Sunday, March 12, 2006

The national demand for “impeachment” — the forbidden word — is growing. The March issue of Harper’s features an article by its editor Lewis Lapham, of which an excerpt has been posted. He cites a massive report commissioned by the staff of House Judiciary Committee member Rep. John Conyers, who proposed “a select committee to … make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment” (House Res. 635).

As of ‘press’ time, 665,851 Americans have already voted to impeach. In addition, 28 congressional representatives have signed on, as have the city council of Arcata, Calif. and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Friday’s New York Times reported a “compromise” plan, drafted by GOP free-agents with the White House, to allow such ‘warrantless eavesdropping’ for 45 days pending “a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,” as the law requires. You know, the Law of the Land.

And a Washington Post story read that a “too sensitive to talk about” (Sen. Rockefeller) subcommittee will be getting word on the illegal doings of the Chief Executive: namely, internal espionage, first without court approval and, now, with partisan abdication (Walter Pincus, “Panel on Eavesdropping Is Briefed by White House,” 10 March 2006, A4).

The very fact that the President had to have his arm twisted in order to give legislative “sanction” to violating our Constitution, and debates over the “necessity” (Rockefeller again) or efficacy of perpetuating the violations, sidesteps the larger point: the Constitution has been made irrelevant.

“The country is threatened by free-booting terrorists unaligned with a foreign government or an enemy army; the secrets are those of the Bush Administration, chief among them its determination to replace a democratic republic with something more safely totalitarian,” Lapham writes. “The fiction of permanent war allows it to seize, in the name of the national security, the instruments of tyranny.”

You don’t have to be religious to want to pray every now and again.

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