Monday, July 16, 2007

Iran Next?

Time to take a dip into the national scene.

The Guardian is reporting a sharp divide in the White House over dealing with Iran. On one side is Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Secretary of Defense Gates advocating diplomacy. On the other is Vice President Cheney advocating military action.
The Washington source said Mr Bush and Mr Cheney did not trust any potential successors in the White House, Republican or Democratic, to deal with Iran decisively. They are also reluctant for Israel to carry out any strikes because the US would get the blame in the region anyway.

If we choose to open a second military front in Iran the chances are high the entire region will dissolve into sectional war.

I've long avoided using the "I" word, but if Bush/Cheney pursues such a dangerous course of action we have truly reached the brink of insanity. And that is not the "I" word of which I speak. Impeachment is.


rusty said...

They won't get support from Congress for such an action, so if Bush/Cheney tries to go without Congressional approval, it will absolutely be time for impeachment. Of both of them. Which would make Nancy Pelosi president. Yikes.

Sara said...

For targeted strikes I don't think they'd need Congressional approval, would they?

Reading this blog post made me sick to my stomach at the mere thought. That is the worst part about this presidency, that as soon as you imagine the worst case scenario it generally comes true.

Anonymous said...


With all due respect, this would be a third front, and maybe a fourth if you include the flirtation with Somalia, where our warships have been helping Ethiopia shell positions in the horn of Africa.

And regarding impeachment, i think we crossed that line with the wiretapping, secret dungeons, torture memos, stolen e-mails, phone lists and false intelligence (which violates the PATRIOT Act). Thats just me though. Its not like impeachment is going to happen. But it should.

griftdrift said...

Steve, I've had a great reticence to use the word impeachment. Although I agree with you that all of the acts you mention are reprehensible and history should judge Bush harshly, I have a great fear the ultimate constitutional power of removal of a President will be taken further down the road of politcs on which Republicans embarked in the 90s.

I'm of the belief impeachment should have the highest standard and threshhold.

Having said that, if Bush decides on military action against Iran at this time, it would be difficult to avoid the conclusion we have a madman in power. The threshhold will have certainly been crossed.

Anonymous said...

Do the things I mention rise to the precedent set by

a.) Andrew Johnson's impeachment for firing a cabinet member?

b.) Richard Nixon's obstruction of justice and abuse of power?

c.) Bill Clinton's non-disclosure of full testimony in the Whitewater investigation (a 1982 land deal in which he was fully cleared)?

By precedent impeachment is clear.

Four counts:

1.) Illegal surveillance of American citizens.

2.) Contempt of Congress and obstruction of justice in the AG firing investigation.

3.) Illegal cover-up and criminal conspiracy in the Plame affair

4.) Abuse of power

Anonymous said...

Unless Congress does something about contempt of congress alone he will leave the Presidency with an awesome set of powers that the framers never intended.

At any rate, the discussion is academic. Not gonna happen...

griftdrift said...

I'll say this Steve. I certainly understand the arguments. Just me personally, I was not there. Now I may be.

Sara said...

I don't think there is any precedential value to any of the 3. Nixon resigned before he could be impeached, Clinton was acquitted of the charges brought through articles of impeachment (which I firmly believe history will find to have been insufficient to constitute a high crime or misdemeanor), and Johnson was also acquitted. I don't think any of those situations have precedential value at all. There has never been a successful impeachment prosecution of a sitting president and we simply don't have much guidance as to what "high crimes and misdemeanors" should be.

The problem with impeaching Bush for any of the offenses you list is that he has at least a colorable constitutional argument justifying 3 of the 4 of the actions that you outline as impeachable offenses. I don't agree with any of the arguments, but if he were to be tried on such charges he would no doubt produce DoJ memos advising him that the actions he took were constitutionally permitted. There is also no concrete evidence that I'm aware of that the President was involved in outing Valerie Plame, but even there he will argue that as commander in chief and supervisor of the CIA, the President has the power to declassify information by making it public, including the former covert status of a CIA agent.

Again, I'm not saying I agree with any of the arguments he would make, but he would definitely have opinions of counsel and would make a vigorous legal argument in support of all the actions he has taken to date.

The problem is those who want to impeach need to get the goods, it needs to be serious, and they need to know they have the votes to convict (not just impeach) ahead of time. We're just not at that point yet. And honestly I hope we never are because it would take something appalling like the unauthorized invasion of Iran to get us there.

possum said...

Impeach them now before they bring on their beloved Armageddon so they can be raptured. ... Isn't that what the Bush Administration goal is? Also, the Georgia Republican-Baptist Party is HUGE on the Rapture. Mushroom clouds mean party time for these psychos.

Ray said...

"The Washington source said Mr Bush and Mr Cheney did not trust any potential successors in the White House, Republican or Democratic, to deal with Iran decisively."

Hell! Why even step down from power on Jan. 20, 2009? No successor can run the country like Cheney and Co., right? Might as well stay in office until the "war" is over, huh? Certainly, impending Rapture would be sufficient reason to pull your own little Gleichschaltung.

Sorry... I realize I'm not really adding to the conversation. Posting this is a selfish, though therapeutic, act intended to keep stomach bile properly contained. And, HEY! Godwin's Law realized! I feel dirty, yet somehow... elated. Oops! Thought police are knocking! Gotta go!