Shuck and Jive

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Is There a Case for Impeachment?

John Nichols, author and political journalist

When I go out across America, what I hear is something that's really very refreshing and very hopeful about this country. An awfully lot of Americans understand what Thomas Jefferson understood. And that is that the election of a president does not make him a king for four years. That if a president sins against the Constitution-- and does damage to the republic, the people have a right in an organic process to demand of their House of Representatives, the branch of government closest to the people, that it act to remove that president. And I think that sentiment is afoot in the land. (Read More)

Bill Moyers recently interviewed John Nichols (quoted above) and Bruce Fein regarding the activities of our president and vice-president. Here is the transcript.

According to Bruce Fein, Cheney has...
  • Asserted Presidential power to create military commissions, which combine the functions of judge, jury, and prosecutor in the trial of war crimes.
  • Claimed authority to detain American citizens as enemy combatants indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay on the President's say-so alone.
  • Initiated kidnappings, secret detentions, and torture in Eastern European prisons of suspected international terrorists.
  • Championed a Presidential power to torture in contravention of federal statutes and treaties.
  • Engineered the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program targeting American citizens on American soil in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
  • Orchestrated the invocation of executive privilege to conceal from Congress secret spying programs to gather foreign intelligence, and their legal justifications.
  • Summoned the privilege to refuse to disclose his consulting of business executives in conjunction with his Energy Task Force.
  • Retaliated against Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame, through chief of staff Scooter Libby, for questioning the administration's evidence of weapons of mass destruction as justification for invading Iraq.
Is there a case for impeachment? What do you think?


  1. John -

    Thanks for posting this piece about John Nichols and the argument for Impeachment against Cheney.

    John Nichols, and many others like him, have such a deep love and respect for this country and the Constitution upon which it was founded. You can feel it when you hear him speak, when you see him talk. I had the great luck of meeting him in DC in January, along with several other writers who appeared at the workshops put on by United for Peace and Justice. For more about their work, go to

    Dick Cheney is the single greatest threat to our country in my lifetime. Thanks to the devotion of people like John Nichols, more and more people understand that threat every day.

    I hope that, some years from now, when people read the name of "Dick Cheney", they will also read "The first vice president to be successfully brought to justice through the Constitution's own checks and balances". If so, it will have been through the hard work of people like John Nichols, Tim Carpenter, William Rivers Pitt, Bill Moyers, Helen Thomas, and Antonia Juhazs.

  2. I'd like to add that any government leader who would invade another country on false premises or without being directly in danger by the country it invades is usually brought up on war crime charges. The US has usually been at the forefront of taking out such governments and their leaders.

    A conviction for war crimes usually carries with it a death sentence by hanging.

    Is there a case for impeachment? If George W Bush were the president of any other country in the world we would have taken him out by now.

  3. I think the simple answer to your question is...yes they should be impeached.

    And shame on Congress for not doing so.

  4. "Is There a Case for Impeachment?" You're kidding, right? :P

    First vid...

  5. Thanks Snad, Jodie, and TN and welcome Michael! Thanks for visiting. I enjoyed perusing your blog!

    Yes, TN, a bit of an understatement. Thanks for the great vids. I think it is perhaps time for clergy to be prophetic in regards to this. In part, in regards to those in office, but also for the future presidents who will inherit this increased executive power.

  6. That's exactly right, John - as I've said before, "It isn't about retribution. It's about RESTORATION!"

  7. You'll hear frequently, and it's a great point, that if the thought of Hillary Clinton having these powers frightens you, then it should frighten you that George W. Bush claims them.

    I am surprised by letters to the editor and even my own family members so PETRIFIED (literally, turned to stone) by the thought of terrorism and paralyzed by fear. My parents moved to Manhattan last year and of course I am concerned about them, but at the same time, I don't obsess over it. I didn't fully understand FDR's "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" until six years ago. When did Americans become so cowardly? Oceans never did protect us from invasion, civil war or sneak attacks, but we kept our civil liberties. Even when in moments of terror we lost them, we got them back as quick as we could. Too many people have fought and died for my precious rights that I will not relinquish them in the name of fear.

    Is there a case for impeachment? If anything, the Get Clinton debacle taught us there is a VERY low bar. In this case, we're dealing with a very real threat to the very nature of the Constitution, possibly worse than what Dick Nixon threatened. An impeachment would be a mess, but I am afraid it may become necessary to save the republic.

    I love John Nichols and have subscribed to The Nation since college.