By David Swanson – Sat, 2007-12-29
The past year has seen the public exposure of enough evidence of old, ongoing, and new crimes, abuses of power, and impeachable offenses by George Bush and Dick Cheney that in any remotely representative democracy, these two thugs would be out of office and behind bars. The chief reason this does not shock us is that the same could be said, and was said, of each of the previous six years. It’s been quite a millennium so far for Washington, D.C.
Some of us began this year expecting something different. We had worked to elect Democratic majorities in Congress so that we might move in the direction of impeachment. If we didn’t get to impeachment right away, we thought, at least real investigations with the power of subpoena would push a reluctant Congress in the right direction. With House committees having come within a vote of starting investigations, with the Democrats having shut down the Senate to try to force an investigation, with Chairman-to-be John Conyers having published a book on Bush and Cheney’s crimes and held unofficial hearings in the basement, we had reason to be hopeful.
We are, alas, forced to place our hopes in 2008. Some of the 2007 evidence below was exposed by Congress, but most of it was unearthed by book authors, bloggers, independent reporters, federal prosecutors, and the corporate media. With the Democratic majorities came a complete ban on congressional investigations of war lies (not to mention an end to serious efforts to end the occupation of Iraq). Other investigations proceeded cautiously and at a glacial pace – and with no ultimate objective, Speaker Nancy Pelosi having declared impeachment “off the table.” It took over 4 months for the opposition party to issue its first subpoena. In June there was a minor burst of subpoenas. But it was quickly established that Bush, Cheney, Condi, and their underlings, would never comply with subpoenas, and that Bush would even (feloniously) order former staffers not to comply. The Democrats let it go at that and largely stopped trying to compel incriminating testimony. That the House Judiciary Committee had, a single generation back, passed an article of impeachment against a president for refusing a subpoena was buried in our national amnesia.
The result in 2007 was a lot of smoke, but no fire. In fact, the new Congress passed new legislation further stripping us of our Constitutional rights, and every now and then let slip a hint at the depth of bipartisan complicity. The year began with Senator Dick Durbin explaining that he had known before the Iraq invasion that the White House was lying to the public, but that he had not dared to say so for fear of disclosing classified information. The year closed with the revelation that Nancy Pelosi was one of a group of leading Congress Members informed of U.S. torture policies five years ago. She, too, dared not say anything, and still has said nothing. Maybe 2008 will be the year in which she finds her voice.
As you read through the following evidence, please bear in mind a couple of key points.
(for the remainder of this article, see here.)