Since 2006, I’ve had two bumper stickers in the rear window of my car (affixed with Scotch Tape). The first reading “EndlessThis War” from that… fittingly… blew out of my car window last month when the tape cracked & dried with age, and the other reading: “Support Our Troops. Impeach Bush-Cheney”. Every once in a while someone asks me why I haven’t removed it since neither are still in office, and I explain to them that “you don’t have to still be in office to be impeached. An impeachment is a trial that takes place in the House [of Representatives]. They can still be impeached.” Right wingers have been hot to impeach President Obama almost quite literally from the day he took office. But ask them specifically what “high crimes or misdemeanors” President Obama himself is supposedly guilty of, and you’d be hard pressed for an answer, but the latest reason is “Benghazi”. What was the crime there? “Coverup!” they cry. Not the actual incident itself, but what they perceive is the White House’s unwillingness to “reveal the truth about what really happened” (ie:  gross incompetence.) Gee, I can’t imagine why… two months before the election, the White House was reluctant to hand Republicans anything they might use as a political weapon (remember, Romney and the GOP were already trying to make an issue over just when the President finally called the attack “terrorism”.) John McCain had to be coaxed out of hiding for the 832nd time to appear on one of the Sunday shows yesterday to parse words like the petulant sore-loser he is, and claim Obama didn’t actually call the Benghazi attack “terrorism”, but just “demonstrations LIKE the one in Benghazi acts of terror.” (Can you hear my eyes rolling?) Right-wingers even LOVE to cite the date of the incident as: “9/11″… NOT “9/11/2012″… oh no, just “9/11”. “Can you believe what happened on 9/11 on President Obama’s watch???” they cry! “They ignored all sorts of warnings, turned a blind eye, and now four Americans are dead! Impeach him!” they say without a hint of irony. Okay Wingnuts, you wanna talk “impeachment”, let’s talk Impeachment.

I’ve been mulling this project for months now, but the always excellent “Rachel Maddow Show” pretty much forced my hand last Friday following her own tackling of the subject:

Conservatives have been desperate to “impeach” since day one. (13:15)

But perhaps even better was her all-too-brief rundown of just a few of the “scandals” that took place during the Bush Administration (I put “scandals” in quotes only because no one in the media actually called them “scandals” at the time, nor did they pursue any of them with the same ferocity as the the non-story of “Benghazi” today).

Bush era scandals that went uninvestigated (2:38)

Rachel’s “partial list” of Bush-Era scandals (additional info added by me, in parenthesis):

  1. Cheney’s secret “energy task force” that invited oil & coal company executives to the White House to write the Energy Policy for the entire nation (a meeting whose records are still classified to this day.)
  2. The multi-million dollar “no-bid contracts” to Halliburton (the company Cheney was the CEO of before becoming VP, and still holds stock in to this day, which performed many basic tasks and provided basic services/supplies at huge markups… including $20 icecube trays.)
  3. The outing of covert CIA Agent Valery Plame (not just exposing her, but jeopardizing the life of every overseas contact she had ever worked with, and completely destroying the CIA front corporation that she worked under, Brewster/Jennings… an invaluable intelligence asset which took tens of millions of dollars and YEARS to establish), and the trashing of the reputation of both her and her husband, who dare question President Bush’s reasoning for why we needed to invade Iraq.
  4. Cheney’s Chief-of-Staff, “Scooter” Libby, found guilty (unless you watch Fox), convicted on five of six counts, for his role in the outing of Ms. Plame (Libby was convicted for “obstructing” the investigation. We still… to this day… do not know who authorized him to leak that information to the press.)
  5. President Bush then commuted Libby’s sentence (someone say “coverup”?), allowing him to avoid jail.
  6. Abu Ghraib and the systematic torture & murder of prisoners held in U.S. custody overseas under the direction of “Top Brass” in the Bush Administration.
  7. The NSA illegally wiretapping Americans without a warrant (or even showing “just cause” after the fact.)
  8. The firing of eight (Republican) U.S. Attorneys (for refusing to prosecute Democratic organizations for alleged “voter fraud” after finding “no basis” for the Bush Administrations claims) by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (who was yet another example of Bush nepotism having been Bush’s friend in Texas) and replaced with attorneys more to their liking.
  9. Administrators at the MMO (“Minerals Management Organization”)… appointed by the Bush Administration… accused of systemic corruption including bribery, sex, and even “snorting crystal-meth off the toaster.”
  10. White House produced “fake news” clips (scripted by the White House and cast with actors using fake names, pretending to be legitimate newscasters) which were then distributed across the country (and played during evening news casts without attribution as if they were legitimate news stories and not propaganda); and the mass-submission of identical newspaper editorials praising the Bush Administration, written by the military and distributed to newspapers across the country as genuine letters from readers (not once but twice);
  11. The Bush White House selectively editing scientific reports (by spin-doctors with no actual proficiency in the science whose reports they were editing) on subjects like “climate change” (leading Bush’s own Surgeon General to blast him and his “anti-science administration.”).
  12. Karl Rove violating the “Hatch Act” in 2006 by hosting & funding political strategy sessions IN the White House and on the tax payers’ dime to get Republicans elected across the country.
  13. A Conservative blogger and gay male prostitute going by the fake name of “Jeff Gannon” (supposedly passing an FBI background check) not only being allowed into the White House press room repeatedly but even allowed to ask the president (leading) questions (about what a wonderful and misunderstood guy President Bush was.)
  14. (The botched handling of) Hurricane Katrina that left over 2,000 people dead (with dead bodies floating in the streets), and thousands more stranded in the New Orleans Superdome for days afterwards with no electricity, minimal food and no working plumbing after appointing yet another Bush crony (Michael “Heck’uva Job Brownie” Brown) with NO Emergency Management experience to head FEMA, whose last job was head of The Arabian Horse Association. (I would also add, cutting funding for strengthening the levies… approved during the Clinton Administration then CUT by the Bush Administration. Government funding for rebuilding the city afterwards was likewise never forthcoming and much of the city is still a ghost town to this day.)

…to name just a few.

I personally would add to that list:

  1. Most know about the infamous “August 6th [2001] PDB {Presidential Daily Briefing)” by the CIA entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S.”, but most do not know the Bush Administration received no less than EIGHT prior warnings that an attack by alQaeda inside America was imminent. After ignoring report after report, the August 6th PDB was given a title the CIA believed would be “impossible for Bush to ignore”. Ha! He sure showed them!
  2. There was the exposing of British informant Muhammad Noor Khan for political gain, forcing the Brits to close their investigation into the London bombings before they could fully ascertain who was behind them, infuriating British Intelligence.
  3. Allowed [politically connected] members of the bin Laden family to flee the U.S. after 9/11 before they could be questioned.
  4. Various Bush admin officials repeatedly ignored subpoenas to appear & testify before Congress.
  5. Declared waterbording or any form of torture just short of “permanent physical injury or death” as “legal”.
  6. The stovepiping of information, manipulating intelligence, and willfully ignoring facts that contradicted what they wanted to hear, and then repeatedly lying to the American people about what they already knew not to be true, all in an effort to make a case for war with Iraq. (Note: In the section just above on the eight warnings prior to the August 6 PDB, one of the reasons given for not believing there was a legitimate threat from alQaeda was that (quote) “alQaeda was only pretending to be planning an attack to distract the U.S. from Saddam Hussein. Think about that for a moment. BEFORE 9/11, the Bush Administration was already focused on Iraq… something they have repeatedly denied, and alleging a connection between (Suni) Saddam and (Shia) alQaeda. Bush’s Treasury Secretary John P. O’Neill said upon resigning in 2004 that Bush was already “talking about invading Iraq from day one” of his administration. And I’ve already shown you the video of Bush threatening Saddam Hussein over his “weapons of mass destruction” at the VERY BEGINNING of his 2000 campaign.)

ADDENDUM (5/14): I almost forgot about the nearly $12 BILLION DOLLARS that just up & vanished in Iraq shortly after the start of the Iraq War; relying on an informant called Curveball (whom British and German Intelligence had already deemed as “unreliable and highly questionable”) as their source re: Saddam’s WMD program; their invitation of Ahmed Chalabi to the 2004 State of the Union… a man they later denounced as “an Iranian spy” after his claims of Saddam’s “stockpiles of WMD’s” didn’t pan out; the 2005 IRS audit of an Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA for daring to preach an “anti-war” message before the 2004 Election (unlike Obama, the Bush Administration themselves actually used the IRS as a weapon to target Liberal groups like the NAACP and Greenpeace); and I’m sure there are dozens more I’m forgetting.

The entire basis for the Iraq War and the assurances of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” alone is worthy of a Congressional investigation. Claims that “everyone [else in the world intelligence community] believed the same thing”, have been thoroughly debunked.

This latest pathetic attempt to turn “Benghazi” into something that might lead to the impeachment of President Obama (or, dare they dream, resign in disgrace ala Nixon) is as transparent as their motives. But think for a moment what this “impeachable offense” actually was. An American consulate (not “embassy”) fell victim to a preplanned attack by alQaeda (sound familiar?) But unlike the FIRST 9/11, there were no actual warnings of an impending attack other than the fact it was the eleventh anniversary of 9/11. Conservatives claim “the U.S. should have been on high alert on the anniversary of 9/11. There had been NO attacks on the anniversary in 2009, 2010 or 2011. Yet somehow, the Obama Administration “should have seen it coming” in 2012… an attack by alQaeda on an obscure consulate NOT in the Libyan capitol of Tripoli but in Benghazi hundreds of miles away (American troops WERE on guard at the embassy in Tripoli) “They didn’t immediately send fighter planes or an ARMED drone when reports came in that the consulate was under attack”, the Nutters cry. The nearest U.S. Air Force Base was nearly 500 miles away in Sigonella, Italy (Eastern Sicily):

Distance from nearest AFB to Benghazi: 465 miles:

(click to enlarge)

For reference, 500 miles is basically an hour away. No fighter jet could have arrived at the Benghazi consulate in time to save the lives of those who died… a fact Obama’s chief accusers readily admit. And the only reason the military even had planes THAT close is because the Obama Administration put them there.

Then there’s the alleged “cover up” after the fact of “what they knew and when”, but to date, NO ONE has been able to explain just what harm might have befell the Obama Administration if they had just “admitted” what we now know to be true: that this was a pre-planned “terrorist” attack and not a “spontaneous demonstration” (information that does not change the facts of the case one iota.)

During the Clinton Administration, we all remember how the GOP hunted Bill Clinton for his entire presidency with investigation after investigation until they finally found something that would stick… eventually settling for… not an actual “crime”, but “lying under oath” about an affair in a hearing that was only taking place BECAUSE of the partisan witch-hunt to “get” Bill Clinton. Had he of just ignored that subpoena the way a half dozen Bush officials did, he never would have been under oath (but then they would have impeached him for refusing to respond to a subpoena.)

In 2006, Nancy Pelosi infuriated millions of Democrats by promising to “take impeachment [of Bush] off the table” in order to assuage voters (supposed) fears that a Democratic Congress… if given control in the mid-term election that year… would not do to President Bush what the GOP did to President Clinton in HIS final two years in office.

The difference is, the Bush Administration actually NEEDS to be investigated (yes, present tense) whereas the multitude of Clinton investigations were frivolous (the White House cats’ Xmas Card mailing list? Seriously???) But the GOP never shows ANY such concern of being seen as “petty” or “vindictive” because THEY ARE “petty” and “vindictive” and EVERYONE KNOWS that. So when they abuse their power and start calling for “impeachment” over the latest imagined “scandal” to drool out the mouth of some Right-Wing radio loon, it’s not only not a surprise, but EXPECTED (I am convinced the only thing holding them back right now is that they don’t control the Senate.) But heaven help us if a Democrat dare suggest impeaching (or even just investigating) a Republican president!

(Democrats think they must promise to NOT impeach to get elected. Republicans campaign on the “need to impeach” to get elected.)

And as I’ve shown you, the list of Bush Era scandals worthy of investigation is/was long.

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