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Bangor (Maine) Daily News First Major Newspaper to Editorialize in Favor of Impeaching Cheney


Cheney Impeachment
By BDN Staff, Bangor Daily News

Over the past 18 months, a core group of Democrats and others from the left has steadfastly maintained that President Bush and Vice President Cheney should be impeached. Mainstream Democrats in Congress are sympathetic to their arguments, but most have bowed to the political reality that impeachment proceedings would gridlock the federal government in the last year of the Bush administration, distract lawmakers from resolving problems that affect the daily lives of Americans, and possibly trigger an endless cycle of reprisal impeachment attempts for future administrations.

There is another angle on this difficult question, raised by Rep. Michael Michaud in a Dec. 21 letter to Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. "There is no doubt that at the very least this Administration has dangerously expanded the scope of executive authority and flaunted the constitutionally defined separation of powers," Rep. Michaud wrote.

The letter urges Rep. Conyers to schedule impeachment hearings on Mr. Cheney, though not on the president’s conduct. Those supporting impeachment argue Cheney in his role in the administration has repeatedly violated the Constitution on matters such as warrantless telephone eavesdropping, deliberately misled Congress and the American people about the threat posed by Iraq and Iran, revealed the name of a CIA agent, and ordered the abuse of prisoners in violation of international treaties.

The specific alleged abuses of power will, for the most part, fade away when the Bush-Cheney administration leaves Washington. But the "dangerously expanded" powers of the executive branch cited by Rep. Michaud could remain in place. Those powers will be inherited regardless of which party takes the White House, and while Democrats may relish the opportunities that come with an expanded presidency, ultimately, such an imbalance in the government is unhealthy and will increase the chance of future abuses.

Mr. Bush’s interpretation of executive powers has led critics to dub his tenure the "imperial presidency." Rep. Michaud correctly notes in his call for hearings on impeachment of Mr. Cheney that: "Expansions and potential abuses of power by this administration become precedents for future ones, which lead to further erosions of our constitutional rights."

Rep. Michaud had given the impeachment matter long and careful thought, his press secretary Monica Castellanos reported, before calling for the hearings. The congressman has not prejudged the outcome of the hearings and possible investigation, she said, but he strongly believes those steps are essential in restoring Americans’ trust in their government.

It is a big step for Congress to take, especially in a politically charged presidential election year. But if it is possible, a dispassionate examination of the manner in which Mr. Cheney and this administration have stretched the executive branch to the point of distorting its constitutional definition would be enlightening, and could help rebalance the powers of the federal government.

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The politicians on both sides talk about how important the work of the people is and how an impeachment proceeding would slow ow stop that work. What is more important a couple of lame bills or the protection of the constitution? These lawbreakers have been literally getting away with murder for seven years and everyone is afraid to stand up to them. Congratulations on your editorial it is about time the main stream press did their job now if we can get Congress to do theirs. Wayne Winter Beavercreek Oregon

Forget everything else. Without a strong Constitution and an honest government to follow it, all other laws become - moot.

Gerald Ford's pardon of Nixon was a perfect example of why we should NEVER let corrupt high officials off the hook.

The message Ford's pardon sent was exactly the WRONG message. It told future Administrations that "Go ahead and do whatever you want. In order to save face, in order not to rock the boat, in order to maintain this facade of integrity, we will sacrifice the freedoms and decency which we have all cherished, and for which many have died."

So the Reagan Administration took that cue and ran with it. Never mind all the other evils the Reagan/Bush team committed. Just look at the Iran-Contra fiasco.

A Marine Colonel, who placed his left hand on a bible, raised his right hand, and SWORE AN OATH TO THE CONSTITUTION of The United States, STOLE arms from the U.S. Military, then sold them to a terrorist country, Iran. (What a great American that bum is!) The same Iran that had just kidnapped our Embassy workers and held them for 444 days.

To make matters worse, this traitor Colonel and his cabal then kept the proceeds from his illegal sale for themselves. (Spent quite a bit on his own home, in case you don't remember.)

Stole our arms, sold them to terrorists, and kept the money for themselves.

What did the people of America do? Did they demand this traitor be punished for his crimes? Well, some did.

But the great (just kidding) Americans who call themselves Republicans and Conservatives put this traitor up for a run for the U.S. Senate! (Anybody care to explain how this was good for America?)

After the Reagan/Bush Admin. got away with this and other crimes, the Bush/Cheney Admin. took their cue, and our country has paid a terrible price the last 7 years.

Now Nancy Pelosi, the wolf in sheep's clothing, has come to the defense of the Bush/Cheney cabal, and has arbitrarilly taken impeachment "off the table."

Thanks, Nancy, for standing up for corruption rather than the American people. You, Nancy, have failed the American people every bit as much as this Administration has. (After all, we expected bad things from Bush & Co. We DIDN'T expect you to aid them.)

You, Nancy, give us lame excuses that there is more important work to be done. What could POSSIBLY be more important than preserving our freedoms from a lying, murderous, law-breaking regime?

By Nancy's logic, we needn't bother to prosecute pedophiles because eventually they'll die, and won't be a problem. We needn't prosecute rapists, because eventually they'll be gone. We needn't prosecute white-collar criminals who steal our grandparents' retirement funds. They'll eventually die off and not be a problem. (Can you say "Ken Lay?" Hey - it worked for "Kenny Boy!")

Too much trouble for you to do your job, Nancy? Read the Constitution lately?

When the Democrats lose another presidency, everyone can look to Nancy Pelosi for her share of the loss. Otherwise good Americans are fleeing the Democratic party faster than she ignores her Constitutional duties.

If the majority of the American People want the V.P. impeached, including a fair amount of Republicans (at least those who have payed attention and put their country above their party), then just who is Nancy Pelosi representing? Obviously, not the American People. Even the staunch Conservative Bruce Fein has called for impeachment, as have other decent Conservatives.

Sadly, Nancy Pelosi has become just another Bush Enabler.

I urge all concerned Americans to support Cindy Sheehan in her efforts to run against Ms. Pelosi. Send a strong message to Nancy and the other Bush-Enabling psuedo-Democrats that our country and our Constitution comes first. PERIOD!

Remember, "In a Democracy, you get the government you deserve." (Anybody know who's quote that is?)

Lamenting a lost America,
Tom Musgrave

I agree with your editorial and Wayne Winter Beavercreek Oregon

Kudos! It's about time somebody, somewhere stood up for the millions who have sacrificed their lives and fortunes for America, only to have thugs like these hijack our country and its values.

Cheers!

-dusty nathan

Although I would love to see both Bush and Cheney perp-walked out of their offices for all the world to see, impeaching Cheney first makes sense - after all, he's the puppeteer (along with the despicable Rove). The American people want and deserve to see this administration held accountable in some way for the damage they have inflicted that will last for decades to come no matter what steps we take to stem the hemorrhaging. We need to say STOP in no uncertain terms because if we just go on, business as usual, future administrations will see no reason not to continue to expand presidential powers into monarcical and even theocratic powers. I say, GET 'ER DONE!

Without our representatives to carry out our wishes we are powerless. Anyone who is not pushing for impeachment hearings should be voted out of office ASAP. Bush and Cheney need to be held accountable.
Future presidents need to know that they will be held accountable for their actions. Start impeachment hearings now!

Thank you, Bangor Daily News. Now is the time for all American's to contact congress to request impeachment hearing. Urge congress to support HR333 - Impeach Cheney. George Francuski, Kingman, Arizona

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