Posted by: zhak39 | July 8, 2008

Impeachment

From Dennis Kucinich:

Impeachment Article to be Introduced Thursday

Washington, Jul 8 – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) sent the following letter today to his colleagues in Congress:

July 8, 2008


WHEN THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF LIES TO GO TO WAR, HE MUST BE IMPEACHED


A SINGLE ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT WILL BE BROUGHT TO THE FLOOR ON THURSDAY; PLEASE CO-SPONSOR


Dear Colleague,

During the Fourth of July holiday a WWII veteran stood ram-rod straight in his crisp dress uniform and saluted our flag as it passed in a parade. His silent reverential stance was a powerful reminder of the love of country that is reflected in our veterans of all generations and all services.

It is also a powerful reminder of the responsibilities of the President of the Untied States in his capacity as Commander in Chief.

It is worse than heartbreaking that George W. Bush, as Commander in Chief, caused this country to go to war based on information which was false, and which he knew to be false. The consequences for our troops have been devastating. We have lost 4,116 of our beloved servicemen and women since the war began, with over 30,000 physically wounded and countless others emotionally wounded. The toll on the service persons and their families will be felt throughout their lives.

There can be no greater responsibility of a Commander in Chief than to command based on facts on the ground, and to command in fact and in truth. There can be no greater offense of a Commander in Chief than to misrepresent a cause of war and to send our brave men and women into harm’s way based on those misrepresentations.

There has been a breach of faith between the Commander in Chief and the troops. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 or with Al Qaeda’s role in 9/11. Iraq had neither the intention nor the capability of attacking the United States. Iraq did not have weapons of Mass of Destruction. Yet George W. Bush took our troops to war under all of these false assumptions. Given the profound and irreversible consequences to our troops, if his decision was the result of a mistake, he must be impeached. Since his decision was based on lies, impeachment as a remedy falls short, but represents at least some effort on our part to demonstrate our concern about the sacrifices our troops have made.

This Thursday evening I will bring a privileged resolution to the House with a single Article of Impeachment of President Bush for taking our nation and our troops to war based on lies. We owe it to our troops who even at this hour stand as sentinels of America because they love this country and will give their lives for it. What are we willing to do to match their valor and the valor of their successors? Are we at least willing to defend the Constitution from the comfort and security of our Washington, DC offices?

Sincerely,
/s/
Dennis J. Kucinich
Member of Congress

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Responses

  1. This effort by Kucinich will fail and perhaps it should.

    My memory is pretty clear on this because I thought a lot about it at the time and kept reading newspapers and watching MSNBC.

    To generalize, President Bush’s knee jerk reaction to 9/11 was a desire to attack Iraq. First he out and out said it, then he was criticized for not working with the United Nations, so he sent Secretary of State Powell to the United Nations, and then he indicated in speeches he was ready to attack Iraq, but he was criticized for not working enough with the United Nations. So then he made a speech to the United Nations, in which he set arbitrary and short deadlines for Iraq to get rid of weapons (that it didn’t have) and then we went to war.

    The feeling I got at the time was of watching a little kid carrying on, throwing a fit, wanting some toy at Target, and going to Mom and asking her, and her saying either “No” or “ask your father,” and the kid jumping up and down angry, having not gotten what he wanted, and then the kid going to the father and the father saying, “Maybe,” and the kid saying, “Good enough. I’m getting it.”

    Constitutionally speaking, the president as commander in chief is supposed to have the advice and consent of Congress before this country is actually committed to a conflict. But, the war powers act, as written, apparent allows him to bring us into war without Congress. On the other hand, the Senate has the power to simply not fund the war.

    President Bush went to Congress and Congress approved going to Iraq. More than that, the Senate aproved funding for the war and has approved funding every year since this thing started. When you think about it, how could the Senate NOT fund the war? That just doesn’t make sense.

    So, I guess the precedent set with the “war on terror” is, if you are president, just place our soldiers anywhere you want them, and then go back to the Senate and say, “What? You’re not gonna fund this war? Just going to let them die out there?”

    You can blame President Bush for being narrow-minded and for lacking curiosity and the ability to think about the consequences of his actions. You would be accurate in tagging him with those inadequacies. The man is a moron who acts like a Texas cowboy but who at the end of he day is an elitest who believed he was entitled to get what he wanted with this war, and felt like the UN and Congress were unnecessary speed bumps.

    Recall he once said that the Constitution was “just a g*d d****d piece of paper.”

    To me though, the real blame is on every Congressman and Senator who lacked the political will to stand up to the President and say, “Show us proof that there are weapons there. Don’t give us reports, show us proof. We’re not backing you without it.”

    For political expediency, they voted in favor of President Bush’s actions. I do not know if Kucinich did, but Senators Clinton, Kerry and Edwards are on record as supporting it “based on the information we had at the time.” Obama didn’t, but then he couldn’t. He wasn’t in the Senate yet.

    Mr. Kucinich’s effort will fail of naivette. Impeachment can only occur with a required number of votes from the same folks who approved the war. Even in Washington, this would be seen as the ultimate in hypocrisy.

  2. Hello, Bill.

    You may very well be correct in your prediction that this effort on the part of Mr. Kucinich, the bills’ co-sponsors and the grassroots groups that continue to support Bush’s impeachment will fail. Many people have used ‘Kucinich’ and ‘naive’ in the same sentence whether they are talking about the war, impeachment or gravity challenged green visitors. This does not mean that the effort should not be undertaken.

    Let me put it thusly. I believe that the President of the United States has broken the law and actively worked counter to the guidelines of the Constitution of the United States. I believe that the Office of the President is not above the law. I believe that it is the responsibility of Congress to be vigilant in monitoring legal excesses on behalf of the President and officially expose or at least acknowledge when they occur.

    In other words the House needs to impeach because it is the right thing to do. It may be inconvenient or politically incorrect or uncomfortable. It may cause duress to the people of the country during an election year (when is it comfortable to investigate the chief executive’s corrupt or dishonest acts?). That’s what makes it hard.

    You raise some interesting points about the War Powers Act and the presidency in general. Impeachment proceedings could bring clarification to these issues.

    What you say about the president putting soldiers in place, effectively ransoming their safety for Congress dollars is just terrible. It is not right. If you were to look at the full articles of impeachment that Kucinich introduced last spring you would see that possibly addressed in Article IX.

    I have to agree with you that our Congress is a bunch of spineless wienies that dropped the ball saying, “duh, which way did it go. George?” But to say that they are to blame is a stretch. Am I to blame if I stand by and do nothing as my neighbor is stabbed, brutalized and robbed? Shame on me for being a coward but I am not guilty of or responsible for the mugging.

    Perhaps this is a late in the fourth quarter opportunity for the House and Senate to regain some dignity at least, by taking some positive action. They may lose the game but they can at least have done their best for our country.

  3. Well, dear Zhak, look at it this way.

    At least Jesse Helms is gone. If there were not those sort of counter balances I would fear the earth was coming off-axis.

    Meanwhile, I think your constitutional analysis, portraying the executive branch as some branch that can be targetted in isolation of the legislative branch, is curious. While I do think President Bush sees it as that, I think constitutionally the reality is that we have checks and balances in this country, and that the check was Congress. And I think Congress failed.

    Our boys are not oversees dying because of President Bush; they’re dying because the folks whose responsibility to rein him in decided not to. I do not recall if — but my instincts tell me — that vote came during an election year.

    Dignity? You want dignity?

    Join me outside. Together we can look up at the sky and watch for flying pigs.

  4. Checks and balances? Constitutional analysis? This is a blog, Bill, not law school. Simply put, there is something wrong in Mudville. When there is something wrong we have the choice to ignore it and hope it goes away or try to do something about it. Pelosi has been parading around like the cat who swallowed the cigar since the Democrats had their defining win. I don’t see a lot actually accomplished. At least Kucinich has put together a list of 30 some odd articles that I believe is worth looking into for validity.

    As for dignity, some people believe in things like integrity and honesty and service. I am one of them.

    A warning about looking for flying pigs–bring an umbrella. The moment you look up is when they tend to poop on you.

  5. Thank God that there is at least one Congressperson willing to make a moral stand. Thank you for posting this – Sandy and I both signed. We have been supporters of Kucinich for some time – not that we had any illusions that he could be elected President, but every movement against corrupt power begins with one courageous person speaking out.

  6. I am glad that you and Sandy found this worthwhile.

  7. Without putting too fine a point on it, I do congratulate you for doing what you believe is fruitful. This whole discussion is not about what happened and our reaction. It is about the next time.

    As such, I won’t mention your comment about how this is a blog, not law school so why mention constitutional analysis — juxtaposed as it is with your statement, “Let me put it thusly. I believe that the President of the United States has broken the law and actively worked counter to the guidelines of the Constitution of the United States.”

    Rather, I would simply suggest that, if there is something to be learned from this experience — for all of us — it is that we must be vigilant and recognize, when things are actually happening, that we should call our congresspersons and senators at that time, and say, “insist that the president do more/prove more/demonstrate more/DO NOT APPROVE THIS WITHOUT THAT OR I’LL VOTE YOUR SORRY BOTTOM OUT” and mean it and demonstrate it at the polls if they fail you.

    To say, “that would be too much work, how can we keep up?” Is to say, “Well, we learned nothing and we’ll keep waiting 5-7 years and continue to Monday morning quarterback and, at that time, well beyond the time where action matters, say “he/she should not have done that.” Which, to my way of thinking, is unproductive. MY WAY of thinking only.

    Zhak, you know I admire you and appreciate you always. I just want everything you do to be effective rather than reactive. This is my only point. And the point is NOT made with the intention to shame or demean or criticize. Life’s too short. It’s to hopefully make us all learn.

  8. Bill,

    Remember this?

    He asked me to be patient.
    Well, I failed,
    “Grow up,” I cried
    And as the smoke was clearing he said,
    “Give me one good reason why.”


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