[The following op-ed appeared in an edited version as a letter to the editor in the June 25 edition of the Bakersfield Californian.]
It’s imperative that we, the American people, stop George W. Bush from starting another war. This time he has his sights set on Iran and, as in Iraq, the intelligence is being fixed around the policy. Worse, Bush is threatening use of nuclear weapons. Has he gone mad? Will he plunge us into a worldwide nuclear war?
Our course is clear. The House must impeach George W. Bush, and the Senate must convict him for a long list of criminal acts that fall under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution for “high crimes and misdemeanors”.
George W. Bush has violated his oath of office to faithfully enforce the country’s laws. He has admitted to illegal domestic spying on Americans, itself a felony. His administration has condoned torture in our name, contravening the Geneva Convention and US law. He has created a secret gulag in Eastern Europe, again in violation of US law. He and his staff, including Vice President Cheney, committed treason for crass partisan purposes in revealing the name of a secret US operative. Bush and his cabinet have arbitrarily abrogated legally binding treaties, including but not limited to the Nüremburg Charter.
Any one of these acts alone is sufficient grounds for impeachment. Together, they present an overwhelming case for immediate action by Congress.
Of course Bush’s most heinous crime and his greatest blunder is committing America to an act of aggressive war against a country that had not attacked us. Americans now realize that there never was any factual evidence that Iraq threatened us.
Iraq is George Bush’s Poland. Like the Nazis in Poland, Iraq was invaded on trumped up grounds masquerading as justification for war, a crime for which the German conspirators were tried at Nüremburg, convicted, and hanged.
If convicted–and there’s little doubt now that he’s guilty–Bush should not be hanged, but he and his co-conspirators, including Dick Cheney and the entire Bush cabinet, should be imprisoned for life. To avoid the risk of pardons from future American governments, Bush and his cabinet cohorts should be shackled and shipped to the Hague in chains where–at the request of the American people–they will spend the rest of their lives in confinement contemplating their crimes, the damage they’ve done to the USA, to our troops and their families, and to our Constitution.
In September 2002, I wrote that the American people would not tolerate another Gulf of Tonkin, the ruse that set off our disastrous war in Vietnam. What we have witnessed in Iraq is far worse–a continuing deception that calls into question the nature of American democracy itself.
Now we find ourselves on the verge of another reckless war.
Often it’s been said, “It can’t happen here.” It is happening here. All Americans–red, blue, or green–have a moral obligation to speak out now and hold George Bush and his cabinet accountable. If we don’t, the US won’t be the country my father fought for in 1945. It will have become one of those countries we fought against, where, years from now, people will ask in disgust, “How could they let that happen, why didn’t they stop it?”
Let’s stop George W. Bush now. Impeach, convict, arrest, and imprison George W. Bush and his cabinet. There’s no time to lose.