By David Swanson
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has called on Attorney General Eric Holder to open a criminal investigation into the misdeeds of former president George W. Bush and former vice president Richard B. Cheney.
Holder, in turn, has now called on Conyers to open impeachment proceedings against former head of the Office of Legal Council Jay Bybee, now a judge in the Ninth Circuit.
Conyers, in response, has demanded that Holder open a complete investigation of 14 different areas of criminal enterprise and appoint an independent counsel, offering a list of eight possible candidates.
Holder, in reply, has insisted that Conyers reissue all of the subpoenas his committee has failed to enforce over the past two and a half years and use the Capitol Police to enforce them at once.
In response, Conyers’ office has issued a new report on the need to weed out corruption and undo politically motivated prosecutions by the U.S. Department of Justice.
This morning, the attorney general remarked at a televised press conference, “Chairman Conyers proposed five months ago to extend to 10 years the statutes of limitations on crimes allegedly committed under the previous administration. Introducing a bill might be a way to begin making that happen. Just an idea. I’m no expert.”
Surprisingly, John Conyers removed a large Easter bonnet that had been disguising him, stood up in the back of the room and shouted: “Mr. Attorney General, the former vice president of the United States confesses to authorizing torture every time he leaves his house. You are required by law to indict him. Are you waiting for Marc Rich’s permission?”
Attorney General Holder cut him off, declaring from the microphone at the podium: “The distinguished gentleman has spent the past three years refusing to enforce subpoenas or attempt impeachments, making a laughing stock of one branch of government, and now wants another branch to act on the basis of his reports as if we can’t do our own thinking and must employ the U.S. Congress as a think tank. Does he imagine we don’t know that torture is against the law?”
Conyers, age 80, stood on a chair and announced: “Mr. Attorney General, the vice president’s house is about two miles across the river and I would be delighted to point it out to you.”
Holder appeared to consider this momentarily before replying: “Chairman Conyers, it has been over a year since you subpoenaed Mr. Cheney. If you’ve given your Mapquest directions for his house to the Capitol Police and they haven’t found it yet, something must be defective.”
“You’re scared,” was Conyers’ startling reply.
“No, you are,” was the remarkable response from the attorney general.
The press conference continued to degenerate, and recounting the rest would serve no clear purpose other than embarassment.