Impeachment or Beheading:
What should be our GOOOAAAAL?
By Ian Murphy
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA—45% of the population supports impeachment, according
to a July American Research Group survey. This administration’s criminality
is extensive and well documented. The only serious question left is whether
Bush’s head should be used as a soccer ball, or other athletic gear. Scholars
are unsure. Let’s look at our options:
Cutting folks’ heads off—as punishment and stark
lesson to future troublemakers—is a longstanding human tradition. Unfortunately,
most of the fly-swarmed skulls impaled on history’s bloody spike belong
to terrorized plebes, but every so often the people get sweet payback.
In 193 AD, the Roman mob took to the streets to hurl rocks
and invective at Didius Julianus, who paid off the Praetorian Guard
to become emperor. General Septimius Severus ordered Didius beheaded
and then ruled as a military dictator. Score one for the people, I guess.
The French revolution epitomizes popular head removal movements
(PHRM). Again though, once Marie Antoinette, Louis and the aristocracy were
reduced to spurting stumps, the immediate aftermath was not good. The Jacobins
seized power, and with the help of Alberto Gonzales prototype Maximilien Robespierre,
they ushered in a fifteen-month Reign of Terror. Over 16,000 citizens went to
Club Guillotine. Like I said, it’s mostly proles’ heads that roll.
But eventually, Robespierre got his, too.
a century earlier, the Brits posthumously beheaded the power-grabbing Lord Protector
Oliver Cromwell—a full three years after his death! Ancient Japanese Samurai
routinely severed necks as a pragmatic political solution. Scandinavian countries
used beheading as standard capital punishment as late as 1900. It’s actually
a great way to kill someone, whether they’re powerful or powerless.
Frankly, when I began this writing, I was excited to recall
Mussolini’s infamous decapitation. I’ve always heard Il Duce’s
bloated, fascist head was used for soccer. Though he was hung up in front of
a Milan gas station, beaten to a pulp and ripped to bloody shreds (and yes,
kicked in the head), there’s no good evidence that his head was completely
severed or used as sporting equipment. Bummer! It’s like Jane Mansfield
all over again.
Beheading gets a bad rap as being unethical or barbaric. This
just isn’t true. It’s quick, painless and cheap—though not
preferred by janitors. Lethal injection is far more ghastly, but the ethics
of capital punishment are a little off topic. Let’s just agree, for now,
that we have the death penalty, so let’s use it!
There’s also a false sense that decapitation is both
antiquated and un-American. Granted, the last few hundred years of American
assent pales to Europe’s pre-Enlightenment-head-removing-heyday, but that
doesn’t mean we haven’t done it—and in recent memory. The
CIA trained death squads that employed beheading in El Salvador in the ‘80s.
And then there’s the botched US-sanctioned hanging that made a human Pez
dispenser of Saddam’s half brother in 2007. That in mind, it’s scary
to think of how many black heads rolled on southern dirt, because of some honky
US forces might have even trained the unofficial head-choppin’
Iraqi Government death squad known—comically, if one thinks of Chris Robinson
mutilating Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle”—as The Black
Crows. And not for nothing, but I think if you’re going to get a few dudes
together a form a killer group, you’d at least have the decency to crib
the name from Zeppelin or Sabbath. Wu-Tang would also be acceptable. The Black
Crows is only slightly more intimidating than a death squad named after Hall
& Oates. (Though, legend has it that Oates can behead a man with his mind.)
Continuing in the theme of accuracy
and ‘80s pop culture, it should be noted that we didn’t start the
fire. The world’s been burning since the world’s been turning, as
Billy Joel so eloquently expressed. Iraqis have been lopping off knobs since
Muhammad’s grandson Husayn ibn Ali got his at the Battle of Karbala in
680 (apparently, 72 of his closest buddies were similarly martyred).
Beheading is a perfectly natural
activity. It’s been with us all throughout history, and will remain a
mainstay of acquiring, maintaining or shifting political power in the foreseeable
future. It’s a good option, but is it the best?
Impeach the Bastards!
punishment and stark lesson to future troublemakers—is a longstanding
American tradition. Unfortunately, impeachment has historically been underused,
abused and sadly meaningless.
The founders knew impeachment was the ultimate check to the
ultimate potential imbalance—a new King George. Though it’s mentioned
six times in The Constitution, congress has only acted against two presidents—Andrew
Johnson and Bill Clinton.
The former was thrust into the presidency at Ford’s theater
and impeached for removing Lincoln’s Secretary of War without senate approval.
The later saxophoned his way from “The Arsenio Hall Show” to the
Oval Office and was impeached for lying about jamming a cigar up an intern’s
vagina. Both were acquitted.
Nixon resigned before being impeached. Hearings involving the
Watergate break-ins would have led to his conviction. So, Dick was perversely
correct when he famously said, “I am not a crook.” And Ford agreed.
In 1998 only 25% of Americans supported impeachment, but sex
sells. Though more severe and numerous, there’s nothing sexy about the
High Crimes and Misdemeanors of the Bush White House. Let’s recap a few
of the 35 articles of impeachment introduced by Denis Kucinich in June, 2008—which
were summarily ignored by the Judiciary Committee:
• Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign
to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.
• Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal
Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation
of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War
• Misleading the American People and Members of Congress
to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States.
• Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of
the UN Charter.
• Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified
Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson,
Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency
• Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without
Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives
• Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the
Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as
a Matter of Official Policy
• Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against
Their Will to "Black Sites" Located in Other Nations, Including
Nations Known to Practice Torture
• Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered
Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment
• Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create
an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers
and Emails of American Citizens
• Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing
• Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and
Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply
• Etc, etc…
These are all known knowns. These are things that we know we
know. Yet, congress has so far allowed the administration those treasons, and
made traitors of themselves in the process.
Hungry for justice—or not hungry enough—the American
people have seen one allegation after another fall into oblivion. According
to conventional wisdom, impeachment will never happen, but there’s one
House Judiciary Chair John Conyers has begun an investigation
into recent claims made by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ron Suskind. In
his new book The Way of The World, Suskind reports that the White House
directly ordered the CIA to forge the “Habbush letter,” a purported
Iraqi intelligence document that showed ties between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.
Leaked to The Daily Telegraph’s aptly named Con Coughlin by interim
Prime Minister Ayad Allawi in 2003, the document was post-dated to July, 2001
and used to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq.
The document reads:
"To the President of the Ba'ath Revolution Party and
President of the Republic, may God protect you.
“Mohammed Atta, an Egyptian national, came with Abu Ammer [the real
name behind this Arabic alias remains a mystery] and we hosted him in Abu
Nidal's house at al-Dora under our direct supervision.
“We arranged a work program for him for three days
with a team dedicated to working with him... He displayed extraordinary effort
and showed a firm commitment to lead the team which will be responsible for
attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy.”
The letter also obliquely references a received shipment of
uranium from Niger, according to Coughlin. Eminent Middle East scholar Juan
Cole asserts this may have been to cover-up the infamous Niger forgeries. But
The fact is that the Bush administration had the Iraqi Chief
of Intelligence—a man they were pretending to still be looking for, going
so far as to put a price on his head—write a phony letter, almost ridiculously
convenient for them, supporting two of their most dubious lies—that Iraq
was behind the 9/11 attacks, and that they were seeking uranium from Niger—a
story based on another forged letter. (As reward, Habbush was resettled in Jordan
with $5 million American.) They then had their handpicked puppet “leak”
the letter to the press, in a blatant and successful attempt to lie to the public.
There is no wiggle-room here. This was not a mistake; it was an outright lie.
This is the smoking gun.
You may be thinking that I’m a legal dunderhead with
no understanding of the law. You may also be correct in that surmisal. But no
one is better versed in the art of prosecution than Vincent Bugliosi, a former
California ADA with a record of 105 convictions out of 106 felony trials. He’s
successfully prosecuted 21 murder cases including the Manson slayings, and lost
zero. Bugliosi knows the law, and his new book, which has received nary a mention
in the mainstream press, is called The Prosecution of George W. Bush for
Murder, and he’s dead serious about putting Bush to death, as he told
Corporate Crime Reporter:
“I’m urging here that an American jury try George
Bush for first degree murder. I want to see him on trial for murder before an
American jury. And if they convict him, it will be up to the jury to decide
what his punishment is. One of the options would be the imposition of the death
penalty. If I were prosecuting him, absolutely I would seek the death penalty.
As Governor of Texas, George Bush signed death warrants—152 out of 152—most
of them for people who only committed one murder.”
But, as Bugliosi argues, Bush is responsible for hundreds of
thousands of murders, including those of over 4,000 Americans, empowering each
of their states’ prosecutors to simply charge Bush with murder as a citizen,
once he’s out of office. So that’s another option right there, if
and when impeachment doesn’t pan out, time to pursue some real justice.
With decapitation sometimes things blow back, like The Reign of Terror, Severus’s
seriously severe rule or Charles II’s prudish resistance to parliamentary
input after dissolving Cromwell’s Republic. Sometimes, beheading begets
Impeachment on the other hand is completely meaningless. The
American people have never successfully deposed a tyrant. Johnson was a racist
dick, and Clinton simply used his. Nixon should have gone to prison, but lived
the rest of his days in freedom and opulence.
And there’s the sad truth. The conventional wisdom on
impeachment is likely correct, and even if it wasn’t, it would result
in absolutely nothing. I began this article excited to kick around these options
as if they were Il Duce’s decomposed skull, and then eventually settle
on impeachment as the only civilized course of action. But then I began reflecting
on the words of our own Declaration of Independence:
“But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing
invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism,
it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide
new Guards for their future Security.”
It is our duty alone to throw off this despot and by any means
available. Now it’s only a question of which road to take: Impeachment
Ave or Headless Lane. We can’t travel the former because of hitherto congressional
road blocks, but the latter is nothing but open highway.
Unfortunately, either course of action would require Americans
to get off their couch, turn off the TV and physically occupy Washington. We’d
need millions. We have millions. We’d need the moral high ground. We have
the moral high ground. We’d need snack food. We can bring snack food!
The only serious question left is whether we should bring pretzels
or chips. But, as with impeachment and execution, we don’t really have
to choose. Let’s just start with impeachment, and take it from there.