It's been said that if special prosecutors or grand juries are so inclined, they can indict a ham sandwich. We best saw this truism during the previous administration. The president's detractors relentlessly pursued him for reasons that, apart from lying, amounted to amoral behavior at worst. This was considered sufficient cause for impeachment.
In contrast, the current president stands accused of intentionally fudging or using fraudulent evidence to wage an illegal war, resulting in the deaths of thousands. His supporters frame it as but a 16-word dispute, not as prosecutable or impeachable offenses. Yet much like the ham sandwich, he can additionally be investigated for even more serious charges:
- The deliberate withholding of "evidence" from U.N. inspectors to frustrate their WMD search, thus facilitating the U.S. Iraqi invasion;
- Covertly conducting hundreds of bombing missions over Iraq (under cover of the "no-fly zones") in preparation for an unauthorized war;
- The presentation of false or dated (pre-Gulf War I) evidence to Congress, the American people and the United Nations for the purposes of manufacturing public support and creating a false casus belli to attack Iraq;
- The withholding/rewarding of military and humanitarian aid to assemble his war coalition, and to exempt the United States from the International Criminal Court;
- Pursuing a bellicose warpath toward global domination (while calling it peace) and squandering the public treasury in the process;
- Failure to prevent the destruction of Iraq's national treasures and its infrastructure, this while protecting its oil industry;
- Exploiting religion, fear and paranoia for the purposes of promoting war and a secret government, and a parallel and politicized intelligence service and legal system (all this under the guise of "national security").
If the war was deemed illegal, the U.N. war crimes tribunal could also investigate him for: illegally waging a pre-emptive and undefined war on "terror" (25 nations have been named as harboring terrorists); crimes against humanity; falsely claiming to be acting on behalf of the United Nations; illegally threatening war (including threatened use of nuclear weaponry) against Iraq, Iran, North Korea and Syria; and the use of WMDs against Iraq (depleted uranium and cluster bombs).
Congress can also investigate him for obstruction of justice (his attempts to shift blame to underlings and foreign governments, this despite finally "accepting responsibility" for his earlier State of the Union speech; he appears not to know the consequence for such acceptance) and incompetence. He recently claimed the war began because Iraq refused entry to U.N. weapons inspectors.
Our legal system requires not passing judgment until all the facts are known. It's the same burden of proof required to prosecute a war. (You get the proof first, then go to war, not vice versa.) However, what's undeniable is that the president, determined to go to war, converted a puny dictatorship into "the world's most dangerous nation." We invaded Iraq because it might one day threaten us. Such action requires verifiable proof not simply that the nation in question is a threat, but is an imminent threat.
While Iraq was guilty of tyranny and terror (not the reasons why we went to war), it was not an imminent threat to the United States and the free world. Incidentally, the imminence argument is oxymoronic, because a pre-emptive war -- per his own 2002 Bush Doctrine -- calls for warring against nations before they become threats. This is defined as aggression and is deemed illegal in the modern era.
Even while accepting responsibility for his own words and policies, the president appears oblivious, reinforcing the impression that he's not completely in charge of intelligence matters, his speeches, or Big Brother programs or policies emanating from the Department of Justice or the Pentagon. All this while U.S. soldiers and Iraqis are needlessly dying daily, not in a "liberated" but an occupied Iraq.
While investigators search for the truth, citizens are left with coming up with a way to get out of this quagmire.
Unless we're truly wanted there (and despite our tattered economy), the best solution is to create a transparent timetable to get out ASAP and use the billions that are being spent for the military occupation on Iraq's reconstruction instead. That's the least we can do, especially if it's proven that the president's pants are on fire.