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Michael Collins: Bush Accused of Tyranny and Murder at Justice Hearings

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Bush Accused of Tyranny and Murder

Vincent Bugliosi (Right) and Bruce Fein (left) at Judiciary Committee hearing on Imprachment of George W. Bush
(image by Michael Collins)
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Star witnesses, legal scholar Bruce Fein and former
LA Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi. M. Collins cc

House Justice Committee Hears Kucinich Resolution

Direct from the hearing

Michael Collins
Washington, DC Part 1 (Also see Part 2)

Today's hearing on the abuse of presidential powers before the House Committee on the Judiciary turned into a devastating political ambush by Chairman John Conyers (D-MI), committee Democrats, and the extraordinary panel of witnesses.. At least 12 Democratic Committee members were present plus the Chairman while only four Republicans bothered to show up.

Belying their casual appearance in the committee chambers, the Democrats presented a well coordinated, hard hitting case against President George W. Bush. This led to a double climax in the form of surgically erudite testimony by conservative legal scholar Bruce Fein, a former Reagan administration official, and former Los Angeles District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi's stunning summary statement. The best the Republicans could offer was inappropriate humor by Rep. Dan Lungren (D-CA) and a request to clear the chambers when the audience cheered Mr. Bugliosi's remarks.

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The hearing resulted from the non stop campaign for the impeachment of President George W. Bush by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). That effort received an overwhelming endorsement last week with the votes of a 238 majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 229 Democrats and 9 Republicans voted to refer the single count impeachment bill to the House or Representatives Committee on the Judiciary chaired by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI).

The Kucinich Resolution - H.R. 1345 outlines the case for the impeachment of President Bush. Specifically, as president, Bush:

"Deceived Congress with fabricated threats of Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) to fraudulently obtain support for an authorization for the use of force against Iraq and used that fraudulently obtained authorization, and then acting in his capacity under Article II, Section II of the Constitution as Commander in Chief, to commit US troops to combat in Iraq."

There was speculation prior to the hearing that the Republicans might scuttle the entire process due to House rules that prevent disparaging comments about the president. Apparently they failed to read the entirety of House Practice, Sec. 25 which lists a number of negative comments that House members have used in the past and makes clear that they're available in the present.

"Few Issues More Important"

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Chairman Conyers opened the hearing by noting that there are "few issues more important" than the actions of Congress to curtail the abuse of presidential powers. As a member of the House committee that heard the Nixon Impeachment case, he speaks with a certain authority. He listed the various abuses of presidential power by Bush laying out the case that his fellow Democrats would elaborate. The senior member of the committee, Republican Lamar Smith (R-TX) responded that he'd seen a lot from this committee but today's hearing was like "hosting an anger management class."

Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), a strong advocate for the hearings, responded by pointing out that given the evidence of high crimes, this isn't a Democratic or Republican issue, it's an American issue. The Democrats continued the theme of gravity with Cong. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) referring to Bush as "the worst president our country has ever suffered"

Cong. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) returned to what would lead to the most devastating and startling charges of the hearing - the basis for the invasion of Iraq and the disregard for civil liberties through the torture of foreigners and the domestic assault on privacy. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) responded that the hearing was nothing but "a do-over that amuses our terrorist friends."

"If lying about casual sex" is an impeachment issue, "then certainly lying to the American people about invading Iraq" is, responded Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA). Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), another strong supporter of impeachment, continued the hard hitting attack

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Nice to see. Now I want to see more than tough tal... by Kathlyn Stone on Friday, Jul 25, 2008 at 10:43:50 PM
Which can be a time I say good night. There was c... by Michael Collins on Friday, Jul 25, 2008 at 11:03:09 PM
While Bob Barr did not present the most forceful t... by PrMaine on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 11:41:47 AM
The fact that he was there was excellent.  I ... by Michael Collins on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 8:06:46 PM
Talk time is over. It's over for them, it'... by Mr M on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 2:02:09 PM
What exactly are you referring to though?&nbs... by Mrs P on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 5:40:05 PM
Keep writing, calling and emailing, but we know th... by Mr M on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 6:24:50 PM
Taking it to the next level...sit ins, clogging ha... by lenioui on Monday, Jul 28, 2008 at 7:23:26 PM
be a next time.  They'll just assume the ... by Michael Collins on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 8:23:26 PM
Thank you for writing this up.... by Katrin R. on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 12:01:49 AM
I'm very glad that I went.  I was literal... by Michael Collins on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 12:24:23 AM
Sorry, but I have lost all respect for this impost... by Mr M on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 2:15:30 PM
 THANK YOU MR-M... by RICH SHA on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 3:18:24 PM
I was inspired by Conyers in Ohio right after the ... by Michael Collins on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 8:36:35 PM
I like your feedback and really appreciate your in... by Katrin R. on Sunday, Jul 27, 2008 at 4:07:23 AM
and the FBI is looking into mis-conduct of his wif... by Susan Nelsen on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 2:48:33 AM
 I AGREE AND HE'S NO DUMMIE, THIS IS THE ... by RICH SHA on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 3:12:50 PM
I remember when they announced it and I thought, &... by Michael Collins on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 8:54:45 PM
It good to hear that Congress finally held the hea... by Andrew Abraham on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 12:03:52 PM
Where the hell do you live?... by larry booth on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 3:45:41 PM
He made it happen with the support of a lot of peo... by Michael Collins on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 9:05:38 PM
... for some fantastic coverage - and for getting ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 1:00:20 PM
It was worth it and I'd do it again. I had th... by Michael Collins on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 9:15:26 PM
So they held this hearing. Now what happens? Wil... by August Adams on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 7:22:57 PM
As far as the institutional - political steps, thi... by Michael Collins on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 9:24:48 PM
 The dum butt people who voted for this crap ... by vincent passiatore on Thursday, Aug 7, 2008 at 11:02:41 PM