The NIN Weekly Digest
Portland OR Vol. I, No. 14 9/22/08
Edited by Barbara Ellis, National Impeachment Network (NIN) coordinator for South Side DFA MeetUp Group and the PDX chapter of We the People National Coalition for Impeachment.
This editor was in Washington, D.C. and part of the impeachment relay teams of nearly 50 NIN coordinators from all corners of the country who by this Friday probably will have visited nearly 100 House representatives (a few were Republicans like North Carolina’s Walter Jones). The main pitch was to fulfil the demand of Rep. John Conyers to get 40 co-sponsors for at least one of two impeach President Bush bills hoppered Rep. Dennis Kucinich last spring. H.RES. 1258 contains those 35 articles of high crimes against the Constitution; H.RES 1345 contains one only, Bush s starting an illegal war (Iraq).
I met some of the NIN coordinators you read about weekly in this newsletter for Portland-area impeachment activists (past and present) and lively lunch-time discussions ensued chiefly of tactics. Congress adjourns Friday, but a lot of rumors were racing around Capitol Hill that if the budget didn t get passed by adjournment, House members would have to return for a lame-duck session after the election (Nov. 4) to finish the job.
Several coordinators had been in DC for the entire September rally such as NIN co-founders Tobi Dragert and Cynthia Papermaster to direct relay traffic of pairs of coordinators with targeted representatives. Lunchtime talk ranged from applying NIN member Mark Welyczko s blank-vote initiative to a couple of us paying the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) a Friday afternoon visit to ask what they were planning to do to keep the Republicans from stealing yet another election.
When I called the DLC for that appointment, I was told that this shadow Democratic party organization only dealt with fund-raising, not party strategy (!!). Curious that they have a legislative advisory board and local elected officials network, etc. Many savvy Dems have long believed that the DLC gave Pelosi and other Dem leaders orders that impeachment was off the table for fear of losing the 2008 election just as its tight control of Congressional Dems and state/local Dem organizations cost us the 2000 and 2004 elections.
I ve asked for input (due this week) on tactics useful to both shining a spotlight on the DLC s activities as well as forcing them to take instant and effective action on voting fraud. If they re the party s kingmakers, it s high time these power-hungry folk help us depose a king, his wicked prime minister/princes and get a new king elected. If you have a tactic, please submit it ASAP for consideration.
As current financial woes/solutions were heaved onto Congressional laps for rubberstamping, however, it appeared that a lame duck or even a special session would be vital to prevent a total economic collapse of the country. Considering what the Bushies have done to the nation s economic health, it seemed possible that some fast-on-the-feet House member could hopper yet another impeachment bill with a single article of the high-crime of bankrupting the nation in that lame-duck session. Conyers certainly would not just 40 co-sponsors of 1258, but double or triple that number from both parties.
Could be. After all, Washington s Rep. Jim McDermott signed on to H.RES 1258 September 9, bringing the co-sponsor total to 11 29 to go to meet Conyers request for starting hearings. The strategy is to go after 2 articles of the 35 that would take only a day to go from HJC to a House floor vote: signing statements, ignoring subpoenas. No hearings are needed because evidence of both is on record, particularly Karl Rove, now the subject of an inherent contempt charge by the HJC.
I worked with Tobi Dragseth (LA). So from noon until 5 p.m., we tramped the Longworth and Cannon House Office Buildings and visited 30 reps offices to hand out impeachment literature and strong pitches to most ( Andrew Johnson was impeached in less than 10 days ). If they were in a tight race, they were told that co-sponsoring would give them an edge over their opponents.
Near the end, we tried out the blank-vote threat ( a push going around is that voters may blank-vote the Congressman unlesss/he co-sponsors an impeachment bill ). The tactic was a stopper that may well work on Reps who want to keep their jobs. Mark Welyczko has an item below explaining how the blank-vote is done. We urge you to try it on your rep or local/state party leaders. That 91,000 Oregonians only voted for Hillary or Obama and skipped the rest of the ballot probably cost Senate candidate Steve Novick a run against Sen. Gordon Smith.
Some reps weren t on our list, but we went on hunches about those never visited about impeachment (e.g., freshman Rep. Mazie Hirono-HI-2nd). Or were bombarded about impeachment such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Most aides were unfailingly polite as they took our impeachment materials and messages to be passed on to the Rep. Occasionally, we got to talk to their legislative assistants (e.g., Rep. Raul Grijalva, AZ-7th).
Tobi had been bannering for Constitution Day (Sept. 17; 221 years) across from Longworth and found it a rich source of Reps headed for the mall for lunch (e.g., California s Diane Watson and Sam Farr). They got visits from us later in the day.
And now to the impeachment news from the National Impeachment Network and its reach of more than 200,000 activists:
Going After Those Who Ordered Impeachment Be Off the Table: The Democratic Leadership Council (DLC)
On Sep 21, 2008, at 8:30 AM, NIN Coordinator William Crain (Billings) wrote:
… I do certainly agree that the DLC is the most lethal enemy whom we must eradicate. I do everything I can to vaporize the DLC (waiting til Jan. 20 isn t the solution).. I write it on every Dem begging letter, etc. but let me further make my case on unseating Pelosi.
….And as voiced by that turd Emmanuel, the DLC was the one who made the big difference in electing Dems last election; and of course we all know that was a lie, it was Dean s 50 state strategy for which we should thank him again, and curry his favor, applauding his strategy (and hope every state is getting in).
Secondly, …taking on the DLC, as a whole, is folly. They have developed themselves as a Shadow Party. Fighting the DLC is like fighting GHOSTS….
To make headway into eliminating the &DLC, we must select and attack. And by selecting the biggest trophy of all Queen Pelosi we stand to create some serious political capital&! Then, when we turn our political guns on [Rep. Steny]Hoyer, [Sen. Harry] Reid, [Rep. Rahm] Emanuel, et al. , we will have some clout and [can] begin forcing them to come out of the shadows . And we change the impeachment dynamics….[W]ho is the most visible & and vulnerable? Queen Pelosi. She is the Shadows main visible tool. Spiking this political cannon is imperative to winning the battle against the DLC and elevating impeachment to the table top….
Unseating the Queen [on Nov. 4] brings on a whole new dynamic to impeachment. And it s immediate. Our clout begins on Nov. 5 when we [restart the impeachment offensive with] the new Speaker. And this time we have guided missiles.
Parenthetically let me add that the [seeming] titular head of the DLC is down and quite likely for the count. [Sen. Hillary Clinton] has been knocked out by surprise and this has shaken the DLC. Their strategy now is to convert Obama which & has created some stumbling blocks for him. The DLC seeks power [doesn t] care who wins the election. Free trade and war profits are some of the things they want and need. Impeachment rescinds [those wants/needs].
&. The DLC [leaders] could care less if Obama loses. Waiting until Nov 5 to take action on them is like cleaning up after a nuclear attack…
It will take a bit more planning to register particular tactics LTE s to local cable interviews, signs, marches, the kitchen sink as long as it s truthful. So let’s get on it.
Impeachment will be a lot easier &once we have politically slain the DLC queen.
On Sep 20, 2008, at 12:02 PM, NIN Coordinator Mikael Rudolph (Minneapolis/St. Paul) wrote:
All tactics must fall within the following criterion to be possible effective against members of Congress waffling about accountability or even working against it:
1). Threaten (subtly or not) to work to weaken voting support for the member of Congress.
2). Threaten (subtly or not) to work to weaken the financial coffers for the member of Congress or others the DLC supports.
3). Threaten (subtly or not) to weaken the election chances of others the DLC supports.
4). Threaten (subtly or not) to tarnish the image of the member of Congress especially in [a] home district – or others they or the DLC support.
This should only be on the basis of their failure to honor their oaths of office: “If we can’t trust [Rep. Mark] Udall to hold Bush accountable according to his oath of office, how can we trust him at all?”
5). Threaten (subtly or not) to enhance the image of political opponents of the member of Congress or political opponents of others [s/he]or the DLC support.
When it comes to election results, anything in the vicinity of 10% by an opponent (like NIN Coordinator Shirley Golub in SF against Pelosi) serves as a meaningful ‘shot across their bow’.
Even a single actual election victory somewhere in the nation by Sheehan, or [NIN Coordinator Carol] Wolman, against Udall or anywhere else by a full-accountability candidate vs. an old-school Democrat will be a major wake-up call. Even if pulling support of Udall leads to a GOP win (or similar effect such as third-party candidate Barkley beating Coleman and Franken for Senate in Minnesota), the long-term effect is a positive one: making the DLC take progressives and accountability seriously in the future.
Anything else is far too easily shuffled off.
Any support of candidates who are not full-accountability committed weakens our efforts and is counter-productive to the impeachment movement and the accountability movement.
I know this strategy will be controversial, as so many are ready to continue the “lesser of two evils” strategy, and fear the “Nader effect”, but the DLC is every bit as destructive in their role as aiders, abettors and enablers and the actual war pigs themselves.
Who s Who in the DLC Organization Calling the Shots?
Who are the movers/shakers in the Democratic party’s “shadow government” (the Democratic Leadership Council) who call the shots for the party whether at national, state, or local levels? The list is below. You might want to copy/paste it for your bulletin board for future reference.
According to the DLC’s home page, they include:
Former Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. is chairman;. Sen. Tom Carper is vice chair; Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is chair of its American Dream Initiative; Al From is founder and CEO;. Bruce Reed is president; Pennsylvania State Representative Jennifer Mann is chair of the DLC’s Legislative Advisory Board (LAB); Columbus (OH) Mayor Michael Coleman is chair of its Local Elected Officials Network(LEON). Not to mention former President Bill Clinton and former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro.
DLC favorably-cited luminaries in Congress include Senators Blanche Lincoln (AR), Bob Menendez (NJ), Ken Salazar and Ben Nelson (CO), Charles Schumer (NY), Jim Webb (VA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI).
In the House, it s Reps. Jim Cooper (TN-5th), Joe Crowley (NY-7th), Artur Davis, HJC member (AL-7th), Rahm Emanuel (IL-5th); Ron Kind (WI-3rd),) Gregory Meeks (NY-6th), David Price (NC-4th), and Adam Schiff, HJC member, former DLC co-chair (CA-29th).
Among past/present governors involved in DLC deeds (such as its publications and annual leadership forums) are Phil Bredesen, Mike Easley, Martin O Malley, Janet Napolitano, Bill Ritter, Brian Schweitzer, Kathleen Sebelius, and Tom Vilsack. For more info on the DLC, use this URL: http://www.dlc.org/ndol_ka.cfm?kaid=137
How to Take Out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
On Sep 21, 2008, at 8:44 AM, NIN Coordinator Diane Lawrence (Miami) wrote:
I would like to see some great brain storming from this group about what we can do & to try to bring Pelosi down in the next few weeks. Cindy [Sheehan] is a great candidate and a great speaker and she does have quite a following. If Cindy does well, it will help end the occupation of Iraq even sooner because that s what her candidacy is all about. (She believes her son Casey died for nothing in Iraq.) And Pelosi bends over backwards to look tough and keep funding this debacle that has been a big factor in bringing on the economic crisis that we are experiencing today. The only reason she is Speaker is the Dems promise to get us out of Iraq. Her spinelessness &could even cost Obama the election.
On Sep 21, 2008, at 12:13 PM, NIN member Vicki Satta (CO) wrote:
… Should we decide as a group to go ahead and go after Pelosi, the swiftboat-style ads that [a colleague] and I are envisioning do not mention political elections. If we are successful, the ads could benefit Cindy’s campaign, but the only purpose of the ads will be to upset Pelosi’s constituents and tell them the truth about the damage her “…infamous 5 words” ( impeachment is off the table ) have done to the country.
If we attempted to make them political then we’re in legal trouble because we aren’t organized to do that. We’re about impeachment, the foundation of the ads that we’d need to create.
The concept is a swiftboat-style campaign to attack Pelosi&but the intent of the ad is to get her constituents & livid&. The message in the ads and & to the media is the truth. &.This swiftboat-style campaign tells the truth about what Nancy’s done to this country by taking impeachment off the table.
See the difference? These ads have no political message and we are free to run them. We are not promoting Cindy and we are not telling people not to vote for Pelosi. We’re only telling the truth about what her 5 words have done to this country.
Updater on the Blank-Vote Tactic
On Sep 21, 2008, at 2:15 PM, NIN member Mark Welyczko (Oregon) wrote:
The bad news [in the movement] is that unfortunately the House Judiciary Committee has no intentions of pursuing impeachment. The good news is we still have plenty of time to help them change their minds.
The Blank-Vote Initiative is picking up steam.
We continue to gain endorsements by Regional Impeach Groups and are being considered by national groups such as ImpeachBush.org and CodePink.
Take a minute to check out the new additions to the blankvote.org website. [Webmaster] Hans Michael has got the site looking good and user friendly.
You’ll notice a link to Cindy Sheehan’s donation page (just click on her name) for those of us who would like to help make sure that [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi goes down [in the Nov. 4 election].
If you’d like to help, just keep doing what we’re good at: Networking. Tell everybody to withhold their vote for their Rep until we see impeachment.
[Mark s response to pitches from candidates who don t support impeachment is text you can copy and include in the business-reply envelope the candidate has to pay for:
I don't believe I'll vote for you unless you would like to reconsider your response [on impeachment]. I will also let others know of your position on Impeachment by contacting www.Blankvote.org.
On Sep 14, 2008, at 6:08 PM, NIN coordinator John Kennedy (Denver) wrote:
….DLC types will go to any length and come up with the most absurd arguments to kill off impeachment methods that have teeth.
The reality is that the incumbent House Democrats are responsible for not performing their duty to [support and defend]the U.S. Constitution as their Oath requires.It is their job to stand up to Pelosi. It is cowardice to submit to her. It is common sense that we should go after them. It is DLC Democrat thinking not to.
All along, we have all known we would have to force the Dems to impeach.
After all these years, I would be amazed if any intelligent impeachment advocate believed any longer that trying to convince Pelosi would get it done. Her weak spot is any incumbent House Democrat in a close race, especially in a battleground state. If they want to get their filibuster-proof Senate and veto-proof House, and we quickly pressure the candidates sufficiently, we might get it done.
&.It is our intention to stop Rep. Mark Udall from being elected to the Senate if he fails to call for impeachment hearings and a special session to deal with it. If he calls for it, but does it too late to be useful, we will still try to stop him.
Congressmen/women who fail to protect our Constitution must pay a price at the polls. It is the only real power we have. Use it or lose it. We intend to put enough pressure on Udall that it eventually makes the national news. The Congressmen are in fact the problem.
Suggested Letters-to-the-Editor on Impeachment
On Sep 15, 2008, at 8:17 AM, NIN Coordinator John Kennedy (Denver) wrote:
We post comments like the following in newspapers all over that have to do with Rep. Mark Udall or the Constitution. This is just one of hundreds we’ve done. Commenting like this is a powerful weapon that all of us should be using every day in all of our local and national newspapers. That combined with ruthless pressure on our incumbent Democratic Congressmen might just get us impeachment hearings.
Please help perform this very valuable task. The remaining time available to get impeachment hearings is fast slipping away from us.
[Here s the letter-to-the-editor form you can adapt to your Rep:]
This is the defining moment for Rep. [Mark Udall.]
((“Two-thirds of Americans oppose altering the balance of power among the three branches of government to strengthen the presidency, even when they thought that doing so would improve the economy or national security,” The Associated Press-National Constitution Center poll. ((Speaker Pelosi &is suppressing impeachment resolutions and trying to quietly, but quickly, end this session of Congress without dealing with the massive fraud of the WMD lies foisted on the Congress and the American people by President Bush and Vice President Cheney. ((
Pelosi has led the incumbent House Democrats so poorly that they have worse positive poll ratings than Bush. The Democrats desire for a filibuster-proof Senate and a veto-proof Congress are now at stake. The effort by Pelosi to suppress any little discussion of holding Bush and Cheney liable for misleading Congress and the American people may cost the Party the majorities they so desperately desire. ((
This election is still too close to call in all respects.(( The Congress and the American people need a champion now. A courageous congressman who will stand up immediately and call for impeachment hearings to begin prior to the election and who will also call for the extension of this session of the House or for a special session to deal solely with impeachment.
Starting the hearings now will send a message to the entire world that the American people do not agree with the methods of the Bush Administration and that we do not wish to be perceived to be as reckless as Bush and Cheney have been. Finishing the hearings prior to the election is not as important as getting them started before the election. ((As scary as they are, neither the turmoil in the markets or the War on Terror are are the greatest threat to democracy.
The expansion of Presidential power if left unchecked by the incumbent House Democrats, is the great threat to our republic in our lifetime. ((Incumbent House Democrats are also at a defining moment. They have in their hand the power to end the Bush war of terror against our U.S. Constitution. They took their Oath of office on the Bible and made a pledge to support and defend our Constitution against all enemies including those “domestic,” Bush and Cheney.
The incumbent House Democrats must not be let off the hook on this responsibility.(( The [Impeach Colorado Coalition] has opposed the promotion of [Udall] to the Senate because he continues to refuse to protect the Constitution and the power of Congress against Bush and Cheney.
We believe that congressmen and congresswomen who cover up for an obviously corrupt President and Vice President are perhaps themselves corrupt.(( However, careful analysis of Udall’s recent emails to his constituents reveals he is in fact debating with himself whether to support impeachment hearings.((We believe that [Udall] will rise to the immediate need, seize this opportunity, stand up for Congress and the Constitution and place his name high in the annals of American history.
Please see this link to video of Bush and Cheney’s statements on WMD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePj55jICxHY
Article V: The Framers Answer to a Spineless Congress
Who Fear House Impeachment and Senate Trial
One of the impeachment tactics for the future discussed by NIN coordinators at Thursday s lunch was the U.S. Constitution s Article V. It s confined to amendments by convention of ordinary citizens in every state much like a New England town meeting for action when the federal government is either incompetent or threatens to change the checks and balances of the three branches of government set out in the Constitution.
As explained to your editor last Tuesday by one of its proponents, Dr. Joel S. Hirschhorn, it s like a national referendum with ordinary people electing delegates to a state convention called to draft an Amendment to the Constitution. That s how amendments have been added on everything from voting rights (19th Amendment) to more recently (1967) having a vice president replace a president if s/he is incapacitated (25th Amendment). An Amendment must be ratified by three-fourths of the states or by three-fourths of the conventions.
Hirschhorn pointed out that an Article V Convention was considered essential by the Framers who could envision the situation Americans face today with a president ignoring the Constitution in everything from launching a pre-emptive war without a Congressional vote to using executive orders to deny habeas corpus or to lock up dissidents without regard to Constitutionally guaranteed rights.
An Article V convention would be called if the federal government:
” Takes actions most people don t want (e.g., the Iraq occupation).
” Has a deficiency most people want addressed (single-payer health insurance).
” Refuses to act (impeachment of public officials, including the president, vice president, etc.).
” Goes too far (overthrowing the Constituion and/or its Amendments (warrantless wiretapping, torture, bailouts for financial institutions, but none for the public, etc.).
” If voting doesn t solve a critical national problem
The drawbacks might be the time element and promoting an Article V convention, though Hirschhorn noted that if an Amendment for a national referendum to oust high-crime leaders like Bush or Cheney had been passed 4 years ago, voters would have recalled them and their minions.
If you re interested in joining the Friends Of the Article V Convention (FOAVC), click on: www.foavc.org.
Picketing Urged for Representatives District Offices
After Congress Adjourns September 26 for Campaigning
On Sep 16, 2008, at 8:53 PM, NIN Coordinator Brad Newsham (Oakland) wrote:
The bottom line is that I’m initiating an recurring action that will take place every Thursday between now and the election (or until further notice).
The action is to have approximately 300 people walk circles around the San Francisco Chronicle building in downtown SF, asking for the Chronicle to press Pelosi on all the legitimate questions about why and how she took impeachment off the table.
The Chronicle almost certainly won’t push or even question Pelosi, but it might (and this is my whole intention) draw the attention of other media, local, national, and international. And if those media raise the questions the Chronicle won’t raise, they’ll certainly have to report on the Cindy Sheehan challenge to Pelosi. And maybe we can rattle Pelosi’s cage and even get her bounced out and Cindy elected.
National Day of Impeachment Offered UPJ
Denver NIN Coordinator John Kennedy mulled the idea last week of joining forces with the United for Peace and Justice organization to move it into the impeachment camp. He suggests that all impeachers take time out to adapt his letter and send it to UPJ s national coordinator Leslie Cagan.
To: Leslie Cagan
United for Peace and Justice
PO Box-607 Times Square Station
New York, NY 10108
Dear Ms. Cagan,
I do not have your storied career in peace and justice activism but I have been extremely active in anti Iraq war, anti-Bush and impeachment movement activities since just before Bush was re-elected to a second term. I used to attend every possible peace event in the Denver area on weekends, going to as many as 5-6 events each Saturday&.
Since January 2007 our group has organized over 130 pre-planned public impeachment events and as many as 30 spur-of-the-moment protests. My point here is that we are the only impeachment group in Colorado and are very active.
I write to ask you to consider writing your coalition of 1,400 local activist groups to quickly organize a national day of action supporting a national call for impeachment hearings to be started prior to the election and for extension of the current session of the House. Or for calling for a special session after the election.
The crimes against the U.S. Constitution and the separation of powers are just too serious for the peace and justice community to ignore any longer. We realize that UFPJ did author a letter last fall supporting impeachment, which was appreciated. But, UFPJ did not use its power to move their 1,400 activist groups to the street, so the incumbent Democratic congressmen who control starting impeachment hearings did not I am sure take UFPJ as really serious in the matter.
We have a very short period in which to make our point to the House Democrats, that they must, if their oaths meant anything to them, start impeachment hearings. Our group does not care if they aren’t finished before the election just a commitment to start them and extension of the session or a special session to accommodate the hearings.
United for Peace and Justice would enhance its reputation greatly by standing up for the Constitution at this critical moment in the election cycle. We the voters have enormous power just prior to the election, if we just use it. If we don’t, it goes away until the next election. But by then the excesses of the Bush/Cheney Administration will become precedent for another out-of-control President to use and expand on.
The Constitution and the impeachment movement needs the help of UFPJ now while there is still time for the start of hearings to be announced prior to the election.
Will you help in this fight to preserve the Constitution and the power of Congress as a co-equal branch of government?
The Party That Impeaches Wins Elections
On Sep 17, 2008, at 8:03 AM, NIN Co-founder Cynthia papermaster (SF) wrote:
There is solid data showing that the Democrats will benefit from an impeachment hearing starting. In fact, if you can get this idea into the public discussion of the election, please do so. The country could not be angrier right now. They aren’t thinking of the war and torture, and that’s too bad. But they are thinking of the collapse of the economy, high unemployment, housing foreclosures, and so forth.
This hurts everyone but the super-wealthy. Let’s take advantage of this and let the Democrats know that they need to re-think their strategy and start an impeachment hearing to cement their position as defenders of the middle-class. As [a staffer in Rep. Robert] Wexler’s office told me yesterday, the Democratic leadership needs to take a fresh look at this.
So I’ve been telling everyone I meet:
The Obama campaign needs to realize that giving the go-ahead to Conyers to start a hearing will help his campaign. Obama should say nothing. The campaign should put the word out to Conyers, right now.
On Sep 18, 2008, at 10:53 AM, NIN Coordinator Mikael Rudolph (Mpls./St. Paul) wrote:
Emails are too easy to ignore. Even mailings and phone calls are apparently easy to ignore as we have been encouraging that sort of pressure for months and months to no avail.
Public sign holding at his events and addressing him in person if you ever get the opportunity is the best way.
Also, bring it up in public forums whenever you get the opportunity to get interviewed or have any other public soapbox.
Wear impeachment T-shirts and/or “Arrest Bush” T-shirts under a layer and expose the message once inside.
Be sure to go with a videographer to record any attempt for the message to be stifled or to have you removed. Stand on your 1st Amendment Rights and ask if being in Obama’s presence constitutes a “free- speech zone”.
Don’t be afraid to yell out things. Get removed if it’ll get on television. Submit peacefully to the authorities and you won’t be arrested, just removed, so time your message well.
Andover War-Crimes Confab Verdict: Prosecute B&C
On Sep 17, 2008, at 11:24 AM, NIN Coordinator Cindy Piester (Ventura CA) wrote:
[I was] fortunate to have attended [the Sept. 13-14 Robert H. Jackson Conference] along with several other NIN members [at the Massachusetts College of Law]. The [wrap-up] is from conference convener Dr. Lawrence Velvel.
Suggestions which surfaced at the conference included:
1. Working for the election of district attorneys who pledge to prosecute high-level war criminals for murder under state law, and working for the reelection of district attorneys who pledge to prosecute such criminals for murder.
2. Working for the election of state attorneys general who pledge to prosecute high level war criminals for murder under state law.
3. Working for the election of local executive and legislative officials (e.g., city council members) in specified localities who will formally denounce war crimes and might even seek to take action against them, as apparently has occurred in Vermont.
4. Instituting [Writ of] Mandamus proceedings to force local prosecutors to act. This possibility needs to be researched. [ED. NOTE: This possibility was researched by Portland s South Side DFA in 2006. Though the writ is aimed at public officials failing to fulfil job descriptions, legal professionals told us that: a) such cases had to be filed in federal courts by attorneys licensed to practice in federal courts; b) judges usually toss them today verified by our research; and c) not even the most progressive of Oregon s attorneys (Greg Kafoury) would file such a writ particularly against Congressional delegates.]
5. Requesting state bar authorities to disbar the lawyers who were part of the executive cabal to authorize torture and other abuses that are crimes under international law, domestic law, or both.
6. Instituting teach-ins at universities on the question of war crimes.
7. Asking universities to conduct hearings on whether certain individuals (e.g., John Yoo, Jack Goldsmith, et alia) should be dismissed from faculties for aiding and abetting criminal acts.
8. Instituting a march of thousands of American lawyers on the Department of Justice (a la Civil Rights or Viet Nam war marches or the Million-Man march). The purpose would be to highlight lawyers’ belief that crimes were committed and must be punished.
9. Seeking prosecutions of high-level war criminals before foreign courts or before international tribunals such as the International Criminal Court.
10. Asking the next federal Attorney General to prosecute war criminals.
11. Seeking major Congressional investigations of war crimes.
12. Obtaining inspector-general reports of activities in federal departments such as the Department of Justice, the Pentagon, the State Department, the CIA, etc.
13. Instituting a Truth and Reconciliation commission.
14. Impeaching those guilty of high-crimes rising to Constitutional levels, even after the public officials leave office. And, unless he resigns from the federal bench, Jay Bybee, who collaborated with John Yoo on the first torture papers, will still be in office after the election.
15. Instituting legislative or judicial action to dramatically cut back on, and sometimes totally eliminate, the present overuse by the federal government of doctrines such as state secrets, executive privilege, etc.
16. Repealing immunity amendments which even if not repealed may have tremendous holes in them with regard to federal prosecutions. This action is unlikely to have any immunizing effect at the state level though they may nonetheless be claimed as a defense. The only effect on foreign and international prosecutions would be to encourage them because these amendments indicate that the American federal government (like the governments of Argentina and Chile for many years) refuses to take action against federal criminals.
17. Resisting pardons, particularly advance pardons by Bush or the next president before there are trials and convictions. Research needs to be done on the pardon question. [ED. NOTE: Research has been done by Phil Burk of firstname.lastname@example.org . On 9/4/08, he recommended the following sources on pardons: http://people.howstuffworks.com/presidential-pardon4.htm and a book with a chapter on presidential pardons: http://books.google.com/books?id=d3BbX8TSEx0C]
18. Creating an office of Chief Prosecutor(s), with Vince Bugliosi as Chief Prosecutor for domestic actions and perhaps a Co-Chief Prosecutor, with international prosecutorial experience, as Chief Prosecutor for foreign and international actions. This office would handle prosecutions in which governmental officials are willing to use “our” designated chief prosecutor as the lead lawyer. It also would advise governmental prosecutors wishing to handle the prosecutions, but are willing to use the chief prosecutor as an adviser.
19. Instituting an internet-accessible repository, or library, of information on the pertinent war crimes for ready access to all relevant information. The repository, or library, should be cross-indexed by subject matter, and include briefs, articles, books, memos, speeches, etc. — anything shedding light on war crimes.
20. Considering what, if anything, can be done to overcome the current ineptitude, failure and even deliberate concealing of facts by the corporate mass media, and to consider how the internet might be used to accomplish this.
As said, the central committee will consider which of these suggestions can most practically be pursued (the more of them the better). We will then get back to you to ask certain people or groups if they are willing to undertake particular tasks. If there are certain actions which you or your group would particularly like to work on, please do let me know in the next few days.
Updater on PDX Play About a Bush Trial for Murder
On Sep 16, 2008, at 7:51 AM, the play s production manager Sharon Streeter wrote:
Joe, Sara, and I met with Ann Dudley at the Friends Meeting House (44th and SE Stark) to confirm the space for the public debut of the reading of Joe Walsh s play The Trial of George W. Bush 2005 on Tuesday, Oct. 21.
Doors open at 6 p.m. with curtain at 7 pm. The event is free though donations are asked to defray the hall s rental.
Final rehearsal will be Sunday, Oct. 19 between 4 and 8 p.m.
&Some roles in this 26-character drama are still open and are:
George Washington (22 lines, acts 1 and 3); John F. Kennedy (21 lines, acts 1 and 3); Martin Luther King (16 lines, acts 1 and 3); Condoleeza Rice (4 lines, act 1); Sullivan (7 lines, acts 1 and 2).
[The play is done as a reading so you don t have to worry about memorizing lines, costumes, makeup, etc. It has 26 roles which means lots of camaraderie around the reading stands. Come on down to the Friends Meeting House Tuesday, Oct. 21 and be part of the troupe.]
Postscript: Joe Walsh, the author and actor, is in the hospital and on the mend from pneumonia, thanks to ICU care and a ventialtor. According to wife Patty on Monday, he s expected to make a full recovery. No visitors, of course, but you can send email messages to email@example.com. I don t have his snail-mail address for cards/letters.
House Phone-Blockade Day Is Slated
On Sep 18, 2008, at 5:35 PM, NIN member Vicki Satta (CO) wrote:
Please have a look at a new impeachment tool [ an all-day deluge of phone calls to members of the House Judiciary Committee. It s] just been launched: www.PhoneBlockade.com.((
Your & keeping the pressure on Congress to hold impeachment hearings has inspired us to create this tool to multiply the effectiveness of&[impeachment work]. We are asking people to commit to one 5-minute call per day to members of the House Judiciary Committee to press them on impeachment.
This tool makes it possible to schedule these 5-minute calls such that their phones ring off the hook until they take action. The goal is to make their phones ring all day, every day, until the new Congress convenes (if they do not hold impeachment before then).((
It is a way to make sure that Congress knows that we want them to hold this administration accountable and will not rest until they take action.
It only takes 8,000 callers to make it impossible for them to continue to act as if business as usual is acceptable.(( &They seem to believe they can run out the clock without ever having to hold impeachment hearings. We cannot let them establish this as a precedent. If this succeeds, we will add the rest of Congress to the list. &. Banner links to the website are: http://www.phoneblockade.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8&Itemid=12(
On Sep 20, 2008, at 12:53 PM, NIN co-founder Cynthia Papermaster (SF) wrote:
&.Our timeline proposal is to do the phone blockade [this] week [Sept. 22-26] until [the House adjourns]. [Callers will ask] Judiciary Committee members to start an immediate impeachment inquiry.
Then, when they’ve run out the clock [Sept. 26], we’ll switch to calls to their district offices, especially focusing on [Rep. Jerry] Nadler, Pelosi and Conyers, and [make] subtle or not-so-subtle threats to blank vote.
Please reply if you suggest other Representatives whom we should especially target. &We should focus on Judiciary Committee members, except for Pelosi, although if we can get data showing that other key-player races are close or if they are vulnerable like [Steny] Hoyer, [Rahm] Emanuel&.If there’s a lame-duck session [Nov. 5-Jan. 19], as they’re indicating will happen, their excuse about impeachment harming the Nov. 4 election will have evaporated. This eliminates their worries about appearing partisan, too. Republicans might also come out for impeachment after the election, especially [defeated House members who will hold office until Dec. 31].
On Fri, Sep 19, 2008 at 9:26 AM, NIN Coordinator John Kennedy (Denver) wrote:
I am nervous about designating only one day as National Impeachment Phone Blockade Day simply because if Conyers gets wind of our commitment to one day and we fail to get much activity going he will just continue to ignore us.
Better that we use all of the days left. Designate from now until the end of this session of the House [that] we are in it for the long haul. Make them realize we are not giving up, but are redoubling our efforts.
Every day now until the election needs to be a PhoneBlockade.org Day! Day and night [M-F]. Don’t settle for one symbolic day and give up.
Great idea to get ImpeachBush.org, PDA, and Democrats.com to join as well. Because I am the Democrats.com Colorado CDIC state coordinator, I will start distributing a plea to the CO Dems to start calling later today.
I am hoping that Bob Fertik [Progressive Democrats of America] will email the entire www.Democrats.com national membership as well. Just posting it on the website is not enough. Perhaps an official request from the NIN leadership could help and copy the rest of us please. Actually copying us on the ImpeachBush.org and PDA requests would be nice too. Is there any reason that AfterDowningStreet.org could not mass email its entire membership as well?
When I made my first call on www. PhoneBlockade.org I read to the staffer from this recent Washington Post article on how the former GOP House Majority Leader Richard Armey says Cheney& in a secret, private meeting really lied big time to him [that Saddam was in league with al Qaida]. That [lie] led Armey to change his vote from opposing the Iraq War to supporting it. A treasonable and impeachable offense if ever there was one. This article seemed to really worry the staffer I talked to.
I think this is the Smoking Gun. I really do. [Have a look.]
PDX s FAX Flier Campaign to Pro-Impeach House Members
Closes Out After a 12-Week Series
Two Portland impeachment-centered groups South Side DFA and the PDX chapter of We the People National Coalition for Impeachment just closed out their 12-week FAX flier campaign aimed at sending pro-impeachment House members a different message to get them either to hopper a separate impeachment bill on Cheney or Bush or to co-sponsor Rep. Dennis Kucinich s 35-article bill.
The fliers were made available on line to the nearly 50 NIN coordinators to send to members of their blast lists so they could send them to House members. Started in April, NIN has a reach of more than 200,000 impeachment activists from Washington to New York, New Jersey to Florida, Alabama to California and both Oregon and Washington.
The fliers were designed from consultations of the WPNCI weekly meetings and then FAXed each Monday to House members by Joan Coates, facilitator for the South Side DFA Meetup group.
Comments from NIN coordinators (like the one below) furnished inspiration for each flier, along with news each week about why impeachment of Bush and/or Cheney was essential if the Constitution and our form of government were to be preserved.
The last flier is below the compliment from San Francisco NIN coordinator and Dem primary candidate opposing Nancy Pelosi.
On Sep 14, 2008, at 5:56 PM, NIN Coordinator Shirley Golub (SF) wrote:
I love [PDX s] #12 fax flier (as I did all the others).
How about we send it to those 40 or so who need massive nudging with 2 extra lines either at the top or the bottom or 1 at the top and 1 at the bottom.
The first [lines] would be to tell them to go to the website www.impeachplay.com and watch what could and should be real.
The second would be what could give them the you-know-what they need: Don t worry about what the Speaker says. She s going to be replaced after November 4th.
Be an Impeachment Activist at Dem Party Meetings
On Sep 20, 2008, at 1:43 PM, NIN Coordinator Mikael Rudolph (Mpls./St. Paul) wrote:
Don’t quit [the Democratic party if you re furious with its past actions]. Show up at your local Democratic Party precinct meetings on a regular basis. Make clear that you do not support Pelosi or the DLC and that you only support and trust candidates who have honored their oaths.
Find allies that will come to the meetings with you.
Build a coalition inside your local district and take over some of the leadership positions that have been held by old-school Dem dinosaurs.
I just barely got an impeachment resolution out of my precinct last time around mainly because the chairman, secretary, treasurer, etc. were all party-loyalists bowing down to Queen Pelosi. I will try to get them all replaced next time around even if I have to run myself.
Challenge the blind party loyalty of the local leaders and usual suspects who are most involved in&politics and the faulty strategy of the Democrats especially as [Democratic presidential candidate Barack] Obama’s lead dwindles. Even more especially if Obama loses, which is highly likely & now that the Democrats have allowed the computer-theft machinery to remain unchallenged in most battleground states. And with Conyers giving lip-service complaint to ‘caging’ efforts of the GOP but (as is his modus operandi) not using his authority to challenge it directly.
This is part of how to build up the power to impeach annually.
This will not be our last impeachment.