News Flash: The President is disowning yet another assessment by his own intelligence organization. It's deja vu all over again: no person or organization or combination of organizations or nation or nations are able to judge a situation as well as our bumbling, alcoholic chief executive. We should be under no illusions about the modus operandi by now: the plan of action is worked up in advance, and the circumstances are made to fit by any means necessary.
Even if I believed that Congress was too cumbersome to act on national security threats; even if I believed that all foreign policy powers, to include warmaking, were rightly concentrated in the office of the President (neither of which do I remotely believe); there's no getting around THIS president's demonstrated incapacity for assessing and dealing with anything more complicated than making a cup of ramen noodles. Maybe indeed "all options" should be on the table; but the scariest and most momentous of those options should be taken off this president's table.
I never cease to marvel at how powerless we seem to be at the hands of this tiny group of men: 300 million people anxiously watching events unfold as though we're all passengers in someone else's car. The very concept of governments which exist and function irrespective of the public will is supposed to be exactly what this country stands in repudiation of. Yet here we all sit on the edge of our seats, wondering if the administration will march us into another war that no sensible person seems to be sanctioning. We can't begin to pay for the current war, which has been a disaster in every foreign policy sense--our children and grandchildren are already mortgaged up to their eyeballs by it.
Even the information which we could use to offer informed support for our government's action is denied us, or is spun pathetically toward a political goal. How much further off track could we be? If Iran poses a great enough threat, surely it's in the world's interest to deal with that threat; an alliance of nations should be easily accomplished, and citizen support of our participation in that coalition would surely be strong. But our government marched boldly forward in defiance of steep international and public skepticism once already, overcoming that little resistance with lies and spin and oblivion, and it seems the egg once broken will not easily reassemble.
So what's left? We need to forcibly remove these men from office. Jeffy and I have discussed this before, but I remain convinced. We need to impeach them as an act of stewardship, of protecting our constitution--the closest thing we have to a sacred document in this country--and the offices it stipulates. Assuming this government doesn't make our world considerably worse in the next year, waiting for the 2008 elections to clean house (which will surely happen) does nothing to restore the erosion of our public institutions; and it's fair to assume that whoever is elected to the presidency will not want to give up powers which are now, for lack of protest, in hand. The impeachment would be an act, both practical and symbolic, of the citizens taking control of their government again. (You can read an interesting and depressing itemization of the administration's transgressions here.)
The Republican achievement of Bill Clinton's impeachment effectively neuters any and all objections to a constitutional action against Bush and Cheney. If Clinton's silly malfeasance--lying about a private sexual matter to a grand jury--was enough, then the ongoing lawless conduct of the Bush Administration unquestionably makes investigation a slam-dunk. And we need to act vigorously on the findings.