Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: We Can Act Together Or We Can Fail Together!

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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!

Monday, March 3, 2008

We Can Act Together Or We Can Fail Together!

I Think It Is About Time For A Peace And Impeachment Organization Summit..In Fact It Is over Due.

I am getting sick and tired of writers having fun with pointing out just how proprietary we are divided.

Our Goals are the same…Out Of Iraq and out of The White House. It is time we ACT TOGETHER in The STREETS OF AMERICA!


A.N.S.W.E.R.Org (March 15 Action)

In December, the ANSWER Coalition sent out an email that contained an announcement from the Year5 Coalition (that included 17 anti-war organizations) about plans for a mass demonstration in Washington DC on March 15, 2008.

This announcement was the culmination of several national meetings hosted by Cindy Sheehan. The purpose of the Year5 Coalition was to create the maximum unity between many anti-war coalitions and organizations so as to mobilize a huge outpouring of the people in Washington DC on the fifth anniversary of the start of this criminal war and occupation.

The ANSWER Coalition was committed to doing everything in its power to support the effort to unify the movement for a massive mobilization. The fifth anniversary is a critical time and will be marked by protests around the world. Saturday March 15 was chosen for a huge march on Washington because the following weekend is Easter weekend and it was considered much more difficult to bring people from all over the country to DC.

Not all anti-war groups concurred that it was a good idea to carry out a mass march in DC on the 5th anniversary. That was the stated position of UFPJ for instance. (They continue to be a problem!)

But 17 organizations did issue a call for the March 15 national march in Washington DC. The day following the announcement by the Year5 Coalition a public letter was sent and circulated by the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) asking that there be no national mass march in DC or any protests at all in DC against the war from Thursday March 13 through the weekend ending Sunday March 16.

The IVAW explained that it was planning its own event called Winter Soldier (that will take place in a DC suburb in Maryland.) Winter Soldier is an indoor event that will feature the live testimony from Iraq veterans and others about war crimes committed in Iraq. IVAW asked that there be no mass march during their four days of testimony.

Following the IVAW’s public letter, the majority of the groups in the Year5 Coalition agreed not to proceed with the March 15 mass action in DC.

The ANSWER Coalition was strongly committed to organizing, along with the other groups, a truly massive action in DC that would repudiate the Bush administration’s lies about the “success” of the occupation.

The Democratic Party and the mass media have given Bush a free ride and the best refutation of these lies is by bringing hundreds of thousands of people into the streets. ANSWER also strongly supported the efforts of the IVAW to organize the testimony about war crimes.

We felt that it was possible to organize a massive march of the people that would both powerfully support Winter Soldier and contribute to a resurgence of the anti-war movement.

We were in the minority. As a result there will be no March 15 national march in DC. The ANSWER Coalition is, however, organizing mass demonstrations in Los Angeles on March 15, in San Francisco on March 19 and is actively building for scores of important local and regional actions that will be taking place throughout the United States between March 12-19. To see a listing of the fifth anniversary actions go to

World Can’t Wait.

Wednesday March 19: 5 Years of Illegitimate War! End It! Drive the War Criminals from Office!

World Can't Wait calls on everyone to get into the streets and PROTEST, demanding an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq.

Sign up to let us know you're planning to attend.

Washington DC Wednesday March 19 1pm Lafayette Park across from the White House.

Join in acts of creative non-violent civil resistance!

1:30 p.m. in Lafayette Square Park join World Can't Wait and a sea of orange jumpsuits in solidarity with and representing those being tortured in Guantanamo Bay Prison, Abu Ghraib, Bagram in Afghanistan, and CIA “black sites” around the globe. A demonstration showing that waterboarding IS TORTURE, is planned directly in front of the residence of our biggest war criminal other than Dick Cheney. The Park will become a rallying center for all those who are determined to put an end to this illegitimate and immoral occupation and demand justice by driving the war criminals from office now, not waiting for 2009! We are done with secret renditions, warrantless spying, lying to the public, using signing statements to disobey laws, rounding up immigrants and detaining them.

3:30 p.m. in Lafayette Square Park join Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Sundown in Lafayette Square Park: view the film exposing the ultimate crimes committed by this regime: The Bush Crimes Commission.

Our Spring Break Washington DC March 3-24th

This March, join a mass of students and youth for spring break in Washington, D.C. to end the war in Iraq.

We’ll have sit-ins, demonstrations, marches, rallies, protests… We’ll sing and dance… We’ll do Nonviolent Civil Resistance, we’ll do banner drops, we’ll do creative nonviolent direct action, and we’ll do everything in our power to bring an end to the war in Iraq, telling Congress, “Our spring break will break your war!”

Winter Soldiers Action

March 3, 2008 7:30 AM Posted By News

Mukasey Orders U.S. Attorney to Ignore Contempt Citations

According to an Associated Press story, on Friday, Attorney General Michael Mukasey refused to permit U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jeffrey Taylor to bring contempt citations against two senior Bush administration aides before a grand jury despite being directed to do so by the U.S. House of Representatives.

In H. Res. 979, the House of Representatives instructed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to certify to U.S. Attorney Taylor that White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolton and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers refused to produce documents and testify before the Judiciary Committee as directed by subpoena, and direct the U.S. Attorney to bring legal proceedings against the two aides “in the manner and form provided by law.” Bolton and Miers had refused to comply with a subpoena requiring testimony on the White House’s firing of federal prosecutors

Speaker Pelosi sent this letter to Attorney General Mukasey in anticipation of an order Mukasey subsequently issued directing U.S. Attorney Taylor to take no action in response to the House’s referral of the matter for legal proceedings. She wrote:

There is no authority by which persons may wholly ignore a subpoena and fail to appear as directed because a President unilaterally instructs them to do so. Even if a subpoenaed witness intends to assert a privilege in response to questions, the witness is not at liberty to disregard the subpoena and fail to appear at the required time and place. Surely, your Department would not tolerate that type of action if the witness were subpoenaed to a federal grand jury. Short of a formal assertion of executive privilege, which cannot be made in this case, there is no authority that permits a President to advise anyone to ignore a duly issued congressional subpoena for documents.

Speaker Pelosi cited 2 U.S.C. § 194 as the governing statutory language, which states:

Whenever a witness summoned as mentioned in section 192 of this title fails to appear to testify or fails to produce any books, papers, rec­ords, or documents, as required [by] . . . any committee or subcommittee of either House of Congress, . . . it shall be the duty of the . . . Speaker of the House . . . to certify . . . the statement of facts aforesaid under the seal of the . . . House, . . . to the appropriate United States attorney, whose duty it shall be to bring the matter before the grand jury for its action.

In Attorney General Mukasey's written response [PDF], issued on February 29, 2008, he asserted that "the contempt of Congress statute was not intended to apply and could not constitutionally be applied to an Executive Branch official who asserts the President's claim of executive privilege." The letter also cites Harriet Miers's "constitutional immunity from compelled congressional testimony." The February 29, 2008 letter cites a June 24, 2007 letter that relies on two Office of Legal Counsel opinions by Paul Clement (June 27, 2007) and Steven G. Bradbury (June 10, 2007

for the legal proposition that "the assertion of privilege and immunity were legally proper." [Note: it is unclear how a letter dated June 24, 2007 cites a letter dated June 27, 2007]

In response to Mukasey’s order to take no action, Speaker Pelosi released this statement:

Anticipating this response from the Administration, the House has already provided authority for the Judiciary Committee to file a civil enforcement action in federal district court and the House shall do so promptly. The American people demand that we uphold the law. As public officials, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution and protect our system of checks and balances and our civil lawsuit seeks to do just that.

ACSBlog summarized a Congressional Research Service Report on Congress’s contempt powers. Additional resources from ACS on the proper role of the Department of Justice are available here

Anthony F. Renzo

Document Date:
Mon, 03/03/2008


ACS is pleased to distribute an Issue Brief by Anthony F. Renzo, Professor of Law at Vermont Law School, entitled, “A Call to Protect Civilian Justice: Beware the Creep of Military Tribunals.” In cases such as Al-Marri v. Wright, a case presently awaiting decision on rehearing in the Fourth Circuit, the Bush Administration has claimed authority to subject civilians detained in the United States to trial by military commission. In this Issue Brief, Professor Renzo examines and evaluates the Administration’s claim, finding it as unprecedented in scope as it is lacking in historical support.

Professor Renzo explains that “[t]he Constitution places the power to punish a civilian for wrongdoing, including criminal conduct in support of enemy organizations, in the hands of an independent civilian court and jury.” Examining the constitutional text and English and American history, Professor Renzo traces a profound resistance to the encroachment of military tribunals on the jurisdiction of civilian courts, noting “[t]he very purpose of the original English common law right to trial by a civilian jury was to protect against the oppression of the King’s use of military courts and judges who owed their loyalty to the King.” Professor Renzo concludes that constitutional text and tradition require that a civilian be provided with a civilian jury trial unless a civilian court determines that the detainee is not a civilian, but is rather “either under the command of the enemy’s armed forces or engaged in battlefield hostilities against American forces.”

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