Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.
-- Benjamin Franklin

What it’s all about

As republican troubles in congress and the whitehouse mount, I find myself less and less willing to discuss them here. Unlike most of those on the right, and many on the left, I can’t bring myself to treat this like a football game, cheering on our side, and booing theirs. I wish we could all look at the facts and react to them. This does not mean I don’t view the behavior of the administration as egregious. I do, but until we get over the bickering over which “side” we are on, we can’t get back on the right track.

Here are some facts:

  1. The administration was determined to go to war with Iraq, regardless of the efficacy of sanctions or Iraqi responses to them. The British memos revealed this, confirming what others who had resigned from the administration had previously said.
  2. The administration lied to start the war. This is the essence of Plamegate, not the revelation of a CIA operative. Joe Wilson was proven right. The evidence presented regarding Nigerian uranium was incorrect, and manufactured. The administration had every reason to know this.
  3. The administration has repeatedly attacked anyone who dared to criticize its handling of Iraq. Valerie Plame was exposed to punish Joe Wilson (no one doubts this at this point, the question is who exactly did it, and was it done in a manner that was illegal). Wilson is just one case, revisit Paul ONeill and several other people who have left the administration over disagreements with policy. What is egregious about the Plame affair is that she was a covert operative for the CIA. We can argue whether she was covert at the time, but the CIA originally asked for this investigation because it maintained she was. And, whether she was actively covert or not, she had had contacts overseas which were compromised by this revelation.
  4. Administration officials have lied to cover up their policies regarding Iraq. Of this there is no doubt, the question remaining is did they do it under oath before a grand jury.
  5. Because of the policies resulting in the war in Iraq, one thousand nine hundred and eighty six american service men and women have lost their lives in Iraq. In excess of 15,000 have been wounded.
  6. The administration has repeatedly violated international law in this case, first through our treaties with the UN, then by treating prisoners in ways prohibited by the Geneva convention, and then by authorizing torture both in Guantanemo, and in Iraq. While lower level soldiers have been prosecuted for this, at no point have the officers or administration been held accountable.
  7. The ostensible justifications for the war have been proven false. Not only have no Weapons of Mass Destruction been found, but the administration’s own investigators have found no reason whatsoever to believe that there was an ongoing program to develop such weapons, or that any effort was made to transport them such weapons out of the country prior to the war.
  8. Prior to the war, the Iraqi government had no relationship to the Al Qaeda terrorist network. Since the war, Iraq has been become a prime center of Al Qaeda activities, recruiting many from those upset with the US Invasion.
  9. Rather than paying for itself from oil revenue, as some administration officials originally proclaimed, the invasion and occupation has now cost in excess of two hundred billion dollars. Partially because of this, and partially because of unwarranted tax cuts, the last three years have had the highest national budget deficit, in terms of adjusted dollars, in the history of the country. This money will have to be repaid. Borrowing now, and tax cuts now, amount to tax hikes for our children.

Many other illegal or dishonorable actions have been committed by the administration: illegally paying journalists (with taxpayer money) to promote their agenda on the air without disclosure of the agreement, no-bid contracts to companies with which the administration has a financial relationship, appointing unqualified people to important posts (a vetrinarian to lead the office of women’s health??, a Judge coordinator for horseshows to handle FEMA, and more), and many others. Ignoring those for the moment, though, the above list is by itself damning.

The Whitewater investigation lasted 5 years, and cost eighty million dollars. The congressional investigation of Whitewater lasted 13 months. At the end, the only thing that Bill Clinton was charged with was lying (under oath, admittedly) about his sex life. For this, the nation was brought to a standstill as he was impeached by the senate.

Forgive my naivete, but I believe lying to start a war resulting in tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths is more of a crime than lying about sex.

Given the standard set by Clinton and the Whitewater investigation, it is long past time to impeach and remove George W. Bush.

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