Guest Column: The case for impeachment—part 6

In the first of my five “Case for Impeachment” letters to The Rock River Times, I cited HR 635. This resolution, introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.), called for a select committee to investigate President George W. Bush’s manipulation of pre-war intelligence and other crimes. Given the implausibility of a Republican-controlled House taking this proposal seriously, people asked why Conyers—a seasoned politician—would bother writing such a doomed resolution. Conyers responded by saying, “To take away the excuse that we didn’t know” (TRRT, March 22-28, 2006).

Like Conyers, I knew that my letters could do little more than raise people’s awareness of the facts that surround Bush’s war of choice. Now, as the facts become increasingly undeniable by all but the most adamant Bush loyalists, and new Republican crimes and scandals seem to surface almost daily, I need to reiterate the truth about Bush’s only alleged strength going into the mid-term elections. The facts are clear: His smoke and mirrors assertion that he is strong on homeland security is patently absurd. Although I thoroughly documented this lie in part four of my “Case for Impeachment” (TRRT, June 14-20, 2006), Bush’s spin masters have made the issue the centerpiece of their desperate attempt to retain control of the House and Senate in November.

Bill O’Reilly, who rails against “secular progressives” in his book, Culture Warrior, claimed in a NewsMax interview to be an independent but not a centrist. Ignoring that a non-centrist independent is an oxymoron, O’Reilly concludes his interview by saying: “… Americans are angry, and it’s really going to come down to who they think can protect them. That’s what it’s going to come down to in ’08” (NewsMax, October 2006, pg. 61). I think it’s going to come down to the homeland security issue in ’06, and that requires that I leave no stone unturned to expose this latest lie with more irrefutable facts.

Bush has put all his homeland security eggs in the Detainee Bill basket the House passed by a 253-168 margin the last week of September. Thirty-four misguided Democrats joined 219 desperate-to-save their jobs Republicans in passing this legislation. This bill does more to protect CIA officers from possible lawsuits stemming from documented cases of prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib than it does to protect ordinary citizens from terrorism on American soil WHEN (not if) al-Qaeda decides it’s time for them to act again.

Besides the 11 documented instances of Bush blocking real homeland security bills that I cited in my June 14-20 letter, he has grossly under-funded our first responders and left our ports, railroads, chemical plants and other infrastructures wide-open invitations to terrorist attacks. If you doubt this, all you have to do is follow the money trail. It is Bush’s failure to put our money where his mouth is, not empty rhetoric and false assertions about his duty to protect the American people, that tells the unvarnished truth.

As of Sept. 11, 2006, Bush’s “global war on terror,” vis-a-vis Iraq and Afghanistan, has cost us (you and me) $437 billion. By my calculations, he has funded aviation security at the paltry level of $24.5 billion, or 5.6 percent of his war of choice. All other essential homeland security concerns—first responders, ports and highly susceptible infrastructure—have received a dishonorable $10.5 billion. In other words, the vital aspects of protecting the homeland are worth only 2.4 percent of Bush’s global ADVENTURES in the Middle East.

How Bush can have the gall to brag about his wretched performance on homeland security, and use reverse logic to claim that the detainee bill will protect us from another attack, are as unfathomable as they are preposterous. Nevertheless, that’s his pitch. The first step toward an effective and honorable change of course in Iraq is to take away the neo-cons’ control of Congress. Keep that in mind when you enter the polling booth next month.

W. Harrison Goodenow is a Rockford resident and independent voter who hasn’t, with one notable exception, voted Democratic since the first JFK.

From the Oct. 25-31, 2006, issue

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