PETER'S NEW YORK, July 22, 2007---There seems to be a trend among at least some people calling for impeachment. They support impeachment, but would be satisfied if President Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney are just made to say, "sorry, folks."

Sorry for what? Sorry for lying to our faces about the invasion and occupation of Iraq, usurping the power of Congress, using 500 billion dollars of taxpayer money  to commit genocide in Iraq in the name of the United States of America, with 600,000 Iraqis killed by one estimate, and an Iraq turned upside down and trashed.

I just cite two individuals who recently expressed support for impeachment either in writing or interviews.

The first is Robert Parry, who writes for, and I believe is the founder of, Consortium News, an online alternative news source. He says the following in his latest article, The Logic of Impeachment, which may be found at http://www.consortiumnews.com/2007/072107.html:

"Even if impeachment didn’t reach the ultimate goal of removing Bush and Cheney, it would put down a marker of congressional resistance to executive abuses. The public would get the point, too."

In a similar vein, Bruce Fein, a well-known conservative, was recently interviewed by Bill Moyers for PBS (http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/printer_071407B.shtml), and said the following:

"I think that if impeachment proceedings began and the president and the vice-president sat back and said, 'We understand now. We both understand. We renounce this claim. No military commissions. We're going to comply with the law,' the impeachment proceedings ought to stop and they should."

And then again:

"I've said if the president now renouncing the power and said, 'It was wrong and I now respect and honor the separation and the genius of the founding fathers,' that's great. And all of the purpose of impeachment would have been accomplished."

A slap on the wrist for $500 billion of taxpayer money lost, used for the purpose of destroying a country, torturing its citizens, and abrogating civil liberties in this country and encouraging the undermining of these liberties internationally.

Is something wrong with this picture? Or is there a pre-emtive movement to make sure Bush and Cheney are not sentenced for their crimes?

Now is the time to start talking about the sentences Bush would receive after being convicted of the crimes the Congress will charge them with.

The question is not so much punishment as deterrence, to make sure a strong message is sent that none will dare ever do what Bush and Cheney did. What kind of punishment, what kind of spectacle, will be necessary for this message to be sent? Many readers may be thinking of the message the Italians sent when they dismissed Benito Mussolini from his post during World War II. The Italians don't seem to have had another Mussolini since. Some may also be thinking of the precedent set by the British in the way they dealt with Charles I of England.

What should the penalty be? That is what the American people, and the Congress of the United States in particular, should consider at this juncture.