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Ogi imagines: Somewhere Nixon’s smiling

by Ogi Overman

Turns out I was right all along. Back when I wrote the first of what has turned out to be an unending series of columns urging the Congress to impeach George W. Bush, AKA The Duh, my evidence was, well, a tad flimsy. This was, after all, in August 2001, a month before 9-11, and all I had to go on were some red flags that portended a long, dark ride (although not as long and dark as it would become). Mine was essentially a preemptive impeachment, not unlike the rationale he used to preemptively invade, occupy and destroy Iraq. The neocon position is, “Let’s get ’em before they get us”; mine was, “Let’s get rid of him before he has the chance to do any real damage.”

I did have one argument in my favor, but even it did not appear to be an impeachable offense – then. But now, five miserably interminable years later, in light of some fairly recent revelations, it was the launch point of a pattern of governmental misconduct that, when taken as a whole, could probably be argued as worthy of impeachment.

Irrespective of the finer points of impeachment law, however, there can be no dispute that when Bush decided to pull the US out of the Kyoto Accords, he tipped his hand that he was not a man who could be reasoned with, that narrow ideology would trump accepted science, that anything that interfered with big business’s ability to do big business would not be tolerated.

The Kyoto Accords, you may recall, was an agreement originally signed by 140 nations to reduce greenhouse emissions by at least 55 percent (later increased to 65 percent by the UN’s Kyoto Protocol) by 2012. By the time it took effect Feb. 16, 2005, 164 nations had ratified it, but the world’s only superpower was not one of them.

Bush stated at the time that a) he would not be a party to anything that might cost Americans jobs, and that b) India and China, who had not signed on, should go first. So, what happened was that India and China subsequently ratified the treaty – and hundreds of thousands of American jobs got sent to India and China! Thank you, Duh.

While his actions may have been more ignorant than criminal (although that too is debatable), the lesson Bush & Co. did not learn from Watergate is that the cover-up is always worse than the crime. His administration’s actions since then do constitute impeachable offenses.

The evidence: Two Sundays ago “60 Minutes” reran a show that originally aired in March, in which NASA scientist James Hansen, considered the world’s leading researcher on global warming, disclosed that the White House had been routinely editing, rewriting and censoring his work. Anything that contradicted the administration’s position that more study needed to be done before declaring global warming a threat or that it was manmade, was either toned down or stricken altogether. He produced an e-mail from 2004 that stated. “The White House will review all climate-related press releases” and showed numerous examples of his research being altered, sometimes grotesquely misstating his conclusions.

And wouldn’t you know who was doing the editing? One Phil Cooney, whose title was Chief of Staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. His title before that was’… oil industry lobbyist.

Hansen stated, “In my three decades in government, I have never witnessed such restrictions on the ability of scientists to communicate with the public. I find a willingness to listen only to those portions of scientific research that fit predetermined inflexible positions. This, I believe, is a recipe for environmental disaster.”

And, I might add, knowingly lying to the American public about a matter so grave that it threatens the survival of the species, and refusing to take measures that would ameliorate the situation is grounds for impeachment.

Lately, in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence proving that manmade global warming is a dire threat with deadly consequences – Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, Tom Brokaw’s Discovery Channel documentary, an entire issue of National Geographic themed “Global Warning,” among hundreds of other bits of incontrovertible truth – the Bush cabal has switched from the ostrich approach to the leading-the-parade approach. Rather than deny that it exists, Bush now claims he is already taking steps to solve the problem. Talk about a set of brass cojones!

I swear, the man has no lower boundaries on stretching the truth. Somewhere Nixon’s smiling.

So too may be Nostradamus, who in one of his quatrains wrote:

“To an old leader will be born

an idiot heir

Weak both in knowledge

and in war.”

Hmmmm. Ring a bell?

Ogi may be reached at ogiman100@yahoo.com, heard each Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. on “The Dusty Dunn Show” on WGOS 1070 AM, and seen each Friday at 6:30 a.m. on ABC45 and Sunday at 10 p.m. on UPN48 on “Triad Today.”

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