Conyers Hints at Impeachment in Report Citing Pantheon of Leftist Media

August 7th, 2006 9:13 AM

As liberally biased and prone to sniffing out conservative and Republican wrongdoing as many of the larger media organizations are, there actually is a more insane wing of the left-wing media made up of nutjob bloggers and "news" web sites.

This leftist press has been busily humming along the past six years, churning out conspiracy theories wild enough to make saner people's heads spin, ultimately with the objective of getting President Bush impeached should Democrats ever take control of the House in November. This is evidenced by the latest opus penned by the minority members of the House Judiciary Committee which is hardly anything more than a copy and paste job from the angry left media. Writing at NRO, Byron York gives us a peek:

There's a word you won't find in the text of Democratic Rep. John Conyers's new "investigative report" on the Bush administration, "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War, and Illegal Domestic Surveillance." [Apparently brevity is not the soul of witlessness.] And the word is…impeachment. Yet the 350-page "Constitution in Crisis," released last week, is, more than anything else, a detailed road map for the impeachment of George W. Bush, ready for use should Democrats win control of the House of Representatives this November. [...]

While it's absent in the body of the report, the I-word does appear a few times in Conyers's 1,401 footnotes, which include citations of authorities ranging from the left-wing conspiracy website to the left-wing antiwar sites and to the left-wing British newspaper the Guardian to the left-wing magazines The Nation and Mother Jones to the left-wing blogosphere favorite Murray Waas to the New York Times columnists Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd, Bob Herbert, and Frank Rich to former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal to the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh. (Sources for "The Constitution in Crisis" even include one story co-written by the disgraced Internet writer Jason Leopold.) Relying on such material, Conyers has created what might be called the definitive left-wing blogger's history of the Bush administration. "I would like to thank the 'blogosphere' for its myriad and invaluable contributions to me and my staff," Conyers writes in the report's introduction. "Absent the assistance of 'blogs' and other Internet-based media, it would have been impossible to assemble all of the information, sources and other materials necessary to the preparation of this report."

But Conyers's report is more than the world's longest blog post. Far more seriously, it is the foundation for possible articles of impeachment, detailing charge after charge against the president. "Approximately 26 laws and regulations may have been violated by this administration's misconduct," Conyers wrote Friday in a message posted simultaneously on the DailyKos and Huffington Post websites. "The report…compiles the accumulated evidence that the Bush administration has thumbed its nose at our nation's laws, and the Constitution itself."

A few months ago, when there was speculation that Democrats planned to impeach Bush if they won the House, the party's leadership moved quickly to stop the discussion. In May, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the Washington Post that Pelosi had told her fellow Democrats "impeachment is off the table; she is not interested in pursuing it." But Conyers, who would likely be the single-most important person in the undertaking, was never on board. "There's no way I can predict whether there will ultimately be an impeachment proceeding underway or not," he said last week in an interview with the liberal website "The Constitution in Crisis" is Conyers's sign that, should the opportunity arise, he is ready to go. [...]

It would take a long discussion — perhaps one as long as "The Constitution in Crisis" itself — to do justice to all of Conyers's allegations. The same might be said of his sources. For example, one analysis of the administration's alleged misconduct that Conyers apparently finds quite persuasive — he cites it six times in "The Constitution in Crisis" — is an article originally published by the left-wing website Entitled "Bush's Uranium Lies: The Case for a Special Prosecutor That Could Lead to Impeachment," it was written by a Connecticut lawyer named Francis T. Mandanici. Readers might remember Mandanici from Whitewater days, when he engaged in a personal crusade against Kenneth Starr, filing ethics complaint after ethics complaint against the independent counsel. Readers with longer memories might recall that before Mandanici attacked Starr, he was fixated on the Bush family. [...]

Besides Mandanici and the entire liberal side of the New York Times columnist lineup, other writers cited in "The Constitution in Crisis" include left-wing journalists and bloggers Glenn Greenwald, Robert Dreyfuss, and Larisa Alexandrovna. "The Constitution in Crisis" also cites the occasional unknown writer like Carmen Yarrusso, who, according to a search of the Nexis database, seems to have written mostly letters to the editor — and who in 1998 was described in a brief article in the Boston Globe as being "a humorist from Brookline, N.H."

Conyers's defenders will no doubt argue that such writers make up a minority of the sources cited in "The Constitution in Crisis." But the interpretive structure of the report is undoubtedly inspired their work — and that of similar writers in the left-wing blogosphere. And the nature of the other sources on which the report is based — newspaper articles, transcripts of interviews, and previously released government documents — also suggests that the Conyers report is not the product of a real investigation. Conyers would likely respond by saying that as a member of the minority party in the House, he has no power to issue subpoenas, compel testimony, and demand the production of documents from the administration. That's true. But if he were to win such power, it seems fair to say that he has already decided the conclusions he will reach.