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Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations


KPFA & Pacifica Radio will air Friday's hearing from 9:00AM - 1:00PM EDT streamed live at pacifica.org and kpfa.org and on the air at KPFA (Berkeley), KPFK (Los Angeles), KPFT (Houston), and others TBD.

C-Span will air video live, and C-Span radio will air audio.

Press availability of impeachment advocates:
In line outside the hearing room from 7-10 a.m.

Press conference:
In front of Rayburn House Office Building, Independence Avenue side, immediately following the hearing.

Open for latest news on Friday's hearing.

Bruce Fein's Testimony.

Elliott Adams' Testimony.

UPDATE 20: Here's the official witness list:
House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations
Who: Panel One
The Honorable Dennis Kucinich, Representative from Ohio
The Honorable Maurice Hinchey, Representative from New York
The Honorable Walter Jones, Representative from North Carolina
The Honorable Brad Miller, Representative from North Carolina

Panel Two
The Honorable Elizabeth Holtzman, Former Representative from New York
The Honorable Bob Barr, Former Representative from Georgia, 2008 Libertarian Nominee for President
The Honorable Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson, Founder and President, High Roads for Human Rights
Stephen Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History, Northwestern University School of Law
Bruce Fein, Associate Deputy Attorney General, 1981-82, Chairman, American Freedom Agenda
Vincent Bugliosi, Author and former Los Angeles County Prosecutor
Jeremy A. Rabkin, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
Elliott Adams, President of the Board, Veterans for Peace
Frederick A. O. Schwarz, Jr., Senior Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law

Where:
2141 Rayburn House Office Building

When:
10:00 a.m., Friday, July 25, 2008

UPDATE 19: The west door of Longworth opens at 7 a.m. If you wear impeachment shirts wear other shirts overtop.

UPDATE 18: Sensenbrenner and Keller are not coming, pleading that a 3-day week is hard enough work for Republicans and being asked to work on Friday is cruel and unusual.

UPDATE 17: Rumor has it there are no votes tomorrow, giving members an excuse to leave town (except for that whole oath to defend the Constitution thing).

UPDATE 16: I am in the process of loading on my computer video of today's press conference with myself, Ray McGovern, Bruce Fein, Crystal Kim, Cynthia Papermaster, and Cindy Sheehan. Fein handed out copies of his prepared remarks for tomorrow and they are great and they promote impeachment, and he simply had to not name the president. And I'll transcribe ASAP. He also pointed out that the rule in the Jefferson Manual relevant to not bad-mounthing the president begins with an historical prohibition on badmouthing the king. Fein also argues that, in fact, George W. Bush has far more power than George III ever had. Also Fein will have a new book next month called "Constitutional Peril." He says the first panel tomorrow will be congress members and that Wexler may testify. Others tell me Conyers will release the list of witnesses this afternoon. Fox came to the press conference, as did Deb Price from the Detroit News and Sabrina Eaton from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

UPDATE 15: Bruce Fein is on agenda for sure and will push impeachment for sure and will release his remarks today, and will refer to "the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" - which is actually more accurate than "the president" anyway.

UPDATE 14: More on rules in Congress.

UPDATE 13: If you want to be in the hearing, get in line at 7 a.m. and bring books to read (see left side of this site) and food to eat and share.

UPDATE 12: Elliott Adams, President of Veterans for Peace, and a descendant of American revolutionary Sam Adams, will testify in support of impeachment!

Apparently the rules of Congress are designed to allow impeachable offenses to be discussed only in impeachment hearings. Apparently this didn't occur to Chairman Conyers when he decided to hold a non-impeachment impeachment hearing. As a result, his hearing may be quickly shut down, and he will have a choice of holding a real impeachment hearing, resigning, or dropping the pretense that he intends to resist Cheney and Bush in any way whatsoever.

UPDATE 11: There's also this rule that would apply even in an impeachment hearing from the House Practice Manual:

"On the other hand, the rules do not permit the use of language that is personally offensive toward the President. Manual Sec. 370; 5 \ Hinds Sec. 5094. For example, it is out of order to call the President a 'liar' or a 'hypocrite' or to refer to accusations of sexual misconduct. Manual Sec. 370; 8 Cannon Sec. 2498; Deschler-Brown Ch 29 Sec. 47.16. A Member may refer to political motives of the President in debate. However, personal criticism, innuendo, ridicule, or terms of opprobrium are not in order. 8 Cannon Sec. 2497. For example, a Member may not in debate describe the President's veto of a bill as 'cowardly' (Manual Sec. 370), or charge that he has been 'intellectually dishonest' (Deschler-Brown Ch 29 Sec. 47.15) or refer to him as 'giving aid and comfort' to the enemy (Deschler-Brown Ch 29 Sec. 47.17). Members must abstain from personally offensive language even during impeachment proceedings."

Someone who violates that rule or the one below can have their remarks stricken and lose the privilege to speak for the rest of the hearing, and the process of somehow doing that can chew up lots of time.

UPDATE 10: This may possibly be the rule Conyers has in mind. Someone should check Deschler's Precedents and Cannon's Precedents and Hinds' Precedents for how this rule is used. The key to working around it is supposedly to not name individuals, for example to say "top administration officials" rather than "Bush".

From pp 17-18 of The House Rules:

"Whenever it is asserted by a member of the committee that the evidence or testimony at a hearing may tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate any person, or it is asserted by a witness that the evidence or testimony that the witness would give at a hearing may tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate the witness- (A) notwithstanding paragraph (g)(2), such testimony or evidence shall be presented in executive session if, in the presence of the number of members required under the rules of the committee for the purpose of taking testimony, the committee determines by vote of a majority of those present that such evidence or testimony may tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate any person; and (B) the committee shall proceed to receive such testimony in open session only if the committee, a majority being present, determines that such evidence or testimony will not tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate any person."

But, following this rule, you'd have to go into closed session to play a video of Bush confessing to violating FISA or a video of Bush being warned about Katrina or a video of Bush suggesting it didn't much matter if his WMD lies were true. That is, statements that are in the public record would have to be kept "secret." That pretty well describes the culture of Washington, D.C.

Clearly we need to be prepared for this hearing to be shut down quickly, much to Conyers' great "regret." And we need to demand a real impeachment hearing in which "executive privilege" does not apply and in which witnesses are permitted to speak.

UPDATE 9: The rule against saying anything relevant to the hearing in which the witnesses are testifying may apply to Congressman Kucinich as well.

UPDATE 8: Here's what Conyers' staffers are telling various witnesses: Under a rule of Congress, you cannot accuse the president or vice president of any crime, or any impeachable offense, or dishonorable conduct, or lying. You can say things like "top administration officials." You can quote Bush and Cheney. You can presumably quote from news sources and the Congressional Record (which would include Kucinich's articles of impeachment). You can assert facts in a pattern that allows people to draw their own conclusion. The rule does not apply to Congressman Kucinich because he has introduced articles of impeachment. If anyone violates the rule, according to the staff of the supposed chairman of the committee, the Republicans could shut the hearing down. But they couldn't shut it down if it was an IMPEACHMENT HEARING. Nor would "executive privilege" apply in an IMPEACHMENT HEARING. Nor could any media outlet ignore an IMPEACHMENT HEARING.

UPDATE 7: Bugliosi will support impeachment if he possibly can.

UPDATE 6: They're telling witnesses that they are forbidden to even mention Bush or Cheney by name.

UPDATE 5: Vince Bugliosi has been added to the witness list. Of course he'll focus on local prosecution, which gets Congress off the hook. And he has, on occasion, nonsensically badmouthed impeachment as "not good enough." At other times he's explained that he, of course, wants impeachment, that it benefits prosecution, that it could help forestall a pardon that would prevent prosecution, etc. Needless to say, there's not a single advocate for impeachment anywhere who doesn't want prosecution too.

UPDATE 4: They are telling witnesses there is a rule forbidding them from saying the president has committed impeachable offenses.

UPDATE 3: They are keeping Liz Holtzman on! There's one voice we can count on, in addition to Kucinich's and Wexler's.

UPDATE 2: They may try to cut Liz Holtzman out too. (Given the obvious trend, one has to assume they're either going to cut Bruce Fein out or that he's persuaded them he won't insist on impeachment). It's a good thing Kucinich likes fights best when it's him against 50 opponents.

UPDATE: They've cut Ralph Nader out. They have explained that they didn't want too many pro-impeachment voices and decided Rocky Anderson would be better and could represent Nader's viewpoint.

By David Swanson

That's the latest title that Chairman John Conyers has given the hearing his House Judiciary Committee will hold on Friday, July 25th.

The previous title had been "The Imperial Presidency of George W. Bush and Possible Legal Responses." The idea that had preceded that one was to hold a hearing on Congressman Dennis Kucinich's latest article of impeachment: "DECEIVING CONGRESS WITH FABRICATED THREATS OF IRAQ WMDs TO FRAUDULENTLY OBTAIN SUPPORT FOR AN AUTHORIZATION OF THE USE OF MILITARY FORCE AGAINST IRAQ."

The problem with that initial idea, of course, was that impeachment is opposed by Nancy Pelosi who recently explained that she's against it because she's "bipartisan", and by Barack Obama, who says it should be "reserved for exceptional circumstances", and by John Conyers who claims that if he upheld the Constitution Fox News would call him mean names, not to mention Harold Ford who alleges that "The Constitution doesn't poll well," and Cass Sunstein who argues against ever holding Bush or Cheney to account for anything, and Chuck Schumer who insists that voters don't care about detentions and torture and such things.

On top of that problem with impeachment, there was the problem of the war. The Congress that was elected in 2006 to end the war, expose the truth of its origin, and hold people accountable for it has very carefully avoided holding any hearings on the topic. During the previous Congress, Barbara Lee led a push along with Kucinich to investigate the White House Iraq Group. I asked her early in 2007 why she wouldn't do the same in the majority, and she claimed, rather half-heartedly, that she would do so, but never has.

The problem with the second name for the hearing was perhaps what I pointed out last week: it's oxymoronic. If you're going to have an imperial presidency, why not a presidential emperor? And since when has it become acceptable to acknowledge the empire in the halls of Congress? People could begin questioning why we pay to maintain a half million soldiers in 1,000 bases in 150 countries at great expense and to the serious endangerment of ourselves, generating resentment and hatred around the globe.

So the third title was arrived at: "Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations." This handily avoids any reference to Bush or Cheney or impeachment or war or empire. And yet it's that much more absurd, since we have no executive and really do have an imperial co-presidency. And then there's the Constitution problem. The Constitution brings up impeachment in six places but never once mentions censure. Never does the Constitution propose a remedy of redundantly recriminalizing crimes once a criminal president is out of office. Never does the Constitution mention political parties or loyalty to them. Never does the Constitution place the election of an excutive ahead of the importance of maintaining an executive rather than a king. It's very hard to imagine how several of the speakers Conyers hopes to have on Friday, on the topics he wants them to discuss, are going to be able to fit the Constitution into their remarks.

Here's the lineup, give or take:

Rumor has it there are two (maybe three) panels being planned for the hearing, one consisting of Kucinich and four other members of Congress (Jane Harman, Walter Jones, Brad Miller, and Maurice Hinchey), and the other consisting of non-Congress Members (Elizabeth Holtzman, Bruce Fein, Frederick Schwartz, John Dean, Bob Barr, Ralph Nader, Rocky Anderson).

These speakers can be expected to favor impeachment:
Dennis Kucinich
Elizabeth Holtzman
Ralph Nader
Maybe Bruce Fein

These speakers can be expected to favor impeachment and other supposed solutions:
Maurice Hinchey
Rocky Anderson
Maybe Walter Jones

These speakers can be expected to spit on the Constitution:
Jane Harman
Brad Miller
Frederick Schwartz
John Dean
Bob Barr

These members of the House Judiciary Committee can be expected to speak for impeachment:
Robert Wexler
Sheila Jackson-Lee
Tammy Baldwin
Keith Ellison
Steve Cohen
Hank Johnson
Maxine Waters
Luis Gutierrez
Anthony Weiner
Maybe Zoe Lofgren

But, all of the above is subject to change and subject to public pressure as well as pressure from Pelosi-Conyers. If you know any of the scheduled speakers, please urge them to renounce good-Germanism, please urge them to read the Constitution on which they are being asked to testify.

And please contact the members of the Judiciary Committee and insist that they be there on Friday the 25th and that they speak up for impeachment:
http://afterdowningstreet.org/judiciarycommittee

And please get in line very early Friday morning to attend the hearing! (Rayburn Room 2141, 10 a.m) or join us in front of the Rayburn Building at 9 a.m. Bring impeachment shirts and posters! For more information contact ningroup@gmail.com

If you want to stay in the PDA house Thursday night (bring your own sleeping bag), call 202-903-1133.

If you can't be there on Friday, please freeway blog the word IMPEACH everywhere you can that day:
http://www.freewayblogger.com

Whether you can be there or not, please take these steps between now and Friday:

Contact your member of Congress in support of impeachment.
http://afterdowningstreet.org/bushaction

Ask the media to cover the hearing. And ask them to please ask Pelosi and Conyers to respond to this question: Can you name one thing that WOULD constitute an impeachable offense?
http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/1084

Sign the petition at Congressman Kucinich's website.
http://impeachment.kucinich.us/petition

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"...and by Barack Obama, who says it should be "reserved for exceptional circumstances."

Anyone who can consider a statement like this and STILL push the button in November for this guy STILL believing that he "Is Our Last Best Hope For Change" needs to search their souls for the REAL reasons they would support him. My bet is FEAR of a McCain Presidency. We tried that in 2004 when even Kerry-The-Wimp looked good.

I had originally said that I would write in Kucinich but have changed my mind since. Cynthia McKinney needs 5% of the vote to give the Green Party an injection of legitimacy and I am going to do my part to aid that growth...election results be damned! It is insanity like the Obama comment above that must be taken at face value NOW and addressed. There are other generations coming behind us that we can help now without expecting "instant gratification" for ourselves; I believe we are past the point of no return for ourselves. (I would love to be wrong!)

Anyway, that is just my opinion, given without FEAR. I'm grateful to David and this site for having that kind of forum.

R.A.Brown,

Consider Ralph Nader rather then McKinney. I think he has better credentials. I like McKinney and consider her a very good choice and FAR better than the two business-as-usual corporate butt-kissers! I suggest that you change your party affiliation to the Green party too. I am considering doing that to bolster their clout but will vote for Nader, this time anyhow. In my state it takes 1% of the registered voters to give a party automatic access to the ballots. The Greens haven't quit made that yet. Without this a candidate must get thousands of signatures to get on the ballot. Ralph Nader is having to do that on a new independent party.

Al K.

It's the Supreme Court, Alan.

and by Barack Obama, who says it should be "reserved for exceptional circumstances."

Anyone who can consider a statement like this and STILL push the button in November for this guy STILL believing that he "Is Our Last Best Hope For Change" needs to search their souls for the REAL reasons they would support him. My bet is FEAR of a McCain Presidency. We tried that in 2004 when even Kerry-The-Wimp looked good.

I had originally said that I would write in Kucinich but have changed my mind since. Cynthia McKinney needs 5% of the vote to give the Green Party an injection of legitimacy and I am going to do my part to aid that growth...election results be damned! It is insanity like the Obama comment above that must be taken at face value NOW and addressed. There are other generations coming behind us that we can help now without expecting "instant gratification" for ourselves; I believe we are past the point of no return for ourselves. (I would love to be wrong!)

Anyway, that is just my opinion, given without FEAR. I'm grateful to David and this site for having that kind of forum.

Thankfully I'm voting for chuck baldwin for conseratives.

Thank God Ron Paul's a congressman again, he may have dropped out and lost the race for president of the united states in 2008, but the revolution will be around forever and that revolution now goes to chuck baldwin.

No More Two Party dictatorship.

Hi R.A.Brown et all,
Don't any of you ever let anyone around you know the best thing is to write in Dr. Ron Paul. What if everyone does?
Dr. Paul for R3V PM of Red Canaduh!
Luv 'dat guy.
Mountjoy in Hfx.

that Schwarz and Dean will "spit on the Constitution"?

Frederick A.O. Schwarz (not Schwartz) is the co-author of "Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror" which addresses among other things the Church committee investigations of the late 70s and the abuses they found, how things are even worse now, the impotence of the U.S. Congress, and how Bush has made our terrorism problem worse by torturing people. Why would you think that the senior counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice, having demonstrated considerable concern over these kinds of issues for decades, would now "spit on the Constitution"?

John Dean wrote "Worse Than Watergate" -- a clear indictment of Bush&Co for their many abuses of power and obstructions of justice, and has been quoted as saying that if Bush lied this country into the attack on Iraq, "he is cooked." Please tell us what makes you think that John Dean will "spit on the Constitution."

Also, you say that "maybe" Bruce Fein can be expected to favor impeachment. I have seen lengthy interviews of Bruce Fein on Bill Moyers and The Real News Network -- and Mr. Fein has been one of the strongest, most consistent, most vehement voices in favor of impeaching Bush and Cheney.

What do you know about these three gentlemen that we don't know?

whether each person will, on Friday, speak in favor of impeachment alone or speak in favor of impeachment along with some other nonsensical solutions or not speak for impeachment at all

I'm not commenting on whether they have ever said anything good before or written nice books or I'd like to have a beer with them or anything else.

I hope all my predictions of failure to speak for impeachment or to speak for it alone prove wrong.

What is wrong with us being prepared with any and everything legal at our disposal ? The bad guys certainly appear equipped for all possible scenarios it seems, that is why Conyers anticipates them playing the "pardon" card. That's also why these Neocons planted PNACer John Bolton in the UN, to keep the USA from ratifying ICC. Wouldn't it behoove us to keep ALL our options on the table ?

IMPEACH BUSHCO & RICO PNAC/AIPAC>"OUT" ANTI-AMERICAN CABALS!

WE MUST DEFEAT MCCAIN!!! http://www.cafepress.com/bootthepnac

Fein, Dean, Nichols, Turley and the rest who have made the case for impeachment can, just as easily as Conyers did, become turncoats to the cause. I think Friday is a crapshoot at best.

I am calling HJC members and emailing C-SPAN this week. For those of us not near the "Heart of the Imperial Beast," we can do only that.

And maybe those of you present will find your numbers increase a hundredfold from past efforts!

I don't see how mislabelling/badmouthing stalwart people who have clearly demonstrated that they are FOR impeachment, but reasonably question the timing and feasibility of WINNING an impeachment , helps our cause. Anyone can sue anyone else in this country, that doesn't mean you will WIN. The same goes for impeachment, there are many variables involved in WINNING impeachment , not just our noble intentions and good looks. Do the impeachment "purists" amongst us really want us to WIN impeachment , or just do whatever/whenever and watch how the cookie crumbles?

IMPEACH BUSHCO & RICO PNAC/AIPAC>"OUT" ANTI-AMERICAN CABALS!

WE MUST DEFEAT MCCAIN!!! http://www.cafepress.com/bootthepnac

is the email address to request that C-SPAN cover the HJC hearing on Bush v the Constitution this Friday.

In addition, ask that the hearing be replayed during the weekend at least twice for members of Congress who did not attend to view the proceedings. Maybe Monday, too.....

202-737-3220 and staff will transfer you to comments line. Staff I spoke to said they "are very much aware of the hearing."

As per a staffer when I called at 3:00 PM Tuesday afternoon.

The hearing is listed on the C-SPAN web site, on the radio schedule. Most likely they will have it on one of their TV stations, as well.

Just called C-Span. They will cover it live on one of their 3 channels.

As a Ralph Nader supporter I'm mad enough to chew Plutonium! Conyers and the Rubber Chicken are going to hear it from me! COWARDS! They know full well Ralph will chew'em a new butt hole! GRRrrrrr!

If I know Ralph, he will be outside the building taking to the people that didn't get there early enough to get into the hearings. Now I KNOW I'm going to be there!

Al K.

I was so glad to hear Nader on panel but did wonder why the dems would give Nader exposure when he is running against O-Bummer. Should have known they would figure out their mistake, but they haven't figured out so many others, I had some hope.

Exactly! They are scared stiff of Nader and they don't want to give him any exposure!

Al K.

and conveyed my disappointment at the univite of Nader. Explained I was Green and would be voting for McKinney so it wasn't partisan disappointment, but disappointment at Conyers for putting together a hearing, the most important one since he became Chair, and now it looks as if it is being done for show only, and so on. Suggested Nader be reinvited and told her if he weren't I think the hearing will backfire on dems if they don't take it as seriously as the people are taking it.

The person who took my call did not try to get me off the phone (I did go on a bit) and said she would pass my concerns on.

Anyone have any other suggestions?

On July 15th, the Virginia Federal Court of Appeals ruled in a 5-4 decision that President Bush has the legal power to order the indefinite military detention of civilians in the United States.

In terms of the principles involved, the true importance of this case is that the Appeals Court has opened the door wide for the US administration to have the civilian authorities arrest people and then transfer them on their own say-so to the US military authorities. Once that is done, they can be held indefinitely.

How about them apples...?

Alright, lets take a close look at detention of American citizens. Im talking about middle class, working class, Americans, with no criminal history.

Lets say these Americans rounded up, and placed in detention camps, are guilty of no more than excercising their right to free speech, like how we do here within ADS.ORG. And that is basiclly what the crimes they have done, will be.

There is a major distinction between those individuals, and armed robbers, burglers, rapists, muggers, buggers, crack dealers, murderers, etc. The cops being refered to as the one's doing this rounding up, The National guardsmen assisting, are going to immediatly see this distinction. Oh sure there are certainly some little minded neo-nazis among them im certain.

The point im trying to make is this. Those cops, those NG'S, they are our sons and daughters, our dads, our brothers and sisters. As a rule, childrens upbringing are such, that I don't think we've been producing very many brown shirt mentalities within our American families INSTITUTIONS. Little neo nazis I mean.

OK, Lets assume for a moment, that the President declares some sort of national emergency, and activates the guard, puts them with the cops, and orders them to start rounding up citizens, and placing same in dentention camps?

How long do you think this situation will prevail before the cops stop, the guards stop, and consider this conduct as totally unconstitutional, unamerican, illeagal and immoral?

If there is such a plan, and camps hidden somewhere, I submit this plan will fail in it's initial phase. If i was an active NCO in a millitary unit, ordered to carry out this conduct, i would get my people asside, and tell them the facts, and get them away from that situation fast. And, i would get possession of all the weaponary and como gear possible, and UNASS THE A.O.!

NW Indiana Veterans For Peace & NW Indiana Code Pink

IMPEACHMENT PARTY

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
4-6PM

Hwy of the Flags Veterans Memorial

SE Corner Indianapolis Blvd & Ridge Rd

Highland, IN

U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 4
“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.”

2005 House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff Report
“There is a prima facie case that these actions by the President, Vice President and other members of the Bush Administration violated a number of federal laws including
(1) Committing a Fraud against the United States
(2) Making false statements to Congress
(3) The War Powers Resolution
(4) Misuse of government funds
(5) Federal laws and international treaties prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment
(6) Federal laws concerning retaliating against witnesses and other individuals
(7) Federal laws concerning leaking and other misuse of intelligence”

The Reasons for impeaching and removing from office both the President and Vice President are many. Presently there are 36 Articles of Impeachment against the President and 3 against the Vice President before the House Judiciary Committee. We call on the Judiciary Committee, under the leadership of Chairman John Conyers, to send the Articles of Impeachment to the full membership of the House of Representatives for a vote. We further call on all members of Congress to vote for impeachment and a return to the rule of law as called for by the Constitution.

Wednesday, July 23 is the 6th anniversary of the Downing Street Memo, a top secret memo detailing conversations British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his war cabinet had in July of 2002. The memo details war planning between these British officials and our President, Vice President and other top U.S. officials. The memo states that after numerous meetings between the two countries top officials in late spring and early summer of 2002 “It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran...but that the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the (war) policy.”

When the Downing Street Memo was first leaked in Britain, the U.S. main stream corporate media, completely ignored it. It was only after U.S. citizens raised an outcry on the internet that it was belatedly given a very brief mention in a few papers and broadcast outlets.

July 23 represents the 3rd Anniversary of weekly rallies in Highland, IN. The first rally was scheduled by local citizens to bring attention to the Downing Street Memo in 2003. This Wednesday, many of these same citizens will stand vigil against the crimes of the Bush Administration and call for a return to the rule of law and the impeachment and removal from office of the President and Vice President.

By rallying for impeachment on Wednesday we hope to bring attention to the meeting of the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, July 25. The meeting was originally scheduled to discuss the Articles of Impeachment, but has been changed by Democratic leadership to be some sort of forum on abuses of the Bush Administration. Americans don’t need forums on crimes that have already been documented. Americans need leadership in the Congress to follow the Constitution and hold the President and Vice President accountable for their crimes by impeaching and removing them from office.

We invited other citizens to join us and we will help them both call and email our Congressman Pete Visclosky and demand that he join forces with those calling for a return to the rule of law and support the articles of impeachment against both the President and Vice President.

Nick Egnatz
(219) 306-2597
nickatlakehills@sbcglobal.net
NW Indiana Veterans For Peace

John Dean has authored books that contend that the Bush-Cheney administration abuses are, in fact, far greater than that of Richard Nixon's. He has advanced the argument that these crimes rise to a greater level than Nixon, are are impeachable offenses.

So why have you listed John Dean as being opposed to Impeachment?

This makes no sense.
I find it hard to believe that the man who wrote: "Worse Than Watergate", would stand now in opposition to holding Bush & Cheney accountable. Just what is it that you think John dean would argue for as the remedy to "Worse Than Watergate" offenses? What will he say?

_____

Rocky Anderson has been a long-time, outspoken and forceful advocate in favor of Impeachment. He even debated Sean Hannity (and creamed him) in a public forum on this very subject. If Rocky Anderson isn't afraid to confront the likes of Sean Hannity, then he also won't be afraid of John Conyers pile of BS and twisted-logic either.

that you can't just live in a dream world where nobody sells out

they've cut out ralph nader and may cut out liz holtzman

they're viewing rocky as safe, as not TOO stridently for impeachment, as willing to say that other options are good too

john dean has not said he favors impeachment for years and has said endlessly that he is against it - you can listen to me interview him for 60 minutes a couple of weeks ago and try 8 times to get him to back impeachment at http://thepeoplespeakradio.net

i find that as disgusting and illogical as you do, but there's no point in covering our ears and humming and hoping it isn't true

Pelosi Must Go
Now that Speaker of the House Pelosi continues her refusal to allow impeachment hearings and instead is substituting a non-binding hearing on the abuses of the Bush Administration, it becomes crystal clear that she has her own agenda and the health of the republic be damned.

As one of four members of the Select Committee on Intelligence, along with Democratic Senator Bob Graham, and Republican Congressman Porter Goss and Republican Senator Pat Roberts, Pelosi in September of 2002 was "given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk." (Washington Post)

They were sworn to secrecy and none spoke up about the criminal torture and rendition program. We have testimony from Goss that none objected and at least one member asked if we were doing enough. Waterboarding was discussed at this briefing. In 2003 when Jane Harmon (D-CA) took over Pelosi’s position in this Gang of Four, she objected to the program and while not going public, did send a letter to the CIA expressing her concern. Pelosi has said that she concurred with Harmon’s objection, but has not said why she did not also object to the torture program.

To say that they were sworn to secrecy and couldn’t speak up if laws were broken is crazy. Why are they briefed, if they are powerless to do anything about criminal actions? To quote from the Overview from the Select Committee on Intelligence “It is further the purpose of this resolution to provide vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence activities of the United States to assure that such activities are in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.”

The specific job of the Gang of Four is to insure the legality of the programs they oversee. It was their job to object to illegal torture and rendition programs and to go public if the Administration refused to clean up its act.

Pelosi failed to do this and should resign from Congress and allow someone not culpable to the Bush Administration crimes to assume the position of Speaker of the House. The new Speaker of the House would be advised to provide the country with a return to the rule of law by initiating immediate televised impeachment hearings and allow the citizens to see the guilt or innocence of the President and Vice President. One can only hope that both our Congress Members and Senators will then vote in the best interest of the country and not party when considering impeachment and removal from office.

Nick Egnatz, Munster, IN
NW Indiana Veterans For Peace

At the Netroots confab this past week, Pelosi spoke about her experience in the intel field, the longest-serving member of the House Intel Committee. Her former best bud Jane Harmon was not given the chair job (I suspect) because Harmon would have stolen Pelosi's thunder there. Instead Pelosi went for pantywaist Cong. Reyes who is performing as expected.

Then we have Mr. Cheney who loves the cafeteria at Langley so much, he decided to hang out and, oh by the way, run the government's dark side while W was the front man.

How could we ever in a million years expect Pelosi to throw the vaunted Cheney under the bus? Spook wannabees don't behave that way toward each other, at least in Pelosi's case. Of course, Dick has poor Nancy's ass in a sling due to her prior knowledge of torture and wire-tapping initiatives by the Bushies.

She was a coward then and she is a coward now. GET CINDY ON THE BALLOT. TIME'S RUNNING OUT!

How could the good people of San Francisco with flowers in their hair not allow Cindy Sheehan on to the ballot? How could they not elect her as their representative? Finally they would have a representative who would look out for their interests rather then the corporate overlords.
4Peace

Without our contributions she may be under-financed. If she has the funds to get the word out, the Califonians in her district may come through for their country.

As a non resident of California I am surprised that someone like Nancy Pelosi was elected at all. I expect California to be a leader in all matters [to give the federal government a clue] not the least of which is the environment. Why did you send this hag to Washington, DC? Saynt Garth

Don't forget that California also likes to elect former actors as Republican Governors.

I don't think that en mass detentions will take place, but just google "Japanese Americans 1942" - it has happened before. This administration was able to con a majority of 535 Congressional representatives into believing that a struggling and sanction-weakened nation posed an immediate and deadly threat to the United States. Now, because of 19 men with box cutters somehow evaded our trillion dollar defense system, we are but a hairs-breath away from Martial Law-in this case, civilian courts will simply be by-passed. This ruling is certain to make it to the Supreme Court and if the Court refuses to hear it or hears it and supports it - kiss freedom GOODBYE - Damn, those 19 men really packed a punch!!

Hello All…Use the BELOW - IMAGE, IDEAS as U C fit...

( FREE IMAGES ) 2 HELP IMPEACH Bush, Cheney -

Impeachment Begins: Be on Capitol Hill on Friday July 25th -

PASS it ON, Thank U, Roger@RogerART.com

Life Imitates Art (Again) Title: ( TREASON, the TRIAL ) Oil & Paper on Canvas, 36 X 60 in. 1 of 20 Completed in 2001, Earth. by, Roger Drowne E.C.

Interview Roger, anyGLOBALtime

July 19, 2008 to July 27, 2008 - 603 569 1799 keep trying…

About his 20 - Patriot, Democracy, Protest, Paintings – Completed in 2001 – the Why, When, Where, Who, What, Inspiration, etc.

NOTE: ( Re-Written ) Declaration of Independence - Research Paper 4 Reference, Ideas, to complete composition, lay-out, time line, etc. works before paintings began….

Read it here… http://www.rogerart.com/Re%20Written%20D%20of%20C.htm

More info at…

http://www.RogerART.com

Hello All…Use the BELOW - IMAGE, IDEAS as U C fit...

( FREE IMAGES ) 2 HELP IMPEACH Bush, Cheney -

Impeachment Begins: Be on Capitol Hill on Friday July 25th -

PASS it ON, Thank U, Roger@RogerART.com

Life Imitates Art (Again) Title: ( TREASON, the TRIAL ) Oil & Paper on Canvas, 36 X 60 in. 1 of 20 Completed in 2001, Earth. by, Roger Drowne E.C.

Interview Roger, anyGLOBALtime

July 19, 2008 to July 27, 2008 - 603 569 1799 keep trying…

About his 20 - Patriot, Democracy, Protest, Paintings – Completed in 2001 – the Why, When, Where, Who, What, Inspiration, etc.

NOTE: ( Re-Written ) Declaration of Independence - Research Paper 4 Reference, Ideas, to complete composition, lay-out, time line, etc. works before paintings began….

Read it here… http://www.rogerart.com/Re%20Written%20D%20of%20C.htm

More info at…

http://www.RogerART.com

Please send a message about the hearing on impeachable offenses on July 25th to members of the House Judiciary Committee. Here's the message I sent to the subcommittee on the Constitution. You can fax ALL of them with this number: FAX: 202-225-7680

Urge every member of the House Judiciary Committee to attend the hearing on impeachable offenses of GW Bush on July 25th, and to support full impeachment hearings for GW Bush.

The Committee must not allow a president to mislead Congress nor spurn subpoenas.

This nation needs your nonpartisan statesmanship to defend the constitution and assert the authority of Congress.

Thank you for honoring your oaths to defend the US Constitution by using impeachment to call President Bush to account.

Linda Boyd
WFI
address
http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/cgi-bin/newcommittee.cgi?lang=&commcod...

may you be right about your take on things

and can you feel it, their back is now against the wall

the Barky trip to Iraq looked presidential

Impeachment moves forward

juggernaut it be

they will try to convince everyone nothing is effective

they are FREAKED folks

DC - the american people are coming into town

no false flags, no nuke threats, no new war fronts, no nothing now

Go USA - may we agree to disagree and return this beautiful nation to the rule of law and trust in God (and away from lobbyists and the straussian chertoff cheka)

i hear the skid marks of their backtracking

i hear the whisper in their breath

they know this country has totally had enough of them

Barky did the rope a dope

election far from over, it's only over the nixon wannabees - oh yeah

Impeachment is a knock out

http://www.slate.com/id/2195689/?GT1=38001

"Pre-emptive Presidential Pardons
Can you be pardoned for a crime before you're ever charged?
By Jacob Leibenluft
Posted Monday, July 21, 2008, at 6:36 PM ET
With six months to go before President Bush leaves office, the White House is receiving a flurry of pardon applications. The New York Times reported that "several members of the conservative legal community" are pushing for the White House to grant pre-emptive pardons for officials involved in counterterrorism programs. Wait—can a president really pardon someone who hasn't even been charged with a crime?

Yep. In 1866, the Supreme Court ruled in Ex parte Garland that the pardon power "extends to every offence known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken, or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment." (In that case, a former Confederate senator successfully petitioned the court to uphold a pardon that prevented him from being disbarred.) Generally speaking, once an act has been committed, the president can issue a pardon at any time—regardless of whether charges have even been filed.

As the Explainer has pointed out before, there aren't many limits to the president's pardon power, at least when it comes to criminal prosecutions under federal law. The president's clemency power has its origins in the practices of the English monarchy, and as a result, the Supreme Court has given the president wide leeway under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. There are some exceptions: The chief executive can't pardon someone for a violation of state law or nullify a civil ruling, and his power doesn't extend to convictions handed down in an impeachment proceeding. (It's also not clear whether the president can pardon himself for future convictions.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

While pre-emptive pardons remain very rare, there are a few notable exceptions. Perhaps the most famous presidential pardon of all time occurred before any charges were filed. Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon absolved the former president of "all offenses against the United States which he … has committed or may have committed or taken part in" between the date of his inauguration in 1969 and his resignation in August 1974. In other cases, presidents have pardoned individuals after criminal proceedings have begun but before a judgment has been handed down. In late 1992, less than a month before leaving office, President George H.W. Bush pardoned former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who had been indicted earlier that year on perjury charges surrounding the Iran-Contra affair. (A lawyer for Roger Clemens' former trainer Brian McNamee claimed the pitcher might receive a similar pardon from Bush if he were ever indicted.) In addition, broad presidential amnesties—like the one President Carter issued to those who had avoided the draft during the Vietnam War—are essentially pre-emptive pardons issued to a large group of individuals.

If someone hasn't yet been charged with a crime, how does the president know what to pardon them for? As in Nixon's case, President Bush could issue a pardon that applies generally to any crimes that may have been committed within a certain range of dates. More likely, a pardon could apply only to actions surrounding a single policy or place—say, the detention or interrogation of suspected al-Qaida members.

Got a question about today's news? Ask the Explainer.

Explainer thanks Ken Gormley of Duquesne Law School, Harold Krent of the Chicago-Kent School of Law, and P.S. Ruckman Jr. of Rock Valley College and PardonPower.com. "

If they can't say "president has committed impeachable offenses" they could always word it differently, like maybe, "Under the Geneva conventions the following is a war crime....".

AL K.

Update #4 makes me crazy!

I called Conyers office who said the Judiciary Cmte staff responsible for any rules. Asked Rebecca of JC staff to send me the rules being put upon the panelists because the people have the right to know of any such rules, especially because this hearing is being held for the people who wish congress to be our representatives. She said she knew of no such rules and none are being imposed on the panelists.

So, David, I trust your source(s) over the judiciary committee. What else can be done?

witnesses would invent this craziness, and each of them independently from other witnesses they don't know.

So it's hard not to conclude she's lying.

The staffer dictating the rules is named [deleted at request]. Ask to speak with him.

Haven't found them yet, but another JC staff member said the rules are long-standing re not naming cretins unless it is an impeachment hearing. Asked how we could morph this into an impeachment hearing and he said "The chairman has determined this will not an impeachment hearing."
Peace.

something months ago, maybe last year where i think it was kucinich was making a floor statement about dick cheney and he was stopped a few times and told of some parliamentary rule that prevented him from saying specific things and this sounds familiar to that. i know it's not an explanation, but i do think there might be some standards they are pulling out that they probably generally wouldn't bother imposing in other circumstances.

humble suggestion that to speak in third person may circumvent ban

need a fine lawyer now

situation is so bad

president and vice president are cleary guilty of many felonies let alone high crimes

confirmation of violation of Article 3 of Geneva Convention alone gets the whie house put in jail with NO bail set and hauled out of the continental united states.

this is clearly very bad - Congressman Ron Paul's airplane is suspected as the target of sabotage

this means the white house is in a corner

and whomever writes the play book for all of this anti-american agenda is seriously dangerous

Impeachment comes rain or shine

i'm saying it actually again: presidential secret service: at coffee break you better had be talking about Congressman Paul airplane or you should conisder yourselves worthless - are you considering a second team to eliminate the failure of the hostile first team, guys - if anyone, if anyone tells you guys to relax your grip, you tighten it twice - do your job - no one does this to our country.

everyone, this is going to be a bumpy ride, fasten your seatbelts

President is clearly in violation, everyone keep notebooks because crimes will be committed in front of your eyes, and the legal loopholes being used will make Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom blush.

God Bless the USA

these rules apply regardless of whether it is an impeachment hearing or not. A nice lady just pointed me to the rule which says personally offensive language, which it defined as including calling the president a liar, is prohibited, "even during impeachment proceedings"

could you please share it with us?

"On the other hand, the rules do not permit the use of language
that is personally offensive toward the President. Manual Sec. 370; 5
Hinds Sec. 5094. For example, it is out of order to call the President
a ``liar'' or a ``hypocrite'' or to refer to accusations of sexual
misconduct. Manual Sec. 370; 8 Cannon Sec. 2498; Deschler-Brown Ch 29
Sec. 47.16. A Member may refer to political motives of the President
in debate. However, personal criticism, innuendo, ridicule, or terms
of opprobrium are not in order. 8 Cannon Sec. 2497. For example, a
Member may not in debate describe the President's veto of a bill as
``cowardly'' (Manual Sec. 370), or charge that he has been
``intellectually dishonest'' (Deschler-Brown Ch 29 Sec. 47.15) or
refer to him as ``giving aid and comfort'' to the enemy (Deschler-
Brown Ch 29 Sec. 47.17).
Members must abstain from personally offensive language even
during impeachment proceedings."

House Practice Manual at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=108_house_prac...

I've just sent the parts of the Rules of decorum or something to David for posting because it came to me as an attachment.

Seems that Conyers is being very careful in order to keep the repugs from shutting the hearing down due to Jefferson's rules. If Jefferson knew what was going on now, suspect he would have changed words. For now, I am somewhat placated that rules are not those of Conyers or JC. Think they are really trying to keep meeting going without rules charges from the right trying to shut down hearing.

And thanks to him for it.

I mean, you have done great work and are usually dead on, but it seems like this part was wrong and over the top...

"Apparently the rules of Congress are designed to allow impeachable offenses to be discussed only in impeachment hearings. Apparently this didn't occur to Chairman Conyers when he decided to hold a non-impeachment impeachment hearing."

It doesnt seem like the type of hearing makes a difference....

http://www.huliq.com/64770/nader-releases-letter-conyers-impeachment-hea...

Nader Releases Letter To Conyers On Impeachment Hearing
Posted July 23rd, 2008 by admin_huliq

Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader today sent the following letter to U.S. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers on the hearings about presidential misconduct scheduled for Friday, July 25.

Chairman John Conyers
House Judiciary Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairman Conyers:

For years I have been urging you to initiate a resolution of impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for chronic, repeated violations of our Constitution and the many "high crimes and misdemeanors" they commit day after day. These two men are the worst recidivist impeachable occupiers of the Presidency and Vice Presidency in American history.

Since assuming power over both Houses, the Democratic leadership declared impeachment to be "off the table."

During our 2004 Nader/Camejo independent campaign for the Presidency, we invited the American people to sign on in support of our demand for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Many thousands of citizens signed.

We have had several conversations and two meetings where impeachment was discussed. On March 24, 2008, I wrote you a letter describing the various options open to you as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (see enclosed.)

A few days ago, it was reported that your Committee will hold hearings this Friday July 25, 2008 on Congressman Dennis Kucinich's article of impeachment referred to your jurisdiction.

You have invited four members of the House to testify including, of course, Congressman Kucinich and several observers of the subject, including the inestimable former mayor of Salt Lake City Rocky Anderson, Bruce Fein and John Dean. The Libertarian candidate for President, Bob Barr is also on the witness list, but I am not.

This is not the first time that I have been excluded from testifying on subjects both of us have been concerned about and have discussed. Remember your invitation to testify at your unofficial public hearing right after the 2004 elections regarding "irregularities" in Ohio? Within two days, your chief of staff, Perry Applebaum, persuaded you to disinvite me.

Applebaum has been a problem with my appearing before a Committee Chairman whom I have known, admired and worked with for nearly forty years. He has performed his exclusionary behavior on other occasions. It is time to make this public and to ascertain why he prevails again and again with his superior either not to invite or to deny requests to testify regarding subjects well within my knowledge, experience, and forthrightness.

Sincerely,
Ralph Nader
13
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