Who’s being unreasonable?

Mark Boyer

By now, we've all heard about Dennis Kucinich's resolution to impeach President Bush earlier this week. For about five hours, Kucinich read the 35 articles on the House floor, before it was referred to the Judiciary Committee, where it's expected to die. Democratic leaders weren't amused, and they seem embarrassed of Kucinich. Understandably, they don't want to spend the next six months impeaching a lame duck president, but I hope they were paying attention when Kucinich read Article I, "creating a secret propaganda campaign to manufacture a false case for war against Iraq." Kucinich links the White House's efforts to market the Iraq war before the 2003 invasion to the Pentagon's propaganda campaign involving military analysts who shilled for the war on TV news and talk shows that was exposed in David Barstow's New York Times investigative report in April. Instead of actually prosecuting the Bush administration and the Department of Defense for those abuses, House and Senate Democrats are taking symbolic measures to ban propaganda, even though similar laws are already on the books. The same night that Kucinich delivered his 35 Articles to the House floor, four Democratic senators, led by John Kerry and Robert Menendez, introduced a version of the House anti-propaganda bill to the Senate. (It's actually a war spending bill with new amendments regarding propaganda.) The bill requires DoD to conduct an internal investigation along with an investigation by the Government Accountability Office to determine whether the Pentagon’s military analyst program broke any laws. As Kucinich notes, it's pretty clear that laws were broken, but it also seems unlikely that there will be any repercussions. What needs to be addressed is enforcement of existing laws that forbid propaganda and reasonable penalties for breaking those laws. Impeachment isn't necessarily the answer, but neither is acquiescence.

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