One day before the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Rep. Dennis Kucinich is presenting a petition to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with 50,000 signatures urging the impeachment of President Bush — adding to the 100,000 he has already filed.
Calling the Bush administration’s military response to 9/11 “errant retributive justice,” the Ohio Democrat called for a Commission on Truth and Reconciliation to “compel testimony and gather official documents” on why the Bush administration went to war in Iraq. In advance of a news conference today with grass-roots organizations lobbying Congress on the issue, Kucinich said:
Impeachment has been the first step in our efforts toward truth. The American people were lied to. We went to war based on lies. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. …
In the face of a destructive war against Iraq, preparations for war against Iran, the initiation of a cold war with Russia, the inevitable destruction of our domestic economy from the extraordinary cost of a great military buildup, and the gutting of civil liberties, the call for impeachment has been the only remedy. Millions of Americans recognize this.
Kucinich’s pitch comes one day before the nation mourns the death of 3,000 Americans killed on 9/11, and one day after Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington endorsed impeachment. McDermott visited Saddam Hussein’s Iraq before the war, earning him the nickname “Baghdad Jim.” Here’s what he said:
For the last two years I’ve struggled with the issue of whether the House should impeach a sitting president. Next to declaring war, impeachment is the gravest matter the House of Representatives must consider. I fully understand the gut-wrenching consequences such a national debate could precipitate. Yet there is one fact we cannot over look or escape: America cannot regain its moral leadership in the world if America cannot hold its leaders accountable for their actions at home.
With Bush leaving office in about four months, and a presidential election campaign in full swing, no one in Washington seriously expects the impeachment drive to succeed. Pelosi has repeatedly taken the issue off the table, saying voters expect Congress to work on economic issues, not spend its remaining months trying to push Bush from office early.
But David Swanson, co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, argued in a press release that impeachment is crucial to possible criminal trials against the president and Vice President Dick Cheney once they leave office.
When Cheney and Bush finally face trial in a criminal court, their first line of defense is likely to be, “We served the American people, whose representatives chose not to impeach us.” If on the other hand they are impeached even after having left office, the likelihood of prosecution and of successful prosecution will increase dramatically.