Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: IMPEACHMENT: A CHALLENGE TO THE GUILTY SILENT!
Loading...

Click for a full report.

Imbush Peach

An interview with Naomi Wolf about the 10 steps from democracy to dictatorship!

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

IMPEACHMENT: A CHALLENGE TO THE GUILTY SILENT!









IMPEACHMENT: A CHALLENGE TO THE GUILTY SILENT

In the very first issue of the Liberator, William Lloyd Garrison stated, "I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. . . . I am in earnest - I will not equivocate - I will not excuse - I will not retreat a single inch - and I will be heard!

So have I abandoned any pretense of moderation on the Issue of Impeachment. It is time for those of us care about the citizenry and future of this nation to speak out, take action and resist in every manner possible the continuation of The Bush Administration.

I issue this challenge: “Prove to me that George W. Bush is not guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors in office, not guilty of war crimes (crimes against humanity) as defined by International Laws to which this nation is an agreed to party, not guilty of defiance of the Constitution of These United States, not guilty of willfully ignoring, breaking and setting aside duly enacted laws of the United States Congress, and I will publicly eat my words and cease and desist in my advocacy of Impeachment.

It is easy to offer explanations and excuses, cloaked in the capes of practicality, convenience, and expediency for doing nothing. It is easy to spin inaction to a public cowering in fear, devoid of any expectations and numbed into self-assessed impotence insofar as any matters of government are concerned.

Any incompetent self-serving coward dedicated to self perpetuation and self preservation in elective office can resort to such tactics, apparently in good, or with no, conscience.

The problem is that no one can refute the facts and the statement that: “George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, several cabinet members, a host of subordinates within the government and the military are guilty of acts that are: (1) Impeachable with conviction, (2) Crimes subject to prosecution, conviction and imprisonment under civil law, and (3) War Crimes, crimes against humanity, as defined by International Law to such an extent that the death penalty can be invoked.

To attempt to either dispute that statement and to defend the parties, or dismiss taking those actions necessary to bring all the guilty criminal parties to justice is to:

(1) Assume a totally non Christian amoral position,

(2) Admit you have no faith in our system of justice and are prepared to submit to the demise of our system of government and laws,

(3) Approve and accept the culture of corruption and become a willing accomplice to the common criminality of this administration,

(4) Make a conscious commitment to becoming a collaborator and co-conspirator in the undermining our most fundamental principles of democracy,

(5) Be a willing party, and an enabling facilitator in the implementation of a Fascist model state in these United States,

(6) Admit your willingness to be a colleague in crime and a catalytic agent in the erosion of American law,

(7) Become a party to attempts to avoid and evade the undeniable truth and inescapable facts documenting that this administration is the single most sinister and criminally corrupt in this nation’s history,

(8) Surrender, as a dupe to this administration, all elements of your personal dignity and integrity to some terribly misguided hopeless, futile, delaying tactic campaign of defense of the damned whose down fall is now inevitable as the forces for Impeachment rise and march where victory in a democracy is crisis is always won, in the streets, before victory is achieved in the halls of Congress and the Courts of this land, and

(9) betray your nation and the yet unborn, as Judas betrayed Christ, as Benedict Arnold before you, betrayed this country. You stand condemned by your cowardly surrender and silence! You make a mockery of every American serviceman who ever gave his/her life in good conscience and the name of this nation to the freedom and liberties you enjoy and exercise, now all imperiled.

The Precinct Master

THE TIDE HAS BEGUN TO CHANGE!


Toledo Blade
Article published Friday, February 2, 2007Michigan congressman set to tackle executive power grab


DETROIT - Any other chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, no matter the politics, would have given a very measured, noncommittal, highly judicious answer. But this was House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D., Detroit), a man who has never been shy about letting anyone, street person or U.S. president, know where he stands.

So I asked: Do you think this President has committed impeachable offenses? The man who now has the power to start impeachment hearings didn't hesitate for a heartbeat.


"Yes sir. I think if we had the kind of investigations I have been trying to get started for the last couple years, we would all come to agree with (former Congressman) Elizabeth Holtzman and many constitutional scholars who have written about it.


"It is pretty plain there are some problems with whether he has kept his oath of office," the congressman said.

John Conyers never has been one to disguise his true feelings, not from the day he arrived in Washington in January, 1965. He was a freshman then, a darkly handsome 35-year-old bachelor, one of only six African-Americans in Congress.

Mr. Conyers had won his first election by a paper-thin 109 votes, got to Washington and immediately lobbied hard and successfully to win a seat on Judiciary. Yet before his second term was through he had openly defied President Lyndon Johnson over Vietnam - something then unthinkable for a young black man.

He introduced an impeachment resolution against Richard Nixon before Watergate, and promptly became one of the first names on his infamous enemies list. Mr. Conyers is, incidentally, the only congressman in history to have taken part in impeachment hearings for two presidents. He supported ousting Mr. Nixon in 1974, and then ably but unsuccessfully fought to defend Bill Clinton in 1999.

Now, it truly is his committee. His party controls Congress, and he strongly suspects the President is a criminal.

So does that mean we are in for a third set of impeachment hearings in little more than a third of a century?

Conyers to launch probe of signing statements.
House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) announced Wednesday that his committee would open a formal inquiry into President Bush’s use of “presidential signing statements.” “
We are not going to take no for an answer,” said Conyers, vowing “to demand answers from the White House about its intention to ignore the ban on torture when needed and its right to open domestic mail when needed.” January 31, 2007 6:30 pm


Comment (35)


Is Bush Violating the Law?


By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.comThursday, February 1, 2007; 12:58 PM
What do President Bush's "signing statements" really signify? When the president asserts his right to ignore legislation passed by Congress --- such as the ban on torture --- is he then acting on that assertion? Or is it just harmless ideological bluster?


When the Boston Globe's Charlie Savage first wrote about Bush's use of these stealthy statements more than a year ago, neither the Washington press corps nor the Republican-controlled Congress expressed any enthusiasm about getting to the bottom of this important Constitutional riddle.

But elections do have consequences.


And as Savage writes in today's Boston Globe: "The new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, said yesterday that he is launching an aggressive investigation into whether the Bush administration has violated any of the laws it claimed a right to ignore in presidential 'signing statements.'


"Bush has claimed that his executive powers allow him to bypass more than 1,100 laws enacted since he took office. But administration officials insist that Bush's signing statements merely question the laws' constitutionality, and do not necessarily mean that the president also authorized his subordinates to violate them.


"Conyers said the president has no power 'to ignore duly enacted laws he has negotiated with Congress and signed.' . . .


"The Michigan Democrat made his remarks at the committee's first oversight hearing since Democrats took control of Congress, which Conyers devoted to signing statements. He called the hearing a kickoff to his plans to use the coming session to probe the administration's 'growing abuse of power.'"


William Douglas writes for McClatchy Newspapers: "In written testimony, Assistant Attorney General John P. Elwood said that Bush has never used signing statements as an attempt to 'override' enacted laws.
"But several legal experts and lawmakers contend that some of the president's signing statements have that potential. Some point to a signing statement regarding the McCain amendment, which forbids U.S. torture of prisoners.


"After he signed the amendment into law with fanfare in December 2005, Bush quietly issued a signing statement from his Texas ranch saying that he would view the law 'in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the president . . . as commander in chief.'


"He added that his approach 'will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the president . . . of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks.'


"The Bush White House maintains that because the nation is in an indefinite war on terror, Bush's constitutional authority as commander in chief has virtually no boundary. His language in the signing statement on the McCain amendment was widely viewed as reserving himself the right to ignore it."


CONTINUED 1 2 3 4 5 Next >


John Nichols: Drinan set example for today's Dems
By John Nichols


When Father Robert Drinan was swept into Congress as part of the "New Politics" surge of 1970 - which saw Democratic primary voters across the country replace pro-Vietnam War incumbents with anti-war champions - the new representative from Massachusetts arrived as a constitutional scholar who had a bone to pick with Richard Nixon's imperial presidency.


The longtime dean of the Boston College of Law, Drinan joined the House Judiciary Committee with the stated purpose of renewing the system of checks and balances by asserting the power of Congress to constrain and, where necessary, sanction the president for overstepping his authority.


Nixon was not amused. He placed Drinan's name high on the White House "enemies list" and the chairman of the Republican National Committee, a Nixon acolyte named George Herbert Walker Bush, declared that the dissenting Democrat's defeat would be a top priority of the president's party.


Drinan did not blink.


The Jesuit priest, who died this week at age 86, never hesitated to identify Nixon's military adventurism in Southeast Asia as both "morally objectionable" and "illegal."


The wily and whimsical scholar - who had joked with supporters such as a young John Kerry about campaigning on the slogan: "Vote for Father Drinan or Go to Hell" - was determined to hold Nixon accountable on both counts.


Drinan shared the view expressed by his friend and frequent ally on the Judiciary Committee, Wisconsin Democrat Bob Kastenmeier, who in 1974 contended, "President Nixon's conduct in office is a case history of the abuse of presidential power."


In particular, Drinan believed that Nixon's secret order of a massive carpet-bombing campaign against Cambodia represented an absolute violation of the constitutional requirement that wars be authorized by Congress.
After New York Times reporter William Beecher exposed the fact that the initial carpet-bombing campaign had gone on for more than a year and killed tens of thousands of Cambodians, Drinan introduced a resolution to impeach Nixon on July 31, 1973.


It was an embarrassment to House Democratic leaders, who were trying to mute discussion of impeachment at a time when Nixon's approval ratings remained high.


Almost exactly a year after its introduction, when the wheel had turned to such an extent that the Judiciary Committee had voted in favor of impeaching Nixon, a version of Drinan's resolution was finally considered.
With support from the Congressional Black Caucus, Drinan pressed the committee to move his article of impeachment against Nixon for ordering the bombing of Cambodia without the permission of Congress.


Key Democrats in Congress were opposed, arguing that, while American people were prepared to impeach the president for Watergate crimes, they were not ready to remove him for violating the constitutional constraint on presidential war-making.


Drinan was having none of it. To the suggestion that an article of impeachment sanctioning the president for ordering the bombings would not "play in Peoria," the congressman from Massachusetts asked: "How can we impeach the president for concealing a burglary but not for concealing a massive bombing?"


Drinan's argument drew enthusiastic support from a number of the Judiciary Committee's younger members, including the Michigan representative who would eventually become its chair, John Conyers. But the committee rejected the sanction, 26-12. Its failure to send a clear signal about the limits on presidential war-making haunt the United States to this day.


When I began to study the history of impeachment, I consulted with Father Drinan, who helped to form my understanding of the founders' intent that the "heroic medicine" be used "to chain the dogs of war."

Drinan and I spoke often in his later years, when he taught at Georgetown University Law Center and kept a wary eye on the Capitol, where he had served from 1971 to 1981, when a papal order forced him to leave the House.


He never lost his sense of perspective when it came to impeachment. He dismissed Republican attempts to sanction Bill Clinton as petty moralizing gone awry. And he counseled those who would seek to remove George Bush and Dick Cheney to understand and respect the process - as he had in waiting more than two years after arriving in Congress as an anti-war firebrand to move his article of impeachment against Nixon.


Before there can be serious talk of impeachment, the law professor explained, newly empowered House Democrats must exercise the powers afforded by their committee assignments to investigate charges of wrongdoing, with the honest intent of separating mistakes from misdeeds and with an eye toward establishing precisely where lines of law and morality may have been crossed.


Those who now occupy stations of power in the Capitol should not be hesitant, however, in asserting that Congress has the authority to block executive war-making and to hold presidents to account. Active almost to the end, Drinan delighted in the determination of Democrats like Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold and his old Judiciary Committee colleague, Conyers, to challenge the excesses of the current administration.


Drinan died one day after hundreds of thousands of anti-war demonstrators filled the streets of Washington, two days before Feingold opened a Senate Judiciary Committee session on using the power of the purse to end the war in Iraq, and three days before Conyers convened an oversight hearing on whether presidential signing statements threaten the rule of law.


In a week such as this it is not so difficult to understand why - after the 2006 elections gave Democrats control of both houses of Congress and handed key positions to the likes of Conyers and Feingold - the old Jesuit was heard to proclaim: "God heard our prayers!"


I am only sorry that Father Drinan is not around to enjoy the hearings that in every sense are celebrations of the Constitution that he so cherished.

John Nichols is associate editor of The Capital Times. E-mail:
jnichols@madison.com


From the Basement to Rayburn
Published: February 1, 2007


On Wednesday, the Congressional Progressive Caucus – now the largest caucus in Congress with 69 members – co-hosted a panel discussion along with The Nation and the Institute for Policy Studies on its new Progressive Promise for America. The event took place in the Rayburn House Office Building, a long way from the Capitol basement where the Caucus was founded fifteen years ago by then-Congressman Bernie Sanders and four colleagues. Even in the last few years when Caucus Co-Chair, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, held hearings on Iraq, the Republicans relegated those hearings to the basement.


But now Caucus members chair the majority of committees and subcommittees in the House, and thirteen members participated in the panel even as they came and went to oversee their respective committee hearings.
In attendance were: Representatives Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, John Conyers, Dennis Kucinich, Charles Rangel, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Bob Filner, Diane Watson, Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, Maurice Hinchey, Keith Ellison, and Steve Cohen. The Nation's own John Nichols served as a nimble, historically astute, and diplomatic moderator.


Panelists were joined in the conference room by allies from the NAACP, Progressive Democrats of America, Code Pink, Hip Hop Caucus, Peace Action, Campaign for America's Future, Association of Farm Workers Opportunity Program and other progressive groups and people. The room was filled with energy and idealism, and it reflected the Caucus' understanding that the Democratic party's finest hours have come when it has worked alongside popular movements… that democracy works when citizens are inspired to claim it as their own.


One of the caucus members set the tone for the gathering, saying we should all have smiles on our faces – we are kindred spirits who helped to change the course of our country and win the last election. It's a new day for a new way.


It was clear from the discussion that caucus members are under no illusions about the struggles ahead – to end the war in Iraq (which Caucus co-Chair Rep. Lee called "the number one marching order" from the people); to bring economic fairness and justice to our nation; and to safeguard our constitution from a Bush administration and its Republican accomplices, who continue to trample upon it.


But members are also clearly determined to seize the moment.


These strong and decent representatives intend to provide a marker of opposition to the perilous policies of the Bush administration, and also offer alternatives that have the support of the majority of Americans and will inspire a sense of a new direction and new priorities. From ending the war and promoting peace, to fighting for universal health care, to demanding real energy independence and environmental protection… this Caucus and its members will offer bold initiatives.


Rep. Conyers, Chair of the Judiciary Committee, promised to look into the Bush doctrine of preemptive, unilateral action; treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo; and the rendition of suspects to nations that practice torture. Conyers highlighted the importance of such investigations, saying,
"We are living under an administration that has taken unto itself more Executive powers than anyone in history… Much of it under the radar and deliberately avoided by the media."


Lee offered an important perspective shared by other Caucus members on how they will conduct hearings. "We have to go where the people are," she said. "Not everyone can get to D.C." Caucus members understand the importance of directly connecting with the people – that the people are ahead of the politicians and the pundits. That same commitment to the grassroots was evident in most committee chairs pledging to go to New Orleans with their members.


Rep. Frank repeated his charge that the administration's Katrina-response (or lack thereof) was "ethnic cleansing by inaction." Frank will invite members of the Financial Services Committee, which he chairs, to join him in visiting New Orleans during the February recess – a visit which will in part inform hearings on affordable housing that he will hold with Rep. Waters. Frank will also challenge the Bush administration's trade agenda. He had just returned from Davos, where elite circles believed the next (Doha) round of WTO negotiations would move smoothly along – further illustration, Frank told the room, of not only this administration's denial but also US and global corporate myopia when it comes to recognizing the shift represented by the recent election.


Threading through almost all of the caucus members' talk was a commitment to rebuilding a city the Bush administration has virtually forgotten – in words and deeds. Rep. Filner, chair of the Committee on Veterans Affairs, pledged that he would also visit New Orleans. Filner cited that there are 200,000 homeless veterans on any given night – half of whom are Vietnam vets – and how this speaks to the importance of getting the Veterans Administration to treat post traumatic stress disorder and other forms of mental illness.


He spoke eloquently about why we cannot expect our soldiers to watch their friends get blown up, or mistakenly shoot an innocent, and come home without emotional struggles and challenges.


Filner pointed to several hundred cases of suicide committed by soldiers returning home, and he has tried unsuccessfully to obtain the corresponding documentation. His message to soldiers in Iraq is this: "We're against the policy that sent you to war but we're going to give you every bit of care we can."


Part of Filner's caring for soldiers is through his co-sponsorship of the Bring Our Troops Home and Sovereignty of Iraq Restoration Act, which – in addition to funding a 6-month orderly withdrawal – would guarantee full health care funding, including mental health, for U.S. veterans of the Iraq war and other conflicts.


Indeed that piece of legislation now has 29 co-sponsors, and legislation has also been introduced by Rep. Kucinich, and Representatives Jerrold Nadler and James McGovern – also Caucus members. These legislators have provided the alternative that the Bush administration and its dwindling allies still claim doesn't exist, including: funding for a 6-month orderly withdrawal of troops and contractors; no permanent bases in Iraq; Iraqi control over their own oil; and participation in international peacekeeping and diplomatic efforts.


Caucus members are also fighting the myth that voting to bring the troops home and funding a withdrawal is tantamount to not supporting the troops. As Conyers said, the power of the purse exists for times such as now – to rein in an Executive who is out of control.


Freshman Rep. Cohen, from Memphis, spoke of how ending the war was a key issue in his election and for his district. The caucus, he said, plays a key role in recognizing the urgency of ending this war and not backing off. Cohen cited the lyrics of Jackson Browne's Lives in the Balance (Where a government lies to a people/And a country is drifting to war/… There are lives in the balance/There are people under fire/There are children at the cannons/And there is blood on the wire).


Another freshman, Rep. Ellison of Minneapolis (the first Muslim elected to Congress), closed the panel discussion with a brevity and a clarity that I hope captures the ascendant new progressive spirit. He recounted that during his campaign he told the voters that he wanted to "go to DC to end the war and hold those who took us to war to account. But we also need to stop the next war." He said that the United States must use its power to promote justice and peace.


Perhaps the most personal perspective on the gathering was offered by Rep. Rangel. 76 years old and referred to as "one of the old bulls," Rangel said that he had considered leaving Congress because he actually feared that his grandchildren in the future might say, "You were there. Why didn't you do anything?" But he stayed, in hopes that a Democratic majority would soon come to power, and that he would, in fact, be able to do something about "the most dangerous presidency in my lifetime."


Rangel drew a parallel between recent years and a civil rights march that he participated in when he was a boy. He said he complained every step of the way that his feet hurt but then, afterwards, he was glad that he had done it. The last few years have indeed been tough ones for progressives. But brighter days now lie ahead as good elected representatives offer alternatives for a more decent country.


At the end of the evening, tribute was paid to Molly Ivins. I know that she would have loved the gathering – though she might have infused it with a bit more humor. I figure she would have told that room--full of agitators and organizers-- something John Nichols in his spirited tribute to Molly tells us she delighted in telling local ACLU groups across this country: "So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it.


Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."


A podcast of this event will be posted on TheNation.com on Monday.


A massive anti-Iraqi War rally was held, in D.C., on Sat., Jan. 27, 2007.


The Chairman of the House’s Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), sent an unmistakable warning to President George W. Bush. Conyers said he wants the “war stopped.” He reminded Bush, that the U.S. Congress “can fire him.” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said Bush “tricked the American people” into the war. She said, to loud applause: “Bush isn’t the decider. He’s the liar!”

“It’s so irresponsible that they can’t be quiet.”


-- William Kristol, a Neocon, in referring to critics of the Iraqi War. [1]

Washington, D.C. On a sunny day, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2007, with the temperatures in the high-40s, the National Mall, was filled with protesters against the Iraqi War. A Who’s Who list of speakers against the ongoing evildoings of the Bush-Cheney Gang let their voices be heard by the spirited crowd.


The massive demonstration’s prime sponsor was the United for Peace & Justice organization. They set the main stage for the event on 3rd St., NW, between Madison and Jefferson Avenues, fronting towards the fabled Lincoln Memorial. After the speakers’ part of the program was finished at 1 PM, a noisy, chant-filled march paraded in an easterly direction, about a block away from the U.S. Capitol, and then circled back to its starting point. Workshops and Teach-Ins are set for this Sunday by organizers, and a “Lobby Day” is slated for Monday, the 29th, on Capitol Hill. [2]


Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), was one of the four congressional leaders who spoke at the rally. He said: “Our government needs to get the message: Out of Iraq, immediately.” Conyers is the new Chair of the House’s Judiciary Committee. This is the committee which has jurisdiction over any possible impeachment proceedings. In a shot over President George W. Bush’s bow, Conyers said that Bush likes to fire military advisors, who tell him he can’t win the war, but “he can’t fire you [the people]. He can’t fire us [the Congress], but ‘we can fire him.’” With that line a roar went up in the audience. The loud chant began: “Impeach Bush!”


The Chairlady of the House of Representatives’ “Out of Iraq Caucus,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), also ripped into Bush.


She said: “My name is Maxine Waters and I’m not afraid of George W. Bush.


My name is Maxine Waters and I’m not intimidated by Dick Cheney.


My name is Maxine Waters and I helped to get [Donald] Rumsfeld fired.


My name is Maxine Waters and Connie Rice is nothing but another Neocon and she doesn’t represent me.


George W. Bush led us into this immoral war. He tricked the American people...He did not tell the truth...Bush says he is ‘the decider,’ but you know what? He’s not ‘the decider. He’s ‘the liar...’I will not vote one dime for this war...Bring the troops home.”


Waters said some Congress people are only paying “lip service” to the antiwar cause. That comment struck home with me.


Going back to my attendance at the antiwar rally in this city on Oct. 26, 2002, there is a particular “lip service” politico that comes to my mind. She’s U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski.


Although, she voted against the Iraqi War, she has continued to vote to fund it, including building 14 U.S. military bases in Iraq and the largest U.S. Embassy in the world, in Baghdad. She’s also endorsed the draconian Patriot Act--not once, but twice!


The truth is that Sen. Mikulski is “an asset” to the Bush-Cheney Gang! She has been “calling” her job in, and waiting, I suspect, to cash in on her $120,000 a year-plus, tax free, pension.


Experts now put the cost of the war at over $2 trillion dollars. [3] It’s critical that Mikulski, and other foxy politicos, like her, be called on their “lip service” acts by the people.


How many more brave American troops, now at 3075, and innocent Iraqi civilians, estimated at over 655,000, must forfeit their lives, while Mikulski “pretends” to be antiwar?


Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) spoke at the protest, too. He said: “Bush needs to understand that the Congress is a coequal branch of government.


And that Congress has the responsibility now to bring an end to this war, cut off the funds, bring our troops home, close the bases and to end the occupation.”


Another fierce opponent of the Iraqi War is the gutsy, co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus in the House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). She told the approving crowd: “We are not going to stop until we end George Bush’s immoral Iraqi War. Americans do not want to send their children into the middle of a civil war.” Rep. Woolsey has offered legislation, HR. 508, to meet those noble objectives.


On a related front, Peace activists have sharply criticized the Democratic Party’s almost complicit response to Bush’s State of the [Dis]Union message and to the insanity of his “Surge” scheme in Iraq.


Linda Shade and Kevin Zeese of DemocracyRising.US labeled the pathetic rejoinders of Edwards, Kennedy, Clinton, Obama, et al, as “out of step with many Americans who are calling for bringing the troops home now.” The duo rightly added: “There is a need for a larger and more organized antiwar movement.” [4]


Meanwhile, V. P. Dick Cheney, an unindicted coconspirator in the Irving “Scooter” Libby federal perjury case, may be starting, finally, to show signs of cracking. [5] When he was recently confronted with criticism about his fiendish role in the Iraqi War debacle, he responded with a tense: “Hogwash.”


According to an expert on the Middle East, Lt. Gen. William E. Odom, USA, Retired, the ex-director of the National Security Agency, the Iraqi War can not be won “militarily.” He calls it “a disaster.” As long as the U.S. is in Iraq, he says, Al Qaeda will benefit and “grow stronger.” [6]


Back to the rally: There were over 40 riveting speakers at that two hour part of the morning program, which began at 11 AM. Organizers estimated the crowd at around 400,000. I knew it was going to be a mega protest, when I caught the Metro train at the New Carrollton, MD station at around 9 AM to go into the Capitol. I ran into activists from Vermont, who had traveled in five buses to make the trip to D.C. They said it took them about nine hours.


Another speaker at the event, Rabbi Michael Lerner, said that if Congress doesn’t cut off the funds for the war, then they are acting as “enablers” of the Bush-Cheney administration.


The Rev. Jesse Jackson said: “It was easy to admire the late Martin Luther King Jr., but it was hard to follow him...We need new leaders and new priorities...Bush ignored Katrina...It is time for a new day...We need a new vision...We need more money and justice at home...Stop spending $8.5 billion a month on madness. End the war.”


Medea Benjamin, cofounder of Code Pink, reminded the audience that women across the country are “saying no to the war.” She added, they want “peace and compassion.”
Bob Watada, the father of Lt. Ehren Watada, who is refusing to serve in Iraq, thanked the crowd for their moral and legal support of his son’s efforts.
Noura Erakat, a champion of self-determination for the Palestinian people, urged an end to the U.S.’s “four year” occupation of Iraq and also an end to the “40 year” occupation of Palestine by Zionist Israel.
Maryland’s AFL-CIO chief, Fred Mason, told the throng that many in the Labor Movement also want an “end to the Iraqi War.”


Actress Jane Fonda made an appearance, too, at today’s rally. To thunderous applause, she said: “I haven’t spoken at an antiwar rally for 34 years, but silence is no longer an option.” She was joined on the podium by fellow antiwar activists and Screen Actor Guild members: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon. The latter three also addressed the crowd.


Sarandon, a close colleague of activists David Swanson, Medea Benjamin, Cindy Sheehan, Annie Nelson and Ann Wright, has been to Washington many times in the recent past to participate in antiwar actions. [7] Andrew Murray of the “Stop the War Coalition, UK,” offered “solidarity greetings” from fellow activists in the British Isles.
He lamented the fact that the British people can’t get rid of P.M. Tony Blair, but that the Americans can and should “impeach Bush.”


Finally, Americans are paying a severe price for this war. The Bush-Cheney Gang is sacrificing the lives of their precious loved ones on the altar of this Neocon-inspired Iraqi calamity. [8]


The U.S. Congress is Constitutionally-mandated to check, proscribe and punish the excesses of these evildoers. Each member of the Congress has taken an oath of office to “uphold and defend the Constitution.” We heard encouraging words today at this rally from our true friends in the Congress.


But, the patience of the American people is running out. The people want the war ended now and the Bush-Cheney Gang punished for their gross breaches of the public trust. Time is of the essence! [9]


Notes:
[1].
http://batr.net/neoconwatch
[2].
http://www.unitedforpeace.org/index.php
[3].
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story763,1681119,00.html
[4].
http://democracyrising.us/index.php
[5].
http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles /
[6].
Http://www.dailyscare.com/lt_gen_william_e_odom_a_cassandra_for_our_times/786
[7].
http://www.codepink4peace.org/article.php?
[8]. See, Chalmers Johnson’s tome, “The Sorrows of Empire,” on the powerful Special Interests that pushed for the Iraqi War.
[9]. To see videos from four of the rally’s speakers, go to:
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=liamh2


No comments: