Sunday, February 19, 2006

A Second Chance

President Bush keeps getting lots of second chances to make things right even though his administration has been one of corruption and incompetence. Now, Republican Senators such as Lindsey Graham and Arlen Specter, who have serious concerns about President Bush's spying program, are extending their help to revise FISA so that it protects both American liberties and American security. The question is whether President Bush will work with them. I would not bet on it. President Bush has not shown any desire to work with anyone on issues such as this.

One only need think about his opposition to the law against torture. We have this WaPo article, Navy Counsel Issued Warning On Torture:
The Navy's general counsel warned Pentagon officials two years before the Abu Ghraib prison scandal that circumventing international agreements on torture and detainees' treatment would invite abuse, according to a published report.

Legal theories granting the president the right to authorize abuse despite the Geneva Conventions were unlawful, dangerous and erroneous, then-General Counsel Alberto J. Mora advised officials in a secret memo. The 22-page document was obtained by the New Yorker for an article in its Feb. 27 issue.

This squares with other insider reports about the Bush Administration. Intelligence reports that predicted the disaster in Iraq were ignored. The legality of domestic spying was seriously contested by experts inside the Justice Department. Competent government officials have left the government service in frustration over appointments of unqualified cronies. Respected career scientists have been dictated to by unqualified crony journalists.

The consequences have ruined many lives. Those who have made those bad decisions remain unrepentant.

Should the Democrats win the House this Fall, they should begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney and President Bush. The Republican controlled House lowered the bar significantly when they impeached President Clinton. A Democratic led impeachment of President Bush would restore a much needed balance in those proceedings. It would restore the balance between high crimes and misdemeanors and frivolous lawsuits. The Republican Party would sober up and realize that the sword has two edges.

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