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An ornament urging Bush's impeachment has been removed from the White House Christmas tree, but there's no reason you can't have impeachment for your holiday celebration and prosecution in the new year. Watch this video!
For $10.23 at Amazon.com you can have "The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush" by Congressman Dennis Kucinich with additional material by David Swanson and Elizabeth de la Vega. This book includes the full articles, extensive documentation, a chart listing all of the statutory crimes that can be prosecuted, and an introduction explaining how we can take the only step that will deter future presidential crimes: placing Cheney and Bush behind bars. Plus statements by Ray McGovern, John Kim, Brad Friedman, and Vincent Bugliosi. And it fits perfectly in a stocking!
Those were among the topics on December 3rd when I (David Swanson) joined a panel of guests on PressTV's "American Dream". Also on the panel was Edward Peck, a former ambassador who has opposed militarism and who inspired a now well-known sermon by Jeremiah Wright. I interviewed Peck in October on The People Speak Radio. Joining us was David Pollock, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy where Dennis Ross is a consultant (whom Pollock told me off the air he's certain will end up with a key foreign policy position in the Obama administration). Skillfully moderating this rather divided panel was Elliott Francis, whose job was made harder by on air phone calls from guests with passionate opinions and in some cases truly crazy hateful anti-semitism. Nonetheless we managed a rich and civil discussion, even on the topic of Israel. Here's the video. (It's the December 3rd show, which I'm hoping they'll post soon.)
Requesting the prosecution of a known criminal ought not to be an action that requires any particular consideration or debate. If we are a society based on the rule of law, then this is simply what must be done. John Yoo, Professor of Law at Boalt Hall School of Law in Berkeley, California, (but a lawyer with the Pennsylvania bar from which he should be debarred and would be if enough people demanded it) counseled the White House on how to get away with war crimes, wrote this memo promoting presidential power to launch aggressive war, and claimed the power to decree that the federal statutes against torture, assault, maiming, and stalking do not apply to the military in the conduct of the war, and to announce a new definition of torture limiting it to acts causing intense pain or suffering equivalent to pain associated with serious physical injury so severe that death, organ failure or permanent damage resulting in loss of significant body functions will likely result. Yoo claimed in 2005 that a president has the right to enhance an interrogation by crushing the testicles of someone's child. Let's not talk about academic freedom in relation to a man who has lost the right to freedom of any sort and should be behind bars. Are we on the side of justice or the side of crushing children's testicles? Ask the City Council to vote yes!
Pick up some "ARREST BUSH & CHENEY" sweatshirts and t-shirts for the holidays and to join us in front of the FBI building during the January 20th inauguration parade! Our friends have a permit for 3,000 people wearing or carrying this message. I guarantee we'll have more fun that anybody dressing for prom and taking out a high-interest loan to buy a ticket to a formal ball.
The ACLU sent out an Email on December 4th joining a chorus of voices in declaring that Bush has the power to pardon crimes he authorized but shouldn't use it. This is a step forward for many organizations and publications that have never supported impeachment or prosecution. But it is potentially less than helpful. The impeachment power was created precisely in case a president ever pardoned someone for a crime he was involved in. Both James Madison and George Mason made this argument. Bush has already committed this abuse by commuting Scooter Libby's sentence and is likely to pardon him and others. To suppose that the pardon power permits the same action that the impeachment power was created to punish is absurd, and to grant the president that power while asking him to please not use it is misguided. Congress should be impeaching, passing bills, proposing amendments, and joining with courts and the president elect in making clear that such pardons will not be honored. One way to advance the debate is to recruit cosponsors for a resolution by Congressman Jerrold Nadler. Some Congress members have already signed on after 46,000 emails were sent. Please ask your representative.
For the past two years, Congress has pretended that ending a war requires passing a bill and blamed its failure to pass a bill on Republican filibusters and presidential vetoes. The veto excuse is gone. But the pretense that a bill is needed is firmly entrenched, and the filibuster excuse lives. The Democrats will have, at best, 59 senate seats in their caucus, unless Obama appoints a Republican senator to a plum position or Congress provides the people of Washington, D.C., with representation in their government. The need for a strong peace movement is greater than ever. The crowd that launched an aggressive war based on transparent lies is riding happily off into the sunset. And the new crowd (which has a lot of the same faces in it) has before it the task of holding absolute power in its hands without being corrupted. They can't do that without our help.
By David Swanson
I know, I know, Bush liberated the Iraqis. But when will we liberate them from Bush's liberation? Well, ideally, the American people will rise up tomorrow and force Congress to cease funding the occupation and to vote an immediate and complete withdrawal with a veto-overriding supermajority, not to mention impeaching Bush and Cheney. I raise that possibility not so much because I've been drinking as because long-term movements for systemic reform require awareness of what we're missing. If we ever replace a Congress dominated by money, media, and parties with one loyal to us the people, it will be because we tragically realize what so very easily could have been.
By David Swanson
So, now we discover that Bush was warned in detail of the looming foreclosure crisis and told what would prevent it and what would make it worse. He chose to make it worse. Funny, he was also warned about Hurricane Katrina (we have the videotape), but he claimed he had no possible way of knowing what could happen. He was warned exactly how the Iraqis would react to an occupation of their country, but he said he had no idea. He got a memo describing the 9-11 attacks pretty clearly and was repeatedly briefed on the danger, and yet he said he just couldn't have possibly imagined such a thing. Of course, there's nothing we could discover that would cause Congress to impeach Bush. But we have learned this: Clinton could have avoided impeachment too if he'd only said "I had no way of imagining what might happen when that woman crawled under my desk." Psst: Obama, remember that as far as you know Afghanistan is a really fun place to occupy and almost nobody has ever had a bad experience with that!
By David Swanson
The debate among progressive activists and commentators in recent weeks has tended to range from the leave-Obama-alone-and-he'll-fix-everything position to the stage-a-protest-at-Obama's-house-for-the-next-month position, including numerous stances in between those extremes. What all these positions share is acceptance of the incredible shift of power from Congress to the White House that we have seen in just the last eight years. It is in these concluding moments of the Bush-Cheney era that Congress's coffin is being constructed just outside our window, and I'm afraid that the peace and justice movement is picking flowers to bring to the funeral.