As has been done here in the past, the US Constitution will get quoted on this blog from time to time to make a salient point. Todayâ€™s lesson is in Amendment 8 of the Bill of Rights of that magnificent document, which states, â€œExcessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflictedâ€.
The effect of the Constitution of the United States is often confusing to many, but one thing is crystal clear: it applies at an absolute minimum to every citizen of the USA. In other words, regardless of any other argument, if you are a US citizen, you fall under the authority of the US Constitution at all times except during those times when you are not alive.
Since the Amendment 8 of the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution prohibits the inflicting of cruel and unusual punishment, it logically and inescapably follows that harsh interrogation methods such as water-boarding (simulated drowning while held involuntarily immobilized, and which is considered by all civilized organizations as a form of torture) are unconstitutional. Of course, we havenâ€™t even touched upon the other violations of things like international treaties, such as Geneva Conventions, or US federal and state laws. For now, letâ€™s just stick with that great document, the US Constitution.
You know where this is heading donâ€™t you, blog lovers?
Another section of the US Constitution deals with impeachment. Specifically, a public government official can be removed from office for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. You can learn more about this here.
On December 6, 2007 the New York Times reported that the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which is an agency of the federal government directly under the executive branch of the US government (namely the Bush White House) had in 2005, destroyed at least two videotapes documenting interrogations in 2002 of two Al Qaeda members using extremely harsh and severe interrogation techniques, including water-boarding.
To make a very long story short, these videotapes have been requested by multiple sources, including the 9-11 commission and Congressional committees. The CIA had denied their very existence. This, of course is a violation of federal law.
Several officials questioned by the New York Times about the destruction of the tapes stated that â€œthey were destroyed in part because officials were concerned that video showing harsh interrogation methods could expose agency officials to legal risksâ€.
Of course, when George W. Bush was interviewed about all of this, he said he had just learned about it like everyone else. Of course, Bush didnâ€™t remind anyone that he has threatened to veto a bill outlawing water-boarding that is being voted out of Congressional conference committee today.
Does any of this remind anyone of Watergate in 1972? Nixon also said he learned about the Watergate burglary (planned by the Committee to Re-Elect the President, or CREP, his reelection campaign committee), by reading about it in the Washington Post. Everyone knows that the ultimate cover-up led to the White House staff, Nixon, impeachment articles, and Nixonâ€™s resignation.
First we had Bushâ€™s re-election, then Bushâ€™s Vietnam, then Bushâ€™s fall from grace, and now Bushâ€™s apparent violation of the US Constitution (multiple articles/amendments). He looks more like Nixon every day. And Bush, as Nixon before him, swore to “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution. Finally, like Nixon before him, is denying everything and claiming ignorance.
Is Bush really Nixon, returned from the ether to finish his presidency?
And if he is, could we even tell the difference?
So….Just to be safe, we should continue the 1974 impeachment, don’t you think?