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High Crimes

Original post made by Tej Uberoi on May 19, 2007

The late night comedians and Jon Stewart et al are having a field day with the latest episode in the scandal ridden activities of the Bush Administration. Viewers were 'treated' with a dramatic spectacle of Alberto Gonzales trying to browbeat a barely conscious former Attorney General, Ashcroft, into signing off on a law breaking spying order crafted by White House lawyers. Acting attorney general, James Comey, blew the whistle on these illegal activities claiming they voiced their vigorous opposition to the illegal wiretapping order but to no avail. Their objections were ignored, and the Bush Administration went ahead to order the illegal spying of US citizens in complete violation of the law. Surely, this blatant action and disdain for our Constitution qualifies as a high crime and therefore merits impeachment. How long must we be silent witnesses to the criminal behavior of this administration?

Comments (62)

Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford
on May 19, 2007 at 10:15 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2007 at 7:14 am

Viewers were treated with the spectacle of a second rate second banana, over whose head someone went to his boss, getting even.
No laws were broken then, nor in my opinion were any laws broken by the program in question. An expectation of privacy in public is absurd. A demand that government blind itself to threats is silly.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 20, 2007 at 8:24 am

If this is supposed to be entertainment, I question those that belittle themselves by taking part in this entertainment and also those who empower them be watching it. I certainly am not entertained by any of this and would not lower myself by watching anything I didn't find entertainment. I choose my viewing wisely. It is just another definition of bad television of which there is plenty around.

Posted by sarlat, a resident of Crescent Park
on May 20, 2007 at 9:22 am

This administration is much more than incredibly corrupt and incpmpetent. This is a very dangerous criminal gang on a scale we have never seen in our nation's history. Because of our system of government is not parliamentary and removing an administration from office is almost impossible because of the abolute majority it would require in the senate, comedy is our last resort. We use comedy and satire to vent our frustration and express our defiance at this gang of crooks, criminals and murderers, just like people have done in any fascist and communist country throughout history.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2007 at 1:43 pm

Because of the wild rantings of the BDS victims, substantive, possibly corrective criticism is drowned out. In the mentioned episode, no law was broken.

Posted by Dave, a resident of College Terrace
on May 20, 2007 at 3:17 pm

The Bush/Cheney administration rivals the worst regimes the world had seen in the last 100 years. Because of their criminality, corruption and habitual violation of the Constsitution, we are left with only humor and sarcasm to combat these criminals and let them know what we think of them.

Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford
on May 20, 2007 at 3:30 pm

Ok, for some reason my posting in the beginning of this thread was deleted, where I commented on how I had thought it was a joke when I read that there are people who get their news from comedians. I was dead serious.

I then commented on how it explains a lot, implying that it sheds light on the level of informed debate that occurs in this country, or something to that effect.

Why is something deleted that is FACTUAL, with an opinion that is much more respectfully written than the original poster's?

Here is the link to the fact that many people consider Jon Stewart and Saturday Night Live NEWS SOURCES...

Don't delete this, there is NO REASON to do so. Or, if you are going to delete it because you fear offending somebody, then at least be consistent.

Web Link

Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford
on May 20, 2007 at 3:33 pm

I mean, the original post. Here is somebody writing about a supposed comedy act AS IF IT WERE REAL!!

Posted by Will J, a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2007 at 4:18 pm

The reason that these shows attack or tease the current administration is simple. The administration behaves in a ridiculous and childish way. People watch these shows because they ARE a way to vent. Sarcasm and satire are not only entertainment, however. When people get flustered because they believe that people honestly get their news from the "fake news." Ironically, the people who do not watch these shows tend to be much less informed about what is going on in the world and in our country. Satire is only funny if you understand the object of the jokes. Hopefully, the rising sentiment against the Bush administration in the entertainment industry is only the tip of the iceberg as people everywhere begin to realize what a sham it is. As for the wiretapping, Franklin said those who would trade security for freedom deserve neither. Sadly, this is merely one example of how Bush and his ilk are the anithesis of what America should mean.

Posted by Albert, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 20, 2007 at 4:35 pm

The Jon Stewart show is indeed a comedy show and every single peson watching it knows it. However, it informs its viewrs, through comedy and sarcasm of the true nature of a regime that has never told the truth to the public about any issue. The Bush/Cheney regime has used lies and disinformation as both tactics and strategy. The viewrs of the Daily Show are highly intelligent and informed and know extremely well the difference between reality, lies and demagoguery. on the other hand, the right wing has platforms like the Rush Limbaugh radio show in which lies, disinformation, sheer nonsense, incitement and blind obedience to the republican extreme Right party line are confused with 'information". On that show, characters like Cheney still go on and peddle all the blatant old Bush/Cheney lies that about 70 pecent most of the public has already rejected, but among the least informed Americans, shows like Limbaugh and Fox are considered as "news", although they are nothing but propaganda outlets for the Bush/Cheney regime.

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 20, 2007 at 5:06 pm

I believe the President and Vice-President take an oath to uphold and protect the constitution. So do military officers.

Here's a link to the John Stewart show. It's pretty funny if the events weren't so pathetic.

Web Link

Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 20, 2007 at 7:14 pm

Yes, there are some relatively uninformed souls whose only "news" source may be The Daily Show. However, I would say that the show, despite its comic intent, provides a serious (yes, partisan) critique of the news. Part of the reason it has so many fans, including me, is that Jon Stewart is free to say what the networks and major news sources rarely do, and is free to serve up the ridicule that our current administration SO VERY RICHLY deserves. For example, when Cheney tries to deny that he said certain things in the past, most networks and news services don't turn up the heat. Stewart will play the clips back to back and then say what most of us are thinking: Cheney is a liar! When Bush says he listens to the generals, most news services would report that comment as today's news, while Stewart follows that with lots of clips of generals saying the opposite of what Bush says. When Alberto Gonzalez changes his story about the firings, most news services just report today's sound byte, some suggest a contradiction, and then Stewart again plays them back to back. When politicians (and here, Stewart is non-partisan) waste time on empty frivolities that aren't newsworthy, mainstream news might not report it, but by making fun of it, Stewart also offers up a criticism of politicians worrying about trivial photo-ops while our nation faces various crises.

For millenia, humor has been an effective and appreciated form of social criticism, so it should be no surprise that a comedian commands such a large audience when we live under a regime that is such a pathetic failure.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 20, 2007 at 7:17 pm

If you want to see some really funny satire, then watch the old BBC series Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister, they are both available on dvd and pbs has shown them. They may be about the British political system, but really they are about politics everywhere.

Posted by Dave, a resident of College Terrace
on May 20, 2007 at 7:41 pm

Satiric shows like the daily show are incredibly vital to guard our democracy from the assult by Bush-Cheney. Since the mainstream media is owned by a few corporations highly friendly to the Bush regime, we need comedic sarcasm to save our democracy. A case in point, only one of many examples, is VP Cheney. He keeps denying that he had accused Saddam of being involved in 9/11 and that he evr linked him with jihadist terrorism, and the mainstream media jusr reports his denials as if they were factual. The Daily Show however keeps showing numerous clips in which he empahtically claims that Saddam had been involved in 9/11 and that he had close ties to jihadist terrorism. Cheney keeps making those claims on an almost daily basis on friendly territory like Rush Limbaugh and Fox 'News', but denies he ever made them when he's on the mainstream media, and they just let him make those outragous statesments without a challenge.. Only comedy shows like the Daily Show point out that Cheney is a liar.

Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on May 20, 2007 at 10:02 pm

And somehow, reporting lies and deception as such is considered "liberal bias." And spare me any Clinton history. A). There's no comparison. B). If there were, I'd say the media should go after Democrats and Republicans with equal fervor anyway.

Posted by Will J, a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2007 at 11:05 pm

These are all very good points. It's really good to hear so many people respond with something intelligent to say and I'm glad that my post prompted all these people to speak up. I'm eagerly awaiting someone to try and refute any of this in an intelligent and coherent fashion.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2007 at 5:06 am

No one yet has commented on the only germain point - the legality or illegality of the specific incident parodied.
"And spare me any Clinton history" denys Bush et al the commonlaw defense of prior usage.
Bush Derangement Syndrome sure covers all the bases.

Posted by Fredo, a resident of University South
on May 21, 2007 at 6:56 am

These people are so guilty, their LAWYERS would probably go to jail just for representing them. Whew.

Since I didn't vote for any of 'em (and I DID vote for the members of Congress that are currently wielding subpoena power), I wash my hands of the whole deal. Anybody in the world who has a problem with Americans, I will refer to the 50.5% of us that voted(or did they?) for these thugs.

Posted by tim2, a resident of Downtown North
on May 21, 2007 at 8:32 am

These creatues went to the poor guy while he was in the hospital in very serious condition!

Newt Gingrich is supposed to have done the same thing with his cancer ridden wife while she was fighting for her life in a cancer ward, serving her divorce papers.

These people have no concept of basic decency. They have risen much further than they should have. All they have is a certain assured tone of voice, a command of resonant cliches, and chutzpah-born-of-ignorance and evil.

Let's send them all to Guantanamo!

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2007 at 8:56 am

I will type slower - w h a t l a w w a s b r o k e n ?

Posted by Jeff Derman, a resident of Portola Valley
on May 21, 2007 at 9:27 am

It's becoming less and less "conspiratorial", it seems , to characterize this administration as a criminal cabal, or a "crime family". There seems to be no shortage of disgusting persons that are willing to pervert our American sense of truth and justice , to further the neo-con kingdom, or maybe, merely to feather their own nest. This entire ideology must be destroyed - not only the individuals that advance it's fortunes. In '08, punish the GOP. To extinguish the Republican party would be a proper, patriotic, pro-American and truly American cautionary political legend.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2007 at 12:05 pm

No law broken, but hang 'em anyway? Both liberal and lynch mob begin with "L".

Posted by eric, a resident of Mountain View
on May 21, 2007 at 12:07 pm

Walt, the low standard to which you hold your president and his administration troubles me deeply. I love my country and expect my elected officials to conduct themselves at a higher standard then "what is legal". Dont you?

Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford
on May 21, 2007 at 1:10 pm

Would that every president up to now HAD followed our laws as much as Bush et al have!! I won't belabor an old point, but research the numbers of people in prior administrations who were CONVICTED ( and/or impeached/disbarred) and sent to jail while in office.

At this point, I feel gratitude that we have an administration that respects the law.

I agree that not all laws are moral or ethical, but I respect our law, and if I don't like a law, I try to change it, not condemn the person who follows it.

It doesn't matter how many times you say that you don't like it, nor how many satirists and comedians joke about it, no laws have been broken. And, watch carefully, the Democrat controlled
Congress will not try to change the laws because they they won't be able to DO THE SAME THING AGAIN ( as certain prior presidents have)

By the way, entertainers are, after all, comedians and actors. If they have any education, it is usually in acting or arts. I look to them for entertainment, not education in law, Constitution, finances, social remedies, war strategies, etc. Their job is to take snapshots of public figures or issues, put their finger to the wind, and use those snapshots for the entertainment of their audience.

I prefer the ones ( rare!) who are "equal opportunity satirists", skewering all silly stuff, regardless of political "affiliation". If anyone knows any, can you please post his/her name?

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 21, 2007 at 1:23 pm

Comedians and actors are in the entertainment game, not the politics game. They will try to get a laugh where they can and the top dogs are the biggest game. They are not trying to prove political points, just improve ratings. That way, they make more money from advertisers and so on which eventually line their back pockets. No matter who is in office, they will still try to do the same. Don't expect any changes after the next election. The only changes seem to be made in a downward slide, what would never have been tolerated 10 to 20 years ago is now power for the course, and who knows to what levels they may drop in times to come. No, the comedians are doing a service to no one but themselves.

Posted by sarlat, a resident of Crescent Park
on May 21, 2007 at 2:05 pm

Forging and creating fraudulent intelligent reports is a gigantic violation of the law. Subverting the Constitution is even worse. When the actinf attorney general refused to sign the law that would have permitted the executive branch to spy on US citizens without a judge's consent, they weent to a gravely sick Ashcroft and try to bully him into signing that "law". When he refused, siding with the acting AG, he, the mosr conservative member of the Bush cabinet sealed his fate as far as serving in the second Bush administration. Going to the hopital bed of a man fighting for his wife in order to trick him into signing into a lwa a blatantly unconstitutional practice, may or may not be technically a crime, but that alone, in its blatant and disgusting cynicism and immorality, should have brought down this cursed administration.

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 21, 2007 at 3:21 pm

The law that Ashcroft and Comey thought was broken was the constitution. The domestic wiretap program before it was changed was judged unconstitutional by the Ashcroft Justice dept.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2007 at 3:55 pm

The original act being satired was not illegal. The legality of the intercepts is up for a call, but the outrage was against the hospital visit. Political discourse is of little value when it lets the cult of personality transcend legality either for or agsinst.

Posted by Jeff Derman, a resident of Portola Valley
on May 21, 2007 at 3:58 pm

The AG is the highest law enforcement official in the land. The acting AG had determined that domestic wiretapping executed without a court order was unconstitutional, which it clearly is. What does that band of criminals do? They send Card and Fredo to Ashcroft who is in very serious condition in the hospital, sedated and barely concious, and try to get him to sign that into law. Before he passes out, he refuses to sign, and this is for all intent and purposes the end of his career as AG. Not being an attorney, I don't know if they had technically committed a felony here, but that is purely technical. They have crossed any ethical and moral, or is it immoral line and boundry. Surely they can't be allowed to serve out the remaining 20 months or so remaining after that and in light of the daily scandals they are associated with..

Posted by Dave, a resident of College Terrace
on May 21, 2007 at 5:05 pm

The ONLY reason for resignation, firing, impeachment, etc. in the eyes of the new-millenium GOP is getting involved in a sex scandal! Who cares about following the laws, honoring the public's trust, upholding the Constitution, etc.? Boring! No, unless there's an oversexed intern involved in this somewhere, nobody's going nowhere...

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2007 at 7:07 pm

So no law was broken, but hang him anyway? Judge Lynch presiding. This latest to-do was not about the law, it was about the hospital visit, and no law prohibited that. I hope the reference to oversexed intern was about someone other than Clinton because only the most blind partisan still maintains Clinton was punished for Monica.
...and I still think that reliance on a judge to protect your privacy is foolish. Better to define the protected envelope more carefully, understanding that a definition might let someone hurt you and escape retribution.

Posted by sarlat, a resident of Crescent Park
on May 21, 2007 at 7:12 pm

That's exactly the point. This regime engages in only two methods of activity:straight forward criminal practices, or activities that are so incredibly unethical, immoral and shoddy, that the fine line between them and common criminality is microscopic and mostly impossible to differentiate. Either way, any half decent person feels like taking a very long shower when taking notice of members of this regime.

Posted by Carl, a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 21, 2007 at 7:20 pm

Even former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr, an arch-conservative who sparked the impeachment of president Clinton, quit the Republican party saying that the Bush regime was engaged in an assult on our constitutional rights, mostly the right to privacy and free speech. Barr, who has joined the Libertarian party, feels now that an impeachment of Bush and Cheney should be considered.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2007 at 5:41 am

Justice is depicted as blind because of the concept of equal justice under the law. When you attempt to use accusations of criminal behavior to chastize legal but objectionable acts you miss the whole point of having written and specific laws.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by sarlat, a resident of Crescent Park
on May 22, 2007 at 6:56 am

The Bush regime is engulfed in a gray mist, rising from the gray area they are operating in. The gray area between immorality, brutality and unethical conduct and that of criminality. Both are abundant with this regime and it would take an army of the smartest legal scholars working 24/7 to figure out where one ends and the other begins.

Posted by The Cohen brother, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 22, 2007 at 7:03 am

The Bush presidency is a lot of things. It's a secretive cabal, a cavalcade of incompetence, a blood-stained Church Militant, a bad rerun of "The Godfather" in which scary men in suits pay ominous visits to hospital rooms. But seen from the point of view of the American people, what it increasingly resembles is a bad marriage. America finds itself married to a guy who has turned out to be a complete dud. Divorce - which in our nonparliamentary system means impeachment - is the logical solution. But even though Bush cheated on us, lied, besmirched our family's name and spent all our money, we the people, not to mention our elected representatives and the media, seem content to stick it out to the bitter end.

There is a strange disconnect in the way Americans think about George W. Bush. He is extraordinarily unpopular. His approval ratings, which have been abysmal for about 18 months, have now sunk to their lowest ever, making him the most unpopular president in a generation. His 28 percent approval rating in a May 5 Newsweek poll ties that of Jimmy Carter in 1979 after the failed Iran rescue mission. Bush's unpopularity has emboldened congressional Democrats, who now have no qualms about attacking him directly and flatly asserting that his Iraq war is lost.Bush's unpopularity is mostly a result of Iraq, which most Americans now believe was a colossal mistake and a war we cannot win. But his problems go far beyond Iraq. His administration has been dogged by one massive scandal after the other, from the Katrina debacle, to Bush's approval of illegal wiretapping and torture, to his unparalleled use of "signing statements" to disobey laws he disagrees with, to the outrageous Gonzales and U.S. attorneys scandal.

Posted by David, a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2007 at 7:39 am

Impeachment doesn't make sense: the votes aren't there in the Senate.

A criminal indictment for treason, however, seems to me the way to go. That way he can be tried after the end of his term, and tried by a jury of his peers, with no bunch of Rovepublicans to run interference.

Posted by Gary, a resident of Professorville
on May 22, 2007 at 7:51 am

The truth is that Bush's high crimes and misdemeanors, far from being too small, are too great. What has saved Bush is the fact that his lies were, literally, a matter of life and death. They were about war. And they were sanctified by 9/11. Bush tapped into a deep American strain of fearful, reflexive bellicosity, which Congress and the media went along with for a long time and which has remained largely unexamined to this day. Congress, the media and most of the American people have yet to turn decisively against Bush because to do so would be to turn against some part of themselves. This doesn't mean we support Bush, simply that at some dim, half-conscious level we're too confused - not least by our own complicity - to work up the cold, final anger we'd need to go through impeachment. We haven't done the necessary work to separate ourselves from our abusive spouse. We need therapy --not to save this disastrous marriage, but to end it.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2007 at 9:07 am

The truth is that no other man in history has been subject to the endless assault on every level mounted on Bush. This is the howl of the lynch mob, of people who are unclear on the concept of a form of government where you don't always get what you want, and where you accept the rule within law of the opposition when they prevail. I keep asking what law is violated until the latest attackers finally admit they just don't like Bush and so they do not accept his acts. Just because. Republicans need a Carville. Democrats need a life.

Posted by Brian, a resident of Southgate
on May 22, 2007 at 12:04 pm

I see the Bush bashers are howling again. Actually, it's amusing.

If Bush lied about going to war, then so did Tony Blair. Actually, except for the WMD, the reasons for the war were plain to see: Saddam's failure to comply with armistice agreements following the Gulf War, his multiple violations of UN sanctions, his egregious human rights violations, his shooting at American warplanes that were enforcing the no-fly zone, his corruption of the oil-for-food program....

I thought it was a mistake to trot the WMD issue out front, even though it was/is a very serious issue, and it was believed to be true. Unfortunately, WMD was probably the only thing that the UN would listen to - corruption and human rights violations are just fine at the UN.

If the Iraq war succeeds, it will be earthshaking in its consequences (positive); if it fails, it will be a major defeat for freedom, but the world will struggle through (although there will be rivers of blood to follow).

Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford
on May 22, 2007 at 1:28 pm

Brian, well written. I had decided to support the Iraq war on two bases...since he had refused to tell us what he did with the WMD we all know he actually had, and had defied 17 resolutions saying "show us, or else", I could only assume he was hiding something. And, if he didn't have anything and was just afraid to tell us what he did because of not wanting to tip his hand to his surrounding enemies, I didn't care, because the second basis was the one of humanitarian relief, knowing that even if there weren't any "WMD" or the "WMD" had been spirited out to another country in the 6 months of warning we gave, at least the people would stop being massacred to the tune of 70,000 per year.

The WMD was, like you said, the only legal way to get in, because of Saddam's refusal to comply with the 17 resolutions over 12 years. Thankfully the UN is starting to shift a bit, and declare that sovereignty does not extend to allowing genocide. So, that will be a basis in the future.

As for those who are screaming at us now. They will become very quiet if we pull out too soon and there are rivers of blood. "Blood? What blood? I don't see any blood!" I remember the deafening silence when millions were massacred in Vietnam and Cambodia, after we left. Their only purpose then was to give the Communists their victory, and their only purpose now is to give fascists theirs. They have no desire to actually HELP Iraq become a stable democracy.

They even succeeded then ( early 70s) in pulling the same stunt they are trying to pull now ( and failing, thankfully)..."slow bleed" the funds away so that we weren't able to even support the nationals left in Vietnam after we left, fighting for their lives, for their freedom. In other words, they abandoned them then, knowing they were handing a victory to the China-backed North, as they are trying to abandon Iraq now, leaving a Tehran-backed victory in a civil war.

Posted by green, a resident of Crescent Park
on May 22, 2007 at 1:58 pm

Bush's Big Lie did insulate him from accountability for his actions- maybe people (and definitely, Democrats) are afraid to really call him out on it.

What I find frightening is there's about 20% of the country who'd support Bush even if he made a literal bonfire out of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and declared martial law.

And maybe that's an important point- the laws of a country aren't safe if they're trusted only to paper, and not in daily practice. Paper burns, after all. No, we need something more.

We're not a republic because the Constitution makes us one - Americans made the Constitution to make us a republic; the Constitution didn't create Americans; we're one because we have democratic values. And those values are under attack by Bush/cheney, by their party, by an ideology, by some benighted parts of the country who apparently don't place any value on those things. "Because I said so" isn't a democratic value.

Hopefully more in this country will realize that, and maybe then impeachment will be pried out of partisan hands and placed back into its proper place, as a weapon of national self-defense.

Posted by Dave, a resident of College Terrace
on May 22, 2007 at 2:01 pm

Dennis Kucinich has introduced a bill to impeach Cheney. The case against Cheney is the low hanging fruit and makes it safer to go after Bush.

Impeachment is the only thing that will prevent war against Iran and keep Alberto Gonzales from making any more late night hospital visits a la The Godfather.

Posted by Banks, a resident of Stanford
on May 22, 2007 at 2:07 pm

At this point, the Democrats should continue to uncover evidence and make the case. The evidence of the enormous crimes the Bush regime has committed are there, the difficult task is to get our hands on it. There may not be enough time to do anything about it, but it is critical that we discredit all that this man stands for so that he can take his rightful place in history alongside the worst tyrants of modern times.

As an aside, I want to point out that it's also important to discredit Bush for another reason. I firmly blieve that this man has utter contempt for the Constitution of the Unites States and would think nothing of suspending it given the right set of circumstances. So we have to make sure that he doesn't try to spring an "October Surprise" of his own and use a terrorist attack as a pretext to cancel the 2008 elections.

Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford
on May 22, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Wow, fascinating. If you all really believe the fears that you wrote, which country do you think is MORE stable, and MORE likely to protect your right to free speech?

Posted by Albert, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 22, 2007 at 4:57 pm

The last 6 years have dramatically changed our country. Bush and Cheney have utter contempt for the Constitution. bush considers himself to be a virtual monarch who doesn't need to anwer to anybody, possibly only to a "Higher Father". Free speech is no more protected in our country, and we lost the checks and balances our system of government must have in order to remain a federal democracy. Opponenets of the Iraq occupation are routinly labeled as traitors and anti-Americans when excercising free speech. The Justice department has become an arm of the Republican party and the AG, who is supposed to enforce the federal laws is a lowly political operator who spends all his time covering for the crimes and unethical behavior of his masters. The prospect of Bush suspending the Constitution he abhors so much is not a paranoid view any more but a very real prospect. Nothing in this regime's conduct indicates that they feel obligated to follow and uphold the Constitution. Their conduct reminds one more and more of episodes from the Sopranos and the Godfather, except now it's real. I get no indication at all that Bush has ruled out suspending it, using the pretence of a real or imaginary terrorist threat and remaining in power as a de-facto monarch, which he already believing he is. Another motivation he and Cheney have to stay in power si that it's practically inevitable that they would have to face war crimes trials after leaving office- charges against them are already being prepared in Europe. Under the Geneva provisions, the US might be obligated to hand them over once they are out of office.

Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford
on May 22, 2007 at 5:26 pm

So, Albert, seriously, if you really believe all that, in which country would you feel safer? Where would you believe in the leadership to defend your right to express an opinion more? Where would you trust that an election will happen on time more? Which country do you think follows its own laws better?

Please clarify why you think said country would be better, safer, etc.

Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford
on May 22, 2007 at 5:28 pm

Oh, and uhhh...where is that Bush et al are being charged with crimes against humanity? And he will be in line behind....which other dictators who have practiced genocide?

Posted by Albert, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 22, 2007 at 6:06 pm

I will feel safe in the US, my country, after Bush, Cheney and the rest of that crminal gang gang is out of power and facing war crimes and treason trials. I will feel safe when a Democrat is in the white house and the republican party is decimated. This is my country, it used to be great and these criminals don't belong on my country. I hear that the prison in the Hague is much, much better and more humane than any US prison. As far as elections, any western European country is far better than ours. In the last french elections for example, 85 percent of the voters participated, there was no fraud and the actual winner actually assumed office, unlike in the US.

Posted by Dave, a resident of College Terrace
on May 22, 2007 at 6:07 pm

Recent news developments are only making impeachment more popular with the public at large. The worsening Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, and the President's intransigence and obsession with continuing the slaughter of innocents and the sacrifice of Americans, has driven his popularity down to 28 percent, and the vice president's to below 9 percent. The prosecutors firing scandal is taking down the attorney general, while exposing the outlines of one aspect of a six-year-long White House-orchestrated campaign to undermine the democratic election process using control of the justice system. And it is now becoming clear that the president's illegal National Security Agency spying program has been so outrageous an assault on Americans' civil liberties that even then Attorney General John Ashcroft, himself a walking threat to the Bill of Rights, refused to sign on, despite his being pressed to do so from a hospital bed.

Posted by Albert, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 22, 2007 at 6:14 pm

Bush would fit very nicely in a war crimes line-up that includes all the Arab dictators, Robert Mugabe, Taylor from Liberia,various Serb and Serb-Bosnian mass murderers, etc. Mubuto is dead so he won't be able do join W, but Cheney and Rumfself will be next to him and that will do for a start.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2007 at 8:20 pm

Specifically, what lie? And if it was a lie do we try everyone who voiced it? Gonna need a large courtroom.
It is really odd that a dictator so unprincipled allows his critics unbridled access to all forms of media and makes no attempt to silence them. I would have prefered he answer some critics, but that seems not to be his style. I enthusiastically anticipate impeachment. Under any acceptable rules of evidence, after the opening statement everybody goes home.

Posted by tim2, a resident of Downtown North
on May 23, 2007 at 6:56 am

In the future, Americans will be like Germans. Bush will be exposed fully, and Americans will say that they and their moms and dads ALWAYS opposed him. Just as Germans used to tell you that their own families never, ever were Nazis.

And the secret pride of having been a G.W. Bush supporter will fester, but finally it will die beneath the surface, beneath contempt. Just as the great pride of having been an elite SS officer had to hide and wither and die in Germany.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 23, 2007 at 12:38 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford
on May 23, 2007 at 1:01 pm

I always get a smile when I think of how much the Bush haters believe he is nazi-like, yet he and his presidency have done nothing to stop the vitriol anywhere. They don't even "talk back".

But, let a movie come out that shows any truth about Democrats/Clinton, and we have Democrat Senators and Clinton lawyers trying to censor it. ( Remember the 2 part movie about the run-up to 9/11?. And who tries to censor scientists who disagree with the level of human induced "global warming"? Oh yes, that's right. I remember.

Umm..who do I trust more to protect my right to free speech? Who do I trust more to uphold the law?

Posted by Tom, a resident of Crescent Park
on May 23, 2007 at 2:14 pm

The "values" of the Bush family are money, oil, money, and toadying loyalty. There isn't an honest bone in Widdle Georgie's head. Bush's Personal War will cripple our economy and our standing the the world for a generation. He's a warmonger, a liar, a coward, and a deserter. Nixon was Mt. Rushmore material compared to W.

Posted by Stan, a resident of Woodside
on May 23, 2007 at 2:17 pm

The impeachment process takes leadership and it's a lack of leadership on the part of democrats that the impeachment of George Bush has fallen to the wayside. The American people need their inner beliefs about the rotteness of the Bush administration validated and there hasn't been any concerted effort by democratic leaders to bring that about. Is it any wonder then that so many democratic voters are startled by the lack of spine among the democratic congress and senate?

Any excuses given by Democrats for their failure to make Bush accountable for his crimes are exactly that-excuses. Their refusal to end the war in Iraq by cutting funding has become in a sense a domino effect and spilled over into their failure to vote to impeach Bush. We keep hearing it time and again. Dems can't cut the funding for the war because they're 'afraid' the American people will think they don't support the troops. Dems can't vote to impeach Bush because they're 'afraid' of a backlash etc. Fear rules America today and Bush counts on that so as to prolong the war in Iraq and to prolong his criminal presidency. So the question must be asked, who really won in November?

Posted by Dave, a resident of College Terrace
on May 23, 2007 at 3:43 pm

Study after study has indicated that the voting population is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. Each party will get about 46 percent of the vote in just about any election. About 3 percent will go to small parties. The remaining 5 percent is the mythological "Independent Vote". It's made up mostly of suburban females, aged 25-49. These are women who are largely ignorant of politics and world affairs and intellectually lazy. They lean Republican but are capable of voting Democratic at any given time. They make up their minds by watching a Tv sound byte on shows such as Ophra, Regis and Kathy or The View, or by reading a headline at the supermarket checkout line. They often make their final decision while in the voting booth. The Democratic leadership has been obsessed with the fear of alienating that "vote". Unlike the Republicans, they keep failing to understand that you win elections, particularly presidential by energizing your base and gettinng it to the polling stations. Instead, the Dems go out of their way to pander to that so called independent vote, negelecting their base at the process and causing it to sit on its hands come election day. In 2000, the DNC prohibited any mention of Clinton's name in their convention, fearful of offending the I.V. In 04, it prohibited any attacks on Bush at their conventions in order not to offend the I.V. In both elections, the I.V voted largely for the Republicans. In both elections, many Democratic voters stayed away and we know the consequences. Now, the Democratic "leadership" is afraid to cut off the war funding and bring this catasrophic and criminal adventure to an end, again, scared of of alienating that mythical independent vote. This will result in a split in the Democratic party, in low turnout in 08 and this misguided strategy will hand the white house and congress back to the Republicans, who otherwise would have suffered astonishing loses on all fronts, as they richly deserve for the calamities and unprecedented corruption they have brought us.

Posted by John, a resident of College Terrace
on May 23, 2007 at 4:00 pm

Impeachment requires a finding of high crimes or misdemeanors. Unless I am completely blind, I cannot find a single instance of either by Bush. Can someone please give me an example? Please be specific about it...I don't want to hear a bunch of whining or musings about general discontent. Just the facts, which can withstand the heat of cross examination by Constituional legal scholars.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 23, 2007 at 5:56 pm

If the crimes of the Bush administration are as apparent as many here suggest, then the democrats have to be the most inept gang that can't shoot straight for their failure to do anything more than snipe around the edges.
When people are successful in raising disagreement to the status of crime they might wish for the days when you could safely disagree without worrying about jail.

Posted by Albert, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 23, 2007 at 6:58 pm

Rigging intelligence reports to make them look as if Iraq had WMD, claiming in the state of the union speech that Iraq was trying to buy nuclear weapons making material in Niger. Authorizing torture and sadistic mistreatment of prisoners and denying constitutional rights to US citizens. Domestic wiretapping without a court order. Prohibiting the FBI from inteerviewing members of the Bin Laden family after 9/11 and supplying them with a plane to flee the US on 9/12. Each one of the above is enough to impeach and remove a president and rigging intelligence in order to deceive congress is tantamount to treason and is punishable with the death sentense. Then there's the daily corruption and sleaze-energy companyies lobbyists writing the energy policy, pharmaceutical company lobbyist writing the drug benefit policies, not allowing HMO's to negotiate cheap drug prices with Canadian suppliers. Firing US prosecutors when they were getting close to indicting Republicans. Screwing the American people daily at every turn for the benefit of war profiteerers and the oil companies. If the democrats had any backbone, it would be easier to impeach, remove and try Bush/Cheney than some of the Nurnmberg defendents.

Posted by John, a resident of College Terrace
on May 23, 2007 at 7:41 pm

Albert, I was asking for something that would stand the test of scrutiny. You provided a laundry list of complaints, none of which, to my understanding, meet the standard of illegality. Can you just take one or two of your complaints, and make the legal case? I understand that you hate Bush, but I would ask that you leave that fact aside for the moment. Just make the case.

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