Sunday :: Jan 8, 2006

Kilroy Is Here - And Boy Is He Pissed!

by pessimist

I'm not the only person who sees George W. Bu$h as self-installed royalty in flagrant violation of the US Constitution. Many others see that his actions since December 2000 merit an intensive and thorough investigation:

The Imperious President
by David Isenberg, adviser to the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information and a senior analyst with the British-American Security Information Council.

It is axiomatic that all presidents seek to enlarge their powers in wartime. Not all armed conflicts vest the president with emergency powers. President Bush seems to want power for its own sake. The abuses committed by the Bush administration affect Americans and the international community and also often ignore Congress. This all culminates into a flagrant disrespect for one of the fundamental purposes of the U.S. Constitution: to prevent the accumulation of power by any one branch of government.
As has been pointed out numerous times the U.S. Constitution explicitly requires the president to obey the law.
The post-9/11 congressional resolution authorizing 'all necessary force' in fighting terrorism was made in clear reference to military intervention. It did not allow the president to do whatever he pleased in any area in the name of fighting terrorism.
It is worth noting (although hardly anyone does) that Bush asserts his authority to approve domestic surveillance anytime he wants because he claims the United States is at war. But is it? If so, why hasn’t Congress issued a declaration of war?

Some administration supporters argue that Congress obviated the need to declare war by passing the War Powers Resolution immediately after the 9/11 attacks. As former Texas Rep. Martin Frost recently wrote: "I was a member of Congress when we passed the resolution giving the president the authority to use all force necessary against the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. Congress clearly meant this as authorization to go into Afghanistan and find Osama bin Laden. No one ever thought this authorized our government to wiretap American citizens in our own country without court approval."

The explanations offered in defense of the wiretaps are so lame as to be incredible. U.S. District Judge James Robertson, one of the judges sitting on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees government surveillance in intelligence cases, has resigned from the court in protest of Bush's secret authorization of the domestic spying program.

Thus we have the military executing actions that violate U.S. civilian laws.
Perhaps the worst part of the abuses is that the NSA is a military agency. Even noted conservative George Will wrote, "The president's decision to authorize the NSA's surveillance without the complicity of a court or Congress was a mistake."

Americans are not the only people to be hurt by the Bush administration’s abuse of power, as evidenced by the administration’s brazen breach of international law: from misrepresenting the evidence for invading Iraq to flouting the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian laws against torture in Abu Ghraib, to running a secret prison network.

Ironically, when we see illicit actions like this taking place in other countries, we usually call it a police state. It is surely ironic how the Bush administration claims to be on a mission to spread democracy around the world, yet feels free to violate it at home.
If Bush needs greater authority than he currently has, he should ask Congress for it.

Tweedle Dumber certainly seems to be asking for SOMETHING from Congress. He just may be about to get what he's asking for! Eight US House members have co-sponsored Resolution 635 to create a select committee to investigate the grounds for impeaching President Bush. The co-sponsors are Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (C-CA).

"In brief, we have found that there is substantial evidence the President, the Vice-President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq; misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in Iraq; and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of their Administration. There is at least a prima facie case that these actions that federal laws have been violated – from false statements to Congress to retaliating against Administration critics," Rep. Conyers said in a press release on 12/20/05.

Other prominent Democrats have issued supporting statements:

US Rep. Lewis (D-GA) Suggests Bush Impeachment
Bush’s Domestic Wiretapping Seen as Clearly Illegal and Evident

Atlanta’s US Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) has taken the national lead on suggesting that George Bush’s secret authorization of domestic wiretapping may be an impeachable offense. The issue is gaining traction in the mainstream media and in US Congress because it is seen as a clearly illegal and clearly evident offense...

Lewis spoke publicly regarding the possibility of impeaching Bush on the wiretapping issue on December 19, 2005, on WAOK-AM News & Talk Radio 1380’s Atlanta’s Best News morning program. "If there is a move to impeach the president, I will sign that bill of impeachment," Lewis said. "It’s a very serious charge, but he violated the law. The president should abide by the law. He deliberately, systematically violated the law," Lewis said.

"He is not King, he is President."
In a similar move, US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) sent an email on December 19, 2005, to constituents last week citing Former White House Counsel John Dean, who also suggested there may now be grounds for Bush’s impeachment. Boxer has requested a legal analysis from four Presidential scholars at US Ivy League Schools.

"On December 16, along with the rest of America, I learned that President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to spy on Americans without getting a warrant from a judge," Senator Boxer said, regarding the initial revelation in The New York Times. "On Sunday, December 18, former White House Counsel John Dean and I participated in a public discussion that covered many issues, including this surveillance.

Mr. Dean, who was President Nixon's counsel at the time of Watergate, said that President Bush is ‘the first President to admit to an impeachable offense.’ Today, Mr. Dean confirmed his statement," Senators Boxer said. "This startling assertion by Mr. Dean is especially poignant because he experienced first hand the executive abuse of power and a presidential scandal arising from the surveillance of American citizens," Senator Boxer said.

From this next report, it is clear that other Congress members are taking the impeachment message to their local streets - and getting a favorable response:

Impeachment Rocks the House

[Author Steve Cobble] went to northern Virginia Rep. Jim Moran's Town Hall with Rep. John Murtha. It was a huge crowd--the overflow room overflowed, and they had to turn hundreds of people away!--and the crowd gave Rep. Murtha a very warm welcome.

[Here are some good reports on the town hall (including some audio and pictures).]

The most interesting thing that happened all night, however, was the spontaneous, loud, sustained applause that erupted from the crowd when one questioner said the word "impeachment".
Grassroots progressives want some answers, some investigations, some justice.
People are not willing to accept that we have to put up with an America where the President and Vice-President can lie us into a war, torture, spy without a warrant, out CIA agents, aggressively act "above the law" on purpose, unilaterally abrogate treaties, insult and intimidate the rest of the world, and violate the principles of Nuremberg and Geneva. All without oversight or penalty. This demand for accountability is deeply felt, going to the heart of what progressives care about--the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, the U.S. as a reluctant warrior rather than an aggressor, being a "good neighbor" as well as a strong one, telling the truth as the basis for "consent of the governed", giving peace a chance, respecting and protecting the right to vote.
If the Democratic leadership does not get this, it will miss its best chance to energize its voting base in next November's lower-turnout, off-year elections.

Even local governments are for taking action against the imperious pRedzidint:

Small-town council calls for removing Bush, Cheney

For the second time, the Arcata [CA] City Council passed a resolution demanding the impeachment or resignation of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, citing violations of international and constitutional law. The resolution lists allegedly impeachable offenses, such as misleading the American people and Congress into waging war in Iraq, failing to respond adequately to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, torturing human beings in violation of the Geneva Convention and ordering the secret surveillance of American citizens.

All elected officials are sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution, said Councilman Dave Meserve, co-sponsor of the resolution. "This obligates us to act when the president violates the Constitution," he said. The resolution passed Wednesday with a split vote, 3-2.

Santa Cruz was the first local government in the country to pass a resolution calling for Bush's impeachment over his handling of the war in Iraq in September 2003.

Borrowing a modified page from Lady Godiva, even everyday women are making a statement against the excesses of the Crude Crusader:

Protests greet president's visit

Protesters, including women wearing pink slips, rallied today outside the Chicago Hilton and Towers Hotel where President Bush gave a mid-day address on the economy. Near the hotel entrance, about a dozen women wearing pink slips chanted: "Give Bush the pink slip."

Margaret Nelson, 58, a teacher and folk singer, said if Bush was such a Christian man then he should follow the words of Jesus Christ. "Bush must not be reading the Bible because blessed are the peace makers are an important part of the Bible," she said.

And these are far from the only examples that King George is either going to have to call or fold in this high-stakes game of Madman's Bluff. For example, an poll begun 01/01/06 shows 86% of 185,673 total respondents believe President Bush should be impeached.

As Steve Cobble said at the close of his post: "Imho, this is beyond politics now."

I suspect that this is the correct assessment. In fact, it may never have been about politics at all. I believe that this whole Oil Rustle was an attempt to maintain the extravagant American lifestyle at the expense of weaker nations.

Americans don't like changes that ask them to cut back on their excesses or to do without. It is easy to incite Americans to take action when such a situation arises, for we are a selfish and self-absorbed population. We also have a self-justification for such excesses, claiming that God blessed us through largesse, bestowed a surfeit of material wealth upon us to waste wantonly, and sanctions our transgressions against others in the maintenance of that condition.

But I recall the words of the Golden Rule: "Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done Unto You." I wish all those Bu$hCo Red State Chri$tian$ did.

National Out of Iraq events - find one near you.

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