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By David Swanson
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has introduced a bill, H.R. 104, that would create a commission to spend a year and a half looking at the various crimes of Bush and Cheney. While this might allow congressional Democrats to run election campaigns against Bush and Cheney yet again, even though those two will have been out of office for two years, it's not clear that it would do much else that would be positive.
John Nichols points out that the U.S. House has the same powers as the government of Illinois, just not any willingness to use them.
By Jason Leopold, www.consortiumnews.com
In one of the first acts of the 111th Congress, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers proposed legislation to create a blue-ribbon panel of outside experts to probe the “broad range” of policies pursued by the Bush administration “under claims of unreviewable war powers,” including torture of detainees and warrantless wiretaps.
Conyers’s proposal for a National Commission on Presidential War Powers and Civil Liberties also signals that Congress will devote significant time this year to investigating the Bush administration’s most controversial actions with an eye to rolling back its expansion of executive power.
Many civil liberties and human rights groups feared that the Democratic-controlled Congress and Barack Obama’s administration would duck any sustained inquiry into wrongdoing by George W. Bush and his subordinates, to avoid angering Republicans.
Bernard Madoff, the New Yorker who fleeced investors of $50 billion with heartless precision, and Vice President Dick Cheney, a principal architect of America’s ruin as an envied world leader and engineer of calculated abuse of power, share the same amoral lack of ethics except for one distinguishing fact.
Madoff forlornly admits his revolting dishonesty and theft of investments from philanthropists, friends, foundations and celebrities. However, right up to the last days of his dark reign, Cheney not only refuses to admit his deceit, but boasts that kidnapping and torture of terror suspects, wiretapping Americans, ignoring Congress, lying to the public, launching a war on fraudulent grounds, alienating overseas allies, pandering to loony religious agendas and legislating for the wealthy were collectively beneficial to Americans.
Loyalists of George W. Bush and Cheney will protest. However, a reasonable case can be made that the Bush-Cheney years were golden for corrupt public conduct.
By Dave Lindorff
Vice President Dick Cheney has cultivated the image of a serious tough guy, with his grim, scowling vissage, his dismissive "So?" comments when things go badly, his unrepentant defense of torture, including waterboarding, and his brash statements confirming that he approved the interrogation measures that clearly violated US criminal statutes and the Geneva Conventions.
But it appears we willl in a few days get to discover whether Cheney really is a tough guy, or whether he is in truth just the same corpulent, self-centered hypocrite and gutless coward that he was back in the 1960s when, despite being a vocal backer of the Vietnam War, he ducked the draft not once but five times by arranging for student and marriage deferments, which he later defended by saying he had "other priorities" than serving his country.
December 18 2008 as the temperature drops to the low 30's the weekly protest/ vigil (Thursday at high noon) continue outside of the Portland office of House District 3 Representative Earl Blumenauer.
The protest vigil is "to encourage & remind him (Earl) that his constituent's want accountability and an honest and forthright presidency. By Earl Blumenauer refusing (and continuing to ignore the lawlessness) to hold the Bush administration accountable for their human rights violations and for their disrespect on holding-up (protecting) the US Constitution as our honored "law of our land" ...we (protesters) are outside his office (weekly) showing the world we (as individual's and citizens for justice) are displeased and outraged that Earl Blumenauer will tolerate and allow these violations. The group holding this protest will be here till Jan 20 (2008)when the Liar in Chief steps down from his stolen position.
We probably shouldn't have been surprised at Vice President Dick Cheney's blustering, obstinate insistence on ABC News on Monday that he's been right all along about virtually everything. But that doesn't mean we have to agree.
In the interview, Cheney not only acknowledged that he was involved in approving the harsh interrogation methods used by the CIA on suspected terrorists, but said he still thinks that waterboarding was an appropriate way to extract information. He said -- contradicting even President Bush -- that he believes the notorious American prison at Guantanamo Bay should remain open for the foreseeable future, and he reiterated that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was justified by, believe it or not, Saddam Hussein's weapons programs.
Frost/Nixon and Bush
By Roland Hansen
It is wintertime in the northern hemisphere. It is also the time of year right now to hear the popular song Frosty the Snowman. It is also the season in which it is not uncommon to see a whole lot of frost in the colder regions. To top it all off, there is now a popular movie being shown in a theater near you about Frost - David Frost, that is.
You’ve most likely heard of the Broadway play based on a real-life political event that has been made into a Hollywood movie. It’s about a reporter by the name of David Frost and the events surrounding his famous interviews with a lying, deceiving, disgraceful President. No, the President in this story is not George W. Bush. The President portrayed in this theatrical production is none other than Richard Milhous Nixon.
Transcript of Cheney on Fox News Today here.
WALLACE: During the vice presidential debate in October, Joe Biden was asked about your interpretation of the powers of your office as vice president, and here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Vice President Cheney's been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history.
Could We Coverup Watergate Today? And Twice On Sundays?
By Paul Rosenberg | Open Left
The death of Mark Felt (AKA "Deep Throat") has Former Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie, Jr., wondering "Could We Uncover Watergate Today?"
Over at Dkos, LithiumCola notes that Downie had been "executive editor of the Post from 1991 (after Ben Bradlee stepped down) to earlier this year, when he retired. Downie therefore held Bradlee's post for most of the Bush Administration. A point which makes his column in Sunday's edition of the Post particularly mystifying, or maddening, at any rate revealing."
LithiumCola goes on to note:
The recently retired executive editor of the Washington Post is musing about what "would" happen if a "story such as Watergate" were to emerge once again.
A wild hypothetical, to be sure.
Senator Durbin Tells Gov. Blagojevich Charges Are So Serious He Must Step Down; Durbin Mum on Bush-Cheney
Lance Ciepiela noted:
Senator Dick Durbin writes to Governor Blagojevich (attachment) asking him to step down because the charges are so serious, regardless of his guilt or innocence, but Durbin has NOT sent any such letters to Cheney or Bush even though their 39 articles of impeachment pending in the House Judiciary Committee are much more serious.
By Dave Lindorff
A new congressional report is belatedly confirming what many have long known: that the White House and in particular then White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, lied to Congress in 2004 when he told them the Bush administration was not repeatedly warned by the CIA not to make the claim that Saddam had tried to buy uranium ore from Niger.
What is astonishing about this report, which documents that the CIA at least four times tried to prevent Bush and other top officials from presenting that lie to Congress and the American public in the run-up to the Iraq invasion, is not that it documents what has long been known, but that Congress and the corporate media are still pretending that the claim itself was an acceptable justification for launching a war.
By Dave Lindorff
A month before he takes office, it has become the conventional wisdom in our conventional media that Barack “No Drama” Obama will not seek or even allow any prosecution of Bush administration officials for crimes committed over the past eight years—not even for authorizing and promoting the illegal use of torture on captives of America’s wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and “terror.”
Speaking of Shoes by John Perry
Please add the Alexandria Democratic Committee (Virginia) to list of local Democratic Party Committes that passed Impeachment Resolutions. Passesd at full Committee meeting December 3, 2007. Text of the resolution is below.
RESOLUTION OF THE ALEXANDRIA DEMOCRATIC
COMMITTEE (“ADC”) CALLING FOR INVESTIGATIVE ACTION
BY THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
REGARDING ALLEGED UNLAWFUL
ACTIONS BY THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT
WHEREAS the American people require and expect their highest officials to follow all laws of the land, in particular the oath taken by them upon assuming the powers of office “to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States;” and
An ornament urging Bush's impeachment has been removed from the White House Christmas tree, but there's no reason you can't have impeachment for your holiday celebration and prosecution in the new year. Watch this video!
For $10.23 at Amazon.com you can have "The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush" by Congressman Dennis Kucinich with additional material by David Swanson and Elizabeth de la Vega. This book includes the full articles, extensive documentation, a chart listing all of the statutory crimes that can be prosecuted, and an introduction explaining how we can take the only step that will deter future presidential crimes: placing Cheney and Bush behind bars. Plus statements by Ray McGovern, John Kim, Brad Friedman, and Vincent Bugliosi. And it fits perfectly in a stocking!
Congressman Nadler is opposing pardons but not moving forward on impeachment, as many of his constituents continue to believe he must to preserve the rule of law and the institution of representative democracy. Here's an announcement from Chuck Zlatkin:
GRASS ROOTS IMPEACHMENT ACTIVISTS TO PROTEST CONGRESSMAN JERROLD NADLER'S APPEARANCE AT FORUM AT NYU LAW SCHOOL, THURSDAY
WHAT: PROTEST: Members of a myriad of pro-impeachment organizations will gather to call to task Jerrold Nadler, Representative of the 8th CD in New York and Chair of the House Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, by leafleting his appearance
(Photo courtesy of Deborah Lawrence)
When Deborah Lawrence got the invitation from the White House, the Seattle-based artist decided to make a lefty political statement.
But she never expected it would hang on the official Christmas tree.
Laura Bush asked members of Congress to pick local painters to decorate ornaments for this year's 20-foot Fraser fir in the Blue Room. The globes (to be unveiled by the first lady tomorrow) are supposed to showcase something special about each congressional district. Washington state's Rep. Jim McDermott contacted a local arts organization, which asked Lawrence, a collage artist, to create the local entry.
By John Anderson
This email is being sent to you because I believe that the Peace and Justice organization to which you belong may well be going to the UfPJ National Assembly, Dec 12-14. If not, then you may ignore this email and I apologize for the distraction.
This Assembly is likely to be pivotal in determining whether or not UfPJ can be an effective agent for Peace and Justice. Our member organization, Silicon Valley Impeachment Coalition, believes that in order to be effective, UfPJ must wholeheartedly embrace the concept and practice of Accountability. Many of its member organizations, such as The Center for Constitutional Rights, Progressive Democrats of America, and After Downing St, have already done so. The best way for UfPJ to begin to follow suit is to place a strong paragraph on Accountability in its Unity Statement. We propose inserting the following paragraph in the Unity Statement as the first bullet point after the heading To Move Toward this World:
A useful reminder:
Impeach if You Care About Obama, You Have Been Warned
By Ralph Lopez
Democrats Need to Advocate for Impeachment Proceedings in the House, Before Bush/Cheney Leave Office
Democrats need to advocate for impeachment proceedings in the House, before Bush/Cheney leave office
By Karen Rubin
Countless editorials and op-ed pieces have described the flurry of activity in the Bush Administration to cement into law and entangle the incoming Obama Administration with regulations that continues the pattern of pro-Corporation, anti-environment, anti-civil rights rule-making that the electorate effectively rejected in 2006 and 2008.
That is why even in these waning days of the Bush/Cheney Administration, to save the Republic, the House must act to impeach Bush & Cheney now, even in these final days, even in what is called the lame duck presidency.
In the first place, even as a lame duck, Bush is still abusing his powers by signing regulations that will entangle the next Administration, effectively canceling out the will of the people as expressed in this tidal wave election.
Jonathan Turley: "The Dems Will Repair Bush's Legacy...It's an Indictment of All of Us"
"Waterboarding is torture." Starts at about 1:10
For economy's sake, Pelosi needs to push for impeachment now
BY Rochelle Riley | Freep.com
Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s ineffectiveness became clear the day she became Speaker of the House and immediately announced that there would be no impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney.
Guided by politics, she said leading investigations into just how much the Bush administration did – and did wrong – would be divisive. What she didn’t express was her worry that too many Democrats faced elimination from the House if they took on the difficult task of proving who knew what, when.
About the time that President George W. Bush started serving his second term, a number of books were published calling for his impeachment. Some grassroots citizens groups also emerged at that time with a similar goal. In 2005, Congressman John Conyers held an unauthorized hearing in the basement of the Capitol to look into the matter.
Will that be the headline on January 19th, 2009? Before he leaves office, will President Bush use his pardoning power to save the members of his administration from legal action?
Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution gives the president “Power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” A pardon removes both punishment and guilt.