You are herecontent / Launch Drive to Impeach Bush, Activists Urge

Launch Drive to Impeach Bush, Activists Urge

By Paul Koring

WASHINGTON -- The emotive and charged word "impeachment" was voiced yesterday on Capitol Hill as a clutch of Democratic congressmen, backed by distraught mothers of soldiers slain in Iraq, put together a piece of theatre that could become the summer's political drama.

John Bonifaz, a self-styled constitutional lawyer and anti-war activist, suggested there are sufficient grounds to launch an inquiry into whether the President should be impeached for lying to Congress about the justification for the war.

"The United States House of Representatives has a constitutional duty to investigate fully and comprehensively the evidence revealed by the Downing Street minutes and other related evidence, and to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to impeach George W. Bush, the President of the United States," Mr. Bonifaz said.

Cindy Sheehan, mother of a soldier killed in Iraq and founder of the Gold Star Families for Peace, accused Mr. Bush of waging a "needless, senseless" war and "betraying" servicemen like her son, Casey, killed in action in Baghdad in April of 2004.

"I believed before our leaders invaded Iraq in March, 2003, and I am even more convinced now that this aggression on Iraq was based on a lie of historic proportions, and was blatantly unnecessary," Mrs. Sheehan said.

"The so-called Downing Street memo, dated 23 July, 2002, only confirms what I always suspected: The leadership of this country rushed us into an illegal invasion of another sovereign country on prefabricated and cherry-picked intelligence."

The memo, written by an aide to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, summarizes the view of a senior British intelligence officer who just returned from Washington. "The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy," the memo says. The document is regarded by some as the "smoking gun" that proves the Bush administration bent the facts to justify the war.

Both Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush have flatly denied that accusation, and rejected that interpretation of the memo.

So far, neither the memo, nor the anti-war movement has generated a groundswell of opposition to Mr. Bush, although the latest polls show his approval levels sagging.

In yesterday's meeting, Michigan Democrat John Conyers presided over an elaborate and effective media event that focused attention on the still-unexplained discrepancies between Mr. Bush's public pronouncements in the months before the Iraq war and documents suggesting he had made up his mind to go to war long before.

Not since the impeachment blotted out all else in former president Bill Clinton's second term, has the term been bandied about on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Conyers's pseudo-hearing yesterday was a bit of a sham. The majority Republicans rejected his call for formal hearings into the Downing Street memo. Still, with more than a dozen of his fellow Democrats crammed into a small, flag-bedecked room, an effort was made to give the meeting the appearance of a hearing. In spite of the cameras and microphones and congressional niceties, it was, in fact, devoid of legality and had no powers of subpoena.

But the political stakes remain high for the President.

So far, no groundswell of opposition to the war, or doubts about the reasons that led to it, has seriously shaken his presidency. Even the stunning absence of any concealed weapons of mass destruction has failed to produce the kind of anti-war momentum that forced the United States to quit Vietnam more than 30 years ago.

Yesterday, the White House dismissed Mr. Conyers's "hearing" as a stunt of no importance. "This is simply rehashing old debates that have already been discussed," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

But just like the sex scandal that besmirched Mr. Clinton's presidency and resulted in his impeachment, and the Watergate break-in that doomed Mr. Nixon, some on Capitol Hill believe an obscure British memo could be the spark that ignites the kind of anti-Bush wildfire that the Democrats failed to produce in last year's election.

"It reminds me of the little blurb that appeared in the paper that said there was a break-in at the Watergate," said another mother of a slain U.S. soldier.



Speaking Events


War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Book Tour

May 19, Sarasota, FL, 7:00 p.m. Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota, FL

May 20, Jacksonville, FL, 7:00 p.m., Florida Christian Center Auditorium, 1115 Edgewood Ave S, Jacksonville, FL 32205, (904) 381-4800.

May 21, Gainesville, FL
7:00 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, Florida
4225 NW 34th St, Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 377-1669
Sign up on FB.

May 28, San Francisco, CA
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg, at San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street.
Sign up on FB.

May 28, Marin County, CA
4 to 6 p.m., David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon, at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 29, Oakland, CA
3 to 4 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan, at Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila), Oakland, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 29, Berkeley, CA
7:30 to 9 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and Cynthia Papermaster, 1606 Bonita Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 30, Fresno, CA
2 to 4 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at a Peace Fresno event
Community United Church of Christ
5550 N. Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93710

June 11 St. Paul, MN, 6 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth Church Social Hall 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul, MN.
Sign up on FB.

June 12 Minneapolis, MN, 9 and 11 a.m. at St. Joan's 4533 3rd Ave So, Minneapolis, MN, plus peace pole dedication at 2 p.m.
Sign up on FB.

Other Events Here.


Support This Site


Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.



Speaking Truth to Empire


Families United


Ray McGovern


Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.