That's a partial quote from Chalmers Johnson in the book "Nemesis" p 268 (I added the Impeach). I am rapidly reaching a point in which MY *No Confidence* vote includes Congress. I was vastly disappointed when the Democrats decided that impeachment was off the table when they won the majority in the House. Why? Because impeachment is *the* remedy for the utter disregard Bush and his administration have for the Constitution and the law. We already know that the Republicans were quite content, in their immorality and corruption, to go along with the Bush administration; what must it take for the ones who are in charge, whether Republican OR Democrat to show Americans that they really have appreciation and respect for the rule of law?
I'm listening to Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein in a conference telling how they will be offering a *No Confidence* vote for Alberto Gonzales next week, the last straw being James Comey's Godfather-like tale of the President's Attorney attempting to coerce a signature to okay illegal spying outside of FISA from a man in the ICU unit of the hospital. But, frankly, although this might finally make Alberto G step down as Attorney General, it is not the constitutional remedy for malfeasance. And that, as Comey described in his testimony, came from Bush.
COMEY: Mrs. Ashcroft reported that a call had come through, and that as a result of that call Mr. Card and Mr. Gonzales were on their way to the hospital to see Mr. Ashcroft.
SCHUMER: Do you have any idea who that call was from?
COMEY: I have some recollection that the call was from the president himself.
So Bush was the one who, according to Comey, called up Mrs. Ashcroft to tell her *something* about Alberto G and Andrew C coming to see her husband, who was critically ill, in order to bypass Comey, who was at that point acting attorney general. The reason that seems most logical to me as to why they would take such offensive measures is that, without a continuing signoff on Bush's surveillance activities, which undoubtedly included citizens of this country, WITHOUT A FISA WARRANT, Bush et al could be subject to criminal prosecution.
Citizens of this country have already, in effect, voted for their own *No Confidence* vote in Bush; his poll numbers are extremely low and he's been characterized as the worst president ever. People don't like the direction he's taking this country. But, for me, it's beyond that, and it doesn't stop with Alberto G. From *Nemesis* p 266.
After the press revealed that the National Security Agency was illegally eavesdropping on the private conversations of American Citizens and that President Bush had trashed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the majority leadership in Congress introduced legislation that, in essence, would have retroactively forgiven him. As the New York Times editorialized "Imagine being stopped for speeding and having the local legislature raise the limit so that you won't have to pay the fine. It sounds absurd, but it's just what is happening to the 28-year-old law that prohibits the president from spying on Americans without getting a warrant from a judge. It's a familiar pattern. President Bush ignores the Constitution and the laws of this land, and the cowardly, rigidly partisan majority in Congress helps him out by rewriting the law he's broken".
(Note: That was when a Republican majority was in Congress, but make no mistake that the Bush adminsitration CONTINUES to try to get off the hook for spying. Only a week or so ago, there was a Senate FISA hearing where the government pressed its case to have no criminal penalties for those breaking the law. VIDEO- See Bill Nelson about it here and the government stooge about it here-ie, the person who DECIDES TO PROSECUTE is... the AG.
And it isn't only spying on Americans. It's all the things Diane Feinstein mentioned in her comments for a no confidence vote in AG-but the FINGER NEEDS TO BE POINTED AT BUSH, as well.
... [The Graham amendment] states that "no court, justice or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider habeus corpus applications on behalf of those incarcertaed by the Department of Defense in prisons at Guanatenemo Bay, Cuba. ... It effectively repudiated the Supreme Court's 2004 decision in Rasul v Bush, which gave non-US citizens at Guantanemo the right to file claims base on habeus corpus in the federal courts. The legal scholar Brian Foley explains that habeus corpus forces the exective branch " to justify its detention of any person. It is a check for preventing the Executive from becoming too powerful. After all, an Executive that can jail anyone it dislikes, for as long as it likes, is a formidable power indeed".
And thats' only a second example. We also have the torture and rendition.
Bob Herbert: "If kidnapping and torturing an innocent man is O.K, what's not O.K?"
Who's looking out to stop this madman? Not Democrats, because they have decided NOT to try to impeach him, which, again, is THE Constitutional remedy. I saw Sheldon Whitehouse on Hardball the other day give his viewpoint on why. Chris Mathews asked him about impeachment of Alberto G.
WHITEHOUSE: That I think is the only legal means. But I think if we continue to put the pressure on, it may get to the point where even if the president‘s highest purpose is to get his administration out of Washington without further indictment, it‘s still not worth it to carry the weight of Attorney General Gonzales and his incompetent and very unprincipled administration of the Department of Justice.
MATTHEWS: You mention the weight. Do you have enough weight to impeach and convict him and remove him from office?
WHITEHOUSE: You know, after the run that the Republicans took at President Clinton, I think there‘s a real bad odor in the public‘s mind about that. It is the one device that is at our disposal. It‘s been used in the past, for secretaries of war back in the Civil War. But I think right now, everybody‘s focus is on really trying to get to the bottom of this and find out for once and for all what happened.
Is that REALLY the takeway that Democrats want citizens to have? That they won't impeach those who disrespect the Constitution because they are afraid people won't like it? Yes, there was a bad odor about Clinton, but it was because, to a lot of us, it seemed absurd to go after Clinton for his private sex life (and as we found out recently, Newt Gingrich was screwing an intern at the SAME TIME). Doesn't mean that what Clinton did wasn't scummy; of COURSE it was. But the bad odor was about the way Republicans went about this. That has NOTHING to do with what Bush has been doing, which is far, far more serious. And the *bad odor* right now is from Congress doing zip about showing that they are the leaders in upholding the law and the Constitution BY beginning impeachment proceedings against Bush AND ANY OTHERS, including Alberto G, that deserve it, TOO.
The separation of powers that the Founders wrote into our Constitution as the main bulwark against dictatorship increasinly appears to be a dead letter, with the Congress no longer capable of asserting itself against presidential attempts to monopolize power.... Congress, which the Founders believed would be the leading branch of government, is simply not up to the task of confronting a modern Julius Caesar. As former representative Bob Barr, a conservateive from Georgia concludes "The American people are going to have to say ' Enough of this business of justifying everything as necessary for the war on terror.'
And, for me, if Congress right now cannot use the ONE remedy we have constitutionally to stop the man who is trampling on the law, then why do ANY of them deserve my vote?