It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here about politics and I have a lot of other stuff to do this morning, but I couldn’t resist: is it possible that, even with a Republican congress, that the piles of scandals might lead to W.’s impeachment?
Crazy a few months ago; and yet, Arlene Specter (of all people!) was one of the first to drop the I-word in an interview on ABC’s This Week. And, as this entry from the daily kos makes clear, he isn’t the only one on the right who is at least saying there needs to be an investigation. When Republicans (albeit moderate ones) start talking impeachment….
Add into that Al Gore’s recent speech where he denounced the administration, a speech that by many accounts was mighty mighty impressive, perhaps the sort of thing that might launch a Gore in 08 campaign. The full transcript of the speech is here (and elsewhere on the ‘net). Here’s a nice passage:
The President has also claimed that he has the authority to kidnap individuals on the streets of foreign cities and deliver them for imprisonment and interrogation on our behalf by autocratic regimes in nations that are infamous for the cruelty of their techniques for torture. Some of our traditional allies have been deeply shocked by these new, and uncharacteristic patterns on the part of Americans. The British Ambassador to Uzbekistan – one of those nations with the worst reputations for torture in its prisons – registered a complaint to his home office about the cruelty and senselessness of the new U.S. practice that he witnessed: “This material weâ€™re getting is useless,â€? he wrote and then he continued with this â€“ â€œwe are selling our souls for dross. It is in fact positively harmful.”
Can it be true that any president really has such powers under our Constitution? If the answer is “yes” then under the theory by which these acts are committed, are there any acts that can on their face be prohibited? If the President has the inherent authority to eavesdrop on American citizens without a warrant, imprison American citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can’t he do?
The Dean of Yale Law School, Harold Koh, said after analyzing the Executive Branch’s extravagant claims of these previously unrecognized powers: “If the President has commander-in-chief power to commit torture, he has the power to commit genocide, to sanction slavery, to promote apartheid, to license summary execution.”
The fact that our normal American safeguards have thus far failed to contain this unprecedented expansion of executive power is, itself, deeply troubling.
And to top it all off, W. et al may very well get sucked into the whole Jack Abramoff thing too!
Anyway, a couple of interesting months coming up; watch for a raised terror alert.