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Bush Article of Impeachment XXIII
VIOLATION OF THE POSSE COMITATUS ACT
In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed", has both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates, repeatedly and illegally established programs to appropriate the power of the military for use in law enforcement. Specifically, he has contravened U.S.C. Title 18. Section 1385, originally enacted in 1878, subsequently amended as "Use of Army and Air Force as Posse Comitatus" and commonly known as the Posse Comitatus Act.
The Act states:
"Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."
The Posse Comitatus Act is designed to prevent the military from becoming a national police force.
The Declaration of Independence states as a specific grievance against the British that the King had "kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures," had "affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the civil power," and had "quarter[ed] large bodies of armed troops among us . . . protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States"
Despite the Posse Comitatus Act's intent, and in contravention of the law, President Bush
a) has used military forces for law enforcement purposes on U.S. border patrol;
b) has established a program to use military personnel for surveillance and information on criminal activities;
c) is using military espionage equipment to collect intelligence information for law enforcement use on civilians within the United States; and
d) employs active duty military personnel in surveillance agencies ,including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
In June 2006, President Bush ordered National Guard troops deployed to the border shared by Mexico with Arizona, Texas, and California. This deployment, which by 2007 reached a maximum of 6,000 troops, had orders to "conduct surveillance and operate detection equipment, work with border entry identification teams, analyze information, assist with communications and give administrative support to the Border Patrol" and concerned "…providing intelligence….inspecting cargo, and conducting surveillance."
The Air Force's "Eagle Eyes" program encourages Air Force military staff to gather evidence on American citizens. Eagle Eyes instructs Air Force personnel to engage in surveillance and then advises them to "alert local authorities," asking military staff to surveil and gather evidence on public citizens. This contravenes DoD Directive 5525.5 "SUBJECT: DoD Cooperation with Civilian Law Enforcement" which limits such activities.
President Bush has implemented a program to use imagery from military satellites for domestic law enforcement through the National Applications Office.
President Bush has assigned numerous active duty military personnel to civilian institutions such as the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security, both of which have responsibilities for law enforcement and intelligence.
In addition, on May 9, 2007, President Bush released "National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51," which effectively gives the president unchecked power to control the entire government and to define that government in time of an emergency, as well as the power to determine whether there is an emergency. The document also contains "classified Continuity Annexes." In July 2007 and again in August 2007 Rep. Peter DeFazio, a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, sought access to the classified annexes. DeFazio and other leaders of the Homeland Security Committee, including Chairman Bennie Thompson, have been denied a review of the Continuity of Government classified annexes.
In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.
Charles Doyle, "The Posse Comitatus Act and Related Matters: The Use of the Military to Execute Civilian Law". CRS Report for Congress. Updated June 1, 2000.
Gerry J. Gilmore, Guard Plans to Adjust Number of Troops Serving on U.S.-Mexican Border, American Forces Press Services. U.S. National Guard Web Site, July 12, 2007, Accessed May 8, 2008.
Diedtra Henderson, Skepticism Voiced on Role of Troops, Boston Globe, May 15, 2006, Accessed May 8, 2008.
Tech Sgt. John Jung, Holiday Season Eagle Eyes, Air Force Office of Special Investigations Web Site, November 8, 2007, Accessed May 8, 2008.
According to the “Holiday Season Eagle Eyes” Web site, among the items Air Force Personnel are advised to look for are “…people who don't seem to belong in the neighborhood, business establishment, or anywhere else. This category is hard to define, but the point is that people know what looks right and what doesn't look right in their neighborhoods, stores, malls etc., and if a person just doesn't seem like he or she belongs, there's probably a reason for that.” Once identified, then the individual may be reported to "local authorities.”
U.S. Department of Defense. DoD Directive 5525.5 SUBJECT: DoD
Cooperation with Civilian Law Enforcement. E4.1.3. Restrictions on Direct Assistance. This directive “regards the prohibition on the use of military personnel ‘as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws’ [and] prohibits the following forms of
direct assistance: E188.8.131.52. Use of military personnel for surveillance or pursuit of
individuals, or as undercover agents, informants, investigators, or interrogators.
According to the NAO Fact Sheet “The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Applications Office (NAO) is the executive agent to facilitate the use of intelligence community technological assets for civil, homeland security and law enforcement purposes within the United States.” U.S. Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet: National Applications Office, Release Date August 15, 2007, Accessed May 8, 2008.
Organizations that would contribute to such activities include the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which develops and operates satellites, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) which provides GPS products and analyzes GPS data. Both of these NGA and NRO are agencies of the Department of Defense.
Is Fascism an Impeachable Offense? by David Swanson.
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