This pattern of immunity for presidents must stop. Impeaching George Bush for lying to get us into war will not only protect us from him, but also send an unmistakable message to future presidents: Never again. Elizabeth Holtzman, former Congresswoman in the forward to: Constitution in Crisis by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. and Staff
I was recently given an award by the Cranbrook Peace Institute and the ceremonies were held in Detroit, the hometown of Rep. John Conyers. I was pretty surprised that he agreed to introduce me at the event considering that the last time I saw him I was being hauled out of his office in DC in handcuffs and I have been very outspoken about the Democrats failure to hold BushCo accountable. I must give the Congressman a lot of credit to always show up to events where he knows he is going to be harassed about impeachment and he gave me a nice introduction reading part of my testimony in Congress regarding the Downing Street Minutes that Rep. Conyers conducted in a cramped room in the basement of Congress on June 16, 2005. In the intro he called me the “mother of the modern peace movement.”
John Conyers and I have had a cordial relationship that goes back to that June day when we believed that we were taking profound first steps in peacefully and lawfully overthrowing the Bush crime regime. Rep. Conyers wrote the intro to my first book: Not One More Mother’s Child; I am mentioned in his brilliant analysis of the reasons to impeach BushCo and I was with him at the People’s State of the Union in 2006 just hours before I was arrested at the War Pig State of the Union address for wearing a t-shirt. Whenever I am in DC, I just have to call his office and he always makes time to see me. His commitment to our country is decades long: from being a veteran of the military and Civil Right’s campaigns to serving in Congress for over 40 years. He is on the right track by seeking universal, single payer health care. He has been correct on so many issues that progressives hold dear and that’s why it is so puzzling to me and the so many others in the progressive community why he will not institute impeachment proceedings for the criminals who are only getting worse since Conyers wrote the book on impeachment, not better. It’s not as if BushCo has found a new propensity to follow the law and as a matter of fact, the 110th Congress has made a habit of legitimizing and legalizing the crimes.
A brief recount of the reasons Conyers lists for impeachment in his book is: Deception (lies that led to war), manipulation (of intelligence and the tragic events of 9-11), torture (our new AG is not so sure about torture), retribution (against “enemies” i.e.: Valerie Plame and Bunnatine Greenhouse: Halliburton whistleblower), illegal surveillance (which Congress recently approved) and cover-ups. All of the charges are brilliantly documented and proved by John Conyers’ brilliant staff, that has also inexplicably become anti-impeachment along with most of the rest of the failed and failing 110th Congress.
At the peace events in Detroit, I also had the high honor of holding a dialogue with young peace and social justice activists in the Detroit area. A young Hispanic girl had the floor and she recounted the feeling of hopelessness that she and her peers were feeling about the future. She cried when she said: “We feel like we have no future.” If BushCo are allowed to continue their crimes against peace, humanity, civil rights, basic human rights and the environment, unchecked, then the young lady may be tragically correct in her analysis.
The Democratic leadership has made a mockery of our Constitution by excising “awkward” parts out of it. For example, by invoking “Title X” (Contempt of Congress) which is a harsher punishment against protesters that leads to harsher penalties, such as being banished from Capital Hill for a determined amount of time, they have killed the pesky First Amendment Rights to free speech and peaceable assembly.
By confirming Michael Mukasey for Attorney General and approving the Military Commissions Act, Congress has stripped away our Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment. By suspending habeas corpus we are denied our Sixth Amendment rights to fair and speedy trials and to confront our accusers with an attorney present. Congress has also abrogated its Constitutionally mandated role of declaring war to a bloodthirsty Executive Branch and have invalidated Article II; Section 4 which states that a President and Vice-President “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
The Dems were swept back into power off of the backs and energy of the anti-war left and they have betrayed us by surgically removing important parts of the Constitution. Cardinal Mahoney of the Los Angeles Diocese calls such picking and choosing of what to believe or disbelieve in the Church as “Cafeteria Catholicism,” I call disregarding parts the Constitution: “Treason,” and the only way that Congress can redeem itself from infamy is to follow the road map that has been laid out for us centuries ago and declare the phony “War on Terror” over and restore our country to sanity by impeaching the people who have led us down this highway to hell.
We must not let Congress off the hook by allowing them to let BushCo off the hook.
We are collecting handwritten letters to Speaker Pelosi to deliver to her office demanding that Resolution (H Res 799 introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich) to impeach the cruel and callous puppet master, Dick Cheney, be given the attention and resources that are needed to go forward with an indictment in the house and a trial in the Senate on the crimes outlined by the Resolution. We already have a couple thousand and we will deliver them to the Speaker when we reach 10,000. Let’s flood her office with letters as if she is Santa and we want impeachment on our Christmas table.
We need to leave the young people of the world with hope that rule of law will be restored in the US and that future presidents will know that their hands are at least restrained by two co-equal branches when it comes to invading countries contrary to international law, US law, and basic human dignity.