Battling the Impeachment Sham
by John F. McManus
Many Americans (though certainly not regular readers of this magazine) would be surprised to know that there is a long list of President Clinton's actions, other than perjury and obstruction of justice related to the sex scandal, that could have resulted in impeachment and removal from office. That list includes:
· Illegally soliciting and receiving campaigns funds in the White House.
· Arranging for one million dollars in hush money for Webster Hubbell.
· Obstruction of justice in secreting files related to the Whitewater land deal.
· Taking bribes from drag dealers, labor racketeers, and other international desperados and returning favors for the "contributions."
· Illegally acquiring FBI files containing personal information about political opponents.
· Using the IRS and other govemment agencies to harass and intimidate opponents.
· Treasonously endangering national security by arranging for the transfer of militarily sensitive items to China after receiving bribes from Chinese nationals.
A Couched Confession?
On that last and most serious of all of these matters, Mr. Clinton has in fact admitted to the crime. In her book High Crimes and Misdemeanors, attorney Ann Coulter points out that Mr. Clinton was asked by reporters about campaign funds received from China and his subsequent decisions favoring the acquisition by China of military items. He responded: "I don't believe you can find any evidence of the fact that I had changed government policy solely because of a contribution." There it is in his own words; he didn't accommodate China "solely" because of the bribes. This appears to demonstrate that the money showered on his re-election effort by the Chinese did play a role in his decision.
So where were the supposedly hard-nosed Clinton opponents when the impeachment process began? Under the leadership of Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, who did Mr. Clinton the great favor of focussing only on the Starr Report and the Lewinsky-driven muck, they ended up in a box that could have been crafted by Bill Clinton himself. The charges produced by the committee, even though it had the full House's green light to examine any potential offense and even though Hyde himself knew about Beijing's bribery and the transfer of military items to Red China, ignored the matter and all of the other items listed above. Finally, the full House impeached the President only for perjury and obstruction of justice.
Still, the perjury and obstruction charges should have been enough to convict the President but for partisanship and likely fear of reprisal. Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), dubbed the Senate's "moralizer" because of his highly publicized condemnation of the President's sexual affair, threw principle completely out of the picture in basing his vote to acquit on the will of the people. He stated: "We're standing in place of the people, the voters, and we'd be irresponsible not to take them into account. They continue to trust him." Lieberman was not alone in relying on the voice of the people, uninformed as it may be.
Government by Poll
The Founding Fathers gave us a Republic based on the rule of law, not a Democracy subject to the whim of man that they rightly despised. But our nation is slipping past democracy into "poll-ocracy" where decisions of national importance are supposed to be based on a minuscule sampling of public opinion. As Georgia Republican Bob Barr, one of the House managers, incisively commented: "Polls played no part in the great and glorious decisions, decisive decisions, that made America a nation and kept it free and strong." He wondered aloud: "Will the principles embodied in our Constitution and our laws be reaffirmed, wrested from the pallid hands of pollsters and pundits and .the swarm of theorists surrounding these proceedings?"
As has frequently been the case, weak Republicans were given cover by neo-conservative figurehead William F. Buckley, who stated during a television interview on January 8th: "If I were a consultant to the GOP concerned exclusively with the fruits of power, I would beg the leadership to just drop the whole thing and kick in a little censure motion and go on to things like Iraq and Social Security."
And Pat Robertson did likewise the day after the President's January 19th State of the Union address, a speech he should have characterized as a Clinton Socialist Manifesto. Instead, Robertson claimed that the President had "hit a home run" and that Republicans "might as well dismiss this impeachment hearing and get on with something else because it's over as far as I'm concerned."
After the acquittal vote, Senator Diane Feinstein and 36 Senate co-signers offered a censure resolution designed in part to give Clinton partisans the cover they may need when next facing voters. It admitted that "the President gave false and misleading testimony." That anyone could agree to such a resolution, after voting against the perjury and obstruction of justice charges, is a measure of the dominance of Washington double-speak.
The Clinton-friendly New York Times stated editorially on December 16th that "the evidence presents an ironclad case that he lied, by plan and repetitiously, while under oath in a civil suit and before a grand jury." But those lies were not "nation-threatening," said the Times.
White House counsel Charles Ruff insisted that it would not "put at risk the liberties of the people" if the President were retained in office. He, and many others in positions of authority and influence, evidently believe that undermining the entire judicial system by sanctioning presidential lying under oath doesn't jeopardize "the liberties of the people."
Opportunity in Disguise
But the way the curtain came down on this first impeachment of an elected President may backfire for the President and his partisans. It gave evidence of the depth of the depravity that has gripped our government. Watch for the public to be far more receptive to the information contained in the "Chinagate" special issue of THE NEW AMERICAN. (See page 19 for ordering copies.) If this hugely deficient impeachment charade taught us anything, it instructed us that our nation is in grave danger, and it's time for millions of Americans to get involved in the process of rescuing it from its internal enemies.
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