November 26/27, 2019 "Information
Clearing House" - By all means, let’s
talk about impeachment.
To allow the President or any rogue
government agency or individual to disregard the
rule of law whenever, wherever and however it
chooses and operate “above the law” is exactly
how a nation of sheep gives rise to a government
To be clear: this is not about Donald Trump.
Or at least it shouldn’t be just about
This is a condemnation of every government
toady at every point along the
political spectrum—right, left and center—who
has conspired to expand the federal government’s
powers at the expense of the citizenry.
For too long now, the American people have
played politics with their principles and turned
a blind eye to all manner of wrongdoing when it
was politically expedient, allowing Congress,
the White House and the Judiciary to wreak havoc
with their freedoms and act in violation of the
rule of law.
“We the people” are paying the price for it
We are paying the price every day that we
allow the government to continue to wage its war
on the American People, a war that is being
fought on many fronts: with bullets and tasers,
with surveillance cameras and license readers,
with intimidation and propaganda, with court
rulings and legislation, with the collusion of
every bureaucrat who dances to the tune of
corporate handouts while on the government’s
payroll, and most effectively of all, with the
complicity of the American people, who continue
to allow themselves to be easily manipulated by
their politics, distracted by their pastimes,
and acclimated to a world in which government
corruption is the norm.
Don’t keep falling for the Deep State’s
This entire impeachment process is a
manufactured political circus—a shell game—aimed
at distracting the public from the devious
treachery of the American police state, which
continues to lock down the nation and strip the
citizenry of every last vestige of
constitutional safeguards that have historically
served as a bulwark against tyranny.
Has President Trump overstepped his authority
and abused his powers?
Without a doubt.
Then again, so did Presidents Obama, Bush,
Clinton, and almost every president before them.
Trump is not the first president to weaken
the system of checks and balances, sidestep the
rule of law, and expand the power of the
president. He is just the most recent.
If we were being honest and consistent in
holding government officials accountable, you’d
have to impeach almost every president in recent
years for operating “above the law,” unbound by
the legislative or judicial branches of the
When we refer to the “rule of law,”
that’s constitutional shorthand for the idea
that everyone is treated the same under the
law, everyone is held equally accountable to
abiding by the law, and no one is given a
free pass based on their politics, their
connections, their wealth, their status or
any other bright line test used to confer
special treatment on the elite.
When the government and its agents no longer
respect the rule of law—the Constitution—or
believe that it applies to them, then the very
contract on which this relationship is based
Although the Constitution requires a
separation of powers between the executive,
legislative and judicial branches of government
in order to ensure accountability so that no one
government agency becomes all-powerful, each
successive president over the past 30 years has,
through the negligence of Congress and the
expanded the reach and power of the presidency
by adding to his office’s list of extraordinary
orders, directives and special privileges.
All of the imperial
powers amassed by Barack Obama and George W.
Bush—to kill American citizens without due
process, to detain suspects indefinitely, to
strip Americans of their citizenship rights, to
carry out mass surveillance on Americans without
probable cause, to suspend laws during wartime,
to disregard laws with which he might disagree,
to conduct secret wars and convene secret
courts, to sanction torture, to sidestep the
legislatures and courts with executive orders
and signing statements, to direct the military
to operate beyond the reach of the law, to
operate a shadow government, and to act as a
dictator and a tyrant, above the law and beyond
any real accountability—were inherited by Donald
These presidential powers—acquired through
the use of executive
orders, decrees, memorandums, proclamations,
national security directives and legislative
signing statements and which can be
activated by any sitting president—enable past,
president and future presidents to act as a
dictator by operating above the law and beyond
the reach of the Constitution.
Yet in operating above the law, it’s not just
the president who has become a law unto himself.
The government itself has become an imperial
dictator, an overlord, a king.
This is what you might call a stealthy,
creeping, silent, slow-motion coup d’état.
This abuse of power
has been going on for so long that it has
become the norm, the Constitution be damned.
There are hundreds—make that thousands—of
government bureaucrats who are getting away with
murder (in many cases, literally) simply because
the legislatures, courts and the citizenry can’t
be bothered to make them play by the rules of
Unless something changes in the way we deal
with these ongoing, egregious abuses of power,
the predators of the police state will continue
to wreak havoc on our freedoms, our communities,
and our lives.
It’s the nature of the beast: power corrupts.
Worse, as 19th-century historian Lord Acton
absolute power corrupts absolutely.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking
about a politician, an entertainment mogul, a
corporate CEO or a police officer: give any
one person (or government agency) too much power
and allow him or her or it to believe that they
are entitled, untouchable and will not be held
accountable for their actions, and those powers
will eventually be abused.
We’re seeing this dynamic play out every day
in communities across America.
A cop shoots an unarmed citizen for no
credible reason and gets away with it. A
president employs executive orders to sidestep
the Constitution and gets away with it. A
government agency spies on its citizens’
communications and gets away with it. An
entertainment mogul sexually harasses actors and
actresses and gets away with it. The U.S.
military bombs civilian targets and gets away
Abuse of power—and the ambition-fueled
hypocrisy and deliberate disregard for
misconduct that make those abuses possible—works
the same whether you’re talking about sexual
harassment, government corruption, or the rule
Twenty years ago, I was a lawyer for Paula
Jones, who sued then-President Clinton for
dropping his pants and propositioning her for
sex when he was governor of Arkansas. That
lawsuit gave rise to revelations about
Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, a
21-year-old intern at the White House, and his
eventual impeachment for lying about it under
As Dana Milbank writes for The Washington
We didn’t know it at the time, of course.
But in Bill Clinton were the seeds of Donald
Trump. With 20 years of hindsight, it is
clear… Clinton’s handling of the Monica
Lewinsky affair was a precursor of the
monstrosity we now have in the White House:
dismissing unpleasant facts as “fake news,”
self-righteously claiming victimhood,
attacking the press and cloaking personal
misbehavior in claims to be upholding the
Constitution…. Clinton set us on the path,
or at least accelerated us down the path,
that led to today.
It doesn’t matter what starts us down this
path, whether it’s a president insisting that he
get a free pass for sexually harassing
employees, or waging wars based on invented
facts, or attempting to derail an investigation
into official misconduct.
If we continue down this road, there can be
no surprise about what awaits us at the end.
After all, it is a tale that has been told
time and again throughout history about how easy
it is for freedom to fall and tyranny to rise,
and it often begins with one small, seemingly
inconsequential willingness on the part of the
people to compromise their principles and
undermine the rule of law in exchange for a
dubious assurance of safety, prosperity and a
life without care.
For example, 86 years ago, the citizens of
another democratic world power elected a leader
who promised to protect them from all dangers.
In return for this protection, and under the
auspice of fighting terrorism, he was given
This leader went to great lengths to make his
rise to power appear both legal and necessary,
masterfully manipulating much of the citizenry
and their government leaders.
Unnerved by threats of domestic terrorism and
foreign invaders, the people had little idea
that the domestic turmoil of the times—such as
street rioting and the fear of Communism taking
over the country—was staged by the leader in an
effort to create fear and later capitalize on
In the ensuing months, this charismatic
leader ushered in a series of legislative
measures that suspended civil liberties and
habeas corpus rights and empowered him as a
On March 23, 1933, the nation’s legislative
body passed the Enabling Act, formally referred
to as the “Law to Remedy the Distress of the
People and the Nation,” which appeared benign
and allowed the leader to pass laws by decree in
times of emergency.
What it succeeded in doing, however, was
ensuring that the leader became a law unto
The leader’s name was
Adolf Hitler, and the rest, as they say, is
Yet history has a way of repeating itself.
Hitler’s rise to power should serve as a
stark lesson to always be leery of granting any
government leader sweeping powers.
Clearly, we are not heeding that lesson.
“How lucky it is for rulers,” Adolf Hitler
once said, “that men cannot think.”
The horrors that followed in Nazi Germany
might have been easier to explain if Hitler had
been right. But the problem is not so much that
people cannot think but that they
do not think. Or if they do think,
as in the case of the German people, that
thinking becomes muddled and easily led.
Hitler’s meteoric rise to power, with the
support of the German people, is a case in
On January 30, 1933, Hitler was appointed
chancellor of Germany in full accordance with
the country’s legal and constitutional
principles. When President Paul von Hindenburg
died the following year, Hitler assumed the
office of president, as well as that of
chancellor, but he preferred to use the title
Der Füehrer (the leader) to describe himself.
This new move was approved in a general election
in which Hitler garnered 88 percent of the votes
It cannot be said that the German people were
ignorant of Hitler’s agenda or his Nazi
ideology. Nazi literature, including statements
of the Nazi plans for the future, had papered
the country for a decade before Hitler came to
power. In fact, Hitler’s book Mein Kampf,
which was his blueprint for totalitarianism,
sold more than 200,000 copies between 1925 and
Clearly, the problem was not that the German
people did not think but that their thinking was
poisoned by the enveloping climate of ideas that
they came to accept as important.
At a certain point, the trivial became
important, and obedience to the government in
pursuit of security over freedom became
As historian Milton Mayer recounts in his
seminal book on Hitler’s rise to power,
They Thought They Were Free, “Most
of us did not want to think about fundamental
things and never had. There was no need to.
Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things
to think about—we were decent people‑—and kept
us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’
and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the
machinations of the ‘national enemies’, without
and within, that we had no time to think about
these dreadful things that were growing, little
by little, all around us.”
The German people were not oblivious to the
horrors taking place around them. As historian
Robert Gellately points out, “[A]nyone in Nazi
Germany who wanted to find out about the
Gestapo, the concentration camps, and the
campaigns of discrimination and persecutions
need only read the newspapers.”
The warning signs were definitely there,
blinking incessantly like large neon signs.
“Still,” Gellately writes, “the vast majority
voted in favor of Nazism, and in spite of what
they could read in the press and hear by word of
mouth about the secret police, the concentration
camps, official anti-Semitism, and so on. . . .
[T]here is no getting away from the fact that at
that moment, ‘the vast majority of the German
people backed him.’”
Half a century later, the wife of a prominent
German historian, neither of whom were members
of the Nazi party, opined: “[O]n the whole,
everyone felt well. . . . And there were
certainly eighty percent who lived productively
and positively throughout the time. . . . We
also had good years. We had wonderful
In other words, as long as their
creature comforts remained undiminished, as long
as their bank accounts remained flush,
as long as they weren’t being
discriminated against, persecuted, starved,
beaten, shot, stripped, jailed and turned into
slave labor, life was good.
This is how tyranny rises and freedom falls.
The American kleptocracy (a government ruled
by thieves) has sucked the American people down
a rabbit hole into a parallel universe in which
the Constitution is meaningless, the government
is all-powerful, and the citizenry is powerless
to defend itself against government agents who
steal, spy, lie, plunder, kill, abuse and
generally inflict mayhem and sow madness on
everyone and everything in their sphere.
This dissolution of that sacred covenant
between the citizenry and the
government—establishing “we the people” as the
masters and the government as the servant—didn’t
happen overnight. It didn’t happen because of
one particular incident or one particular
president. It is a process, one that began long
ago and continues in the present day, aided and
abetted by politicians who have mastered the
polarizing art of how to “divide and conquer.”
Unfortunately, there is no magic spell to
transport us back to a place and time where “we
the people” weren’t merely fodder for a
corporate gristmill, operated by government
hired hands, whose priorities are money and
As I make clear in my book
Battlefield America: The War on the American
People, our freedoms have become
casualties in an all-out war on the American
So yes, let’s talk about impeachment, but
don’t fall for the partisan shell game that sets
Trump up as the fall guy for the Deep State’s
high crimes and misdemeanors.
Set your sights higher: impeach the
government for overstepping its authority,
abusing its power, and disregarding the rule of