An endless list of bombshells: Is impeachment a mercy exit?
by Gary R. Couillard
President Bush's approval rating has plunged to new depths as his go-it-alone, at-any-cost Iraqi obsession marks its fourth anniversary. On the domestic front, Bush's legacy crumbles with record national debt, escalating home foreclosures, increasing credit card delinquencies, a stalled Katrina disaster recovery, unacceptable care for the war wounded, record energy prices and a hostile Congress.
And another bombshell-in the past three years, the FBI issued 44,000 national security letters authorizing 143,074 secret data requests for telephone, bank and credit card records. According to Inspector General Glenn Fine's report, the FBI may have violated the law or government policies as many as 3,000 times since 2003 as a result of failed management, lack of training and disregard of the law.
It's beyond belief that Homeland Security is investigating thousands and thousands of terrorist sleeper cells. The FBI failed to connect the dots on the nineteen 9/11 terrorists. Even six months after the World Trade Center attack, two of the terrorists were issued student visas for their flight schools. Does Homeland Security even need the private details for tens of thousands of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals residing here? This terrorist fishing expedition sounds more like the 1947 House of Un-American Activities Committee investigation.
It's now apparent that the Bush administration is intent on politicizing federal prosecution. Last December Attorney General Gonzales orchestrated the removal of eight U.S. Attorneys for what clearly appears to be retribution for targeting the investigation of Republicans or for failing to aggressively prosecute Democrats. In a March 21, 2007 NY Times OpEd piece, David Iglesias, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico, detailed the political pressure he received to prosecute Democrats.
Don't be misled that the firing of the U.S. Attorneys has anything to do with the President's prerogative to appoint the 93 U.S. Attorneys. In the normal appointment process, the Senate has oversight approval for all presidential U.S. Attorney appointments. Bush used a clause inserted in the March 2006 Patriot Act reauthorization to appoint loyal Bushies as interim U.S. Attorneys in order to circumvent Senate oversight. For example, Bud Cummins, U.S. Attorney from Arkansas, was investigating a Republican Governor when he was terminated and replaced by Thomas Griffin, a former Karl Rove advisor.
At a news conference last month, Bush professed his allegiance to his Attorney General, meaning that Gonzales will soon find a horse head on his pillow just like previous loyal Bushies did-Paul O'Neil, Colin Powell, Mike Brown (Brownie) and Donald Rumsfeld. Bush wants the public to know the truth so he offered Congress Karl Rove and Harriet Miers as witnesses on conditions that there be no transcript, no television, behind closed doors, no sworn oaths and no access to internal White House emails.
This U.S. Attorney mess reminds me of the time when Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox was discharged by President Nixon to restrict the Watergate investigation. Less than a year later, on August 9, 1974 Nixon became the 1st U.S. President to resign from office. Upon his discharge Archibald Cox uttered this profound statement that is eminently applicable today:
"Whether ours shall continue to be a government of laws and not of men is now for Congress and ultimately the American people to decide."
History is not going to be kind to George Bush-A Legacy of Failure. Impeachment might be a mercy exit for Bush compared to having his administration slowly bleed to death from the Iraqi quagmire, bungled management, national security violations, obstruction of justice, incompetence and an economic downturn.
Gary Couillard is a numbers guy, expert witness and founding CATALYST supporter who wears funny hats and sings with our publisher.