Dana Milbank of the Washington Post poured contempt and sarcasm over Rep. Dennis Kucinich's bringing of articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday, while devoting not a word to the grounds for impeachment that Kucinich presented. -- This despite much evidence that the American people would like to see impeachment proceedings against the president and his associates. -- For example, an October 2005 poll indicated that 50% of the American people agreed with the statement "If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable by impeaching him." -- A January 2006 poll indicated that 52% of the American public agreed with this statement: "If President Bush wiretapped American citizens without the approval of a judge, do you agree or disagree that Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment?" -- An April 2006 poll indicated that 36% of the American public would answer yes to this question: "If George W. Bush broke the law when he authorized government agencies to use electronic surveillance to monitor American citizens without a court warrant, do you think that is an impeachable offense, or not an impeachable offense?" -- Another April 2006 poll suggested that 33% of the American people would answer yes to this question: "Democratic Congressman John Conyers has called for creation of a committee to look into impeaching Bush and removing him from office. Do you think Congress should or should not impeach Bush and remove him from office?" -- A May 2006 poll showed that 30% of the American people would answer yes to this question: "Regardless of how you plan to vote, if the Democrats win this year's congressional elections do you think it would be right for them to try to impeach President Bush over the Iraq war and weapons of mass destruction, or not?" -- A September 2006 poll showed that 30% of the American people answered yes to this question: "Based on what you have read or heard, do you believe that President Bush should be impeached and removed from office?" -- In a January 2007 poll 58% answered "wish it were over" to the question: "At this point in time, do you personally wish that George W. Bush's presidency was over, or don't you feel this way?" -- Pace Dana Milbank, impeachment is therefore not a laughing matter. -- John Nichols, who as his biographer knows more about Dick Cheney than just about anyone, gave Kucinich a more respectful hearing in an article on the web site of the Nation. -- Nichols quoted at length Kucinich's three articles, which pertain to lying to the American people and to Congress about Iraq's WMDs, lying to the American people and to Congress about Iraq's connection to al-Qaeda, and threatening war against Iran, all of which violate the supreme law of the land by virtue of Article VI of the United States Constitution and the United Nations Charter. -- The complete articles of impeachment prepared by Rep. Kucinich (D-OH 10th) can be read, along with many accompanying documents, on his web site....
KUCINICH'S BATTLE AGAINST CHENEY NOT SO (IM)PEACHY KEEN
By Dana Milbank
April 25, 2007
"I do not stand alone," Dennis Kucinich said as he stood, alone, in front of a cluster of microphones yesterday evening.
The Ohio congressman, a Democratic presidential candidate, was holding a news conference outside the Capitol to announce that he had just filed articles of impeachment against Vice President Cheney. But subsequent questioning quickly revealed that Kucinich had not yet persuaded any of his 434 colleagues to be a cosponsor, that he had not even discussed the matter with House Democratic leaders, and that he had not raised the subject with the Judiciary Committee.
Kucinich did have one thing: a copy of the Declaration of Independence. And he was not afraid to read it. "We hold these truths to be self-evident," the aspiring impeachment manager read at the start of his news conference. He continued all the way through the bit about the right of the people to abolish the government.
"These words from the Declaration of Independence are instructive at this moment," he said.
A reporter from the Cleveland Plain Dealer encouraged USS Kucinich to contact planet Earth. "But Nancy Pelosi says this is not going anywhere," she pointed out.
"Have you talked to her today?" Kucinich shot back.
"Yes, I did," she replied.
Kucinich had not expected that answer. "Then I would say I have not talked to her," he acknowledged.
It was not an auspicious beginning for the impeachment of Richard B. Cheney.
Kucinich had called his news conference for noon on the terrace of the Cannon building. But minutes before the event, his office sent out a statement: "News reports this morning indicate the Vice President was experiencing a medical crisis. Until the vice president's condition is clarified, I am placing any action on hold."
This was odd, because the vice president's spokeswoman had already announced that Cheney had merely gone to a doctor's office to check on a blood clot in his leg, which is improving. Cheney himself, far from suffering a medical crisis, joined Senate Republicans for lunch at the Capitol. "The leg's doing good," Cheney announced after lunch, his lips in his trademark snarl. Indeed, he was feeling so well that he chose to start a new fight with congressional Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was not only "uninformed and misleading," but also practicing "defeatism," Cheney said. Democrats are guilty of "political calculation" and "blind opposition."
Reid visited the same microphones minutes later to return the playground taunts: "I'm not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody who has a 9 percent approval rating." And: "I'm not going to get into a name-calling match with the administration's chief attack dog."
Kucinich evidently realized there was no reason for him to get cold feet just because of Cheney's leg. A few minutes after the Cheney-Reid showdown, the congressman arrived in the Speaker's Lobby off the House floor, handing out news releases to any reporter he could find: "Kucinich to Move Forward with Impeachment News Conference."
Washingtonpost.com's Paul Kane showed the news release to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who declined to endorse the Kucinich crusade. "He was busily engaged in handing that out," Hoyer observed. "Beyond that, I don't have any thought about it."
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), chairman of the House Democratic caucus, was equally dismissive -- "Dennis can do what he wants; I'm not going to support it" -- but used the occasion to try out some Cheney material: "This is the biggest setback for the vice president since oil went under 65 bucks a barrel."
Kucinich, however, did not find humor in the matter. Standing perhaps 5 feet 6 inches tall in shoes, he wore a solemn face as he approached the microphones, which nearly reached his eye level. He beckoned to aides, who handed out thick binders detailing the case.
Kucinich read at length from his articles of impeachment, undeterred by rush-hour traffic noise on Independence Avenue ("I'll wait till the truck goes by here," he said at one point) and wind that ruffled his text and the few strands of his hair that were insufficiently weighted by Brylcreem.
Tom Ferraro of Reuters asked Kucinich if any other lawmakers supported impeachment.
"Because this resolution is so weighty in its import, it's going to be important for members of Congress to have sufficient time to study the articles," Kucinich answered.
We'll take that as a no. "So at this point you stand alone?" Ferraro pressed.
"I believe I stand with millions of Americans," Kucinich parried.
Someone else asked why Kucinich targeted Cheney but not Cheney's boss. "There's a practical reason," the congressman explained. "If we were to start with the president and pursue articles of impeachment, Mr. Cheney would then become president. . . . You would then have to go through the constitutional agony of impeaching two presidents consecutively."
It was a valid point. If Kucinich is having this much trouble impeaching one vice president, imagine the difficulty impeaching two presidents.
KUCINICH: IMPEACHMENT IS THE RIGHT RESPONSE
By John Nichols
Nation April 25, 2007
Congressman Dennis Kucinich has now filed his three articles of impeachment against Dick Cheney, and the Ohio Democrat is clearly serious about the holding the vice president to account for manipulating intelligence to fabricate a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, manipulating intelligence to fabricate a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda, and openly threatened aggression against Iran absent any real threat to the the United States.
Kucinich's House web site contains the text of the resolution, H.R. 333, along with pages of documentation supporting the articles, a summary of impeachment procedures, and a copy of the congressman's letter to the vice president.
On Tuesday afternoon, Kucinich explained his initiative at a Capitol Hill press conference that he began by delivering the following statement:
"'We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that, among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the government; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.'
"These words from the Declaration of Independence are instructive at this moment. Because not only whenever any form of government, but whenever any government official becomes destructive of the founding purposes, that official or those officials must be held accountable.
"Because I believe the vice president's conduct of office has been destructive to the founding purposes of our nation, today I have introduced House Resolution 333, Articles of Impeachment Relating to Vice President Richard B. Cheney. I do so in defense of the rights of the American people to have a government that is honest and peaceful.
"It became obvious to me that this vice president, who was a driving force for taking the United States into a war against Iraq under false pretenses, is once again rattling the sabers of war against Iran with the same intent to drive America into another war, again based on false pretenses.
"Let me cite from the articles of impeachment that were introduced this afternoon, Article I, 'that Richard Cheney had purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and the Congress of the United States by fabricating a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the use of the United States armed forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging to our national security.
"'That despite all evidence to the contrary, the vice president actively and systematically sought to deceive the citizens and the Congress of the United States about an alleged threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
"'That preceding the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the vice president was fully informed that no legitimate evidence existed of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The vice president pressured the intelligence community to change their findings to enable the deception of the citizens and the Congress of the United States.
"'That in this the vice president subverted the national security interests of the United States by setting the stage for the loss of more than 3,300 United States service members and the loss of 650,000 Iraqi citizens since the United States invasion; the loss of approximately $500 billion in war costs, which has increased our federal debt; the loss of military readiness within the United States armed services, through an overextension and lack of training and lack of equipment; and the loss of United States credibility in the world affairs and decades of likely blowback created by the invasion of Iraq.'
That with respect to Article II, 'that Richard Cheney manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and the Congress of the United States about an alleged relationship between Iraq and Al Qaida in order to justify the use of United States armed forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging to our national security.
'And that, despite all evidence to the contrary, the vice president actively and systematically sought to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States about an alleged relationship between Iraq and Al Qaida.
'That preceding to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the vice president was fully informed that no credible evidence existed of a working relationship between Iraq and Al Qaida, a fact articulated in several official documents.'
With respect to Article III, 'that in his conduct while vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney openly threatened aggression against the Republic of Iran, absent any real threat to the United States, and has done so with the United States's proven capability to carry out such threats, thus undermining the national security interests of the United States.
'That despite no evidence that Iran has the intention or the capability of attacking the United States, and despite the turmoil created by the United States's invasion of Iraq, the vice president has openly threatened aggression against Iran.'
Furthermore, I point out in the articles that Article VI of the United States Constitution states, and I quote, "This Constitution and the laws of the United States shall be made in pursuance thereof and all treaties made or which shall be made under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land. Any provision of an international treaty ratified by the United States becomes the law of the United States."
The United States is signatory to the U.N. Charter, a treaty among the nations of the world. Article II, Section 4 of the United Nations Charter states, and I quote, "All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations."
The articles conclude by pointing out that the vice president's deception upon the citizens and the Congress of the United States that enabled the failed United States invasion of Iraq forcibly altered the rules of diplomacy so that the vice president recent belligerent actions toward Iran are destabilizing and counterproductive to the national security of the United States of America.
These articles of impeachment are not brought forth lightly. I've carefully weighed the options available to members of Congress and found this path the path that is the most important to take.
The justifications used to lead our nation to war have unquestionably been disproved. Brave soldiers and innocent civilians have lost their lives in a war the United States should never have initiated. The weight of the lies used to lead us into war has grown heavier with each death. Now is the time for Congress to examine the actions that led us into this war, just as we must work to bring the troops home. This resolution is a very serious matter, and I will urge the Committee on Judiciary to investigate and carefully consider this resolution.
--John Nichols, the best-selling biographer of Vice President Dick Cheney, is the author of a new book: The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure for Royalism. Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson hails it as a "nervy, acerbic, passionately argued history-cum-polemic [that] combines a rich examination of the parliamentary roots and past use of the 'heroic medicine' that is impeachment with a call for Democratic leaders to 'reclaim and reuse the most vital tool handed to us by the founders for the defense of our most basic liberties.'"