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Republicans Block Investigation of Domestic Spying Program

By Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (Cross-posted at DailyKos)

You may recall that a few weeks ago I introduced a resolution of inquiry to obtain Justice Department documents about the President's domestic spying program.

Many of you are no doubt familiar with the procedure for resolutions of inquiry; however, for those who are not, a brief explanation. A resolution of inquiry requests information or documents from the Executive Branch. The Committee to which it is referred must vote on it within a specified period of time or the full House must consider it.

As a practical matter, if the Republicans want to dodge an issue, they refer the bill to Committee and then "adversely report" it, which kills it, stopping the request for documents and protecting every non-Committee Republican from having to vote on it.

Today, the House Judiciary Committee considered my resolution of inquiry on the domestic spying program. The Resolution was rejected 16 to 21, with all Democrats and one Republican (Congressman Hostetler) voting for it.

Conyers' Statement for Tomorrow's Committee Vote on Resolution of Inquiry into Wiretapping

STATEMENT OF CONGRESSMAN JOHN CONYERS, JR.

I urge my colleagues to support my resolution of inquiry, which has been cosponsored by 44 individuals, including every single Democrat on this Committee,

Taking Protest to Congress Members' Homes

Nonviolent Peaceful Demonstrations In Front of Congress Members' Homes Every Weekend

Democrats.com, Progressive Democrats of America, After Downing Street, Gold Star Families for Peace, Hip Hop Caucus, Democracy Rising, and Velvet Revolution, are working to organize grassroots teams in all 435 Congressional Districts plus 5 Delegate Districts (DC, PR, VI, GU, and AS) and to hold nonviolent peaceful demonstrations every weekend in front of the homes of congress members.

U.S. Senate Candidate Sheeler: “Bush lied. People died. It’s time to be tried."

Sheeler wants Rhode Island to lead the Bush impeachment effort. In addition to asking Rhode Island's U.S. Representatives to "show the leadership that over two-thirds of our citizens want" and "support John Conyers, not because he's a Democrat ... it's the right thing." Sheeler has also called for members of the Rhode Island General Assembly to exercise their right under Section 603 of the United States House Rules to initiate impeachment proceedings by transmitting charges to Congress in a joint resolution.

WHITE CHALLENGES REP. DELAHUNT TO IMPEACHMENT DEBATE

Peter White, Independent for Congress
P.O. Box 913
Hyannis, MA 02601

Independent candidate Peter White says that President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and other members of their Administration should be impeached immediately, and he challenges Rep. Delahunt to a public debate on impeachment.

Senators: Cheney should be probed in leak

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald should investigate Vice President Dick Cheney and others in the CIA leak probe if they authorized an aide to give secret information to reporters, Democratic and Republican senators said Sunday.

Conyers Writes to Bush and Cheney

February 10, 2006
The President
The Vice President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President and Mr. Vice President:

Yesterday, the National Journal and AP reported that the Vice President's former Chief of Staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, had testified to a federal grand jury that as part of an effort to discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson and defend your Administration's use of prewar intelligence, he had been authorized by the Vice President and other White House superiors to leak classified information to journalists.1 Moreover, correspondence filed by Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald also reveals that Mr. Libby has asserted that he had been authorized to disclose to the media a still-classified portion of a National Intelligence Estimate about alleged efforts to develop nuclear weapons to the media.2

House Resolution of Inquiry into Illegal Spying Goes to Committee Wednesday

The markup for H Res 643 is going to be on Wed. Feb. 15 in the morning.

H. Res. 643, introduced by Congressman John Conyers: "Directing the Attorney General to submit to the House of Representati

Fantastic New Resource

UFPJ's Iraq Scorecard: Find out how your Representative has voted, and what legislation they have co-sponsored
This chart collects it all in one place. Why has your Congress Member backed some bills, but not others, or none at all? Which bills have the most support right now? Which members are consistently leading the way? Which state delegations are strongest? Find out (requires Excel, will soon be in HTML as well):
http://tinyurl.com/ex2bs

United for Peace and Justice Legislative Action page:
http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=3116

UFPJ home page:
http://www.unitedforpeace.org

Wearing Thin: Ney relies on cliches and catch phrases rather than serious analysis

By Terry Smith, Athens NEWS Editor (Ohio), www.athensnews.com

The column by U.S. Rep. Bob Ney on this page is a manifesto for his own tight political corner -- loyally backing the president for the most part, while staking out the trade-related areas where he abandons Bush doctrine in order to maintain his political viability in the Ohio Valley.

Hearing Scheduled on Whistleblowers

By Sibel Edmonds, www.nswbc.org

The hearing on National Security Whistleblowers by the House Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats & International Relations (Chairman: Christopher Shays) is set to go. The list of witnesses on three panels includes: Professor William Weaver (NSWBC), POGO, GAP, Mark Zaid (WB Attorney); DOJ-IG, DOD-IG, DOE-IG; Russ Tice (NSWBC member, NSA), Tony Shaffer (DIA), Mike German (FBI), and Major Provance (Army).

Conyers Criticizes Patriot Deal As Threat To Civil Liberties

Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
Michigan, 14th District
Ranking Member, U.S. House Judiciary Committee
Dean, Congressional Black Caucus
www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/index.html

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representative John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement today regarding news that a deal had been reached on Patriot Act:

Republican Who Oversees NSA Calls for Wiretap Inquiry

By Eric Lichtblau, The New York Times

Washington - A House Republican whose subcommittee oversees the National Security Agency broke ranks with the White House on Tuesday and called for a full Congressional inquiry into the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program.

Rep. McGovern on Iraq

Congressman Jim McGovern answers questions about the war: VIDEO

Conyers calls for special prosecutor on Iraq

By John Byrne, www.rawstory.com

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the feisty septuagenarian congressman who serves as the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee will issue yet another missive to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales later this week calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate possible criminal misconduct in regard to the Bush Administration's march to war in Iraq.

Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold On the President’s Warrantless Wiretapping Program

As Prepared for Delivery from the Senate Floor

Mr. President, last week the President of the United States gave his State of the Union address, where he spoke of America’s leadership in the world, and called on all of us to “lead this world toward freedom.

Published Version of the Conyers Report

http://www.conyersblog.us

At this site, we are especially proud of the new Conyers Report, "The Constitution in Crisis." We were also pleasantly surprised that the Academy Chicago Publishers, the same people who published "What Went Wrong in Ohio?" decided to publish the report, with a foreward by Ambassador Joe Wilson.

Latest on Impeachment Inquiry

By Congressman John Conyers, http://www.conyersblog.us/

Up to 17 Members, More than 35,000 Citizens

All of your hard work is paying off. We are now up to 17 Members on my select committee to investigate impeachable offenses. And more than 35,000 Americans have signed my on line petition demanding accountability.

Attempting to Defraud the Nation Into War

By Congressman John Conyers, http://www.conyersblog.us

If there is a report that has come out lately that I think is worthy of a "blog-swarm" but hasn't been yet, it is this one. Some have discussed it already (here, for example) but they are, in my view, missing the biggest bombshell in it.

Right Wing Nuts Running the Senate Refuse to Put Attorney General Under Oath

LINK TO VIDEO

SPECTER: So the question is, should the ruling of the chair be upheld that Attorney General Gonzales not be sworn?

Will Congress Demand the Truth?

By American Progress Action Fund

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will testify today before the Senate Judiciary Committee and defend the legality of President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program. One year ago, he appeared before the committee under oath and misled them about the same program. Today he will advance a radical legal theory of unchecked executive power that has already been resoundingly rejected by the Supreme Court. Constitutional expert David Cole explains, "Bush tried this theory out on the Supreme Court in the Guantanamo cases, when he argued that it would be an unconstitutional intrusion on his Commander in Chief powers to extend habeas corpus review to Guantanamo detainees. Not a single Justice on the Court accepted that radical proposition. But that hasn't stopped Bush from asserting it again." Congress has an obligation to move beyond Gonzales's recycled rhetoric and learn the truth.

Let's Try One More Time to Get Some Answers

You are respectfully requested to attend an OPEN meeting of the Committee on International Relations, to be held in Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building, for the purpose of marking up the following legislation:

Specter Criticizes Rationale for Spying

By HOPE YEN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has not adequately justified why the Bush administration failed to seek court approval for domestic surveillance, said the senator in charge of a hearing Monday on the program.

Murtha To Prez..."Iraq Has Diverted Our Attention Away From The Fight Against Global Terrorism"

As posted on The Huffington Post:

Dear Mr. President,

This March will mark the beginning of the 4th year of the war in Iraq. In contrast, U.S. involvement in WWI came to an end after 19 months. Victory in Europe was declared in WWII after 3 years 5 months. In the Korean War, a cease-fire was signed after 3 years and 1 month. But after more than three and a half years into the war in Iraq, your administration finally produced what is called a "Plan for Victory" in Iraq.

Iraq is not the center for the global war on terrorism. I believe Iraq has diverted our attention away from the fight against global terrorism and has depleted the required resources needed to wage an effective war. It is estimated that there are only about 750 to 1,000 al-Qaeda in Iraq. I believe the Iraqis will force them out or kill them after U.S. troops are gone. In fact, there is now evidence that Iraqi insurgent groups are increasingly turning against al-Qaeda and other foreign terrorists.

Audio: Rep. Maxine Waters Says Bush's Spying Program Is an Impeachable Offense

Here's a short audio clip from the Alternative State of the Union event hosted by the Progressive Caucus, the Nation Magazine, and the Institute for Policy Studies. The only voice you'll hear will be that of Congresswoman Maxine Waters, speaking about Bush, and saying:

"His message tonight will not deal honestly with the mistakes that he's made. And I believe that the latest revelations about him and his spying on American citizens - no matter how he tries to frame it - are impeachable offenses. I believe that this president is not only spying on American citizens in the way that he's describing it, but to indicate in any shape form or fashion that he's been authorized by Congress to do it on the vote that was taken after 9-11 is plain dishonest. And further to try to imply that he's supported by the Constitution of the United States is even more dishonest. And so, I think that this issue that he's been caught red-handed on is really typical of who he is, how he handles this presidency, and what his leadership is all about: spying and lying. And I think it is important for us to understand that all of the other issues that we're going to talk about today - and particularly the war in Iraq - will continue to exemplify how he has lied and misled the American public."

Kind says he will hold listening session on war

By KATE SCHOTT | La Crosse Tribune

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind agreed Thursday to hold a listening session in La Crosse to hear what area residents have to say about the war in Iraq.

Kind said, schedule permitting, he would talk with residents before April.

Do you swear to tell the truth?

Do you swear to tell the truth?
Suz Krueger, Democracy Cell Project

What good is Arlen Specter's hearing next week, if he doesn't swear in witnesses and allow subpoena power?

Since there is no place saying that the swearing in of witnesses is required, this could be important. After all, it wasn't too long ago that energy companies were invited to testify but the majority party refused to force them to testify under oath. Furthermore, some may remember last year when called before Congress to testify Attorney General Gonzalez allegedly perjured himself when asked about warrantless wiretaps during his confirmation process.

Senate Session on Security Erupts in Spying Debate

By Scott Shane, New York Times

Washington - Senate Democrats on Thursday angrily accused the Bush administration of mounting a public relations campaign to defend the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program while withholding details of the secret eavesdropping from Congressional oversight committees.

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