Impeachment Stupid Bush: for High Crimes and Misdemeanors
By Sinclere Lee
WASHINGTON (BNW) -- The American people would have impeached Bush last year if the Congress were not in Republican control. Impeached Stupid Bush for what? You might ask. You name it they have done it! From the NSA warrantless spying on the American people to starting a war by lying to the American people and the world. I can write a book on the impeachable acts of Bush and Cheney.
Calls for the impeachment of George W. Bush and cohort Dick Cheney grow louder and stronger with each passing week, and you cant impeach one without impeaching the other. This past week, members of the mainstream media and others joined the swelling chorus of voices pushing for Congressional impeachment hearings.
The March 2006 issue of Harpers magazine features an essay entitled The Case of Impeachment, in which author Lewis Lapham concludes, "Before reading the report, I wouldn't have expected to find myself thinking that such a course of action was either likely or possible; after reading the report, I don't know why we would run the risk of not impeaching the man.
We have before us in the White House a thief who steals the country's good name and reputation for his private interest and personal use; a liar who seeks to instill in the American people a state of fear; a televangelist who engages the United States in a never-ending crusade against all the world's evil, a wastrel who squanders a vast sum of the nation's wealth on what turns out to be a recruiting drive certain to multiply the host of our enemies. In a word, a criminalknown to be armed and shown to be dangerous. "
And in The Nation, Elizabeth Holzman, who served four terms in the US House of Representatives, writes, "Like many others, I have been deeply troubled by Bush's breathtaking scorn for our international treaty obligations under the United Nations Charter and the Geneva Conventions. I have also been disturbed by the torture scandals and the violations of US criminal laws at the highest levels of our government ....
As a matter of constitutional law, these and other misdeeds constitute grounds for the impeachment of President Bush. A President, any President, who maintains that he is above the law--and repeatedly violates the law--thereby commits high crimes and misdemeanors, the constitutional standard for impeachment and removal from office."
And one of my favorite best-selling authors, the genial and brilliant Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion, wrote in Salon last week, "According to the leaders of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, our country is practically as vulnerable today as it was on 9/10. Our seaports are wide open, our airspace is not secure except for the nation's capital, and little has been done about securing the nuclear bomb materials lying around in the world. They give the administration D's and F's in most categories of defending against terrorist attack.
Feingold to call for rare presidential censure
A top Democratic senator said Sunday he plans to introduce Monday a resolution calling for President Bush to be censured for his domestic wiretapping program.
Sen. Russ Feingold, a potential presidential candidate, told ABC's "This Week" Sunday that the resolution would not preempt discussions about changing a 1978 law governing a special court set up to approve wiretaps.
"It's an unusual step," he said. "It's a big step, but what the president did by consciously and intentionally violating the Constitution and laws of this country with this illegal wiretapping has to be answered.
"There can be debate about whether the law should be changed. There can be debate about how best to fight terrorism. We all believe that there should be wiretapping in appropriate cases -- but the idea that the president can just make up a law, in violation of his oath of office, has to be answered."
Feingold, a member of the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees, said he is doubtful any Republican senators will join him in trying to reprimand the president.
Only one president, Andrew Jackson, has ever been censured.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, also speaking on ABC, said Feingold "is just wrong."
"He is flat wrong, he is dead wrong," said the Tennessee Republican -- also a potential presidential candidate in 2008 -- adding that "attacking our commander in chief ... doesn't make sense."
"We are right now at an unprecedented war where they really want to take us down," he said. "A censure resolution ... is wrong. It sends a signal around the world.
"The American people are solidly behind this president in conducting the war on terror."
Sen. John Warner, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, noted Feingold's presidential aspirations, and criticized his move as "political grandstanding."
The Republican from Virginia noted that, since 1978, when the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act was passed restricting covert surveillance, technology has changed dramatically.
"Presidents must act instantaneously in the security interests of this country," he said.
Bush authorized the National Security Agency shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to eavesdrop on Americans suspected of communicating with al Qaeda members overseas -- without obtaining a warrant from the FISA court.
The administration has said the program is lawful, and although initially a number of Republicans were critical, most have moved on to "fixing the law," in Feingold's words, to erase any question of its legality.
On Tuesday, four Senate Republicans proposed a bill to provide what one called "very rigorous oversight" of the program while also giving it the force of law.
Sens. Mike DeWine of Ohio, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, all members of the Intelligence Committee, introduced the bill late Tuesday afternoon in an effort to address criticism of the program and reach a compromise.
Feingold said revising the law isn't enough.
"What I'm interested in is my colleagues acknowledging that we as a Congress have to stand up to a president who acts as if the Bill of Rights and the Constitution were repealed on September 11," he said. "We didn't enact martial law on September 11. We still have a constitutional form of government, and if the Congress of the United States does not stand up for that authority at this point, it will be an historic failure of our system of government."
Sen. Carl Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he believes Bush's program is wrong but said he would rather wait for the investigation by the Intelligence Committee to be completed.
But Levin, of Michigan, backed Feingold's right to harsh words for Bush.
"I think criticism of the president is legitimate," he said. "I think we ought to welcome some checks and balances on the president."
The Senate has censured a president only once -- in 1834, when an anti-administration coalition demanded that President Andrew Jackson produce a document having to do with his veto of a bill to recharter the Bank of the United States.
The body voted 26-20 to censure Jackson when he refused to provide the document to the Senate. The censure was "expunged" from the record in 1837 by a Senate again in the hands of Jacksonian Democrats.
Our adventure in Iraq, at a cost of trillions, has brought that country to the verge of civil war while earning us more enemies than ever before. And tax money earmarked for security is being dumped into pork barrel projects anywhere somebody wants their own SWAT team. Detonation of a nuclear bomb within our borders -- pick any big city -- is a real possibility, as much so now as five years ago.....
The U.S. Constitution provides a simple ultimate way to hold him to account for war crimes and the failure to attend to the country's defense. Impeach him and let the Senate hear the evidence.
Cities from California and Vermont have passed legislation urging impeachment hearings for Bush and usually Cheney, and liberal-leaning groups from Minnesota, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, California, Oregon, Nevada and beyond have called for impeachment proceedings.
Impeachment momentum has been building since June 2005 when Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and 12 other members of Congress hand-delivered to the White House a petition signed by 560,000 Americans demanding that President Bush address smoking-gun (via the Downing Street Memos) evidence that the Bush Administration lied to Congress and the American people in order to start the Iraq War.
As far back as November 2005, a Zogby poll showed that 51% of Americans favored impeachment for President Bush if he "did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq."
In December 2005, Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), a pastor and 40-year civil rights leader, became the first member of Congress to call for impeachment proceedings against President Bush "if he broke the law in authorizing spying on Americans."
And also in late 2005, liberal activist Bob Fertik founded ImpeachPac to "support Democratic candidates for Congress who support the immediate and simultaneous impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney for their Iraq War lies." The PAC has already attracted tens of thousands in online contributions and serves as the informal "go to" website for impeachment news and info.
Many believe, however, that Bush impeachment garnered great momentum on January 16, 2006, when Al Gore delivered his brilliant Martin Luther King, Jr, Day speech, in which he firmly proclaimed, "...the President of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and persistently. A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government. "
In late January 2006, Insight magazine, owned by the Bush-friendly conservative-insider newspaper The Washington Times, reported that "The Bush administration is bracing for impeachment hearings in Congress."
In late February 2006, CBS News reported that "President Bush's approval rating has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent, while pessimism about the Iraq war has risen to a new high. Americans are also overwhelmingly opposed to the Bush-backed deal giving a Dubai-owned company operational control over six major U.S. ports. Seven in 10 Americans, including 58 percent of Republicans, say they're opposed to the agreement. "
And on March 7, 2006, Matthew Rothschild, editor of the respected The Progressive, eloquently wrote, "At the Constitutional Convention, the drafters had originally restricted impeachment to 'treason' and 'bribery.'....After some wrangling over wording, the founders agreed to James Madisons phrase 'high crimes and misdemeanors.'
And that is exactly what George W. Bush has been committing: Hes been subverting our Constitution, and he has repeatedly violated his oath of office to 'faithfully execute' his duties and to 'preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.'
He has done so in four key areas: in the Iraq War, in detentions here at home and abroad, in the torture scandal, and in the NSA warrantless spying program."
Now, in mid-March of 2006, the Impeach Bush & Cheney movement grows louder and stronger each week.
Chances are slim that in this Republican-dominated 109th Congress, impeachment hearings will commence. But given current overwhelming public opinion against all major Bush administration initiatives, the November 2006 Congressional elections could significantly change the balance of partisan power in Washington DC.
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