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Is Treason an Impeachable Offense, Senator Reid?

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« on: November 24, 2007, 05:16:50 pm »

Is Treason an Impeachable Offense, Senator Reid?
by Bill Hare | Nov 24 2007 - 8:54am | 

In a recent PBS radio interview Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scoffed and demeaned the idea of impeaching George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. The whole process appeared so ludicrous to him that at one point he appeared ready to terminate the interview if the subject did not promptly change.

We remember the days when Republican hypocrites in the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde and Bob Livingston, all of whom had notable marital transgressions, successfully managed to impeach Bill Clinton for lying about an extra-marital affair conducted in the White House and lying about it on an affidavit in a civil case.

We also remember the reason persistently advanced by these Republicans of “The important thing was that Clinton lied!”

So now these same self-acknowledged moral guardians are silent, as is much of the mainstream media, which was only too happy to declare open season on Clinton concerning his extra-marital peccadilloes, in the face of conduct extending into the realm of treason, by normal standards considered the most heinous of crimes in a democratic nation.

Recent disclosures by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan prior to the release of his book “What Happened” that he was misled when he sought to exonerate Karl Rove and Lewis ”Scooter” Libby from involvement in the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame, an expert in the field of nuclear weapons investigation, underscores the need for further investigation into Bush Administration activities.

McClellan’s excerpt, as quoted in Editor & Publisher, reads:

“I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president’s chief of staff, and the president himself.”

With such an important number of major government leaders involved, the McClellan statement prompted historians to recall the Watergate period, when the term “cover-up” was so much in the public vogue and a chief executive was besieged with questions he failed to answer in a sea of recriminations and repeated attempted escapes from responsibility.

Valerie Plame, the agent outed by the White House cabal through the intercession of the corporate right’s most reliable rubber stamp, columnist Robert Novak, issued a statement from her Santa Fe, New Mexico home concerning McClellan’s statement:

“I am outraged to learn that former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan confirms that he was sent out to lie to the press corps and the American public about two senior White House officials, Karl Rove and I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby who deliberately and recklessly released my identity as a covert CIA operations officer. Even more shocking, McClellan confirms that not only Karl Rove and Scooter Libby told him to lie but (also) Vice President Cheney. Presidential Chief of Staff Andrew Card and President Bush also ordered McClellan to issue his misleading statement. Unfortunately, President Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s felony sentence has short-circuited justice.

“Vice President Cheney in particular knew that Scooter Libby was involved because he had ordered and directed his actions. McClellan’s revelations provide important support for our civil suit against those who violated our national security and maliciously destroyed my career.”

It was none other than George Bush the Elder who as Ronald Reagan’s vice president bitterly denounced the act of disclosing a name or names of covert CIA operatives. By revealing Ms. Plame’s identity her life was placed at risk as well as those with whom she interacted in her government duties.

Remember when George W. Bush assured Americans that if any of his subordinates were discovered to be involved in such outing activities that he would immediately fire such individual or individuals? Has he given any such indication since? Has Bush urged that this matter be investigated fully to a proper conclusion?

What we do know is that Bush promptly pardoned Libby. As Valerie Plame noted, this act “short-circuited justice.”

Such actions fall under the heading of high crimes and misdemeanors as defined by the nation’s Founding Fathers in the U.S. Constitution. The action herein involved represents treason by any reasonable definition.

It is the mandated responsibility of members of Congress to investigate and, if the evidence warrants, impeach and ultimately remove from office public officials engaging in such misconduct. This mandate also includes a violation of international law by attacking another nation without reasonable cause, as occurred in the case of Iraq on the basis of unfounded charges of “weapons of mass destruction.”

Senator Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, do we simply allow such acts to go uninvestigated? Do you not believe in carrying out the responsibilities invested in you as members of Congress?

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