Step One: Impeachment
We the people have the legal right and the moral obligation to enforce the Constitution and the rule of law. If we allow George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to subvert and break the law, we ourselves become complicit in the illegality.
The Case for Impeachment George W. Bush and Dick Cheney lied to Congress and to the American people in fabricating a case for an illegal, "preemptive" war against Iraq. They lied about Saddam Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction and they tricked the American people into believing that Saddam was responsible for the tragedies of 9/11.
Bush and Cheney have subverted the Constitution through illegal surveillance of American citizens and the suspension of habeas corpus, a legal right dating back to the Magna Carta (1215).
The president and vice-president have caused the illegal detention and torture of foreign nationals they call "illegal combatants" (a new category created to circumvent the Geneva Conventions). They have also caused citizens to be kidnapped and taken away for torture.
Bush has issued more than 800 "signing statements," whereby he alone decides which laws or sections of law he will enforce. One such signing statement allowed the continuation of torture, even after a congressionally-mandated ban. Last December, Bush asserted the authority to open US mail without judicial warrants in a signing statement attached to a postal reform bill.
On September 30, 2003, George W. Bush said "if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated the law, the person will be taken care of." The same George W. Bush recently took care of Cheney aide I. "Scooter" Libby, commuting his 30-month prison sentence. Libby was convicted by a jury of perjury, making false statements and obstruction of justice in the case of the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. The constitutional provision allowing the president to pardon convicted criminals was never intended to facilitate the cover-up of crimes committed by the White House.
Step Two: Indictment
The president is protected from criminal prosecution while in office. The vice-president is not. In fact, House Judiciary Chair John Conyers and Senate Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy are currently challenging the administration's expansive claims of executive privilege by issuing a subpoena for Karl Rove and initiating contempt proceedings against other executive branch officials including Harriet Miers.
Once Bush and Cheney are impeached (or termed out of office), both are liable in criminal proceedings. Justice can and should be done through an indictment brought by a federal grand jury for treason in conspiring to defraud and deceive the American people into an illegal war.
World opinion of the United States is at an all-time low.
Bringing President Bush and Vice-President Cheney to justice will begin the process of restoring respect for the United States and restoring our own self-respect as a democratic people.
Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and the House Judiciary Committee must address this crisis by taking the Constitutional steps necessary to bring about impeachment proceedings in the House and a trial in the Senate. To delay or avoid such remedy is to place our democratic republic and the separation of powers in grave danger now and for the foreseeable future.
Paid for by Voice of the Environment
www.voiceoftheenvironment.org (a 501(c)3)
Ultimately, we the people are responsible for the actions of our government. We are responsible for the thousands of American soldiers killed and maimed and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis - including civilians, women and children - killed, maimed and displaced.
We are ashamed at what is being done in our names! After six years of imperial adventurism, Bush and Cheney have set the stage to attack Iran.
Such an attack could mark the beginning of World War III, an unthinkable conflict pitting the west against much of the Muslim world.
In 1933, as Hitler rose to power, the German people still had a chance to rise up and change history. They failed to act and tens of millions paid with their lives.
Today, the American people face a similar challenge. If we don't change history, we may be doomed to repeat it.
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