That Vice President Dick Cheney is the ripest target for impeachment in the Bush White House is beyond debate.
Cheney was far more aggressive that President Bush in peddling manipulated — or, to use a more precise term, “fantastical” — intelligence before the US invaded Iraq. And, once the war began, Cheney promoted the illusion that a connection had been found between Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network so recklessly that Bush, himself, was finally forced to correct his errant vice president. That puts Cheney at odds with the checks and balances requirements of the Constitution, and with the oath he swore to obey that document’s demands.
Cheney personally coordinated efforts to attack former Ambassador Joe Wilson, and Wilson’s wife Valerie Plame, after the veteran diplomat revealed that the administration had cooked up a “case” for attacking Iraq that was in conflict with information that had been made available to the White House. That is an abuse of Cheney position similar to the ones that the House Judiciary Committee cited when voted overwhelmingly for the third article of impeachment against then-President Richard Nixon.
Cheney has been the administration’s primary defender of torture, so much so that the consistently cautious Washington Post referred to him in an editorial as the “Vice President for Torture.” That creates a conflict not just with the Geneva Conventions but with the 8th amendment to the Constitution’s bar on cruel and unusual punishment.
Cheney has for decades argued for an expansion of presidential powers that far exceeds anything intended by the founders of the Republic, and with his calculated moves to disempower Congress, to keep official meetings and documents secret, and to get the president to operate by executive orders and signing statements, he has dramatically and intentionally undermined the rule of law and the Constitution.
The list goes on, but the point is clear: Never in the history of the Republic has a member of the executive branch been so ripe for removal from office as Richard B. Cheney.
And Congress will soon have an opportunity to begin the process of holding the most powerful — and the most powerfully abusive — vice president in American history to account.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, plans to introduce articles of impeachment against Cheney.
Kucinich’s decision to go after Cheney is not just Constitutionally appropriate, it is politically smart.