You are herecontent / Mike Hersh's Remarks at bushcommission.org Indictments at White House
Mike Hersh's Remarks at bushcommission.org Indictments at White House
My name is Mike Hersh. I'm here representing Progressive Democrats of America, Convict Bush Cheney dot Org, and After Downing Street dot Org. I've been working to impeach Bush and Cheney since 2000, even before they took the oath of office, on the theory that if fibbing about a blow job is sufficient reason for impeachment, then cheating in the elections, losing, and having your friends on the Supreme Court throw out the votes to put you into office is grounds for impeachment and removal from office.
Apparently this attracted notice, because I was visited by Secret Service agents in early January 2001. They were investigating the "threat" I posed to the incoming Bush Administration because of a protest website a friend and I set up in late 2000: bushoccupation.com which is still up today. So this domestic spying issue is very personal to me. I believe this visit was intended to intimidate me. It didn't.
Immediately after the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, a Mrs. Powel asked Benjamin Franklin: "Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" He replied, "A republic" but added, "If you can keep it." Today more than ever before that question challenges us: Can we keep it? Can we keep our republic? That was 1787.
That landmark convention enshrined the primacy of the people over their government. It crowned the work begun in 1776 when brave Patriots rose up opposing a crazy King George. The more things change.... We're here today speaking out against another crazy George who thinks he's a king. I'm telling you today, we don't need Congress to extend the Patriot Act. We need members of Congress to act like patriots.
In his chilling cautionary tale It Can't Happen Here Sinclair Lewis warned: "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." Sound familiar? That was in 1935.
When I was a child, I watched the Watergate hearings on television. I heard testimony about an administration run amok, wiretapping and spying, arrogantly abusing the power "We the People" entrusted to it, and lying about it all. Many of us thought that the Nixon gang reached the zenith of presidential corruption, but we were sadly mistaken.
Today, in that building over there, sit men and women who not only believe they're above the law, they who openly arrogate to themselves powers and prerogatives which would make a monarch blush. When he spoke to America about the outrage of illegal spying it was not to condemn the lawbreakers, it was to rage against the truth-tellers who exposed his administration's reckless lawlessness.
We are here today to tell the denizens of that building that the White House they work in doesn't belong to them. It belongs to us. We are here to tell them that the White House is the house of the people, not the castle of a king. The powers they have, they have on loan.
Ironically the Republican Party and its supporters, so quick to call us "soft on crime" seek to defend wholesale criminality on high. They were so quick to impeach a President over fibbing about sex, now suddenly they're forgotten their rhetoric about the "rule of law" and accountability. We're here to remind them of their principles and to insist they follow them - not just impose them on their opponents.
Rep. Conyers said, "This administration must be held accountable for its misdeeds. I am taking steps against the Bush Administration's handling of the Iraq War and its collection of intelligence. I am going to need you to stand with me in fighting for accountability. Join me to demand censure for Bush and Cheney in addition to the creation of a Special Committee to investigate impeaching the Bush Administration for its widespread abuses of power." We're here to answer his call.
Senator Robert Byrd said, "Americans have been stunned at the recent news of the abuses of power by an overzealous President. It has become apparent that this Administration has engaged in a consistent and unrelenting pattern of abuse against our Country's law-abiding citizens, and against our Constitution." Bush and Cheney promised to defend the Constitution against all enemies, but they lied under the oath of office. We're here to defend our rights and our Constitution.
Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter said this about the out-of-control Bush Administration: "They talk about constitutional authority," but he added, "There are limits as to what the president can do. Specter called the domestic spying "inexcusable ... clearly and categorically wrong," and he promised his committee will "look at what they did, whose conversations they listened to, what they did with the material, and what purported justification there was for it." Let's insist they do all of that and more.
Senator Russ Feingold says of Bush, "He is the president, not a king." He adds, "The president has, I think, made up a law that we never passed." Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said "The president can't pass the buck on this one. This is his program." Reid added "He's commander in chief. But commander in chief does not trump the Bill of Rights." There are consequences for trying to trample the Constitution.
Attorney Jon Bonifaz, Constitutional Law expert and author of Warrior King: The Case for Impeaching George Bush says, "Now is the time to return to the rule of law and to hold those who have defied the Constitution accountable for their actions." How shall we hold these people accountable?
We the People have no choice. We must demand our rights. We must insist the officials who work for us will respect our freedom. We must investigate, impeach, indict and convict the lawbreakers who put their narrow personal and partisan interests far above the Constitution and the national need and betrayed their solemn oath to defend it.
PDA director Tim Carpenter promises to help "mobilize and organize a broad based coalition that will demand action from Congress to investigate the lies of the Bush administration and their conduct related to the war in Iraq."
Rep. Conyers' resolutions would direct Congress use to all of its powers to hold the president and vice president accountable even including the power to impeach them and remove them from office.
H.Res.635 would establish a select committee to investigate whether members of the administration took actions to "invade Iraq before receiving congressional authorization, manipulated pre-war intelligence, encouraged the use of torture in Iraq and elsewhere, and used their positions to retaliate against critics of the war. The select committee would be asked to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment of Bush and Cheney."
H.Res.636 would impose Congressional censure of the president "'for failing to respond to requests for information concerning allegations that he and others in his Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for the war, countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of persons in Iraq, and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of his Administration, for failing to adequately account for specific misstatements he made regarding the war, and for failing to comply with Executive Order 12958.'
H.Res.637, would impose similar Congressional censure of Cheney.
Progressive Democrats of America, After Downing Street, Convict Bush Cheney and others are asking you to take an assertive stance against these alarming abuses of power. You will play the critical role in our efforts mobilizing in defense of our Constitution and our rights.