Bush’s CIA Order Another Impeachable Offense
November 16, 2006
So now the CIA admits it: Bush himself signed an order directing the CIA to set up secret prisons around the world.
Two and a half years ago, the ACLU submitted an FOIA request to the CIA seeking seventy different records relating to the torture policies of the Bush Administration.
By authorizing the kidnapping, disappearing, and perhaps even the torturing of detainees, Bush was violating the Geneva Conventions and the Treaty Against Torture. Add that to his lies about the Iraq War, to his illegal spying on American citizens, and to his signing statements, and the case for at least bringing impeachment proceedings forward could not be stronger.
One was for a “directive signed by President Bush that grants CIA the authority to set up detention facilities outside the United States and/or outlining interrogation methods that may be used against detainees.”
On November 9, the CIA responded to the ACLU, saying that it had found “one document responsive” to that particular request. It identified the document as “a memorandum from President Bush to the Director of the CIA.” But it did not release the document, claiming exemptions under the NSA Act of 1947 and the CIA Act of 1949 and citing “presidential communications, deliberative process, and attorney-client privileges.”
The existence of this document is not a total surprise, since reporters have speculated about it.
But the admission adds one more document on the pile called impeachable offenses.
By authorizing the kidnapping, disappearing, and perhaps even the torturing of detainees, Bush was violating the Geneva Conventions and the Treaty Against Torture.
Add that to his lies about the Iraq War, to his illegal spying on American citizens, and to his signing statements, and the case for at least bringing impeachment proceedings forward could not be stronger.
But the Democratic leadership in the House shows no appetite for doing so. Nancy Pelosi announced before the election that impeachment was “off the table.” And John Conyers, who had introduced a bill to explore grounds for impeachment and would now be in a position to pursue it as putative head of the Judiciary Committee, has suddenly come down with a bad case of laryngitis.
This, despite the fact that an October 21 Newsweek poll showed that 28 percent of all Americans said impeachment should be a top priority and another 23 percent said it should be a lower priority: That’s 51 percent in favor of impeachment, with 44 percent saying it should not be done.
I know there’s a lot of pressure on Pelosi and other Democrats to make nice and be all kissy face.
But when a President so flagrantly violates his oath of office to faithfully execute the laws of the land and when he tramples so recklessly on our rights and so blatantly subverts the Constitution, it is incumbent upon the House of Representatives to rise to its responsibilities.
This is much more important than worrying about being called partisan or than gaming the 2008 elections.
This is about nothing less than standing up for our democratic system of governance.