You are hereImpeachment
By Dave Lindorff
The dithering and ducking going on in the Obama White House and the Holder Justice Department over the crimes of the Bush administration are taking on a comic aspect.
On the one hand, we have President Obama assuring us that under his administration, there will be respect for the rule of law, and on the other hand we have this one-time constitutional law professor and his attorney general declaiming that there is no need for the appointment of a prosecutor to bring charges against the people in the last administration, in the CIA, in the National Security Agency and in the Defense Department and the military who clearly have broken the law in serious and felonious ways.
What gets silly is that America is either a nation of laws…or it isn’t. It is either a place where “nobody is above the law”…or it isn’t.
There is really no middle ground here.
By Dave Lindorff
The similar calls by Senate Judiciary Chair Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and House Judiciary Chair Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the crimes of the Bush/Cheney administration are potentially a terrible idea, but one that could turn out to be an excellent one, if handled correctly.
It would be a terrible idea if a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was just another 9-11-type body. That commission turned out to be worse than nothing, given that it was manipulated by the Bush administration to be toothless and that it ended up covering up more than it uncovered. Aside from the behind the scenes manipulation, the biggest problem with the 9-11 commission, though, was that is was not linked to any attempt to prosecute official wrong-doing.
By Dave Lindorff
I can’t count how many people have bombarded me with criticisms, usually laced with insults and often obscenities, when I have written articles calling for pressure on Democratic politicians to do the right thing, whether that is impeaching the last president and vice president for war crimes or in the case of our new president, standing and fighting for a people’s bailout, instead of a Wall Street bailout.
The common refrain I hear is that the Democrats and Republicans are the same, and that we need a third party. Another common refrain is that “all you suckers” who voted for Obama are to blame. We should have voted for Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader, they say.
Now I have nothing against McKinney and Nader. That ticket would make for a wonderful administration, I agree. But I also have to point out that there is zero chance of these two people being elected in my lifetime (I’m 59 and pretty healthy) or theirs.
One reason Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was forced to resign was the growing support for a bill in the House that read in its entirety:
Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary shall investigate fully whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to impeach Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.
By Dave Lindorff
As someone who has spent nearly three frustrating years actively advocating the impeachment of President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for their many crimes and abuses of power, I have to admit that not only did it not happen, but that the likelihood of their being indicted and brought to trial now that they have left office is exceedingly slim.
During his last press conference as the acting president, George Bush said there is “no such thing as short-term history” and time will vindicate his decisions to protect America from terrorism. But could President Bush’s actions during his years in office embolden his opponents to pursue the former president with articles of impeachment?
Brian Kalt, associate professor of law at Michigan State University College of Law, does not support any movement to impeach President Bush, nor did he back the impeachment effort against President Bill Clinton. But the constitutional law expert argues that this country could someday fall into circumstances – though admittedly rarer than regular impeachment – where late impeachability could be a practical consideration.
Impeachment investigation ahead for Bush and Cheney?
by Martha R Gore | Examiner.com
It came as no surprise that House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers began talking about impeachement hearing against President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney on January 14, 2009. If such hearings come about, according to Conyers, it would be a means of reaffirming constitutional principals.
Many Bush critics think that Conyers put off an impeachment battle during the last two years because of concerns that it might have political repercussions that might have kept the Democrats from winning the larger congressional majorities and the presidency during the 2008 elections.
By Dave Lindorff
The calls for a reckoning for the criminals of the Bush/Cheney administration are growing by the day, as the final few days of the Bush presidency tick down, and as new evidence of their crimes keep pouring out of the deflating gas bag that was the Bush White House.
For years, the Democrats in Congress, with a few notable exceptions, have sat on their hands, allowing the ongoing destruction of the Constitution, of the US military, of the nation’s reputation, and of the rule of law, as well as of the institution of Congress itself, by a cabal of Republicans in the White House, led by Vice President Dick Cheney, who have sought to establish an executive-led government that answered only to itself.
Over the past three years, a great many people have lobbied Conyers to impeach Bush and Cheney. I've worked with him and his staff, been arrested protesting in his office, and everything in between. Conyers includes in his new report a foreword that amounts to a seven-page letter to disappointed impeachment advocates.
It took 10 weeks for the House Judiciary Committee to vote to impeach Richard Nixon, and decades later, seven weeks for Bill Clinton.
But it took the Illinois House just three weeks (with time off for Christmas and New Year's) to vote out articles of impeachment for Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and the full House impeached him after a zippy ninety minutes of debate. Pretty good -- but I think we can do even better.
The popular One-Minute Manager books explain how to achieve "the gift" of getting results in less time. The three principles of the One-Minute Manager can be adapted to streamline previously drawn-out constitutional processes like impeachment.
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!