You are hereImpeachment
Bruce Fein and David Swanson spoke in Charlottesville VA on March 17, 2011, as part of the Virginia Festival of the Book in an event sponsored by the Rutherford Institute and hosted/moderated by John Whitehead. The event was also filmed by C-Span Book TV. This video was shot by Josh Whitehead.
Part 1: John Whitehead
Part 2: Bruce Fein
Part 3: David Swanson
Part 4: Questions and Answers
When I advocated the impeachment of George W. Bush, I did so despite, not because of, all the animosity it fueled among impeachment supporters. I didn't want retribution. I wanted to deter the continuation and repetition of Bush's crimes and abuses. Specifically, and by far most importantly -- and I said this thousands of times -- I wanted to deny all future presidents the powers Bush had grabbed. One-time abuses can be catastrophic, but establishing the power to repeat them can multiply the damage many fold, especially when one of the powers claimed is the power to create new powers.
All week, I intended to write about Nancy Grace and her Veterans Day tribute to our “fallen,” that euphemism for the war-torn dead. I would begin and, suddenly, see her surname with fallen and be Galatians 5: 4’d to “ye are fallen from grace.” I blame it on childhood years of Baptist brainwashing.
It’s just that my mind has been a smorgasbord of images and messages, lately. There’s Bush’s self-masturbatory, ghostwritten diary, along with email pleas for efforts in futility, war and more war, income disparity, and all the people who lead lives of either quiet or screaming desperation.
Soon after W began pushing his memoir, a flurry of requests for petition signing, demanding an investigation of Bush Administration
From death camp death bed
Mushroom clouds o'er Utah's coast
Can't impeach Bush now
Dave Lindorff, on Free Domain Radio (Canada), tells radio host Stefan Molyneux about President Obama's War Crimes:
"As the author of The Case for Impeachment (St. Martin's Press, 2006), I never thought in my lifetime that I would see a president reach the depth of moral decay and depravity of President George W. Bush, but sad to say, our current president, Barack Obama, has managed to do it, and what makes it worse, as a former Constitutional law professor, he knows better."
Go to: ThisCantBeHappening!
By Dave Lindorff
A victory for the government in a federal court in New York City Monday marks another slide deeper into Dick Cheney’s “dark side” for the Obama Administration.
In a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which has been seeking to force the Pentagon to provide information about all captives it is holding at its huge prison facility at Bagram Airbase outside Kabul in Afghanistan, Federal District Judge Barbara Jones of the Southern District of New York has issued a summary judgement saying that the government may keep that information secret.
The lingering question is: Why does the US government so adamantly want to hide information about where captives were first taken into military custody, their citizenship, the length of their captivity, and the circumstances under which they were captured?
America and Obama Hit Bottom: Pressuring Child Soldier to Plead Guilty to Murder Violates International Law and Basic Decency
By Dave Lindorff
As the author of The Case for Impeachment (St. Martin’s Press, 2006), I never thought in my lifetime that I would see a president reach the depth of moral decay and depravity of President George W. Bush, but sad to say, our current president, Barack Obama, has managed to do it, and what makes it worse, as a former Constitutional law professor, he knows better.
This president’s moral nadir was hit yesterday, when he allowed a military tribunal based at Guantanamo to pressure Omar Khadr, a Canadian captured, gravely wounded, and arrested at the age of 15 in Afghanistan, and held at at Guantanamo now for nine years, to plead guilty to murder.
By Missy Comley Beattie
I call one of my sons and say, “Listen, I have something to tell you."
He says, “As long as it isn’t about bedbugs.”
Expertly, with parental precision, I slickly shift from the bedbug scene in my head to one of the many issues among a plethora of plagues (POP). I talk about the “Emergency Call to Action” email I received about stopping hate, hatred of gays, hatred of Muslims, hatred of anything that is not sliced, white-bread, Bible-thumping, heterosexual America—this climate of shameful rhetoric, leading to violence, even in New York City, the location I love, and the place I see when I think of tolerance.
By David Swanson
Pretending to end a war and occupation, while stationing 50,000 soldiers, 18,000 mercenaries, and 84,000 support contractors in massive and permanent military bases in Iraq is a far cry from what candidate Barack Obama described as ending "the mind-set that got us into war in the first place." It fits better with Nobel Peace laureate Obama's description of war as "not only necessary but morally justified."
Falling down the rabbit hole: Media trumpets Obama's spin that the "last combat brigade" has left Iraq even as the Pentagon acknowledges to AFP that "while the remaining 50,000 troops will no longer have a formal combat mission after September 1, they will be well-armed and possibly coming under fire as they join in manhunts for Al-Qaeda figures or other extremists."
"I don't think anybody has declared the end of the war as far as I know," Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell told MSNBC.
"Counter-terrorism will still be part of their mission," said Morrell, referring to the fight against militant networks.
[Editor's Note: Needless to say, Obama is continuing and expanding upon many of the same abuses of power for which many of us worked hard and unsuccessfully to impeach Bush. Of course, Obama ought to be impeached as well, as some of us have said many, many times. But most of us are not making it a permanent top headline and organizing around it intensely enough to be recognized, for the obvious reason that if this filthy corrupt Democratic House won't impeach Bush, and the president they take their orders from won't prosecute Bush, if in fact neither will even touch fourth-level underlings, then impeachment of Obama is not going to happen anytime soon. Yet, things that appear impossible eventually happen because someone took the lead. Here's the Central Florida Vets for Peace:]
Our U.S. Military is currently, and has been since January 20, 2009, been committing with regularity war crimes under the command and authority of the current President Barack H. Obama. Our Central Florida chapter of Veterans For Peace has debated, voted on, and approved the following resolution calling for the Impeachment of President Barack H. Obama for those war crimes being committed under his command and authority ... the same war crimes that Veterans For Peace National identified in its March 19, 2005 call for the Impeachment of President George W. Bush.
House Judiciary Secretly Interviewed Bybee in May, He Squeeled on Yoo, But Why Has He Not Been Impeached?
Author of Torture Memos Admits Some Techniques Were Not Approved By DOJ
By Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t
Jay Bybee, the former head of the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) who signed two infamous August 2002 legal memos which authorized CIA interrogators to torture "war on terror" prisoners, told a congressional committee that more than a half-dozen of the tactics detainees were subjected to were not "authorized" by the DOJ.
Here is Conyers' take on this.
Here is the transcript of Bybee's "interview" -- PDF.
Here is the transcript and additional documents: link.
Here is what's needed: http://impeachbybee.org
Translation: "We will not tolerate wrongdoing by small fry (just forget Bush/Cheney, etc., etc., etc.)."
By Jeremy Pelofsky
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Six more New Orleans police officers have been indicted in connection with the shooting deaths of two people and the wounding of four others who were walking on a bridge after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.
U.S. prosecutors unsealed a 27-count indictment that charged three current officers and one former officer with the killing, and subsequent cover-up, of James Brissette, a 17-year-old city resident, and Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old man who suffered disabilities and was shot in the back.
It's one thing for a coterie of liberals at a late-night Washington soirée to say that George W. Bush was the worst president in their lifetimes.
It's another thing when the same is said by the nation's 238 leading presidential scholars, who have been polled annually for the last 28 years.
President Bush ranked worst among modern presidents -- and the fifth worst in history, according to the poll by the Siena Research Institute. Ranking first? President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who led the country from 1933 until his death in 1945. Read more.
By David Swanson
Bruce Fein concludes his new book, "American Empire: Before the Fall," by demolishing the worldview of Henry Kissinger as expressed in a Washington Post column last year. Of course it's also the worldview of the Washington Post and most of its readers. We must continue wars to save face. We must imagine we can win wars because facing defeat is too painful. We must talk about winning hearts and minds while increasing the bombings. We must plow ahead at full speed to demonstrate our determination, regardless of what it is we've determined to do.
U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman, a 1983 Reagan appointee to the federal bench, issued what, on its face, would have to be regarded as an astounding decision [PDF] in which he blocked a six month moratorium on deep water off shore drilling, ruling that the Department of the Interior had erroneously assumed that because one rig failed, there was an imminent danger of others failing as well.
A perplexed Justice Department promptly announced that it intends to seek an immediate stay of Judge Feldman's preliminary injunction pending an appeal.
Setting aside what appears to be an inappropriate judicial intrusion by a Federalist Society-connected jurist into the prerogatives of the Executive branch in protecting public health, safety and the environment, setting aside the misguided notion that the burden rests with the government rather than the oil companies when it comes to demonstrating whether deep water drilling procedures are safe, Judge Feldman's decision --- and his failure to recuse himself despite conflict-of-interest concerns --- raises a significant question as to whether he should be impeached... Read more.
By David Swanson
Remarks at the Rutherford Institute, June 16, 2010 - videos posted at bottom
I want to save most of the time we have for your questions, so I'll be brief and I'll start with a couple of questions for you. And then I want you to think of questions for me, because otherwise I'll just go on and on about what I want to talk about.
Who can tell me who said this and where they said it?
"I -- like any head of state -- reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend my nation." -- President Barack Obama, asserting the illegal and unconstitutional power to make war, in a Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Oslo, Norway.
What about this one -- who and where?
After about a year, probably more, my congressman wrote me back today in response to a letter I'd forgotten sending him. Here's what he wrote back:
That's the gist of it. Here's the long version:
June 10, 2010
Dear Mr. Swanson,
Thank you for contacting me with regard to initiating an inquiry into the policies of the Bush-Cheney Administration and any possible criminal infractions. I appreciate hearing from you and value your input in developing sound policies that benefit the citizens of Virginia's 5th district and our nation.
Laura’s Story: Deadly Intersections
By Missy Comley Beattie
I suppose Laura Bush will go to her grave defending her husband’s presidency and the decisions considered criminal by most of the world. In her book, “Spoken From the Heart,” the former first lady describes how competently George handled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, by flying over, rather than walking beside, the shell-shocked. After all, had he been on the ground, face-to-face with the despair, his entourage would have prevented necessary supplies from arriving. “He did not want one single life to be lost because someone was catering to the logistical requirements of the president,” Laura reasons. Of course, we know the REAL story. The recipient of George's compassion was revealed when he spoke about Trent Lott, whose beach house was a casualty of nature. Bush said he looked forward to sitting on the porch when the house was rebuilt.
In “Spoken From the Heart,” Mrs. Bush provides a glimpse into the agony she felt after flying through a stop sign at an intersection, plowing into another car, and killing a young man, Mike Douglas, a popular student at her school. This was/is a life-changing event, a tragedy for Laura and her family, the victim’s family, and for the community. Yet, despite Laura’s acknowledgement of the guilt she felt, she offers a litany of explanations for the wreck and the death. It was dark. The stop sign was small. And, yes, she even tells us that the car she hit was a make and model investigated for a rollover problem. I can almost hear, “Sorry for your loss, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas, but, really, if Mike had been in a safer car.” One that could have withstood Laura’s negligence.
Remind you of anyone? Someone who offered excuse after excuse to justify the killing and maiming of now more than a million Iraqis and Afghans? Someone whose criminal choice has resulted in the deaths of nearly 6500 coalition troops? Someone whose decision has caused a multitude of amputees, brain injured, and post-traumatic stress disordered military men and women? Someone who said we don’t torture—while we were? Yes, this someone is Laura Bush’s husband George—the man her memoir exalts and protects.
First look at George Bush's memoirs
The former US president's memoirs are to be published in November, and will consist of an account of his key decisions. Below is an exclusive preview from the first draft . . .
By Tim Dowling || Guardian.co.UK
Point 1 One of the biggest decisions of my life was the day I decided not to be an alcoholic any more. I don't remember any decisions before that.
Point 2 Everybody remembers where they were on September 11, 2001. And everybody remembers where I was, including me. I was in a school in Florida, listening intently as some children read a story called The Pet Goat. It was about a little girl who had a goat that ate everything. Her parents wanted to get rid of it.
At some point my chief of staff, Andrew Card, whispered to me that America was under attack. Immediately I made the decision to carry on listening to the children. I've faced some criticism for that, but I knew then that I was facing the hardest day of my presidency, with some tough choices ahead of me. I would need all my powers of concentration and judgment, and I couldn't afford to be distracted by wondering how the story ended. I had to find out what happened to that goat. Read more.
By Dave Lindorff
Back in 2005-06, I wrote a book, The Case for Impeachment, in which I made the argument that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, as well as other key figures in the Bush/Cheney administration--Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales--should be impeached for war crimes, as well as crimes against the Constitution of the United States.
These days, when I mention the book’s title, people sometimes ask, half in jest, whether I’m referring to the current president, Barack Obama.
Sadly, it is time to say, just 14 months into the current term of this new president, that yes, this president, and some of his subordinates, are also guilty of impeachable crimes--including many of the same ones committed by Bush and Cheney.
By Cynthia Papermaster, National Accountability Action Network & CODEPINK
Susan Harman and I sat in Courtroom 2 at the Ninth Circuit for three hours on Wednesday morning in order to speak to Judge Jay Bybee and his two fellow judges at the conclusion of their hearing. I quietly held up a Bybee "wanted poster" advertising a $3,000 bounty for his arrest and conviction for war crimes and crimes against humanity. I was hoping Bybee could see it from the bench. It surprised me that the four or five U. S. Marshals didn't come over and ask me to put it away. Susan was staring intently at Bybee most of the time.
In the past we've had only a few seconds to say something before Bybee disappeared at the end, but this time we caught a break when the gavel came down. Proctor Hug, the first of the three judges headed for the exit, was moving very slowly, leaving Bybee waiting and fully exposed for at least three minutes, during which time Susan and I loudly told him he's a war criminal for authorizing aggressive war and torture, he's not fit to be a judge, he should resign and should be impeached. During this time the marshals just stood in front of us. They didn't ask us to leave or be quiet. I think this is due to the face-to-face discussions Joe in Portland and Susan have had with Chief Judge Kozinski and Cathy Catterson, the circuit and court of appeals executive, over the issue of rough treatment of protestors in the past.
Pelosi: All the Evidence Shows War Lies / Couldn't Impeach Because No Evidence (Both In 1 Breath) - Plus It's Obama's Fault
Watchdog Group Calls On Lawyers Practicing In The Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals To Reject Judge Jay Bybee
Newly Released Department of Justice Report Further Discredits the Former Bush Administration Torture Lawyer
Washington, DC: On Friday, Department of Justice Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis found that Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jay Bybee exercised “poor judgment” when preparing legal memos advocating torture of detainees in US custody. Mr. Margolis also released a report from the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which found that Mr. Bybee engaged in “unprofessional conduct.” That 300-page OPR report is a blistering indictment against Mr. Bybee, accusing him of ethical transgressions such as intentionally ignoring established case law‑‑including that from the Supreme Court‑‑that directly contradicted his position.
By David Swanson
Everything you're reading about torture lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee getting off the hook is wrong. They are not torture lawyers, they are not off the hook, there never was any hook, they may not be lawyers for long, impeachment and indictment are on the agenda, and you have a role to play.
A Wisconsin man thinks President Obama should be impeached and he's taking an unusual step to let everyone know it.
Attorney Tom Wrobelewski of Menasha put up a billboard along highway 41 in Oshkosh.
It reads "Impeach Obama", with the tagline: "America's Small Businesses are Failing. Help Us Spread the Message".
The sign just went up a couple of days ago, and is expected to be there for at least six months.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this looks like the first polling funded by DailyKos on impeaching Bush or Cheney or Obama, and guess which one it is.
Try to remember how limited polling was on impeaching Bush and Cheney, how much of it we had to pay for, and how many organizations refused to touch it.
My Country Has Been Hijacked
Munich Peace Rally Speech
By Cynthia McKinney
Thank you for allowing me to come from the United States and participate in this rally for peace.
My country has been hijacked by a criminal cabal intent on using the hard-earned dollars of the American people for war, occupation, and empire.
As a result, the national leadership of my country, both Democratic and Republican, became complicit in war crimes, torture, crimes against humanity, and crimes against the peace.
As a Member of Congress from the Democratic Party, I drafted Articles of Impeachment against George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice. Later, when Democrats voted to support more war rather than take care of the needs of the people, I declared my independence from them and all national leadership; the Green Party nominated me to run for President, which I did on a platform of truth, justice, peace, and dignity.
I watched as Candidate Barack Obama came here to Germany to speak. I saw tears on the faces of many in the crowd who believed that, finally, there was something worth believing in again. That America had turned a page from its evil playbook that had so outraged and disappointed the world. That good was finally about to triumph over evil.
I know that beleaguered people all over the world, victims of cruel and deadly military, economic, imperial policies finally could believe in hope and change. And America could be believed in again.
Everywhere I went all over the world there were pictures of Barack Obama, slogans "Yes, We Can," and the words "Hope" and "Change" plastered everywhere.
And after eight years of George W. Bush, Barack Obama seemed to be the man the world was waiting for.
So when the Candidate became the President, we held our breath in anticipation.
That torture and rendition; spying on innocent, dissenting Americans; war and occupation; crimes against the U.S. Constitution and crimes against the peace would end and that the United States would finally join the community of nations.
Sadly, one year into the Presidency of Barack Obama, that is not the case.