As the crimes of the Bush administration continue to mount, it becomes increasingly difficult to avoid the "I" word: impeachment.
As a result of his continuing abuse of power, the impeachment option is making its way from the margin to the mainstream. Legal scholars on the left and the right argue that Bush may have committed "high crimes and misdemeanors," as stated in Article II, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution.
The National Security Agency eavesdropping scandal has led Bruce Fein, who served as associate deputy attorney general under President Reagan, to conclude that this is "an impeachable offense." He remarked: "It's more dangerous than Clinton's lying under oath."
Like the flouting of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the bill of particulars against President Bush includes other violations of law.
Bush violated the U.N. Charter when he invaded Iraq.
Bush violated the Geneva Conventions and Convention Against Torture by permitting the abuse of prisoners in U.S. custody, by "rendering" detainees to other countries, where they were tortured, and by running secret prisons around the world.
These conventions are "the supreme law of the land," according to Article VI of the Constitution.
Bush also violated U.S. statues against torture and war crimes.
And Bush violated his oath of office by deceiving the nation about the reasons for going to war. He was not faithfully executing the laws of the land.
Bush's criminal behavior has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands, reduced the status of the United States globally and made the world and nation more dangerous. He long ago abdicated any legitimacy to holding the office.
Even when the law was available to operate in his favor, such as the case in the eavesdropping scandal, Bush chose the authoritarian route.
Fortunately, a nascent impeachment movement is on the way. Unlike the unpopular, unjustified and mean-spirited impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1999, which backfired on Republicans in Congress, calls for Bush's ouster are emerging from a number of sources.
Members of Congress have raised the issue. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has introduced legislation, co-sponsored by seven other House members, to "make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment."
Even Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, has been forced to acknowledge that the political remedy for a president overstepping his powers would be impeachment, though he claims we are nowhere near there yet with Bush.
Perhaps thanks to the Republicans, the American public is not squeamish about impeachment. Two Zogby polls, one conducted in November 2005 and another in January 2006, demonstrate that a majority of Americans would support or consider impeachment if it is proven that Bush lied about reasons for going to war with Iraq (53 percent to 42 percent), or illegally wiretapped U.S. citizens (52 percent to 43 percent).
Bush and his administration will continue to desecrate national and international laws until stopped. The remedy is impeachment, and if he is convicted, removal from office.
Unfortunately, congressional Republicans and many Democrats lack the courage and ethical compass to challenge the White House.
For the rest of us, it is a worthy -- and necessary -- campaign.
Clarence Lusane is assistant professor in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several works, including "Hitler's Black Victims" (Routledge Press, 2002). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.