You are herecontent / Rep. Tammy Baldwin Asks Colleagues to Hold Bush Gang Accountable

Rep. Tammy Baldwin Asks Colleagues to Hold Bush Gang Accountable


Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin just sent this letter to her colleagues in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Please phone your representative about it.

Executive Branch Accountability from Progressive Caucus member Tammy Baldwin

January 22, 2009

Dear Colleague:

This week, President Barack Obama stood before the American people and took an oath of office to “…preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Along with this oath, it is my hope that he will take the actions detailed in legislation I plan to introduce, the Executive Branch Accountability Act of 2009, which I believe will help in his work to restore the public’s faith in our government.

Over the past several years, serious questions have been raised about the conduct of high ranking Bush/Cheney Administration officials in relation to some of the most basic elements of our democracy: respect for the rule of law, the principle of checks and balances, and the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights. The list of abuses of executive branch power is long, as are the Bush/Cheney Administration’s attempts to impede congressional oversight.

President Obama has already begun the work or reaffirming American values of justice and freedom. I commend him for announcing his intention to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center and nominating a candidate for Attorney General who understands torture has no place in our great nation. I believe part of President Obama’s effort to renew America must include restoring executive branch accountability, and that he can take some simple steps to proactively prevent any further abuses of executive branch power by his or future administrations.

I invite my colleagues to join me in calling on President Obama to reverse the damaging and illegal actions taken by the Bush/Cheney Administration and to collaborate with Congress to proactively prevent any further abuses of executive branch power. Below, I have included an article by John Nichols published in The Nation on the need to reaffirm our nations’ commitment to the rule of law. If you have any questions, please contact Amber Shipley on my staff at 5-2906 or amber.shipley@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,
Tammy Baldwin,
Member of Congress

---

Now’s the Time for Congress to Demand Executive Accountability
By John Nichols, The Nation

The 111th Congress is already busy reviewing and confirming President-elect Barack Obama's Cabinet picks. The Senate intends to complete hearings for most if not all of the nominees by the time Obama takes office Jan. 20.

The Washington press corps will be so busy preparing how-to-get-around-the-inaugural-crowds-info-graphics that little energy will be expended on the hearings. And little in the way of news is likely: A barely functional Republican opposition will ask some appropriately tough questions of Attorney General-nominee Eric Holder ("Now, about Marc Rich") and there may even be some tough questions from Democrats for Obama's economic team ("Um, you were employed by Henry Kissinger for how many years?").

A Founding Father seeking evidence of the checks and balances so carefully constructed to guard against executive tyranny would be hard-pressed to discover them in the Washington of 2009.

This is not Obama's fault. He inherits executive powers so massively inflated by his predecessors George II and Prince Regent Dick that even he has said they must be diminished.

But presidents are not in the business of defining downward the authority vested in them. That is Congress' job.

The work should begin immediately. Members of the House and Senate should assert that theirs is a co-equal branch of government. This need not be an affront to Obama. It is about identifying and condemning the excesses of the Bush era.

Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, has offered an ideal tool for accomplishing this: an Executive Accountability Act (which she proposed in the last Congress and should offer in the new one) confirming the sense of Congress that the new president should make a clear break with Bush/Cheney era excesses.

Baldwin's House resolution suggests that Obama and his administration should:

1. Affirm our nation's commitment to upholding the Constitution.

2. Affirm that it is the sole legal right of Congress to declare war.

3. Criminalize lying to Congress and the American people about the reasons for going to war.

4. Restore the writ of habeas corpus as an essential principle.

5. Ensure that torture and rendition are uniformly prohibited under U.S. law.

6. Immediately close Guantanamo Bay.

7. Ensure that Americans can bring claims against their government.

8. Take affirmative steps to protect documents from the Bush/Cheney administration and publicly reaffirm that the Office of the Vice President is part of the executive branch.

9. Review potential abuses of the presidential pardon process.

10. Reform the use of presidential signing statements.

11. Investigate the alleged crimes of Bush/Cheney administration officials and hold them accountable.

12. Hold accountable Bush/Cheney officials who failed or fail to comply with congressional subpoenas by supporting Congress' right to the information it needs to perform its oversight functions.

13. Hold accountable Bush/Cheney officials who disclosed the identity of any covert intelligence agent.

14. Hold accountable Bush/Cheney officials who pursued politically motivated prosecutions.

15. Ensure that any Bush/Cheney official guilty of a war crime is prosecuted under the War Crimes Act and the Anti-Torture Act.

Members of Congress, who have just sworn to defend the Constitution, could best confirm that commitment by marking the transition from Bush to Obama with a rapid review and approval of Baldwin's bill.

Is that likely to happen in this celebratory moment? Unfortunately, no. But Baldwin and others who take seriously the duty of defending our system of checks and balances ought to press the point--not as an insult to Bush or a challenge to Obama but as a means of returning this battered republic to its Constitutional moorings.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

CALL---202-224-3121 and ask for your Senator and Congress person---FREE

Pretending we need a new law is an effort to protect Bush & Cheney for committing treason. Bush & Cheney are officials who lied in their official capacity to get American military personnel killed and to loot our treasury to enrich themselves personally.

3. Criminalize lying to Congress and the American people about the reasons for going to war.

Rep. Baldwin's bill tries to make it appear that its too late to prosecute Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz & company for the treason they committed. This is a sneaky trick by the progressive Democrats.

This is the reason we need a serious, strong 3rd party now.

Bush/Cheney officials should be prosecuted for their war crimes. This would be a way to show the world that Americans do not and did not support this behavior.

while trying for 60 years nor to NUKE us into oblivion, in
order to control & enslave the few leftovers of us better.
They are insane to the max, those internat. trillionaires,
consortium. They have alien technology thousands of years
ahead, using it against us, but research paid with our money
Just like NASA. And NASA is lying to the public about every
thing they do.
We are alive only, thanks to the aliens, who neutralized the
NUKE buttons so many times.
Here are 2 E-Books, free download. Let your kids read it out
loud to you with lots of debates in between, so they can
handle without having nightmares.
Fire in ths sky E-book
.
http://abundanthope.net/artman/uploads/fire_from_the_sky_contact-pjs.pdf
.
Politics of Extraterristrials
http://www.lulu.com/items/volume_63/4049000/4049293/1/print/4049007.pdf
.
In fact, the latest Fake attempt to shoot a Nuke Missile
was planned just days ago, during inauguration, while every
one was watching TV. A stolen ancient old nuke was sitting
on a vessel hidden in the Mediteranian see, ready to nuke
Israel (fake attack, probably onto their beach somewhere)
Then of course IRAN blamed for it, giving instantly the go
ahead to nuke IRAN and steal all their OIL.
It's still in the works, but the aliens stop it every time.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Speaking Events

January 10 and 11:
Events in Washington DC to present a petition telling president elect to end wars:
https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12501

January 20-21 Occupy the Inauguration
 
January 29 David Swanson speaking in Arlington, Va.
 
February David Swanson debating a war supporter in Boston, Mass.
 
April 21-23 UNAC's annual conference in Richmond, Va.

April 29 possible multi-issue protest in DC.

Find Events Here.

 

 

CHOOSE LANGUAGE

Support This Site

Donate.

Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.

 

Sponsors:

Speaking Truth to Empire

***

Families United

***

Ray McGovern

***

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

Buy Books

Get Gear

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