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January 11, 2009

Conyers introduces bill to probe Bush policies

Filed under: D.C.,Impeachment Progress News — Jodin Morey @ 1:03 pm

[Editor's Note: Yet another attempt by Conyers to appear as if he's not ignoring Bush's abuses by putting forward a bill that he knows has no chance of succeeding. He's broken his promise to impeach post-election, don't let him get away with aiding and abetting Bush's crimes.]
RawStory, Andrew McLemore – House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) unveiled a bill on Tuesday that would create a commission to investigate questionable policies of the Bush administration, including torture and wiretapping programs.

Named the National Commission on Presidential War Powers and Civil Liberties, the panel comprise “experts outside government service” who would review the Bush administration’s “claims of unreviewable war powers.”

The panel would have subpoena power and a budget of $3 million.

Talking Points Memo said it “sounds like a great idea,” but asks why the bill has only 10 co-sponsors, including Conyers, and wonders why it has garnered little support so far from Congressional leadership.

“I’d wager that it has a lot to do with the Democratic majority’s desire to turn the page on the Bush years and begin pressing on with an Obama agenda designed to showcase its ability to govern,” the article states.

President-elect Barack Obama has also revealed a plan for investigating President Bush’s alleged abuses of power that has already gained currency in Washington.

Obama’s plan does not rule out prosecution, but delays it until all facts can be ascertained.

Some in the Obama camp feel the commission would amount to “bullshit” and that Bush officials should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

As for Conyers’ attempt to hold Bush accountable, there is a constituency for it in the Senate and among Obama’s team, but it is unclear if that will result in approval.

“Does anybody think that this sleeper bill will get so much as a hearing in any of the three separate committees it’s been referred to?” TPM wrote.

Original Article


2 Comments

  1. http://blog.wired.com/defense/2009/01/mkultra-lawsuit.html

    Vets Sue CIA Over Mind Control Tests

    For two decades or more during the Cold War, the CIA and the military allegedly plied the unwitting with acid, weed, and dozens of psychoactive drugs, in a series of zany (and sometimes dangerous) mind-control experiments. Now, the Vietnam Veterans of America are suing the agency and the Pentagon for perceived abuses suffered under the so-called “MK-ULTRA” and other projects.

    Six veterans are suffering from all kinds of ailments tied to this “diabolical and secret testing program,” according to a statement from the vets’ lawyers, passed on to SpyTalk’s Jeff Stein.

    The experiments allegedly included “the use of troops to test nerve gas, psychochemicals, and thousands of other toxic chemical or biological substances, and … the insertion of septal implants in the brains of subjects in … mind control experiments that went awry, leaving many civilian and military subjects with permanent disabilities.” Subjects were tested without their consent, the veterans say. And when the trials were over, the government failed to “provide health care or compensation.”

    In a book published last year, former military psychiatrist James Ketchum describes an Army project — separate from the CIA’s efforts — that took place at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland. There, he saw test subjects “carry on conversations with various invisible people for as long as 2-3 days.” Others “salute latrines” and attempt to “revive a gas mask” that they mistake for a woman.

    The feds insist that MK-ULTRA ended, when it was exposed during Congressional hearings. But interest in chemical mind-control lives along, in some corners of the military-intelligence community. In a 2003 memo, then-Justice Department lawyer John C. Yoo suggesting that interrogation drugs could be used if their effects were not permanent or profound. Since then, evidence has accumulated that some detainees may have been drugged. “It’s coming back,” retired Colonel John Alexander told Sharon.

    Im glad to see more Americans/Residents take action and sue these abusive goverment agenecies.

    Sue Bush impeach!

    Comment by Dennis M Mccullough — January 12, 2009 @ 11:20 am

  2. I just want to say that everything Dennis says is absolutely true. It’s no coincidence either that the majority of military personnel are registered Republicans. Only brain-damaged people would vote Republican. Gore did the right thing by refusing to allow absentee ballots from military personnel be included in the 2000 recount. Too bad it wasn’t enough to keep Bush from stealing the election that night. If Bush had a shred of honor he would’ve graciously accepted Gore’s courageous concession retraction. Let’s hope Obama has him placed under arrest first thing next Tuesday.

    Comment by Mimi — January 12, 2009 @ 9:55 pm

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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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