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September 18, 2007

Impeachment: If not now, when?

by Stevi Carroll and Janice Markham

United States Constitution - Article II Section 4:


The President, Vice-President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Our current administration under the leadership of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney

  • lied to Congress and the American public about the reasons for invading Iraq.
  • violated International Law by conducting a preemptive invasion of a sovereign nation.
  • conducted illegal wiretaps of American citizens.
  • held detainees without formal charges or legal representation.
  • violated the Geneva Convention and other international treaties by torturing detainees and practicing extraordinary rendition.

In addition to these offenses, this administration has committed “lesser” crimes, including the use of tax dollars for anonymous government propaganda and violating separation of church and state by having an office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

According to the Constitution the above transgressions are impeachable offenses. When our Congressional leaders take their oath of office they promise to uphold the Constitution. So, where is the check on the executive branch? Where is the oversight and accountability? After the 2006 Congressional election when Democrats regained control of Congress, many critics of the Bush administration believed there would finally be Congressional oversight and accountability. However, this has not proved to be the case. And to this we can only ask the question “Why?”

One argument against impeachment is that it is impossible to garner enough votes in the senate to impeach Bush and Cheney. How is this already a done deal? Has everyone forgotten “Dewey Defeats Truman” blasted across the Chicago Daily Tribune? Republicans are breaking ranks with the current administration on a daily basis. While it is true that many of the potential impeachable offenses have already been part of the public and political discourse, during impeachment proceedings culpability will become glaring and ultimately unavoidable.

Another argument against impeachment is that the attention of Congress will be diverted from the Iraq quagmire. If the president and vice president and their administration – at least those who have not yet resigned - are to be held responsible for the U.S. occupation of Iraq, then removing Bush and Cheney is a necessary step to restore confidence in the government. Now that Democrats control Congress, they could frame the impeachable offenses to show how the Bush administration squanders our tax dollars to continue the disastrous Iraq occupation. These funds could be used for healthcare, infrastructure, education, etc., which would only make the case for impeachment stronger. Bush is stealing from those of us on the ground.

What is the real issue against impeachment? Are Democrats simply afraid it could cost them the 2008 presidential election? When Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd rejected efforts to impeach President Bush because of how it would hurt Democratic chances in 2008, Jack Cafferty of CNN responded with: “…Senator Dodd is putting the election prospects of the Democratic Party next year ahead of whether or not President Bush might be guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors of a kind which would mandate his removal from office…Congress's job is oversight of the executive branch - Unless, of course, that oversight interferes with getting elected.” Our Congressional leaders need to remember that their job is to represent the people and uphold the Constitution. To remind your Senators and Representatives of this go to: and

Designed by Ian @ Computers for Peace