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Tue

30

Jan

2007

Impeachment: The Missing Word on the Stage in D.C. Last Weekend--But Not On The Street!
Tuesday, 30 January 2007 00:01
by Dave Lindorff

  The largely unstated word at the massive anti-war demonstration and march in Washington on Saturday was “impeachment.” Not that it wasn’t on demonstrators’ lips and signs, but it wasn’t coming from the podium.

The march, organized by United for Peace and Justice, was instead deliberately focused narrowly on the issue of ending the war in Iraq and preventing an invasion of Iran. But clearly, behind that was the sense that the US government is in the hands of a cabal of warmongers and anti-democratic usurpers who are intent on broadening the war in the Middle East, not ending it , and that the Democrats in the 110th Congress haven’t got the spine to stop them (a group from Seattle actually addressed this with a giant white spine float emblazoned with the words “investigate, impeach, indict”).

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the new head of the House Judiciary Committee, was a late addition to the roster of speakers at the rally on the National Mall. He told the cheering throng that while Bush may have been “firing the generals who tell him that we’re losing the war in Iraq,” he “can’t fire you.” Then he added, in a none-too-veiled hint that impeachment may be coming, “But we can fire him!”

The crowd went wild, with chants of “Impeach him!”

The stage has been set.

Bush and Cheney have stated publicly that they will not be swayed by the November election, or by polls or demonstrations, all making it clear that the vast majority of Americans want the Iraq War ended quickly. They have thrown down the gauntlet saying that they will ignore any Congressional resolution condemning the escalation of American involvement in Iraq. They have made it clear by sending a Naval armada to the Persian Gulf and by their threatening statements, that they are getting ready to attack Iran despite universal international opposition and warnings from military experts that it would be a disaster.

There is really only one way to stop the madness: impeachment.

Investigations into administration wrongdoing won’t do it.

Demonstrations won’t do it.

Critics of impeachment, especially among the Democratic leadership, and even some progressive Democrats, say it is too soon. They say, with an excess of caution, that the first step should be investigations.

This is a misunderstanding, or a deliberate distortion, of what the impeachment process is.

The impeachment process itself begins with investigations. To argue that first a case for impeachment has to be proved before a bill of impeachment should be submitted in the House is akin to saying that a case of murder must be proved before an indictment can be brought. In fact, the proper procedure, laid out by the Founding Fathers, is for a member of Congress to submit a bill of impeachment claiming that the president has violated his oath of office, or has engaged in actions that threaten the Constitution or the rule of law. That bill goes to the House Judiciary Committee which must decide whether the bill makes a serious enough charge to warrant going to the full House to request the establishment of an Impeachment Committee, armed with subpoena power, to investigate. (Alternatively, of course, a state’s legislature can submit a joint resolution calling for impeachment, which may happen soon.)

Should a majority of the House vote to impanel the Judiciary Committeee as an Impeachment Committee, that is when the investigation would begin in ernest—a process we saw in action twice in recent memory, first in the case of Richard Nixon, and second with Bill Clinton.

In Bush’s case, there is ample evidence already in the public record to justify multiple bills of impeachment. Just to name a few, we know:

em>* A federal judge has ruled, after hearing evidence from both sides, that President Bush violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a felony, and the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution by authorizing warrantless monitoring of the communications of American citizens.

em>* The president violated the US Criminal Code and the Geneva Conventions by both authorizing torture of prisoners in captivity, and by failing to act to prevent and to punish torture when it was brought to his attention.

em>* The president has abused his power by assuming legislative powers to invalidate duly passed acts of Congress through his issuance of so-called “signing statements”—a process not even mentioned by the Constitution, which assigns “all legislative authority” to the Congress.

On these and a number of other issues, there is really no need for investigations at all. The crimes against the Constitution are obvious, blatant and self-evident. (And in the case of NSA spying, are actually laid out in a federal judge’s opinion.)

All that is lacking at this point, is a principled, courageous and patriotic House leadership to initiate the process.

To hear a presentation of the full case for impeachment against the president, and against some of the key members of the administration, including Cheney, Gonzales and Rice, check out the new release of a video, “The Case for Impeachment,” by Squeaky Wheel Productions,available at:

a href="http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=apfnorg">The Case for Impeachment

(Be sure and pass this link on to everyone you know, and to your congressional representative!).
 
*ED NOTE: Since I have been received a rather caustic email by the the alleged photographer - I have chosen to remove the photograph in question (which I placed with the article - not Lindorff). Though we progressives may have our differences - I thought we were in the battle together... but anyway.

Here's a word of advice - if you don't want your images reproduced elsewhere on the net - then it's not a good idea to publish them without watermarks, using a pseudonymn on one of the Internet's largest public Internet forums. It's difficult to contact someone without having their real name and email address.
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Comments (7)add comment

a guest said:

0
Nicely done.
But how you came to you my photograph without my permission mystifies me. All you had to was ask. I would have said yes.
evlbstrd
 
January 31, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Your photo from a demonstration
Look, I didn't pick the photo to go with the story, but that said, if you go to a public demonstration, and you hold a sign on top of that, you obviously want to be seen, and you have given up any right to privacy. You should be glad your face and your messsage are being broadcast all over the place! Isn't that why you went and why you made a sign in the first place. If you don't want your picture out there, then either stay home or wear a mask.
Dave Lindorff
 
January 31, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Mr. Lindorff
The man is right. It is simple common courtesey to ask permission. I have done so myself many times. Sometimes, it is not possible, but every effort should be made to do so. In this situation it seems that it would have been pretty easy.
 
January 31, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
...
I think he was saying it was a photo he took, not a photo he was in. Apparently it was me in the photo and I came here excited to see it - and now it's gone ;-D oh well, can't please all of the people. But I agree that using a photo TAKEN by someone without permission is far different from using a photo OF someone without permission. I want to be famous anyway, so I don't give a hoot, but evlbstrd shouldn't have his work stolen.
 
January 31, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
.... as the editor noted
If you want to protect your images from being used without permission.

... it's not a good idea to publish them without watermarks, using a pseudonymn on one of the Internet's largest public Internet forums. It's difficult to contact someone without having their real name and email address.
 
January 31, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Dear Editor,
I was foolishly expecting some sort of journalistic integrity. Posting these in a web album does not make them public domain. It was not posted in a forum, as you suggest.
 
January 31, 2007
Votes: +0

Richard Kastelein said:

Richard Kastelein
Sorry
The photo has been taken down. What more do you want?

I never used any images from a online source other than DU. You pics have been reposted several times at the Democratic Underground on various posts.

Once again, I run this site as a service in my spare time - virtually single handed. It costs me money and my reasons are altruistic.

It appears yours are not.
 
January 31, 2007
Votes: +0

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