“THE ‘I’ WORD”

UPDATED:  January 4, 2007, The Political Junkies.net                    

Column No. 132, Steven Jonas, MD, MPH                                                           

Today, January 4, 2007, is the day that the 110th Congress convenes.  Today is the day that the House of Representatives is surely under the control of the Democratic Party and hopefully, depending upon the states of Senator Johnson’s health and Senator Lieberman’s ego, the Senate will be as well.  Hopefully today will mark the beginning of the full retreat of Georgitism from its War on Iraq, its War on the global environment, and its war on US Constitutional Democracy, just as the surrender of Gen. von Paulus at Stalingrad on February 2, 1943, marked the beginning of the end for German Nazi Fascism.  Hopefully, the final defeat of the Georgite version will not take nearly as long nor cost nearly so many lives or treasure. 

 

The Democratic Congress has a very full agenda before it, which I need not retail in detail here.  One word that is on the lips of many, including many of my dearest friends on the Democratic Left, is “Impeachment.”   As I noted in my TPJ column of Nov. 30, 2006: Cindy Sheehan, among others, has made a powerful argument for impeachment (Cindy Sheehan: Open Letter to Reps Pelosi and Conyers, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15595.htm).  As one good friend of mine said: “The people spoke, despite the big bucks.  Now let Congress do the will of the people, and forget the political correctness.  Let us not be kind to those who drug
America through the briar patch, to those who tried to destroy democracy and our inalienable rights and to those who cared not a whit about human beings.  Let those who tried desperately to murder the Constitution be punished instead of shielded because of false sentiment of the ‘higher good.’   The higher good is always accountability.  Always.” 

 

Among those on our side, there is a great debate going on, on this issue.  On Dec. 8, 2006, TomPaine.com(mon Sense, and wouldn’t Tom Paine himself just loved the Internet?!?  I wonder how many webmagazines and weblogs he would have appeared on) presented both sides of the issue in: “Impeachment: Morally Right vs. Politically Wrong; The great debate: Jennifer Van Bergen argues that impeachment is essential to national healing. David Corn warns that the political result for progressives will be disastrous.”  Jennifer Van Bergen’s summary went: “The choice is not between impeachment and
Iraq, or impeachment and ethics, or impeachment and the budget. Impeachment proceedings are not the beginning but the end result of a healing process for the nation that needs to begin now. Impeachment begins with investigations.”  David Corn’s: “The matter of impeachment, like most issues in the real world, cannot be considered in a vacuum. The key question is not whether there is a case, but whether it should be prosecuted. The Democrats would do so at their peril—and at risk to their agenda, which includes stopping the war in
Iraq.”  I agree with both, as it happens.  How can you do that, you might ask.  By carefully picking my target for impeachment, I would answer.  And that target would not by Bush, it would be Cheney.  For the reasons set forth briefly below. 

 

Cheney is clearly the power behind the Bush throne, the puppet master not only for Bush himself but for all of the other puppets both within and without the Administration mouth the Cheney line in unison.  Think of the marvelous scene in the movie version of Chicago in which the lawyer Billy Flynn, with Roxie Hart as a ventriloquist’s dummy sitting on his knee, “razzle dazzles ‘em,” the press corps as puppets.  Cheney is clearly “out to get” Constitutional Democracy through his strong, open, and repeated advocacy of what he calls the “Unitary Executive.”  (Most observers would call this “fascism,” see my definition at the end of this column, but we need not go there at this point.)  What he describes as the powers of the President appear nowhere in the document, unless one abandons its plain language (and no less an authority than Antonin Scalia tells us that we must never do that [even though he himself does, often, as I have illustrated on these pages]).  His open advocacy of torture violates the Geneva Conventions, part themselves of the Constitution (by the terms of Article VI).   We do not know what role he may have played in the horror of 9/11 and its aftermath, he has kept secret to this very day the proceedings of his famous energy task force that may have started the active plotting for the War for Oil (oops I mean on Iraq).  Of course he very actively led the lying that got the
United States into the Iraq War.   And so on and so forth. 

But Bush has done exactly the same things, so why not go after him?  David Corn has dealt with the political risks of doing so, and I fully agree with him.  Further, in practical terms, even if it were possible to get an impeachment vote in the House, a conviction vote in the Senate, on one or more of the issues cited above, would be virtually impossible to achieve.  And believe me, Bush is no Nixon, in more ways than one.  However, Cheney has other potential chinks in his armor, of the potentially criminal variety.  Therefore to my mind he makes a much more inviting target.  If criminality could be proved conclusively, it might indeed be possible to get a conviction in the Senate.  We have already seen Republicans running away from BushCheney.  Supposing it were just Cheney by his lonesome?  Hey, you never know.  I am not going to deal here with the succession issues.  I am going to briefly review the potentially criminal matters on which he might be hoisted.   

 

They begin with one word: “Halliburton.”  As gleaned in just a first go from the web, via the good offices of Project censored (http://www.projectcensored.org/), here are a few items that would seem ripe for criminal investigation: 

 

ITEM: “Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran” (http://www.projectcensored.org/censored_2007/index.htm), With Source: Global Research.ca, August 5, 2005, Title: “Halliburton Secretly Doing Business Key Member of Iran’s Nuclear Team,” Author: Jason Leopold: “According to journalist Jason Leopold, sources at former Cheney company Halliburton allege that, as recently as January of 2005, Halliburton sold key components for a nuclear reactor to an Iranian oil development company. Leopold says his Halliburton sources have intimate knowledge of the business dealings of both Halliburton and Oriental Oil Kish, one of
Iran’s largest private oil companies. . . . Halliburton has a long history of doing business in
Iran, starting as early as 1995, while Vice President Cheney was chief executive of the company.”

 

ITEM: “Homeland Security Contracts KBR to Build Detention Centers in the US” (KBR is Halliburton subsidiary), Sources: New America Media, January 31, 2006, “Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps,” February 21, 2006, “10-Year US Strategic Plan for Detention Camps Revives Proposals from Oliver North,” Author: Peter Dale Scott.Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown and Root) announced on January 24, 2006 that it had been awarded a $385 million contingency contract by the Department of Homeland Security to build detention camps in the
United States. . . . What little coverage the announcement received focused on concerns about Halliburton’s reputation for overcharging
U.S. taxpayers for substandard services. . . .”  (For a full discussion of the terrifying substance of this matter, go to the Project Censored website.)  Which brings us to the final item, on which a very through investigation might just find unimpeachable (but totally impeachable) evidence of Vice-Presidential criminality, the pathway that I suggest be followed. 

ITEM: “Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Rose Over 3000 Percent Last Year,” Raw Story, October 2005, Title: “Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Options Rose 3,281 Percent Last Year, Senator Finds,” Author: John Byrne; (and lo, and behold) Senator Frank Lautenberg’s website:
“Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Options Soar to $9.2 Million.”  Vice President Dick Cheney’s stock options in Halliburton rose from $241,498 in 2004 to over $8 million in 2005, an increase of more than 3,000 percent, as Halliburton continues to rake in billions of dollars from no-bid/no-audit government contracts.  An analysis released by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) reveals that as Halliburton’s fortunes rise, so do the Vice President’s. Halliburton has already taken more than $10 billion from the Bush-Cheney administration for work in
Iraq. They were also awarded many of the unaccountable post-Katrina government contracts, as off-shore subsidiaries of Halliburton quietly worked around U.S. sanctions to conduct very questionable business with
Iran (See Story #2). ‘It is unseemly,’ notes Lautenberg, ‘for the Vice President to continue to benefit from this company at the same time his administration funnels billions of dollars to it.’ According to the Vice President’s Federal Financial Disclosure forms, he holds the following Halliburton stock options: 100,000 shares at $54.5000 (vested) expire December 3, 2007, 33,333 shares at $28.1250 (vested), expire December 2, 2008, 300,000 shares at $39.5000 (vested), expire December 2, 2009. The Vice President has attempted to fend off criticism by signing an agreement to donate the after-tax profits from these stock options to charities of his choice, and his lawyer has said he will not take any tax deduction for the donations. However, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) concluded in September 2003 that holding stock options while in elective office does constitute a “financial interest” regardless of whether the holder of the options will donate proceeds to charities.

Valued at over $9 million, the Vice President could exercise his stock options for a substantial windfall, not only benefiting his designated charities, but also providing Halliburton with a tax deduction. CRS also found that receiving deferred compensation is a financial interest. The Vice President continues to receive deferred salary from Halliburton. While in office, he has received the following salary payments from Halliburton: Deferred salary paid by Halliburton to Vice President Cheney in 2001: $205,298, in 2002: $162,392, in 2003: $178,437, in 2004: $194,852. (The CRS report can be downloaded at: http://lautenberg.senate.gov/Report.pdf) These CRS findings contradict Vice President Cheney’s puzzling view that he does not have a financial interest in Halliburton. On the September 14, 2003 edition of Meet the Press in response to questions regarding his relationship with Halliburton, where from 1995 to 2000 he was employed as CEO, Vice President Cheney said, ‘Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush’s vice president, I’ve severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest. I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven’t had, now, for over three years.’ ”

My oh my, it seems to me, what a rich Cheney-impeachment field there is to plow.  Political risks, to be sure, as there are in any impeachment attempt.  But following this line of attack, it would be much easier for House prosecutors investigating possible just garden-variety criminality to ask for “The facts, just the facts, Ma’am, and sir.”  And hey, if he’s got nothing to hide, well then, he’s got nothing to hide, and in the meantime, oh-so-many facts about policy will be brought out too, as “totally incidental to the investigation of possible criminality,” of course.

 

————————————————————————————————————————–

Note: “Fascism is a politico-economic system in which there is: total executive branch control of both the legislative and administrative powers of government; no independent judiciary; no Constitution that embodies the Rule of Law standing above the people who run the government; no inherent personal rights or liberties; a single national ideology that first demonizes and then criminalizes all political, religious, and ideological opposition to it; and total corporate determination of economic, fiscal, and regulatory policy.”   (If you want to see my longer definitions, please refer to my columns of May 27, 2004 “On Fascism — And The Georgites,” of Jan 27, 2005 “Comparing George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler”, and of February 10, 2005, “The Georgite Version of ‘Freedom and Democracy’.”)

 ________________  Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a TPJ contributing author.  He is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author of over twenty-five books. Dr. Jonas is one of
America’s most perceptive Democratic political analysts.  
Dr. Jonas is also: a Columnist for the webmagazine BuzzFlash (http://www.buzzflash.com/); a Contributing Editor for the Moving Planet Blog (http://www.planetarymovement.org/); a Contributing Columnist for the Project for the Old American Century, POAC (http://www.oldamericancentury.org/); and a regular contributor to the weblog Thomas Paine’s Corner (http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/).  He has his own website for short pieces entitled “Dr. J.’s Short Shots, II” (http://drjsshortshots.wordpress.com/).In his book The New Americanism, Dr. Jonas presents his proposal for that “new vision and mission” for the Democratic Party that so many, for so many years, have been urging it to find.  A new vision and mission are obviously needed with increasing urgency as with increasing speed and determination the Georgites drive our nation towards frank theocratic fascism.  Dr. Jonas finds the needed vision and mission in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  The New Americanism: How the Democratic Party Can Win the Presidency  is available from Amazon.com (go to “Books;” enter the full title) and BarnesandNoble.com (same).  He is also the author of The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-2022.  Under the pseudonym “Jonathan Westminster” this book was originally published in 1996.  It was republished with a New Introduction in 2004.  Under Georgite rule, the “fictional non-fiction” scenario of this work of “future history” is, most unfortunately, becoming all too real, now almost day-by-day.  Both versions are available at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com (go to “Books;” enter the title).  The 2004 edition is also available at www.xlibris.com (click on “Bookstore,” then “Search” with the title). 2006
Dec 14, 2006   
“Exiting IRAQ, The Georgite Way, Revisited”

Nov 30, 2006     “‘Are The Democrats Going To Blow It?’
                        That All Depends Upon what The ‘IT’ Is
 
Nov 16, 2006     “On Republican IRAQ Policy And Why No Grand Theft Election
                        (They’re Related)

Nov 12, 2006      “Democratic Ideas: Post-Election 2006”
Nov 2, 2006        “The US Enabling Act, 2006, Part II: Why Bush Wanted It”
Oct 26, 2006       “The US Enabling Act, 2006, Part I: What It Is And Some Comparative History”
Oct 12,2006        Democratic Ideas, XIV: Attack On Defense Revisited”
Oct 5, 2006        “Iran Nukes, Revisited” (Expanded Edition)
Sept 28, 2006     “Democratic Ideas, XIII: Controlling The Agenda”
Sept 21, 2006      Reran article dated October 14, 2004 “GEORGE BUSH’S AMERICA”
Sept 14, 2006    
“Democratic Ideas, XII: Focusing On The Constitution”
Sept 7, 2006       “Let’s Hear It For Strict Constructionism,” V. 3, Part 3”
Aug 16, 2006      “Let’s Hear It For Strict Constructionism, V. 3, Part 2”
Aug 10, 2006      The Dick Durbin Disaster – reran
Aug 3, 2006        Democratic Ideas, IX:, “Let’s Hear It For Strict Construction (V. 3), Part 1”
 Jul 27, 2006        “What’s It All About, Alfie?”
Jul 19, 2006        “Democratic Ideas, VIII: Let’s Play Capture The Flag”
Jul 13, 2006        “Ann Coulter: The New Face Of The Republican Party”
Jul 6,2006           “Ideas For Democrats, VII: Bipartisanship On Iraq”
Jun 29, 2006       “Ideas For Democrats, VI: Attack On Defense, II”
Jun 22, 2006       “Ideas For Democrats, V: Attack On Defense” 
Jun 15, 2006       “Ideas For Democrats, IV: The Ten Commitments, Re-visited”
Jun 8, 2006         “Ideas For Democrats, III: Dealing The DLC”
Jun 1, 2006         “Ideas For Democrats, II: Why Don’t The Democrats?” 

May 25, 2006       “Ideas For Democrats, I: The Vision”
May 18, 2006       “On Conspiracy Theories”
May 11, 2006       “The Significance Of The Tony Snow Job”*
May 3, 2006         “Bush Is Not Hitler, II”

April 25, 2005       “Bush Is Not Hitler, I”
April 20, 2006      
Some Thoughts On The ‘Immigration Problem'”
April 13, 2006       “The Georgite State Of The Union Address Revited”
April 6, 2006         “A Firebell In The Night:  The So-Called ‘Gay Marriage’ Amendment, II”
April 2, 2006         “A Fireball In The Night:                        
                            The So-Called ‘Gay Marriage’ Amendment, I


Feb 22, 2006         “The German Reichstag Fire of 1933 and 9/11: Some Comparisons. A Revisit,
                              Part II” 

Feb 16, 2006         “The German Reichstag Fire Of 1933 And 9/11: Some
                            Comparisons.  A Revisit, Part1″
 
Feb 9, 2006           A Comment On The Democratic Alchemy,’
                             Appearing In The American Prospect”         

Feb 2, 2006           Vengeance Is Mine, Saith The LORD
Jan 26, 2006          “George Bush And The Doctrine Of Original Intent”       
Jan 19, 2006          “Let’s Hear It For Original Intent (Version 2)”
Jan 12, 2006          “A Quick Visit To Mexico”
Jan 5, 2006          
 “Why The Patriot Act, Redux: Fascism In The Here And Now, Cont.” 
Dec 22, 2005          “Why The Patriot Act, Redux: Fascism In The Here And Now”
Dec 15, 2005          “An Iraq Exit Proposal”
Dec 10, 2005          “Exiting Iraq, The Georgite Way”
Dec 1, 2005            The Future Of The Democratic Party, VIII:
                              A Politically Viable Progressive Position On The War”
 
Nov 25, 2005            “The Future Of The Democratic Party, VII: ‘The Ten Commitments’”
Nov 17, 2005           
The Future Of The Democratic Party, VI: An Organizing Proposal For Progressives” 
Nov 10, 2005           
“The Future Of The Democratic Party, V:
                               There Is No Middle Ground”

Nov 3, 2005             
“On The (Possible) Indictments.”Oct 27, 2005            “The Future of the Democratic Party, IV:
                                Bush, Bennett, Miers, and the DLC.” 

Oct 20, 2005            “The Future Of The Democratic Party, III:
                                First Thoughts On Dealing With The DLC.”

Oct 13, 2005            “The Future Of The Democratic Party, II: On The Republicans” 
Oct 6,  2005             “The Future Of The Democratic Party, I”
Sept 29, 2005          “The Bush Flood, And The Georgites: New Orleans, III”
Sept 22, 2005          “On The Great New Orleans Flood Of 2005, II”
Sept 15, 2005          “On The Great New Orleans Bush Flood Of 2005, I”
Sept 8, 2005           
“Let’s Hear It For Original Intent”
Sept 1, 2005            “An Iraq Solution”
Aug 25,2005             “Some Thoughts On The Atomic Bombing Of Japan”
Aug 18, 2005            “Why God Sent Us George W. Bush” 
Aug 12, 2005            “John Bolton And The Nuclear Option II”
Aug 5, 2005              “The Significance Of The Karl Rove Speech”
July 28, 2005             “Iran Nukes, Revisited”
                                 (Expanded Edition)

July 21, 2005             “Iran Nukes, Revisited”
July 14, 2005             “The Dick Durbin Disaster” A Follow Up
July 7, 2005               The Dick Durban Disaster”
June 23, 2005            Why All Of This Repression Abroad?”
June 16, 2005            Not Very Intelligent Design”
June 8,2005            
 “Pat Buchanan’s “What If, “III?”
June 2, 2005             Pat Buchanan’s ‘What If,’ II?”
May 26, 2005            “Pat Buchanan’s ‘What If?'”
May 18, 2005            The Schiavo Case, V: The Attack On Science” 
May 12, 2005            “Possible Explanations For Bush-Behavior On And Around 9/11″
May 5, 2005              “Bill Frist’s Declaration Of War”
April 28, 2005            “The Schiavo Case, IV: The Definitions Of Life And Death”
April 24, 2005           
“The Schiavo Case, III: Further Legal Considerations And Their Political Implications”
April 14, 2005            “The Schiavo Case, II: William Bennett And The Beginning Of The End Of The Separation Of Powers”
April 7, 2005              “The Schiavo Case And The Locus Of The ‘Police Power'”
March 31, 2005           “John Bolton And The Nuclear Option”
March 22, 2005            Of “Moolahs,” Putin and Bush
March 17, 2005           
Georgite “Freedom And Democracy”
March 10, 2005            “We Won’t Have To Worry Any More”
March  3, 2005             “Iranian Nukes”
February 24, 2005        “Going Nuclear In Iran”
February 16, 2005        “The Georgite Social Security Scam: Bases For Suspicion”
February 10, 2005        “The Georgite Version of ‘Freedom and Democracy’ ”
                                   “The Coming 2nd Civil War (Unless),” No. 6

Feb 3, 2005                  “WMD Discovered — In Washington”
Jan 27, 2005                 “Comparing George W. Bush And Adolf Hitler”
Jan 18, 2005                 “The Bush Second Inaugural: A Preview” “The Coming 2nd Civil War
                                    (Unless),” No. 5 

Jan 13, 2005                 “The Georgite Concept of Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law”
Jan 6, 2005                   “The ‘Unless’ Of The ‘Coming Second Civil War’ Series; Part II”  
Dec 30, 2004                 “The ‘Unless’ of the ‘Coming Second Civil War’ Series, Part I” 
Dec 23, 2004                 “The Real Meaning Of The ‘Faith-Based Presidency;’ Part II”
Dec 15, 2004                 “The Coming Second Civil War (Unless)” 
Dec 9, 2004                   “The Real Meaning Of The ‘Faith-Based Presidency’ ”      
Oct 28, 2004                 Why The Patriot Act?”
Oct. 21, 2004                “The Cheneys’ Daughter Flap”
Oct 14, 2004                 “George Bush’s America” 
Oct 7, 2004                   “The Debate” 
Sept 30, 2004                “Four 800 Lb. Gorillas In The Campaign Room” 
Sept 23, 2004               “Fixing The Kerry Campaign, 9/15/2004”
Sept 16, 2004               “Lessons From Japan.  Part II: Successful Occupations”
Sept 9, 2004                 Thoughts On the Third Anniversary of the Tragedy of 9/11/2001″
Sept 2, 2004                 “Lessons From Japan, Part 1”

August 26,2004             “Dealing with the Republican National Convention and Related
                                     Issues”

August 18, 2004            “The Best Of Dr. Jonas”
August 12, 2004             “Some Thoughts For and About The Kerry Campaign, VI”
August 5,2004                “Some Thoughts For and About The Kerry Campaign, V”July 29, 2004                “Some Thoughts For and About The Kerry Campaign, IV”
July 22, 2004                “Some Thoughts For and About The Kerry Campaign III”              
July 15, 2004                “Some Thoughts For And About The Kerry Campaign II”
July 7, 2004                  “Some Thoughts For And About The Kerry Campaign,I”
July 1, 2004                  “Counsel To The President”
June 24, 2004               “ ’You Know me Al:’ On the German Reichstag Fire of Feb. 27, 1933
                                     and the 9/11/01 Bombing of the World Trade Center, Part II”

June 17, 2004               “ ‘The Ralph Nader Problem’ — A Re-run plus”
June 10, 2004               “Ronald Reagan’s Legacy”
June 3, 2004                 “’You Know Me Al:’ On The Reichstag Fire Of Feb. 27, 1933 And The
                                      9/11/01 Bombing Of The World Trade Center, Part I”
May 27, 2004                “On Fascism — And The Georgites”
May 20, 2004                “On John Ashcroft — And Jefferson Davis”
May 13, 2004                “Karl Rove’s Personal Political Notebook”
May 6, 2004                  “Possible Explanations For Bush Behavior And 9/11” 
April 29, 2004               “On George Bush and Religion, Part 2
April 22, 2004               “What Condi Rice Might Have Said”
April 8, 2004                 “On George Bush And Religion”
April 1, 2004                 “Some Political Thoughts For Senator Kerry”  
March 25, 2004              “Brief Essays”
March 16, 2004             “You Know Me Al: The Iraq War — So What Was It About, Anyway?
March 11, 2004             “A Word (Or Two) On Ralph Nader”
March 4, 2004               “A Firebell In The Night” 
February 27, 2004        “On Doctor Dean” 

Advertisements
Published in: on 01/08/2007 at 6:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://poac.wordpress.com/2007/01/08/%e2%80%9cthe-%e2%80%98i%e2%80%99-word%e2%80%9d/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: