help and you will have any kind of bumper sticker you want. It won’t mess up your car or whatever you put it on and you can just peel it off whenever you want. 21st century color printer empowerment.

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By QuyTran, May 31, 2007 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

“Coup d’état” will be good enough for these criminals.

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By Dale Headley, May 31, 2007 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No president in American history more deserves to be impeached than George W. Bush.  Not even close!  However, at this stage of the game, it would be a wasted exercise.  George Bush is the lamest of lame ducks; and his remaining tenure is so short that even a successful impeachment, which is highly unlikely, thanks to Republicans’ refusal to face truth and reality, would be unproductive.  Meanwhile, it would take away much valuable time Congress should be spending on solving problems.  And, now that we finally have a Congress that is solving problems, we’d better not jinx it.

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By Lee, May 31, 2007 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A very meaty piece. Thank you Scott and thank you Truthdig. Scott did not say we shouldn’t impeach, only that we shouldn’t see impeachment as a fix all. Impeach early and impeach often, but don’t throw out the driver, without first grabbing the steering wheel. I think what Scott is saying is that we all must have a hand on that wheel and that we are far too willing to let someone else do the driving while we crank up the stereo.

I wonder what Scott thinks of Mike Gravel’s national initiative proposal? But on the issue of impeachment, it seems like an excellent tool, if, as Scott says the American people are willing to actually involve themselves in the process and in its aftermath. I agree that impeachment by itself is hollow. Possibly worse than hollow if the act of impeachment lulls people into thinking their job is now completed and they can get back to buying that Hummer to show themselves off in the neighborhood.

What Scott said is that the situation is too far out of hand to expect impeachment alone to fix it. And this makes sense. Before we impeach we should think the entire situation through more thoroughly. So hopefully that gives all of us who relish the prospect of impeachment the impetus to better understand our constitutional rights and to discuss those rights with other members of our communities. I would personally like to impeach both Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, but also Nancy Pelosi along with the majority of her distinguished (Bush enabling) colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

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By tdbach, May 31, 2007 at 11:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Ritter speaks with idealistic passion, which is to say without much practical good sense. That isn’t to disparage him or his ideas - such voices are indispensable to a democratic society. But following him uncritically would lead one to a dead end, with an empty stomach and empty pockets.

All that business about repudiation feels good, but gets us nowhere. Impeachment, on the other hand, will feel good to some, awful to others, and vaguely uncomfortable to most, but WILL get us somewhere. That somewhere may or may not be the dethroning of this disastrous administration, but it will certainly be - or at least, if the process is followed as it should be - the truth. We need to know the truth about what has been going on. Congress needs subpoena power to make Rove and other administration operatives testify. Let the judgment stand on the truth, the facts.  I may have my preconceived ideas about the culpability of this crowd, but I for one am willing to accept whatever outcome the facts dictate.

Assuming widespread abuses of power come to light (and if that’s not the case, we’re all barking up the wrong tree anyway), then the repudiation so wished for will have a lot better chance of being realized.

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By Mr. Somerset, May 31, 2007 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

Oh, Scott. Give it a break. IMPEACH this cretin of a fool!. Justifying this antichrist’s administration in your long winded essay leaves me tired. This country should go after this nefarious bastard and impeach him.
DONT talk about justice and then seque to the foothills from impeachment. I dont want this ending up like the 6 bastards BUSH 1 pardoned after IRAN CONTRA. And Papa Bush gets away with it then as will his son if justice does not prevail.
Remind people ifjustice stands for anything. You can’t let this criminal off the hook; god knows what other clandestine trouble he’s already got the country in that we know nothing about.
The process must change; you can’t let so egregious a liar and crook dance away. It will only further cement in the nation’s eye,and rightly so, that the rich-powerful and wealthy get away with big crimes and that justice is a fantasy.
It is worse than hypocritical not to impeach given Bush’s cataclysmic failure in Iraq, his lying and administrations many criminal offenses and viscious retaliatory practices. If ever the framers had a classic example of necessary impeachment, Bush is it. He must go. He is the arche angel and he must be excised from the body politic. Repudiation? Go tell Harry Reid, owner of the “gentlemens agreement”. We need to impeach Bush and as many else as possible and continue oversight and hammer away to get out of IRAQ with a no condition bill and a timetable.
The body politic has always been rotten and we need to purge it more often so the stench of corruption doesn’t waft to far.

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By Leefeller, May 31, 2007 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

Ritter is correct in saying the problem is inherent in both parties. Great article to get the thought processes going.

Even as one of the ignorant masses, I have seen the lack of integrity, absence of accountability and blatant corruption pervasive in both parties.  For example, the fact that Hillary believes it is acceptable to accept favors and money, plus she even argues that she is not breaking the rules of the Senate, so it is all right?  This shows a classic lack of leadership.  Hillary’s case is one of many in congress. Accepting money and favors from big money deep pockets is nothing more than a bribe to me.  Hillary’s response sounds like a 9 year old when she says “everyone else is doing it”.  This is not leadership, this is business as usual showing the corrosive attitude from those in power. 

It may be prudent and helpful to fight apathy by having community workshops and local forums to increase public knowledge of the Constitution and civic responsibility, do it as individuals.

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By gdoodle, May 31, 2007 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

I applaud Scott Ritter’s article, which mirrors my own thoughts so articulately. As an expatriate Canadian living in the US, my astonishment started when there were not riots in the streets after the 2000 election debacle. For years, my own hope has been to witness a powerful grass-roots movement grow in America whose main purpose is to seek out and ultimately destroy any traces of this manipulative, Machivellian cabal that has been at work since at least the time of Reagan.

Unfortunately, I have a gut feeling that for the average American, things are going to have to get a lot more uncomfortable before any significant number will “get it”, put down their tools, and march on the festering, corrupt centers of power. I am certainly not exempt, but it seems like the majority is just too fat, warm, and ignorant. Our enemies, both within and without know it, and are taking full advantage. The real question is when we will attain some sense of self-awareness. Perhaps $7.00/gallon for gasoline is a good place to start.

I think Scott is right on: We have met the enemy and he is us. Without a complacent, ignorant populace, the fascist corporatist government we live under could not have come to be, and all other issues follow from this fact (Iraq war, 9/11, domestic spying, Katrina response, etc.). We need to think about treating the disease and not the symptoms.

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By Jim, May 31, 2007 at 11:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excellent analysis by Scott Ritter but though I understand the point of not impeaching, I do not concur. When the new Congress was swept in, I did agree with Nancy Pelosi, but since then BushCo has demonstrated its capability of doing great damage in the short time it has left. Also BushCo is unique in its abuses with the skilled Machiavellian propaganda tools of an amoral Karl Rove. It is true that impeaching Bush and Cheney does not remove the plutocratic infrastructure already laid out, but it could eliminate the threat of radical and injurous moves like bombing Iran and declaring martial law and suspending elections. I know that sounds far-fetched but the tyranny of a George Bush was far-fetched before 9/11.

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By Ryan, May 31, 2007 at 11:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I believe that impeachment does send a message to future presidents not to abuse their power. It especially will remind this idiot along with his idiot party that they need to produce responsible candidates. We must remember that our president is at least bound by the oath he took before becoming president. Such an oath states he must uphold the constitution. Even your most conservative politican will believe that wiretapping (before law was in place), is unconstitutional.

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By Mr. Somerset, May 31, 2007 at 11:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh, Scott. Give it a break. IMPEACH this cretin of a fool!. Justifying this antichrist’s administration in your long winded essay leaves me tired. This country should go after this nefarious bastard and impeach him.
DONT talk about justice and then seque away from impeachment. I dont want this ending up like the 6 bastards BUSH 1 pardoned after IRAN CONTRA. And Papa Bush gets away with it as will his son if justice does not prevail.

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By Stephen Smoliar, May 31, 2007 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

Back when we were all rallying behind Jim Webb for his response to the State of the Nation address, I wrote a piece on my own blog (inspired by Mr. Ritter, among others) on the theme of “Secular Messianism.”

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2007/01/secular-messianism.html

The unitary executive is consistent with this theme.  We are so enslaved by the stories the media feed us that we believe that problems can only be solved by some “man on a white horse” (known in more academic circles at the DEUS EX MACHINA).  “We the people” can only mobilize behind Mr. Ritter’s recommendations once we get the Kool-Aid of Secular Messianism out of our systems.  Things being what they are, however, my guess is that the consumption of that Kool-Aid will continue to increase!

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By FrostedFlakes, May 31, 2007 at 10:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Repudiation. Maybe. Impeachments. Immediately!! This country is ours’. We have to take it back!! Corporate power has to be limited and contained. The Supreme Court , the joke that it is, is due for a major restructuring, beginning with the loss of lifetime tenures. Congress has to be held accountable for their lack of public responsiveness, and no more career politicians. The Executive branch should be changed so that inept and inefficient leaders can be recalled by the populace without having to rely on Congress to actually do it’s job. And all high level government appointments should be under the same scrutiny as the branch which placed them. It’s been over 200 years since the last American revolution and we are more than due for another. Let us not forget within our arrogance, that most of the developed world has existed far longer than the U.S. and just because we’re the supposed mightiest that it doesn’t make us the wisest. Everything must change eventually. Unfotunately, at this present time it’s for the worse.Please help save my country; stand up and hold all bad elements accountable for their deeds!!

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By chileno, May 31, 2007 at 10:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Any discussion over whether to impeach or not is basically mute anyway. It’s a pity,but since the Democrat majority Congress caved in to Bush by giving in to continue funding his disaster in Iraq, they’ll never have the guts to bring up impeachment, especially with an election year coming up. The only exception might be if he were to decide to invade Iran without congressional approval.

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By blueshift, May 31, 2007 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

And what is the mechanism for repudiation? It’s not in any of my copies of the Constitution. Getting the American consumer (notice that I didn’t use the term ‘citizen’) out his consumerist stupor will take years, maybe decades. But impeachment is a practical (if imperfect) tool that can be put to the test in weeks.

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By Bill Blackolive, May 31, 2007 at 9:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That structural engineers and scientists are willing to say the official physics of 911 are not possible shows consipracy is not mere theory.  I can see at patriotsquestion911.com/media from what Scott Ritter offers, and from what he is also quoted as having said, that he very well knows this much.  We can run along in place, or we can get real.

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By Ryan, May 31, 2007 at 9:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is why I go weeks without coming by TruthDig. 
I care what Scott Ritter says because?  TruthDig promotes him because? 
I thought this was a left site.  I come by and there’s Republican Ritter (who voted for Bush in 2000, for Dole in 1996, for Bush in 1992, for Bush in 1988, for Reagan in 1984 . . .) who I have serious issues with due to his arrest record. 
I care what Scott Ritter says because?
Impeachment is the answer.  Ritter doesn’t know the law.  Ritter’s not a Democrat.  Ritter needs to find an outlet on the right.  But at least Chicken Little’s not screaming “Iran!  Iran!  Iran!” like he has since Feb. 2005.

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By Thomas McCullock, May 31, 2007 at 9:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Harry Reid: wussification, not leadership.

The Democrats will never impeach Bush, or do much of anything else.

We might as well have voted Republican.

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By Herk, May 31, 2007 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

I’m afraid I must disagree with Mr. Ritter. If the high crimes and misdemeanors go unpunished, it sets a precedent for future administration officials who may then commit the same crimes with impunity. And it demonstrates that these officials are above the law. Impeachment would be a very good start to bringing the government and the country back under the protective umbrella of the Constitution. We must start somewhere.

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By SamSnedegar, May 31, 2007 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

There is only one way. The Executive and SC have ganged up on the Legislative, rendering it nugatory or toothless.

Unless and until the Supremely Corrupt Court is held accountable and caused to change its corrupt ways, there will be no democracy in America . . .

My suggestion? Every single vote by the justices should be examined for bias, and if any or all of them are guilty of repeated political voting as opposed to rendering verdicts based on solid law, then those deemed to have made political decisions will be defrocked and jailed for treason, and their replacements will be examined both with respect to their history and their present political affiliations, and those with ANY political bias will not be acceptable for the Court.

I for one am sick and tired of votes that I can predict beforehand, even though I know nothing of the underlying law with regard to the matters under consideration. It is plain that the Corrupt Court votes the way its masters tell it to vote, and unless and until we eliminate that corruption in the Court, democracy will remain at least in a coma.

The only impeachment that could pass and bring removal to the Bush-Cheney gang of thugs would be for sex crimes. The Republican members of the Senate won’t convict and remove their own to deliver the country to President Pelosi, so impeachment is not going to happen, because it would be a waste of time and a distraction.

Besides, if Scott Ritter would just own up that oil is why we are in Iraq and why the Bushitters are so good at thwarting the Democrats, he’d have to admit that most of the Democrats are also rich bastards who would stand to lose nearly everything if our oil theft isn’t successful. Just like rich Ritter; just like rich Scheer; just like rich Conason; just like rich Rich; just like rich Coco; just like rich all the pundits and one-time honest investigative reporters.

I tend to agree that an impeachment won’t do it; needs to be a counter coup by a group who want to RESTORE democracy to the USA. In case you haven’t noticed, the Constitution no longer applies, and the legislative body can pass all the laws it likes, but it hasn’t the power to enforce them, and so the executive and the corrupt court have won the day. Perhaps they are benign dictators, but dictators they are nonetheless, and a totalitarian government prevails.

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By Jodin Morey, May 31, 2007 at 8:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Impeachment IS repudiation.

You keep impeaching presidents until they learn they have to obey the law.  If we took your position on murder, we’d just stop prosecuting murderers.  It sounds more like fear.

Holding government officials accountable for their actions strengthens our democracy. Letting lawlessness stand weakens it.

Sometimes reprimanding a child (president) doesn’t make the family (Washington) a happy place. But you still have to do it so the child and his siblings (future presidents) learn about accountability. Impeachment is horribly UNDERUSED, which is part of why there’s so much corruption at the top. Politicians must learn to fear it. People think things are better because we improved the make-up of our law-making body, Congress. But Bush is BREAKING LAWS. So, it doesn’t matter how many laws Congress passes if they don’t serve their OVERSIGHT duties as well by impeaching. They swore to defend the Constitution. What are laws without enforcement?

Besides, Bush can still do a lot of damage. Our troops, Iran, and our Supreme Court are all endangered so long as he remains in office. Waiting until Bush is out of office will leave us complicit in any further crimes he commits. The Union of Concerned Scientists has estimated that the death toll from a “tactical” nuclear weapon of the kind Bush is contemplating using in Iran would be at minimum 3 million men, women, and children. The path of death would stretch across country boundaries into India.

Perhaps worst of all, we set a terrible precedent by allowing Bush to stay in office after he’s broken so many laws. Impeachment will stop future presidents from using Bush’s actions as justification for even more lawbreaking and erosion of civil liberties.

Folks should send in “Do-It-Yourself Impeachments” from http://impeachforpeace.org

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By Argonaut, May 31, 2007 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

Really excellent article. We the People have enabled this administration. If we don’t change our ways, blaming/impeaching Bush is moot. I do have hope, though. The man is such a complete failure at everything but screwing up that all but the brain-dead are figuring it out. If Bush had been *competent*, we’d be toast for sure.

Now, how do we get ‘repudiation’ on to a bumper sticker?

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By kevin99999, May 31, 2007 at 8:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree that mere impeachment is not enough but for different reasons. Given the gravity of his criminal acts, he should be tried before the international court and appropriately punished if found guilty.

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By Expat, May 31, 2007 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

#74177 by Douglas Chalmers on 5/31 at 5:55 am

With all do respect, you couldn’t be more wrong.  I go by the moniker, Expat; I have been living in Thailand for many years.  Thailand has never been a strong democracy.  Please look at their history of coups.  Don’t forget, we are presently under the rule of a military junta. 

Their “solution” is very likely to cause many problems.  King Phumipol (pronounced Phumipon) last week advised that no matter what, “There would be no good result from the courts decisions”.  He then pleaded for the people to be calm and think of the good of the country.

Fortunately for Thailand they have the best King in the world extant.  He is revered by the people and his genius has kept the country from disaster.

Democracy here has been less than impressive.  We do have journalistic censorship; TV, newspapers, internet (I couldn’t get youtube for a month), and radio stations. 

I can certainly understand and sympathize with your view; however, I am happy to be here in Thailand.  It’s preferable to the present fascist administration in America.

You might be interested to know that the majority of my senior high school students think George Bush is, how should I put it, “a very bad guy”.

Cheers

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By Tom Doff, May 31, 2007 at 8:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here are some simple truths:

Those of us who presume to think of ourselves as ‘rational, men of reason’, know these things:

1. Bush is a madman, a demented boob, living a fantasy far divorced from reality.

2. The majority of the US citizenry are demented boobs, living a fantasy far divorced from reality.

3. If we do not accept the above facts, and that we can do nothing about them, then we are madmen, demented boobs, living a fantasy far divorced from reality.

So, what to do? The least we can do is impeach the miserable SOB, if that’s the constitutional step before drawing and quartering, and hooking up the output cables from Hoover Dam to the bastard’s testicles.

Sweet, sweet revenge, for the callous, unthinking atrocities he has committed; the making of an object lesson for future abominations who might be tempted to follow his path; and just deserts for the dummy’s malfeasance.

The fact that he’s mindless should be no defense, that should be the accusation to the public who tolerated him. We must rid ourselves forever of this despicable one, this hypocritical horror, leaving only the traces to be found in history books, and the seemingly endless marked graves, and mounds of unmarked communal tombs as a remembrance, a warning that ‘This Evil Must Not Recur’.

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By CARTERJ, May 31, 2007 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

Bravo, Scott Ritter. Excellently written, and beautifully put.

(And Cindy Sheehan, you have earned your rest. We’ll take it from here.)

To sum up your article with a touch of humor, Scott, our country’s complacent consumerism and ignorant citizenry can be encapsulated in this brief sentence;

“Me and him went to Wal-Mart.”

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By CARTERJ, May 31, 2007 at 7:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bravo, Scott Ritter. Keep up the good fight.

And thank you, Cindy Sheehan, for all you have done. We’ll take it from here; you deserve your rest.

To sum up the ignorance of the electorate and our complacent materialism, these two problems can be addressed with this one simple sentence;

“Me and him went to Wal-Mart.”

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By colinwells, May 31, 2007 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

Shouldn’t the title of the piece be “Impeachment plus repudiation?”

I don’t agree that repudiation has to mean utterly eliminating all undesired elements from our body politic. That itself has a chilling sound of jackboots. Probably we’ll always have such elements. I think that impeachment itself, to the degree that we execute it (better to impeach both Bush and Cheney and remove them from office, for example, than to merely impeach Bush) represents a form of repudiation.

I also have more faith in the Democratic candidates to revert to traditional American political values when elected. I just hope that faith is not misplaced, or else Scott is right.

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By fightthepower, May 31, 2007 at 7:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I couldnt agree more with you Douglas.. I think the only way that is going to happen is if they can figure out how to capatilize on it by making it a reality tv show or something. why they are at it they can get rid of the democrats too! and campaign finance! also, can you name one other “democratic” (and I use this term in its loosest sense) where 2 families have “ruled” a country for 28 consecutive years? well, if that nightmare hillary wins, that’s what you’ll have!

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By Hammo, May 31, 2007 at 7:05 am Link to this comment

In Ritter’s article, it seems especially interesting that he goes back to the days of the American Revolution, the drafting of the Constitution and looks at the thinking of the Founding Fathers.

Ritter also addresses the psychology of the American people and the crucial parts we play in our society.

These two streams of thought seem to be useful to align the American people today with the motivation and sacrifice of Americans in the early days of our Republic.

Related to these ideas:

“Liberty, whiskey and hemp”

PopulistAmerica.com  
Populist Party of America
May 15, 2007

http://www.populistamerica.com/liberty_whiskey_and_hemp

-  -  -

“Winds of change again blowing across America”

PopulistAmerica.com  
Populist Party of America
April 20, 2007

http://www.populistamerica.com/winds_of_change_again_blowing_across_america

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 31, 2007 at 6:55 am Link to this comment

Thailand has a really good solution. After their prime minister was exiled for corruption last year, this week his political party was closed down by their supreme court. Now, they are are strong democracy…....

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By CARTER JOSEPH, May 31, 2007 at 6:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bravo, Scott Ritter. Keep fighting the good fight, and to Cindy Sheehan, thank you for your bravery, You deserve your rest.

On a lighter note, Mr. Ritter, all that is wrong with American education and consumerism can be summed up in this simple sentence.

“Me and him went to Wal-Mart.”

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