Conrad Black: No Impeachment on BenghaziRoundup: Historians' Take
tags: Barack Obama, Conrad Black, National Review, Benghazi, impeachment
Conrad Black is the author of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom, Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full, and the recently published A Matter of Principle. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Two important points need to be made about the lamentable Benghazi affair. The first is that this is no time to start reaching for the self-firing, almost untargeted impeachment six-guns. Ever since Watergate, the joys of criminalizing policy differences and putting additional heat on political opponents by unctuously installing special prosecutors and speaking with the sleazy solemnity of faux due process while stoking up public opinion for impeachment proceedings and the removal from high offices of their occupants has been more and more frequently the default posture of both parties. It is clear to all reasonable examiners of the facts now that there was only the flimsiest ground to destroy the Nixon administration, one of the most successful in the country’s history, and no reason whatever to subject President Clinton to a Senate trial over the tawdry but practically irrelevant matter of his peccadilloes and response to questions about them, which approached perjury of the mousetrap kind, but did not commit it. There was a good deal of Democratic huffing and puffing and pawing of the ground over Iran-Contra, as if, in Colonel North’s words, “the on again, off again” congressional attitude to assistance to the Nicaraguan contras had a legal weight and entitlement to inviolability greater than the most seminal provisions of the Constitution, which were on the side of the commander-in-chief. The special prosecutor in that case, Lawrence Walsh, became a raving Torquemada who even indicted the profoundly unimpeachable Caspar Weinberger. As for the original presidential impeachment, of Andrew Johnson, it was an unmitigated outrage and a scandal that it came within one vote of success....
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