Dick Cheney today previewed a likely argument defense attorneys will employ when he and Bush and their subordinates are tried, an argument that some of us have been predicting for years: If we weren’t impeached and it was “war time” anything we did must have been legal. But, of course, none of the many arguments against impeachment that were frequently employed by the Democrats in Congress ever included the laughable assertion that Bush and Cheney were obeying laws. After all, Congress was busy passing bills to legalize their actions, and other bills to redundantly criminalize them, and watching bills of the latter sort be tossed out with “signing statements.” The arguments against impeachment focused on the self-fulfilling alleged impossibility of doing it, the fear of being criticized on Fox News, the supposed need to focus on something else (anyone recall what it was?), the imagined electoral impact, and even the theory that the courts could better handle it.
The latest comment from the big Dick is of special relevance to those who made that last excuse. I really do hate to say I told you so, but the fact is that impeachment could be begun this Tuesday, completed on Wednesday, and a Senate trial scheduled for February, and Cheney’s leading argument would be shot.