Rep. Baldwin Introduces Bill to Undo and Prosecute Bush-Cheney Crimes
Baldwin Calls for Executive Accountability To Reverse Illegal Actions and Prevent Further Abuses
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin has introduced the Executive Branch Accountability Act of 2008, calling on the next President to reverse the damaging and illegal actions taken by the Bush/Cheney Administration and to collaborate with Congress to proactively prevent any further abuses of executive branch power.
“Over the past several years, serious questions have been raised about the conduct of high ranking Bush/Cheney Administration officials in relation to some of the most basic elements of our democracy: respect for the rule of law, the principle of checks and balances, and the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights,” said Baldwin. “The list of abuses of executive branch power is long, as are the Administration’s attempts to impede congressional oversight.
Indeed, Congress has presented President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and other Bush/Cheney Administration officials with ample opportunities to reverse these abusive actions and restore our democracy. At each step, they have, instead, chosen to show contempt for the Congress and the American public. We must look to the next administration – and the next President – to show leadership in restoring executive branch accountability,” Baldwin said.
The Executive Branch Accountability Act of 2008 calls on the next President of the United States to immediately and publicly reaffirm our nation’s commitment to the rule of law. It specifically directs the next President to:
* Fully investigate Bush/Cheney administration officials’ alleged crimes and hold them accountable for any illegal acts.
* Ensure that any Bush/Cheney administration official guilty of a war crime is prosecuted under the War Crimes Act and the Anti-Torture Act.
* Affirm that it is the sole legal right of Congress to declare war.
* Restore the writ of habeas corpus as an essential principle of our democracy.
* Ensure that torture and rendition are uniformly prohibited under United States law.
* Immediately close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp.
* Ensure that Americans can bring claims against their government.
* Immediately take affirmative steps to protect all documents from the Bush/Cheney Administration and publicly reaffirm that the Office of the Vice President is indeed part of the executive branch.
* Publicly review potential abuses of the presidential pardon process.
* Reform the use of presidential signing statements.
“On January 20, 2009, the next President of the United States will stand before the American people and take an oath of office to ‘…preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.’ Along with this oath, it is my fervent hope that he will take the decisive actions detailed in this legislation to restore our democracy,” said Baldwin.
A copy of the Executive Branch Accountability Act of 2008 as introduced is at: