Perhaps the story might be garnering more media attention if it involved a semen-stained blue dress, but there is growing public support in the United States for the notion that George W. Bush should be removed from office as soon as possible. The Bush Administration has consistently behaved as if it was above the law, while the institutions that are supposed to hold the executive branch in check — Congress, the judiciary, the media, and even many voters — have so far let them get away with it.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top eight reasons for impeaching Bush:
- 1. 9/11
Bush had a report that told him that “Bin Laden was determined to attack within the United States” but chose to go on an extended vacation at his ranch (apparently there was brush to clear) rather than do anything about it. When he was told about the first hijacked plane flying into the World Trade Centre, he became almost catatonic, and then flew around the country in Air Force One while his advisors tried to figure out what to do.
Then, while no one else in the country was allowed to fly, he approved the evacuation of Osama Bin Laden’s family. Yet, somehow, he is still allowed to invoke 9/11 as an excuse for anything. In the real world, incompetence is usually grounds for dismissal.
- 2. Iraq
Bush’s advisors had already made up their minds that an all-out invasion of Iraq was the best way to secure American interests in the Middle East. They simply needed to make up enough reasons to justify the decision. As former CIA agent Paul Pillar notes in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, “the administration used intelligence not to inform decision-making, but to justify a decision already made. It went to war without requesting — and evidently without being influenced by — any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq.” This wasn’t a case of faulty intelligence; it was a case of lying and manipulation. Lying is usually grounds for dismissal.
- 3. Torture
The administration thinks that it is exempt from “quaint” provisions of the Geneva Convention and even U.S. law. It has gone to great lengths to provide the legal justification for torturing prisoners of war (even denying that they are prisoners of war) and set up secret prison camps around the world where it can do whatever it wants. Breaking the law is usually grounds for dismissal.
- 4. Wiretapping
Getting judicial approval to intercept communications is just so inconvenient. Again, the 9/11 defence gets trotted out, but it turns out that the illegal wiretaps were already a reality before September 2001. As well, there is no evidence that the requirement for judicial authorization has stopped officials from listening in on anyone. What the safeguards do is ensure that the government doesn’t spy on people merely because they don’t like them. Again, this kind of conduct would get a person fired from most jobs.
- 5. Plame
The White House was so consumed with the need to prove its case for war in Iraq that it went after the wife of Joseph Wilson, who had discredited one of their most important lies (that Iraq had sought to buy yellow cake uranium from Niger). Evidence points to top administration officials Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and even to Vice-President Dick Cheney as culprits in the outing. Vindictively putting one of your co-workers’ life in danger is usually grounds for dismissal.
- 6. Hurricane Katrina
A report this week confirms what was apparent to virtually everyone list summer — that the federal government was woefully unprepared for a natural disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina (although it had plenty of warnings). Once the disaster happened Bush cronies proved to be thoroughly incapable of handling the relief efforts. Not doing your job is usually grounds for dismissal.
- 7. Abramoff
High-powered Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff is facing criminal charges for his activities. His ties to Republican members of Congress, administration officials and even the White House have been well-documented. The former Chief Procurement Officer for the Bush administration is also facing charges in connection with their role in the Abramoff affair. Bribery and theft are usually grounds for dismissal.
- 8. Advertising scandal
Just to make Canadians feel a certain kinship with our American neighbours, the United States has its own version of the sponsorship scandal. A new report from the Government Accountability Office report reveals that the administration spent over $1.6 billion in public relations and media contracts over two and a half years. Some of that was spent paying media pundits to promote the administration agenda (although there seem to be plenty of them willing to do it for free). Spending public money on your own partisan ends is usually grounds for dismissal.
There are more reasons that Bush needs to be removed from office and much more detail available on each of the reasons given above. But space is limited and, if we took the time to go through them all, itâe(TM)d probably be 2008 by the time we were finished.
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