Priming the Deadeye impeachment pump

As you know, I've been thinking about and writing about impeachment for a while, here.  This article will not have links in it because (a) I'm pressed for time and (b) it's more in the nature of brainstorming than in the nature of finalized analysis.  The "why" for (b) follows.

Last week over at FireDogLake one of the commenters, "looseheadprop" had put up a post asking for those with interest to start putting together the framework of "Causes of action", if you will, to support the impeachment of Deadeye Dick Cheney.  Here's my first draft.

I'm thinking more of categories into which his actions can be fit, not so much as specific legal causes of action.  We need to remember that this is explicitly not a criminal case and the precision of a criminal indictment, hewing exactly to the language of a particular statute, is not necessary for pleading.  But, the statutes are a good guide, too.  Ultimately, however, the question which has to be answered is "which set of facts and reasoning can appeal to 67 Senators such that they will vote to convict?"  Please keep that in mind.

1.    Seditious conspiracy.

This is the big one under which a lot of his conduct will fall.  This encompasses his pushing the unitary executive theory, his involvement in the placement of people throughout the bureaucracy who will carry it out, and the general attempt to neuter the Congress.  It would also include things like the so-called PATRIOT Act amendments, his son-in-law's showing up at opportune times in government positions to thwart regulations (on things like chemical plant safety, for instance), the insistence on signing statements, pushing the torture and detention camps, and so on.  Again, this is Draft One, and this will need fleshing out.  The gist of it though, is that he has been engaged (with a lot of helpers) in overthrowing the Constitution of the United States and replacing it with a dictatorship.  And that, friends, is the definition of seditious conspiracy.

2.    Conspiracy to violate the FISA

The NSA spying runs right to his desk - especially in light of Tenet's book.  Whether, as some have posted today, Hayden came up with it first, or Deadeye did, is not really material, since the charge is conspiracy, and the germ of that cause of action is the agreement, not the underlying offense (which need not be proven).

Moreover, this also encompasses the whole idea that the Executive is subject to the laws.

3.    Violating the FISA.

I think he's been using, or having others use, FISA-violating intercepts on other Americans, to keep them in line.  Moreover, we "know" that FISA has been violated.

4.    Conspiracy to violate the Hatch Act.

File under this not only the US Attorneys scandal, but also all the other things he's been up to (though it's likely mostly Rove) which have been done to politicize the career services in the government.

5.    Obstruction of Congressional inquiries

Self-explanatory.  Every time he's refused to answer a congressional inquiry, it goes in the box.

6.    Conspiracy to violate the IIPA.

File l'affaire Plame under this.

7.    Obstruction of justice, or conspiracy to do so.

Likewise.  And more.  

8.    Contempt of Congress.

Senator Leahy knows what I mean.  And that's just the start of it.

9.    Extortion and blackmail.

The first time I heard about it I thought, and I still think, that Cheney's service as head of the 2000 VP Search committee, and his collection from all the prospective candidates of their (voluntarily given) dossiers, listing all the potential problems they might encounter - "so as to make the Democrats' job harder" - was really one of the more brutally Machiavellian moves in American history.  I have no doubt that a select few of individuals can (not necessarily "do") get access to this material, but the more important point of it is that potential GOP dissidents know they can be trashed in a heartbeat with this material.  If that does not fit the definition of blackmail, nothing does.

10.    Treasonous conspiracy.

I'm not really sure on the title of this one, though the point is more that he has acted in the interests of the Saudis and of the oil industry, more than in the interests of supporting, upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States.  And, his counter-terror policies have clearly vivified more people to become terrorists rather than fewer.  Has his conduct given aid and comfort to the enemy?  I think so.  Maybe you don't.  We need to flesh this one out, too.

11.    Usurpation of power.

We need to remember that the Vice President, in Constitutional terms, is an empty vessel.  His only purposes are to preside in the Senate and break tie votes there, and to be a president-in-waiting.  Everything else he has done, even when he has gotten the "approval" from the President for it, is not authorized by law.  The real structure of the present government has been an unaccountable Vice President, with his own office, staff and infrastructure specifically built to avoid checks and balances, running things, with a figurehead Preznit out front to dance and distract.  I've said it before (in the context of torture) and I'll say it again - they think that silence in the Constitution means a license, which is exactly contrary to the Founders intention that the federal government be a government of powers limited to those granted by the Constitution. This part of Cheney's behavior runs straight at the heart of the Constitution, and needs to be rooted out, lest it become precedent.

This point is seriously capable of being fleshed out much more broadly, too.

12.    Complicity in, aiding, abetting and promoting torture and violation of treaties.

Let's not kid ourselves.  Mr. Go-to-the-Dark-Side was just as much behind the torture camps and Gitmo as was Rumsfeld.

13.    Waging aggressive war and crimes against humanity.

A story developing today indicates that the intelligence community (or well-placed persons within it) are fairly well convinced that Deadeye and folks working for or with him were ultimately behind the Niger forgeries.  I will not comment on the veracity of their stories - I just don't know -  other than to say we've seen any number of times that the modus operandi for these folks has been to leak something - true or not - to a friendly conduit, who can then turn around and either put it in the paper (like Plame) or bring it to the government where it becomes part of the discussion.  In the case of the Niger forgeries, we know they went through the Italian intel agency to the press, then into the CIA.  Once in CIA, they were debunked, but they still kept being dredged up to support the ultimate argument, that Sadaam wanted or had nukes.  We've also known the Niger forgeries were instrumental in starting the war.  If it turns out to be even arguably true that they emanated from Deadeye's shop or people, it would be the clearest evidence yet that he was involved in both creating the pretext for war and pushing inside the government for the very war he'd created the pretext for.  Even if Bushie wasn't involved (actually it's worse), that Cheney was involved in bullsh*tting him is itself bad enough.  That this was a war both of choice and aggression is not subject to doubt.  I think there's enough to put Deadeye into the dock for being the moving force behind it.

As to the crimes against humanity - there's a half million dead bodies in Iraq.  Moreover, there was a lot of looting in Baghdad of irreplaceable cultural treasures - which the (deliberately) poor planning enabled.  And behind the doctrine driving the war there was the idea of perpetual war.  That's a crime against humanity.  And, further, there was torture and more.  There's plenty there.

So, there you have my first draft.  Have at it.  Please.

< PLAN B: A National Referendum on the War in Iraq | The Cabal >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I Agree (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Tue May 15, 2007 at 06:02:55 PM EST
    Great work Scribe! All of this is true and we know that there is much more impeachable that Cheney has done . The problem is 67 senators need to get behind this. A recent line from Wolfie, who is nothing compared to Cheney as far as ruthlessness goes, sums up the problem:

    The Guardian reports that as the details of Paul Wolfowitz's deal to give a hefty pay package to girlfriend, Shaha Riza, were threatening to be revealed, Wolfowitz threatened senior World Bank staffers that they'd pay if the deal was revealed publicly. "If they f-ck with me or Shaha," raged Wolfowitz, according to the internal report on Wolfowitz's conduct, "I have enough on them to f-ck them too."


    As right on as this effort is, I do not see a glimmer of hope in pulling it off. Not enough dependable votes and if we fail our strength is weaker in '08, then if we had not tried to impeach.  

    The way to go is to win a healthy majority in '08 and then put these creeps behind bars.