This week, a landmark House Resolution (H RES 799) calling for the investigation by the House Judiciary Committee of the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney for High Crimes and Misdemeanors passed in the House of Representatives. In an unexpected move, House Democrats along with some Republicans, voted to move the Resolution forward. H RES 799 is the first major step by Congress to hold members of the Bush Administration accountable. The Resolution, introduced by Congressman Kucinich, states that the Vice President of the United States has purposely manipulated intelligence to deceive the citizens and the congress of the United States by fabricating a threat of Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction to justify the war in Iraq.
When 218 members of congress show a level of support to pursue the consideration of impeachment of a sitting Vice President, every major newspaper and news program in the country should be leading with this story. But that has not been the case. Not only did they not lead with this story, in nearly all cases they ignored it. Thus, Americans are probably still in the dark about these proceedings.
The last time someone in the executive branch of government was threatened with impeachment was in 1998 and this resulted from personal indiscretions. The press obsessively covered every sensational detail of the Clinton impeachment process. Clearly, we must come to the conclusion that the press does not consider major issues of national security, such as the lead up to war based on false premises, manipulating intelligence and lying to the American public as important.
In a democracy, we count on the press to be a counter check to the branches of government; we count on the press to keep the public informed. The need for an independent and strong press comes from the peoples’ right to know what our government officials are doing. So how can it be that a major issue that potentially raises concerns about high crimes and misdemeanors in the executive branch of government is not reported? Is it that corporations have such a tight strangle hold on our media that journalists no longer feel free to cover important stories in order to enlighten and educate the public? Are these corporate media moguls sacrificing a strong press in order maintain cozy relationships with high level government officials and protect their ever widening consolidation of media outlets? If so, where does that leave the American public? Sadly, I think it leaves us in the dark.