United States Constitution, Article 2, Section 2: The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
Impeachment at this juncture and based on the revelations over , regardless of the arguments against it, is a moral imperative. Bush will no doubt pardon anyone that has any connection to any wrongdoings, and even though Obama and Clinton talk about investigating the crimes committed in this administration, I think we all probably know how difficult it will be to get anything meaningful done in that respect, although if either of them do, I will be so very pleasantly surprised.
That being said, the arguments of “not enough time” or “not enough votes” all melt away when compared to the implications and consequences of ignoring and tacitly approving of torture. Torture is the most heinous and sadistic of acts that I can possibly think of. I would be willing to be there are millions, nay, tens of millions of Americans who agree with me. Yet, for us tens of millions, we will be known as “those people who torture”.
And it will not be forgotten, nor will anybody be forgiven (not to mention our troops being at greater risk for being tortured if captured).
Illegal wiretapping, while a violation of the Constitution and most certainly an impeachable offense, is not a crime against humanity. Outing an entire covert network of nuclear proliferation tracking, certainly more impeachable than lying about a blowjob, was never something that most people could understand how directly they were impacted by that. Ignoring subpoenas, destroying evidence of torture, lying to Congress and misleading the American people wasn’t something that apparently caught on in terms of anyone in Congress caring enough to pursue.
But torture is different.
Torture is subhuman. Torture is clearly illegal. Torture is a stain on the entire country. It is never “for noble causes”. It is never “right”, it is never “just” and it is never acceptable on any legal or moral level whatsoever.
Criminals associated with the administration were pardoned and the country “moved ahead” in a number of prior republican administrations. And while some of these criminals did commit some heinous crimes, I don’t believe that top administration officials - including the President - had such a hand in directing, approving and planning the torture of other humans - no matter what those humans were suspected of doing (or merely being associated with).
And this is the difference. Whether we approve of Bush and his administration or not, he does represent this country. As does/did Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Tenet, Powell and Ashcroft. They are the face of “America’s bullying foreign policy”.
And they have associated this country with being torturers.
There is only one remedy that will ensure that the perpetrators will not get away with it. And to make any argument against this remedy ignores the consequence of “America tortures” will have on us for many years to come. It can be used as an excuse for attacks on our troops. It can be used as an excuse to attack US interests around the world. It can be used as an excuse to attack us here in America. It can be used as a reason to not ever take us seriously again.
What happens now is what will define us as a nation.
Please join the ACLU in demanding a special prosecutor to investigate the role that was played by the highest officials in the Bush administration - including Bush himself in the acts described above.
And please spread the word - even if the corporate media doesn’t think that this is important enough - it is how we act now with respect to accountability that will determine who we are as a country. It has been almost two weeks since this story broke and there is still a near complete blackout on this story.