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Tuesday, 15 August 2006 05:15

BuzzFlash Mailbag for August 15, 2006

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Subject: Islamo-Fascists (?)

WTF? Are they the natural enemy of the Christo-Fascists or something? As ever, Bush the cheerleader is stoking up his base for the big game...

A BuzzFlash Reader

Subject: Who put the 'peach' in impeachment? [Sent to Doug MacEachern @arizonarepublic.com]

Just read your Desire is strong in Dems to impeach column via BuzzFlash.com. 

Your glib equation of Clinton's impeachment vs. those who'd like to give Bush the boot (and of Scaife to Soros) just doesn't add up. The real question is (to return to those wild, wacky '80s) 'where's the beef?'  The Constitutional phrase that comes to mind is 'high crimes and misdemeanors."

It would seem, to a reasonable person like myself, that:  - intentionally misleading the country into a catastrophic and unnecessary war by repeatedly using 'Saddam,' '9/11' & 'weapons of mass destruction' in the same sentence and whose rationale now seems to shift by the hour  - revealing the name of a secret anti-WMD operative as punishment to her husband who undercut their main war rationale  - employing torture as a standard tool against people they claim (without any evidence) as terrorists, thus shaming the US in the eyes of the world  - and continually subverting our Constitution by claiming and exercising powers beyond what is clearly granted to the President (under the continued 'extraordinary times call for blah blah' rationale), are perfectly valid reasons to, at the very least, form a commission to examine the evidence at hand and THEN decide if impeachment is indeed a valid course for our nation at the moment. (And if then, of course, there would be a Senate trial that would give Bush the opportunity to explain and exonerate himself.)

Not sure where you stand politically overall, but from your column at hand, it appears you're coming from the "all Democrats who oppose Bush and Lieberman are crazy, Osama-loving left-wing radicals" - which happens to be the current propaganda line of the increasingly desperate GOP. When the president assures the country that all wiretaps are approved by the FISA court & then later on it turns out that 'no they're not,' I'd say a fib like that qualifies as a misdemeanor. (And don't repeat the 'we have to act fast, there's no time to run to the court' excuse, we both know about the 72 hour clause.) Then there's that whole little issue of a phony war that kills tens of thousands, destabilizes a key middle-eastern nation (whatever happened to that bastion of democracy that was supposed to magically blossom over there?) and strengthens Iran's influence over the region.

I'd say at the very least you have a catastrophically incompetent administration, and quite possibly one that is guilty of yes, high crimes. Now just for equal times' sake, let's look at what Clinton did: oh that's right, he lied in a judicial hearing specifically designed to catch him in a perjury trap about a stupid office affair and wound up standing there with his pants around his ankles and his boxer shorts with the red hearts exposed for all to see. Now THAT was worth an impeachment.

And by the way, what's so bad about being a left-wing Democrat? It seems to me that after all the damage hard-right Republicans and accommodating centrist Democrats like joltin' Joe and the DLC have done to the country, we could use a return to progressive values around here.

And, no, I don't believe we should give the terrorists 'therapy' - Karl Rove can kiss my left-wing butt, excuse me. What we need is a government that fights terrorism for real instead of starting and botching trillion-dollar phony wars. Looking forward to your upcoming column responding to my comments, and others who are probably writing you as well. (Hope you can shoot me a ‘heads-up’ E-mail when it comes out – the papers around here don’t run you.) I'm trusting you not to run the rudest comments from the angriest people (who in my opinion have every right to be g**d**ed angry considering what's taken place over the past 6 years) and say, 'see, they're all nuts - we must unquestioningly support our all-knowing and benevolent leader...' 


Subject: Reid Has a Point

Hi Gang!

At first glance, I thought Harry Reid lost a marble somewhere for not wanting to impeach Shrubya.

"Impeaching the president is so far-fetched it's ridiculous."

Harry Reid ridicules idea of impeachment hearings, Conyers paper on Bush crimes 8/14

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Harry is right.

When Democrats regain the majority in Congress, the focus should be solely on what is truly important for America - War on Terror, the Iraq War, gas prices, minimum wage, healthcare, social security, jobs, taxes.

We know the Democrats' track record on all those issues and, once again, we have to go back and repair all the damage wrought by a wrong-way policy White House and a Rubber Stamp Republicant Congress.

But we are much bigger and stronger as a party if we do not resort to what will surely be viewed as a vindictive measure as impeachment.

Yes, Das Führer Bush is suspected of authorizing a number of items that can lead to his being impeached. However, Democrats have to prove that the White House did authorize the torture of Abu Ghraib P.O.W.'s, held P.O.W.'s illegally in violation of the Geneva Convention, authorized wiretaps in direct circumvention of F.I.S.A. Court laws, and etc.

We have to prove these things, not rush to impeach the Neoconista Nut.

The very first thing the Democrats will have to do is put a stop to this proposal from the White House:

Bush-GOP NSA Deal May Bar Impeachment (patriotdaily.com)

Only when Democrats are certain they have all the evidence they need and can force the White House into a completely indefensible position, then, when all has been exposed and there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the Appointed One, the White House, and others irrefutably broke the law, then there should be impeachment proceedings.

J. Peurala
Westfield, IN

Subject: Say it ain't so, Joe -- Bush's Favorite "Democrat" Doing the Rove Two-Step

Say it ain't so, Joe --

"It's time for democrats who distrust president Bush to acknowledge that he will be the commander-in-chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril."

"If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again."


"I am committed to this campaign, to a different kind of politics, to bringing the Democratic party back from Ned Lamont, Maxine Waters to the mainstream, and for doing something for the people of Connecticut. That's what this is all about."

Say it ain't so, Joe. What you're talking now is utter, bloviating bulls**t.

For the sake of America and the Democratic party you claim to love, get out now. Keep whatever dignity is left and bow out before you blow it on a selfish ego trip.

You're doing more harm to your country and your party than Bill Clinton ever did. He lied about a blowjob and you wagged the finger of censure at him. And yet now you are cheerleading for a war based on lies and a president who has stained more than a blue dress, a president who has ignobly stained our very Constitution.

Where's your sense of true morality? Is illicit sex with a willing intern somehow worse than spilling the blood of thousands of innocent people who had nothing to do with 9/11 or terrorism in any way?

You've done enough. Please retire before you have no sense of decency left.


David Wyles
Your Once-Upon-A-Time Friend and Roommate at Yale

Subject: It’s Called Voting

Note to all the chattering morons who have written columns lamenting the win of Ned Lamont in the Democratic Primary Election in Connecticut; it’s called voting. It’s not a purge. It is a system by which American Citizens go to the polls, cast their votes and elect the person they feel would best represent them.

It’s called voting. It's something that has become very difficult for Americans to do in any intelligent manner. Many voters don’t have access to computers or cable so must rely on what they read and see in the mainstream media. That means that they are seldom well informed.

Americans struggling to put food on the table, keep a roof over their heads and hoping they can keep up with obscenely escalating energy bills know that something is wrong. They see it every time they look at their bills. Yet what they get out of their government is the constant drumbeat of “Don’t worry, be happy.”

Joe Lieberman is just one example of an elected representative not connecting with the people he purports to represent . We hear that he is a nice guy. Bringing about a split in the party he says he cares about so deeply doesn’t seem like the kind of thing a “nice guy” would do. It seems more like the temper tantrum of a massive ego who thought he was entitled to be the Senator from Connecticut. The majority of Democrats in his state said no. It's called voting.

It’s too bad that poor ignorant voters don’t always do what the pundits think we ought. Perhaps if we had a chance to vote a lot of these “Pundits” off the talk shows and out of the newspapers we read, we would benefit all mankind. Now that’s the kind of a purge we need. Can we vote on that?

Marjorie L. Swanson
Kenosha, Wisconsin

Subject: The Keith Olbermann Show

Why would I even think I should remind you of this? There was the headline as I opened the page.... I am shaking with rage....Keith's staff had to put a lot of numbers together to come up with that ... but, how in the world can anyone not see the coincidence? I am enraged for all the American people who were so inconvenienced on the day of this alert....and I was saying once again, "Ho Hum." After all this time...when it was so coincidental to me....someone finally put it down on paper and took about 20 minutes of a show....to tie up the loose ends.....It is amazing to me that anyone could get away with it fooling the American people to this extent...Not me...not anymore! This week, of course...it is the entire Ned Lamont thing...can any civilized person believe a thing like this? Thanks Buzz...I should have known you would be the first on it. What ice water in our faces....

In 2005, Keith Olbermann Did an Edward R. Murrow Style Expose of How the Bush Administration Used Trumped Up Terror Alerts to Bury Bad News About the White House's Nefarious Activities. This MSNBC Segment is Even More Relevant Today.

Shirley...........St. Louis

Subject: In 2005, Keith Olbermann Did an Edward R. Murrow Style Expose of How the Bush Administration Used Trumped Up Terror Alerts to Bury Bad News About the White House's Nefarious Activities. This MSNBC Segment is Even More Relevant Today.


Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence. -- Leonardo da Vinci

I think Mr Olbermann deserves a "Thank You" from all of us. I'm glad that he is speaking out, because the rest of the media certainly isn't. With about 50% of the American people believing that Saddam had WMDs I think we all know exactly who MSM serves.

Akhil Bhardwaj
Manhattan, KS

Subject: I've Had It With These Wimpy Arsed Democrats ... No Cajones

Pardon the typos, and the language in this comment, but I am angry, and I have had it with our dem leaders.

Republicans are pulling out all the stops and are gaining momentum and are winning back all of their voters.

Dems, as usual, are sitting on their wimpy asses.

If they think that they can come in later, and attempt to pick up votes with a late attack on the opposition, they are dead wrong.

Voters in this country rarely, if ever, switch their votes once they have made up their minds, and Repubs know this, and that is why they are on the attack now.

Once they have gotten their core back, they will be back to stay.

Dems had a chance, and as usual, they sat around ... and never ... launched a full scaled attack.

I have had it with these wimpy assed bastards, as I said in another post.

As far as I am concerned, they can stick it, lose the friggin election, and then whine about it like the little freaky wimps that they are.

When they all should have been out in the forefront, pissing all over these Republican fascist bastards, they sat on their nice little tushies and didn't do diddly sh!t...They really suck, and I have had it with them, I am finished, and they won't get diddly squat from from this moment on.

They suck.

And, this is why my wife changed her designation from Dem to Ind this past year...and she is a Bush hater, but she will have nothing to do with these wimpy arsed dems who haven't got a clue how to fight, and win.

Mike Allen
Phoenix, AZ

Subject: More Proof That Bush Is Nuts

Hey Buzz

Thanks for directing my attention to Robert Parry's brilliant article on what's really been happening in Lebanon and Gaza lately. Israeli Leaders Fault Bush on War By Robert Parry August 13, 2006

Get everyone you know to read the entire article: family, friends, neighbours, co-workers, local media, elected representatives. I'll supply a few quotes to get you started."

Bush conveyed his strong personal support for the military offensive during a White House meeting with Olmert on May 23. ...

Olmert, who like Bush lacks direct wartime experience ...

One source said some Israeli officials thought Bush’s attack-Syria idea was "nuts." ...

One Israeli plan to use llamas to deliver supplies in the rugged terrain of south Lebanon turned into an embarrassment when the animals simply sat down.

Reporter Nahum Barnea compared the battle to “the famous Tom and Jerry cartoons” with the powerful Israeli military playing the role of the cat Tom and the resourceful Hezbollah guerrillas playing the mouse Jerry. “In every conflict between them, Jerry wins,” Barnea wrote. ...

“If Olmert runs away now from the war he initiated, he will not be able to remain prime minister for even one more day,” the newspaper Haaretz wrote in a front-page analysis. “You cannot lead an entire nation to war promising victory, produce humiliating defeat and remain in power."

“You cannot bury 120 Israelis in cemeteries, keep a million Israelis in shelters for a month and then say, ‘Oops, I made a mistake.’” [See Washington Post, Aug. 12, 2006] ...

But instead of turning the Lebanese population against Hezbollah – as Washington and Tel Aviv had hoped – the devastation rallied public support behind Hezbollah. [more]

One of the reasons that Israel has not been overrun by the Muslim countries in the neighbourhood has been the idea that Israel was invulnerable due to the strength of its military. That myth is gone.

When will the American military understand that no matter how sophisticated their aircraft and bombs, it's troops on the ground that wins wars? The people of the invaded countries will inevitably win. They have no other home to go to, which is why the Vietnamese won and why the Iraqi people have already beaten the "coalition of the willing."

Meanwhile Lebanon, a true democracy, has been destroyed again.

Patty Coombs
Surrey, BC, Canada

Subject: Chafee

Thank you for your editorial about the troubling support of Chafee by the Sierra Club and Naral. I have stopped supporting both organizations because of their short sighted, self-serving support of a Senator who votes for progressive issues when he knows that his support will not matter. The last time I got a call from Naral I cited Chafee and refused to give them a donation. I think that if a large number of Rhode Islanders refused to donate to causes that support Chafee and sent their donations to Sheldon Whitehouse there will be a sea-change. Come on Rhode Islanders, you're as smart as your neighbors in Connecticut.

Fran Dejasu
Rehoboth, MA

Subject: Ruminations on the Length of the Iraq War

Hi Gang!

Your link to the Chicago Tribune's editorial on the length of the Iraq War in comparison to the length of WWII (the one where we fought in Europe as well as in the Pacific) gave me pause for thought.

Why has Iraq war lasted nearly as long as WWII? 8/14

Why is this war lasting so long?

Logically, this war should have been over December 2003 with the capture of Saddam Hussein.

So, why didn't that happen?

First, American diplomats disbanded the Iraqi military as well as giving deserters a chance to run and hide.

Second, Saddam was not offered the formal chance to surrender, a move that would have left the Iraqi people as well as its military with their honor and dignity intact.

Third, no real effort was made in the advance to the war to win over the Iraqi population. Propaganda tools that can be used effectively to sway thinking were never employed.

Certainly, there are more reasons, but these three are very important ones. Although, as we have been told ad nauseum, we are fighting an unconventional war altogether, people still react in very predictable ways. The Bush Common Sense Hater Club obviously knows nothing of this, as every step they have taken in the Iraq war has been dictated by ideology and outright politics. No regard to outcome, international reaction, or accountability for failures was every taken into consideration.

Even more dangerous is the current thought process of the (p)Resident himself: "It don't matter what polls, primaries, general elections, protesters, or even what voters say. Even if the entire world is against me, it don't matter cuz I'm the president, they're not, and I'm right."

But, as I've said, with the capture of Saddam Hussein in 2003, this war should have been over.

So why isn't it?

We're dealing with individuals who will accept nothing but a clear and decisive victory, no matter what the cost, loss of life, or how many years this war drags on.

The problem is this: There will never be a clear and decisive victory as there was with Nazi Germany or Tojo Japan. There will never be an offer to surrender to Coalition Forces tabled by the United States nor will there be an acceptance of that offer by Saddam Hussein.

The call to withdraw from Iraq comes from the common sense knowledge of these facts.

It's not cut and run.

It's knowing that what we've accomplished is simply the best we can do, given pre and post planning, the sacrifices we have made with military lives, the mounting costs we've incurred, and the rising public outcry against the war.

We've done the best we can do.

This war was never prosecuted in a manner that would lead to a clear victory.

I even doubt we would have ever been able to do even that, given the nature of the individuals who pursued the war to begin with.

Unfortunately, history will likely define this Iraq/American war as a draw.

Beats winding up dead.

J. Peurala
Westfield, IN

Subject: Uranium weapons item by AP

The BuzzFlash headline... After Years and Years, the Issue of Depleted Uranium Poisoning Finally Hits the Mainstream Press. Associated Press writer asks if depleted uranium is killing U.S. troops 8/14 ... should have pointed out the basic errors and omissions of the item it points to. This item was picked up by about 100 outlets, only one in the UK so far (The Guardian). Primarily it fails to mention that these are illegal WMD. The UN expert body has found DU weapons illegal. It is in error in questioning the toxic effects of Uranium weapons. There is also a failure to consider the effects of uranium oxides and nano-particles created in the combustion.

For further info. re nanopathology see: http://www.biomat.unimo.it/eng/nanopat.htm

It is in error in describing the weapons as "uranium coated." The tips are solid DU. It is in error as quoting Fahey as "an expert," he is not. He is a student with no experience in DU. Rokke is an expert. He writes ... President Bush, Prime Minister Blair, and Prime Minister Olmert should order: 1. medical care for all casualties, 2. thorough environmental remediation, 3. immediate cessation of retaliation against all of us who demand compliance with medical care and environmental remediation requirements, 4. and stop the already illegal use (UN finding) of depleted uranium munitions.

References- these references are copies, the actual regulations and orders and other pertinent official documents:




Verite Sparks

Subject: Dumbya Isn't Planning To Leave

I am afraid that dumbya isn't planning on giving up his self-appointed throne. The writing is on the wall, he is above the law and he is king. He was never elected. Any man (and I use the term loosely) that knows that he was not legally elected but goes against the rules and tradition associated with democracy that squats in the White House cares little for laws. If that were not enough he chooses to ignore laws which he finds too restrictive. The man screams his lungs out that he is a man of God, as do his blind followers. While screaming that he is Christian he acts as anything but, again just like his blind followers.

I must say that in the darker corners of his minute brain he knows what type of person he is, he knows his soul is lost. He knows he and his ilk are twisted tormented souls. He knows that not only are his days in corrupt power numbered but that justice will be served and his lot will not be an easy one. He is under the misguided impression that his family will somehow bail him out. But history will write his story, and it will not be the sanitized version he hopes for. All the shrub family secrets will be on display, from the very first time that family profited from war, through the nazi enabling years, all the way to the false flag attacks, drugs in Vietnam, Iran contra, again with the false flag attacks, and still more war profiteering.

What a sad sad little excuse for a man. A man that professes his religion while his actions and deeds show the actual converse truth.

I just hope justice for this mis-administration comes swiftly and in the form of indictments, trials, convictions and finally time actually served. Not like the non-punishment his daddy enabled for the 1980's treason acts.

KJ Lovell
Duncan, OK

Jesus God! Christ almighty! make him go away! Can we get a restraining order against Joe Loserman? Good grief how pathetic he is! He lost! Go away! He is like the old boyfriend who won't let go! As for you Mr. Imus...........I suppose you would have voted for Hitler, I mean after all, even if you didn't like the things he did.........you always knew where he stood on something! Jesus Christ you are a moron!

Sharon Swift in Memphis TN

Subject: Mike Wallace's Interview with Ahmadinejad

Mr. Wallace,

During your questioning of President Ahmadinejad you seemed to be so preoccupied by your goal of inserting as much personal editorial content that you failed to notice how articulate and serious your guest was. Christ; I wish our own president presented himself with half the dignity, poise, and realism that the Iranian leader did on your show - despite your chauvinistic badgering.

Who is the religious zealot? Who is the belligerent madman? You and everyone else with a word-processor in the media constantly harp on the "wipe Israel off the map" comment loosely attributed to Ahmadinejad (what he really said was "the Zionist regime should disappear from the pages of history" - look it up, "Journalist"), but what about Bush's recent promulgation of the idea that a fantastic world-wide "Islamo-fascist" movement existentially threatens western civilization? This is a crazed, manichaean, End-Days kind of delusion of the sort that starts world wars, but the press merely nods and soaks it up.

And which country, ours or Iran, has ever invaded another country? Let's see, it's not Iran...

We are suffering under a fairy-tale foreign policy and you "journalists" can't recognize a serious statesman when he's right in front of you.

Ken Duerksen
Oxford, Ohio

Subject: The Growing Irrelevance of the Mainstream Media

People don’t like people that lie to them. Voters don’t like feeling they’re being played for suckers. Countless Americans have come to the realization that is exactly what has happened to them. And they’re more than a little annoyed.

Citizens are angry with their elected representatives and thus they are becoming angry with the media that failed and continues to fail to keep them adequately informed.

The less attention that people are paying to the mainstream pundits the shriller they become. The very idea that bloggers and voters would dare to ignore them and their massive egos is unacceptable.

How dare a nobody like Markos Moulitsas Zuniga get a front row seat in the political scene Insiders believe belongs to them alone? Who does he think he is? Him and all the other bloggers? How dare they think they have the right to participate in political discussion? Them and those damn grassroots voters who don’t do as they are supposed to do.

Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (Wikipedia)

Somewhere beneath all the bluster has to be the beginning of a frightening idea that people just ain’t listening to them anymore. People are daring to go off in their own directions without the Proper Punditry Permission. The Windbag Insiders are seeing the beginning of the end of their relevance and it’s an alarming thing.

Expect them to get louder, shriller and take ever snottier shots at those they see as so threatening. The trendy restaurants must resonate with the strident sounds of whiney Pundits who just aren’t feeling the love. The rage against the blogs will escalate into full scale war. Right after lunch and a manicure.

Marjorie L. Swanson
Kenosha, Wisconsin

Subject: Scott's Observations About Pryor -- What About Lincoln?

Scott (in Friday Mailbag) is right about Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Pryor is one of several that must be purged from the Democratic party. Bush could never have run roughshod over America as he has without the support of Republican wannabes such as Pryor, Nelson, Lieberman and Blanche Lincoln.

John Brummett, noted columnist, in a recent piece, exposed Lincoln and Prior as Bush Cheney enablers. He said all you have to do is look at their voting records. They have formed an alliance and have taken turns voting for and assuring that Bush's agenda is carried out in the Senate. They are likened to the old wrestling term "tag team." One does the dirty work while the other flies under the radar. When the chips are down they both support the Bush agenda to a tee.

I'm a firm believer in the fact that we must clean our house before any real progressive ideals can be put forth and implemented. But first we must weed out those who have and would corrupt our mission.

I hope this is not too simplistic but to those who have supported the current criminal regime in Washington you are lumped together with some of the most dangerous fascists to ever take control of any nation to include Germany under the yoke of Adolph Hitler. I strongly believe true Americans will throw off this yoke very soon!

Lawton Watson
Springdale, AR

Subject: National Security 101

Let’s face if folks, you can’t strap yourself to the Bush-Olmert set of Middle East policies without incurring more -- NOT LESS -- risk of terrorism. Does it make sense to you that Israel has met its obligations to the standards of international law and human decency whenever it drops warning fliers before setting about blowing up everything Lebanese? These people are, after all, totally without defense. Even Olmert has gone out of his way to note their vulnerability, and their innocence. They are our friends, he has said. Our quarrel is not with the Lebanese, but with Hizbollah. Don’t blame us; blame Hizbollah; and Syria; and Iran; and Iraq, maybe; and the Palestinians; etc, etc., etc.

Do Olmert’s self-serving pontifications throughout the savaging of Lebanon amount to the biggest crock of chutzpah the world has ever known? Or, is the Bush-Olmert team really that self-destructively stupid?

Caldwell, ID

Subject: Desire is strong in Dems to impeach

Wrote the following letter to Doug MacEachern of the Arizona Republic, upon reading his column "Desire is strong in Dems to impeach." Thought I'd share it with my fellow BuzzFlashians.

Dear Mr. MacEachern:

I'm sure someone owes you a debt of gratitude for portraying the desire of Democrats to impeach Mr. Bush as mere tit-for-tat, or as you call it, "Clinton's revenge" -- an impending media circus intended to even the score for the Republicans' concerted, long-term effort to destroy the Clinton presidency. I'm equally sure that grateful "someone" could be none other than the Republican National Committee.

As a sometime columnist myself, I was impressed with how adroitly you seemed to occupy a cynical middle ground while actually carrying the Republicans' water for them; I was also taken with the collection of personal smears, innuendoes, and straw men you substituted for discussion of the actual issues in your dismissal of Democrats' concerns. Masterfully done!

However -- out here in the reality-based world -- there is simply no equating the beefs the Republican Party had with Bill Clinton, and the beefs the people of the United States of America have, or ought to have, with George W. Bush. I haven't heard a single Democrat calling out to spend eight years and seventy million dollars to impeach Mr. Bush over his conveniently-timed sale of Harken Energy stock; nor over "Funeral-Gate"; nor over his mysteriously disappearing Air National Guard records; nor over the questionable means by which his Texas Rangers acquired prime real estate for their stadium grounds in Arlington, Texas. In fact, I haven't heard ANY Democrats suggest impeaching Mr. Bush for ANY of the dozens of little matters in his past which might be equated with a shady real-estate deal a decade past, or with being ambushed under oath about sexual escapades with a willing White House intern.

What I have heard, long overdue, has been an outcry by SOME Democrats against this President's wilful trampling of our Constitution -- the only thing that really stands between the USA and every other totalitarian state that ever existed -- in the name of a vague and incomprehensibly prioritized "War on Terror." Mr. Bush has broken the law brazenly and repeatedly, invoking privileges that would not properly belong to the executive even had we, as a nation, gone through the Constitutionally mandated process of declaring war. He has authorized warrantless wiretaps, even though the FISA system was specifically put in place to provide government such capabilities with appropriate oversight. He has put the presidential imprimatur on torture, the indefinite confinement of American citizens and alien nationals without due process, and on efforts to punish whistleblowers rather than addressing the corruption and irregularities they're blowing the whistle on. He has sacrificed tens of thousands of lives -- nearly three thousand of them American service people -- in pursuit of a neo-conservative agenda laid out to the letter by the Project for a New American Century years before 9-11 took place, and without any demonstrable connection to 9-11 at all.

He has further sacrificed lives by the cynical appointment of political cronies to positions -- such as FEMA director -- which when called upon at all, call for real expertise and real readiness. He has regularly broken the law -- at least in the eyes of the American Bar Association -- by neutering Congressional legislation with "signing statements" declaring himself and his administration exempt from the very laws he's signing. He has more or less admitted that ultimately, he himself is the source of the execrable Valerie Plame leak -- the exposure of a key operative in the hunt for weapons of mass destruction, to discredit and punish a political enemy -- even though he swore to the American public to seek out that source and remove it from his administration. And so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

The list of real, substantive Constitutional issues that require an impeachment-level inquiry overwhelms my ready memory. It's true that Mr. Bush has never publicly quibbled over what the meaning of "is" is, and it may well be that he doesn't play cigar games with young interns. What he HAS done is to subvert the Constitution he swore to uphold, brazenly open the taps of the national treasury to the sleaziest kind of big-league corruption, kill tens of thousands of innocent people in pursuit of a hidden agenda, and turn the national dialogue into a surreal, Orwellian, black-is-white and war-is-peace game which can never address the very real threats to our nation. He has broken the law and failed to faithfully execute the duties of his office; impeachment is the only recourse the nation has.

The fact that one president is not all we might wish him to be, or that one Congress abuses its oversight function for political ends, does not entitle the next president to demolish the very democracy that put him in place -- nor does it cast any credible shadow of ill-intent on the efforts of any following Congress, by executing its legal obligations as spelled out in the Constitution, to hold that next president to account for his actions.

There may in fact be Democrats rubbing their hands in glee over the prospect of avenging their humiliation in the last decade. If so, shame on them. But that doesn't mean our sole Constitutional means for reining in an abusive executive should not be pursued when the option is to stand by and watch our republic evaporate into dictatorship. For suggesting otherwise, shame on you.

Robert Crawford
Halfway, OR