Thursday, August 11, 2005

Just Label it "Brain Dump"

The title comes from the J-Sister's advice on how to deal with my desire to post some thoughts from the past few months but lack of time to properly edit my previously written brain dumps. So, as the Americans say, Viola -- here it is, a (mostly) uncorrected/linked/edited screed from late June. J is still in the midst of organizing post-re-move to Ann Arbor, in addition to a summer involving a bit of traveling, surgeries (not for J but for one of his loved ones), reacculturating, house-hunting, and moving, besides normal attempts at research and exercise. This dissertation, apparently, is not going to do itself.

So here for your enjoyment: half-formed J-Thought Brain Dump Part 1.

...Entry for blog, based largely on 6/27/05 Daily Show, Bill Clinton’s “Indiscretion” & distortion of facts vs. the current administration. Also of course, Cheney & Rumsfeld’s lies (links pending). They have given false statements, almost certainly knowingly – were any of these statements before Congress and thus possibly could be made a rallying point from the point of view as a) a personal offense against the Congresspeople lied to (not to mention the public) and b) a criminal offense in defrauding the US government? What other pertinent crimes may apply here? – It’s not lying under oath, seemingly, as the Prez & Co. have largely avoiding saying anything under oath. Of course, one would think the standard for lying to the Public and defrauding Congress would be high enough that it would not be excusable simply because, in the specific cases, the man hadn’t expressly vowed not to lie.

Begin: Draft (very much draft) of open letter for a (Democratic) US Congressperson Re: Impeaching President Bush

What would follow after some sort of preambling…

It (the case for Bush’s impeachment) is not just a case of “They got us, let’s get them,” and it’s not a case of political hardball or the unfortunate “attack politics” of the present day. Looking at the evidence (Carnegie report, Waxman report, Downing street memos plural), I challenge one to come to the conclusion that any political concerns here are as compelling as the possibility of the very real betrayal of the US people implicated here. The argument that the Bush Administration has distorted the truth in the goings on before and since the Iraq War began seems unimpeachable – and the President seems to deserve impeachment. (A strict definition of relevant crimes & impeachment should go here, né?)

In these circumstances, the case of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton is not so much illustrative of something requiring reparation, but rather serves as a precedent of what many members of Congress considered to be the standard in this day and age for impeachment. Any call comparing the present case against now-President Bush to the apparent witch hunt of the former President is easily rebutted with the evidence gathered thus far – the crime, after all, President Clinton was convicted of was lying in the course of an investigation that itself turned up no criminal wrongdoing – at best, superficially similar to the present case before us of lying as the crime itself – a crime that has not resulted in infidelity and contrition but rather in thousands of people’s deaths, debilitation, increasingly desperate lives in the country to be “saved”, and the throwing of billions of dollars after an elusive and possibly falsely supported goal. It is essential to the American people and our very way of life, not to mention the lives and quality thereof of thousands of Iraqis, Afghanis, and many others, that our President’s veracity be clarified in this matter, and I therefore call on our government, our leaders, our commentators, and you personally to do everything in your power to bring an investigation looking to the possible impeachment of President George W. Bush.

Many may say that this is a doomed enterprise, or that it will not be possible while the Democrats are a minority party (or even that overlooking the possibility of impeachable offenses being committed by the White House is necessary to make a return of the Democrats to a majority palatable to a skeptical public). However, I put it to you in the strongest possible terms that I can see few, if any plausible reasons not to begin an investigation of the President immediately, as the job of you and your colleagues as I understand it as one of your constituents, is not to look solely or mostly at strategies to be elected and re-elected, or support your colleagues in doing so, but rather to respond to the best interests of the American people. I therefore say I must reject any argument of political expediency over an investigation into an enterprise that has led us to almost 2,000 US deaths, 16,000???? casualties, hundreds of coalition deaths and casualties, and perhaps most significant of all, between 20 and 100 thousand dead Iraqis – our supposed charges.

The Administration often talks of the needs in this modern and changing age of terrorism, but the American people don’t only need refinement of our “law enforcement tools” but rather a President and appointees who are as close as possible to being beyond reproach. Should an investigation by Congress turn up adequate rebuttals to the Carnegie Report, the Waxman report, and the numerous cases where one gets the impression of dissembling from our government’s Executive branch, then the matter is resolved and the US truly is safer, with a Commander in Chief proven beyond reproach. We cannot, however, afford to take their own word for it, and neither can the many people involved with US interests abroad – lives are being lost, economies ruined, people’s lives worsened and many put in seemingly intractable danger. We all are owed a full explanation, and an investigation if necessary to obtain this. If this is not something you feel you can support, champion, nurture, and agitate for, in this most important of all issues, I cannot fathom why you should be supported, reelected, or even maintain office in the midst of this most grave time for the world, calling on a level of strength, integrity, and sacrifice perhaps unseen in many a year.

Please do not take this as a personal attack on you or the Democratic party, but rather an expression of the urgency I feel this situation warrants. I feel I am asking for nothing that I and we deserve as your constituency, and I hope to see your response in the days and weeks to come.

Hardly ready for primetime, but as I have not written on the Blog in quite a while, this is something I felt I should post, as it is of the gravest important to me (and, as is apparent, I believe it is of the gravest importance for the US, Iraq, and possibly the world).

It should be noted that my Congressperson, John Dingell, is seemingly supporting Rep. John Conyers, who is going to the mat for this. It is not, however, getting much attention – and attention his efforts do get are often uncomplimentary (see i.e. Dana Milbank’s June 17 report, “Democrats Play House to Rally Against the War” and Rep. Conyers’ response to it). I will be posting more on this as soon as I can (there has been a major J-move recently back to Ann Arbor), but in the mean time, take this mean effort as a jumping off point – or further buttressing – of any efforts at finding the truth in these matters. This is not about liking or not liking Bush. This is about, that favorite of all words in D.C., accountability. (Though in D.C., Iñigo Montoya might have reason to say to those who use it, “I do not think it means what you think it means.”)

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