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ACLU of Southern California Calls for Impeachment of Bush and Cheney -- Will National Follow?

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ACLU-SC Calls for Impeachment of Bush and Cheney

The ACLU of Southern California has called for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for High Crimes and Misdemeanors arising out of their abuse of power and numerous violations of the Constitution.

The Board of Directors of the ACLU-SC voted on November 14, 2007 without objection (and one abstention) to call on Congress to promptly convene impeachment hearings.

In March, 1971 and again in July, 1973 the ACLU-SC called for the impeachment of Richard M. Nixon. In September of 1973, the National Board of the ACLU joined the call for impeachment.

The ACLU-SC will shortly release a report detailing the grounds for impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

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Here is a PDF one-page 3-fold flyer consisting of excerpts from the ACLU's 1973 pamphlet. This is a powerful tool. No changes are needed to make clear what the duty of every American and the ACLU is today. This was put together by Susan Serpa. Front. Back.

The ACLU placed a full page ad in the New York Times calling for President Nixon's impeachment. The ad "asked readers to write their representatives in Congress, make a contribution to the ACLU, and join if not already a member." The response was overwhelming and "[o]ver 25,000 new members joined in 1973 alone, driving the ACLU's membership to an all-time high of 275,000."
In Defense of American Liberties - A History of the ACLU, Samuel Walker, p. 294, Southern Illinois University Press (2nd ed. 1999.)

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"When the Watergate scandal became a major issue in 1973, only a few dissenting voices remained to argue that seeking the impeachment of President Nixon was a political enterprise beyond the ACLU's proper sphere of concerns."
Inside the ACLU: Activism and Anti-Communism in the Late 1960s, Alan Rostron, p.427, New England Law Review (Vol. 33:2 Winter, 1999.)

After President Nixon "refused to hand over crucial tapes," the special prosecutor sued and "the question of the extent of presidential power reached the Supreme Court. The ACLU filed the only amicus brief in the case." The brief "argued that 'the fundamental issue raised in this case is whether the President, acting in his sole discretion, can disregard an obligation imposed on all other citizens to produce evidence demonstrably material to the trial of criminal charges of obstruction of justice in a federal court.'" On July 24, the Supreme Court ordered President Nixon to hand over the tapes and "held that 'an absolute, unqualified [executive] privilege would 'plainly conflict with the functions of the courts' in conducting criminal prosecutions."

ACLU pamphlet from 1973.


16. Your Representative must be made to understand that this is not merely another "come and go" political question. Only you can make your Representative understand the importance of the issue and the extent to which he or she will be held responsible in the 1974 elections for his or her actions.

17. It cannot be stressed strongly enough or often enough that Representatives who do not move to impeach, and who thereby fail to bring President Nixon to trial, are accomplices to a cover-up. They are either in favor of bringing 100% of the truth to the American people, or they are helping cover it up.

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In December 2005, the ACLU took out a full page ad in the NY Times calling for a special counsel to investigate Bush and the NSA warrantless electronic surveillance. They compared Bush to Nixon. The ad is still on the ACLU website and it clearly threatens impeachment, but that was over 2 years ago! See ad.

In 2006 an ACLU panel urged impeachment.


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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 and and works for the online (more...)

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