The list of impeachable offenses that long ago should have summoned Congress to uphold its responsibilities and bring charges in the House continues to grow.
Some suggest the answer to the insults to the Constitution is silence — because the end is near. They may get their wish when the last nail is driven into a Bill of Rights that no longer protects any American.
Is it inconvenient that this particular hot potato would drop in their timorous laps? We must ask, when is the best time to begin to correct the course of the ship of state and bring to trial the outlaws currently hiding out in an undisclosed location in the executive office.
Again and again, they lie, obstruct, break the law (national and international), and violate the United Nations’ human rights and Geneva Conventions, as well as the bedrock principle of western civilization, habeas corpus. Refusing to answer lawful subpoenas, politicizing the Justice Department, spying on Americans and violating the limited constraints of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Then there is torture and secret prisons — no charges filed, and no attorneys for Americans or foreign nationals.
Timing and scheduling are not the issue; the Constitution is at risk. If President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have forgotten that they have sworn to protect the Constitution, then it is up to Congress and the courts — the other coequal branches of the American government — to remind them this is a nation of laws, not of men.
While some might argue the timing is not ideal, what’s the ideal time to protect the Constitution? Simply, when it needs protecting. We cannot let ourselves off the hook with arguments that this isn’t the best time to protect our civil liberties.
Was frostbitten Valley Forge an appropriate time to defend American rights? Why isn’t today the right time?
Richard W. Spisak Jr.