Bush’s Watergate

Now let’s have a brief reality check. George W. Bush is not, repeat not, going to be impeached. No way, no how. Not unless, as the old saying goes, they find him in bed with a dead woman or a live boy.

Why? The biggest reason is that his party solidly controls both houses of Congress. The opposite was true for the two presidents who were impeached and for Richard Nixon, who resigned before impeachment and certain conviction.

Besides, if you did remove Bush, what would you get instead? Not the tooth fairy, but Dick Cheney. If both of them left, you’d have Denny (“rhymes with ...”) Hastert, a former wrestling coach who is officially speaker of the House, but who is usually thought of as Tom DeLay’s mouthpiece.

No, we’re stuck with this crew till Jan. 20, 2009. The good news, however, is that they’ve finally gotten into some serious obstruction-of-justice trouble that is distantly linked to the real reason Bush, in fact, deserves to be removed from office. If you haven’t been following this closely (say, you have a life or something), here’s a quick recap:

Two years ago, the Bush administration was angry with a former ambassador named Joseph Wilson. One of the many excuses Bush and his administration gave for our unprovoked invasion of Iraq was that Saddam was allegedly trying to buy uranium from Niger, an African country.

In other words, that old devil was trying to build one of them nuclear bombs. Wilson, who knows a lot of high officials in Niger, went there and effectively exposed that there was no truth at all in this.

That riled the Bush administration. This was, remember, right when it was starting to become painfully clear that none of the “weapons of mass destruction” existed either. So some vindictive (and stupid) high-level person or persons decided to punish Wilson for telling the truth.

Wilson’s wife, named Valerie Plame, was an undercover CIA agent, and administration sources leaked this to some journalists. Blowing an agent’s cover is, by the way, illegal.

One of the reporters who got the tip, Robert Novak, an elderly conservative columnist who has degenerated badly in recent years into a virtual shill for the Bush administration, printed her name. Others, including The New York Times’ Judith Miller, did not.

But the prosecutors came after Miller anyway, and she spent weeks in jail for refusing to reveal her source’s name. Why the prosecutors didn’t go after Novak is not clear.

We now know that Miller and another reporter said they were told about Plame by the improbably named Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff. He was Cheney’s own Mini Me, in other words.

Last week, a grand jury indicted Libby on five counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, etc., and he could face 30 years in the can.

What was most interesting is that the man called Bush’s Brain, political operative Karl Rove, was not indicted. Not yet, anyway.

Everybody in the know strongly suspects Rove, who Bush lovingly calls “turd blossom,” was behind this.

The real question is whether the federal prosecutor, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, a man believed to be honest and nonpolitical, intends to squeeze Libby like a lemon to get him to squeal on others — presumably Rove and maybe even his boss, dark-force impresario Dick Cheney himself. That’s what happened at the start of Watergate, when old Judge John J. Sirica put the squeeze on the burglars, and James McCord cracked.

Will history repeat itself, with variations?

We don’t know. But it’s clear that George W. Bush is weakened, and, without Karl Rove at his side, is sort of like Frankenstein’s monster without his brain. He lurches around aimlessly, tries to appoint his mascara-challenged lawyer to the Supreme Court, and who knows what else.

There is more of this scandal to come out, or as least there should be. Frankly, though it isn’t going to happen, George W. Bush really does deserve removal from office. He is, in a very real sense, a war criminal who effectively lied to the public about his reasons for going to war in Iraq.

Not only have more than 2,000 American troops died, at least 30,000 Iraqis have been killed as well, most of them civilians, according to a figure used by a U.S. military spokesman last week. He admitted it may be much higher. “We may never know the true number of the Iraqi public that has been killed and injured in this war,” Lt. Col. Steve Boylan told the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, our troops drive around and are picked off and have their lives and testicles blown away by roadside bombs. And for what? The puppet government we installed recently had an election of sorts to ratify a so-called “constitution” the occupation army let them write. After some weeks of massaging the returns, it was announced that this constitution was approved by 78 percent of the voters.

What a surprise. A news anchor on National Public Radio, which should know better, said it was seen as a fair and free election. Yet I heard Martha Raddatz, senior national security correspondent for ABC News, say she saw one voter happily take and fill out seven ballots.

Wouldn’t surprise me if Lewis Libby voted a few times too. Whatever your politics, and whatever the nation, you can put scant faith in any election held or government organized when a foreign army is occupying the country. Ask any member of any former South Vietnamese cabinet, a majority of whom were elected in stunning landslides. Most of them now live in the Virginia suburbs, I believe.

Everyone knows, whether they admit it to themselves or not, that in the end our troops will come home, and Iraq will be a ghastly mess that we will have made worse by our meddling and our murder of the innocents.

Everyone knows this, except George W. Bush, who really thinks he’s Winston Churchill. (Psst, Dubya! You gotta watch them World War II movies more closely. You know the guy who sent his army into all those small countries, and then occupied them and set up puppet governments? George, uh, that wasn’t Churchill, George. That was, uh ...).


Little Big Man: Last week the media made a big fuss over the Michigan Chronicle’s lynching ad, which showed little ol’ me with such other known Klansmen as Mildred Gaddis. To my surprise, people, including a number of African-American former students of mine, asked if it hurt me.

I thought the ad — which equated criticizing the mayor with lynching — was mostly funny.

That was before I saw the actual ad, the day after Rosa Parks died. When I did, I was embarrassed for every African-American in the city.

Imagine anyone calling themselves black having the bad taste to use images of sacred martyrs — lynching victims — as props to try to make cheap political points for a creature who spends thousands for limousines and nightclubs while children in the city he pretends to lead go hungry.

Four years ago, the boy mayor seemed to have such promise. Now the money is gone and the voters are going. Today, he has Adolph Mongo, and a sleazy ad in a paper that the vast majority of Detroiters don’t even read.

All indications are that two months from now, he also won’t have a job, unless perhaps his mama gives him one. Yes, I did feel something last week — the faint beginnings of pity.

Jack Lessenberry opines weekly for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]. Hear him weekdays at 1 p.m. on WUOM (91.7 FM or
Scroll to read more Metro Detroit News articles


Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.