A United Coalition of Bloggers for the Impeachment of George W. Bush
"Suppose...": Arguments for an Impeachment Resolution
Friday, September 30, 2005
[Originally published by The Crisis Papers. The IBC would like to thank the author, Bernard Weiner, for permission to post the article here.]
Suppose it could be proven that the integrity of the vote-counting in the 2004 election had been seriously compromised, and that Bush-Cheney probably lost. What would you do about it?
Suppose it could be proven that the Bush Administration told huge lies to get the U.S. military into Iraq, thus leading to the deaths of thousands of American soldiers, the maiming of tens of thousands of others, the deaths of more than 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians? What would you do about it?
Suppose it could be proven that the Bush Administration effectively has turned over the writing of pollution-control legislation to the corporations that create much of the pollution? What would you do about it?
Suppose it could be proven that the Bush inner circle knew that a huge terrorist attack was about to go down in the Fall of 2001 and chose, for whatever reason, to ignore the warnings. What would you do about it?
Suppose it could be proven that high officials of the Bush Administration, for political reasons, deliberately revealed the identity of a covert CIA officer, and that of a CIA mole inside Osama bin Laden's inner circle? What would you do about it?
Suppose it could be proven that the Bush Administration concocted a legal philosophy that would permit the President to ignore laws passed by Congress, and has "disappeared" a number of American citizens into military-base prisons away from public or legal scrutiny -- in effect, making the President into a kind of dictator? What would you do about it?
Suppose it could be proven that under rules devised by the Bush Administration, confidentiality between lawyer and client no longer exists, federal agents can enter your home and conduct a search without you being present or even being told it happened ("sneak&peak," it's called), can hack into your computer and read your private emails without you being informed, can check what library books you're reading and prevent librarians from telling you they've done that. What would you do about it?
Suppose it could be proven that the Bush Administration devised legal rationales for torture of suspected terrorist-prisoners in U.S. care -- with more than 100 dying while being interrogated -- and that key detainees are being sent to U.S.-friendly countries where extreme torture methods are used? What would you do about it?
Suppose it could be proven that because of their incompetence and delay in responding to the Gulf Coast Katrina catastrophe, more than a thousand innocent American citizens drowned or starved to death? What would you do about it?
Suppose it could be proven that the Bush Administration, hostile to science, has denied the reality of global warming and its effects on regional weather changes, such as the increase in monster hurricanes like Katrina and Rita, and thus devoted little or no attention to the deadly implications. What would you do about it?
"WHAT DO I CARE WHAT YOU THINK?"
Well, you get the idea. You or I could continue this list forever -- civil liberties decimated, church&state merging, humongous deficits, activist judges granting more and more power to the central government, certain citizens (especially women and gays) being discriminated against, etc. etc. And then we'd always come back to the same closing question: "What would you do about it?"
The reason I ask is that the Bush Administration has been caught in the spotlight on these issues for the past four-and-a-half years, with documented evidence reported in the mainstream media. Scandal after scandal, corruption after corruption, high crimes and misdemeanors -- and yet, nothing happens.
As Bush himself once said about his critics, almost in these words: "So what, I'm the President. What are you going to do about it? What do I care what you think?" As long as Bush is in the White House, with all the power at his command, with all his loyalist toadies keeping real-world consequences away from him, he feels that he and his inner circle in the bunker with him are untouchable.
And, to date, he has been. So what are you, what are we, going to do about it?
ALMOST AT CRITICAL MASS
I suggest that anti-Bush critical mass is just about achieved in the body politic, especially after the disgraceful, shameful neglect and bungling associated with the Katrina scandal, which led to the deaths of so many American citizens. Nearly two-thirds of those polled these days agree that the Iraq War is a mistake, and the troops should be brought back home soon. Bush's approval rating is now in the high-30% range. If and when in the next few months indictments are unsealed against key Bush Administration officials -- perhaps including not only Karl Rove and Scooter Libby but John Bolton and, maybe as unindicted co-conspirators, Bush and Cheney -- true critical mass could be achieved.
At that point, we don't want to be just sitting there watching the unfolding of the Bush Administration's self-destruction, or witnessing their last, dangerous, martial-law death throes. We need to have protected ourselves, and helped prepare the way for the moral/legal/political turnaround that is coming.
One way to lay the necessary foundations is to get the citizenry talking seriously about the possibility of impeachment. Now. And, in addition to raising the issue amid the chattering class, perhaps the best way of getting the word out more widely is for an impeachment resolution to be introduced in the House. Now.
As I see it, such a resolution will have no chance of success if it is introduced only by a single, and easily dismissable, Member of Congress. No, this impeachment resolution -- calling for hearings into the alleged high crimes and misdemeanors of Bush and Cheney -- ideally should be introduced by a huge number of Representatives, including whatever courageous Republicans can be convinced to join.
There also is strength in numbers, perhaps giving members courage to take the giant step in the company of many of their peers. Who will start the process by talking along these lines to their fellow Members of Congress? My guess is that if someone with the stature of John Conyers and Jim Leach began talking up the idea of an impeachment resolution, others might well consider signing on. Even better would be if anti-war Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were to bite the bullet and join in. I'd say a minimum of 40 names would be necessary to break through into the major media as a "serious" movement afoot.
WHY MANY REPUBS MIGHT JOIN IN
Why would Republicans want to abandon the Bush cabal that helped turn them into the majority party in Congress? Well, for one thing, they want to get re-elected and Bush could well be an embarrassing and politically radioactive albatross around their necks in 2006. If Bush and Cheney were to go, they could run campaigns devoid of their association with that pair, and might well return to their seats of power in the Congress.
Likewise, CEOs and other business types, including Stock Market brokers and economic powers that be, see the damage being inflicted on the budget, on deficit financing, on the economy, and so on, and might well believe that three more years of this bumbling, ideologically-driven administration could well take the country down with it. Better to cut their losses now by abandoning Bush&Co. to the retribution of the public for four-plus years of reckless rule, and then stabilize things and get the country back on track.
So many retired military leaders and traditional Republicans, conservatives all (in the pre-Bush meaning of that term), already have cut themselves loose from a party kidnapped by far-right extremists. It's not outside the realm of possibility that these GOP forces might coalesce into a movement that sees the forced eviction of Bush&Co. from the White House as in the best interests of themselves, their party, the economy, and the American people in general.
Now, introducing such a resolution calling for impeachment hearings could well fail when it comes up for a vote. But Bush& Co. may have gone so far over the acceptable edge, it's not outside the realm of possibility that such a bill could pass. (Members of Congress were talking about the impeachment of President Nixon in the early-'70s and, though no such resolutions passed, they helped set the stage for Nixon's resignation later as the Watergate scandal unfolded.)
In any event, discussing the reasons for impeachment outside the fringes of internet discourse -- actual governmental officials talking about it -- would significantly alter the respectability of the topic being raised in the public sphere. Suddenly, it would be a serious issue being discussed seriously, both out on the street (where there would have to be unrelenting rallies and civil disobedience) and in the corridors of industry and political power.
NO SEX BUT PLENTY OF DEAD BODIES
The basis for impeachment of Bush-Cheney would not be a personal indiscretion a la Clinton -- extremely bad judgement, but a private sexual act between consenting adults -- but crimes and misdemeanors that have resulted, and continue to result, in the death and destruction of American citizens and their property, both abroad and at home.
As for the wording of such a resolution, my guess is that the experts in such things will opt for a simple, all-inclusive indictment rather than a laundry-list of specific offenses, which will come later. For example, Bush and Cheney took their oaths of office swearing to "preserve, protect and defend" the Constitution and, by implication, the citizens of the United States. They have done neither.
The Constitutional protections designed to shield citizens from an overbearing federal government are in shreds; citizens are being killed in a war based on lies; we Americans are less secure than we were before the invasion of Iraq; and monster storms have become more deadly because of unfeeling incompetence and a denial of scientific realities.
It is long since time to take corrective action. Many progressives and Democrats have been moving in that direction for a long time, but the time may be ripe for significant factions of the Republican Party to join in the movement to pry the grasping fingers of Bush&Co. from the levers of power.
Introducing a resolution calling for impeachment hearings is the first serious step along that road back to political sanity and moral accountability for our country. Let's demand that our Representatives in Congress do it, and if they won't, we will elect those who will. #
First published by The Crisis Papers
and Democratic Underground 9/27/05.
Copyright 2005 by Bernard Weiner. Used under license from copyright holder.
From The Brouhaha: Part 2: Impeach Bush Under the War Crimes Act of 1996
Monday, September 26, 2005
(From RenaRF - Part 2 from The Brouhaha. Check out the posting of it on Daily Kos. It was on the recommended list over the weekend and got some good comments as well.
James Madison felt that impeachment could arise not only from criminal acts but also grave breaches of the public trust. In this post, I'll discuss a few of these breaches, but most importantly, I'll discuss the law under which George Bush may be impeached: The War Crimes Act of 1996.
First, for those of you who aren't familiar with the law, I'll post the text of the War Crimes Act.
War Crimes Act of 1996 (as amended)
18 U.S.C. Â§ 2441. War crimes
(a) Offense.--Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.
(b) Circumstances.--The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the person committing such breach or the victim of such war crime is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or a national of the United States (as defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act).
(c) Definition.--As used in this section the term 'war crime' means any conduct--
(1) defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party;
(2) prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27, or 28 of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed 18 October 1907;
(3) which constitutes a violation of common Article 3 of the international conventions signed at Geneva, 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party and which deals with non- international armed conflict; or
(4) of a person who, in relation to an armed conflict and contrary to the provisions of the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices as amended at Geneva on 3 May 1996 (Protocol II as amended on 3 May 1996), when the United States is a party to such Protocol, willfully kills or causes serious injury to civilians.
As you can see, any violation of the Geneva Conventions is considered a war crime under this law. It can be argued that since the Geneva Conventions uphold the UN charter's assertion that every state has the duty to refrain from the threat or use of force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity, or political independence of any state that the entire war of aggression against Iraq is in violation of the War Crimes Act. After all, the US invasion of Iraq was an unprovoked attack on another sovereign nation. Given Saddam Hussein's history of aggression and violation of UN sanctions, however, this argument isn't enough to prove the crime. What is needed is a specific example of a violation.
We find such an example in the 2004 assault on the city of Fallujah. During this attack, one of the first targets attacked was the local hospital. The reason given for this by the Pentagon was that US forces didn't want doctors at the hospital reporting "inflated" casualty numbers. The Geneva protocols are very clear on the status of hospitals.
From Article 18, Geneva Conventions, 12 August 1949: Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.
Hospitals may only be attacked if attacks are being staged from them. The Pentagon's reasoning of "inflated casualty figures" does not qualify as a reason to attack the facility. The most likely reason for this attack was to make it impossible for wounded insurgents to receive medical care, another violation of the Geneva protocols.
A doctor from the hospital, Dr. Salih al-Isawwi confirms this. "The American troops takeover of the hospital was not right because they thought that they would halt medical assistance to the resistance, but they did not realize that the hospital does not belong to anybody, especially the militants. " During the attack on the hospital, it was pounded by gunfire from helicopters and when US Marines arrived on the scene, they handcuffed doctors and sick patients alike, forcing them to the ground.
Doctors in the Fallujah hospital talk of being kept by armed soldiers from emergency vehicles, which in itself is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Other stories include lights being shot out in hospitals and sick patients being interrogated by US military personnel.
The Geneva protocols also forbid photographing and humiliating prisoners. The pictures from Abu Ghraib and other facilities show violation after violation of this protocol. Indeed, the very interrogation methods promoted by Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez were given the government's seal of approval only after they resorted to absurd legal language identifying prisoners as "enemy combatants" and not true "prisoners of war." This sort of flimsy language does not hold up under the Geneva protocols, and violations of those protocols are violations of the War Crimes Act.
Many people make the case that the Bush Administrations lies to Congress and the American people about Iraq's weapons capabilities and ties to al-Qaeda are grounds enough for impeachment. Going with James Madison's ideas on the subject, I'm inclined to agree. Those breaches of the public trust are certainly worthy of having their own articles of impeachment. What we have in this case, however, is far worse than a breach of public trust. What we have here is a war crime, not defined by the World Court or the United Nations, but a war crime as defined by the law of our land.
If perjury is a high enough crime to warrant impeachment, surely a violation of a law such as the War Crimes Act -- a law which has the maximum penalty of death -- warrants charges. It is time to hold George Bush accountable for his "high crimes and misdemeanors" against the American public and humanity as a whole.
From The Brouhaha: Part 1: Historical Cases of Presidential Impeachment and Opening Arguments
Sunday, September 25, 2005
(From RenaRF: I have been waiting to post this from The Brouhaha. What follows is part I in what is, so far, a two-part series. The second part, which I will post sometime tomorrow, hit the recommended list over at Daily Kos - the subject is getting a LOT of attention.)
In both cases where a US President has been impeached, the circumstances were somewhat less than the "high crimes and misdemeanors" spoken of in the US Constitution. In each case, articles of impeachment were served because of political disagreements. In the case of Andrew Johnson, the 17th President, the nominal charge was the violation of the "Tenure of Office" act, a law that would be ruled unconstitutional later and was passed solely so that Johnson would lose control over who he could appoint to his cabinet. The real reason for Johnson's impeachment was a disagreement over the Reconstruction -- Johnson had angered many of his fellow Democrats by advocating a more conciliatory stance on the rebel states than Congress.
In the case of Bill Clinton, 42nd President, the nominal charges were perjury and obstruction of justice, although the circumstances for those charges aren't nearly as high-minded. Clinton was charged with lying under oath about a sexual affair he had carried on with an intern. Not exactly a matter of national security there, right? The real reason for the impeachment proceedings was a Republican Congress angry at the Democrat Clinton who had defeated George Bush and ended a long run of GOP control of the White House. After previous witch hunts about Clinton's financial dealings and a sexual harassment case both turned up nothing, the GOP was desperate for any way to undermine the President.
In both cases, the President was acquitted, although the impeachment served a purpose: the tarnishing of the legacy of each President and the short-circuiting of that President's control over the powers of government.
Many people along the political spectrum would say that our goal -- the impeachment of George W. Bush -- is also politically motivated and not based on any large breach of the law. Indeed, the contested election of 2000, in which Mr. Bush received fewer votes across the nation but was still elected President, did more to polarize the electorate than anything during either the Clinton terms or the Reagan/Bush terms that preceded them. But are progressives and other leftists merely seeking revenge for the impeachment of Clinton and the stolen election of 2000, or are there actual crimes to be laid at the feet of George Bush, crimes so vile that his being charged with them and subsequently removed from office is necessary?
We submit that unlike in the Johnson case, where a law was specifically created to emasculate and entrap the President, that George W. Bush has willfully violated and misused the public trust. Unlike in the case of Bill Clinton, where the laws broken pertained to a personal and family matter, the crimes of George Bush have killed Americans and weakened the national security of the United States. It is not for political or revenge purposes that we ask that these charges be brought, but merely the duty of every American citizen to see that the laws of the land are upheld even -- and especially -- by its privileged leaders.
The phrase "High crimes and misdemeanors" comes from English law, and has never been used to just describe ordinary criminal offenses -- although those criminal offenses certainly are covered. As Alexander Hamilton put it in Federalist number 65, "those offences which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself." In other words, Hamilton is saying that impeachment might be necessary due to harms perpetrated against society and abuses of the public trust.
Let us discuss now reasons to impeach George W. Bush. This is just an overview, I'll go into more detail in subsequent posts. Meanwhile, check out the Impeach Bush Coalition site for more links on the subject.
George Bush, in spite of evidence that the documents were a forgery, told the American people and the United States Congress that Saddam Hussein was attempting to acquire uranium from Niger. This is at best a case of negligence and at worst a case of outright falsehood.
George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, and others told the American people that Saddam was close to building a nuclear device. Hans Blix proved this wrong, and the subsequent American invasion turned up no evidence of this claim. This was an outright lie. George Bush and his cabinet used Ahmed Chalabi, a man convicted of fraud, to build a case for war against Saddam Hussein. This sort of consorting with a known criminal is beneath the office of the President. Chalabi's response to the London Telegraph was this, "That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important. The Bush administration is looking for a scapegoat. We're ready to fall on our swords if he wants." In other words, it didn't matter what lies were said -- the war was the only goal. Bush ignored the United Nations in going to war in Iraq. The US Constitution holds the President accountable for violating treaties signed by the United States. The UN Charter counts as such a treaty.
The Bush Administration told the American people and Congress that Iraq had connections with al-Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks. This is untrue. In fact, there was no al-Qaeda presence in Iraq until after the US invasion.
Even before Katrina, George Bush is guilty of impeachable offenses. The aftermath of the hurricane showed Bush's political appointees to be unqualified to hold the jobs to which they were appointed -- and in several cases, these appointees were no more than recipients of political favors. The Bush Administration is, in the case of Hurricane Katrina, guilty of dereliction of duty at the very least and homicide due to negligence at worst.
In Part 2, I will begin the discussions of the "high crimes and misdemeanors" committed by the Bush cabal in relation to the illegal attack on the sovereign nation of Iraq.
IBC's Rudicus Interviews the Zogby "Chaser"
Friday, September 23, 2005
[As posted previously on the IBC site, Lukery, an Australian blogger (IBC member) at Wot is it Good 4 has been on a campaign to get Zogby International to poll the American public (again) on the issue of impeachment.
In his post, he discusses the entire issue at length. Specifically, he highlights an important side issue of the impeachment debate, namely, the question of why the mainstream media is not touching the impeachment story. But here at the Impeach Bush Coalition, we’re more than happy to oblige.
The Rudicus Report caught up with Lukery to get his thoughts on Zogby, the foreign perception of the U.S., and the power of blogging.
Rudicus: As an Australian, what made you want to take up the charge on the issue of Bush's impeachment?
Lukery: The Bush administration is dangerous to everyone. They are dangerous when they start wars, they are dangerous when they destroy the environment, and they are dangerous because they provide cover for other governments to mimic US policies - for example, stripping civil liberties, ignoring science, or justifying torture.
Rudicus: What do you think the impact of your activities will be? What would you like them to be?
Lukery: It looks as though we've already had an impact with this latest episode. Zogby wasn’t going to ask the question[about impeachment], and it appears that they've caved. Its going to cost us a few thousand dollars to get the impeachment questions asked again - but from the feedback I've received, it seems as though we should be able to raise that in $20 and $50 and $100 increments. If we can get the poll done, the next challenge will be to get the appropriate media coverage of the poll results. With luck, the coverage of the poll results will shift the narrative in the general media away from 'a president with some popularity problems' to 'a failed presidency'
I want the impact of all of our activities to be that America banishes crazy right-wing notions forever and that we see a true progressive movement - and that includes the Democrats. The Bush administration has been such a failure that I hope that I hope we also destroy the so-called 'centrist' notions of the DLC. I want America to be the light on the hill again - life liberty and ‘the pursuit of happiness’ and all that. I used to live in America - but now I wouldn’t travel there for fear of being arrested.
Rudicus: How do you feel Bush and his administration has impacted Australia?
Lukery: The Bush administration had been terrible for Australia (and similarly Britain where I also lived). Our Prime Minister is a Bush wanna-be - he loves the whole war thing and was one of the first to sign up for the “Coalition of the Willing”, and I think Australia has been the only country to keep increasing troop commitments in Bush's wars. Australia has also become a lot more racist, and there is a massive assault on civil liberties (much the same as Britain). We've also become a target - with the bombings in Bali which seem to have been largely directed at Australians, and an attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta, and there was a recent 'Al Qaida' video threatening both Los Angeles and Melbourne. Similarly, we've also seen the rise of the religious crazies - with the associated threats to Women’s rights and the ID movement.
Rudicus: Do you think there is a conspiracy or coordinated effort in mainstream media to downplay or outright ignore potentially serious negatives regarding the Bush Administration? If so, do you think it is limited to U.S. based media?
Lukery: There is no doubt that there is a media 'conspiracy', although the exact mechanisms aren’t entirely clear - its a combination of both explicit and implicit elements. One of the most egregious examples (which didn’t get any attention) was when CNN printed Hans Blix's 'transcript' in his speech to the UN after Powell's disastrous pre-invasion speech. CNN purported to carry Blix's entire testimony, but they removed all of the paragraphs where Blix criticized Powell's 'evidence'.
[The media conspiracy] is not restricted to the US. [Rupert] Murdoch owns something like 50% of the press in Australia, and a similar amount in the UK - I think he also has significant holdings in China, India and Pakistan. Unfortunately, he seems to be really good at what he does. One of the other main problems, that is rarely mentioned - even in the context of media consolidation - is the concentration of the wire services. I would argue that the AP is more dangerous than Murdoch.
Rudicus: What do you think about the power of blogging and bloggers to force attention to be paid to issues that are ignored or swept under the rug by MSM.
Lukery: Blogging can be important - but mostly to the extent that journalists and politicians read blogs. Blogs are only useful to the extent that they can actually influence the other two - Bogs can exert a terrific influence when they don’t let journalists and politicians get away with fudging reality. Blogging is essentially about the collective mind - which means that anyone can make a difference if they get the correct 'hook'. Many of us blog and chat away in 'comments' to no avail. The thing I did with the impeachment story was to go to the source of the problem (Zogby) and keep asking till I got an answer - and then gave it to RawStory (http://www.rawstory.com) to follow up. They had the clout to get Zogby on the record and also to get the Washington Post to move the story at the same time. In the same day, the story was put out by Stephanie Miller on Air America. So blogging can be important - but its important to try to turn our ideas into actions, and secondly, every little bit helps.
The important thing is to keep trying to break through the noise - if there are sufficient numbers of us trying to break through, then some of us will - and the result is the important thing, [and in this case] and might actually result in Zogby asking the impeachment question again.
[This story is also available at The Raw Story. Thank you Rudicus and Lukery!
2004: Another Stolen Election.
From The Daily Kos
:Fri Sep 23rd, 2005 at 07:22:12 PDT
Seeing that Jimmy Carter says that Gore won 2000 and the news about Diebold its time to re-open Ohio's debacle of the 2004 Presidential Election. Mark Crispin Miller published a powerful indictment of the 2004 Ohio presidential election and the press' complicity, in Harpers Magazine's August issue. Fortunately, Harpers recently posted the full text of None Dare Call it Stolen...
Read the rest here
. Just one more reason to Impeach Bush.
Tell Zogby to Poll For Bush's Impeachment Again
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Tell Zogby International to rethink it's position
(again!) and poll the American public regarding impeachment of George W. Bush. Do it HERE!
Impeach Bush!***UPDATE*** If you get an error message, try emailing firstname.lastname@example.org at Zogby instead!
Zogby Tied Up By IBC Member
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
[The Impeach Bush Coalition salutes coalition member Lukery of the blog called Wot is it Good 4. Apparently, Lukery has been hounding Zogby International to do another poll of the American public in order to find out America's latest opinion on the impeachment of George W. Bush. As some of you may recall, on June 30, Zogby International found that forty two percent (42%) of Americans believed, at that time, that impeachment was in order if the President misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq. But since that time, Zogby has not polled the American public on this matter again.
Since posting his article, Lukery's story has been covered by Raw Story and the Washington Post! So here is Wot's post:]
Ok - so I finally got a real answer from Zogby about that impeachment question that I've been hounding them about for weeks:
Here's the background:
In a Zogby Poll, released June 30, 2005, we learned that:
"...more than two-in-five (42%) voters say that, if it is found that President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should hold him accountable through impeachment."
The 'interiors' of the poll say that 59% of dems, 43% of Independents and 25% of repugs "would favor impeaching the President under these circumstances."
On June 30, the day the poll was released, Keith Olbermann interviewed John Zogby on Countdown and they discussed the impeachment question and Keith asked him when he would ask the impeachment question again - Zogby replied:
"We'll test it periodically, probably in a month from now. Again, no-one is really talking about it, but it is a good barometric reading." (Crooks and Liars has the video)
A week later, on July 6, Dan Froomkin in the Washington Post
"But you wouldn't know (that 42% want to impeach) from following the news. Only three mainstream outlets that I can find made even cursory mention of the poll last week when it came out.
Nevertheless, could there be anything that 42% of Americans agree on that the media care about so little?"
On August 3, when a new Zogby poll was released which didn't include the impeachment question, I sent Zogby an email asking, "When [do] you plan to ask that question again?"
On August 10, I got a response - they tried kicking the can down the road, apparently hoping that I'd forget:
"We'll skip the summer and get back to it in September. John Zogby"
On August 28, I emailed Zogby again, trying to tease a commitment out of them:
"When will you be asking this question? Early in september? Or later in the month?"
At the same time, I wrote a post
"My sense is that they are nervous about this question for one reason or other. And it's tempting to think that they are nervous because of some pressure from the egadministration - and if the egadmin is nervous, then lets shine the light on 'em."
Anyway, I hadn't received a response from that Aug 28 email, so I sent the same question to another person at Zogby on Sep 12, and I promptly received this reply (see above):
We have decided to not to ask the impeachment question again unless it is raised in Congress. We aim to remain as impartial as possible with our questions. Thank you.
E tu Zogby? E tu.
It's not apparent whether the 'impartiality' (sic) rule is a new rule - or whether they already broke their own rule when they asked the question in the June 30 poll, and also when John Zogby was on national TV saying that he'd ask the question regularly.
With remarkable restraint, I replied to Chris' email:
"That's an odd trigger point. I don't understand how 'impartiality' correlates with "unless it is raised in Congress"
Could you please explain?"
I'll let you know when/if I hear back from him - although it's been a week now already.
Here's what John Zogby says
about polling in the "About" section of Zogby.com":
"In a democracy, public opinion must be a factor in any policy discussion. I personally have some trouble when polls drive policy or decisions by our leaders, but the opinion of voters must be somewhere in the mix. Ultimately, we elect our representatives to make decisions on principle and conscience, but we also expect that they not be contemptuous of the people who elected them.
Polls are a good thing. They help connect us -- just like newspaper letters to the editor and talk radio. They let us know if our opinions are in the mainstream or not. They measure values, the ideas we cherish the most. They can also be abused, like anything else. But one thing I have learned in my decade and a half of doing this professionally: those who complain the loudest about polls follow them more closely than anyone else."
On Aug 31, in a post titled "MSM Refuses to Poll on Impeachment Question," Bob Fertik at Democrats.com (another IBC member
that "The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll was published today, and despite record-low approval ratings for Bush (45%), there was no question on impeachment." He wrote a letter to some pollsters asking:
"Can you explain why the Post did not ask a question about impeachment in its latest poll?Gallup replied thusly
Were you asked not to include such a question, either by senior editors or Republican officials?"
(and the Washington Post concurred):
" But the general procedure Gallup uses to determine what to ask about in our surveys is to measure the issues and concerns that are being discussed in the public domain. We will certainly ask Americans about their views on impeaching George W. Bush if, and when, there is some discussion of that possibility by congressional leaders, and/or if commentators begin discussing it in the news media. That has not happened to date."
(note that there's no mention of Zogby's 'impartiality')
In the June 30 interview on Olbermann's Countdown , Zogby said:
"It's mainly a testimonial to just how polarized this nation is - the fact that, at this point in time, in the middle of a war, after a re-election, that this many people would even think about impeachment - when no-one else is even talking about it... and so it's troublesome for this administration
Again, no-one is really talking about it, but it is a good barometric reading"
Of course, when Zogby says "no-one", he means that the punditocracy isn't talking about it. That is to say, 42% of the American people are seriously thinking about the impeachment of the President despite the apparent media lockdown.
So we can see what happened: Zogby was a naughty pollster and he asked the public what they thought without getting permission from the administration - and he did one interview with the apparently-independent Olbermann. A week later, Dan Froomkin had presumably been reading the blogs, and he wrote that the media had barely mentioned the news - this despite both Olbermann and Zogby calling the results "extraordinary".
Fast forward two months, and the pollster-gatekeepers are arguing that they won't ask Americans the impeachment question, because the pundits won't mention impeachment. The only occasion that the story got any media coverage was when Zogby did the poll in June.
Zogby has now 'decided' not to ask the impeachment question again, which ensures that there won't be any media discussion, which means that the pollsters won't ask Americans whether they'd prefer to get rid of their President, which in turn results in the media silence.
It's a lovely little closed loop they've created. It's impenetrable, and it's dangerous.
of the lockdown is obviously to suppress the consideration of impeachment - if 42% of the population are already of the opinion that the president (and presumably others) should be impeached, then we can safely assume that a much higher percentage of the population would be calling for impeachment if we had a free press.
It is clear that the administration is, or should be, concerned about the possibility of impeachment. It is also clear that Zogby's concern about the 'impartiality' of questions is absurd on its face. As John Zogby himself says
: "those who complain the loudest about polls follow them more closely than anyone else" - which necessarily raises the distinct possibility that the administration was sufficiently concerned about the mere mention of impeachment that they asked, bribed, or otherwise threatened Zogby into not repeating the poll about impeachment.
(update: Dan Rather just gave a speech at the Fordham University School of Law in Manhattan where he said that there is an "atmosphere of fear in newsrooms" which comes from politicians "applying pressure" (link
Of course, it's conceivable that Zogby's decision not to poll the impeachment question is an act of self-censorship. That scenario seems unlikely however, given that Zogby appears to have changed his 'policy' in the week or two after his appearance on Keith Olbermann's Countdown.
We should make some noise about this. The maladministration is concerned about impeachment, and the polling firms are in the pocket of the Rovian machine. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.
Add the "Impeach Bush" ribbon to your blog!
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Paste the code immediately following the "head" in your template.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
The following is a guest editorial I wrote for the Moab, Utah Times-Independent newspaper. It was published there on September 8, 2005. It appeared on my blog, The Stinkin' Desert Post, found at http://mtperson.typepad.com/the_stinkin_desert_post/
We all watched in horror as the natural disaster that was Katrina hit the Gulf Coast last weekend. The catastrophic storm, though, was dwarfed by the magnitude of the organizational disaster of the Bush Administration's response. While there are many aspects and dimensions to this colossal failure of our selected leader, there are three that I want to focus on.1. George Bush and his officials are derelict in their duty
On Friday, August 26 the National Weather Service (NWS) held a briefing stating the Katrina would be a category 4 hurricane at landfall and that landfall would be somewhere on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. George Bush is on vacation in Crawford.
On Sunday morning, the NWS advised that New Orleans and surrounding areas were going to be hit by a monster storm. George Bush is on vacation in Crawford. Dick Cheney is on such double secret vacation that he is invisible. Condi Rice is about to start her vacation.
By Monday it is clear that the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Alabama has been devastated. While the storm is moving inland and losing strength, the levees in New Orleans have been breached. George Bush is on vacation in Crawford until he leaves for Arizona to eat cake with John McCain.
On Tuesday the full horror of the tragedy is clear as 80% of the city is underwater, communications and power is out, water and sewerage is non-existent, and human civility is beginning to fray as the primal drives of thirst, hunger, and fear bubble to the surface. George Bush flies to California to strum a guitar and compare himself to Franklin Roosevelt.
Not until Wednesday does Bush get back to Washington. Cheney is still invisible. Condi Rice continues on vacation by attending a play, playing tennis, and buying a pair of shoes that would keep an ordinary family in groceries for months.Hypothesize this: a major chemical supplier has an industrial accident. The accident releases a toxic cloud that requires the evacuation of a major city. The CEO of that company, along with the rest of senior management, remains on vacation for four days while the evacuation collapses in chaos. Would shareholders be justified in firing the executives? Would people be justified in vilifying the company and its managers?
George Bush and his officials are derelict in their duty and merit removal from office.2. George Bush and his officials lied to the American people
On Thursday, September 1 on Good Morning America George W. Bush said, "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." This is a flat, baldfaced lie.
In early 2001 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identified the three most likely mega disasters that would strain the country's ability to respond: a terrorist attack in New York City, an earthquake in Southern California, and a hurricane hitting New Orleans. The levees in New Orleans have been breached before. The Mississippi River flood of 1927 did so.
Every disaster planning exercise involving New Orleans has assumed that part of the tragedy would be breached levees, a flooded city, and human beings trapped with no food, water, or sanitary facilities. A few minutes of searching the Internet will turn up literally dozens of studies showing that a hurricane of category 3 or more hitting the lower Mississippi would breach the flood protection levees. Breached levees were no surprise and to say that they were is a lie.
Bill Clinton was caught with his pants down and lying in Washington. As far as I know, no one died. Then the Republicans were Johnny-on-the-spot with impeachment. The entire George W. Bush administration has been caught with their pants down and lying in New Orleans and thousands have died. I await the Republicans' response in this case.
George Bush and his officials lied to the American people and they merit removal from office.3. Bush and his officials have appointed critical emergency management personnel whose only qualifications are crony connections
The current head of FEMA, Michael Brown, has a resume that would be laughable if the consequences were not so tragic. He was for years an estate lawyer. He then became Judges and Stewards Commissioner for the International Arabian Horses Association. He apparently learned something there, because I have not heard of a single Arabian horse killed by Katrina.
His major qualification to lead the world's only superpower's principal disaster recovery agency is that he was the college roommate of Joe Albaugh, President Bush's 2000 campaign manager. Albaugh took over FEMA in 2001, and hired Brown as general counsel. When Albaugh left FEMA in 2003, Brown took over. In the interest of fairness, I should point out that Brown does have disaster planning experience. In the 1980s he had disaster planning responsibilities for the town of Edmund, Oklahoma, population about 60,000.
And Albaugh? He is now a lobbyist for KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton. KBR was awarded multi-billion dollar no-bid contracts to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure. They have done such a wonderful job there that on September 1 the Navy announced KBR would be repairing Naval facilities along the Gulf Coast.
Bush and his officials have appointed critical emergency management personnel whose only qualifications are crony connections and they merit removal from office.
Twenty-five years of the endless conservative Republican mantra that "government is the problem" and that we need to "starve the beast" has resulted in a government that is demoralized, inefficient, ineffective, populated by political hacks, and incapable of doing those things that governments are supposed to do. If we continue to let faith-driven conservative ideologues pursue their greedy agenda, the rich fat cats will become truly obese, the rest of us will be left underwater, and this once great nation will slide into the toilet of history.
From Democrats.com: Tell Your Representative to Impeach George W. Bush
Monday, September 19, 2005
Tell your Representative to Impeach George W. Bush.
On September 14, Republicans had their last chance to save George Bush from impeachment.
And, as Steve Cobble describes, they blithely threw it away.
Since the Downing Street Minutes were published on May, progressives have demanded to know whether the central allegation of those Minutes was true: that the pre-war intelligence and facts were being fixed around Bush's policy of invading Iraq, whether or not Iraq had any WMD's or any connection to 9/11.
We have generated hundreds of thousands of emails, letters and calls to Congress. On July 23, we held Downing Street Memo events all around the country with leading Members of Congress, and had to turn people away. On September 14, we united all 20 Democrats on the House International Relations Committee - including many who voted for the war - to vote for Barbara Lee's Resolution of Inquiry (H.Res 375) for the White House to turn over all documents that would confirm or refute the truth of the Downing Street Memos. We even persuaded one conscientious Republican - Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa - to join them.
But when the vote was counted, those 21 defenders of the truth were defeated by 22 Republican defenders of lies.
In a powerful twist of fate, the leading defender of George Bush's lies about Iraq was none other than Henry Hyde - the former chair of the House Judiciary Committee who led the Impeachment of President Clinton in 1998, not because Clinton had consensual sex with Monica Lewinsky - but because he lied about it.
Which brings us right to the point: under the Constitution of the United States, is it worse to lie about sex or to lie about war?
Every American can lie about sex, and most do - including lots of Congressmen. (Henry Hyde, who was the leading opponent of legal abortion in Congress, had a 4-year extramaterial affair with Cherie Snodgrass, which destroyed her marriage. Newt Gingrich was having a torrid extramarital affair with a young staffer named Callista Bistek even as he was leading the charge to impeach Bill Clinton.) Lying about sex is not a "high" crime under the Constitution - it's about as "low" a crime as a President or a Congressman can commit.
But only one American has the power to start a war based on lies - the President.
George Bush's lies about Iraq didn't stain a blue dress - they stained the red, white and blue flag of the United States of America.
Conservatives consider the flag so sacred that they want to send people to jail for burning a single one. Bush didn't stain one American flag - he stained every American flag in the United States - and around the world.
Thanks to George Bush's lies, the flag which originally stood for liberty against imperialism, and later stood for liberty against fascism, now stands for imperialism and fascism in the eyes of billions.
And thanks to George Bush's lies, the flag now drapes the coffins of nearly 2,000 of America's bravest and most patriotic young men and women, including Cindy Sheehan's beloved son Casey.
Due to the coverup engineered by Henry Hyde and his 21 Republican cronies, George Bush will never have to explain his Iraq War lies to Congress and the American people.
But without an honest explanation, Americans can only conclude the worst - that Bush deliberately committed the following crimes:
On March 18, 2003, Bush deliberately lied to Congress
when he claimed in writing that continued U.N. inspections would endanger the national security of the U.S. and undermine enforcement of U.N. Resolutions, and that Iraq planned or aided the attacks of September 11, 2001
By invading Iraq without any threat or just cause, Bush launched a War of Aggression in violation of U.S. obligations under the U.N. Charter
In the conduct of the War, Bush violated the Geneva conventions
by failing to protect civilians (including journalists) and by authorizing torture of prisoners, which also violated the War Crimes Act of 1996
On the basis of these undisputed high crimes, Congress must immediately begin to impeach George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and every other high official who participated in these crimes.Tell your Representative to Impeach George Bush for the Iraq War
Impeach Bush Video
Latest coalition member, Michael Verdi
prepared the following short video. Check it out:VIDEO
Pass This Along....
Go to Google.com. Type in "failure". What is the first website you find?
(Thanks to Kluster Phux
for the tip)
From Club Lefty: Two More Cases for Impeachment
Friday, September 16, 2005
I.B.C. member and contributor Club Lefty
herewith presents two more cases for the impeachment of George W. Bush:Two More Cases For Impeachment
For the purpose of this post, let me first of all agree that the term "war on terror" is an imperfect term. But because it has become the widely accepted nomenclature for the struggle we presently find our nation engaged in, it shall be the terminology of choice herein.
The attacks on 09/11 changed everything. America found itself thrust into a struggle for which it had not been prepared. The nature of the war on terror is such that international cooperation against our enemies is vital to our success. Who can not remember the French papers Le Monde headline
of 09/12 reading "We Are All Americans" and not recall the sense of unity that permeated the international stage? Indeed the perpetrators of this attack were roundly condemned
; by the rank and file of the very religion they purported to wish to advance. Another outpouring of support after the attack was directed towards the leadership of resident George Bush by the American people with polls immediately following the attacks showing nearly unheard of support
; for his leadership.
The immediate response from President Bush to the terrorist attacks was to invade Afghanistan and remove the Taliban government that had given refuge to Osama Bin Laden. In this undertaking America enjoyed widespread international support
. So what has happened to this support immediately following the successful ousting of the Taliban?
The first signs of trouble with the international community came when the White House created a novel class of detainee. Designating those captured and suspected of involvement with terrorism as enemy combatants
allowed the administration to deny these prisoners basic rights recognized by the Geneva Conventions. The international community correctly protested when America constructed a detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and attempted to lay a legal foundation allowing for the torture
of these prisoners. International
and American military
legal opinions decrying these methods were not considered as the administration pushed forward with this policy. As evidence
of prisoner abuse came to light, rather than forsaking this course of action, the administration has further promulgated the mistake. After the invasion of Iraq, (which consequences on international opinion will be discussed shortly) the unlawful combatant designation was transferred to prisoners being held there. This policy is directly responsable
for the scandal of Abu Ghraib. That scandal has become one of the most potent recruiting
tools for Al Qaeda in the war on terror. The latest affirmation of the torture policy is the threatened veto
of the Department of Defense spending bill if an amendment proposed by Senator John McCain were attached. The amendment would mandate that all prisoners be treated according to the standards required by the U.S. Army’s Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation.
By forwarding this hitherto illegal treatment of prisoners, President Bush has brought dishonor on the United States of America. He has also increased the threat to American military personnel should they fall into the hands of our enemies. For allowing this stain on our national honor and the resulting loss of invaluable international standing and goodwill in the war on terror, and for pursuing policies that strengthened our enemies in a time of war, George Bush should be impeached.
The next great strain on international support for American leadership in the war on terror came with the pursuit of war with Iraq. Using outright falsehoods
domestically, as well as internationally
, the administration pushed it's war with Iraq. While claiming this invasion must go forth in a world changed by 09/11, the fact is that the invasion was planned
prior to that horrible day. While the Administration found fertile grounds for their propaganda with the American media
, it could never garner international support for the invasion on a scale approaching the support gained domestically. Despite this failure, the administration, in a classic creation of it's own reality, claimed that going forward with the invasion was somehow enforcing U.N. security council resolutions at the very same time that body was steadfastly refusing
to endorse the invasion. The administration further alienated potential partners in the aftermath of the invasion by excluding
nations from rebuilding contracts if they did not support the invasion. The seeming bellicose attitude from the administration in going forward with the invasion despite not having planned
for an occupied Iraq led to a loss of international prestige on a massive scale. The President singlehandedly caused unprecedented international support to decay into unprecedented international distrust and opprobrium. This foresaken policy has lead to increased recruitment
by our enemies in the war on terror. It furthermore has given them a real life training
ground to further develop the techniques that harm our interests. The recent up tick in American and Afghan government casualties is a result of terrorist tactics perfected in Iraq being exported
to Afghanistan. The notion that we are safer because of the Iraqi war is simply not credible. While harming our interests in the war on terror by invading Iraq, we concurrently snubbed our former allies, thereby doubly injuring our cause.
For harming the interests of the United States by pursuing, through falsehoods, a needless war that detracted from America’s true effort in the war on terror, and alienating needed allies in the war on terror thereby giving aid to the enemy, George Bush should be impeached.
Prepared by Club Lefty
for the Impeach Bush Coalition
How Can I Help?
Thursday, September 15, 2005
A portion of what we are doing here at the I.B.C. is focused toward the cause of promoting discussion relating to the impeachment of George W. Bush. Like most grass roots efforts, we must rely upon one another to get the word out. Our power as a coalition depends not only upon the length of our membership list, but the determination and effort of our members. As such, whether we will be successful in bringing the impeachment topic into the national discussion will depend upon our ability to expand and properly mobilize the coalition. In essence, the more active members we have, the more we will get accomplished.
Currently, there are three (3) main areas where our members can pitch in to further the cause. If you are a coalition member or just someone who wants to help out the cause, this is what you can do to help:I. Spread the word around the blogosphere
A. Using our blogs, we can promote impeachment and the IBC.
B. Commenting at other blogs, we can promote impeachment and the IBC.
This is easy. This is something we can all do. The more people are talking about impeachment, the better. The more blogs we can get signed up with the IBC, the more people we can get talking about impeachment. See how that works? Like any grassroots effort, this has the potential to spread like wildfire if we all do our part to get the word out. So make sure you link to the IBC on your blog, in your emails, and in your comments on other people's blogs (especially the big blogs). And if you havent put a banner
on your blog yet, what are you waiting for? (There are no advertisements on this blog, so we have nothing to gain from more traffic other than promoting the "Impeach Bush" cause. Promoting the IBC and expanding the coalition is a must.)II. Spread the word around the national media
I have nearly 100 email addresses for various influential national media persons. I have also written a sample letter that we can each send to those persons. If you are interested in cutting and pasting the letter I have written into your own email (or writing your own letter) and sending it to everybody on the list (all you have to do is cut and paste the addresses too!), just send me an email at email@example.com
and I will send you the letter and the email list.
This shouldn't take you more than 5 minutes
to complete this task. All the "heavy lifting" has already been done for you. You just need to send the email. I hope I hear from all of you on this.
Of course, you can go above and beyond this. If somebody wants to compile a telephone number list of various media sources, that would be great too. Neither I nor Martian
run the show around here. This is an organic venture. We hope you all feel comfortable creating your own "homework assignments."
Just remember, however, we aren't here simply to bash George W. Bush
. We are here to promote impeachment. Thus, let us always try to stay on point when we are talking about impeachment. After all, impeachment is a legal mechanism, so our discussions must stay in the neighborhood of legality as much as possible. This is very important to remember. If we aren't talking about a potential impeachable offense, then there is no point in discussing it on the IBC. Of course, if you have a theory why something is an impeachable offense, that is another story altogether. III. Prepare and contribute impeachment related articles, memos, and/or columns to the IBC for posting on the IBC blog.
We are always looking for content to put on this site. But like I just said, we aren't here merely to criticize Bush and his buddies (although that will happen naturally), this is the arena for discussing impeachment and all-things related to impeachment. Thus, we will always have a need for essays relating to impeachment. Before you go ahead and write an essay, if you aren't sure whether the topic you want to write about is suitable for the IBC, it may be a good idea to check with Martian or I just to make sure that the topic relates sufficiently to impeachment. Some of you have already submitted some great articles to us, but we refrained from posting them because they weren't on point. (Heck, we can always bash Bush on our own blogs. Unforuntely he always provides us with something to criticize. That's what makes it more difficult around here because for us to stay on point, we need to recognize the impeachable topics from the non-impeachable topics.)
If you want us to give you a topic to write on, just drop Martian or I an email. We have many many topics that can be discussed.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Martian Anthropologist at email@example.com .
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
The Blogosphere has erupted in activity around the mantra “Impeach Bush”, making this phrase one of the top 5 searched items on Technorati (frequently at #1). The Impeach Bush Coalition was born on Thursday, September 8th, 2005, of which I am a proud Coalition supporter from the very first day. So is this just a bunch of crazy liberal moon bats that have fallen off their rockers, or will this effort actually gain traction? Can impeachment occur? In a word, yes it will gain traction (and already is), and impeachment can indeed occur. The Case for ImpeachmentIn Article I, sections 2 and 3, the procedures of Impeachment are laid out in the U.S. Constitution. Article II, section 4 gives the grounds for impeachment as follows:
“The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”Abuse of power and serious misconduct fall under the vast area of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” and these are the primary sections that I feel a case for the impeachment of George W. Bush lies. To quote the Articles of Impeachment against Richard M. Nixon, the following is very fitting of this president:“…has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as president and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States…”-Summary of the 3 Articles of Impeachment against Nixon, July 30, 1974 (underline mine)Draft Articles of ImpeachmentSource: Democratic Underground
Article I You can read the rest here.Of course, articles would need to be added to cover the response to Hurricane Katrina, because the president of the United States was incompetent in his response to the disaster, which he ultimately holds responsibility for, insomuch as he declared the entire region a Federal Disaster Area before the hurricane made landfall, thereby giving FEMA and the DHS responsibility to manage, respond, and coordinate rescue efforts before, during, and after the hurricane struck. As much responsibility that should be taken by local officials for their mistakes, the ultimate responsibility lies at the foot of the president, George W. Bush. Period.It is my further opinion…The Congress of the United States shall be held accountable by the citizens of voting age of the United States during midterm elections in 2006, as well as recall elections deemed necessary by a majority of citizens in any one district. The congress passed the Patriot Act without adequate hearings (many didn’t even read it), authorized the use of force in Iraq (although, to their credit, they were given false information on which to base their decision), and failure to immediately begin hearings and judicial proceedings into the falsification of evidence for the case for war, seriously investigating the administration for leaking the identity of an undercover CIA agent (which by definition of the laws of this nation is labeled clearly as treason), and a failure to call for an independent commission (as of this date) to investigate the federal governments response to the disaster of hurricane Katrina.Furthermore…I hereby call on the President of the United States to immediately request the resignations of the following Administration officials who have failed the trust of the American people by dereliction of duty:Department of Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff
In his conduct while President of the United States, George Walker Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in disregard of his constitutional duties as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the United States and to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, willfully, knowingly and without lawful cause or excuse made false, misleading and deceitful statements to the Congress regarding evidence justifying military action against Iraq.
In doing this, George Walker Bush has brought disrepute upon the Presidency, has undermined the integrity of his office, has betrayed his trust as President and has acted in a manner subversive of constitutional government and the rule of law and justice, to the manifest injury of the people of the people of the United States.
Wherefore, by such conduct, George Walker Bush warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.
FEMA Director Michael Brown
-->DONE!Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
And any other individual who failed their office in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, resulting in the deaths of an untold number of American citizens. This is tantamount to class warfare upon the people of the United States of America, and therefore should be considered a High Crime.This will not go away. Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and whatever other party affiliation (or none) people may have—these people are now coming together to identify and urge the congress to take action against a gathering threat to the security of the United States of America: President George W. Bush and his entire administration.Get the word out.Bush: The End.
From On the Left Tip: Impeachment 101-- Past and Present
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
I.B.C. member and contributor RenaRF from the blog On the Left Tip
prepared this excellent summary (It is also posted over on The Daily Kos
, please go comment there too.):Impeachment 101 -- Past and Present
A few things before we start. I am going to assume that IBC members really do
want to impeach Bush. Let's face it - the vast majority (if not all) of us have wanted him gone since an instance of Judicial activism put him in office in 2000... But just wanting him gone and actually building a credible case for his removal are two different things.
I'm not a lawyer. I have no exceptional knowledge of the Constitution of the law outside of what I can glean from reading other blogs and from doing some research on the internet. My opinions and reasons may lack legal rigor - but they need to be put out there as a jumping-off point for serious vetting. Great journeys begin with a single step and this is mine, offered with the hopes that bright people will mold and change and add and grow
this into something entirely possible.Some Background
Two Presidents in the history of the United States have been impeached. Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States, and William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States.
Johnson, a Southern Democrat who ascended after Lincoln's assassination, was impeached when he violated the Tenure of Office Act (a law passed by Republicans in Congress designed to eliminate Johnson's power to dismiss office holders without the Senate's consent) by attempting to fire Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. Bill Clinton, in the infamous "Monica Lewinsky Affair" was impeached for grand jury perjury and obstruction of justice. Neither President was convicted (source can be found here)
The most infamous near-miss is, of course, Richard M. Nixon, who resigned rather than face impeachment.
Impeachment procedures are spelled out in the US Constitution in Aricle I
, Sections 2
. Impeachment grounds are definited in Article II
, Section 4
. The grounds themselves are deceptively simple:
Section 4 - Disqualification(All Constitutional source material can be found here.)
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Impeachment then, to me, seems to have a vague standard as to grounds. I found one very interesting quote, however, and one from which I believe there are substantiated grounds to impeach the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. It says:
...many experts agree that there are different standards for impeachable and criminal conduct. In the words of Dean John D. Feerick of Fordham University School of Law, in an article published in 1984, "Most authorities agree--and the precedents are in accord--that an impeachable offense is not limited to conduct which is indictable. Conduct that undermines the integrity of a public office or is in disregard of constitutional duties or involves abuse of power is generally regarded as grounds for impeachment. Since impeachment is a drastic sanction, the misconduct must be substantial and serious."(My emphasis added - source can be found here.)
What follows is my interpretation of "impeachable offenses" as perpetrated by George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States, in his conduct during the 2005 disaster of Hurricane Katrina.Fact #1
In December of 2004, the Federal government, via the Department of Homeland Security issued its United States National Response Plan
. Thanks to an excellent diary
at Daily Kos, I am now fully enlightened that the National Response Plan is essentially a contract that the government signs to ensure that "Incidents of National Significance" receive right and proper Federal support. The President's role in this is to:
"...lead the Nation in responding efficiently and ensuring the necessary resources are applied quickly and effectively to all Incidents of National Significance."
Further, under the President's oversight as spelled out above, Federal agencies are expected to provide:
- initial and/or ongoing response, when warranted, under their own authority and funding;
- alert, notification, pre-positioning and timely delivery of resources;
- proactive support for catastrophic or potentially catastrophic incidents using protocols for expedited delivery of resources.
The National Response Plan also lays out the circumstances by which the Federal government can expedite and circumvent certain restrictions and regulations when incidents of national significance are declared.
On Friday, August 26, 2005, Louisiana Governor Blanco formally requested that the President declare a state of emergency as hurricane Katrina approached. On Saturday, August 27, The President complied and issued this Statement of Federal Emergency
. When the President signed this document, he invoked Title V of the Stafford Act which deemed hurricane Katrina an Incident of National Significance and transferred responsibility to the President of the United States.
At best President George W. Bush is guilty of dereliction of duty. Somewhere in the middle of the severity scale he's guilty of criminal negligence. At the severe end of the spectrum he's guilty of involuntary manslaughter through his failure to execute the duties prescribed by the National Response Plan. Each and any of these offenses shows a disregard of Constitutional duty.Fact #2
In July of 2004, FEMA completed its now-infamous "Hurricane Pam" exercise
. Hurricane Pam was a simulation of a Category IV hurricane hitting parts of southeast Louisiana - a Category IV hurricane that was not as strong as hurricane Katrina.
From this CNN article
on September 9th, the simulation predicted:
... the flood would leave swaths of southeast Louisiana uninhabitable for more than a year.
Flood waters would surge over levees, creating "a catastrophic mass casualty/mass evacuation" and leaving drainage pumps crippled for up to six months. "It will take over one year to re-enter areas most heavily impacted," the report estimates."
More than 600,000 houses and 6,000 businesses would be affected, more than two-thirds of them destroyed. Nearly a quarter-million children would be out of school. "All 40 medical facilities in the impacted area [would be] isolated and useless," it says.
Local officials would be quickly overwhelmed with the five-digit death toll, 187,862 people injured and 196,395 falling ill. A half-million people would be homeless.
"Federal support must be provided in a timely manner to save lives, prevent human suffering and mitigate severe damage," the report says.
The President knew. The Hurricane Pam simulation was on the record
in this Administration
. The President's claims of "no one knew the levees would fail" is patently inaccurate and disingenuous. Plenty of people knew - but he didn't.
It seems to me that stupidity and lack of intellectual curiosity should be some kind of crime given the loss of life that it has perpetrated in the case of Katrina. However, I would again say that the President was criminally negligent through this ignorance and that he failed to show proper regard for his Constitutional duty to protect the American people.Fact #3
Today, September 13th, 2005, two owners of a nursing home in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana were charged with 34 counts of negligent homicide for failing to evacuate all the residents of the nursing home they managed. A quick summary of the story reveals that the owners had a good business reputation and simply waited too long to evacuate the patients in their care. As the water started to rise, they evacuated as many as they could and left the others to die.
Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti Jr. said the following:
"We feel we have criminal negligence," Foti said. "They did not follow the standards of care that a reasonable person would follow in a similar circumstance." (Source - CNN.com)
I don't see a very far leap from these business owners and their failure to safeguard the lives of those in their care with the President of the United States, responsible via the National Response Plan and a delcared state of emergency in Louisiana and his failure to not only safeguard the lives of his citizens but also his failure to save untold hundreds in the predicted
flooding that ensued. That's criminal negligence again and the addition of negligent homicide.A few stray facts
Returning to the Presidential Statement of Federal Emergency Assistance on Louisiana
, note the parishes listed in the statement. Now take a look at this US Census map
of the parishes in Louisiana. NONE
of the parishes in the greater New Orleans area are listed in the Presidental statement.
Dr. Bong Wei, Chief of Staff at Chalmette Medical Center in New Orleans, told CNN's Anderson Cooper
that an offer to help the sick and dying at New Orleans' Armstrong Airport was rebuffed by FEMA. The told Dr. Wei that neither he nor his staff could help with the sick people due to liability concerns. A FEMA official suggested that Dr. Wei and his staff could help by mopping floors, which they readily did. People died around them and they weren't allowed to render assistance, assistance they were qualified
to render and which was desperately needed.In Conclusion
I omitted more than I included. There are countless stories that bolster any eventual charges - I welcome their addition to what I have outlined here.
I don't think anyone will ever be able to separate the unnecessary
loss of life from those which would have been claimed by the fury of a natural disaster such as Katrina. But after that storm passed, as the levee's broke and New Orleans rapidly flooded, as no help arrived, as people went hungry and died of dehydration, all of those deaths are the responsibility of George W. Bush.
- Dereliction of Duty
- Involuntary Manslaughter
- Criminal Negligence
- Negligent Homicide
- Disregarding Constitutional Duties
- Undermining the Integrity of the Office of the President of the United States
Impeach George W. Bush.
Coalition Updated: Graphic Banners, Buttons, and Chicklets Now Available
Monday, September 12, 2005
Well, we finally have our Impeach Bush Coalition graphic buttons, banners, and chicklets for your blog!! Please cut the HTML code
from our page HERE at Word of Blog
and paste the code wherever you wish in your blog. We have four (4) different graphics to choose from:
What's the Point, You Ask?
A lot of people -- especially those on the Right -- have asked, in one way or another: What's the point of the IBC?
Consider Bullwinkle's remarks:
How do you intend to impeach Bush if you aren't rounding up congressmen to pass an impeachment bill to the senate? Do any of you have the slightest idea how to do this?
I liked the Bulldog's and Tom Harper's responses, and I have one of my own.
We create discussion. Popular discussion creates political pressure. Political pressure causes politicians to act. Pressured politicians find a way to make things happen. The legal groundwork for impeaching Bush has already been laid. That's not what we are here for.
Tom Harper's answer:
Bush needs to be impeached, regardless of who will succeed him in office. Whatever Bush turns out to be guilty of, Cheney is probably up to his eyeballs in it too. We might be able to just get them all out, one by one.
President Hastert? President DeLay? It doesn't matter. We have to demonstrate that we're a nation of laws; that illegal behavior in the White House won't be tolerated.
My answer?Whatever happens, we win.
If Bush is impeached, we win.
If Bush is not impeached, we still
win. Why? Because with all of this discussion, we will probably win the mid-term elections and the 2008 Presidential election.
Creating discussion is what blogging is all about. IMPEACH BUSH has now been in the top 3 searched phrases on Technorati
for 3 days in a row. That tells you something.
The more discussion, the more mainstream media will pay attention.
The more mainstream media pays attention, the more the American public pays attention.
The more the American public pays attention, the more pressure will be brought to bear on our politicians.
And we either will get
that impeachment, or we'll win the next elections.
In fact, with the President now at a 38% approval rating
, wining the next 2 elections seems likely already. We just have to keep the momentum.Martian
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Impeach Bush Coalition Graphic buttons/banners still coming soon.....
From Rudicus: What Happens if We Win?
I.B.C. member and contributor Rudicus
of the blog The Rudicus Report
prepared this response to all of those who decry impeachment for fear of a President Cheney:What Happens If We Win?
So here we are advocating the impeachment of President George W. Bush. One of the biggest issues raised is the “chain of succession.” In essence, ‘if Bush is removed, doesn’t that mean that Dick Cheney becomes the President?’ Yes it does, but that isn't necessarily the worst thing that can happen.
Cheney is a chicken hawk – no question. He’s also widely considered to be one of the hands behind the throne pulling the puppet’s strings. Without Bush, wouldn’t that put Cheney (and Halliburton) in the driver’s seat to take over the country and accelerate its trip to hell? Not exactly.
If Bush violated the law or brought shame to the office of the president, he must be impeached, regardless of who is waiting in th wings. Heck, was it a bad idea to go after Nixon for impeachment merely because the bumbling Gerald Ford was next in line? No way. It’s the only way to maintain the integrity of the office of President. Bush must be impeached, regardless of the fact that Cheney would become president.
And look at it this way, removing Bush finally removes that buffer between reality and illusion. We’ve all known all along that Cheney has been the real muscle behind this administration, so we finally get to hold the wizard accountable for what happens in Oz. No more hiding behind the Jesus cowboy. We finally get to deal with the man at the top.
So what would life be like under the “Go Fuck Yourself” Administration? Cheney at least has a reputation for being somewhat of a ‘smart guy’ (greedy, sociopathic, and hearltess, but “smart’) , so he won’t be able to hide behind the guise of being a functionally retarded, good ‘ole boy, man of the people. (Ah shucks, folks!) Moreover, Cheney is not very personable or charming, so he won’t be able to snow job anyone with his dumb country mouse wit.
Also it is unlikely that he will be able to raise the kinds of funds that Bush did for the Republicans, and coming off the heels of an impeachment or a resignation (if Bush decides to quit) then his administration would surely be considered the lamest of ducks.
Also, because Cheney has a lesbian daughter whom he is close to, he will not really be able to come out too strongly against gay rights or same-sex marriage without putting himself in hot water politically or personally. There goes Bush’s base.
Lastly, Cheney is not Jesus. (Thank you God!) Either is Bush, for that matter, but there are some crazies who actually believe he could be. There certainly aren’t any crazies out there who mistake Cheney to be a prophet. Of course, this could change once Halliburton figures out a way to renovate churches with government money.
So before anybody gets too worried about a Dick Cheney interim presidency, think it through fully. Removing Bush is one step closer to removing the whole lot. Removing Bush is one step closer to clarifying the illusion. Removing Bush is one step closer to saving the office of the presidency and the country. You need to see it as the best thing that can possibly happen, both for the country and the world. With Cheney, we’ll at least know exactly what we’ll be getting – a smart, abrasive, money-grubbing, little-people crushing traditional Republican just like we’ve all seen before.
Compared to the Shrub, it’s not so bad.