Friday, November 10, 2006


Via Michelle Malkin, some liberal mouthpieces are beginning a drumbeat for impeachment proceedings against President Bush. According to Michelle, former Rep. Liz Holtzman says there are four areas in which the President is ripe for impeachment:
lying about weapons of mass destruction to justify invading Iraq, allowing the torture of prisoners, leaking classified information and botching the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.
Keeping in mind that according to the Constitution, the President can be impeached for treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors. I think that only the biggest moonbats in the country could think that the President has committed treason. There is no charge of bribery that could pass the laugh test in court. That leaves us with high crimes or misdemeanors, a quite vague term, but nevertheless, let us take a look at Holtzman's charges.

1. Weapons of Mass Destruction. This is the "Bush lied, people died" argument all over again. First, liberal shill NY Times noted in the run up to the election that archived documents point to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Now with that, what we have is at best a poor misinterpretation of data. However, given that Saddam Hussein had used weapons of mass destruction on Kurds and others in his own country, acting on solid intelligence information, even if wrong, is not a crime or a misdemeanor.

2. Allowing Torture. I am assuming that this charge has to do with supposed violations of the Geneva convention which prohibits torture of enemies. But here you have to prove a couple of things. First, that our enemies are signatories to the Convention and or otherwise are deserving of its protections. Given their actions, it would be a hard case to make. Second, you would have to prove that Bush actually ordered the torture. Crimes of omission are few and far between and notoriously difficult to prove. Third, and most importantly, Holtzman, Rep. Conyers and others would have to prove that the torture that may have occured violated some U.S. Law, not international law. True once ratified, treaties become part of U.S. Law, but good luck proving that.

3. Leaking Classified Information. This is a dumb charge. First, the President doesn't have to leak classified information, he has the ability to declassify anything he wants and then publish it on the web. Given that the Democrats and the media have long been parties to the leak of classified information, this charge would be a deadly snake that will come back to bite the Democrats on the hand. If you open up this charge, that gives the President the ability to call Democrats to the stand in his defense and look into their role in leaking classified information. If Conyers and Holtzman want to pursue this line of attack, they had better make sure they are willing to abandon their own party in the process.

4. Botching the Katrina Response. Leaving aside the fact that natural disaster initial response is the role of state and local officials (read Ray Nagin and Kathleen Blanco), simple bad performance is not an impeachable offense. If that were the case, we would need to impeach all of Congress, most of the executive branch and not an insignificant number of federal judges. Those in government are people and they make mistakes and they don't do things perfectly every time. Was the federal response to Katrina bungled, I think a good case can be made, but there were a lot of errors in that mess and only a few are President Bush's.

Impeachment hearing are quite possible, even probable, despite what Nancy Pelosi is saying. Will atricles of impeachment be drafted? They have been before and they probably will be again. But if impeachment is to be used as a political weapon, rather than a punitive measure for actual crimes by a president, they we set a dangerous precedent as a nation.

A Democratic Congress has the ability, without impeachment, to circumscribe the president's power, through checks and balances that already exist far short of impeachment. Revenge is a poor motivation for impeachment (the memory of Bill Clinton's impeachment still lingers obviously and the GOP was probably wrong to pursue impeachment), it is also a poor prescription for keeping power in two years.

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