Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: From Brattleboro: ImpeachopediA: Supplied By Tom Finnell
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Imbush Peach

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

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

From Brattleboro: ImpeachopediA: Supplied By Tom Finnell



I HAVE A DREAM

Do you Have a Dream too?

VOTE TO ARREST BUSH AND CHENEY IN BRATTLEBORO

ARTICLE AT THE TOWN MEETING TO BE ACTED ON BY THE VOTERS BY AUSTRALIAN BALLOT TO ARREST THEM FOR CRIMES AGAINST OUR CONSTITUTION

Charges and Evidence:

Impeachment of George W. Bush

With the help of my friends from <impeachforpeace.org>, I have been able to put together an impeachment tool that I hope helps you help the cause. Use it well ___TF Tom Finnell

Contents

1. ILLEGAL WAR

George W. Bush has intentionally misled the Congress and the public regarding the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war against Iraq, intentionally conspired with others to defraud the United States in connection with the war against Iraq in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 371;


2. ILLEGAL SPYING
*Update - Recently Found Guilty by District Court

George W. Bush has admitted to ordering the National Security Agency to conduct electronic surveillance of American civilians without seeking warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, duly constituted by Congress in 1978, in violation of Title 50 United States Code, Section 1805;


3. GENEVA CONVENTION VIOLATIONS
*Update -Found Guilty by the Federal Supreme Court

George W. Bush has conspired to commit the torture of prisoners in violation of the “Federal Torture Act” Title 18 United States Code, Section 113C, the UN Torture convention and the Geneva Convention, which under Article VI of the Constitution are part of the “supreme Law of the Land;”

George W. Bush has conspired to deny due process to prisoners of war, indiscriminately bomb cities, transfer prisoners of war from an occupied territory, and planned, prepared, initiated and waged of a war of aggression in violation of U.S. Military Code section 2441, Geneva convention (I Art 3, II Art 18, Art 19, III Art 13, Art 17, Art 33, Art 34, Art 49, IV Art 3), and the 1945 Nuremberg Principles articles 6(a) and (b);


4. ILLEGAL DETENTION
*Update - Found Guilty by District Court

George W. Bush has acted to strip Americans of their constitutional rights by ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to legal counsel, without charge and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the President of a U.S. citizen as an “enemy combatant”, all in subversion of law;


5. ILLEGAL RELEASE OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION

George W. Bush authorized the leaking classified national secrets to further a political agenda, exposing an unknown number of covert U. S. intelligence agents to potential harm and retribution while simultaneously refusing to investigate the matter;


6. ILLEGAL FREEZING OF ACCOUNTS AND RESTRICTION TO FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY
*Update - Found Guilty by District Court

George W. Bush ordered the freezing of financial accounts without limit to how groups were chosen to be on such a list, and further sets forth that he ordered himself the power to create blacklists of any individual he felt was associated with the aforementioned groups. Thereby creating a system of “guilt by association.”


7. ILLEGAL USE OF SIGNING STATEMENTS

George Walker Bush has attached signing statements to more than one hundred bills before signing them, within which he has made over eleven hundred challenges to provisions of laws passed by Congress, a figure that exceeds the total number of such challenges by all previous presidents combined, and has used this practice to exempt himself, as President of the United States, from enforcing or from being held accountable to provisions of the said laws. By declining to veto bills, and instead attaching signing statements challenging hundreds of laws passed by Congress, he has sought to exempt the executive branch from accountability to said laws, thereby violating Article 1, Section 7 and Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution. These articles of the Constitution dictate that the president has the option of signing or vetoing a bill, and upon signing the bill to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

8. ARGUMENTS AGAINST BUSH IMPEACHMENT

Arguments rebutting the top ten reasons advanced for avoiding impeachment of George W. Bush.

9. BUSH, AIDES MADE 935 FALSE STATEMENTS IN RUN-UP TO WAR

President Bush and his top aides publicly made 935 false statements about the security risk posed by Iraq in the two years following September 11, 2001, according to a study released ... by two nonprofit journalism groups. “In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003,” reads an overview of the examination, conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and its affiliated group, the Fund for Independence in Journalism. According to the study, Bush and seven top officials—including Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice—made 935 false statements about Iraq during those two years. The study says Bush made 232 false statements about Iraq and former leader Saddam Hussein’s possessing weapons of mass destruction, and 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to al Qaeda. It also says Powell had the second-highest number of false statements, with 244 about weapons and 10 about Iraq and al Qaeda. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Press Secretary Ari Fleischer each made 109 false statements. “It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al Qaeda,” the report reads. The overview of the study also calls the media to task, saying most media outlets didn’t do enough to investigate the claims. “Some journalists—indeed, even some entire news organizations—have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical,”

1) ILLEGAL WAR
The following is a chronological account of the actions of

President George W. Bush

leading U.S. illegally to war with Iraq.

  1. Fall, 1999
    Before his presidency, Bush reveals his interest in invading Iraq.

Author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz recounts Bush’s comment that: “One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief... My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it... If I have a chance to invade, if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it.” Herskowitz states that “Bush expressed frustration in a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father’s shadow,” (Russ Barker, GNN.tv October 28, 2004).

  1. Early 2001
    CIA informes the Bush administration that the “aluminum tubes,” later to be used as evidence of a nuclear WMD program, were probably not intended for that purpose.

In the article, CIA officials and a senior administration official tell us that National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice’s staff had been told in 2001 that Energy Department experts believed the tubes were most likely intended for small artillery rockets, and not a nuclear program. (New York Times, Octbober 3, 2004)

  1. March, 2002
    Despite his later claims that he had not yet decided to attack Iraq, Bush indicates his intention to do so.

Bush states to National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and three U.S. Senators: “Fuck Saddam. We’re taking him out,” (Time Magazine, March 24, 2003).

  1. March, 2002
    Prior to Congress’ October 11th authorization of the Iraq invasion, Bush initiates war in Iraq’s No Fly Zone.

Bush ordered the tonnage of bombs being dropped on Iraq from 0 in March 2002 and 0.3 in April 2002 to between 7 and 14 tons per month in May-August, reaching a pre-war declaration peak of 54.6 tons in September (New Statesman, May 30, 2005).

The UN established No Fly Zones in 1991 (in UN resolution 688) and 1992. Accordingly, it is illegal for the allied pilots (U.K. & U.S.) to bomb within the NFZs except to prevent humanitarian crises between the Sunis and the Shias or in self-defense. To constitute self-defense, “there must be more than ‘a threat’. There has to be an armed attack, actual or imminent. The development of posession of nuclear weapons does not in itself amount to an armed attack; what would be needed would be clear evidence of an imminent attack” (Declassified British Foreign Office legal advice: March 2002).

  1. July 23, 2002
    During a meeting of top U.S. and U.K. officials regarding a possible attack on Iraq, foreign policy aide Matthew Rycroft makes the following observations about Bush’s comments (Declassified U.K. Downing Street Documents: March 8 - July 23, 2002).
    • “It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided.”
    • “There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.”
    • “Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.
    • In reference to Bush’s illegal bombings begun in May: “The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun ‘spikes of activity’ to put pressure on the regime.”
    • “There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.”
    • “The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record.”
    • “No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.”
  2. August 10, 2002

Bush claims publicly that he has no imminent war plan or timetable for war with Iraq, despite clear indications to the contrary in the Downing Street memo and despite having previously initiated bombing in the NFZs (Transcript, Ridgewood Country Club in Waco, TX).

  1. September 19, 2002

President Bush sends the Iraq Resolution to Congress requesting authorization to use military force against Iraq (White House Video & Transcript).

  1. October 16, 2002

Congress grants authorization to go to war with Iraq in order to “enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq,” or to “defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq.” Subsequently, Bush failed to meet either of these conditions for war.(Congress’ Authorization to go to War)

  1. February 2002 - January 28, 2003

Numerous sources advising the Bush Administration debunk allegations that Niger sold “yellow-cake” uranium, used in the construction of WMDs, to Iraq. However, in Bush’s subsequent State of the Union Address to Congress, he claims that the sale did occur. Misleading Congress is a crime.(CNN, March 14th, 2003)

    • February 2002

Cheney requests that the uranium sales story be investigated, and Ambassador Wilson is sent to Niger to do so. (New York Times, July 6, 2003)

    • February 2002

Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick informs Wilson that she had already informed Washington that the allegations of uranium sales to Iraq were false. (New York Times, July 6, 2003)

    • March 9th, 2002

Wilson’s report is given to the White House. The report concludes there was no evidence that the uranium sale had occurred, and that it would be extremely unlikely for it to have taken place. (Time, Jul. 21, 2003)

    • Early October, 2002

CIA Director George Tenet argues “to White House officials, including Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley,” that the Nigerian uranium claim should not be included in Bush’s October 7th speech because the allegation is based on only one source. (WashingtonPost & Truthout.org, July 23, 2003)

    • Fall, 2002

The former head of CIA covert operations in Europe and a 26-year veteran of the agency, Tyler Drumheller, states that the allegations did not hold together. According to Drumheller, the CIA informed the White House that “the Africa story is overblown” and “the evidence is weak.’” Drumheller also reports that the Bush Administration had intelligence from Saddam Hussein’s inner circle indicating that Iraq “had no active weapons of mass destruction program.” Bush’s speech writers took the uranium reference out of the October 7th speech (CBS, April 23, 2006), though they would add it back in to subsequent speeches.

    • December, 2002

Director General of the IAEA Mohamed ElBaradei sends a letter to the White House and the National Security Council warning senior officials that he believes the documents were forgeries and should not be cited by the administration as evidence that Iraq was actively trying to obtain WMDs. ElBaradei receives no written response to his letter, despite repeated follow-up calls he makes to the White House, the NSC and the State Department (Couterbias, January 27, 2006).

    • January 12, 2003

The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research expresses “concerns to the CIA that the documents pertaining to the Iraq-Niger deal were forgeries” and notes that it may already have informed intelligence agencies of this (Declassified State Department Memo to the Undersecretary).

    • January 17, 2003

The State Department tells the CIA that the intelligence reports upon which the uranium claims were based were forgeries (Declassified State Department Memo to the Undersecretary).

    • January 28, 2003

Despite having been informed numerous times to the contrary, Bush claims in his State of the Union Address to Congress that “the British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa” (White House Video & Transcript).

  1. January 28, 2003
    Bush misleads congress about chemical WMDs

Bush claims in his State of the Union address to Congress that Iraq is pursuing and has vast stockpiles of chemical weapons. In this speech, he leaves out key words used by his intelligence agency which modify the assertions he puts forth. These modifications would have cast doubt on his assertions, and the removal of these modifiers amounts to misleading congress. An analysis of these changes to the intelligence reports was made by John W. Dean, a FindLaw columnist, and a former counsel to the President. (FindLaw, July 18, 2003)

  1. January 31, 2003

The New York Times and The Guardian reports that a secret memo reveals that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair agreed to invade Iraq even without U.N. backing (NYTimes, March 27, 2006; The Guardian, Feb. 3rd, 2006):

    • “Mr Bush made it clear the US intended to invade whether or not there was a second UN resolution and even if UN inspectors found no evidence of a banned Iraqi weapons program.”
    • “The diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning”, Bush told Blair.
    • The memo is also said to reveal that President Bush suggested “flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft planes with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colors,” in order to provoke Saddam to shoot on them, therefore putting Iraq in breach of United Nations resolutions.

  1. March 6, 2003

Bush indicates to the public that he hasn’t decided to take military action, and is open to a peaceful resolution.

“I’ve not made up our mind about military action. [sic] Hopefully, this can be done peacefully...” (George W. Bush, White House Press Conference White House Video & Transcript)

  1. March 7, 2003

United Nations Chief Weapons Inspector (Hans Blix) report on WMDs. Shows Iraq was cooperating with weapons inspectors, and presence of WMDs could not be confirmed. Inspector indicated more time was needed as Iraq was becoming increasingly forthcoming, and much progress was being made. A prediction of months (not weeks or years) was needed. Bush is to later pull these inspectors from Iraq and claim Saddam “wouldn’t let them in.” (CNN, March 7, 2003)

  1. March 8, 2003

Bush indicates to the public that he is attempting to avoid war with Iraq:

“We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq.” (George W. Bush Radio Address, White House Video & Transcript)

  1. March 17, 2003

Bush advises U.N. weapons inspectors to leave Iraq Immediately. (Address to Nation, White House Video & Transcript)

  1. March 17, 2003

Bush indicating publicly, a willingness to work with the United Nations and respect it’s mission:
America tried to work with the United Nations to address this threat because we wanted to resolve the issue peacefully. We believe in the mission of the United Nations.” (George W. Bush, in Address to the Nation, White House Video & Transcript)

  1. March 18, 2003

Bush Letter to Congress prior to revealing the ongoing war:
”[A]cting pursuant to the Constitution and [the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002] is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.” (White House, March, 2003)

  1. March 19, 2003

Bush reveals ongoing war with Iraq and increases intensity. War announced despite Iraq not having been shown to be a threat to the U.S., and without a resolution from the U.N. Security Council. These conditions were required by Congress’ authorization to go to war. (White House Video & Transcript)

  1. July 14, 2003

Bush lying to public about his confidence about WMDs and the status of weapons inspectors prior to the war:
”The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region...” (George W. Bush, Photo Op in the Oval Office, White House Video & Transcript)

  1. September 17, 2003

This shows that Bush knew about the lack of connection between Iraq and 9/11, a connection he implied existed in his letter to Congress.
”We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the Sept. 11.” (White House Transcript and Video)

  1. July 29, 2004

(Declassified CIA-commissioned report on pre-war intelligence)

    • “Some in the Intelligence Community and elsewhere hold the view that intense policymaker demands in the run-up to the war constituted inappropriate pressure on intelligence analysts.”
    • “Despite the pressure, however, the Intelligence Community remained firm in its assessment that no operational or collaborative relationship existed [between Iraq and al-Qa’ida]. In the case of Iraq’s possession of WMD, on the other hand, analytic judgments and policy views were in accord, so that the impact of pressure, if any, was more nuanced and may have been considered reinforcing.”

2) ILLEGAL SPYING

  1. December, 2000
    Declassified document created by Bush’s transition team prior to his taking office. It shows Bush’s executive order to authorize spying by the NSA prior to 9/11. On page 32, it says:

“Senior leadership must understand that today’s and tomorrow’s mission will demand a powerful, permanent presence on a global telecommunications network that will host the ‘protected’ communications of Americans as well as the targeted communications of adversaries” (NSA/CSS spying authorization)

  1. November, 29, 2002
    Declassified FBI document revealing spying on anti-war groups in Pennsylvania. (Declassified Document)
  2. February 26, 2003
    Another Declassified FBI document revealing spying on anti-war groups in Pennsylvania (Declassified Document)
  3. April 19, 2004 - April 20, 2004
    Audio showing Bush’s knowledge of the FISA law. These audio clips also shows that Bush was knowingly breaking and lying in regards to the law, and his compliance with it.
    • April 19, 2004
      ”You see, what that meant is—if you got a wiretap by court order—and, by the way, everything you hear about requires court order, requires there to be permission from a FISA court, for example. ...And they’re an important tool for those who are on the front line of using necessary means, with court order, to find these terrorists before they hurt us...”
      [Audio] (White House Transcript and Video)
    • April 20, 2004
      ”Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires—a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so.”
      [Audio] (White House Transcript and Video)
  4. December 17th, 2005
    Bush admits to spying. In this clip, Bush attempts to justify the breaking of the law, and attempts to minimize the scope of his spying programs. During this speech, he indicates that his spying program is used to:

“intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations.” And also says, “I have reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks ...” Later, it will be revealed that his program is larger in scope than he indicates here. (White House Transcript and Video)

  1. January 20, 2006
    Speech by a U.S. citizen presented to a U.S. House Judiciary Committee briefing. This citizen, along with other Quakers, was spied on in their church and homes.

“I was spied on in a house of worship in the United States and in private homes in Florida where I was meeting with other peaceful persons engaged in constitutionally protected activity.” [Audio](U.S. House Judiciary Meeting)

  1. January 20, 2006
    Speech by the ACLU regarding its lawsuit involving the spying programs ordered by Bush.

“the Pentagon has been spying and maintaining files on Americans exercising their first amendment rights.”
”The NSA scandal is the latest and greatest in a long line of abuses.” [Audio]ACLU Testimony - House Judiciary

  1. May 12, 2006
    It’s revealed in a USA Today report that the NSA spied on millions of American’s private domestic calls on the authorization of Bush, violating the FISA act, and a 1934 telecommunication’s act:

“The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, adopted in 1978, requires the government to go before a special court and obtain a warrant for electronic surveillance related to international espionage and terrorism. The statute defines the covered communication to include any information about the identity of the parties... Qwest was the only major phone company to decline to turn over records to the NSA. Its lawyers asked NSA to take its proposal to the FISA court. The agency declined; USA TODAY reported Thursday that two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said it was because the NSA thought the court would not agree to the plan. A communication act dating to 1934 and more recent electronic privacy laws generally require phone companies to protect the confidentiality of customers’ communication.” (USA Today, 5/12/2006)

  1. August 17, 2006
    U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled that the NSA wiretapping program violates the 1st and 4th Amendments to the Constitution.

“’There are no hereditary kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution,’ she said in her 44-page decision. Taylor said that if the program were allowed to continue, it would irreparably harm the rights of the plaintiffs, which included the American Civil Liberties Union, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greenpeace, and individuals, including scholars and attorneys. ‘The public interest is clear in this matter. It is the upholding of our Constitution,’ Taylor wrote. [...] In response to the assertion that the warrantless wiretapping program was necessary to the defense of the nation, Taylor quoted a 1967 decision of then-Chief Justice Earl Warren: ‘It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of … those liberties … which makes the defense of the nation worthwhile.’ [...] The judge said that if she were to accept the government’s contention that the plaintiffs did not have standing to sue, a host of illegal acts by the government ‘would be immunized from judicial scrutiny. It was never the intent of the Framers to give the president such unfettered control, particularly where his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights.’ And she said the plaintiffs had shown that they had suffered ‘a real and concrete harm’ as a result of the surveillance program. Taylor flatly rejected the government lawyers’ contention that they could not defend the case without exposing state secrets. She noted that government officials had publicly confirmed a number of elements of the surveillance program, and that in court their lawyers supported their arguments for the legality of the program without revealing any secrets. Consequently, she said, she found the government’s position that it could not defend the case without classified information ‘disingenuous and without merit.’” (L.A. Times, 8/18/2006)

  1. November 1, 2006
    Pentagon/ FBI Documents declassified revealing widespread domestic surveillance of political groups in various parts of the country occurring between November 2004 and May 2005. (Declassified Document)
  2. Dec. 10, 2006
    Bush adds signing statement to a congressional bill “re-interpreting” it to allow him to read U.S. citizen’s mail without first obtaining a warrant.

“President Bush signed a little-noticed statement last month asserting the authority to open U.S. mail without judicial warrants in emergencies or foreign intelligence cases, prompting warnings yesterday from Democrats and privacy advocates that the administration is attempting to circumvent legal restrictions on its powers.”(Washington Post, 1/5/2007)

3) GENEVA CONVENTION VIOLATIONS

The following is a chronological account of the actions taken by the U.S. Military under the leadership of George W. Bush as Commander-in-Chief which lead to multiple violations of the Geneva Convention and U.S. Military Code.

General Geneva Violations:

The U.S. Military Code specifies that it is a crime to violate the Geneva Convention:
”Whoever, ... commits a war crime, ... shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, ... and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death. ... Definition: As used in this section the term ‘war crime’ means ... a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949 [or acts] prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27, or 28 of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed 18 October 1907 ... “ (Section 2441: U.S. Military Code on War Crimes)

1945 Nuremberg Principles
:

After WWII, the U.S. led the formation of the ‘Nuremberg Principles,’ which form the United Nations Charter. Every country in the world is bound by that Charter.
Defines as a crime: “Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;”

  1. January 25, 2002
    White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales writes a memo urging President George Bush to declare the war in Afghanistan exempt from the Geneva Convention. In the memo, the White House lawyer references a 1996 law passed by Congress, known as the War Crimes Act, that law banned any Americans from committing war crimes - defined in part as “grave breaches” of the Geneva convention. The memo warns that the law applies to “U.S. officials” and that punishments for violators “include the death penalty.” [PDF of Gonzales memo] (NewsWeek, May 17, 2004)
  2. Subsequent to January 25, 2002
    Secretary Powell writes a memo arguing that Alberto Gonzales’ attempt to declare the war in Afghanistan exempt from the Geneva Convention undermines more than a century of U.S. policy and practice.

“It will reverse over a century of U.S. policy and practice in supporting the Geneva conventions and undermine the protections of the law of war for our troops, both in this specific conflict and in general. ... It may provoke some individual foreign prosecutors to investigate and prosecute our officials and troops. ... We will be challenged in international fora (UN Commission on Human Rights; World Court; etc.).” (Powell memo)

  1. March 19, 2003
    Bush declares pre-emptive war in Iraq which constitutes a “grave breach” of the Geneva Convention as Iraq posed no “imminent threat” to the U.S.

“Law enforcement officials shall not use firearms against persons except in self-defense or defense of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury, to prevent the perpetration of a particularly serious crime involving grave threat to life, to arrest a person presenting such a danger and resisting their authority, or to prevent his or her escape, and only when less extreme means are insufficient to achieve these objectives. In any event, intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life.” (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Fall 1990)


TORTURE

Geneva Convention:
”Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission ... causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.”

”No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.”

”Prisoners of war shall enjoy complete latitude in the exercise of their religious duties, including attendance at the service of their faith, on condition that they comply with the disciplinary routine prescribed by the military authorities.”

”The following acts are and shall remain prohibited ... cruel treatment and torture; ... Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment; “

“Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory ... are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”
(Geneva Convention, 1949)

In the torture section, to head off any repeat of Bush’s assertion that these guys are not POW’s but illegal combatants (i.e. not covered by the Geneva convention), you could include the definitions of combatants as stated in the convention and also the paragraph that states if any prisoners’ status is in question, they enjoy the benefits of the convention until their status is established by a tribunal. (Brandon McHale)

  1. October 11, 2002
    Department of Defense writes a memo which authorizes interrogation tactics for use at Guantanamo including using dogs to induce stress, stripping and shaving prisoners, and stress positions. Also included is a memo including an analysis of how the interrogators at Guantanamo (GTMO) became more willing to conduct extreme interrogation techniques.

“The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has not adopted specific guidelines regarding interrogation techniques for detainee operations at GTMO.”
”Compounding this problem is the fact that there is no established clear policy for interrogation limits and operations at GTMO, and many interrogators have felt in the past that they could not do anything that could be considered ‘controversial.’” Diane Beaver, LTC, USA, Staff Judge Advocate

Department of Defense approved: “The use of stress positions ... Use of the isolation facility for up to 30 days ... Extensions beyond the initial 30 days must be approved ... Depravation of light and auditory stimuli ... The detainee may also have a hood placed over his head during transportation and questioning. ... The use of 20 hour interrogations. ... Removal of all comfort items (including religious items) ... Removal of clothing. ... Forced grooming (shaving of facial hair etc.) ... Using detainees individual phobias (such as fear of dogs) to induce stress. ... The use of scenarios designed to convince the detainee that death or severely painful consequences are imminent for him and/or his family. ... Exposure to cold weather or water. ... Use of a wet towel and dripping water to induce the misperception of suffocation.” (Torture memos)

  1. October 25, 2002
    Memo written by a U.S. Army General in response to the torture memo put out by the Department of Defense.
    ”I am particularly troubled by the use of implied expressed threats of death of the detainee or his family.” James T. Hill, General, U.S. Army Commander (Torture memos)
  2. November 27, 2002
    An FBI agent at Guantanamo writes a memo warning FBI legal counsel that many of the interrogation methods proposed on October 11, 2002 for use at Guantanamo violate the prohibition on torture. The first quote is one of the techniques being approved by the Department of Defense. (FBI warning memo)
    ”Detainee will be sent off GTMO, either temporarily or permanently to Jordan, Egypt, or another third country to allow those countries to employ interrogation techniques that will enable them to obtain the requisite information.”

    ”It is a per se violation of the U.S. Torture Statute. Discussing any plan which includes this category, could be seen as a conspiracy to violate 18 U.S.C. s. 2340. Any person who takes any action in furtherance of implementing such a plan, would inculcate all persons who were involved in creating this plan. This technique can not be utilized without violating U.S. Federal law.”
  3. March 13, 2002 - March 3, 2003
    Six memos are written by military lawyers questioning the Department of Justice and White House legal analysis that supported coercive interrogation methods and unlimited presidential powers.(Military Memorandums)

“Comprehensive protection is lacking for DOD personnel who may be tried by other nations and/or international bodies for violations of international law, such as violations of the Geneva or Hague Conventions, the Additional Protocols, the Torture Convention, the Rome Statute of the ICC, or the Customary International Law of Human Rights.” BG Kevin M. Sandkuhler, U.S. Marine Corps, Staff Judge Advocate to CMC

”Such a policy will open us to international criticism that the ‘U.S. is a law unto itself.’” MG Thomas J. Romig, U.S. Army, the Judge Advocate General

”Several of the exceptional techniques, on their face, amount to violations of domestic criminal law and the UCMJ [Uniform Code of Military Justice] (e.g., assault). ... Other nations are likely to view the exceptional interrogation techniques as violative of international law and perhaps violative of their own domestic law. This places interrogators and the chain of command at risk of criminal accusations abroad, either in foreign domestic courts or in international fora, to include the ICC.” Major General, U.S. Air Force, Deputy Judge Advocate General.

”The [Detainee Interrogation] working group believes use of [the] technique ... would constitute torture under international and U.S. law and, accordingly, should not be utilized. In the event SECDEF decides to authorize this technique, the working group believes armed forces personnel should not participate as interrogators as they are subject to UCMJ [Uniform Code of Military Justice] jurisdiction at all times.” Rear Admiral, JAGC, U.S. Navy, Judge Advocate General.

  1. Sometime in 2003
    Janis Karpinski, the U.S. Brigadier General whose 800th Military Police Brigade was in charge of 17 prison facilities in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib back in 2003 reports how Rumsfeld signed off on a memo approving torture techniques:

“That one-page memorandum ‘authorized sleep deprivation, stress positions, meal disruption -serving their meals late, not serving a meal. Leaving the lights on all night while playing loud music, issuing insults or criticism of their religion, their culture, their beliefs.’ In the left-hand margin, alongside the list of interrogation techniques to be applied, Rumsfeld had personally written, ‘Make sure this happens!!’” (Truthout, March 5, 2006)

  1. March 19, 2004
    Jack Goldsmith former director of the Office of Legal Counsel writes a memo stating that although the Geneva convention applies to Iraqi prisoners, the CIA can none-the-less transfer Iraqi prisoners out of Iraq. Prisoners the CIA subsequently moved to facilities outside of Iraq came to be known as ‘ghost detainees.’

“ ... a practice that international legal specialists say contravenes the Geneva Conventions. ... The agency has concealed the detainees from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other authorities ... The 1949 treaty notes that a violation of this particular provision constitutes a ‘grave breach’ of the [Geneva] accord.” (Washington Post, October 24, 2004)

  1. May 5, 2004
    The Office of Inspector General writes a report revealing that senior leadership knew of the torture going on in Iraqi prisons.

“Senior leadership knew of or were aware of the incidents going on at the prison ... “The report relays two incidents of rape of female detainees. (Report from the Office of Inspector General)

  1. May 15, 2004
    New Yorker Article showing the Bush administration’s knowledge and approval of torture policies.

“According to interviews with several past and present American intelligence officials, the Pentagon’s operation, known inside the intelligence community by several code words, including Copper Green, encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in an effort to generate more intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq. A senior C.I.A. official, in confirming the details of this account last week, said that the operation stemmed from Rumsfeld’s long-standing desire to wrest control of America’s clandestine and paramilitary operations from the C.I.A.” (New Yorker, May 24, 2004)

Attacks on Hospitals and Collective Punishment

Geneva Convention:
CONVENTION IV PART I:
”Civilian hospitals ... may in no circumstances be the object of attack but shall at all times be respected and protected ... “

”The protection to which civilian hospitals are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy. Protection may, however, cease only after due warning has been given, naming, in all appropriate cases, a reasonable time limit and after such warning has remained unheeded.”

”No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.” (Geneva Convention, 1949)

1945 Nuremberg Principles:

Defines a War Crime as the “... wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages ...” (Nuremberg Principles, 1950)

  1. Spring thru Fall, 2004
    U.S. Military conducts operations destroying two hospitals, denying medical assistance to civilians, conducting indiscriminate bombing campaigns on innocent civilians as “collective punishment.” These are all Geneva violations.

“American forces dropped five 500-pound bombs on ‘insurgent targets.’ The Americans destroyed the Nazzal Emergency Hospital in the center of town. They stormed and occupied the Fallujah General Hospital, and have not agreed to allow doctors and ambulances go inside the main part of the city to help the wounded, in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions.”

”The first U.S. attack on Fallujah, last April, killed 900-1000 people, mostly noncombatants. It was conducted in retaliation for the killing and mutilation of the bodies of four Blackwater Security Consulting mercenaries. Collective punishment against an occupied population for offenses committed by others also violates the Geneva Conventions.” (Truthout, November 9, 2004)

”The air strikes reduced the Nazzal hospital, run by a Saudi Arabian Islamic charity, to rubble.” (BBC, November 6, 2004)

”More than 10,000 US marines and 2,000 Iraqi security forces launched ... an attack on Fallujah which has been under insurgents’ control since April 2004. ... according to press reports tens of thousands of civilians are still inside. There are concerns that a humanitarian crisis is looming with acute shortages in food, water, medicine and with no electricity. There are also many wounded people who could not receive medical care because of the fighting. The Iraqi Red Crescent Society stated that it had asked the Iraqi interim government and US forces for permission to deliver relief goods to civilians in Fallujah and to send a medical team to the main hospital but had received no response. “ (Amnesty Int., November 12, 2004)

  1. March 24, 2005
    Discussion by the Scottish Parliament over U.S. violations of the Geneva Convention related to the use of depleted uranium in Iraq.

“The United Nations has ruled that the use of depleted uranium coated weapons breaches the Geneva Convention and the genocide convention. Two thousand tonnes of depleted uranium were dropped on Iraq in the recent attacks; that is 2,000 tonnes of radioactive dust.” (Scottish Parliament, March 24, 2005)

  1. October 15, 2005
    At a press conference in Geneva, Jean Ziegler, a senior United Nations official reports on U.S. Geneva violations related to starvation of civilians.

“A drama is taking place in total silence in Iraq, where the coalition’s occupying forces are using hunger and deprivation of water as a weapon of war against the civilian population. ... [Coalition forces are using] starvation of civilians as a method of warfare ... This is a flagrant violation of international law.” (BBC, October 15, 2005)

Due Process

Geneva Convention:
”The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. “(Geneva Convention, 1949)

  1. June 29, 2006
    U.S. Federal Supreme Court Decision that the military tribunals being conducted were violations of the Geneva Convention.

“The US Supreme Court has ruled that the Bush administration does not have the authority to try terrorism suspects by military tribunal. Justices upheld the challenge ... saying the proceedings violated Geneva Conventions.” (Court Decision PDF) (BBC, June 29, 2006)

4) ILLEGAL DETENTION

  1. December 4th, 2002
    U.S. Federal District Court Judge Michael Mukasey rules that the order to detain Jose Padilla was illegal, and denied Padilla his constitutionally protected right to a lawyer.
    The court rules that: “(i) Padilla does have the right to present facts; (ii) the most convenient way for him to go about that, and the way most useful to the court, is to present them through counsel; and (iii) the government’s arguments are insufficient to warrant denying him access to counsel” (Detention Judicial Opinion).

5) ILLEGAL LEAKING OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION


Bush illegally leaked ‘cherry picked’ information from a classified National Intelligence Estimate. Bush subsequently feigned ignorance of his involvement, keeping the public and the investigators from being able to seek accountability.

  1. March 25, 2003
    President Bush signs an executive order defining (among other things) the legal method for declassifying classified information. The following quote from the executive order eliminates any excuse that the disclosure of classified information was not illegal due to its prior release in the media:
    ”Classified information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information.”

    The following quotes from the executive order reveal that the processes for declassifying information require a procedure, contrary to some people’s speculation. The President can not simply declassify information via announcement to the media:
    ”[T]he following [declassification instructions] shall appear on the face of each classified document ... the date or event for declassification, ... the date that is 10 years from the date of original classification, ... [or] the date that is up to 25 years from the date of original classification ...”

    ”Prior to public release, all declassified records shall be appropriately marked to reflect their declassification”

    ”In some exceptional cases, however, the need to protect such information may be outweighed by the public interest in disclosure of the information ... When such questions arise, they shall be referred to the agency head or the senior agency official. That official will determine, as an exercise of discretion, whether the public interest in disclosure outweighs the damage to the national security that might reasonably be expected from disclosure.” (F.A.S.)
  2. Sometime prior to July 6, 2003
    President George W. Bush authorizes Lewis Libby (a former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney) to leak information from a classified intelligence report to a New York Times reporter as revealed in Libby’s sworn testimony to a federal grand jury in a 39-page Fitzgerald filing on April 5, 2006.

“Vice President advised defendant that the President specifically had authorized defendant to disclose certain information in the NIE.” (Fitzgerald filing)

  1. July 8, 2003
    Lewis Libby leaks classified intelligence to the press. Also shown in the 39-page Fitzgerald filing.

“Defendant was instructed to provide what was for him an extremely rare ‘on the record’ statement, and to provide ‘background’ and ‘deep background’ statements, and to provide information contained in a document defendant understood to be the cable authored by Mr. [Joseph] Wilson. During the conversations that followed on July 12, defendant discussed Ms.[Valerie Plame] Wilson’s employment with both Matthew Cooper (for the first time) and Judith Miller (for the third time).” (Fitzgerald filing)

  1. July 18, 2003
    White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan admits to leak publically in Press Gaggle, the administration had also released some other previously classified information on this day. McClellan’s comments make it appear as if this new release is to counter some supposedly biased information contained in the previous leak. Making it appear as if the previous leak was not orchestrated by the administration. He also indicates that the information was not declassified until that day - July 18th.

Question by reporter: “Why, Scott, was the cable that was—that derived from the debriefing of Joe Wilson not included among the declassified documents?”
MR. McCLELLAN: “Well, we always want to share as much information as we can. There is some classified information that—well, there’s some information that remains classified for national security reasons. But we felt that this information—which is what the State of the Union statement was originally based on—was important to share with the American people, because it could be declassified.”

Question by reporter: “When was it actually declassified?”

MR. McCLELLAN: “It was officially declassified today.”(White House Transcript)

  1. September 29, 2003
    White House Press Secretary:

“The President has set high standards, the highest of standards for people in his administration. He’s made it very clear to people in his administration that he expects them to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. If anyone in this administration was involved in it [the leak], they would no longer be in this administration.” (White House Transcript & Video)

  1. September 30, 2003
    President Bush:

“I don’t know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I’d like to know it, and we’ll take the appropriate action.” (White House Transcript & Video)

  1. September 30, 2003
    President Bush:

“If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of. . . . I have told our administration, people in my administration to be fully cooperative. I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business.” (White House Transcript & Video)

  1. October 6, 2003
    President Bush:

“We will cooperate fully with the Justice Department. ... I’d like to know who leaked, and if anybody has got any information inside our government or outside our government who leaked, you ought to take it to the Justice Department so we can find out the leaker. I have told my staff, I want full cooperation with the Justice Department. And when they ask for information, we expect the information to be delivered on a timely basis. I expect it to be delivered on a timely basis. I want there to be full participation, ... And if this helps stop leaks of—this investigation in finding the truth, it will not only hold someone to account who should not have leaked—and this is a serious charge, by the way. We’re talking about a criminal action, ... but also hopefully will help set a clear signal we expect other leaks to stop, as well. And so I look forward to finding the truth.”

Question by reporter: “What about retaliation? People are saying that it’s retaliation”

PRESIDENT BUSH: “I don’t know who leaked the information, for starters. So it’s hard for me to answer that question until I find out the truth. You hear all kinds of rumors. And the best way to clarify the issue is for full participation with the Justice Department. ... look, I want to know. I want to know.” [Audio Clip] (White House Transcript & Video)

  1. October 7, 2003
    President Bush:

“This is a town of—where a lot of people leak. And I’ve constantly expressed my displeasure with leaks, particularly leaks of classified information. And I want to know, I want to know the truth. I want to see to it that the truth prevail. And I hope we can get this investigation done in a thorough way, as quickly as possible.” [Audio Clip] (White House Transcript & Video)

  1. October 7, 2003
    White House Press Secretary:

“Let me answer what the President has said. I speak for the President and I’ll talk to you about what he wants . . .If someone leaked classified information, the President wants to know. If someone in this administration leaked classified information, they will no longer be a part of this administration, because that’s not the way this White House operates, that’s not the way this President expects people in his administration to conduct their business.” (White House Transcript & Video)

  1. October 17, 2003
    President Bush: In Cabinet Meeting responding to a question about his confidence that the leaking senior administration official will be discovered.

“... How many sources have you had that’s leaked information that you’ve exposed or have been exposed? Probably none. I mean this town is a—is a town full of people who like to leak information. And I don’t know if we’re going to find out the senior administration official. Now, this is a large administration, and there’s a lot of senior officials. I don’t have any idea. I’d like to. I want to know the truth. That’s why I’ve instructed this staff of mine to cooperate fully with the investigators—full disclosure, everything we know the investigators will find out. I have no idea whether we’ll find out who the leaker is—partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers. But we’ll find out.” [Audio clip](White House Transcript & Video)

  1. October 28, 2003
    President Bush:

“I’d like to know if somebody in my White House did leak sensitive information.” (White House Transcript & Video)

  1. June 10, 2004
    President Bush:

Reporter: “Do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?”

President Bush: “Yes. And that’s up to the U.S. Attorney to find the facts.” (State Department’s Website)

  1. July 19, 2005
    President Bush:

“If someone committed crime, they will no longer work in my administration.” (July 19, Associated Press )

  1. April 5, 2006
    Lewis Libby testifies to a federal grand jury about President Bush authorizing the leaking of classified information. (Fitzgerald filing)
  2. January 31, 2007
    Later during the Lewis Libby trial, it is revealed that Cheney had written about President Bush’s involvement in asking Libby to leak the NIE information.
    ”Thus, Cheney’s notes would have read ‘not going to protect one staffer and sacrifice the guy this Pres. asked to stick his head in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others.’ The words ‘this Pres.’ were crossed out and replaced with ‘that was,’ but are still clearly legible in the document.” (January 31, 2007, Truthout)

6) ILLEGAL FREEZING OF ACCOUNTS

AND RESTRICTIONS TO FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY

  1. November, 2006
    Federal judge in Los Angeles rules that provisions of an anti-terrorism order issued by President George W. Bush after September 11 are unconstitutional.

“In her ruling, Collins said the order is unconstitutional because there is ‘no apparent limit’ on presidential authority to designate groups or individuals as terrorists. In addition, the judge ruled, language banning those ‘otherwise associated’ with such groups is ‘unconstitutionally vague on its face.’ Collins rejected a number of other claims by the plaintiffs, however, including that the order’s definition of a terrorist group is too vague.” (Federal District Judge Ruling) (Washington Post, November 28,2006)

7) ILLEGAL USE OF SIGNING STATEMENTS

  1. March 20, 2001 - January 12, 2007
    Bush issues at least 126 signing statements challenging over 1,149 laws (Christopher Kelley, Ph.D). The exact number of signing statements is unknown as the Administration refuses to release this information. Examples of signing statements include:

March 9, 2006: Bush signed the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, which contained requirements for Congressional oversight of Executive use of the Act’s powers. In a statement immediately following the signing ceremony, however, it was revealed that Bush “did not feel obliged to obey requirements that he inform Congress about how the FBI was using the act’s expanded police powers.” (Boston Globe, March 24, 2006)

December 5, 2005 & January 6, 2006: Two Detainee Treatment Acts were signed into law accompanied by a signing statement. Part of the signing statement read, “The executive branch shall construe [the law] in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President . . . as Commander in Chief.” When asked about the statement, a senior administration official said “the president intended to reserve the right to use harsher methods in special situations involving national security.” David Golove, a New York University law professor who specializes in executive power issues, said “The signing statement is saying ‘I will only comply with this law when I want to, and if something arises in the war on terrorism where I think it’s important to torture or engage in cruel, inhuman, and degrading conduct, I have the authority to do so and nothing in this law is going to stop me.” (Boston Globe, January 4, 2006)

Dec. 25, 2006: Bush writes a signing statement asserting the Executive’s right to open mail without a warrant. “The executive branch shall construe [the Law], which provides for opening of an item of a class of mail otherwise sealed against inspection, in a manner consistent, to the maximum extent permissible, with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances, such as to protect human life and safety against hazardous materials, and the need for physical searches specifically authorized by law for foreign intelligence collection.”

October 4, 2006: In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Congress passed a law setting minimum standards for the job of FEMA Director. This was in direct response to the botched job done by Michael Brown, Bush’s choice to lead the agency, who had been a politically connected hire with no prior experience in emergency management. The law said the president must nominate someone who has “a demonstrated ability in and knowledge of emergency management” and “not less than five years of executive leadership.” At the signing ceremony, Bush signed the bill without any hint of objection, but included a signing statement saying the law “purports to limit the qualifications of the pool of persons from whom the president may select the appointee in a manner that rules out a large portion of those persons best qualified by experience and knowledge to fill the office.” (Boston Globe, October 6, 2006) (Annotated Text of Known Signing Statements)

  1. July 2006
    The American Bar Association “Blue Ribbon Task Force” voted and unanimously approved a resolution which found that the presidential assertions of constitutional authority within his signing statements “undermine the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers.”

    They also voted unanimously to “oppose, as contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers, a President’s issuance of signing statements to claim the authority or state the intention to disregard or decline to enforce all or part of a law he has signed, or to interpret such a law in a manner inconsistent with the clear intent of Congress;”

    ”Urge the President, if he believes that any provision of a bill pending before Congress would be unconstitutional if enacted, to communicate such concerns to Congress prior to passage;”

    ”Urge the President to confine any signing statements to his views regarding the meaning, purpose, and significance of bills, and to use his veto power if he believes that all or part of a bill is unconstitutional” (Resolution and Report)

8) ARGUMENTS AGAINST BUSH IMPEACHMENT

• If we impeach Bush, we’ll get President Cheney!
The most recent 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.
In addition, 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, Bush 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. The Republicans 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. Republican 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.

• But the public doesn’t support impeachment.
Newsalert: Newsweek’s recent poll shows 51% support for Impeachment. Not to mention that Bush’s approval ratings are less than half that of Nixon’s prior to his impeachment investigations.

•You’re just angry at what happened to Clinton
Impeachment is a nonpartisan issue. It’s not about Clinton, Lincoln, or any other president. Some previous impeachment attempts were considered a waste of time because they were pursued for things that didn’t rise to the level of a Constitutional crisis, which is what the Impeachment tool was intended for. The argument that we can’t impeach Bush because there are previous presidents who also did bad things is the same as the argument you might hear from your child that you shouldn’t punish him because the neighbor’s kid did the same thing and didn’t get punished. We don’t want a presidential rush to the lowest common denominator. We have a duty to hold THIS president accountable to the Constitution.

9) BUSH, AIDES MADE 935 FALSE STATEMENTS IN RUN-UP TO WAR

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/23/bush.iraq/

WASHINGTON (CNN) Wednesday, January 23, 2008 -- President Bush and his top aides publicly made 935 false statements about the security risk posed by Iraq in the two years following September 11, 2001, according to a study released Tuesday by two nonprofit journalism groups.

“In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003,” reads an overview of the examination, conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and its affiliated group, the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

According to the study, Bush and seven top officials—including Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice—made 935 false statements about Iraq during those two years.

President Bush addresses the nation

as the Iraq war begins in March 2003.

The study was based on a searchable database compiled of

primary sources, such as official government transcripts and speeches, and secondary sources—mainly quotes from major media organizations. The study says Bush made 232 false statements about Iraq and former leader Saddam Hussein’s possessing weapons of mass destruction, and 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to al Qaeda.

Bush has consistently asserted that at the time he and other officials made the statements, the intelligence community of the U.S. and several other nations, including Britain, believed Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Responding to the study, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not speak directly to the “false claims” characterization.

But he said the United States was part of a broad coalition of nations that took part in the Iraq invasion and that the invasion was based on intelligence from multiple countries.

He called Hussein a threat to international security and a sponsor of terrorism, and said the world is better off without him. White House press secretary Dana Perino called the study “flawed.”

“They only looked at members of the administration, rather than looking at members of Congress or people around the world,” she said. “Because as you’ll remember, we were part of a broad coalition of countries that deposed a dictator based on a collective understanding of the intelligence.”

“And the other thing that that study fails to do is to say that after realizing that there was no WMD, as we thought as a collective body that there was, that this White House, the President set about to make reforms in the intelligence community to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

Bush has repeatedly said that despite the intelligence flaws, removing Hussein from power was the right thing to do.

The study, released Tuesday, says Powell had the second-highest number of false statements, with 244 about weapons and 10 about Iraq and al Qaeda.

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Press Secretary Ari Fleischer each made 109 false statements, it says. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz made 85, Rice made 56, Cheney made 48 and Scott McLellan, also a press secretary, made 14, the study says.

“It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al Qaeda,” the report reads, citing multiple government reports, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the 9/11 Commission and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, which reported that Hussein had suspended Iraq’s nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to revive it.

The overview of the study also calls the media to task, saying most media outlets didn’t do enough to investigate the claims.

“Some journalists—indeed, even some entire news organizations—have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical,” the report reads. “These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, ‘independent’ validation of the Bush administration’s false statements about Iraq.”

The quotes in the study include an August 26, 2002, statement by Cheney to the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Cheney said. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.”


10) WHAT THEY ARE SAYING

  • If the American people want to see impeachment happen, they can make it happen, just as happened during Watergate. Congress is experiencing inertia. Unless there’s pressure on Congress, it’s not going to do something. There has to be pressure on Congress. The American people need to pressure Congress.

And the arguments against doing it, in my view, don’t hold any water. The argument is that there’s other business. Well, there’s very little that’s going on in Congress these days because what the Democrats want to accomplish, the administration doesn’t want to see happen. In any case, even if they had a huge agenda—we had a huge agenda during Watergate—and yet the House Judiciary Committee did its investigation, conducted its hearings. The House of Representatives did its business. The Senate did its business.

So that’s not a distraction. It wasn’t a distraction during Watergate, and it doesn’t need to be a distraction now. In other words, impeachment hearings can be done without distracting from the other work of the Congress. That’s really not an argument that’s historically valid.

The second argument is that it could divide the country. I don’t think so. If it’s done fairly and responsibly and properly, it’ll bring the country together. With Watergate, when the House Judiciary Committee voted for impeachment, there was overwhelming support by the public because the process was fair. It was bipartisan. It was open. The American people could see what was going on, and they judged.

And, by the way, the impeachment of Nixon has totally withstood the test of history. Nobody, to my knowledge, has ever claimed that the impeachment process wasn’t proper, or that it was unwarranted. It brought the country together, because Americans understood that, more important than any president, and more important than any political party, was preserving the rule of law. So I don’t agree that it divides, and I don’t agree that it diverts. I don’t think that those arguments are substantial objections or merited objections.

I don’t agree that impeachment divides, and I don’t agree that it diverts. ... I do think, however, that the failure to act now, given the litany of abuses and the seriousness of abuses, could simply set the groundwork for future presidents to do the same or worse. If we want to preserve our democracy, then we have to act to hold the President and the Vice President accountable.

-- Elizabeth Holtzman, four-term Congresswoman, former House Judiciary Committee member, and coauthor, The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens

  • Jefferson’s Revenge
    • There is a little known set of supplementary rules for both the US Senate and House of Representatives developed by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was clear on his opposition to centralized federal power and frequently sought balances giving states greater liberties and rights. Jefferson’s rules, Section 603, state:
    • Inception of impeachment proceedings in the House: … there are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion:
      • by charges made on the floor on the responsibility of a Member or Delegate;
      • by charges preferred by a memorial, which is usually referred to a committee for examination;
      • by a resolution dropped in the hopper by a Member and referred to a committee;
      • by a message from the President;
      • by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State or territory or from a grand jury…”

The language in Jefferson’s parliamentary guidelines is clear. State legislatures can set “an impeachment in motion” with a “Joint Resolution” approved by the legislature (both the state Senate and Assembly). No state has taken advantage of this provision. In fact, it is so obscure; the majority of Vermont legislators who asked for impeachment did so in a formal letter to the House of Representatives rather than invoking Jefferson’s Rule 603.

Representative Yarborough, Illinois State Legislature Introduces Bill; Invokes Never Used Provision from Thomas Jefferson’s Rules Sunday 23, April 2006 By Michael Collins For “Scoop” Independent Media

  • The Office of the Executive is corrupted, and a danger to our system of government. While other Americans are distracted by the hoopla of Super Tuesday, citizens in Washington State will be lobbying their legislators to make impeachment their first priority. Without the rule of law, all Americans lose. Today Washingtonians will lobby state legislators to move SJM 8016 in the Washington State Senate, and HJM 4027 in the Washington State House. The joint memorials in support of impeachment lay out charges against Bush and Cheney such as warrantless surveillance, condoning torture, and stripping Americans of constitutional rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. The highest elected office in the nation is corrupted beyond recognition. Impeachment ensures that the next President and Vice President will not copy their lawlessness. In Washington State, citizens are committed to restoring integrity and accountability to the Office of the Executive by applying the remedy of impeachment. Only impeachment cures abuse of power, not elections. “It is urgent that congress defend the constitution now,” says Linda Boyd, Director of Washington For Impeachment. “This administration has subverted the law and fundamentally changed our system of government. We cannot let lawlessness be the norm.”

Gail Johnson: Tuesday, February 5, 2008 www.washingtonforimpeachment.org

  • The federal government lacks the revenue to keep its Social Security and Medicare promises. The shortfall in funding is estimated variously at between $53 trillion and $80 trillion. We will have much more to say about this in the month’s ahead. Suffice it to say that the spending policies of the federal government must change. They must change dramatically, and they must change now.

  • But they are not changing. President Bush has just proposed America’s first $3 trillion budget. This budget projects near record deficits exceeding $400 billion dollars for each of the next two years, adding nearly one trillion dollars to the national debt in just twenty four months.
    And more debt means that more of your income taxes will go to pay the interest on the debt, instead of current operating expenses.
    The nature of the President’s spending proposals also highlights the intersection between our government’s war on our pocketbooks and its on-going war on the Bill of Rights. Our government has . . .
    • Spent trillions projecting U.S. power around the globe . . .
    • Provoking blowback in the form of terrorism, which . . .
    • Has served as an excuse for the war on the Bill of Rights
  • The President’s current budget proposal promises more of the same. It freezes most spending except for national defense, which will rise by 7% for the Pentagon and 11% for Homeland Security. The grand total for the defense budget is a whopping $515 billion, and this does not include spending for Iraq! But . . .

o Who are we defending ourselves against, and why should it cost so much? No nation threatens us, nor could threaten us, even with a defense establishment half its current size. Terrorists do threaten us, but they are not fought with vast armies and tanks and planes and ships.

It seems to us that our defense establishment is perfectly tailored to fight enemies we do not have, and to create the conditions of occupation and aggressive forward projection that serve as a recruitment pitch for the enemies we do have. We are paying through the nose to make ourselves less safe, to hasten bankruptcy, and to shred our Constitution. Meanwhile, our economy crumbles. Thus, we see the need to focus on economic and fiscal issues, while continuing to remain vigilant in our defense of the Bill of Rights. DownsizeDC.org, Inc.—a non-profit educational organization promoting the ideas of individual liberty, personal responsibility, free markets, and small government.

  • Foreign terrorists can do us bodily harm, but they’re no threat to the soul of America. They can’t take our liberties from us, can’t militarize our society, can’t dim the light of America’s proud democratic beacon, can’t force our soldiers into imperialistic wars to make the world safe for Halliburton, can’t change the principles of egalitarianism that undergird our society. But our own leaders can do all of this—and they are.” Jim Hightower

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