What would you call it when a group of Bush hating, hallucinating, antiwar liberals get together for an antiwar, Bush bashing party on the taxpayers' dime? Today, we call it a "Congressional Committee Hearing." Most recently, it was the House Judiciary Committee discussing the "Constitutional Limits of Executive Power" - at least that is what they were supposed to be discussing. It wasnít.
Chaired by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mi), this hearing was based on the
Dennis Kucinich points of impeachment of President Bush. Although billed as a House Committee Hearing on the Constitutional Limits of Executive Power, it was actually more like a lynch mob intent on putting Bush's neck in a noose and pushing the articles of impeachment onto the House floor.
Repeatedly it was stated by Conyers that this was not an impeachment hearing, but rather an inquiry into presidential powers. Impeachment hearings had not been authorized by House leadership. Why? Because the House leadership knew they didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of ever passing impeachment of the president on the House floor. If you have ever wondered why Congress now has a 9% approval rating, this explains it all.
There was nothing new or different in this hearing that we haven't been hearing from Democrats for the past 5 years. It was just a rehash of everything they hate about Bush and all of their unsupported charges thrown at the president over the years which include: lying to Congress and the American people; manipulating intelligence pertaining to WMD in Iraq; ordering the illegal use of torture; outing a covert agent; spying on the American people; firing U.S. Attorney's for political purposes; denying the constitutional powers of congressional oversight; ignoring subpoenas; and other alleged crimes. Yet, this wasn't an impeachment hearing.
It should be noted that throughout the hearing, Democrats rarely made mention of the attacks of 9-11, or the fact that we have been at war against terrorists ever since. As far as they are concerned, none of that exists and national defense and protecting the country from attack are irrelevant.
The Democrats have the right to pursue this nonsense, and as Mike Pence said, it's a waste of time and will never be considered by Congress, but some of the accusations and hateful language used against the President were highly disrespectful and way over the top, if not just liberal nonsense. There was no shortage of references to Richard Nixon throughout the hearing, but only a couple of brief mentions of Bill Clinton, who also faced impeachment.
The hearing was supposed to be an investigation into the powers of the president (and the Democratsí hopes of reducing them), not an impeachment hearing. That's not the way it turned out. It was a clear and obvious attempt by Democrats to criminalize politics because they disagree with the policies of the president.
What hurts the most are the accusations by Democrats that President Bush has put his personal interests above the best interests of the American people; that everything he has done in defense of our country was done instead for some sort of personal gain. I donít agree with Bush on a number of issues, but one credit I will give him is that his primary concern is for the safety and security of the country above all else. Democrats have made a big mistake by attacking him on this issue.
In their opening statements, they profess that Bush started a war in Iraq for no good reason, all on his own, and without the consent of Congress. The fact that Bush had a consensus of world intelligence in support of his reasons for going to war, that he had the full approval of Congress, and that Congress continues to fund the war in Iraq to this day, means nothing to them. They don't care.
What they care about is getting their false charges and lies out on television and into the media to sucker in the uninformed voters; to increase their power to subvert the U.S. government; to trash the Constitution; and offer "change" - from capitalism to socialism, if not communism, and justify it all by saying they simply want to be sure the Constitution is being adhered to by the president.
An early example of liberal ignorance came from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, the same Sheila Jackson Lee who recently said the government should "socialize" and take over the oil companies. Now, Lee confuses our Constitution with international law:
"There are questions of torture, as to whether there was direction of the administration, institutional administration, to in essence to contravene international law, and thereby contravene the Constitution of the United States of America."
Since when is the Constitution of the United States of America subservient to, or an article of, international law? Does Lee even know the difference between the government of the United States and the United Nations? I don't think she does.
Then we had Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga) listing death and injury statistics from Iraq and making the claim that this was an impeachable offense. Code Pink must have been in the chambers as this statement resulted in an outburst of applause, which had previously been warned against by the chairman.
"Warrantless wiretapping of Americans, torturing and kidnapping and detaining of numerous prisoners - foreign, uh, enemy combatants, uh, prisoners, whatever they could be classified as."
How about "enemies" or "terrorists," Mr. Johnson? No, they way he sees it, they are just innocent victims of Bush.
"Political spying, uh, the attacks on academic freedom, uh, the politicization of the Justice Dept., selective prosecutions, uh, so many areas for inquiry by this congress..."
Isn't Johnson listing things that Democrats have been doing all along? He looks at the president and sees a reflection of himself and his party. But in the end, he reminds his audience that "this is not an impeachment hearing."
We also heard from Rep. Keith Ellison, who, as you may remember, was sworn into office on the Quran, not the Bible. All Ellison wanted to talk about was impeachment and how much he thinks it would be justified, but without any real specifics. But of course, this wasn't an impeachment hearing.
Ellison was followed by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, appearing as a witness, who simply ran down his articles of impeachment and all of his outrageous and ridiculous views on Bush and traditional America. In particular, he listed all of the justifications for the war in Iraq and in each case, said "Iraq was not...", Iraq was not...," making the claim that all of the points of justification for war in Iraq were false.
I guess Iraq wasn't in violation of the ceasefire agreement or 17 U.N. Resolutions either. It's nice to know that someone in Congress knows more about world affairs than all of the intelligence agencies and experts in the world combined. I often wonder if Kucinich is living in Alice's wonderland, or Dorothy's Land of Oz.
Then we had Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-Ny), who accused the Bush administration of being dominated by "corruption and incompetence." Look who's talking - a member of the party which is defined by corruption and incompetence - the party that has brought a 9% approval rating to Congress.
Hinchey simply dwelled on the infamous "August 6th, 2001 memo" which was titled "
Bin Ladden Determined to Strike in U.S.," but contained no new or useful information. Hinchey professes that this should have been enough to prevent the 9-11 attacks. But he went further. He then accused Don Rumsfeld of intentionally allowing Bin Laden to escape in Tora Bora, to keep the terrorism threat alive, to justify the invasion of Iraq. Go figure. But remember, this isn't about impeachment.
Ross "Rocky" Anderson, former mayor of Salt Lake City showed up as a witness, and spent his dime talking about torture - charges that have never produced one shred of evidence of ever happening. Remember when they couldn't find evidence of detainee torture at Gitmo, they then set about changing the definition of torture in Congress? Now insulting, or getting too close to a woman is considered torture at Gitmo.
Occasionally (about one out of 5) we were treated to statements by someone living in the real world, a Republican. Most were in awe of what they had been hearing from the Democrats and openly expressed their displeasure and disgust with what was being said and portrayed as "truth."
Stephen Presser, a Northwestern University Legal History Professor, made it clear that President Bush has done nothing that would constitute "high crimes and misdemeanors," and that his questionable "signing statements," that overruled certain oversight by Congress, were nothing that hadn't been done by every president throughout history in a time of war. His testimony reinforced the view that all this impeachment talk was pointless.
But Vincent Bugliosi, former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, took the cake when he outright labeled president Bush a "murderer." Prefacing his remarks by saying that the rules of this committee do not allow for him to accuse Bush directly of a crime, so he will have to use the term "Administration" or other substitutes.
Quoting from his book "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder," Bugliosi began with the premise that Bush "took this nation to war in Iraq on a lie, on false pretenses, and therefore under the law, they are guilty of murder of over 4000 American soldiers who have died so far, in Iraq, fighting their war. And let's not forget the over 100,000 innocent Iraqi men, women, and children who have died horrible, violent deaths because of this war." Only 100,000? Funny that Kucinich said it was a million. Of course none of them were al Qaeda or Iraqi insurgents trying to kill Americans. Of course not.
Bugliosi went on to claim that he has "documentary evidence that when George W. Bush told the nation, on the evening of October 7, 2002, that Saddam Hussein was an eminent threat to the security of this country, he was telling millions of unsuspecting Americans the exact opposite of what his own CIA had told administration officials just 6 days earlier in a classified report on October the first, that Hussein was not an imminent threat."
There is just one thing wrong with this testimony: Bush never said that Hussein was an "imminent threat." Bush called him a "grave and growing threat." But Bugliosi didn't stop there. He then went on to say that a few days later, the Bush Administration released a document known as the "white paper", in which every reference to the CIA telling Bush that Saddam was not an "imminent threat" was completely deleted. "One of these all important words was taken out so Congress and the American people never saw any of this," Bugliosi said. Maybe because it never existed in the first place? Itís no secret that Bush was advised against using the term ďimminentĒ, and thatís why he didnít use it.
That was followed shortly with "The terrible reality is that the Bush Administration has gotten away with thousands and thousands of murders and we, the American people, cannot let them do this."
This kind of liberal Bush hating and distortion of the facts is demented.
When Bugliosi then went on to call for the Justice Department to file murder charges against people in the Bush Administration, the Code Pink crowd went wild. Chairman Conyers had to be reminded that he said he would clear the room if these outbursts happened again. Conyers refused to clear the room and Bugliosi finished his diatribe and book promotion.
Jeremy Rabkin, a George Mason University Law Professor, somewhat shocked by the previous testimony, then brought the room back to reality in a light hearted way by showing just how trivial all of these ridiculous accusations were by saying that some people in the room have suggested that there was some kind of conspiracy to take the nation into war, for no good reason at all, and that this was done knowingly.
He emphasized that if you really believed that, then you shouldn't be wasting time on secondary issues like FISA and all the other charges being brought up, "just zero in on that." He went on to elaborate about the Bush signing papers and how war time presidents historically "don't particularly care about the Constitution, they care more about defending the country." He reminded the committee that they need to look at all of these things in the context of wartime, something that has completely eluded the Democrat party.
Rabkin then talked about the partisan division that exists in the country. Looking around the room, he said "I'm really astonished at the mood in this room. I mean the tone of these deliberations, I think it's slightly demented." I would have to agree with that.
These are just some the highlights of the first half of this 6 hour, 15 minute hearing. I donít have time to cover it all, but if you have the time, you can see it all at: