The Byrne Report
By Peter Byrne
It is sickening to watch the Democratic Party cut and run from the real possibility of throwing Bush-Cheney out of office. Impeaching Bush-Cheney could ignite a movement to promote truth, reconciliation and reparations to the world for exporting neoconservative fascism to their countries. The problem, of course, is that impeachment requires Congress to act, and Congress is still cheerfully assisting Bush-Cheney to loot the national treasure, eviscerate civil liberties and wage illegal wars. It is, perhaps, foolish to ask perpetrators to right their own wrongs, but we have to start somewhere.
Gosh, does that sound too radical? Too . . . hmmm . . . un-Fatherland-ish? Don't take my word for how deep in the political doodoo we are; follow the women. Specifically, listen to the advice of two remarkable women who have spent their lives serving the system. Both spoke in Sonoma County last month on the absolute necessity of impeaching Bush-Cheney. They are former Chief of the U.S. Attorney office in San Jose Elizabeth de la Vega, and Cynthia McKinney, a six-term Democratic congresswoman from DeKalb County, Ga.
In mid-February, de la Vega spoke at Petaluma's Copperfield's Books about her book, United States v. George W. Bush et al. Drawing upon her experience as the head of a federal organized crime strike force, de la Vega has written a criminal indictment of the Bush-Cheney gang (including Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell) for violating Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 371, which prohibits conspiracies to defraud the United States. Using public records, the recently retired prosecutor presented substantial evidence that the "defendants" knowingly made fraudulent statements to Congress and the public for the purpose of invading Iraq.
I won't detail all of the evidence de la Vega uses to make her case, but if you have been paying attention you know most of it by now: Bush-Cheney flat-out lied and they knew they were lying. Of course, Congress and the media knew it, too, and they agreed to look the other way. Disgustingly, the New York Times syndicate is now blaming the "inept" Bush-Cheney for the "debacle" in Iraq, while ignoring its own pivotal role in causing and supporting the illegal invasion and occupation. We should be ashamed of ourselves as a society for willfully fooling ourselves when we really did know the truth, i.e., that Bush-Cheney lied. It was obvious and a reckless disregard for the truth, a prosecutable crime when committed by people placed in a position of trust.
The soft-spoken de la Vega is housewifely in appearance. Watching her talk is like seeing Betty Crocker jump off a cake box and calmly make the case that our leaders be held over for a jury trial for committing unspeakable acts. When the White House pisses off Betty Crocker, there is hope for change. Unfortunately, the crowd of about 20 folks were mostly over age 50. One can only wonder what shopping mall the youth of soldier age were hiding in that night. Nor did the youth come out in any force to hear the charismatic McKinney tell it like it is--starting with the systematic disenfranchisement of black voters in the last two presidential elections--at a student-sponsored event at Sonoma State University a few days later.
McKinney cautioned the audience of mostly white people over 50 that unless Congress is prepared to defund the Bush-Cheney war on Iraq, antiwar posturing by Democrats is public-relations fog. "Translate what you read in the press, hear the unspoken, see the invisible, read the unwritten," she urged. She had nothing good to say about the Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who is refusing to end the war and who is giving Bush-Cheney a free pass for destroying New Orleans, spying on Americans, torturing prisoners and a long list of other impeachable offenses. When an audience member timidly remarked, "Impeachment is not good for the country." McKinney tartly countered, "Impeachment is a moral imperative." She received a standing ovation.
Meanwhile, Lynn Woolsey, our own antiwar congresswoman, needs to start listening to the impeachment message, especially since her valiant efforts to defund the war will likely fail due to Democratic Party sabotage. Unfortunately, Woolsey is still marching in lockstep with the Pelosi edict, "Impeachment is not on the table."
Nonsense! Impeachment could ignite a movement to take the country back from Bush-Cheney and their corporate sponsors (ignoring for the moment that Congress is itself the premier corporate lobby). Add some gasoline to the impeachment fire and check out a collection of powerful essays called Impeach the President, edited by SSU professor Peter Phillips.
And then call Woolsey up and tell her to flip Pelosi off and do the people's business.