Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Does the Downing Street Memo Support a Case for Impeachment

In my previous post I raised the bone Juan Non-Volokh picks with Brian Leiter regarding Hitler / McCarthy / Dubya comparisons. For whatever reason, I declined to mention that the Leiter post at issue, as to which the comments JNOV went after truly were tangential, is itself worth your attention.

If you're curious about the case for impeachment, about which I express no strong opinion, peruse these lengthy comments on a symposium concerning this very questions. If you're really a glutton for punishment, drop by all the related links too.

The question is interesting, even if only as an intellectual exercise (what do you suppose it would take for the House that Frist Built to bring articles of impeachment against its biggest stooge, Bush the gweat and tewwiboo. I've been falling way behind on my political reading, and my knowledge of current events, the past six weeks. Sadly, until tonight I hadn't even read the Memo in question.

The argument, in principle, concerns whether the conduct suggested by the Memo (ignoring for a moment (as everyone else seems to do) that the memo is, in itself, hearsay, and thus perceived by the American legal system to have dubious probative value) constitutes an impeachable offense. Since it surely does not constitute bribery, and it seems a stretch to call it treason, this leaves only the high crimes and misdemeanors constitutional catch-all. At Leiter's site, and those sites he links, smarter people than I take up this question. But do bear in mind that Clinton's perjury evidently qualified. Also, this helpful chart contrasts excerpts of the Downing Street Memo with contemporaneous public statements by the Administration, a rather disquieting exercise for anyone who favors transparency in government (which, by the way, it's your patriotic duty to demand no matter how much you like the person in office).


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