Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Perjury: Then and Now

In Republican Lamar Smith's opening statements during the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, he mouthed the following:

Both historical precedent and current practice support the conclusion that perjury is a high crime and misdemeanor. The Constitution applies that same phrase both to the president and to all civil officers of the United States. Several federal judges have been impeached and removed from office for perjury; that is why the president can be too. Also, bribery and perjury are equivalent means of interfering with the justice system. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines include bribery and perjury in the same guideline.

Some of the president's defenders would like to change the subject and talk about anybody else but the president, and about anything else except the allegations of lying under oath, obstruction of justice, and abuse of office. Such efforts are an affront to all who value truth over tactics, substance over spin, principles over politics.

It's the letter of the law, folks. Lying under oath, obstruction of justice, and abuse of office! Those are serious crimes that interfere with our whole system of justice. Clinton lied about a sexual affair, he lied about embarrassing and intensely personal issues but there's no excuse for lying under oath.

Of course, now that the Democratic majority is trying to get to the bottom of a bunch of scandals and cover-ups, trying to reconcile testimony from people whose so-called "misstatements" and convenient bouts of forgetfulness are seemingly at odds with other sworn testimony... well, now we're not talking about any "real wrongdoing" says Lamar. It's all just an unfair three-month-long witch hunt (as opposed to the years-long Whitewater waste of money and the oh-so-juicy Lewinski investigation?). Wouldn't want to look into any innocent "misstatements" that might uncover a pattern of outright lies that lead right back to the White House, that would make things awkward.

Not only am I appalled that anyone who participated in the Clinton impeachment can say with a straight face that investigating inconsistencies in testimony before congress is unnecessary, I'm offended that it's even possible to have such statements taken remotely seriously! I want MORE investigations! I want to root out all the corrupt, partisan, democracy-eroding sons of bitches. All of them. ALL of them! Dems, Repubs, Liebermans, I don't care. NO pardon for Scooter Libby! NO pass for Alberto Gonzales just because he claims he "can't recall"! Haul that asshole Rumsfeld back before Congress and investigate the charges that he knowingly LIED in his testimony about Abu Ghraib, as Major General Antonio M. Taguba and Seymour M. Hersh claim. Don't try crying to me about "abuse of office" or undermining the justice system if you're going to give this stuff a pass!

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