Friday, March 31, 2006I found this at Buzzflash.
""On its face, if President Bush is totally unapologetic and says I continue to maintain that as a war-time President I can do anything I want – I don't need to consult any other branches' – that is an impeachable offense. It's more dangerous than Clinton's lying under oath because it jeopardizes our democratic dispensation and civil liberties for the ages. It would set a precedent that … would lie around like a loaded gun, able to be used indefinitely for any future occupant."
[John] Dean has echoed those concerns, explaining that: "There can be no serious question that warrantless wiretapping, in violation of the law, is impeachable. After all, Nixon was charged in Article II of his bill of impeachment with illegal wiretapping for what he, too, claimed were national security reasons."
"Democratic committees in at least half of the state's 14 counties have passed resolutions calling for impeachment, citing a rule in "Jefferson's Manual," a book of parliamentary guidelines written by Thomas Jefferson that supplements U.S. House rules.
The anti-Bush movement is "genuinely bubbling up from the grass roots," said Jon Copans, the state party's executive director.
The state Democratic committee is scheduled to decide the issue in a special meeting April 8."
"But talk [of impeachment] bubbles up in many parts of the nation, and on the Internet, where several Web sites have led the charge."
"The Impeach Bush movement has made great strides over the last few years, and today impeachment isn't just a looming carnival of the absurd, quacking and clanging about on the horizon - it's a real possibility for 2007."
"Sanders, who is seeking Vermont's open U.S. Senate seat this year, said in an interview he supported the Conyers resolution "not just as an anti-Bush vendetta. ... In order to prevent us marching off to war again in a similar process, it is important for the American people to understand how we got into this war."
At her house one afternoon, talking on the phone, I reached for a pad of paper to jot down some notes and found her handwritten agenda for the day. There was a list of vegetables. Then it said, "Coca-Cola." Then it said, "Impeach Bush." Underlined.
Nearly 92 now, Estelle hasn't really slowed down very much, and she must still be preaching the gospel of impeachment to her friends in her Democratic club and, I can only conclude, her Improv group as well. Because, damn -- this impeachment stuff is really getting around.
It's all over the blogosphere. It's the cover story in the current Harper's. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has passed an impeachment resolution. Antiwar activists, civil libertarians, all the usual-suspect constituencies have growing impeachment tendencies. But it's reaching beyond the usual suspects, as I discovered last month when I appeared on a media panel before the national legislative conference of a major union. Local activists from across the nation spent an hour asking us questions, and one out of every three queries, it seemed to me, boiled down to, "How can we impeach this guy?""
"Bush has taken our country down a frightening path toward a form of government our founders loathed. And he has done so by cloaking his actions as wartime necessities.
The Supreme Court, back in 1866, warned of this current situation, as Lapham notes in a footnote. In Ex Parte Milligan, it said, “The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people; equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences, was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government. Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism.”
Bush acts like a despot.
We can’t let him get away with it.
We can’t let him continue to disgrace the office of the Presidency, violate his oath of office, and trample on our Constitution.
We must demand impeachment."
"In fact, the case for the impeachment of President Bush is arguably the strongest in American history. The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) makes this amply clear in its recent book, a concise indictment of President Bush that lays out four clear legal arguments that point to impeachment as a necessary remedy for the gross violation of our Constitution. The Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush covers illegal wiretapping, torture, rendition, detention and the Iraq war. An appendix compares the impeachment proceedings of Andrew Johnson, Nixon and Clinton to the comparatively more powerful case against Bush."More HERE
"Tonight, the Rutland County Democratic Committee became the first body of which I'm aware to pass a resolution calling for impeachment specifically under the procedures outlined in Jefferson's Manual, Section 603.
To refresh your memory:
NOTE: Sec. 603. Inception of impeachment proceedings in the House. This refers to Jefferson's Manual-the House uses it as a supplement to its
In the House there are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion:
[...] by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State (III, 2469)
I originally took up the subject at The Next Hurrah, and then moved on to a series of posts regarding the necessity of impeachment.
Arbortender's diary linked back to another blog, where the idea apparently originated. And to be perfectly honest with you, this read at first like just another fringe-y, kooked-out misreading of procedure. But I just happen to have an old copy of Jefferson's Manual here on the desk, and sure enough, that's just what it says. The legislature of any state or territory may transmit charges to the Congress and recommend impeachment.
Now, to be sure, there is nothing that forces the House of Representatives -- still the sole body capable of adopting actual articles of impeachment -- to act on such charges. In fact, you can be assured that they'd do everything in their power to avoid doing so.
But what a story it'd make! A little known constitutional procedure that has lain dormant for decades, never before used against a president, and pitting the duly elected and sworn legislature of a state against a federal Congress sitting on its hands and refusing to act!
The question was, where to begin?
Well, clearly you'll need to begin in a state with a strong Democratic majority in the legislature. That's just plain fact. And while it may be complained that it puts an unduly partisan shine on things, the bottom line at the time was that there really are no Republicans willing to consider their duty in this matter, though it may now be argued that the Dubai ports deal may have changed the equation.
After analyzing the partisan composition of the state legislatures and the state-by-state SurveyUSA polling on Bush's approval ratings, I identified Vermont, Rhode Island and Massachusetts as leading prospects for passing such a resolution, based on their overwhelming Democratic majorities in each house of their legislatures and their abyssmal approval ratings for Bush.
Kossack Vermonters, both past and present, immediately took up the challenge. I was contacted by bumblebums, who put me in touch with a sympathetic former Vermont state senator, and by the seldom-seen maplefrost, who is the hero of tonight's story.
Maplefrost, you see, turned out to be one of Vermont's presidential electors, and the author of that state's 2004 resolution demanding an inquiry into the Ohio voting irregularities.
And it was Maplefrost who carried the following resolution forward to the Rutland County Democrats tonight, where it passed unanimously:
WHEREAS, Section 603 of the Manual of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives provides for impeachments to be initiated on a motion based on charges transmitted from a state legislature, and
WHEREAS, George W. Bush has committed high crimes and misdemeanors as he has repeatedly and intentionally violated the United States Constitution and other laws of the United States, particularly the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Torture Convention, which under Article VI of the Constitution is a treaty as part of the "supreme law of the land",
WHEREAS, George W. Bush has acted to strip Americans of their constitutional rights by ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to legal counsel, without charge and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the President of a U.S. citizen as an "enemy combatant", all in subversion of law, and
WHEREAS, George W. Bush has ordered and authorized the Attorney General to override judicial orders for the release of detainees under U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS) jurisdiction, even though the judicial officer after full hearing has determined that a detainee is held wrongfully by the Government, and
WHEREAS, George W. Bush has ordered at least thirty times the National Security Agency to intercept and otherwise record international telephone and other signals and communications by American citizens without warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, duly constituted by Congress in 1978, and designated certain U.S. citizens as "enemy combatants", all in violation of constitutional guarantees of due process, and
WHEREAS George W. Bush has admitted that he willfully and repeatedly violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and boasted that he would continue to do so, each violation constituting a felony,
NOW THEREFORE the Rutland County Democratic Committee submits that his actions and admissions constitute ample grounds for his impeachment, and that the General Assembly of the State of Vermont has good cause for submitting charges to the U.S. House of Representatives under Section 603 as grounds for George W. Bush's impeachment.
The County Committee further submits that Articles of Impeachment should charge that George W. Bush has violated his constitutional oath to execute faithfully the office of President and to the best of his ability to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
In all of this George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, 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 State of Vermont and of the United States.
WHEREFORE, George W. Bush, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any offices of honor, trust or profit under the United States.
February 28, 2006
Adopted: February 28, 2006
I can't add much to that, folks. Action from words. From blog to reality."