Faxed response to John Conyers' five reasons for refusing to impeach
I had just finished sending this fax to Conyers, and copying my rep and senators, when I logged on here to see that that Dennis Kucinich was live on C-SPAN introducing the articles against Bush. Gotta love the timing! Here's to you, DK! - jp
STOP ENABLING WAR CRIMINALS! HONOR YOUR OATH! START IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS NOW!
You had a meeting with Code Pink on June 5th, 2008, during which you laid out five reasons why you say impeachment is not possible, challenged them to refute your arguments, and finally declared that they had not directly addressed or effectively disproved all your points.
Here are your stated reasons, each of which I will address directly:
1. The majority does not want impeachment. (While the majority of people in this country dislike, hate and/or are just waiting out the last days of this Administration, they do NOT want impeachment.)
In 2006, the majority of voters in this country, including many who are not Democrats, voted to give your party a majority in Congress, with the unequivocal mandate of getting us out of Iraq and holding the Bush administration accountable for lying to us and Congress. This fact alone suggests that you are quite wrong in this assessment. Additionally: The approval rating for the 110th Congress is even lower than that of the Bush administration, because this Congress has so far failed to honor our will. There are also polls indicating that a clear majority wants Cheney impeached, while impeachment for Bush runs about 50%. But let’s just say for the sake of your argument that the numbers revealed a slight majority in favor of not impeaching. Your argument ignores the view and tramples the rights of the minority, which is unacceptable in a representative republic (you know, like the one we’re supposed to have here in America). You are playing disgusting partisan politics while the integrity of our Constitution and system of government hang in the balance. As someone who has been in Congress for forty years, you should certainly know better. Honoring your oath of office is not contingent upon whether or not the majority supports impeachment. You have overwhelming evidence. You are duty and honor bound to act.
2. The corporate media. (They will slay us. If we aren’t successful in our impeachment effort they will say we didn’t have the evidence to back-up the charges.)
If you hold impeachment hearings, the corporate media will be forced to cover them. America and the world will see the evidence as it is put into the Congressional record. And if the final vote fails for partisan political reasons, the world will know that claims of the evidence not being there are lies. More importantly, you know right now that such a claim would be a lie, because you have documented the evidence yourself. To not act because you’re worried about what a complicit corporate media would say is yet another insult to the Constitution and your promise to honor it.
3. No time. (Congress is scheduled to adjourn Sept. 26, and the process would be long and involved.)
The Constitution you swore to support and defend does not set time constraints for impeachment, outside of which honoring your oath is optional. You could certainly choose to continue the disgusting politics and make the process “long and involved,” but there is no reason to. Bush and Cheney could actually be impeached in a single day for crimes against our Constitution that they have publicly confessed to (torture, warrantless spying). You would simply need to put the evidence into the record and have a vote.
4. No votes. (We do not have enough votes in Congress to be successful.)
Another straw-man argument. How can you expect to have any votes in favor of impeachment until you have conducted hearings and placed the evidence into the record? A criminal prosecutor would certainly not expect a jury to vote for conviction before showing them the evidence. Likewise, no rational person would expect Congress to vote for impeachment before the evidence has been documented during hearings.
5. Election defeat (If Obama lost the election because of an impeachment effort, it would be devastating and I wouldn’t want that on my conscience).
Are you actually suggesting that failing to bring accountability for the Bush administration lies that have (so far) led to more than 4,000 dead American soldiers, more than one million dead innocent Iraqi civilians, five million Iraqi refugees, the destruction of their country, tremendous economic unrest here at home, and the systematic neoconservative dismantling of our Constitution bothers you less than the thought of a Democrat losing an election?
The implication that a failed impeachment effort would guarantee an Obama election loss runs contrary to the entire history of impeachment. Without exception, the party bringing impeachment charges has been successful in subsequent elections. Republicans did lose a few seats after the Senate voted to acquit Clinton after he was impeached, but they retained control of Congress.
Finally: Your general claim that impeachment is not possible is not a valid excuse for refusing to commence with impeachment hearings, and you, of all people, should know it. The book that you wrote, “Constitution in Crisis,” clearly demonstrates that you know the evidence of impeachable offenses committed by the Bush administration perhaps better than anybody in Washington. The fact that you would go to such lengths to document this evidence, only to turn your back on America and refuse to act on it after becoming House Judiciary Chairman, suggests that you have made some sort of illicit compromise.
Stop insulting our intelligence by feigning fear of political retribution for doing the job the people expect of you. You have taken the oath of office 21 times, Mr. Conyers. You need to honor it. If you wish to prove that you have not sold out your country and are indeed still worthy of the peoples’ trust, you will immediately commence impeachment hearings with the goal of bringing true accountability for the crimes of the Bush administration.