by Scott Creighton
“Yes dear, there really are such things as monsters.”
Our version of democracy suffered a serious blow, yesterday. After Kucinich’s question of privilege survived the motion to table put forth by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer(D), Hoyer then motioned to have the question of privilegesent to committee. That motion went forward, and this morning, John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, finds himself looking at HR 333, the impeachment of the seated Vice President of the United States of America.
In what can only be described as one of the most intriguing tactical maneuvers in years, the House Republicans first voted with a majority of the Democrats to table the bill. Halfway through the vote, every single Republican had voted and had voted to table it (tabling the question of privilege would effectively kill it). But then, by design, the republican members of the House stared to switch their votes. One by one.
I was watching the whole thing live via internet, and was blogging at TPZoo. At about 3:18 pm it seemed the impeachment process was going to die, again, in the House. But at 3:21 we started to see something amazing.
Almost every House Republican switched their vote over the next 30 minutes. Enough to keep the question of privilege alive, and bring it to the Floor of the house for a vote.
But then Hoyer (who had tried to table it in the first place), set forth to send the question to committee. And he succeeded.
Lest we forget, the reason Kucinich has to bring this as a question of privilege is because Nancy Pelosi (D) Speaker of the House, has taken impeachment “off the table“. Harry Reed supports that decision.
How does all of this tie into Steny Hoyer? Why did he get involved in this in the first place? It can’t be to protect this country. Impeachment is the constitution’s answer to an administration that is out of control. And I don’t think there is any question as to that.
One of the main reasons Kucinich is pressing impeachment at this time is that Cheney is pressing for a pre-emptive strike against Iran. The conventional line of thought is that Iran will develop a nuclear weapon and then use it against Israel (who has roughly 200 of them acquired in secret in spite of the non-proliferation agreement), even though the IAEA has clearly stated that Iran is in compliance and not developing nuclear material for weapons usage.
Shades of Niger Yellow Cake stories, all over again.
Kucinich’s point is that we don’t have the luxury of waiting for the Nov. 8th elections. By then, he says, Cheney will have launched air strikes against Iran, and we will be at war, again, for false pretenses.
Given the history of the lies and manipulations of this administration, do we want to give them the benefit of the doubt again?
So how does Steny Hoyer fit into all of this? He is the House Majority Leader and therefore works closely with Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reed. But why would they defend Dick Cheney, knowing his track record for dishonesty and relentless aggression?
Why would a Democrat stick his neck out to defend this illegal administration, time and time again? Especially at a time when another illegal war is in the works in Cheney’s mind? Why did Steny Hoyer work so hard to kill HR 333 in spite of the obvious reasons that he should not?
Well, one reason might be that there are some who want Cheney to attack Iran before the election of 2008. It is well known that Hillary Clinton just took a beating at the last Democratic Debate for her support of H.R. 1400, Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007, a bill that, among other things, seeks to extend even greater sanctions on the government of Iran, and declares the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to be a terrorist organization. That would be similar to the US Marines being called ‘terrorists” in this country.
(It was just, correctly, pointed out to me that Clinton in fact supported the The Kyl-Lieberman Iran amendment, and not the House version. Thank you Kathleen for pointing that out. In fact, that amendment “which ratchets up the confrontation with Iran by calling for the designation of its Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization responsible for killing U.S. troops…” is very similar to the House Bill in it’s context and scope. but to be accurate, it is not the same legislation.) quote from TPM .
That designation is seen by many as being useful later to the administration to justify military action against Iran, and specific targets of the IRGC.
But Hillary isn’t alone in her support of this legislation. In fact, several members of the House and Senate attended a conference in March of 2007 to show support for this bill, and for continued aggression toward Iran for “a more stable Middle East”.
Other attendees of this conference were; Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reed, Richard Durbin, Trent Lott, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Likud Party Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh, Steny Hoyer, and Richard Cheney, the Vice president of the United States of America. Not only did they attend, they spoke at the conference in favor of taking a stronger stance toward Iran.
The conference held in March, was the AIPAC 2007 Policy Conference held in Washington, DC.
From their published press release:
“AIPAC will lobby in support of H.R. 1400, Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007, comprehensive legislation aimed at increasing the economic and political pressure on Iran in order to create the circumstances mostly likely to get Tehran to end its illicit nuclear program.”
“The bill urges the president to add the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to U.S. terror lists, a designation that would further isolate the Iranian regime by cutting off U.S. business contact with all IRGC-controlled industries, which comprise a significant and growing percentage of Iran’s total economy-perhaps as much as 30 percent, as well as with any company doing business with the IRGC.”
“A nuclear capable Iran poses a direct threat to the security of the United States and our allies and threatens to spark a dangerous nuclear arms race in an already destabilized region.”
“Headlining this year’s conference will be all four leaders of Congress — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Reid, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH).Vice President Dick Cheney and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni will also address the conference.
Other conference speakers include: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD),…”
Now this is not to suggest that some other country is running the US. But rather that there seems to be a larger plan for the “New Middle East” that we are neither aware of or in favor of, that needs Dick Cheney’s violent hand to craft.
As a people, Americans are typically opposed to nation building. That was a major theme in G.W. Bush’s 2000 presidential bid. Now, it seems, we are in the business of region building. And I am not sure this is the direction we want to take.
Whatever the reason, this conference may have been playing a large part in the seemingly unexplainable rationale for keeping the Bush administration in power, and impeachment “off the table”.