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Daily Impeachment News:

June 18, 2007

MN 5th District Central Committee endorses impeachment of Cheney and Bush, strongly encourages Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) to cosign HR 333

Filed under: Impeachment Progress News,Minnesota — Mikael @ 11:10 pm

minneapolis_skyline_summer.jpgby Mikael Rudolph of ImpeachforPeace.org

I spoke Monday evening, June 18th at the Minnesota 5th District (Minneapolis) Central Committee meeting on the topic of impeachment. Two resolutions that I suggested were passed with only one dissenting voice out of the forty or so in attendance:

1). To issue a resolution supporting House Resolution 333 to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney with an addendum added to also impeach President George W. Bush (their suggestion).

2). To communicate to our Representative Keith Ellison that his 5th District DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party) Central Committee strongly encourages him to become a cosigner of House Resolution 333.

They also asked me to give my contact information to be on a speakers list for possible other engagements.

Fellow ImpeachforPeace.org member Dan Fearn joined me and we moved some stickers and buttons and I bought a shirt for one especially ardent supporter of impeachment.

Now if we can do the same in the 4th (St. Paul) to put pressure on Betty McCollum as well as in the other six Minnesota districts Minnesota could become the 18th State Democratic Party to pass an impeachment resolution. See ImpeachPAC.org/resolutions for a developing list of impeachment resolutions from around the country.

We need people to get letters endorsing impeachment from business owners in the wards of each Minneapolis City Council member to pressure them as well. Anyone?

The speech I gave was very close to the one I gave last week at the Green Party meeting with two Minneapolis City Council members. The basic text last night’s speech you can read below:

“I do solemnly swear 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…”… what? Our borders from the Mexican terrorists? No. My political party, my staff?, tax breaks for the wealthiest and profit margins for multi-national corporations? No.

Article II Section 1 of the Constitution calls for the incoming President to swear on his or her honor to “…preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

All other civil servants swear an oath to do their job and most often “to support and/or defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic”.

oath: A solemn, formal declaration or promise to fulfill a pledge, often calling upon God, a god, or that which is held most sacred or valuable by the swearer.

To some, one’s word and name in and of themselves are regarded sacred – always being witnessed – as exemplified by the character of John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”, which means “A severe test, as of patience or belief; a trial.” Proctor simply had to lie to have his life spared from a witchhunt. Proctor did not lie, saying: “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life!” and after continuing that he was “not worth the dust on the feet” of those of such character that they were hung for standing on principle and telling the truth in full integrity, Proctor said “How may I live without my name?” That, my friends, is an oath.

Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution states:
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, SHALL BE, – not can be, or could be – shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

The definition of “high crimes & misdemeanors” is under continual debate, but it seems to be generally agreed upon that if a crime is committed, not able to be justifiably excepted on national security grounds, it by definition becomes a “˜high crime’ as an abuse of authority. But criminal activity is not the only impeachable offense.

Jon Roland of the Constitution Society wrote:

“Holding a particular office of trust is not a right, but a privilege, and removal from such office is not a punishment.” In other words, public office is a gift from the populace given daily. If no longer deserved, that gift should cease and that privilege should be revoked..

Roland went on to say: “…the appropriate subject matter for an impeachment and removal proceeding is the full range of offenses against the Constitution and against the rights of persons committed by subordinate officials and their agents which have not been adequately investigated or remedied.

(This was written in January of 1999 concerning the merits of a previous impeachment trial ).

1). The Supreme Court in Rosul v. George W. Bush ruled detainees were being wrongfully imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay Detention Center in Cuba. These policies and actions were ruled unconstitutional and illegal – in violation of Amendments V, VI &VII. The use of torture, legally justified by now Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and others and henceforth condoned by Bush and Cheney is an additional violation to the 8th Amendment.

2). The Supreme Court again in Hamdan v. Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, et al.) ruled that the Military Commissions instituted by the Bush Administration violate the Universal Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions to which we are bound by American law. Again, the Bush Administration’s actions were found by the highest court of the land to be illegal and unconstitutional – again violating Amendments V, VI, VII

3). A Federal Court in NSA vs. ACLU found the NSA program of broad data-mining and warrantless wire-tapping of U.S. citizens illegal and unconstitutional – violating the Fourth Amendment.

One could argue that these were Administration policies and programs that temporarily pushed the envelope of questionable legality until the courts judged them illegal. However, each of these programs have continued in direct contravention of the law, spitting in the face of our nation’s highest courts, having their names and definitions changed or modified slightly like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich’ bill, House 333, to impeach Cheney, recently gained very significant 6th, 7th and 8th cosponsors, Maxine Waters – the Chair of the Out of Iraq caucus and the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee. The bill focuses on the manipulation of pre-war intelligence, lying about WMDs, lying about a connection between Iraq & Al Qaeda and lying about Iran posing an immediate and dire threat (Deja vu anyone?).

An argument for impeachment could be made about the legality of this self-appointed Unitary Executive Bush’s signing statements – more than all previous Presidents combined – thus largely taking upon himself the Constitutionally mandated law-making authority which rightfully belongs to Congress. Remember that impeachment is an investigation, so an argument could be made regarding possible criminal financial interactions with convicted felon Jack Abramoff, illegal profiteering – possibly involving that which could be construed as bribery given or recieved – by Cheney through Halliburton & subsidiaries and the Bush family’s Carlyle Group and especially the compromising of our national security with the “˜outing’ of Non-Official Cover CIA agent Valerie Plame in an act of political retribution against her husband Joseph Wilson who stood on principle to tell the truth. It is not hyperbole to consider this bootless, cowardly “˜outing’ coming during wartime as possibly high treason for various members of this “˜all hat and no cattle’ Connecticut Cowboy administration.

Even if not convicted of any direct wrong doing himself, Bush could and should be impeached and removed from office for neglecting to hold those under him accountable in violation of his oath of office.

Conversely, this President has bent over backwards shielding and protecting Karl Rove and Cheney from legal liability in the Scooter Libby case and especially now in protecting Gonzales from justice being served for his role in politicizing the Judicial Branch through wrongful firings of federal attorneys to be replaced by lock-step loyalists.

The most common argument against impeachment is that if we impeach Bush, we’ll get Cheney as President. Personally I fear impeaching Cheney might make Bush President, but actually nearly all resolutions of the hundreds passed or in process around the nation include both of them.

Most importantly, 17 state Democratic Parties – more than one third – have passed resolutions to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

The argument that such a resolution would be non-binding is specious as well. Since when are the opinions of the local citizenry as embodied by our local elected officials not of value?

Impeachment is not extreme. We are a nation of laws. No American is above the law, and those privileged to be granted the authority to lead should be held more stringently to the law, not less.

Is it too late? Impeachment hearings against Richard Nixon began on May 9th, 1974. Nixon resigned on August 8th – less than 3 months later. Nixon was to be impeached for obstruction of justice, abuse of power and defiance of subpoenas – all of which are coming to light in the “˜Attorneygate’ scandal.

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decreed impeachment to be “off the table” and said Democrats were “ready to govern”, the nation – which had spoken clearly in the November mid-term election – was told to look forward to an end to the Iraq War, accountability for the Bush Administration and the passage of progressive domestic legislation to help so many damaged by this most atrocious administration. Instead, the national Democrats recently split, thus handing over another virtually blank check to Bush’s War. Modest yet decent gains such as a raise in the minimum wage only have come by making huge concessions to the corporate Republicans and some Democrats – and to Bush’s veto and signing statement threats.

Democrats gambling on waiting out the Bush term and expecting another landslide win in “˜08 take heed: Last week’s Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll says just 27 percent of Americans approve of the way the Democratic -led Congress is doing its job – down 9% since January – lower approval ratings than President Bush’s curent nadir of 29%. The possibility of at least the Senate returning to the GOP if not both Houses and the swearing in of President Fred Thompson, or whomever is a real concern, not some nightmarish fantasy if the Democrats continue to appear weak and divided

When one party has shown strength and integrity in holding the other accountable historically, they have made gains in the next elections. If impeachment evidence is brought to light in the House and Americans finally get the truth through every media outlet and then impeachment moves to the Senate, Republican Senators will be faced with a lose-lose choice: Distance themselves “˜with great pain and regret’ from these now-public criminals and their crimes, or go down with the sinking ship in the next election.

Thank you again for allowing me to speak tonight. I don’t have family in the Minnesota National Guard or currently serving “˜over there’, but it is my Constitution, my Bill of Rights, those are my freedoms and my liberties that are under comprehensive assault by these confirmed domestic enemies to the Constitution who took our White House by bloodless coupe d-etat in Florida in 2000 and extended their infestation of it in like manner in Ohio in 2004. If you have any doubts about this, grab a back issue of Rolling Stone with Robert Kennedy, Jr’s account of these election thefts.

An extremely dangerous precedent is being set if impeachment does not take place. Lying to congress to initiate a war of aggression, an ongoing occupation for war-profiteers of a country 80% of whose citizens want us to leave, 50% of whom feel violence against American troops is justified, whose parliament has passed a resolution asking us to leave, pervasive suppression of the press and free speech, false news reports… it goes on and on…

I celebrated my 49th birthday Friday. I am in pretty good health. Habeas Corpus – due process, the Great Writ, the very basis of the democratic ideal and dream since 1215 celebrated its 792nd birthday on Friday on life support in Washington D.C.

Congress is discussing… DISCUSSING… restoring habeas corpus.

And finally, on May 9th Bush signed National Security Presidential Directive 51, also called Homeland Security Presidential Directive/20. Did you miss it? No surprise since it wasn’t in the news.
Under this directive, President Bush entrusts himself with leading the entire government – not just the Executive Branch – during a “catastrophic emergency.”, to be defined, of course, by the Emperor himself.

What more do we need? If this President is not impeached, if this Vice President is not impeached, the impeachment clause should be lifted from the Constitution through Amendment.

I am calling upon you to fulfill your oath or promise to whatever you regard most sacred to (a) pass a resolution to Impeach President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, to (b) send this resolution to the State Democratic Pary asking them to do the same, (c) send this resolution to the Minnesota State House and Senate asking them to do the same, and (d) to strongly encourage Rep. Keith Ellison to co-sign House 333.

America desperately needs leaders at this time, this crucible in our nation’s history. I am calling upon you to lead. Let the rest be followers. Justice must and will be served or there will be no peace.


14 Comments

  1. […] Update: the one dissenter. […]

    Pingback by Asserting a waste of time. « The Loyal Opposition — June 19, 2007 @ 5:58 am

  2. MN 5th District Democrats strongly encourage Rep. Ellison (D-MN) to endorse impeachment…

    Two resolutions that I suggested were passed with only one dissenting voice out of the forty or so in attendance: 1). To issue a resolution supporting House Resolution 333 to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney with an addendum added to also impeach Pre…

    Trackback by www.buzzflash.net — June 19, 2007 @ 12:16 pm

  3. Great evidence, all true, I agree we should impeach, but we don’t have, and WONT GET the votes in the congress no matter what evidence is presented. The reality is that the republican party would NEVER allow their parties president to be impeached and take the political hit. It will be patined as simply another political stunt. I live in DC and am all over the hill. I can tell you with certainty that only a handlful of southern democrats will vote for it either, so a majority in the house is far from guaranteed. We need to move on and just bag this whole thing and take the white house in 08. Bush will sink himself. Any by the way, have you noticed that people trust congress even less than Bush!

    Comment by pebo — June 19, 2007 @ 12:36 pm

  4. Pebo,

    Impeachment is simply an investigation. There is easily enough evidence to warrant an investigation into Cheney’s pre-war motives and activities. There is no way of knowing how any Representative or even Senator will vote once all the evidence becomes a part of the daily read or view in the corporate media.

    Saying “we” need to take the White House in ’08 is sufficient is assuming that we that are for impeachment are for the Democrats. That is not necessarily true.

    Frankly, if they don’t have the integrity or spine to hold Bush and Cheney fully accountable through impeachment, they don’t deserve to lead this country, nor can they be trusted with the White House.

    Only Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel and Ron Paul are running for President because they have spoken out for impeachment in one way or another. The rest are running for Unitary Executive – comfortable with the idea of inheriting these greatly exaggerated executive powers.

    I don’t want those powers unchecked and unbalanced in the hands of anyone. Not Hillary, not Obama, nobody.

    Comment by Mikael — June 19, 2007 @ 2:58 pm

  5. I would recommend removing the graphic to avoid diverting the discussion to IP issues.

    Comment by Joel — June 19, 2007 @ 5:34 pm

  6. Crossposted from internal DFL blog in response to a negative comment about the CD 5 action. Posters names have been removed.

    Re: Impeach for Peace, the CD5 Central Committee, and asserting a waste of time.

    The Central Committee of CD 5 last night did pass a resolution that
    – supports HR 333 – to impeach Vice President Cheney
    (http://kucinich.house.gov/SpotlightIssues/documents.htm):
    – calls for the impeachment of President Bush and further
    – calls on all our elected officials to support efforts to pursue
    both of these ends.

    I supported that resolution.

    Mr. K’s description of the discussion leading to that vote
    includes scant reference to Mr Rudolph’s impassioned 10-15 minute
    presentation on the issue. You can read the substance of Mr Rudolph’s
    presentation here: http://impeachforpeace.org/minneapolis/

    Other than Mr K, I was the only other member of the CD 5
    Central Committee to formally speak on the resolution. Following my
    comments and a number of additional comments from Mr K, a
    motion to terminate debate and move to the vote passed overwhelmingly
    as did the subsequent vote to approve the resolution.

    In the interest of a more complete description of that discussion I
    will try to summarize my comments as best as I can:

    I support the resolution to impeach both President Bush
    and Vice President Cheney. I do so because impeachment is our only
    way of enforcing our laws – the foundation of which is the
    constitution. Failure to enforce the laws – failure to enforce the
    constitution – weakens those laws and reduces their protections for
    all of us. Failure to enforce the constitution weakens our democracy
    here at home at the same time as we are seeking to export it abroad.
    By enforcing the constitution and holding accountable those that
    violate it, we are protecting the strength of the constitution and
    supporting the protections it offers to us all.

    Ok. I probably didn’t say it even that well, but it is generally
    what I said.

    Mr. Rudolph provided an extensive laundry list of ways in which
    members of the Bush-Cheney Administration have violated the
    constitution. Mr K decided to focus on demanding immediate
    proof of one element of one such item.

    Mr. K’s demand for immediate proof related to a statement not
    made during that presentation but contained on the Impeach for Peace
    website (with which I have no association). When the speaker
    indicated that he could not provide such individualized evidence off-
    the-cuff but would be glad to send Mr. K the available
    information, Mr K continued to demand proof then and there.

    As an aside, an inherent problem with Mr. K’s question is that
    some of the very acts and policies that justify the impeachments of
    Bush and Cheney are also the acts and policies that prevent the
    public, including the vast majority of those detained, from ever
    ascertaining the basis for their detainment. Without access to the
    allegations against them, without information about the charges that
    might be brought, and without effective access to lawyers or any
    access to courts, the proof that Mr K demands as to what
    standard was used for their detainments is impossible to obtain.

    That is the point. Our government is acting outside of the law in
    ways that make it near impossible to tell how far outside they have
    gone.

    However, here are just two examples that have come to light that may
    serve to illustrate the point.

    Brandon Mayfield (US Citizen)
    http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/01/03/usdom12354_txt.htm
    http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2006/11/us_apologizes_a.html

    Maher Arar (Canadian Citizen)
    http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_3655.aspx
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/285551_israel19.html

    For further information on constitutional issues relating to
    detainees go here:
    http://www.aclu.org/safefree/resources/16828res20030707.html
    http://www.aclu-wa.org/detail.cfm?id=482)

    In his post, Mr. Krasnoff also denegrates the intelligence, knowledge
    and prudence of the CD 5 delegates voting on this measure by
    asserting that they did not know enough to make an informed decision
    on the matter.

    I would beg to differ. The way I look at it, we have known enough to
    make this decision for years.

    It is past time for us and well past time for our elected
    representatives to do more than merely voice our support for our
    democracy and our constitution. It is time that they (and we) fight
    for it. We start at the beginning – by deciding that messing with
    the Constitution (then lying about it) is more important than messing
    with your intern (then lying about it).

    They say Impeach for Peace.

    I say impeach for the sake of our democracy. Impeach to tear down
    those walls at Gitmo and the shadow prisons around the globe where
    torture is done in our name. I say impeach to preserve, protect and
    defend the Constitution of these United States.

    I hope the action of the CD 5 Central Committee is repeated in every
    CD and every Senate District and every County Unit across our state.

    I don’t know if I have jurisdiction in the DFL.
    I am just an ordinary citizen in an extraordinary democracy.
    I would like to keep it that way.

    Comment by Joel — June 19, 2007 @ 6:19 pm

  7. Congrats lads,
    Well done.

    Comment by Michael Cavlan — June 19, 2007 @ 9:49 pm

  8. Joel,

    Your eloquence is very much appreciated. Thank you for offering your perspective on the evenings events.

    Don’t be surprised if we don’t try to get you up front and behind a microphone at some point. As I said in my speech. We need leaders. You are proving to be one.

    ;-)

    Mikael Rudolph

    Comment by Mikael — June 20, 2007 @ 9:48 am

  9. […] Resolutions in support of H. Res. 333 and calling for Rep. Ellison to cosign were resoundingly passed at the Minnesota 5th District Democratic Farmer-Labor Party Central meeting last week after a presentation by ImpeachforPeace. […]

    Pingback by Impeach Bush For Peace » [Breaking] Rep. KEITH ELLISON (D-MN) SIGNS IMPEACHMENT RESOLUTION 333 — June 29, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

  10. […] Let’s start back in June when DFL (Democratic Farm Labor, i.e., Democratic Party Minnesota) 5th Congressional District nearly unanimously voted on a similar resolution calling on their Representative, Keith Ellison, to sign 333. Subsequent to the passage of that resolution, Rep. Ellison did co-sign 333. This encouraged me to attempt to replicate our success in my own district. Granted, we should not have to go to such lengths to get our representatives to honor their oaths of office. […]

    Pingback by Impeach Bush For Peace » St. Paul Stalls Impeachment Progress — September 30, 2007 @ 12:33 pm

  11. You guys are all fuckin idoits who should move to canada, better yet we should deport you to canada so they can deal with your bitching.

    Comment by Kevin — November 4, 2007 @ 12:05 pm

  12. Hippies! Get a life.

    Comment by Dave — January 1, 2008 @ 6:49 pm

  13. Kevin and Dave,

    I recommend applying for admission to a local community college to fulfill your basic requirements to receive your G.E.D.

    And some dental work would be helpful.

    Why is it that the 30%ers (Bushies) have nothing to say of substance?

    Comment by Mikael — January 1, 2008 @ 6:55 pm

  14. Special note to Dave (#12):

    The sixties are over. The hippies are all baby boomers now – heading toward retirement.

    Did you miss a couple of years?

    There is this organization that might be able to help you. It’s called AA.

    Comment by Mikael — January 1, 2008 @ 6:58 pm

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"I just want you to know that,
when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace."
-Bush, June 18, 2002

"War is Peace"
-Big Brother in George Orwell's 1984

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Arguments Against Bush Impeachment...

• If we impeach Bush, we’ll get President Cheney!
The first impeachment resolution introduced by McKinney included Bush, Cheney, and Rice. Although, even if we only initially pursue Bush, initiating the impeachment process will lead to an investigation that will implicate lots of people in the Bush administration who are guilty of committing crimes, including Cheney.

No matter who we get to replace Bush, we’ll be showing those in power that anyone who breaks the law will be held accountable.

• Promoting impeachment will seem too “extreme.”
Demanding that crimes be investigated is NOT extreme. Some previous impeachment attempts were considered extreme because they were pursued for actions that didn't rise to the level of a Constitutional crisis, which is what the impeachment tool is meant to be used for. Nixon's impeachment, however, was bipartisan.

  • We should wait to impeach...
Wait to impeach? We've waited 3 or more years too long already. We had enough evidence to impeach years ago. Remember, an impeachment only means you have enough evidence to warrant a trial, just like an indictment. Our congress people didn't take an oath to bipartisanship. They took an oath to the Constitution. Besides which, our troops, Iraqi civilians, and our own civil liberties are all waiting for this.
 
• Before we impeach, we should get some legislation passed...
And with unconstitutional Presidential Signing Statements, veto power, and the power of "Commander in Chief" at his disposal, how do you think Congress is going to get anything accomplished without first impeaching Bush?

If your tire blows while you're driving, do you stop to fix it? Or do you continue driving on your rim because to stop would take too much time?

• It hurts the democracy to go through a presidential impeachment. And Bush is a lame duck anyway.
Holding government officials accountable for their actions strengthens our democracy. Letting lawlessness stand weakens it.

Sometimes reprimanding a child (president) doesn't make the family (Washington) a happy place. But you still have to do it so the child and his siblings (future presidents) learn about accountability. Impeachment is horribly UNDERUSED, which is part of why there's so much corruption at the top. Politicians must learn to fear it. People think things are better because we improved the make-up of our law-making body, Congress. But Bush is BREAKING LAWS. So, it doesn't matter how many laws Congress passes if they don't serve their OVERSIGHT duties as well by impeaching. They swore to defend the Constitution. What are laws without enforcement?

Besides, considering Bush's track-record of breaking laws, he can still do a lot of damage. Our troops, Iran, and our Supreme Court are all endangered so long as he remains in office. Waiting until Bush is out of office will leave us complicit in any further crimes he commits. The Union of Concerned Scientists has estimated that the death toll from a "tactical" nuclear weapon of the kind Bush is contemplating using in Iran would be at minimum 3 million men, women, and children. The path of death would stretch across country boundaries into India.

Perhaps worst of all, we set a terrible precedent by allowing Bush to stay in office after he's broken so many laws. Impeachment will stop future presidents from using Bush's actions as justification for even more lawbreaking and erosion of civil liberties.

• I'm a Democrat/
Republican. If we support impeachment it will lower the chances of my party winning in 2008.

So, your party would rather win elections than do what's right for the country? I hope you're wrong. I also hope the public is willing to throw additional support to any party that holds our elected officials accountable for their actions. This has been historically true with every single impeachment effort launched. And this impeachment effort would begin with majority support (unlike most past impeachments including Nixon).

• Impeachment will never happen. Congress members will block it.
Well, all we need is a majority of support in the House. And 2/3rds vote in the Senate to remove Bush from office will happen once the evidence gets aired on the floor of the House, and subsequently the national media outlets. The political pressure will become too great.

Today's impossibility is tomorrow's reality. Congress members will realize that tying their political future to Bush reduces their chances of getting elected. Remember, one way or another, Bush is gone by 2009— but members of Congress may retain their offices beyond that date. Bush's poll numbers are extremely low, and most Americans support impeachment. This is a bipartisan movement. This means that if we make the pressure unbearable for Members of Congress, they'll turn on him to keep their own seats (like they did with Nixon). It's already starting to happen. While many Members of Congress have behaved unethically in the last few years, it's important to understand that this is related to their warped view of what's in their self-interest. Let's wake them up to their true self-interest (impeaching the president), by showing them our support for impeachment.

And even if we only impeach, and the Senate fails to do their duty and remove him from office, it will only implicate the Senators who fail to do their sworn Constitutional duty.

• But Speaker of the House Pelosi said that Impeachment was "off the table."

Pelosi most likely said this to remove any appearance of conflict-of-interest that would arise if she were thrust into the presidency as a result of the coming impeachment. What we need to do is to pressure Pelosi not to interfere with impeachment maneuverings within her party. Sending her Do-It-Yourself impeachments legitimizes her when she joins the impeachment movement in the future.

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