Whitehouse: As We Look Forward We Must Also Look Back

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Millions in America were focused on the future.  Billions, worldwide, anxiously awaited change.  On January 20, 2009, the Presidential Inauguration was broadcast hither and yon.  Barely a television, radio, computer monitor, or big screen was turned off.  Most all tuned in to see Barack Obama take the Oath of Office.  Nary a one were as moved as they were on that occasion.  

Even several Republicans said they were excited.  For countless, it seemed a light was turned on.  Finally, the American people, our allies, and those who are often characterized as adversaries, had hope.  We, collectively, believe it was possible to walk through the din that had been our doom and envision an Earth united.

The world was wowed with thoughts of what would be, as were many Constitutional scholars, concerned citizens, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.  Yet, there remained a persistent thought; our potential would not be fully realized.  Several understood, as Senator Whitehouse so solemnly expressed in a speech presented on the Senate floor, a day after the festivities,  As We Look Forward We Must Also Look Back.  Few had an opportunity to see or hear an oration that was perhaps as honest and historic as the Presidents.

Sheldon Whitehouse too saw the glimmer of light.  He spoke to, as Barack Obama did in his address the day before, a democratic republic, deeply scarred, cannot heal without a shared commitment to the principles that guide our country.  The Rhode Island representative, reflected on the notion, just as the Chief Executive had hours earlier, what was sanctioned in the past would not be wiped away by a more hopeful and ethical Administration.  He noted, no series of endeavors would expunge past misdeeds.  Nor could a solitary earthly being erase the clouds that now covered the Constitution.

The Rhode Island Legislator succinctly and eloquently expressed the concern others had hoped to communicate.  He said,  As the President looks forward and charts a new course, must someone not also look back, to take an accounting of where we are, what was done, and what must now be repaired.

For Senator Whitehouse, as for many legal scholars, Conservatives, such as Bruce Fein, and Journalist, Author, John Nichols, it seemed too clear; Americans, in Congress, and on the streets in every community have yet to learn from history.  Even the newly elected President, Barack Obama, did not wish to tread on traditions that obfuscate the thread, the United States Constitution, that for centuries has allowed America to prosper.  

The President, the Obama Administration, and most of America, has expressed a desire to bury the past.  Yet, there is reason to reflect if we are to see “that brighter day; forward to what Winston Churchill in Britain’s dark days called those “broad and sunlit uplands.”  To ponder the past does not mean to punish others for misdeeds.  A penalty cannot be the priority.  Reprimands will not realize a nation’s rebirth.

Indeed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse reflects, “Our new Attorney-General designate has said, we should not criminalize policy differences.  I agree.”  The Rhode Island representative continues, “I hope we can all agree that summoning young sacrificial lambs to prosecute, as we did after the Abu Ghraib disaster, would be reprehensible.”  Sheldon Whitehouse asks only that “We hold this unique gift in trust for the future and the world.”

Please peruse the prose that might move us to provide a little bright, healthy sunshine and fresh air, to citizens of the world.  The children of today, and those who will survive Seven Generations from now need us to strengthen our democracy.  If we are to be, an educated population, empathetic to those who inherit the Earth we must, as Sheldon Whitehouse avowed, “show where the tunnels were bored, when the truth was subordinated; what institutions were subverted; how our democracy was compromised; so this grim history is not condemned to repeat itself; so a knowing public in the clarity of day can say, “Never, never, never, again,”

I thank you Sheldon Whitehouse for the wisdom and the words that break through the silence, and secure a brighter day.

Whitehouse: As We Look Forward We Must Also Look Back

January 21, 2009

I rise as we celebrate a new President, a new administration, a new mode of governing, and a new future for America.

Even in the gloom of our present predicaments, Americans’ hearts are strong and confident because we see a brighter future ahead.

President Obama looks to that future. Given the depth and severity of those predicaments, we need all his energy to look forward to lead us to that brighter day; forward to what Winston Churchill in Britain’s dark days called those “broad and sunlit uplands.”

But, as we steer toward this broad and sunlit future, what about the past? As the President looks forward and charts a new course, must someone not also look back, to take an accounting of where we are, what was done, and what must now be repaired.

Our new President has said, “America needs to look forward.” I agree.

Our new Attorney General designate has said, we should not criminalize policy differences. I agree.

And I hope we can all agree that summoning young sacrificial lambs to prosecute, as we did after the Abu Ghraib disaster, would be reprehensible.

But consider the pervasive, deliberate, and systematic damage the Bush Administration did to America, to her finest traditions and institutions, to her reputation and integrity.

I evaluate that damage in history’s light. Although I’m no historian, here is what I believe:

The story of humankind on this Earth has been a long and halting march from the darkness of barbarism and the principle that to the victor go the spoils, to the light of organized civilization and freedom. During that long and halting march, this light of progress has burned, sometimes brightly and sometimes softly, in different places at different times around the world.

The light shone in Athens, when that first Senate made democracy a living experiment; and again in the softer but broader glow of the Roman Empire and Senate.

That light burned brightly, incandescently, in Jerusalem, when Jesus of Nazareth cast his lot with the weak and the powerless.

The light burned in Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo and Cordoba, when the Arab world kept science, mathematics, art, and logic alive, as Europe descended into Dark Ages of plague and violence.

The light flashed from the fields of Runnymede when English nobles forced King John to sign the Magna Carta, and glowed steadily from that island kingdom as England developed Parliament and the common law, and was the first to stand against slavery.

It rekindled in Europe at the time of the Reformation, with a bright flash in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his edicts to the Wittenberg cathedral doors, and faced with excommunication, stated “Here I stand. I can do no other.”

Over the years across the globe, that light, and the darkness of tyranny and cruelty, have ebbed and flowed.

But for the duration of our Republic, even though our Republic is admittedly imperfect, that light has shone more brightly and more steadily here in this Republic than in any place on earth: as we adopted the Constitution, the greatest achievement yet in human freedom; as boys and men bled out of shattered bodies into sodden fields at Antietam and Chicamagua, Shiloh and Gettysburg to expiate the sin of slavery; as we rebuilt shattered enemies, now friends, overseas and came home after winning world wars; and as we threw off bit by bit ancient shackles of race and gender to make this a more perfect union for all of us.

What made this bright and steady glow possible? What made it possible is not that we are better people, I believe, but that our system of government is government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Why else does our President take his oath to defend a Constitution of the United States of America? Our unique form of self-government is a blessing, and we hold it in trust; not just for us, but for our children and grandchildren down through history; not just for us, but as an example out through the world.

That is why our Statue of Liberty raises a lamp to other nations still engloomed in tyranny.

That is why we stand as a beacon in this world, beckoning to all who seek a kinder, freer, brighter future.

We hold this unique gift in trust for the future and the world. Each generation assumes responsibility for this Republic and its government, and each generation takes on a special obligation when they do. Our new President closed his Inaugural Address by setting forth the challenge against which future generations will test us: whether “with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generation.” There are no guarantees that we will – this is a continuing experiment we are embarked upon – and a lot is at stake; indeed, the most precious thing of man’s creation on the face of the Earth is at stake. That is what I believe.

So from that perspective, what about the past? No one can deny that in the last eight years America’s bright light has dimmed and flickered, darkening our country and darkening the world.

The price of that is incalculable. There are nearly 7 billion human souls on this world. Every morning, the sun rises anew over their villages and hamlets and barrios, and every day they can choose where to invest their hopes, their confidence, and their dreams.

I submit that when America’s light shines brightly, when honesty, freedom, justice and compassion glow from our institutions, it attracts those hopes, those dreams; and the force of those 7 billion hopes and dreams, the confidence of those 7 billion souls in our lively experiment, is, I believe, the strongest power in our national arsenal – stronger than atom bombs. We risk it at our peril.

And of course, when our own faith is diminished at home, this vital light only dims further, again at incalculable cost.

So when an administration rigs the intelligence process and produces false evidence to send our country to war;

When an administration descends to interrogation techniques of the Inquisition, of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge – descends to techniques that we have prosecuted as crimes in military tribunals and federal courts;

When institutions as noble as the Department of Justice and as vital as the Environmental Protection Agency are systematically and deliberately twisted from their missions by odious means of institutional sabotage;

When the integrity of our markets and the fiscal security of our budget are opened wide to the frenzied greed of corporations, speculators and contractors;

When the integrity of public officials; the warnings of science; the honesty of government procedures; and the careful historic balance of our separated powers of government, are all seen as obstacles to be overcome and not attributes to be celebrated;

When taxpayers are cheated, and the forces of government ride to the rescue of the cheaters and punish the whistleblowers;

When a government turns the guns of official secrecy against its own people to mislead, confuse and propagandize them;

When government ceases to even try to understand the complex topography of the difficult problems it is our very purpose and duty to solve, and instead cares only for these points where it intersects with the party ideology, so that the purpose of government becomes no longer to solve problems, but only to work them for political advantage;

In short, when you have pervasive infiltration into all the halls of government – judicial, legislative, and executive – of the most ignoble forms of influence; when you see systematic dismantling of historic processes and traditions of government that are the safeguards of our democracy; and when you have a bodyguard of lies, jargon, and propaganda emitted to fool and beguile the American people…

Well, something very serious in the history of our republic has gone wrong, something that dims the light of progress for all humanity.

As we look forward, as we begin the task of rebuilding this nation, we have an abiding duty to determine how great the damage is. I say this in no spirit of vindictiveness or revenge. I say it because the thing that was sullied is so, so precious; and I say it because the past bears upon the future. If people have been planted in government in violation of our civil service laws to serve their party and their ideology instead of serving the public, the past will bear upon the future. If procedures and institutions of government have been corrupted and are not put right, that past will assuredly bear on the future. In an ongoing enterprise like government, the door cannot be so conveniently closed on the closets of the past. The past always bears on the future.

Moreover, a democracy is not just a static institution, it is a living education – an ongoing education in freedom of a people. As Harry Truman said addressing a joint session of Congress back in 1947, “One of the chief virtues of a democracy is that its defects are always visible, and under democratic processes can be pointed out and corrected.”

Entirely apart from tentacles of the past that may reach into the future, are the lessons we as a people have to learn from this past carnival of folly, greed, lies, and sabotage, so that it can, under democratic processes, be pointed out and corrected.

If we blind ourselves to this history, if we pull an invisibility cloak over it, we will deny ourselves its lessons. Those lessons came at too painful a cost to ignore. Those lessons merit discovery, disclosure and discussion. Indeed, disclosure and discussion is the difference between a valuable lesson for the bright upward forces of our democracy, and a blueprint for darker forces to return and do it all over again.

A little bright, healthy sunshine and fresh air, so that an educated population knows what was done and how, can show where the tunnels were bored, when the truth was subordinated; what institutions were subverted; how our democracy was compromised; so this grim history is not condemned to repeat itself; so a knowing public in the clarity of day can say, “Never, never, never, again;” so we can keep that light – that light that is at once America’s greatest gift and greatest strength – brightly shining. To do this, I submit, we must look back.

I yield the floor.

Confessions of Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney Interview ABC News

Cheney Aware of Gitmo Waterboarding

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

There was a break in the news.  On Cable News Network Wolf Blitzer was noticeably moved.  He excitedly reported; Dick Cheney confessed.  Broadcaster Blitzer’s words were a bit more tempered.  He said, “This just coming into The Situation Room.  The Vice President, Dick Cheney, has given ABC News an interview and confirming now publicly that the Bush administration did engage in the very controversial interrogation tactic of waterboarding.”  The Commentator then asked America to listen to the clip.  ABC News Correspondent Jonathan Karl inquired of the outgoing high-level government official, “Did you authorize the tactics that were used against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?”  Without hesitation, the Vice President responded.  “I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the — the process cleared, as the agency, in effect, came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn’t do.  . . .  (T)hey talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do.  And I supported it.  

Viewers vented.  Some shifted nervously in their seats.  However, The Judicial Watch was not amused.  Nor were they elated.  The answer was not the one this Conservative organization, hoped for, groped for, and searched for though the courts, for all these many years.  Vice President Cheney did not confess to sins conceived long before September 11, 2001.  He told said nothing of the maps and charts of Iraqi oil fields.  Foreign suitors for Iraqi oilfield contracts were not discussed as they had been in March 5, 2001, six months and six days before the infamous September 11 attacks.

No, Dick Cheney, spoke of none of what might have interested Judicial Watch.  Perchance, those involved with this institute listened and wondered of the Iraq oil map. would the Vice President confess to knowledge of these?  From appearances, it seemed he would not.

Seeming pleased with his decision and participation, the man second to the Commander-In-Chief avowed, “It’s been a remarkably successful effort and I think the results speak for themselves.”  Indeed, the consequences do speak volumes, as does Dick Cheney’s willingness to disclose what for so long has been an elusive truth.  Yet, a few wondered; was this statement a confession, or merely a confirmation of what had long been known, an acknowledgment of sorts?

As the words tripped off Dick Cheney’s tongue, the public began to talk.  Millions were ecstatic.  He admitted it, they declared.  Throughout cyberspace and in local communities people were all abuzz.  Announcers throughout the airwaves and people on the streets pondered.  “Did he just say that?”  The answer was, of course he did.  Richard Bruce Cheney knew, as he has reason to understand.  He is indeed, above the law.  A myriad of moments affirmed this for him.  Given years of opportunities, the Democrats consistently have chosen not to touch him.

Oh, a few tried.  More might insist that Dick Cheney be removed from office, just as many attested to the need to indict the President.  However, nothing was done.  

Former Senator and nominee for the President, George McGovern could not convince the Democratic leadership.  Florida Congressman Robert Wexler actively campaigned to, at least, begin hearings.  In November 6, 2007 Dennis Kucinich offered a Privileged Resolution in his attempt to avail the Congress of the need to censure Cheney.  However, the Democrats averted the opportunity.

Hence, Dick Cheney trusted he was safe to speak of virtually anything.  Specifically, the Vice President was certain he was safe to discuss his role in ‘purposeful persecution.’  Mister Cheney recalled that the Democrats decreed by their silence that torture was sanctioned.  In reality, Progressives presented the President and his Cabinet with a dictum of faith in the practice.  Those who supposedly sit on the Left side of the aisle signed, sealed, and delivered a permission slip for abusive behaviors on the part of Americans in December 2002, almost six years to the day from what some had hoped was a confession.

The news today that leading Democrats, including Jane Harman and Nancy Pelosi, were informed about the torture of military prisoners and allegedly didn’t just acquiesce but actually approved it is not something that particularly surprises.  The descent into war crimes under this administration provoked very little public Democratic anger or resistance for the years in which it was used most promiscuously.  The presidential campaign of John Kerry offered only token opposition.  The subject never came up in a single presidential debate in 2004.  And the way in which the torture issue has subsequently been raised by Democrats bespeaks opportunism as much as principled outrage and opposition.

What was perhaps more extraordinary and less discussed from the ABC interview was the anomalous question posed to a reflective Vice President Cheney, had he changed.  Earlier in the interview, Dick Cheney had offered that the 9-11 terrorist attacks had definitely became “a prime motivation” for his future decisions.  He said, the events that occurred on that September day in 2001 ‘critically shaped his actions in the years that followed.’  Yet, concurrently, he attested to the fact he had not changed.  

Dick Cheney’s answer was accurate and insincere, all in the same breath.  Judicial Watch, Incorporated, “a Conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, [which] promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government,” might say this man is a marvel, an artist, and an articulate obfuscator.  Judicial Watch should know.  

When the Bush Administration formed the National Energy Policy Development Group and then proceeded to hold meetings in private, Judicial Watch sensed a clear violation of the Freedom of Information Act.  The foundation took legal actions.  “Unfortunately, on May 9, 2005, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Vice President’s Energy Task Force did not have to comply with the Federal Advisory Act.”

Hence, with a history of the Democrats and the Courts on Cheney’s side the man felt no compunction to share what might have caused some havoc, were there any mayhem to be had by opponents of the Administration.  Jonathan Karl, the ABC News Journalist, who some thought captured a confession on tape affirmed and asked for another perchance candid comment,  Mister Karl stated, “You probably saw Karl Rove last week said that if the intelligence had been correct, we probably would not have gone to war.”  He was greeted with what is arguably not a confession; nor is the retort correct, or incorrect.

Cheney: I disagree with that.

This portion of the answer is true.  Dick Cheney did differ with the notion that, were the intelligence correct, the United States would not have gone to war with Iraq.  However, his reason was not as he went on to state.  Stockpiles, an intent on the part of Saddam Hussein to supply terrorist organizations with arms or money did not incite the Vice President or likely the Administration.  Granted, Dick Cheney did and does believe as he shared on air.

This was a bad actor and the country’s better off, the world’s better off, with Saddam gone, and I think we made the right decision, in spite of the fact that the original NIE was off in some of its major judgments.

What the Vice President neglected to say was what the Courts ruled he did not need to reveal.  ““Executive privilege was improperly invoked by Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and now the Bush administration,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton stated.  No, Dick Cheney did not, would not say that.  A confession of such clarity certainly would not come from this public servant, at least not yet.  That admission would be breaking news.  Cable News Network Wolf Blitzer and every other Broadcaster, were that declaration of guilt to occur, would have a real reason to be excited.  The Judicial Watch Educational Foundation would be elated.  Were that to happen, perchance, the American people would be moved to finally act.  For now, the public acquiesces while they sit and await an authentic confession.

Confessions and Concessions . . .

House Resolution 1531; Pardon Me?


copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

The people of this country might wish to consider House Resolution 1531, introduced by New York Representative, Jerrold Nadler.  This legislation is meant to prevent preemptive Presidential pardons, or at least try to restrain an a President whose power has gone unchecked.  

To understand the vital need for such a measure, we might only ponder the proclamation offered by the current President when his cohort, I. [Scooter] Lewis Libby was convicted.  The public was aware of the intent to commute the sentence; yet, they did as was customarily done.  Americans ignored many highly suspect practices within the Oval Office.  The word was it is not good to impeach a sitting President.  While the people posited apathy, Conservative Constitutional Lawyer Bruce Fein argued.  If investigations are delayed, and an objective to censure this Administration is obstructed, a terrible precedent would be set.  

Respondents proclaimed; once President Bush and Vice President Cheney are out of office, justice would be served.  The public would attend to the widespread abuse of power.  Now, it seems that possibility could be quashed.  The opportunities left to the man who still resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue may not allow for such an action.  

By law, George W. Bush could pardon himself and the principal staffers who served at his pleasure.  (It might be noted, the White House, perchance nervous, felt a need to state it is not “inclined” to grant extensive, defensive, clemencies to prominent public servants.  The Chief Executive’s office claims there is no need for such an formal forgiveness.)

Nevertheless, as the presumption looms large, I believe the American people must stand up and attempt to reclaim the rights afforded them in the United States Constitution.  

Fellow citizens, I beseech you.  We have avoided the use of provisions our founders endowed us with.  It is time to embrace the document bequeathed to us, and do as our forefathers would have done in a similar situation.  

Please America remember; only the people can accept or end a cycle of high crimes and misdemeanors.  I invite you to tell your Congressman and woman of your concerns, sign the petition, and send a Letter to your local Editors.  Let us begin to be a government of, by, and for the people.  Please do what you can, speak out.  Silence only secures further exploitations as it has in the past, in the present, and likely will in the future.

References and Reasons for House Resolution 1531 . . .

Wexler Waxes Practical Reasons for Impeachment

American Hero: Rep. Robert Wexler calls for Impeachment hearings

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

In an region filled with inert sand, in the Southern most State of Florida, there is an oasis.  This breath of fresh air moves through the trees in Palm Beach County and in the halls of Congress in Washington, District of Columbia.  A man who envisions “a more perfect Union” emanates enthusiasm for the ethical principles that define the democracy he loves.  He stands solid in his belief; a nation founded in freedom for all its people cannot let a corrupt authority take these liberties away.  This spirited being has a name and a title, Congressman Robert Wexler.  

On July 26, 2008, Representative Wexler once again expressed his worry for what has remained “off the table.”  When asked is impeachment too little, too late, he said, “The crimes of this Administration must be revealed and Bush and Cheney must be held accountable.”  The Congressman fears a commitment to the Constitution has waned amongst his fellow legislators, and perhaps within the citizenry.  Hence, Robert Wexler submitted a call to action.  He requests Americans consider the history of censure and what occurs when Executive power is abused.

Many of the people in Wexler’s district exclaim with glee as they observe the vigor of this visionary, as do advocates of impeachment throughout the nation.  However, an equal number within the electorate express dissent to the opinion, prosecution is essential.  Some think we can wait, or as a nation, we have waited too long.  Others say a trial will trivialize lawmakers.  A petty and partisan focus is futile.  Nonetheless, Robert Wexler is not dissuaded.  For him, democracy cannot be forsaken.

The Congressman who identifies himself, as a Fire Breathing Liberal learned to survive and thrive in a Conservative State, as well as in the Halls of Congress.  

Principles Robert Wexler adopted long ago have helped him to succeed.  In his youth, the Congressman realized that many people may prefer to be passive, particularly where censure is considered.

Detractors of an impeachment inquiry by the House judiciary committee into whether President George W. Bush has committed impeachable offenses contend that no questions should be asked until conclusive incriminating evidence is either volunteered up by the suspects themselves or appears before them by spontaneous combustion. In other words, they say, no inquiry should commence until proof of the president’s guilt has been unearthed-proof which would, of course, make the inquiry superfluous!

They may think it easier to speak of little of what concerns them. Congressman Wexler cannot sit quietly when he witnesses what he thinks is injustice. He understands and personifies the democratic adage, “every vote and every voice counts.” Experience has taught Robert Wexler each person matters.  He muses that any of us may not know what will move us; as he inscribed, “The reality is that sometimes issues find” us.  Representative Wexler contends when a problem presents itself, people must address it.

Today, the unavoidable need to impeach the two criminals who currently occupy the White House consumes Representative Robert Wexler, and with good reason.  Thirty-five Articles of Impeachment scream for consideration.

Wexler has heard the call.  He has also listened to those who reject the notion.  They say, “Impeachment proceedings would be a partisan effort.”  It is too late to censure George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.  There is not enough evidence. To prove high crimes and misdemeanors.  Hearings would be a distraction.  Undeterred, Congressman Wexler reminds us.

This is not a partisan issue: Congress is a co-equal branch of government with the Executive, and it cannot allow this attack on our powers to go unanswered. To ignore these actions is tantamount to a willful concession of our rights as legislators. No Democrat, Republican, or Independent should allow Congress’ powers to be so undermined.

Nor should Congress allow the calendar to determine whether we should ignore abuses of office. No President should be given immunity and free-reign just because there are only a few months left in their term.

Impeachment Hearings can be held very quickly – in a manner of weeks.

Although today we don’t have the votes to impeach today – neither did the Judiciary Committee investigating President Nixon until AFTER hearings were held and the truth was revealed. We must put a halt to this historic Administrative power grab.

Congress has not lived up to its promises, and we can no longer credibly claim that impeachment would upset our agenda. Our agenda has not withstood presidential vetoes or senatorial filibusters. If we do nothing, this session will be remembered for our conceding the rightful and constitutional powers of Congress, and little more.

The Congressman from South Florida offers a laudable verity.  Robert Wexler, heeds the caution set forth by Conservative Constitutional Scholar Bruce Fein.  If we do not impeach President George W. Bush and Dick Cheney then we will have allowed for an awful precedence, one that cannot easily be undone.   If we as a nation continue to accept the practices of a President drunk with power, our republic will be perchance permanently crippled.  Despite all the hype and hope that finally, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has taken action, the truth is, an arraignment or even an adequate investigation remains stalled.  Indeed . . .

“This is not an impeachment hearing,” Conyers felt obliged to remind everybody.

“Maybe,” proposed Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), “what we’re here for is something called impeachment lite. . . . We’re sort of in that Never-Neverland of accusing the president of impeachable offenses but not taking actions to impeach him, which I guess impugns him but does not impeach him, but maybe it has the same effect in the court of public opinion.”

There was more truth to that than Democratic leaders could admit in public. . .

“Let’s restrain ourselves, please,” Chairman Conyers counseled.

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) also played to the gallery with his eye-for-an-eye logic: “If lying about consensual sexual activity fits the bill for impeachment, then certainly lying to the American people about the reason for invading Iraq . . . qualifies as an official — excuse me — as an impeachable offense.” The crowd applauded on cue.

“I am inclined to remind everyone,” Conyers intoned again, “please refrain from any actions of support or opposition.”

Thus, the official word is that we, the American people and our supposed Representatives, must refrain, abstain, desist, and decline to vote or voice our objection to what has occurred in the Oval Office.  Chairman Conyers claims that his colleagues and constituents must forfeit our Constitutional right to censure an Administration that commits countless high crimes and misdemeanors.  Collectively, we need to be calm, while the crooks and liars at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue destroy our democracy.  Perhaps, it is time to again consider why . . .

Wexler Wants Real Impeachment Hearing Now

Submitted by davidswanson on Sat, 2008-07-26 04:59.

Today, in the Judiciary Committee, we held a full day of hearings that focused entirely on the crimes of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, and featured testimony by Rep. Dennis Kucinich regarding his Articles of Impeachment against President Bush.

This is a great start – but I am far from satisfied. Following statements by Chairman John Conyers and the Ranking Republicans, I opened with a forceful call for genuine and immediate Impeachment Hearings for President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

The crimes of this Administration must be revealed and Bush and Cheney must be held accountable. Without Impeachment Hearings, we cannot break through the blatant and unprecedented efforts by President Bush to shut down legitimate oversight by this Congress.

As you know, President Bush has inappropriately and repeatedly invoked Executive Privilege to keep Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, Josh Bolten, and other White House officials from complying with legal, Congressional Subpoenas.

I believe the only appropriate remedy is to hold Impeachment Hearings.

While Inherent Contempt might dislodge some testimony or at least guarantee the appearance of witnesses, the larger concern is the President’s outrageous abuse of Executive Privilege.

We have been down this road before: in 1973, Articles of Impeachment were introduced against President Nixon after he illegally tried to use Executive Privilege to bury evidence of his wrongdoings.

I fully recognize the significance of holding Impeachment Hearings, and I have not come to this position lightly – but when the President of the United States takes actions that amount to high crimes, we are left with no other option than to seek his impeachment and removal from office.

Our government was founded upon a delicate balance of powers – whereby one branch carefully checks the other branches to prevent a dangerous consolidation of power. President Bush’s actions have totally destroyed this careful balance. Without these checks and balances, the President could run roughshod over any law and turn us into a nation…?…where wars can be waged based on lies?…and laws can be rewritten without the input of Congress or the American people.

Congress must end this disturbing pattern of behavior, and in these circumstances, the only option left is impeachment . . .

I am unbowed in my determination for Impeachment Hearings and I know you feel the same way.

Encourage your friends to stay updated and demonstrate their support by signing up at www.wexlerwantshearings.com

Congressman Robert Wexler

Fire breathing or a breath of fresh air.  Representative Wexler asks us to look at our history, and what might prove a perilous future.  He asks Americans to consider the consequences if we do not censure an abusive Administration.  Robert Wexler pleads, Americans take action.  Support those few who wish to restore the Constitution and bring power back to the people.  Perhaps, citizens might wish to peruse the thirty-five Articles of Impeachment, just as this Florida forward-thinker has.  Robert Wexler requests that citizens,  be they :

Democrats, Republicans or Independents, walk forth and breathe deeply. Let us remember why we love a democracy.

Investigation and Impeachment . . .

Power Elite and the People; Cheney, Carville Express Contempt for Citizens

DICK Cheney “SO”

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

In March 2008, as Americans pay homage to the thousands of soldiers and civilians lost in five years of battle we discover that the Administration and the elite allied with earlier Executive Branches are more contemptuous of the citizenry than we ever thought possible.  

In a interview with ABC News reporter, Martha Radditz, Vice President Cheney declared the Iraq war a stunning achievement,  Arguably, the most powerful Vice President in American history stated, “On the security front, I think there’s a general consensus that we’ve made major progress, that the surge has worked. That’s been a major success.”  Perhaps, somewhat startled by the assessment Journalist Radditz observed; “Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.”  The Vice President, Cheney, curtly, replied, “So?”

Martha Radditz, with a notable inflection inquired, “You don’t care what the American people think?”

Dick Cheney content with his current tour of the Middle East offered his retort, “You can’t be blown off course by polls.”  Indeed, the people they were elected to represent have never influenced this Administration.

A similar contemptuous statement for the citizens of America was heard from a prominent ally of a former President, Bill Clinton, and his aspirant wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Bill Richardson, a man who served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations and Energy Secretary during the Clinton administration, announced his support for Barack Obama, Democratic Presidential hopeful, and the man deemed the Former First Lady’s rival.

After New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson, a public spokesperson, but still an individual who speaks for himself, as by law, he is allowed to do, offered his endorsement to potential President Barack Obama, James Carville criticized the statesman.  Former lead strategist for the Bill Clinton’s Presidential campaign, and animated, ardent consultant for the Hillary Clinton crusade, Carville proclaimed.

“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic.”

The reference to the Holy Week was stark and said much about what those in high places think of people who dare to defy them.  Governor Richardson telephoned the New York Senator, and Presidential candidate Clinton the day prior to the formal announcement.  He wanted to inform her of his decision.  When asked of the tone and tenor, Richardson recalled, “It was cordial, but a little heated.”  The scorn Richardson experienced this weeks seems characteristic of what occurs when we the people exert our power.  For too long, Americans have not stood up to those who  are supposed to represent us.  Now, legislators, lawmakers, congresspersons, candidates, Presidents, and pundits think they can tell us what to think, say, and do . . . and we let them.

The Founding Fathers established that in this country, we, the people would be the power.  We, the common folk, would be free to elect government officials that we believe would best represent our interests.  Bureaucrats would work for the commonweal.  In a democracy, such as the United States, the administration represents the average citizen.   In this territory, we are  a nation of equals.  Each individual is able to choose for him or herself who they wish to endorse for President.  We, the people need not be loyal to a legacy or a dynasty.  Yet, those who serve us may be unaware of the principles they promise to uphold.  The President of the United States of America is required to recite.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

George W. Bush has demonstrated that his skills do not save the original charter from harm.  After the President placed his signature on  statements that allow he and his cohorts to violate laws on more than 800 Bills, finally, a report called this action into question.

Bush signings called effort to expand power

Report sees broad strategy

By Charlie Savage

Boston Globe

October 5, 2006

Washington — President Bush’s frequent use of signing statements to assert that he has the power to disobey newly enacted laws is “an integral part” of his “comprehensive strategy to strengthen and expand executive power” at the expense of the legislative branch, according to a report by the non partisan Congressional Research Service.

In a 27-page report written for lawmakers, the research service said the Bush administration is using signing statements as a means to slowly condition Congress into accepting the White House’s broad conception of presidential power, which includes a presidential right to ignore laws he believes are unconstitutional.

Sadly, Americans did nothing.  We, the people accept that the President of the United States is powerful.  Perhaps, he, or she has absolute power.  Certainly, the people have given our Commander-In-Chief privileges beyond those bequeathed by the Constitution.  Without active censure and legally enforced constitutional constraints, citizens, and Congress, give the Executive Branch free reign.

We, the people have also provided the Vice President with a free pass.  The Vice President was not required to pledge a specific allegiance before he entered into his prominent position.  Richard B. Cheney needed only to avow that he would defend the Constitution, now perhaps permanently altered.  Indeed, the office of Vice President is no longer recognizable.

Dick Cheney, who has wielded extraordinary executive power as he transformed the image of the vice presidency, is asserting that his office is not actually part of the executive branch.

The President also asserts that he [Cheney] need not comply with orders intended for the officials within the Executive Branch of the United States government.

Our forefathers did not imagine that the American people would sit silently by as a President transformed his power.  The signers of the Constitution made provisions to avoid such an abuse of power.  Yet, when the American people prefer apathy, absolute power can corrupt absolutely.  Perchance, that is the paradox.  What do we do when the people forget they are the power.  Government is of, by, and for us.

Apparently, we sit idly by and watch our country crumble.  The common folk resign themselves and claim we can do nothing.  It is too late.  We are too little.  It may not be much longer.  If life goes on as it has, the people may be but a speck of dust.  In Iraq, we see what occurs when American leaders decide what is best for average people in one country or another.  What for one official is a “major success” is death and  bitter survival for millions more.

Missing persons

In the small world of a Baghdad bureau, monstrous losses

By Liz Sly

Chicago Tribune

March 16, 2008

I asked a close Iraqi colleague, Nadeem Majeed, to write down a list of the people he knows who have died in the five years since the Iraq war began. It took a long time. And as Nadeem tapped away on the computer, unknown to us, another name was being added to the list.?? A friend, Nassir Jassem Akkam, 38, was among the 68 people killed in the recent suicide bombing of a busy shopping street nearby, one of the bloodiest attacks in Baghdad in a while. Akkam had slipped back to Baghdad for a quick visit after fleeing to Syria with his wife and 1-year-old son. When he died, he had in his pocket a ticket to travel the following day.?? Akkam became No. 44 on Nadeem’s list.

Let us reflect on the number of persons we, personally know, friends and family in our lives who have passed in the last few years.  How many were brutally killed, slaughtered in the streets, innocent of any crime, yet, assassinated merely because they are citizens.  While we honored those we loved, who passed, as humans, people of worth, many of our representatives and their minions barely acknowledged a life was lost.  Is this the country you dear reader, want, or  is this what our fore fathers intended?.

Perhaps the time is now.  Americans, we, the average people must take our country back.  Censure is essential.  If we do not impeach those who “lead” us with a discernable show of disdain, if we elect elitist who disrespect our decisions, then our fate will be our failure.

Sources of Scorn and Sadness . . .

Bush – Cheney Wanted in Vermont and in a Court of Law

Bill Moyers Journal – Impeachment Panel Excerpt – PBS

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

The Bush – Cheney Presidency has provided this country with many strange and strained moments.  George W. Bush, as a candidate for President, promised he would unite the nation, and indeed, he has.  The majority of Americans on the “right” and the “left” do not approve of George W. Bush or his Administration.  Singer, songwriter Neil Young hums of the disdain and contempt the country feels for the President.  His lyrics speak of impeachment, and no one is bothered.  Many hate the current Commander-In-Chief.

Throughout the North American territory many muse, George W. Bush is the worst President ever.  His Vice, who laughingly refers to himself as Darth Vader, perhaps, the stealth “decider,” is no better.

Some say Cheney was chosen to serve as Vice President, for he would not threaten George W. Bush as Commander-In-Chief.  The two would co-chair or masterfully craft Executive power, and they have.  Cheney’s career has been marred by one disaster after another. Bush failed in business on numerous occasions.  The two seem a perfect pair, a matched set, a dynamic duo, and a couple of criminals on the run.

U.S. towns vote to arrest Bush and Cheney


Wed Mar 5, 2008 7:31am GMT

Washington (Reuters) – Voters in two Vermont towns on Tuesday approved a measure that would instruct police to arrest President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for “crimes against our Constitution”, local media reported.

The nonbinding, symbolic measure, passed in Brattleboro and Marlboro in a state known for taking liberal positions on national issues, instructs town police to “extradite them to other authorities that may reasonably contend to prosecute them.”

This team holds the dubious distinction of being wanted in two towns, and not wanted in countless other communities.  The President while labeled shrewd may not be able to escape his current circumstances.  The Vice President, who numerous think is crafty, may find himself associated with criminal elements beyond the Energy Commission.  The duet may soon become victim to what America has waited too long to enact.  

Liberals in Vermont may not bring the dyad down.  House Speaker Pelosi certainly will not do the job.  She refuses to discuss charges against the Commander or his cohort.

The consensus throughout the country is, it is time for a change.  Republicans and Democrats alike say “anyone But Bush.”  Cheney cannot stay.  Each must be censured, so say the people.  It may be that a Constitutional lawyer, and the former Deputy Attorney General to Ronald Reagan, will bring the twosome to justice.

The Conservative intellectual has been an adjunct scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, a resident scholar at the Heritage Foundation, a lecturer at the Bookings Institute, and an adjunct professor at George Washington University.  Now, he speaks on behalf of Americans.

Two years ago, on March 31, 2006, academic Fein approached the Senate Judiciary Committee and presented his statement in reference to Senate Resolution 398 relating to the Censure of George W. Bush.  Professor Fein proclaimed . . .

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee: I am grateful for the opportunity to express my support for Senate Resolution 398.  It would censure President George W. Bush for seeking to cripple the Constitution’s checks and balances and political accountability by secretly authorizing the National Security Agency to spy on American citizens in the United States in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and misleading the public about the secret surveillance program.

There he stood, a Republican, a former standard-bearer of the Reagan Revolution, Bruce Fein offered his testimonial.  Today, he continues to call for censure.  The question is, will America heed the plea.  Please consider the proposal, the reasons for the request and reflect.  Subtle and subterranean as the process may have been, Americans, you have been denied your rights since September 11, 2001.

The American Freedom Agenda’s (AFA) wishes to restore  the Constitutional system of checks and balances “as enshrined by the Founding Fathers.”  Would you not wish to help them?  The foundation with Academic and Attorney Bruce Fein at the helm states . . .

Especially since 9/11, the executive branch has chronically usurped legislative or judicial power, and has repeatedly claimed that the President is the law.  The constitutional grievances against the White House are chilling, reminiscent of the kingly abuses that provoked the Declaration of Independence.

The 10-point American Freedom Agenda would work to restore the roles of Congress and the federal judiciary to prevent such abuses of power and protect against injustices that are the signature of civilized nations.  In particular, the American Freedom Agenda would:

  • Prohibit military commissions whose verdicts are suspect except in places of active hostilities where a battlefield tribunal is necessary to obtain fresh testimony or to prevent anarchy;
  • Prohibit the use of secret evidence or evidence obtained by torture or coercion in military or civilian tribunals;
  • Prohibit the detention of American citizens as unlawful enemy combatants without proof of criminal activity on the President’s say-so;
  • Restore habeas corpus for alleged alien enemy combatants, i.e., non-citizens who have allegedly participated in active hostilities against the United States, to protect the innocent;
  • Prohibit the National Security Agency from intercepting phone conversations or emails or breaking and entering homes on the President’s say-so in violation of federal law;
  • Empower the House of Representatives and the Senate collectively to challenge in the Supreme Court the constitutionality of signing statements that declare the intent of the President to disregard duly enacted provisions of bills he has signed into law because he maintains they are unconstitutional;
  • Prohibit the executive from invoking the state secrets privilege to deny justice to victims of constitutional violations perpetrated by government officers or agents; and, establish legislative-executive committees in the House and Senate to adjudicate the withholding of information from Congress based on executive privilege that obstructs oversight and government in the sunshine;
  • Prohibit the President from kidnapping, detaining, and torturing persons abroad in collaboration with foreign governments;
  • Amend the Espionage Act to permit journalists to report on classified national security matters without fear of prosecution; and;
  • Prohibit the listing of individuals or organizations with a presence in the United States as global terrorists or global terrorist organizations based on secret evidence.

Please, think of the innocent held in contempt or imprisoned without access to a legal authority.  Grapple with the reality that your privacy is now legally invaded.  Sit for a second and imagine that your every conversation can be used against you.  Try to come to terms with the fact that this President, when he signs a Bill, also places his signature under a paragraph that states he and his Administration are exempt from the law.

Contemplate that in our democracy secrets are the constant State of the Union.  The President and his people can withhold information, capture, and confine citizens against their will if he or members of his Cabinet are convinced the individual has ties to terrorism.  Think of all of this and then, weigh the bold steps residents in Vermont are ready to take.  

Please America, do not deny, or ignore  the high crimes and misdemeanors committed by those in the Oval Office.  Please do not believe our problems will end once the Bush-Cheney Company leaves the White House.  Ponder the precedence we set when we, the people, let power go unimpeded.  Place yourself in the future; remember the children.  Is this the country you wish to leave to our progeny?  Let us stand united, and take our power back.

While few if any of us wants George W. Bush or Dick Cheney in the White House, we must want them as the people of Brattleboro and Marlboro, Vermont do if America is to regain its inner strength, recover, and once again return the Constitution.

References to Rally Round . . .

Wexler, Gutierrez, Baldwin, Kucinich, and the People Call For Cheney Censure

Rep. Wexler Wants Cheney Impeachment Hearings

copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

May I offer my sincerest gratitude to Representatives, Robert Wexler, Luis Gutierrez, and Tammy Baldwin.  These glorious members of the House Judiciary Committee, recently raised the volume on the issue of impeachment for Vice President Cheney.  The three invite us, the average citizen, to join them.  Please express your distress; sign the petition.  Call for Hearings. Without you the Vice President will continue to avoid an official and necessary censure.

Please sign the petition. Join Congressman Wexler’s Call For Cheney impeachment Hearings.

Please do not stop there.  Americans have seen what occurs when we are complacent.  For too long Congressman Dennis Kucinich spoke of what many thought obvious, and only a few listened.  

Throughout his term, Vice President, Richard B. Cheney acted on questionable  information.  He made decisions that many considered problematic.  Cheney “may” have committed numerous “high crimes and misdemeanors.”  However, no matter how many millions of Americans joined in the call to censure, the cry was hushed.  The mainstream media barely and rarely spoke of the measure.  Only a scant number of Representatives endorsed House Resolution 333, submitted by the Representative from Ohio.

As House leaders sat silent, Vice President Cheney continued to violate the doctrine known as the United States Constitution.  He did so without charge or challenge.  

For years, Richard B. Cheney declared the Executive Branch has “supreme” power.  Many scoffed; however, Congress initiated no formal action.  The Vice President did not stop doing as he pleased.  Complaints from the House and the Senate mounted; yet, Cheney remained safe from censure.

It seemed the Vice President’s skin, and his contempt for law, were impenetrable.  Richard B. Cheney refused and rebuffs accountability.

The Vice President prefers aggression and plans attacks against other Nation States.  Until now Congress, and the American people stood by.  Finally, the tide may have turned.  

Each day, Americans and Legislators discover much occurred within the White House walls over the last seven years.  We are increasingly certain the Vice President acted with dubious authority.  The more we learn, the more we realize a need to impeach Richard B. Cheney.  Representatives and House Judiciary Committee Members Robert Wexler, Luis Gutierrez, Tammy Baldwin, and the cyberspace community have stated their extreme concern.  However, just as Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich realized during his campaign to hold Cheney accountable, the media would rather not address this state of affairs.

If we the people are to be served, if we are to honor the rights afforded us by the United States Constitution, we must do more than wait for Congress to act.  Our signature on a petition will not be enough to convince a reluctant House Speaker that it is time to embrace this cause.  I invite you to submit a Letter to the Editor of any and every newspaper.  For Representative Wexler alone, although he tried, cannot create the news storm necessary for impeachment.

I offer my own submission for your review.  Please request coverage.  Ask Journalist nationwide to report on more than this Administration wants us to hear.  I thank you for all that you are and all that you do.

If you wish to use my letter, without the links and signature, I offer a Portable Document Format [pdf] version.

  • Letter to the Editor, Call to Cover Cheney Impeachment Hearings.

  • Dearest Editorial Staff . . .

    I am aware of a troublesome campaign to ignore the call to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney.  I write to express my distress and to request coverage.

    On Florida Progressive Radio, Representative Robert Wexler spoke of what he and his colleagues experienced when they submitted an Op-Ed essay on the topic.  The major print media outlets did not publish this important treatise on impeachment.  The message was not muffled; it was ostensibly silenced.

    The mainstream media acted as though an investigation into the practices within the Oval Office, or the Office of the Vice President, were permanently “off the table.”  No matter the outcry from the masses, the media continues to dismiss the call.  

    Auspiciously, after the news organizations cast the cry for censure aside, Representative Wexler turned to the public.  The cyberspace community connected to the memorandum the Congressman and his colleagues wrote.  Those that surf the Web not only endorsed the crucial communication, Internet users garnered greater support for the proposition.  An ambitious online effort heralded the need for immediate impeachment hearings.  Within a short time, more than a hundred thousand signers stated they were in favor of a move to censure Vice President Dick Cheney.  

    Constitutional scholars have warned us.  The precedent we set when we overlook what an arrogant Administration does will forever damage our nation.  If Americans do not uphold democratic principles, we weaken our Constitution.

    For too long, Presidential aspirant Dennis Kucinich has been a lone Congressional voice.  On more than one occasion, Kucinich spoke of the need to censure Vice President Cheney.  In November 2007, Representative Kucinich presented a Privileged Motion on the floor of the House.  Even that bold overture received little press.  

    Nonetheless, some of his fellow Representatives considered the possibility.  With the introduction of new evidence, three prominent Representatives felt as though they too had reason to move forward with an investigation and hearings.  

    Representatives Robert Wexler (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), all Members of the House Judiciary Committee, considered the novel revelation offered by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.  The Vice President and his staff purposefully gave then Press Secretary McClellan false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson, a covert Central Intelligence agent.  Dick Cheney and his team intentionally chose to release erroneous reports to the American people.  This realization prompted the newly stated and amplified concern for impeachment.  

    Only after much protest from readers did the Miami Herald print an edited version of the original letter from the Representatives.  However, it seems that Florida publication and all other periodicals are happy to leave the issue behind.  We, the people are not willing to remain silent.

    The need to impeach is imperative.  I implore you.  I invite your newspaper to truly inform Americans.  Rather than encourage apathy, please tell the people, print, more than the White House wants us to know.

    Sincerely . . .

    Betsy L. Angert


    Dear friends, family, and familiars; I thank you all for your interest and participation in the process.  On behalf of Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Representatives, Robert Wexler, Luis Gutierrez, Tammy Baldwin, our country, and the Constitution may I extend my deepest appreciation for your thoughts, words, and deeds.  We can only hope that United, America will peacefully stand strong again.  We cannot know unless and until we begin to censure those that fight against us.  We are one, or were, the United States of America, a democratic nation, of, by, and for the people.  Together we can take our country back.

    References and Resources in Support of Impeachment Hearings . . .

    Impeachment Off The Table; On Center Stage

    Article I: Initiation & Continuation of Illegal War (Part 4)

    copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

    John Conyers put impeachment on the table.  Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi said to place such a ‘distraction’ on the table is tantamount to treason.  Newly appointed, anointed Pelosi let it be known, there was business to be done and Democrats would do the deeds she deemed necessary.  These did not include prosecution of the President or his Vice.  Hence, Conyers removed censure from the agenda  He had other concerns.  His own appointment as Chair to the Judiciary Committee hinged on whether he honored the wishes of the recently selected Speaker.  

    Thus, Congressman Conyers declared . . .

    No Rush to Impeachment

    By John Conyers Jr.

    Washington Post

    Thursday, May 18, 2006; A23

    As Republicans have become increasingly nervous about whether they will be able to maintain control of the House in the midterm elections, they have resorted to the straw-man strategy of identifying a parade of horrors to come if Democrats gain the majority. Among these is the assertion that I, as the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, would immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush.

    I will not do that. I readily admit that I have been quite vigorous, if not relentless, in questioning the administration. The allegations I have raised are grave, serious, well known, and based on reliable media reports and the accounts of former administration officials.

    But none of these allegations can be proved or disproved until the administration answers questions. For example, to know whether intelligence was mistaken or manipulated in the run-up to the Iraq war, we need to know what information was made available to — and actually read by — decision makers and how views contradicting the case for war were treated.

    We need to know the extent to which high-ranking officials approved of the use of torture and other cruel and inhumane treatment inflicted upon detainees. We need to know whether the leaking of the name of a covert CIA operative was deliberate or accidental, as well as the identity of those responsible.

    The administration’s stonewalling, and the lack of oversight by Congress, have left us to guess whether we are dealing with isolated wrongdoing, or mistakes, or something worse. In my view, the American people deserve answers, not guesses. I have proposed that we obtain these answers in a responsible and bipartisan manner.

    John Conyers professed we need answers.  He forgets there was no evidence of wrongdoing against Richard Milhous Nixon until an impeachment investigation was underway.  Most mused those in opposition to the Vietnam war wanted the President out.  However, as Elizabeth Holtzman, a member of the Judiciary Committee during the Nixon proceedings writes much is the same and more differs.  Subversion is similar.  Evidence is now more abundant.  Our own neglect may be our downfall.  Perhaps, past disregard for Democratic principles allowed for the eventuality of what we see today.  If we forego our responsibility to democracy again, what might occur in the future?  Let us assess what we know.

    Subverting Our Democracy

    A President can commit no more serious crime against our democracy than lying to Congress and the American people to get them to support a military action or war. It is not just that it is cowardly and abhorrent to trick others into giving their lives for a nonexistent threat, or even that making false statements might, in some circumstances, be a crime.

    It is that the decision to go to war is the gravest decision a nation can make, and in a democracy the people and their elected representatives, when there is no imminent attack on the United States to repel, have the right to make it. Given that the consequences can be death for hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of people–as well as the diversion of vast sums of money to the war effort–the fraud cannot be tolerated. That both Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon were guilty of misleading the nation into military action and neither was impeached for it makes it more, not less, important to hold Bush accountable.

    Once it was clear that no weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq, President Bush tried to blame “bad intelligence” for the decision to go to war, apparently to show that the WMD claim was not a deliberate deception. But bad intelligence had little or nothing to do with the main arguments used to win popular support for the invasion of Iraq.

    First, there was no serious intelligence–good or bad–to support the Administration’s suggestion that Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda were in cahoots. Nonetheless, the Administration repeatedly tried to claim the connection to show that the invasion was a justified response to 9/11 (like the declaration of war against Japan for Pearl Harbor). The claim was a sheer fabrication.

    Second, there was no reliable intelligence to support the Administration’s claim that Saddam was about to acquire nuclear weapons capability. The specter of the “mushroom cloud,” which frightened many Americans into believing that the invasion of Iraq was necessary for our self-defense, was made up out of whole cloth. As for the biological and chemical weapons, even if, as reported, the CIA director told the President that these existed in Iraq, the Administration still had plenty of information suggesting the contrary.

    The deliberateness of the deception has also been confirmed by a British source: the Downing Street memo, the official record of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s July 2002 meeting with his top Cabinet officials. At the meeting the chief of British intelligence, who had just returned from the United States, reported that “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.

    But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” In other words, the Bush Administration was reported to be in the process of cooking up fake intelligence and facts to justify going to war in Iraq.

    During the Nixon impeachment proceedings, I drafted the resolution of impeachment to hold President Nixon accountable for concealing from Congress the bombing of Cambodia he initiated. But the committee did not approve it, probably because it might appear political–in other words, stemming from opposition to the war instead of to the President’s abuse of his warmaking powers.

    As Commander-In-Chief, President George W. Bush has used his influence and then some. He initiated, investigated, incited, inflicted, and inflated, all in an attempt to do as he desired.  Americans sat idly by, as did Congress.  Little has changed other than we know more about the manipulations.  Today, the table turns, tilts, or is hidden from view, and the Speaker continues to hedge.  

    Thankfully, The Culture Project and Presidential hopeful, Congressman Dennis Kucinich move forward.  The potential President Kucinich works tirelessly to ensure that censure is more than an option ignored.  Kucinich brings the issue to the floor of the House in the form of a priveledged Resolution.  The Culture Project takes the matter to center stage.

    Naomi Wolf, Jackson Browne, Lewis Lapham, Phoebe Snow, Michael Ratner, Bruce Fein, and Sam Shepard are among the many scholars, artists, and activists that ask Americans to authentically consider A Question of Impeachment.  

    This series is meant to inform and inspire great minds, those that have been fast asleep for too long.  

    The masses once actively participated in government.  Long ago, the media investigated and spoke to sources outside the White House.  Now, each hibernates, and the Administration obstructs justice.  The Constitution was torn to shreds.  Habeas corpus is no more.  Executive Powers are infinite; although, apparently, according to the Vice President there is no Executive Branch under Bush. As Americans sit silently, absorbed in apathy . . .

    [The] Culture Project brings crucial and timely concerns to the fore once again with a new, unique series that gathers some of the most brilliant and visionary minds of our time to explore and debate the case for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

    You may wish to review the full impeachment schedule, or tune in for just a few discussions.  The forum begins and ends in the month of December.  Might we, the people work as quickly in support of the Constitution or will we continue to ignore the provisions that ensure no President has, uses, and abuses absolute power?

    Sunday, December 2 ?12:00 p.m.  A screening of special cuts of New Home Movies from the Lower 9th Ward, Oscar-winner Jonathan Demme’s new documentary drawn from the stories of residents of New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

    Monday, December 3 ?7:00 p.m. Article III: Criminal Negligence and Hurricane Katrina. Participants include attorney Bruce Fein, journalist Lewis Lapham, actor and activist Alec Baldwin, New Orleans public housing organizer Sam Jackson, Judith Browne-Dianis, from the Advancement Project, and Tiffany Gardner from the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative. Performers include Bobby Cannavale, Callie Thorne, Tracie Thoms, Denis O’Hare, Jodie Markell, Bradley White, Nana Mensah, and Chris McKinney.

    Sunday, December 9 ?7:30 p.m.  Vanessa, Lynn, Corin, and Jemma Redgrave make a very special appearance to read Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak, a collection of poems written by detainees held in the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Marc Falkoff, attorney and editor of Poems from Guantanamo, will also be with us.

    Monday, December 10 ?7:00 p.m.  Article IV: Warrantless Surveillance. Participants include former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, attorney Joshua Dratel, attorney Shayana Kadidal of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Aziz Huq of NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice, and journalist Richard Valeriani. Performers include Kristen Johnston, Michael Mastro, Nana Mensah, Gerry Bamman, Chris McKinney, and Sarah-Doe Osborne.

    Sunday, December 16? CLOSING DAY 2:00 p.m. Article V: Expansion of Executive Power. Participants include Harper’s contributor and human rights attorney Scott Horton, author David Lindorff, and attorney Marjorie Cohn. Performers include Josh Hamilton, Tracie Thoms, Ned Eisenberg, Grace Zandarski, and Tom Bower.

    7:30 p.m. Closing celebration includes performance and commentary from John Nichols, author of The Genius of Impeachment, Jackson Browne, Jorie Graham, Naomi Wolf, Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater, Peter Matthiessen, Kathleen Chalfant, Aasif Mandvi, and others.

    Perchance, after each performance you, dear reader will reflect and realize, the time is now.  You may be encouraged to dream what some think absurd.  I invite you to explore.  Before you venture out on Election Day certain January 2009 is your last hope.  Please consider there are possibilities more profound and perhaps, if we are to preserve the Constitution, necessary.

    Sources and Censure . . .

  • The 110th Congress: A New Direction for America. Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • The Culture Project.
  • No Rush to Impeachment, By John Conyers Jr. Washington Post. Thursday, May 18, 2006; Page A23
  • pdf No Rush to Impeachment, By John Conyers Jr. Washington Post. Thursday, May 18, 2006; Page A23
  • Kucinich Introduces Impeachment Articles Against Cheney. Washington Post. April 24, 2007
  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich Privileged Resolution. November 6, 2007
  • The Impeachment of George W. Bush, By Elizabeth Holtzman.  The Nation. January 30, 2006
  • Executive Privileges Prevail. High on Crimes and Misdemeanors

    Countdown: Signing Statements Weaken the Law

    copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

    He is bold.  He is brilliant.  He is our President, George W. Bush.  This chap interprets the law and framed the Courts.  There is even talk of his attempting  to change the Constitution.  Perhaps the term “Executive Branch” no longer includes the Vice President or the Commander-In-Chief.  At least, guidelines and laws do not apply to those currently occupying the offices.

    Daily doings since George W. Bush took office befuddle the mind.  Every evening since this determined man took office, the unexpected occurs.  After the September 11, 2001 attack on the Twin Towers, early in the President’s first term, Congress crumbled under the weight of the younger enigmatic Bush.  Members of the House and Senate were convinced that this resolute Texan cowboy could and would protect this nation from terrorism.  A joint resolution was made law and authorized the President to use military force against Iraq.  Notwithstanding, Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein played no part in the plot against the United States.

    However, long before that Congressional ruling, according to a 2001 memorandum, written by  then Justice Department Lawyer John Yoo, the President did not need Congress to authorize his greater power.  This Commander-In-Chief has supremacy that supersedes conventions.  Mister Bush knows how to maximize a myth and take what he wants.

    Even now that the Democrats are said to be the majority rule in Congress, they are not.  Conservatives led by Bush have ample clout.  The “Right” knows how to use their authority, and they do.  Therefore, there is no confidence in a Congress that bends to Bush. 

    The Supreme Court was changed significantly under the charismatic leadership of this clever man.  The neoconservative Bush established a Court in his image.  Since the newly placed Chief Justice, John Roberts, and the illustrious jurist Samuel Alito took their seats, Supreme Court rulings established decades, even a century earlier are overturned.  Consider a Divided Court Limits Use of Race by School Districts, or the Supreme Court Lifts Ban on Minimum Retail Pricing.  Days before the deliverance of these dramatic decisions, Americans discovered they had ample reason to believe high-level bureaucrats broke the law. 

    Senators Subpoena The White House; [a] Panel Demands Papers On NSA Wiretapping.  This was not the first time White House officials were called before the courts; nor will it likely be the last.  However, inevitably “executive privilege” is invoked and although some are threatened with jail time, ultimately, the President and his men will be protected.

    The Commander-In-Chief and his Cabinet impressive and invincible.  They must be.  Why else would Congress, the Courts, and citizens permit the President and his pals to run rampant. 

    Perhaps, we the people of the United States are daunted by the dignity of the office.  It appears others are.  Heads of State around the globe believe America is the world?s largest superpower.  Leaders frequently defer to the 43rd President of the United States of America  Apparently, George W. Bush is the man.  At least he is in treated as such.

    However, in the minds of many  the junior Bush is an impervious menace.  With all that this fine fellow has “executed” we can say with certainty, George W. Bush has left a legacy that will last long beyond his lifetime. 

    Most prominent among the President?s powers is his uncanny ability to avoid impeachment.  Numerous persons speak of the proposition.  In 2005, the Washington Post dared to mention, The Impeachment Question.

    Less than two years ago, there was reason to believe members of Congress were also concerned.  US Representative John Conyers, Democrat from Michigan, proposed we the people impeach this President.  in December 2005, he submitted House Resolution, Number 635 in hopes of removing the renegade Bush from office..  Congressman Conyer’s declaration was gaining support.  However, Nancy Pelosi, the aspiring Leader of the House decided, Democrats must appear moderate if they wished to win their seats in Congress..  Conyers considered his own ambition, and then yielded to the future Chairwoman.

    Once again, impeachment was but a dream, one that remained impossible.

    For a time, those in cyberspace thought the tide had changed.  House Leader Nancy Pelosi conducted a poll, asking if the people believed impeachment was a viable option.  I called, as did many caught in the world-wide-web.  However, apparently there never was a bona fide survey.  The idea immerged as many an impression does. 

    Those in cyberspace were whispering down the lane.  The original message was magnified as it filtered through the system.

    What happened in this case is that a blog asked folks to call Pelosi because her “office is taking calls voting for Impeachment.”  That is certainly true.  Congress always welcomes calls and keeps tallies of peoples opinions.

    This morphed eventually into “Pelosi taking phone poll” on impeachment.

    Although telephone lines were flooded, Chairwoman Pelosi was not truly concerned.  She has publicly stated, “that impeachment is off the table; she is not interested in pursuing it.”  The reasons are as illusive as the man and his image.

    While the idea lingers in the stratosphere, those supporting it are thought too far out.  They do not appear Presidential.  Case in point: Dennis Kucinich.  Congressman Kucinich welcomes a Presidential censure.  However, he fears what might occur if Bush is removed from office and Vice President Cheney is left to lead this nation into further oblivion. 

    Therefore, for the representative from Ohio, Dennis Kucinich, the focus is no longer on the Teflon President.  [The title that once belonged to Ronald Reagan; however, it is now perhaps more aptly placed on George W. Bush.  Kucinich Introduces Impeachment Articles Against Cheney.  We can only wonder, could Dick Cheney possibly be impeached.  History tells us this too is a fantasy.  All the President’s men and women are protected.  They, as George W. Bush remains impermeable. 

    The lack of desire or initiative to censure the President suits Mister Bush just fine.  He is content doing as he does.  Vociferously, George W. Bush seeks and takes power.  He claims to crave a line-item veto..  However, in truth, he knows he does not need it; nor can we be certain he wants line item veto power. 

    Perhaps that possibility would make his doings a little too public and open to scrutiny.  Besides, Mister Bush knows that there is a Constitutional question concerning the privilege.  The President would not wish to [openly] dishonor the Constitution.  It is too risky.

    Bush is using signing statements like line item vetoes.  Yet the Supreme Court has held the line item vetoes are unconstitutional.  In 1988, in Clinton v.  New York, the High Court said a president had to veto an entire law: Even Congress, with its Line Item Veto Act, could not permit him to veto provisions he might not like.

    The Court held the Line Item Veto Act unconstitutional in that it violated the Constitution’s Presentment Clause.  That Clause says that after a bill has passed both Houses, but “before it become[s] a Law,” it must be presented to the President, who “shall sign it” if he approves it, but “return it” – that is, veto the bill, in its entirety– if he does not.

    Following the Court’s logic, and the spirit of the Presentment Clause, a president who finds part of a bill unconstitutional, ought to veto the entire bill – not sign it with reservations in a way that attempts to effectively veto part (and only part) of the bill.  Yet, that is exactly what Bush is doing.  The Presentment Clause makes clear that the veto power is to be used with respect to a bill in its entirety, not in part.

    Realistically, Mister Bush can have greater control than the red pen might have offered him.  Mother Jones Columnist Daniel Schulman  documents the ways in which George w. Bush decrees his desires.  Please ponder.

    W’s Poison Pen  Presidential Signing Bonuses
    March/April 2007 Issue

    Ever since the days of James Monroe, presidents have used signing statements to comment on new laws.  Over the nation’s first two centuries, such statements had challenged a total of 600 statutes; the Bush administration alone has challenged 800 statutes.  This staggering total, and the way the White House has used them to essentially claim that Congress has no power over its decisions, has alarmed constitutional scholars, lawyers, and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.  Below, a sampling:

    Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002?
    The Law Said: Corporate whistleblowers giving information to government agencies or Congress will be protected from retaliation.?
    Bush Said: Only whistleblowers who squeal directly to the congressman or a committee that is investigating the relevant issue will be protected.  This interpretation, said Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), means the statute only applies to people “who are lucky enough to find the one member of Congress out of 535 who happens to be the chairman of the appropriate committee who also just happens to already be conducting an investigation, even though the problem identified may not have come to light yet.”

    Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006?
    The Law Said: Future FEMA administrators (unlike patronage appointee Michael “Heckuva Job” Brown) must have some background in disaster management and “not less than 5 years of executive leadership and management experience.”?
    Bush Said: The statute “rules out a large portion of those persons best qualified…to fill the office” and will be ignored.

    USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005?
    The Law Said:, The Justice Department’s inspector general must investigate “any improper or illegal use” of expanded powers provided by the act, including the FBI’s use of National Security Letters that force businesses to turn over sensitive customer information.?
    Bush Said: He’ll withhold any information whose release he deems harmful to “foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive’s constitutional duties”?in other words, any information that might be worth knowing.

    Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2006?
    The Law Said: Detainees in U.S. custody will not be subjected to “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.”?
    Bush Said: The administration will use whatever interrogation tactics it sees fit.

    Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2002?
    The Law Said: Congress will be briefed before launching a “special access” (read: “black”) program along the lines of the National Security Agency’s surveillance efforts.?
    Bush Said: Special-access programs are none of Congress’ business; he’ll inform lawmakers when he chooses, “as a matter of comity.”

    Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2004?
    The Law Said: First-class mail will be protected from warrantless searches.?
    Bush Said: We don’t need no stinking warrant to open your mail.

    Apparently, President Bush and his cohorts do not feel the need to obtain a Court writ for much.  The Supreme Court only concerns itself with cases that come before them.  Since Bush does not bring his statements to their attention, there is little reason to argue the points.

    This Administration does not believe the law applies to them.  Congress need not approve of their actions.  Given that the House and the Senate cannot bear to discuss the questionable practices of this President, signing statements are plentiful.  Few speak of what they feel powerless to change, that is until the General Accounting Office addressed the issue. 

    On June 18, 2007, the GAO reprimanded the White House for its carefree use of “signing statements.” The General Accounting Office cast doubt on the Constitutionality of these briefs.  However, most acknowledge this revelation will change nothing.  The President, ignored reprimands from this independent arm of Congress in the past.

    You, dear reader, may recall in 2004, the GAO stated the Bush Administration violated two federal laws in its attempt to promote changes in Medicare.  Mister Bush did not let this ruling deter them.  The White house and Departments within continued to do as they had done.  The Administration authorized other dubious actions.  Disseminating propaganda was not merely a practice, it was, and continues to be policy in the Bush White House. 

    In 2005, another decision was handed down, Buying of News by Bush’s Aides Is Ruled Illegal.  This time the Department of Education was involved.  Once more Mister Bush discounted the claim.  Indeed, the President responded.

    “We will not be paying commentators to advance our agenda.  Our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet.”

    Later the White House chose to legitimize what they had done.

    “[N]o more than the legitimate dissemination of information to the public.”

    However, the General Accounting Office disagreed.

    [T]he Education Department had no money or authority to “procure favorable commentary in violation of the publicity or propaganda prohibition” in federal law.

    The battle of words and wits went on.  Nonetheless, in the end, the Administration was not punished for these illegal practices.  Nor will there be repercussions resulting from this more recent decision.  The GAO does not have the authority to convict and Congress obviously does not have the will.

    One might say ultimately, the Courts decide whether a crime has been committed.  Indeed, they do.  Analysts speculate the President and his attorneys have considered this possibility as it relates to signing statements.

    Rather than veto laws passed by Congress, Bush is using his signing statements to effectively nullify them as they relate to the executive branch.  These statements, for him, function as directives to executive branch departments and agencies as to how they are to implement the relevant law.

    President Bush and the attorneys advising him may also anticipate that the signing statements will help him if and when the relevant laws are construed in court – for federal courts, depending on their views of executive power, may deem such statements relevant to their interpretation of a given law.  After all, the law would not have passed had the President decided to veto it, so arguably, his view on what the law meant ought to (within reason) carry some weight for the court interpreting it.  This is the argument, anyway.

    ‘Interpretation’ of is the beauty and genius of George W. Bush.  His strong faith and beliefs belie all reason; yet, his personal views have literally become America’s reality.

    George W. Bush is omnipotent.  This fellow is a man of inconceivable power.  It seems faith has been his guide.  This President believes in himself.  He truly thinks G-d entrusted him to take the reins.  George W. Bush has confidence; he is in the “right.”  Thus, this President rules with an iron fist, pen in hand, and with impunity. 

    Were there to be impeachment proceedings, the hand-picked Bush protagonist, Chief Justice Roberts would preside over the hearings.

    The Senate holds trial on the articles of impeachment approved by the House. The Senate sits as a jury while the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial.

    Might we reflect on John Roberts conservative record, particularly since he became the Chief Justice of the United states Supreme Court.  Then judge; what will be the outcome of these proceedings.  Once more, the White House has an advantage, imperceptible as it may be to some.  This President crafted the Court to his liking.  Mister Bush trusts the other “deciders” are now working with him, not against him. 

    George W. Bush is quite a jewel.  He is the epitome of a determined man.  This man is unwavering.  He understands, “Where there is a will there is a way.”  George W. Bush has the will and he has availed himself of many means for accomplishing all that he covets.

    There are many theories as to why Mister Bush might have wanted to go to war with Iraq.  These not withstanding, there is evidence demonstrating President Bush was on a mission.  He did all he could to accomplish his goal, change the regime, topple Saddam Hussein, and “spread democracy” to the Middle East.  No one stopped him.  Indeed, the Congress and our countrymen were mesmerized.  Perchance that is why our Representatives and the people will not impeach.  Americans are embarrassed; they trusted this Commander-In-Chief.

    Mister Bush convinced an anxious public that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction.  According to this Administration, the dictator was intent.  He would use his arsenal to destroy the United States.  While this was not true, anyone that declared the statement false was considered a threat to the Bush plan and had to destroyed.  Thus, we have the story of former Ambassador and American Diplomat Joseph Wilson and the bureaucratic lawbreakers now facing no jail time.

    The impeccable, though not impeachable George W. Bush was deeply disturbed when attaché Joe Wilson wrote an New York Times Op-Ed piece disputing the President’s pronouncement.  The magnificent Bush authorized the demise of this ‘defiant’ American Diplomat. 

    The White House proceeded to crush Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame.  The Administration destroyed this couples credibility and careers.  Then, they lied to Federal Investigators and the Grand Jury.  Convicted felon, I. Lewis [Scooter] Libby spoke of this, mentioning the President of the United States of America authorized the actions that brought Wilson and Plame down.

    Defendant?s participation in a critical conversation with Judith Miller on July 8 (discussed further below) occurred only after the Vice President advised defendant that the President specifically had authorized defendant to disclose certain information in the NIE.  Defendant testified that the circumstances of his conversation with reporter Miller – getting approval from the President through the Vice President to discuss material that would be classified but for that approval – were unique in his recollection. 

    Defendant further testified that on July 12, 2003, he was specifically directed by the Vice President to speak to the press in place of Cathie Martin (then the communications person for the Vice President) regarding the NIE and Wilson.  Defendant was instructed to provide what was for him an extremely rare “on the record” statement, and to provide “background” and “deep background” statements, and to provide information contained in a document defendant understood to be the cable authored by Mr. Wilson.  During the conversations that followed on July 12, defendant discussed Ms. Wilson?s employment with both Matthew Cooper (for the first time) and Judith Miller (for the third time).

    Even if someone else in some other agency thought that the controversy about Mr. Wilson and/or his wife was a trifle, that person?s state of mind would be irrelevant to the importance and focus defendant placed on the matter and the importance he attached to the surrounding conversations he was directed to engage in by the Vice President.  Case 1:05-cr-00394-RBW, Document 80, Filed 04/05/2006,Page 20 of 39

    Might this behavior warrant a High Crime or Misdemeanor.  Could the President’s conduct in this one incident be considered criminal; we might never know.  The aura that surrounds our leader and Chief obscures clarity.  George W. Bush, or the fact that G-d is on his side, seems to prevent any in-depth investigation.

    Those that recall the Nixon impeachment acknowledge criminal intent, was not clear until after impeachment proceedings were underway.  Watergate was not the woeful reason for an injunction against the President. Initially, Richard Milhous Nixon was not on trial.  Only aides were considered criminal.  [Hmmm, that sounds familiar.]  Corruption within the Oval Office was unthinkable.  The cover-up brought the Nixon White House down.

    Counsel to former President Nixon, John Dean reflects on the Nixon scenario and compares it to the Bush situation. Dean concludes, George Bush is More vicious than Tricky Dick.  Indeed, he is also more cunning.

    There is a reason this esteemed ?criminal? escapes censure, no matter the misdeeds and transgressions.  George Bush controls the Congress and the Courts, and possibly, sad to say the public. The people have power to insist on impeachment; yet,  they are reticent to use it. 

    Granted, President Bush lied about the reasons for going to war.  Isn?t that an impeachable offense? 

    Decidedly, the President is making infinite use and perchance abusing the privilege of signing statements.  Might that be a reason for prosecution?  Could the Supreme Court not question the validity of a President making law?

    George W. Bush authorized the name of a Central Intelligence covert agent be released.  Could Congress charge him with that crime?  Might the Chief Justice call this treasonous?

    Anything could happen in this era of the unexpected; however, likely nothing will. The one constant we can count on is Bush is beyond the law.  Americans accept no longer is impeachment a viable option.  Congress cringes at the idea.  The public pooh-poohs it.  The House, the Senate, and the simple folk crush the possibility of censure. 

    The public believes, there is not enough time.  No matter the evidence, our countrymen claim this Administration has not committed numerous high crimes and misdemeanors.

    One can only conclude George W. Bush is correct.  The Lord walks with this President, as do members of Congress, the courts, and citizens of this country.  We are all complicit.  Thus, we let things be.  What other reason could there be for mass confusion, delusion, and a lack of dissent.  I know not.  I only trust that the next few years will be long.  Each minute will bring more of the bewildering, baffling, unimaginable, the sad, and yet, true.

    George W. Bush, I will never underestimate you.  You are the man, the miracle, and in my mind a menace.  Congratulations; every mission you embark on is accomplished.  The State of the Union and the conditions that exist throughout this globe are your legacy.  Well done; I think?  I am so confused. 

    Those in the know frequently reprimand this Administration for High Crimes and Misdemeanors.  Recent testimony from a White House aide reveals much.  An exhaustive investigation, such as the one Nixon experienced when Congress was preparing for trial might expose more.  However, it seems we may never know the truth.  It is a mystery to me.  Perhaps that too was your goal.  People with little information are more easily manipulated.

    Impeachment; The Issues and Information . . .

  • Supreme Court Lifts Ban on Minimum Retail Pricing, By Stephen Labaton.  The New York Times. June 29, 2007
  • pdf Supreme Court Lifts Ban on Minimum Retail Pricing, By Stephen Labaton.  The New York Times. June 29, 2007
  • Divided Court Limits Use of Race by School Districts, By Robert Barnes.  Washington Post.?Friday, June 29, 2007; Page A01
  • pdf Divided Court Limits Use of Race by School Districts, By Robert Barnes.  Washington Post.?Friday, June 29, 2007; Page A01
  • Senators Subpoena The White House, Panel Demands Papers On NSA Wiretapping.  By Michael A. Fletcher.  Washington Post. Thursday, June 28, 2007; Page A01
  • pdf Senators Subpoena The White House, Panel Demands Papers On NSA Wiretapping.  By Michael A. Fletcher.  Washington Post.  June 28, 2007
  • Court Won’t Delay Libby Prison Sentence. By Matt Apuzzo.  Guardian Unlimited. Monday July 2, 2007 6:16 PM
  • Bush: Saddam was not responsible for 9/11, By Suzanne Goldenberg.  Guardian Unlimited. Tuesday September 12, 2006
  • Bush claims oversight exemption too, The White House says the president’s own order on classified data does not apply to his office or the vice president’s.  By Josh Meyer, Los Angeles Times. June 23, 2007
  • pdf Bush claims oversight exemption too, The White House says the president’s own order on classified data does not apply to his office or the vice president’s.  By Josh Meyer, Los Angeles Times. June 23, 2007
  • No Confidence in a Congress that Bends to Bush.  By John Nichols.  The Nation. June 23, 2007
  • Administration Rejects Ruling On PR Videos, GAO Called Tapes Illegal Propaganda.  By Christopher Lee.  Washington Post.Tuesday, March 15, 2005; Page A21
  • Who’s Afraid of Dennis Kucinich? By Matt Taibbi.  The Nation. October 9, 2003
  • Introduces Impeachment Articles Against Cheney.  By Charles Babington.  Washington Post.?Friday, May 12, 2006; Page A06
  • Is lying about the reason for a war an impeachable offense? By John W. Dean.?FindLaw Columnist.  Special to Cable News Network.?Friday, June 6, 2003

  • Roberts, Alito help define new Supreme Court, Frustrated on other fronts, Bush can claim some success on the high court.  By Tom Curry.  MSNBC News. June 18, 2007
  • Why Bush hasn’t been impeached, Congress, the media and most of the American people have yet to turn decisively against Bush because to do so would be to turn against some part of themselves, By Gary Kamiya.  Salon. May 22, 2007
  • The case for impeachment, It’s not just for radicals anymore.  By Steven T. Jones.  San Francisco Bay Guardian.
  • Mistaken Phone Poll Reveals Support for Impeachment, By Phil Burk.  Impeach Bush. May 15, 2007
  • Democrats Won’t Try To Impeach President, By Charles Babington.  Washington Post. Friday, May 12, 2006; Page A06
  • Dems to Use Moderation if They Win House, By Andrew Taylor.  Associated Press.  San Francisco Gate. Thursday, October 19, 2006
  • Bush puts God on his side. By Tom Carver.  British Broadcasting Company. April 6, 2003
  • Sorry Now? What Do Liberal and Moderate Lawyers Who Supported John Roberts’ Nomination Say Today? By Emily Bazelon.  Slate. Posted Thursday, June 28, 2007, at 1:43 PM ET
  • More vicious than Tricky Dick, By John Dean.  Salon. October 3, 2003
  • President commutes Libby’s sentence, Calls 30-month term for ex-Cheney aide ‘excessive.’  By Mark Silva.  Chicago Tribune. July 3, 2007
  • pdf President commutes Libby’s sentence, Calls 30-month term for ex-Cheney aide ‘excessive.’  By Mark Silva.  Chicago Tribune. July 3, 2007
  • GAO Says HHS Broke Laws With Medicare Videos, By Amy Goldstein.  Washington Post.?Thursday, May 20, 2004; Page A01
  • pdf GAO Says HHS Broke Laws With Medicare Videos, By Amy Goldstein.  Washington Post.?Thursday, May 20, 2004; Page A01
  • Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush, By Ron Suskind.  The New York Times. October 17, 2004
  • pdf Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush, By Ron Suskind.  The New York Times. October 17, 2004
  • Bush signings called effort to expand power, Report sees broad strategy.  By Charlie Savage.  Boston Globe. October 5, 2006
  • Bush Calls on Senate to Pass Line-Item Veto, President Seeks Way to Fight Earmarks.  By Peter Baker.  Washington Post.?Wednesday, June 28, 2006; Page A03
  • ‘Signing Statements’ Study Finds Administration Has Ignored Laws.  By Jonathan Weisman.  Washington Post. Tuesday, June 19, 2007; Page A04
  • pdf ‘Signing Statements’ Study Finds Administration Has Ignored Laws.  By Jonathan Weisman.  Washington Post. Tuesday, June 19, 2007; Page A04
  • W’s Poison Pen,  Presidential signing bonuses.  By Daniel Schulman.  Mother Jones. March/April 2007 Issue
  • pdf W’s Poison Pen,  Presidential signing bonuses.  By Daniel Schulman.  Mother Jones. March/April 2007 Issue
  • President to Press for Line-Item Veto Power, By Jim Rutenberg.  New York Times. June 28, 2006
  • pdf President to Press for Line-Item Veto Power, By Jim Rutenberg.  New York Times. June 28, 2006
  • Bush Calls on Senate to Pass Line-Item Veto, President Seeks Way to Fight Earmarks, By Peter Baker.  Washington Post. Wednesday, June 28, 2006; Page A03
  • pdf Bush Calls on Senate to Pass Line-Item Veto, President Seeks Way to Fight Earmarks, By Peter Baker.  Washington Post. Wednesday, June 28, 2006; Page A03
  • Buying of News by Bush’s Aides Is Ruled Illegal, By Robert Blair.  The New York Times. October 1, 2005
  • Administration Rejects Ruling On PR Videos, GAO Called Tapes Illegal Propaganda.  By Christopher Lee.  ?Washington Post. Tuesday, March 15, 2005; Page A21
  • pdf Administration Rejects Ruling On PR Videos, GAO Called Tapes Illegal Propaganda.  By Christopher Lee.  ?Washington Post. Tuesday, March 15, 2005; Page A21
  • Presidential Signing Statements Accompanying the Fiscal Year 2006 Appropriations Acts. United States Government Accountability Office.
  • Impeach. Support Increases for Censure of Cheney and Bush

    Dennis Kucinich Move To Impeach V.P. Cheney Gains Support.

    copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

    The quiet little man from Ohio is making gains.  His mission is not yet accomplished; nor is his objective vengeful.  Honesty and integrity are his vision.  Congressman Dennis Kucinich does not think the President of the United States governs the people, or presides over the public as a ruler might.  Presidential Candidate Kucinich believes in a higher moral standard.  He has faith the person that holds the office of President has the power to bring peace to this planet.  The former Mayor also holds that the Vice President must act with honor.  He asserts neither in our current Administration does.  The Congressman claims as do others that are joining him in expressing their concerns, we must work to impeach this George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

    John Conyers proposed impeachment of the President many months ago.  While the Congressman had support for the measure, House Resolution 635, [636 and 637] that movement languished under the weight of the idea we must wait, or not pursue that path for reasons that trouble the calm and peace seeking Congressman Kucinich. 

    Dennis Kucinich observes that the current White House focuses on defense, destruction, and a deliverance from “evil.”  This concentration does not benefit or befit a President and his or her Cabinet.  Yet, the Bush – Cheney clan contends they must lie, cheat, and steal to secure our shores.  The Congressman thinks not and has said so for quite some time.

    After months of appeals to an apathetic public, an extremely cautious Congress, or people that just feel powerless, there is a little bit of movement.  Today, in my own life two persons expressed a belief that the ?electability? factor they clung to may not serve us [citizens of the United States and the globe] well.

    Earlier eight of those in Congress that once stated President Bush and his pals had not committed “high crimes and misdemeanors,” or at least they had not done so in a manner that might make a case for censure are now re-thinking their stance.  In April of this year, after delaying too long in the minds of many people, Dennis Kucinich called for impeachment.  This plan would not only introduce articles of impeachment against the President, this directive would address the transgressions of the man second-in command, Vice President Dick Cheney.

    Kucinich introduced three articles of impeachment against Cheney: The first accusing the vice president of deceiving the country by “fabricating a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify” an invasion of Iraq; the second accusing him of “purposefully” manipulating intelligence to Congress and the American public about a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda “despite all evidence to the contrary;” and the third for “threaten[ing] aggression against the Republic of Iran absent any real threat to the United States.”

    In a synopsis, Kucinich wrote, “In all of this, Vice President Richard B. Cheney has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as Vice President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and the manifest injury of the people of the United States.  Wherefore Richard B. Cheney, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.”

    The progress is slow.  For Progressives it usually is.  However, we are patient people, at times too serene for our own good.

    BREAKING: Five US Reps Support Cheney Impeachment
    By Matthew Cardinale, News Editor, Atlanta Progressive News
    June 06, 2007

    (APN) ATLANTA – US Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) has become the fifth total co-sponsor of US Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s (D-OH) bill to impeach Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney, Atlanta Progressive News has learned. In addition to Kucinich, the additional three Members of Congress who have signed on to H. Res 333 are US Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), William Lacy Clay (D-MO), and Albert Wynn (D-MD).

    “This Administration has continued to erode the trust of the American people and enough is simply enough,” stated US Rep. Clarke in a press release issued first to Atlanta Progressive News.

    “H.Res. 333 was introduced to the House of Representatives by Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio on April 24, 2007, and asserts that the vice president manipulated intelligence to make the case for going to war with Iraq, falsified a connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda, and has threatened aggression against Iran,” US Rep. Clarke says.

    “When the American people voted on November 7th, they asked for a change in direction by electing the Democratic party in the House and Senate. I have heard the loud cries of my constituents, and they want accountability. My support of HRes 333 reflects the voices of the residents of central Brooklyn.”

    Congresswoman Clarke replaced US Rep. Major Owens (D-NY), who retired at the end of the 109th Session. US Rep. Owens had been one of the early supporters of Conyers? bill, H Res 635, which would have created a Select Committee to look into the possible grounds for impeaching President Bush.

    Congresswoman Clarke is her own woman and “does not follow the crowd,” her spokesperson said, adding that constituents had regularly lobbied her to co-sponsor this bill.

    “Vice President Dick Cheney is the architect of the Administration’s deception about the war. Cheney persistently and deliberately deceived the Congress and the American people about the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the alleged link between Saddam Hussein and the attack on September 11th. There should be a serious dialogue about the conduct of this Administration. Cheney should be held accountable for purposely misleading the American people. Despite the obvious lack of success on the ground, Vice President Cheney continued a barrage of propaganda claiming that we were winning the war and successfully rebuilding Iraq which is patently false. His statements and representations about the situation in Iraq amount to malfeasance for which he should be taken to task,” said Wynn in a press release prepared for Atlanta Progressive News.

    Impeachment activist Tracie Stern of Atlanta World Can’t Wait said the new co-sponsorships are exciting, but at the same time, the case for impeachment is so clear that these Members of Congress are actually just doing their duty.

    Those Members who do not co-sponsor H Res 333 are enabling the Bush Administration, Stern said, adding “People need to step on to the stage of history.”

    Sadly, few do participate as they might.  Many see the government as separate from themselves.  Americans forget the Constitution defines the authority within a democracy as of, by, and for the people.  We, the citizens of this country must make our directives and desires known.  America, we have work to do.  Let us be active and aware and play a part in our lives.  If we wish to bring peace, we must deplore destruction.  We need to disengage from those that bring harm to humans anywhere in the world.

    Do not forget when we assess the strife this country, this planet endures we cannot separate the parts from the whole.  George W. Bush and Richard Cheney are undeniably one.  Each has fostered global destruction, torture, and a lack of transparency.  If we impeach one we must indict the other.  We must remember.

    House Resolution 635.
    Creating a select committee to investigate the Administration?s intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, retaliating against critics, and to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment.

    Out of respect for House Leader Nancy Pelosi and a desire to be appointed to the Judiciary Committee this Resolution was taken off the table by its author Representative John Conyers.  Nevertheless, there were brave souls that supported this measure.

    The 39 total co-sponsors of H Res. 635 were . . .

    US Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA), Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Rep. Jackson, Jr., (D-IL), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), Rep. John Olver (D-MA), Rep. Major Owens (D-NY), Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ), Rep. Martin Sabo (D-MN), Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), Rep. Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA), Rep. John Tierney (D-MA), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Dianne Watson (D-CA), Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), and Rep. David Wu (D-OR).

    Let us not abandon hope or lose sight of our vision.  If we are to bring peace, prosperity, and form a more perfect union than we must work towards what we believe in.  Let us unite in our cause.  May our will be as strong as that of the Administration.  May we never forget, in a democracy the government is of, by, and for the people.  Without us, there is nothing but this awful mess.

    There is reason to believe we can bring about change.  Only months, ago Dennis Kucinich was a whisper, a voice in the wind.  This presentation illustrates what was our truth. We shall overcome.  We shall overcome . . .

    Dennis Kucinich Introduce H Res 333 to Impeach VP Cheney

    We can use nonviolent measures to bring about peace.  Let us lead the world in a manner that is consistent with our rhetoric.  “All we are saying, is give peach a chance.”  Support nonviolent actions.  Impeach the aggressors.

    I thank you for all that you do to help make America strong, the best, a truly tranquil superpower that promotes peace worldwide.

    Support Our Troops and Truth, Justice, and the American Way . . .

  • Raising the Issue of Impeachment, John Nichols.  The Nation. December 20, 2005
  • Kucinich Introduces Impeachment Articles Against Cheney. CQ Transcript wire.  Washington Post. Tuesday, April 24, 2007; 6:09 PM
  • pdf Kucinich Introduces Impeachment Articles Against Cheney. CQ Transcript wire.  Washington Post. Tuesday, April 24, 2007; 6:09 PM
  • At Last, Kucinich Begins His Quest for Impeachment, Mary Ann Akers.  Washington Post. April 24, 2007
  • BREAKING: Five US Reps Support Cheney Impeachment,By Matthew Cardinale. Atlanta Progressive News.  June 6, 2007
  • House Resolution 635.