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Americans Support Impeaching Bush for Wiretapping

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For Release: January 16, 2006

New Zogby Poll Shows Majority of Americans Support Impeaching Bush for Wiretapping

By a margin of 52% to 43%, Americans want Congress to consider impeaching President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval, according to a new poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

The poll was conducted by Zogby International, the highly-regarded non-partisan polling company. The poll interviewed 1,216 U.S. adults from January 9-12.

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The poll found that 52% agreed with the statement:

"If President Bush wiretapped American citizens without the approval of a judge, do you agree or disagree that Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment."

43% disagreed, and 6% said they didn't know or declined to answer. The poll has a +/- 2.9% margin of error.

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"The American people are not buying Bush's outrageous claim that he has the power to wiretap American citizens without a warrant. Americans believe terrorism can be fought without turning our own government into Big Brother," said AfterDowningStreet.org co-founder Bob Fertik.

Recently White House spokesman Scott McClellan cited a Rasmussen poll that found 64% believe the NSA "should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects." Of course, that is exactly what Congress authorized when it created the FISA courts to issue special expedited secret warrants for terrorism suspects. But Bush defied the FISA law and authorized warrantless wiretaps of Americans, which has outraged Americans to the point that a majority believe Congress should consider Bush's impeachment.

"Bush admits he ordered illegal warantless wiretapping, but says it began in response to 9/11 and was limited to a small number of calls to or from Al Qaeda," Fertik said. "But recent reports suggest wiretapping affected a much larger number of Americans, and a report in Friday's Truthout says the wiretapping began before 9/11."

"The upcoming Senate hearings on White House wiretapping could be as dramatic as the Watergate hearings in 1973. A majority of Americans have already believe Congress should look into grounds for impeachment, yet we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in the Corporate Media. If Bush ordered warrantless wiretapping long before the terrorist attack on 9/11, then Americans will realize that George Bush came into office determined to shred the Constitution and take away our rights," Fertik said.

Impeachment Supported by Majorities of Many Groups

Responses to the Zogby poll varied by political party affiliation: 66% of Democrats favored impeachment, as did 59% of Independents, and even 23% of Republicans. By ideology, impeachment was supported by Progressives (90%), Libertarians (71%), Liberals (65%), and Moderates (58%), but not by Conservatives (33%) or Very Conservatives (28%).

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Responses also varied by age, sex, race, and religion. 74% of those 18-29 favored impeachment, 47% of those 31-49, 49% of those 50-64, and 40% of those over 65. 55% of women favored impeachment, compared to 49% of men. Among African Americans, 75% favored impeachment, as did 56% of Hispanics and 47% of whites. Majorities of Catholics, Jews, and Others favored impeachment, while 44% of Protestants and 38% of Born Again Christians did so.

Majorities favored impeachment in every region: the East (54%), South (53%) and West (52%), and Central states (50%). In large cities, 56% support impeachment; in small cities, 58%; in suburbs, 46%; in rural areas, 46%.

Support for Clinton Impeachment Was Much Lower

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
 

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