Forgive me, Karl. Apparently my tongue-in-cheek tone didn’t come across effectively enough for you. I like Craig Paul Roberts, but his over-the-topedness makes him sound like a man pariahed by post-Reagan conservatives (wait, he was!).
My intent was simply to complement my previous post on the ever-expanding executive power and Hillary’s promise to curtail it. Is this expnasionism via constituional revisionism criminal? Probably not. Nonetheless, it is deplorable. Now that you bring it up, however, Roberts’ piece does bring up some interesting issues:
1. Spying without warrants on American citizens: how much clearer do you need this to be? You’re the only guy I know who probably read Animal Farm and 1984 as utopic manifestos of a world foregone. Bush, because he felt the FISA was too demanding, decided to do away with all the red tape and spy wantonly and regularly on American citizens despite the lack of constitutionally required warrants. Seriously, this is OK with you?
2. Denial of habeas corpus: Lincoln did it, why not GWB? Both republicans, both miserable presidents. You assume that the denial of constitutionally required due process is fine as long as we’re just denying it to terrorists. Poor assumption. The Fed Gov’s detainees at Guantanamo are labeled “enemy combatants.” Historically, this tag was used to describe members of the armed forces of the state with which another state is at war. Why would Bush observe this definitional convention when he could just hammer out his own tortuous interpretation? He wouldn’t. Here’s Bush’s “new and improved” definition: an enemy combatant is now “an individual who was part of or supporting the Taliban or al Qaida forces, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners. This includes any person who committed a belligerent act or has directly supported hostilities in aid of enemy armed forces.” What does this mean? The inherently overbroad definition of an enemy combatant in a “war on terror” means, well, that everyone is an enemy combatant. You don’t have a problem with enigmatic, overbroad definitions? Well, luckily the 4th Circuit does. In June they rules that al-Maari could not be denied his constitutional rights to challenge his accusors. Al-Maari was a citizen from Qatar (we’re fighting a war on terror over there?) held in the detention center at Guantanamo Bay after authorities linked a credit card in his possession to an Al Quaeda financier. They also found information on hydorogne cyanide that a “merely curious individual” would not likely possess. He was studying at Bradley University in the U.S. Do I think al-Maari is guilty? Yes. Do I think we should start on the slippery slope to detaining U.S. citizens? No.
3. Torture: your Sophistry isn’t even slightly amusing. Ask John McCain.
4. The fabrication of evidence to justify an Iraq invasion: while GWB certainly has an itchy trigger finger, I’m not sure he wasn’t fully sold on WMD’s located somewhere in on of Saddam’s palaces. I think fabrication is a stretch.
5. Signing statements: if Bush’s unprecedented use of signing statements to circumvent legislative intent and hand down “opinions” of the law to the entire executive branch doesn’t make you want to curl up at night with the constitution and tell it “everything is going to be alright” I don’t know what will. Other presidents have used them, but not to this extent or with this malicious intent.
6. Genocide: this troubles me A LOT. Roberts is way off base here and he should have quit while he was ahead. The Bush regime is systematically killing Muslims to systematically install Muslims in positions of political power? Seems counterintuitive. Generally, I think the idea with genocide is to get rid of “them.” All of “them.”
7. Massive contract corruption: Blackwater. Check and mate.
8. Election theft: I’m really not sure what Roberts is talking about here. Again, he should have quit while he was ahead.
9. Stalinist trial shows: This is where Roberts comes unhinged and leaves the reservation. To compare a not-guilty-verdict-after-fair-trial to The Last Gulag is incomprehensible to me. And irresponsible.
Now to answer your question. Is the case for impeachment possible? Sure. Is it probable? No. I need some more time to research the history of impeachment and the intent of the framers when they wrote it into the constitution. My gut, however, tells me that impeachment was injected into the language of the constitution to avoid the emergence of another King George from the executive power. President George probably isn’t as bad as King George, because he lacks the requisite intent: he actually believes what he is doing is right. That’s the sad part of the whole mess.