You are herecontent / National Lawyers Guild Unanimously Passes Impeachment Resolution; Launches National Impeachment Committee & Campaign

National Lawyers Guild Unanimously Passes Impeachment Resolution; Launches National Impeachment Committee & Campaign


The Honorable John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is the keynote speaker at the National Lawyers Guild National Convention held October 31 - November 4 in Washington, D.C. The National Lawyers Guild on Friday unanimously and enthusiastically passed a resolution supporting the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

Resolution on Impeachment of Bush and Cheney
Submitted By James Marc Leas

Resolution on Impeachment of Bush and Cheney

Whereas George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney:

1. deliberately misled the nation and doctored intelligence, as described in the Downing Street minutes, about the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war of aggression and an occupation of Iraq, as further described in House resolution H.Res. 333 and as listed in House Resolution H. Res. 635.

2. committed crimes against peace by initiating war against Iraq in violation of the UN Charter;

3. committed crimes against humanity in their conduct of the occupation of Iraq in which they killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and created millions of refugees;

4. killed over 3700 American soldiers and severely wounded nearly 30,000 more in the pursuit of an illegal, immoral, and unjust occupation of Iraq. While Bush and Cheney have stated no truthful noble cause for the war, one of the central purposes appears to be to take control of Iraq's immense oil reserves to financially benefit private corporate interests. See Bush's benchmark listing fact sheet released the same day Bush announced the "surge" that expressly called on the Iraq parliament to "enact hydrocarbons law to promote investment . . . " and;

5. committed further crimes against peace by threatening Iran in violation of the UN Charter, as described in House resolution H. Res. 333;

6. detained thousands of prisoners without charges and without providing the ability to confront their accusers at a fair trial;

7. condoned the torture of prisoners in violation of the Geneva Conventions, the US anti-torture statute of 1994, the US War Crimes Act of 1996, and the oath of office.

Bush's refusal to faithfully execute the laws prohibiting torture and his declaration on February 7, 2002 that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to prisoners in Afghanistan and in Guantanamo set the stage for torture there.

The Rumsfeld approved Guantanamo torture techniques were then imported to Iraq in August 2003, where the International Committee of the Red Cross found "systemic" mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners in several facilities and where the Schlesinger Report confirmed in August 2004 that abuses were "widespread" and "serious both in number and in effect," and that there is both "institutional and personal responsibility at higher levels";

8. approved at least two different illegal electronic surveillance programs of American citizens without a warrant in violation of the fourth amendment and in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, and repeatedly lied to the American people by stating that
no surveillance was taking place without a court order. The first program includes intercepting phone and email conversations without warrants and was exposed by the NY Times on December 16, 2005. After that program was exposed Bush said the program was carefully targeted to just include international calls and suspected members of Al Qaeda. Then, the second program was exposed by USA Today on May 11, 2006. It provides a wholesale attack on the fourth amendment by recording call identification information of tens of millions of purely domestic calls as well as international calls;

9. attacked basic human rights protections in the constitution including habeas corpus, fifth amendment freedom from loss of life, liberty and property without due process of law, eighth amendment freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and fourth amendment freedom from
unreasonable search and seizure ;

10. attacked the separation of powers in an effort to consolidate power in the executive;

11. attacked the messenger who revealed that Bush "twisted" intelligence "to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." Just as Nixon retaliated against former Pentagon analyst Daniel Ellsberg, according to papers filed in court by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in April 2006, there was "concerted action" by "multiple people in the White House" to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" former Ambassador Joseph Wilson for his July 6, 2003 NY Times op ed piece
that ripped the cover off of Bush's false assertions in his 2003 state of the union address that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Africa for building a nuclear bomb. In retaliation, and to silence other would-be critics, the White House collected information about Wilson and disclosed to reporters that his wife, Valerie Plame, was a covert agent in the CIA counterinsurgency division, putting her life, and the lives of her contacts, at risk in violation of a US law protecting intelligence personnel (The Impeachment of George W. Bush, by Elizabeth Holtzman);

12. as the sole person under the Federal Stafford Act with responsibility and authority to issue emergency orders to mobilize the military and any federal resources needed to aid and assist in a disaster (see Failure of Initiative, February 2006 report of the House Select Bipartisan Committee to investigate the Preparations for and the Response to Hurricane Katrina), Bush failed to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, violated the public trust, and demonstrated reckless and inexcusable indifference to human life before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. Bush knew but did not act until too late, and then he lied about it on national TV. Footage and transcripts from briefings Aug. 25-31 demonstrate that Bush was personally told well in advance of the "unprecedented strength" of the hurricane, the "devastating damage expected," and that "water shortages will make human suffering incredible," according to highly accurate predictions by the National Weather Service. The Associated Press reported that "in dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage". Yet Bush failed to muster resources to evacuate residents in advance and failed to assist New Orleans residents after Hurricane Katrina hit. Then three days later Bush told Good Morning America, "I don't think that anybody anticipated a breach of the levees." In years before the storm Bush demonstrated inexcusable criminal negligence and violated the public trust by cutting the budget for hurricane defense, though the high probability of the breaching of the levees and the enormous risk to human life from a major hurricane hitting New Orleans were predicted and well known for years before the hurricane hit;

13. failed to take care that the laws be faithfully executed by issuing signing statements that claim the authority to disobey laws based on the president's own interpretation of their constitutionality, and then by taking action in violation of these laws, including the US law making torture a crime, laws regarding Congressional oversight that require providing information to Congress, laws regarding domestic spying, laws regarding civil liberties, and laws strengthening whistle blower protection, thereby expanding the president's own power by stepping into the legislative and judicial functions at the expense of Congress and the courts, upsetting the balance among the three Branches of government, and moving us away from the rule of law toward vastly increased executive power; and

14. converted the Justice Department into an arm of the Republican Party by firing meritorious federal prosecutors who refused to base decisions on whom to prosecute on political considerations--to help Republicans win election, an offense James Madison discussed in a speech to the Senate on June 17, 1789, in which Madison said, "The danger then consists merely in this, the president can displace from office a man whose merits require that he should be continued in it. What will be the motives which the president can feel for such abuse of his power, and the restraints that operate to prevent it? In the first place, he will be impeachable by this house, before the senate, for such an act of mal-administration; for I contend that the wanton removal of meritorious officers would subject him to impeachment and removal from his own high trust." and

15. condoned criminal conduct and obstructed justice by commuting the sentence of convicted perjurer Scooter Libby to keep him silent and to demonstrate that Bush and Cheney will not allow high officials in the administration to be held accountable for their criminal acts;

16. obstructed congressional investigations of these and other acts by the administration by defying subpoenas from Senate and House committees seeking documents and testimony under oath by administration officials and former administration officials; and

Whereas the constitution requires the president to take the following oath of office: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States;"

and

Whereas the constitution provides that the president "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully
executed;" and

Whereas the constitution mandates that "the President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors;" and

Whereas impeachment was so important to our founding fathers that it is mentioned six times in five different sections of the constitution; and

Whereas George Mason, a primary author of the Constitution, said that impeachment was the single most important part of the entire document. "Shall any man be above Justice? Above all shall that man be above it who can commit the most extensive injustice?" and

Whereas "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" is a term of art that means a serious abuse of power, whether or not it is also a crime, that endangers our constitutional system of government, or an abuse of public trust. (See Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment: Report of the House Judiciary Committee, 1974, articles by Elizabeth Holzman who served on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment hearings of Richard Nixon in 1974; and the book, The Impeachment of George W. Bush, by Elizabeth Holtzman).

Whereas each of the above listed acts meets or exceeds that standard; and

Whereas impeachment is the only constitutional method to protect Americans from a president intent on abusing power, violating the constitution, violating the laws, and breaching public trust;

and

Whereas Bush and Cheney threaten further crimes, including launching a war of aggression against Iran, and whereas sufficient time remains in their term of office for them to commit those crimes so allowing either or both of them to remain in office for that remaining time will facilitate these crimes, and whereas pretexts for attacking Iran have been issued, as described by a former CIA Middle East field officer and current Time Magazine columnist; and

Whereas failing to hold Bush and Cheney accountable not only condones their crimes but facilitates a future president committing similar or greater crimes; and

Whereas members of Congress swear an oath to "support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," and no part of this oath permits exception for partisan advantage, the next election, political expediency, whether it is distracting from other issues, or how much time they have left in office; and

Whereas failure by Congress to initiate the one remedy--impeachment--provided by our founding fathers to protect the constitution from such serious abuses has put that constitution, the rule of law, civil liberties, our democratic form of government, the separation of powers, the lives of our men and women in uniform, and the lives of countless civilians at severe risk; and

Whereas citizen pressure led the Vermont State Senate and 87 cities and towns around the nation to pass impeachment resolutions; and

Whereas a poll conducted by on July 5, 2007 found that 54% of American adults want the US House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney while only 40% oppose, and

whereas the poll also found that 45% are in favor of the same thing for President George W. Bush while 46% oppose; and

Whereas in view Congress' ongoing complicity with the war, the torture, the lies, the warrantless wiretapping, and the imprisonment without trial, and its failure to protect rights and civil liberties, it is up to the people themselves to defend the constitution and our civil liberties by building larger grassroots movements, including a movement for impeachment;

Therefore be it resolved that the National Lawyers Guild calls upon the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately initiate impeachment proceedings, to investigate the charges, and if the investigation supports the charges, to vote to impeach George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney as provided in the Constitution of the United States of America; and

Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild will establish an NLG Impeachment Committee open to all members to coordinate action by the NLG in support of impeachment, to work with national and grassroots impeachment organizations, and to provide legal assistance for those efforts to strengthen the national campaign for impeachment; and

Be it further resolved that the NLG Impeachment Committee will help organize and coordinate events at the local, state, and national level to build public participation in the campaign to initiate impeachment investigation, impeachment, and removal of Bush and Cheney from office without further delay; and

Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild calls on NLG members to ask their respective member of Congress to support H. Res. 333 to impeach Cheney and to introduce or support other impeachment resolutions; and

Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild calls on all other state and national bar associations, state and local government bodies, community organizations, labor unions, and all other citizen associations to adopt similar resolutions and to use all their resources to build the campaign demanding that Congress initiate impeachment investigation, impeach, and remove Bush and Cheney from office without further delay; and

Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild will forward a copy of this resolution to the Speaker and the Clerk of the US House of Representatives, to Representative John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, to the various state and federal bar associations, to other peace and justice organizations, and to the news media.

Implementation: By the NLG Impeachment Committee established by this resolution, by interested local chapters, and by national officers.

Submitted by: James Marc Leas, jolly39@juno.com

The resolution cosponsors are:

Audrey Bomse, Marjorie Cohn, Laura Safer Espinoza, John Wheat Gibson, Eileen Hansen, Larry Hildes, Jim Klimaski, Jordan Kushner, Jim Lafferty, James Marc Leas, Kerry McLean, Bill Monning, Dorinda Moreno, Michael Ratner, Susan Scott, Jennifer Van Bergen, Aaron Varhola, Karen Weill

The resolution, with uncoded links, is here: PDF.

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make it to the House "floor" or will Pelosi and Reid "block" it...?

The above outlay of charges against the Chief Executives - Bush & Cheney - really is excellent; everyone should read and make sure they understand it fully.

Even if it is more "legalese" than usually suits your taste; this is one legal statement really worth wading through. And if any part(s) continue to mystify anyone, I recommned you pipe up about it and we can all weigh in with our own understanding of it.

Because the above really IS exactly and completely the list of behaviors and deeds that NEED TO BE PUNISHED SEVERELY in America today.

Semper Fi,

-Matty in Florida

Wonderful. I've printed it out and saved it to my hard drive. Now I'll send it out to my rep - Fred Upton - who just doesn't get it. Maybe this will help him see the light.

Dara

Send it to your reps, all three of them by registered mail, return receipt requested. Make sure it's on the record that they received a copy of the charges so they can't ignore this.

Sage Man
I agree wholeheartedly with the above comment. This document needs front page coverage in major newspapers across the country. Never mind the legalese, it's time for our citizens to read a comprehensive and detailed account of Bush/Cheney excesses in the name of national security. If you're not ashamed of how your government is conducting itself today in the world, you're not paying attention. I doubt that we'll see much coverage of this resolution, but if more people draw attention to it, perhaps it will add to the groundswell of voices calling for real change in Washington.

a manifesto called "Rebuilding America's Defenses" , prior to George W Bush's first presidential election and also prior to 9/11/2001, which with other private citizens conspired a massive war on several fronts against sovereign nations via said Project for the New American Century "think tank", which thereby illegally & criminally usurps and bypasses the Constitution of the United States of America, and which violates international law of Nuremberg Principles' prohibition of aggressive war .

on PNAC cabal's agenda for illegal regime change:

http://www.newamericancentury.org/iran-20040224.htm

True Patriots! Let's get the ACLU, the CCR, Move On and legislators with back bones on board!

Originally, I wrote the following comment in reply to a comment that was posted here which was supportive of the above resolution and of Dennis Kucinich, but which then neutralized that support through affirming the DLC in the Democratic Party as the "powers that be", who unfortunately refuse to support either impeachment or Dennis Kucinich. In the meantime, just before clicking submit, my computer crashed, and upon return, I have found that comment has been deleted. Since this attitude, though, has so prevailingly held so many ENTHRALLED to the point of defeatism, creating a condition in which many who WOULD otherwise be more assertively active in their support for impeachment as well as those who would otherwise be supporting the candidacy of Dennis Kucinich, to not then DO so, I have decided to submit what I had previously written anyway, even though that comment to which it replied is no longer posted. If we are to gain impeachment, this defeatism MUST itself be defeated!

The so called "Democratic power structure" can only continue to BE the power of the Democratic Party if WeThePeople allow it to continue HAVING that power by buying in to any self-appointed "proclamations", like, for instance, "taking impeachment off the table". It is up to US to demonstrate that WeThePeople are the power structure of the Democratic Party and that we WILL NOT sit by allowing any individual or group to USURP that power! To take the self defeating attitude that we CANNOT, ourselves BE the power that drives the Democratic Party, we are, in fact, GIVING that power away to whomever will decree themselves to be that power whether they speak for WeThePeople or not! Such a decree should only come from the voice of the members of the party itself which is US, WeThePeople, and whenever any element within the Party shall propose to speak for us, when in fact they do not so speak, it is up to US to overule their false representation of us through our unrelenting words, actions and deeds! If we instead adopt a defeatist attitude that such false representation shall govern the policies and actions of the Democratic Party, we are in fact being complicit with establishing the means by which the Party shall be CERTAIN to be acting against the will of WeThePeople who ARE the Party! It is as if we are then CERTIFYING a false representation to BE what determines our voice instead of our voice determining what shall BE representing us!

It has been 'decreed' that impeachment shall not be on the table, whereas 80% of the members of the Democratic Party are calling for impeachment! This is not only a grossly false representation of WeThePeople who ARE the party, it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Our Constitution mandates that it is required, and through sworn "oath of office", of all who hold office, that each shall preserve, protect, uphold and defend the Constitution from all enemies whether foreign or domestic. It is our duty as citizens, as well as the duty of all who hold office, to impeach any elected or appointed office holder who does not preserve, protect, uphold and defend the Constitution. Impeachment is especially, repetitively and strongly mandated by our Contitution, as a means by which to preserve and protect it from any in office who would, by their actions or decrees, subvert it, thereby making impeachment NECESSARY to UPHOLDING the Constitution. Refusing to impeach then, is itself an act of subversion against the Constitution! Shall we sit by and let any so subvert the will of WeThePeople as well as subverting the Constitution?

Shall WeThePeople allow those who are so definitely and subversively acting against our will, also to be dictating TO us who we shall choose to nominate, instead of WeThePeople, ourselves, making that choice?

Do soundbites, "memes", and/or any other form of propagandizing, themselves hold power over us, or do they hold only that power which, through complicity with them, we shall then GIVE them? Shall we give the propaganda of "the powers that be", who demonstrably do NOT represent us, such power OVER us that the propaganda they have issued, falsely claiming that Rep. Dennis Kucinich "cannot win", shall be allowed to be what determines then that he cannot be our choice? Shall their decree that impeachment shall not "be on the table" thereby be allowed to stand? Shall YOU then be so complicit with such falsehoods that they shall be more determining of your choice than your own will and conscience?

I will not be such a sheeple. I will not be complicit with such false proclamations and representations. I will not assist any falsely representing, authoritarianly dictating, person or group of people to usurp my conscience, my choice. While the Constitution calls for impeachment in answer to the above charges, so does my conscience call for impeachment! My conscience calls for making the choice of Dennis Kucinich for President of these United States, and therefore, I will continue to support both impeachment and Dennis Kucinich and will NOT assist any in any push to have created their own self-fulfilling prophesy of defeating either one! Please do not be so complicit with defeatist propaganda and please DO send all who represent your state a copy of this resolution, as well as a copy from each, specifically, to John Conyers!

(....and, if necessary, I will vote in the general election with a write-in for Dennis Kucinich!)

What will YOU do? Will you follow your conscience, or will you be complicit with the dictates of others? Will YOU so empower "them", and continue to empower "them" so, in their false representations, usurpations and subversions? This unamimously approved resolution from the lawyers guild provides us a powerful tool for making our demands for impeachment carry the weight of our majority voice which IS in accord with our duty as citizens. This resolution DOES speak for us!
(-:G
http://www.zianet.com/XLexcel/OHBOY.html

This is the best thing I've seen a group of lawyers do in many, many years. Congratulations to them and encouragement to all like-minded fellow Americans to spread the word and boldly stand up to kick these criminals out of office here and into a "crimes against humanity" court in the Hague. I have copied this resolution and will mail it to everyone in my email contacts list as well as to my Congressional representatives (N. Florida). Hopefully my Representative, Allan Boyd, will support Dennis Kucinich's H. Res. 133 later today to begin the impeachment process against V.P. Cheney.
Paul Hammond
fsuthai@yahoo.com
ChiangMai, Thailand

IF WE ARE A NATION THAT ABIDES BY THE RULE OF LAW, THEN ALL BUSINESS IN CONGRESS MUST COME TO A GRINDING HALT SO IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS CAN BEGIN IMMEDIATELY.
NO OTHER BUSINESS SHOULD BE CONDUCTED UNTIL THIS MATTER IS RESOLVED.
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT DEBATE THIS COUNTRY HAS EVER HAD.

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