Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Opening Salvo

As you probably noticed, there was a concerted effort on the part of a lot of blogs (including this one) yesterday to draw attention to the Downing Street memo and the demand on the part of some members of Congress — John Conyers in particular — to investigate the possibility that the Bush administration deliberately mislead the nation and our allies into the war in Iraq. Props, chops, and kudos to Shakespeare’s Sister for organizing the effort and being the energetic force behind this admittedly difficult task of getting bloggers together on a common theme. (Her next task is to organize a feline marching band.) But come together we did, and it got the attention of some of the SCLM, and best of all it drew some fire from the nutsery on the right; you know you’re doing something when you get them riled.

Even though it was overshadowed by the Deep Throat news, there’s a harmony between the two stories: it was a very brave act on the part of Mr. Felt in 1973 to do what he did, and it may require someone with the same level of patriotism and sense of duty to get someone on the inside to break the omerta in the administration to get to the truth. It will also take reporters with the drive and determination of Woodward and Bernstein to dig through the papers and files to get to the truth, and have the guts to write about it. The CBS Memo and Newsweek incidents have made a lot of them flinch at the possibility of going out on a limb, but on the other hand, working under such pressure will insure that they won’t go to print (or on-line) unless they have sources and background that are absolutely irrefutable.

That is why to my mind the effort of the Big Brass Alliance is not to demand the impeachment of President Bush, but to demand an investigation into whether or not laws were broken or people were lied to, and whether they rise to the very high standards set in the Constitution for impeachment. After all, in 1998 those who defended President Clinton against the Republican impeachment said the bar had to be set very high for his conviction, and it would be hypocritical of us to not say the same thing for a Republican. In fact, it would be even more to our advantage if we could make our case against the highest bar that can be set. It would then be irrefutable.