This was one of many questions asked during the lively meeting, as we shared information and sources of information. Highly recommended were Air America, www.AfterDowningStreet.org and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/impeachbushnow
We spent some time discussing impeachable offenses. Greatest focus was on lying us into war in Iraq. Recent polls show that over half of Americans believe that Bush lied to us in the runup to war, and the most recent Zogby poll shows that over 50% believe that Bush should be impeached if he lied. So it's likely that a majority of Americans want impeachment at this point, for that reason alone.
The torture issue came up next, with some discussion of a recent book by Janis Karpinski, who was the commanding general at Abu Ghraib when the torture policy was put into place. She tells all, pointing the finger squarely at Rumsfeld and Bush as the ones responsible. The comment was made that as Bush has the habit of firing those who disagree with him, he now has lots of disgruntled former employees who are willing to tell the truth and expose his lies.
Francis Boyle and Ramsey Clark were mentioned as authors of lists of impeachable offenses that are somewhat outdated. A more recent list from the impeachBushNOW list is appended below.
With so much evidence and so much public support for impeachment, why has a formal investigation not begun? The obvious answer is that the Republicans control the House. Still, House Republicans are starting to rebel, and have scuttled the Alaska oil drilling bill and the outrageous rob the poor to enrich the rich budget. Without Tom DeLay to bludgeon them into line, some moderate Republicans are starting to become sane.
We feel that, while we must wait until the 2006 elections to get rid of Bush and Cheney, so that we can replace them with a Democrat rather than with Dennis Hastert, current Speaker of the House, impeachment proceedings might well be started now. Bush is the kiss of death; since Katrina, he cannot do anything right. Lots of moderate Republicans would be glad to see him go. The House might actually be more open to impeachment now.
The GOP is traditionally opposed to the sort of pork barrel spending that we are seeing with the Bush admin, so addressing pocketbook issues might work with them. There was some discussion about linking the lying into war with unnecessary expenditures on an unnecessary war, with obvious cronyism going on- Halliburton and Carlyle, as possibly impeachable offenses that Republicans might care about.
It was pointed out that we don't need to prove impeachable offenses, we just need to show that there is enough suspicion to warrant a full investigation. We're at the arraignment phase. We also need to remind Congress that they serve at our pleasure, and to do the bidding of the people- and that impeachment is about crime, not politics.
Turning to what our small group can do, we mostly talked about outreach- how to bring in others in our area. We all agreed to talk to groups of which we are members- peace groups, social groups, churches, and talk up impeachment, as well as recruit people for our next meeting. Tabling and leafletting at events was mentioned. We agreed that internet activity is good, but where movement will really happen in on the street. Getting to know people in the office of our Representative, Barbara Lee, and working with that office on strategy was mentioned. One person reported that Lee's Congressional office referred us to the campaign office, to discuss impeachment.
Putting together an updated list of impeachable offenses is a priority.
Impeachment is peaceful, legal, and democratic.
The following is from the impeachBushNOW list, sent by Jan Fry:
GW Bush.....impeachable offenses.... not necessarily in order