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Saturday, June 21, 2008

HEALTH ADVISORY: Invasion of the Impeachophobes

This article was originally published on on Saturday, June 21, 2008:

Malignant disease, fiercely contagious. Destroys congressional Democrats' natural defenses against tyranny. Begins as a weakening of the spine. Soon clear vision is lost, followed by coherent speech, rational thought, and, eventually, all ability to stand up. The virulent Pelosi Pathogen seems to be the root.WARNINGImpeachophobia can be extremely fatal for those impacted by the patient's decision-making. The patient's illness may lead to death of U.S. active-duty forces, Iraqis, Lebanese, Iranians, as well as New Orleanians, Midwesterners, Chinese, and polar bears. Traditional forms of treatment, which consist of appealing to the heart, have proven completely ineffective. Some experimental remedies involve administering shocks to the gluteus maximus, known in laymen's terms as "campaign pocketbooks", but this approach requires broad public awareness and support. Meanwhile, research into antidotes has uncovered a promising substance, sanfranciscomide cindysheehanide, which tests show, if injected directly into the 8th district of California, could eradicate the Pelosi Pathogen at its source. However, the vaccine will not be ready until November.

Epidemiology of the disease:
The first noticeable signs of the Pelosi Pathogen appeared in 2006, when the original sufferer was heard to murmur "Impeachment is off the table." Since this was akin to a police officer vowing "We do not arrest criminals", or a bank manager declaring "Come on in, the safe is open", a loss of oxygen supply to the brain may have been involved. After all, medical detectives attest, at that time it was well known that the White House had committed crimes against humanity, violations of the constitution, betrayals of oaths of office, and acts of tyranny. Some Republicans, such as Rep. Ron Paul and Sen. Chuck Hagel, even expected the Dems to put impeachment on the table.

And the Dems have been repeatedly handed Republican critiques of Bush/Cheney's conduct on a platter. Ronald Reagan's associate deputy attorney general, Bruce Fein, came out many months ago in favor of impeachment and even co-wrote a play on it, which ran in Nancy Pelosi's district. John Dean, former counsel to Nixon, wrote back in 2004 that Bush Admin. offences were Worse than Watergate. Paul O'Neill, Bush's former Treasury Secretary, opposed Bush's failure to halt al-Qaeda funders, objected to the White House's economic recklessness and its blackout on Treasury's findings, and also exposed, in his 2004 book, Bush's predetermination to attack Iraq despite its irrelevance to 9/11. Counter-terrorism expert Richard Clarke exposed the same predetermination in his own memoir that year.

In 2006, the Homeland Security Dept. cut anti-terrorism funding by 40 % for New York City because of a lack of  "national monuments or icons". Republican congressman John Sweeney charged that the Admin. had "declared war on New York", and GOP colleague Peter King called for Secretary Michael Chertoff's resignation. The same year, the all-GOP House Select Committee on Katrina (boycotted by Dems for fear of whitewashing) issued a report which called Katrina "a national failure, an abdication of the most solemn obligation to provide for the common welfare," and which member Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) summarized as "very tough on the president, ... very tough on the Department...a blistering report." Though Dems won both houses in Nov., Chertoff retained his post, and Bush was never charged with any crime for his delays in releasing federal disaster resources, or for pretending not to have been warned about the levees.

This year, after the story broke of the CIA's destruction of interrogation tapes, former GOP governor Thomas Kean, Chair of the 9/11 Commission, co-wrote a Jan. New York Timesop-ed with his Democratic Vice-Chair Lee Hamilton complaining that "no one in the administration ever told the commission of the existence of videotapes of detainee interrogations". Kean and Hamilton baldly concluded: "We call that obstruction." In Nixon's era, obstruction of justice was considered impeachable. But the Pelosi Pathogen seems to destroy former standards, like justice. On June 20th, former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan testified to the House Judiciary Committee that Cheney, Karl Rove, and others are withholding information from the public on who leaked CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity. Another case of obstruction. McClellan also accused the White House of "packaging" intelligence and misleading the public on the war. Deception to lead the country to war would seem to be the very crux of what the Framers had in mind by "High Crimes"; but it doesn't seem that way to Impeachophobes.

Once infected, patients become increasingly listless, unable to lift their arms to vote to stop funding a war ¾ of the U.S. opposes. Nor can they close Guantanamo. Nor can they say the four words: "No War on Iran". They even lose the self-preserving ability to ensure that voting machines be hacker-proof.           

The infected become cavalier about whistleblowers' sacrifices. For example, the decorated Major General Antonio Taguba, former Deputy Commanding General, submitted a damning report on Abu Ghraib abuses in May 2004, and was subsequently reassigned to the Pentagon, then later instructed to retire. Though this year it was established that Abu Ghraib-type methods were approved by Bush and Cheney, and though Taguba's preface to D.C.-based Physicians for Human Rights' new report affirms "there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes," yet the Impeachophobes leave Taguba hang out to dry, and refuse to allow Dennis Kucinich's articles of impeachment against either Bush or Cheney to be debated.           

Meanwhile whistleblower Babak Pasdar, a computer security expert who worked for a wireless giant, revealed this spring that the system he saw allowed a third party to access all phone calls, emails, textings, and website viewings of any client. Instead of following that up, the House just gave telecoms retroactive immunity from lawsuits. Thereby demonstrating a will to actively stand in the way of legal redress by citizens stepping up to do the work Congress has shunned (defending the 4th Amendment). In this trampling on citizen attempts to bring to light White House law-breaking, we see a marked progression from the disease's passive phase to an active, malicious stage.

The Center for Disease Control should screen Invasion of the Body-Snatchers (forget 2007's "Invasion") for clues to the spread of contagion. Before Pelosi became Speaker, experienced Rep. John Conyers, Jr. authored a resolution for an inquiry into grounds for Bush's impeachment. A few dozen congresspersons co-sponsored. Conyers also published "The Constitution in Crisis," a 302-page book of Admin. violations with an unwavering sub-title: "The High Crimes of the Bush Administration and a Blueprint for Impeachment". Yet when Conyers became Judiciary Committee chair, suddenly he started talking about "other priorities".

In Invasion of the Body-Snatchers (1978), a Chinese launderer desperately asks Donald Sutherland for help because his wife seems "wrong", "not right", "different". But a few scenes later, the man asserts creepily: "She much better now". When people start talking about "other priorities", or how Bush is just "an unpopular president who can't do much more damage"...this may be a sign they've already succumbed to the disease.

Watch out for the pod people.

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