By David Swanson
The past year has seen the public exposure of enough evidence of old, ongoing, and new crimes, abuses of power, and impeachable offenses by George Bush and Dick Cheney that in any remotely representative democracy, these two thugs would be out of office and behind bars. The chief reason this does not shock us is that the same could be said, and was said, of each of the previous six years. It’s been quite a millennium so far for Washington, D.C.
Some of us began this year expecting something different. We had worked to elect Democratic majorities in Congress so that we might move in the direction of impeachment. If we didn’t get to impeachment right away, we thought, at least real investigations with the power of subpoena would push a reluctant Congress in the right direction. With House committees having come within a vote of starting investigations, with the Democrats having shut down the Senate to try to force an investigation, with Chairman-to-be John Conyers having published a book on Bush and Cheney’s crimes and held unofficial hearings in the basement, we had reason to be hopeful.
We are, alas, forced to place our hopes in 2008. Some of the 2007 evidence below was exposed by Congress, but most of it was unearthed by book authors, bloggers, independent reporters, federal prosecutors, and the corporate media. With the Democratic majorities came a complete ban on congressional investigations of war lies (not to mention an end to serious efforts to end the occupation of Iraq). Other investigations proceeded cautiously and at a glacial pace – and with no ultimate objective, Speaker Nancy Pelosi having declared impeachment “off the table.” It took over 4 months for the opposition party to issue its first subpoena. In June there was a minor burst of subpoenas. But it was quickly established that Bush, Cheney, Condi, and their underlings, would never comply with subpoenas, and that Bush would even (feloniously) order former staffers not to comply. The Democrats let it go at that and largely stopped trying to compel incriminating testimony. That the House Judiciary Committee had, a single generation back, passed an article of impeachment against a president for refusing a subpoena was buried in our national amnesia.
In 2007 we saw the departure of Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzales, Doug Feith, and other Bush cronies, but without public accountability or criminal punishment, and without accountability for their bosses. Having unilaterally disarmed by stripping impeachment from the Constitution, the Democrats in 2007 could only play at oversight on television, which left them subject to the owners of the television networks. This was a replay of the Democrats’ restraint in the rigged Iran-Contra hearings. The goal of that unconstitutional restraint had been electoral victories, but the result had been losses and the creation of the Bush dynasty.
The result in 2007 was a lot of smoke, but no fire. In fact, the new Congress passed new legislation further stripping us of our Constitutional rights, and every now and then let slip a hint at the depth of bipartisan complicity. The year began with Senator Dick Durbin explaining that he had known before the Iraq invasion that the White House was lying to the public, but that he had not dared to say so for fear of disclosing classified information. The year closed with the revelation that Nancy Pelosi was one of a group of leading Congress Members informed of U.S. torture policies five years ago. She, too, dared not say anything, and still has said nothing. Maybe 2008 will be the year in which she finds her voice.
As you read through the following evidence, please bear in mind a couple of key points.
1. We didn’t need any of it, or any of the previous year’s evidence. We’ve had enough solid evidence for a 5-minute slam-dunk (thank you, George) impeachment for years now. Here are the highlights: http://afterdowningstreet.org/keydocuments
2. While none of this is about sex, and all good impeachments simply must be about sex, we have learned in recent years of CIA prostitute parties and Halliburton gang rapes. And if that’s not enough to convince you that something is rotten in the state of the Homeland, we learned in 2007 that (quick, cover your children’s eyes) . . . “Bush Promised to Kiss Blair’s Ass.”
SECRECY AND COVERUPS
Here is a collection of the outstanding subpoenas yet to be obeyed:
Here are a few choice related headlines with links to the articles you’ll want to savor as you look back across the past year of not having a clue what your government was up to:
A National Archives official reveals what the veep wanted to keep classified–and how he tried to challenge the rules
Cheney Won’t Even Say Who Works in His Office
Bush Won’t Say Where His Prisons Are
Vice President Exempts His Office from the Requirements for Protecting Classified Information
Bush Claims Oversight Exemption Too
Bush Orders Miers Not to Testify
Justice Dept. to White House officials: Ignore Congress
Whistle-blowers Face Punishment in Iraq; Contractors Say U.S. Military Jailed, Tortured Them for Reporting Fraud
SIGNING STATEMENTS AND ASSERTIONS OF DICTATORIAL POWER
2007 was the year of the unitary executive, as Congress and the courts largely stepped out of the picture. And the unitary executive had a lot of executivizing to do:
New Report Shows Bush’s Presidential Signing Statements Have Been Used to Nullify Laws
New Index of Presidential Signing Statements
Cheney Exempts His Office from Requirement to Protect Classified Information
Cheney Destroys Visitor Logs
A New Dick Cheney-Alberto Gonzales Mystery
Bush Anoints Himself as the Insurer of Constitutional Government in Emergency
Bush Uses Signing Statement to Announce Refusal to Obey New Military Appropriations Law
TURNING GOVERNMENT AGENCIES INTO REPUBLICAN PARTY MACHINE
This was the big new story of 2007, and Congress does get some credit for stirring the dirt on this one. It turns out that most of the executive branch of the government now works for the Republican party. U.S. attorneys who had failed to grasp that fact were fired. Emails that exposed it were destroyed. State governors who got in the way became political prisoners. And an intellectually challenged Attorney General who could take orders but not remember what he’d had for breakfast was scared out of town after committing perjury on television. His bosses laughed and replaced him with a clone. Congress complied.
Not that Congress wasn’t very, very concerned. In fact, Rep. Henry Waxman alone destroyed a forest writing letters to the White House and publishing reports like this one:
By the end of 2007 I saw an editorial cartoon in the paper with holiday lights on the White House spelling out: “No Comment: Ongoing Investigation.” A man in the cartoon commented: “They just leave them up all year now.” These were some of the choice headlines from 2007 on the your-tax-dollars-pay-for-the-Republican-Party theme:
Administration Withheld Emails About Rove
GSA Chief Is Accused of Playing Politics
DOJ Made Immigration Judgeships Political
New Justice Department documents show White House involvement in Attorneys firings
Legal Memo Confirms White House Led Effort To Target And Remove U.S. Attorneys
Politicization of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
Conyers’ Staff Documents More Crimes and Abuses, But He Still Won’t Impeach
Emails Detail RNC Voter Suppression in Five States
Commerce, Treasury Funds Helped Boost GOP Campaigns
State Department Agents Say Jobs Were Threatened
The United States Attorneys Scandal Comes to Mississippi
Daughter of jailed governor sees White House hand in her father’s fall
Bush Tries to Seize Control of Military Lawyers
(Here’s Why) Meet Tom Fiscus
White House Illegally Deleted Over TEN MILLION Emails
Of course, the point is to continue stealing elections. But some of the past crimes of that nature continued to bubble up unnoticed in 2007:
Former DoJ Attorneys Accuse Bush Admin of Restricting African American Vote
Ohio Secretary of State confirms 2004 election could have been stolen
NH Phone jamming scheme
What would a 21st century year be without further shredding of the Fourth Amendment? Bush opened it with a bang by seizing a power Hitler too had seized early on: the power to open your mail.
It was all downhill without resistance from there.
NY Times: “Dick Cheney sent Mr. Gonzales and another official to Mr. Ashcroft’s hospital room to get him to approve the wiretapping.”
Cheney Urged Illegal Wiretaps
Ashcroft’s ex-no. 2 says Gonzales, Cheney tried to take advantage of sick Attorney General.
Two FBI Whistleblowers Confirm Illegal Wiretapping of Government Officials and Misuse of FISA
Bush Decides to Continue FISA Violations After All
Bush Dodges Comey’s Accusations That He Personally Arranged Ashcroft Hospital Visit
FBI Finds It Frequently Overstepped in Collecting Data
New NSA Whistleblower Speaks
IRS tracked taxpayers’ political affiliation
Cheney On Whether He Ordered Hospital Visit To Ashcroft: I Have ‘No Recollection’
Bush “Authorized” Illegal Spying Programs
Collecting of Details on Travelers Documented
White House Spy Docs Show Surveillance Was Illegal, Senator Feingold Charges
Now, admittedly there’s no clause in the Constitution banning the warming of the planet, but 2007 was chock full of headlines like this one, that weren’t really news, but were louder than they’d been before:
Over 4.5 Billion people could die from Global Warming-related causes by 2012
It’s that sort of thing that makes these headlines fit into the crime section:
Cheney Bypassed Environmentally ‘Clueless’ Bush To Craft Administration’s Climate Change Agenda
Scientists ‘pressured on climate findings’
Ex-Bush Official: I Fixed The (Climate) Facts Around The Policy
The Secret Campaign of President Bush’s Administration to Deny Global Warming
Not an environment scare story
CALIFORNIA ENERGY CRISIS: NEW EVIDENCE
Here’s an oldie but goodie that came back for a cameo:
Cheney Suppressed Evidence in California Energy Crisis
ONGOING INTENTIONAL DESTRUCTION OF NEW ORLEANS
2007 closed out with the use of tazers and brutal crowd repression in New Orleans as people protested the ongoing intentional destruction of good housing. There was also this:
Two Years After Katrina, Billions in Relief Funds Are Missing
LYING TO CONGRESS AND PUBLIC IN STATE OF THE UNION – AN ANNUAL RITUAL
Bush began 2007 with a claim in a State of the Union Address that he had thwarted a number of terrorist plots. They all turned out to be fictional:
When no corporate media other than Keith Olbermann called Bush on his lies, he must have felt empowered to tell more:
Transcripts show evidence against Muslim charity fabricated
Bush-Cheney Blocked and Falsified Reports on Health and Medicine
Your Tax Dollars Are Used to Tell You Lies
Bush Used Bogus Terror Threat To Scare Votes For FISA Bill
Oh, and you know that one about “America does not torture”? It looks like Bush watched the missing torture tapes before saying that:
And this one just won’t go away:
France (and CIA) knew in 2001 al-Qaida had a plot
THREATENING A WAR OF AGGRESSION IN IRAN
This violation of the U.N. Charter and U.S. Constitution has been well documented by Congressman Dennis Kucinich:
We also learned in 2007 that Bush and Cheney were doing more in Iran than threatening it:
“Explosive” new Hersh scoop: Bush funneling money to Al Qaeda-related groups [VIDEO]
Report: U.S. Sponsoring Kurdish Guerilla Attacks Inside Iran
And we heard lots of lies about Iranian roadside bombs in Iraq or Iranian activities in Iraq or Iranian nuclear weapons. As each lie failed to stick, it was forgotten and replaced with a new one. But who will hold our so-called elected leaders accountable for the ones we were smart enough not to believe?
More Cheney War Lies Exposed – And This Time Pre-War
Cheney Tried to Stifle Dissent in Iran NIE
IRAQ LIES: NEW EVIDENCE
This is such fertile ground that although no more evidence is needed, it just keeps piling up. In fact, some of the old evidence is being buried In 2007 the White House deleted from its website the old claims by Cheney that Iraqis would welcome an occupation “as liberators” and so forth.
But deleting old Cheney lies only goes so far, when he keeps repeating them. In 2007, Cheney was still claiming that Iraq was to blame for 9-11.
The closest Congress came to touching the topic was a brief Senate committee hearing on a report on the Pentagon written by… the Pentagon. Even that report was fairly damning:
It dealt with the Feith Based Intelligence work of Doug Feith:
Pentagon Report Corroborates the Downing Street Memo, Intelligence and Facts Fixed Around the Policy!
Also in 2007, all pretense was abandoned that the invasion of Iraq was not driven by oil, as the Bush Administration and Congress pressured the puppet Iraqi government to pass a new law turning over much of the oil to foreign corporations: http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/22838
Here’s the text of the law:
And, of course, the original lies continued to be documented:
Two Explosive Books Tell the Inside Story of the Forged Iraq-Niger Docs That Helped Build the Case for War
Tenet’s Book of Lies Leads to New Revelations
Senior CIA Analyst Believed Iraq Had No WMD
Two former CIA officers say the president squelched top-secret intelligence, and a briefing by George Tenet, months before invading Iraq.
Bush-Aznar Smoking Gun
Faulty Intel Source “Curve Ball” Revealed
U.S. Plan Envisioned Nuking Iran, Syria, Libya
With the I Lewis Scooter Libby trial finally held in 2007, there was good growth in the Plame industry. Perhaps the biggest news came late in the year when former White House Press Secretary Scotty McClellan implicated Bush and Cheney
But evidence in the trial had already done that as well:
Cheney’s Handwritten Notes Implicate Bush in Plame Affair
FBI Agent Testifies Libby Learned About Plame from Cheney
Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s comments to the press at the end of the trial suggested that he and they (the media) expected Congress to pursue the matter further. Congress never has. Late in the year, Fitzgerald again pointed his finger at Cheney:
Also coming out of the Libby trial came this insight, yet to be fully developed:
Bush Admin Targeted Wilson’s Wife Long Before Wilson’s Article Appeared
James Madison and George Mason wanted impeachment in the Constitution in case a president ever pardoned someone for a crime that he himself was associated with. They did get impeachment into the Constitution. Nancy Pelosi removed it in 2007.
ONGOING AND WORSENING OCCUPATION OF IRAQ
Lost in the surge hype and the media’s endless demand that we cease caring about Iraq is the worsening crisis that was more heavily reported in early and mid 2007:
ACLU Releases Files on Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq
More Iraqis Flee As Figure Tops Four Million: UNHCR
Ignorance of Iraqi death toll no longer an option
Report says war on terror is fueling al Qaeda
2007 Oct 7 Towards Sustainable Security: Oxford Research Group International Security Report 2007
UN Report on Iraq Details an “Ever-Deepening” Crisis
Bush, Maliki Break Iraqi Law to Renew UN Mandate for Occupation
This is one of the harder topics for Americans to discuss by name, yet 2007 yielded a bumper crop of evidence of war crimes:
2007 May 4 Army Surgeon General’s pentagon report on declining morale and war crimes
US Attack on Iraqi Peace Parliamentarian
US Electromagnetic Weapons and Human Rights
‘Shocking’ video: Shi’a Iraqi soldiers beat Sunnis as US trainers watch
Death Squads, American Style
Fifth Marine Pleads Guilty in Murder of Innocent Man
Jailed Two Years, Iraqi Tells of Abuse by Americans
Bush Family War Profiteering
Coerced Labor Building Baghdad Embassy?
Illegal Bases in Iraq Openly Constructed, Used, Announced
Marine Told to Destroy Haditha Photos
The Other War: Iraq Veterans Speak Out on Shocking Accounts of Attacks on Iraqi Civilians
Marine says beatings urged in Iraq
Video: Marine on Hamdania Shooting
U.S. soldier convicted of beating Iraqi detainee with baseball bat
Marine tells of order to execute Haditha women and children
Documents Show Troops Disregarding Rules
U.S. Aims To Lure Insurgents With ‘Bait’
Soldier: Sergeant from N.C. ordered me to shoot unarmed Iraqi man
US Violating Chemical Weapons Convention in Iraq
And still we do not end the supreme war crime, the crime that contains the accumulated evil of the whole: the war of aggression.
2007 broke the corporate media ban on acknowledging the role of mercenaries in the occupation of Iraq. And when that dam burst, blood gushed out:
2007 Oct 11 UN report on Blackwater and other mercenaries killing indiscriminately
Blackwater security shot Iraqi man
CIA Mercenary Gets 8 Years for Beating a Prisoner to Death
Blackwater guards killed 16 as U.S. touted progress
FBI Admits Blackwater Mercenaries Murdered at Least 14 People
Krongard Confirms ‘Ugly Rumor’: Brother Attended Blackwater Advisory Board Meeting Yesterday
TORTURE AND ILLEGAL PRISONS
Yes, torture is illegal. Yes, torture is unconstitutional. Yes, the U.S. tortures. And, yes, the Congress just approved a new Attorney General who protects torturers.
ACLU Announces Publication of Administration of Torture, a Groundbreaking Account of Prisoner Abuse in U.S. Custody Abroad
FBI Details Possible Detainee Abuse
Cheney’s Leading Role in Torture
Uninvestigated Crimes: CIA Torture Flights Out of North Carolina
Abu Ghraib: “Man In the Hood” provides testimony at War Crimes Conference
New Light Shed on CIA’s “Black Site” Prisons
Aspects of Padilla’s Treatment Confirmed
What happened to the Padilla interrogation videos?
‘We Were Torturing People For No Reason’ — A Soldier’s Tale
‘Outsourced Guantanamo’ – FBI & CIA Interrogating Detainees in Secret Ethiopian Jails, U.S. Citizen Among Those Held
CIA Tortured Me in Iraq, Claims Freed Iranian Diplomat
Photos of ‘tortured’ Iraqi’s corpse released
Former Guantanamo inmate describes interrogations
Rumsfeld, Perjury, and Shoving Things Up Rectums
Guantánamo Man’s Family Release ‘Torture’ Dossier
CIA detention program remains active: U.S. official
Torture Victim Tells His Story to Congress
Guantanamo Military Lawyer Breaks Ranks to Condemn “Unconscionable” Detention
Dozens of ‘Ghost Prisoners’ Not Publicly Accounted For
Torture Orders Came from Bush
Flight Logs Reveal Secret Rendition
Jordan’s Spy Agency: Holding Cell for the CIA
Former chief prosecutor for the Office of Military Commissions resigned his post
Kiriakou: White House Approved Abuzabaydah’s WaterBoarding
And then, of course, there are the missing torture tapes. If they were destroyed, please keep in mind the following points:
1. They are not needed to document the torture. The evidence is overwhelming.
2. The destruction of tapes is not the major crime here.
3. The major crime is the American people’s failure to force our representatives in Congress to impeach these fascist bastards.