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In The Public Interest: Restoring the Constitution
by Ralph Nader | In the Public Interest
Barack Obama is receiving lots of advice from many people these days about the collapse of Wall Street, the sinking economy and the quagmire wars he will inherit from the Bush regime. However, there is one important matter that he alone can address with his legal training and the sworn oath he will take on January 20 to uphold the Constitution. That phenomenon is the systemic, chronic lawlessness and criminality of the Bush/Cheney regime which he must unravel and stop.
To handle this immense responsibility as President, he needs to bring together a volunteer task force of very knowledgeable persons plus wise, retired civil servants to inventory the outlaw workings of this rogue regime.
Much is already known and documented officially and by academic studies and media reporting. In the category of "high crimes and misdemeanors", are (1) the criminal war/occupation of Iraq, (2) systemic torture as a White House policy, (3) arrests of thousands of Americans without charges or habeas corpus rights, (4) spying on large numbers of Americans without judicial warrants and (5) hundreds of signing statements by George W. Bush declaring that, he of the unitary presidency, will decide whether to obey the enacted bills or not.
To its everlasting credit, the conservative American Bar Association sent to President Bush three reports in 2005-2006 concluding that he has been engaged in continuing serious violations of the Constitution. This is no one-time Watergate obstruction of justice episode ala Nixon that led to his resignation just before his impeachment in the House of Representatives.
Impeachment Prevents Pardons
by Bennet D. Zurofsky, Esq.
Let's not forget that each act of illegal surveillance was a felony under the provisions of FISA in effect at the time. Hopefully, whistleblowers will open up about much more than illegal electronic surveillance after January 20, but we should be demanding that the new Attorney General appoint a prosecutor to convene a grand jury to investigate not only the criminal FISA violations but also the numerous other crimes of Bush, Cheney and their underlings and henchmen, especially including their war crimes.
While speaking on the topic of impeachment Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) promised that after the November 4 elections, he would pursue legal actions against the Bush administration. Conyers is in a unique position to initiate impeachment. As the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee (the body which would be responsible for initiating impeachment), he has been the sole obstacle to impeachment occurring ever since he and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA, Speaker of the House) took Impeachment "off the table."
If you think John Conyers might possibly be persuaded to keep his word (or you're a fan of smooth liars), check this out.
These jokesters could hardly contain themselves BUT it was not funny at all.
Bush could hardly contain himself, Lieberman couldn't stop laughing, and Pelosi (at .48 seconds) chuckled thinking it was so funny our brave soldiers didn't find the WMD in Iraq, Click Here.
All of the "politically pragmatic" excuses for NOT Impeaching George and the boys are now....off the table! There is now no excuse for excusing their crimes.
As always when there has been some sort of trauma...and we have had eight years of so much trauma that we are all suffering a sort of PTSD, I think, there is the urge, the instinct to ...move on, to not dwell on the trauma. To put it behind us as fast as possible. But if we are to get over the PTSD, well...
A poster on DU claims Conyers said yesterday he plans to enforce outstanding subpoenas in the coming year. I can't find any evidence of that. Can anyone? But I did find this:
According to the Detroit Free Press:
"A hoarse Congressman John Conyers spoke during the Democratic celebration at the Renaissance Center Marriott Hotel Tuesday night about 'retroactively impeaching one or two people in the White House.' Conyers called for 'informal hearings on the subject.'"
Yawn. Been there, done that, didn't fall for it the first dozen times. There's nothing informal about impeachment.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
Vermonters Could Be the Lynchpin for Impeaching Bush-Cheney; Charlotte Dennett Pledges Bugliosi as Special Prosecutor
The measure of a person's greatness and success lies not in the office to which that person is elected but in the person's ability to be true to the electorate once in office.
Anyone can sell their soul to buy a presidency or a dictatorship. It takes real power and courage to stand up to the forces that control most members of government. It takes true greatness to stand with the people against power-buyers.
SOMEONE on this site: For some people the sexual indiscretions of Bill Clinton are tougher to forgive than anything Bush has done though, aren’t they?
JOSH BROLIN: “Which is phenomenal. He made a mistake and he lied and I think there’s been proper consequence for that, but to want to impeach somebody because of that and then to not impeach somebody under impeachable acts, not going forth with it is phenomenal. It’s stunning to me, some of the reactions of the American people. And it’s also stunning to me that by speaking up, which I think is very important, there are these blogs that say ‘why does this guy speak up, why does Susan Sarandon say anything, why does Sean Penn say anything?’. Why would you try and stifle that? It’s good isn’t it? We’re the ones that vote so we’re the ones who should speak up regardless of what job you have, whether you’re an actor, a plumber or a reporter.”
Has Brolin ever met one of the people he alleges to exist and then blames? Has he seen the polls, the activism, the local and state resolutions, the actions of the Democratic "leadership"? Does he believe we have democracy and that he can therefore blame the people for whatever Washington does? Should someone who believes such things be permitted to drive a car?
Republican Calvin Coolidge visited Vermont eighty years ago this fall to deliver one of the last speeches of his presidency, a paean to his native state in which he predicted, "If the spirit of liberty should vanish in other parts of the Union and support of our institutions should languish, it could all be replenished from the generous store held by the people of this brave little state of Vermont." Vermonters appreciated the line so much that they inscribed it on their statehouse.
A judge has ordered the Justice Department to produce White House memos that provide the legal basis for the Bush administration's post-Sept. 11 warrantless wiretapping program.
U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. signed an order Friday requiring the department to produce the memos by the White House legal counsel's office by Nov. 17. He said he will review the memos in private to determine if any information can be released publicly without violating attorney-client privilege or jeopardizing national security.
Kennedy issued his order in response to lawsuits by civil liberties groups in 2005 after news reports disclosed the wiretapping.
A simple question:
After Barack Obama is swept into office next tuesday, at the crest of a wave that embodies the rejection of the last eight years of George W. Bush's maladministration of this country, is there any reason why the first order of business on November 5 should not be impeaching Bush and Cheney for their high crimes against the nation?
I write this diary because there are a number of articles floating around today suggesting that Bush will use the last two months of his presidency to do everything in his power to thoroughly trash the place. Emptywheel has been theorizing for weeks about which war criminals and torture enablers will receive presidential pardons in their Christmas stockings.
Ralph Nader Proclaims Five Counts for Impeachment of George W. Bush to PR.com in Candid Interview
In an interview with PR.com’s Senior Editor, Allison Kugel, Ralph Nader details five charges for alleged credible impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
In an interview conducted by PR.com Senior Editor, Allison Kugel, Ralph Nader details his case for the call to impeach President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. He also accuses Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain of turning their backs on these alleged charges.
Pelosi: Good morning Cindy.
Sheehen: Good morning Ms. Pelosi.
Pelosi: Good morning to you.
Sheehan: It´s nice to talk to you.
Pelosi: My pleasure.
Sheehan: Um. Well first you answer the question about the debate which I think that you-- if you really cared about the voters in San Francisco you could find an hour to debate your opponents, because you do have some opponents here in San Francisco. You haven´t had a town hall meeting...
Krasny interrupts: ´Scuse me, Cindy Sheehan, you had a question you wanted to ask the Speaker?
Sheehan: I do. I do. Over 60% of this district in 2006 voted for an impeachment resolution and I just want to know why you haven´t represented the people of your district and why you haven´t impeached George Bush and Dick Cheney. And you still have time.
Krasny: Alright, thank you for that direct question.
Pelosi: Thank you Cindy. First may I commend Cindy for her race for congress and again express the respect that I have for her for her courage in speaking out in what she believes in, so articulately.
The issue of impeachment is a very controversial one in my own caucus and certainly in the country. The idea that if we disagree with the president we should begin impeachment proceedings is one, that is again, controversial. There are those who believe they have the evidence that the president would be convicted if impeached. Um. I don´t know that we have seen that. I have said that the people who would like to see the president impeached the most are the Republicans. They should love to see the Democrats, as soon as we took power, go down the path of impeaching the president, dividing the country, and neglecting what we wanted to do on minimum wage, and children´s health, and veterans´ benefits and the rest of that, because it would totally consume the congress. It is, again, again, controversial, but if I honestly believed that the president had violated the Constitution of the United States, and if my colleagues believed that, I think you would have seen the president impeached.
Here's a report with more than you could possibly want to know on this topic: PDF.
5th District Green Party Candidate Wages Campaign Of Principle
By Daniela Altimari | The Hartford Courant
"I was taught at a very young age to be independent." Harold H. Burbank II
He was a teenager working at a golf course in his hometown of Kennebunkport, Maine, when a well-heeled patron came in with a question: Who among all of these caddies could run a lawn mower without running over their feet?
Harold H. Burbank II could, and thus began his long and complicated relationship with the Bush family.
Burbank worked as a groundskeeper at Walker's Point, the Bush family's compound on the Maine coast, all through high school. He forged a connection with George H.W. Bush that continues in the form of sporadic correspondence about world affairs.
While the United States can't bring itself to impeach a war criminal who openly flaunts numerous laws, Iran is going to impeach a guy who padded his resume.
Although most are preoccupied with the general election right now, impeachment is STILL on the table in OUR hearts and minds, and just after November 4th we are on it again full bore.
At the same time, YOU, our participants, have been very good sports about the admittedly many alerts for worthy progressive candidates we have asked you to help. And to thank you, that is why we want to send you a free copy of the impeachment play DVD. All you have to do is go to the page below and submit the form. The entry of a donation amount is NOT required for the form submission to go through. You can even watch the entire play from end to end on line at this same page.
Impeachment Play DVD and Video:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Massachusetts law school Dean Lawrence Velvel will chair a Steering Committee to pursue the prosecution for war crimes of President Bush and culpable high-ranking aides after they leave office Jan. 20th.
The Steering Committee was organized following a conference of leading legal authorities and scholars from the U.S. and abroad convened by Velvel on Sept. 13-14 in Andover, Mass., titled “The Justice Robert Jackson Conference On Planning For The Prosecution of High Level American War Criminals.”
“If Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and others are not prosecuted,” Velvel said, “the future could be threatened by additional examples of Executive lawlessness by leaders who need fear no personal consequences for their actions, including more illegal wars such as Iraq.”
The Bush Doctrine in Ruins
By Tom Engelhardt
[Note for TomDispatch Readers: To listen to a podcast in which Tom Engelhardt discusses this article, click here. In addition, dial-up users will now find a better option for listening available to them.]
F is for Failure
The Bush Doctrine in Ruins
By Tom Engelhardt
The Impeachment That Never Was...
Story & painted pumpkin illustration by Kathy Luttkus
I ‘impeached’ George Bush in my backyard, fueled by the belief that only elbows – and not impeachments – should be kept off the table. The process wasn’t hard. I purchased a can of peach halves (in heavy syrup), picked out a pumpkin at the farmer’s market, painted on a dumb facial expression, bought a gray wool suit from a thrift store, found a red, white and blue polyester tie on the dance floor of a Libertyville chili cook-off, and scored some Mickey Mouse cufflinks on eBay.
I accomplished in two hours tops what our representatives couldn’t do in five years. All 34 vertebrae of a good and sturdy spine aided the creation of the impeached pumpkin. But in the end, it was a little testicular fortitude that accomplished the task, even though I am a woman.
A scary precedent is being set by not impeaching a guy like George Bush. A majority of Americans agreed that Congress should impeach Bush if Americans were wiretapped without the approval of a judge. The 2006 Democratic takeover of the House and Senate meant – according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – that people were calling for a "new direction." But the Democrats didn’t keep their pledge for a change of course in Iraq, just as George Bush didn’t make good on his promise that the economy would grow. By 2007, the Democrats preferred the beatitude about inheriting the earth to being called peacemakers, whose only reward is to be deemed children of God. For them, regaining power mattered above all else.
By David Swanson
Donald Trump told Wolf Blitzer on CNN on Wednesday that Bush should have been impeached for lying us into a war, and that he was surprised Nancy Pelosi hadn't done it. This was the first time CNN had invited a guest on to say that, even though it's been a majority position in America for years. And they didn't invite Trump on to say it; Trump caught Blitzer by surprise and challenged the host on his dishonest defense of Bush.
Having Failed to Fund an Impeachment Movement or Say a Damn Thing Before Now, Donald Trump Favors Impeachment
Trump: Bush impeachment would be 'wonderful thing'
(AFP) - Property mogul and diehard Republican Donald Trump told CNN on Wednesday that President George W. Bush misled the US into the Iraq War and should have been impeached when the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006.
"I was surprised that she didn't do more in terms of Bush and going after Bush," Trump said in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, referring to Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"It ... just seemed like she was going to really look to impeach Bush and get him out of office, which personally I think would have been a wonderful thing."
Trump, 62, said Bush misled the United States into waging war on Iraq, a much worse offense than a dalliance with a White House intern his predecessor Bill Clinton was impeached for in 1999.
Big Bankers Blink; Paulson's Unprecedented Power; Shock and Awe Hints at the Good and Evil We May Soon Face
By Rob Kall, OpEdNews
Today's Wall Street Journal reports how Henry Paulson summoned the heads of the top banks in America to meet with him on Monday.
On one side of the table sat Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, flanked by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair.
On the other side sat the nation's top bank executives, who had flown in from around the country, lined up in alphabetical order by bank, with Bank of America Corp. at one end of the table and Wells Fargo & Co. at another.
It was Monday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Treasury headquarters. Messrs. Paulson and Bernanke had called one of the most important gatherings of bankers in American history...
With only several weeks to go, the one & only thing that will get the attention of the Democrats is to threaten to deny them your vote unless they Impeach. There is no chance of this congress (or the next) supporting or defending the Constitution unless we demand it.
If you have any illusions that they will Impeach anyone in this administration, or if you think they will have hearings with Rove or anyone else, or get us out of Iraq (as they promised during the last election), or anything else that you think your going to accomplish by continuing to do the same things that we have been doing for the last 5 years; You're as crazy as I used to be.
If you have a Representative that has not signed up for Impeachment:
Simply email your Representative & let them know that unless Congress starts Impeaching, then you will not give them any of your time or money and you're not going to vote for them.
Most importantly cc: your Senators, your local & State Democratic Party Headquarters, the DNC, the DLC & even the Obama Campaign so that everyone in the Party knows of your outrage. This step is crucial. as the Blank Vote Initiative cannot remain a secret in order to be effective. The Party, as a whole, needs to realize how disgusted you are. Otherwise, your Rep is just going to ignore you (again). This is very simple & effective. Channel your passion to this Action & we might still have a chance. If you're waiting for Conyers to do something, it isn't going to happen unless We the People demand it!
ALL THEY NEED TO DO TO EARN YOUR VOTE IS TO DO THEIR JOB!
By Congressman Dennis Kucinich
With Additional Material by David Swanson and Elizabeth de la Vega
trade paperback edition • 156 pages • 5.5 x 8.5 • ISBN: 978-1-932595-42-0 • $12, PURCHASE A COPY
Feral House offers this important and urgent publication of Dennis Kucinich’s Articles of Impeachment this election season in two formats: an offset-printed paperback book available for the cost of $12 and a free downloadable PDF available below. David Swanson’s additional article explains how the Impeachment process is possible and necessary even after the guilty perp leaves office, and how they can be used for prosecution of crimes. Those wishing to purchase over ten copies of the printed book can obtain them at discount from Feral House directly. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for costs.
If the Bush administration is hawkish enough to attack Iran or support an Israeli attack before it leaves office, the drop in world oil prices to the $80 to $90 a barrel range may give it enough of a cushion against the consequence of skyrocketing oil prices.
The administration may gamble that a quick, tightly targeted strike against Iran's nuclear facilities would bring only a brief, modest spike in oil prices, with the price settling back down in a week's time given the apparent downward trend in world oil demand.