This president and his vice president have condoned illegal wiretapping, readings of private e-mails and phone calls, and spying on the American people under the guise of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They've used surveillance to kidnap people and throw them into dungeons abroad without any political or legal accountability. They have condoned torture at both Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. They have been implicated in the outing of a CIA officer in retaliation for the exposure of going to war under false premises. They have ignored Congressional authority on several occasions. They lied to the American public about the reasons for taking our sons and daughters, mothers, and fathers to war. They have spent over $700 billion on a war in a time when over 45 million Americans are without health care; while at the same time cutting the benefits of veterans who have returned from fighting their "War of Choice".
They have established a presidency and executive branch that does not respect the rule of law. Bush is, in fact, sneering at the American people and in effect saying, "I am King". Together Bush and Cheney have flouted the agreement of transparency with the American people.
Our cities, counties, and states are vulnerable because we have allowed a virtual king to be created in Washington, D.C. If we now have a king at the head of our democratically elected government then we elected officials, on the local, state and national levels are defunct. Our purpose and our jobs are nothing more than ceremonial.
Congress has allowed the Executive branch of our government to overreach, in the name of politics and fear over what impact impeachment proceedings will have on the upcoming elections in '08. This is not what our founders intended. It doesn't matter if we're approaching an election year or not. We cannot allow the Executive branch to take on more power than it has ever had. This is doubly important as we approach a new election because our new executive leaders will inherit more expansive powers than any other President or Vice President in the history of the United States of America; powers that the founders never intended for them to have, be they Democrat or Republican.
Politicians and political staff are even getting confused. People are refusing to oppose Bush because they wrongly think that they've taken an oath to the President. When former White House counsel, Harriet Meirs, didn't appear before Congress she cited executive privilege. But what she and others fail to realize is that they haven't taken an oath of loyalty to the president regardless of what he does, they've taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. Those are two entirely different things. Bush and Cheney have blatantly obstructed a congressional investigation.
And, finally, the commutation of Scooter Libby speaks to a cover-up of gigantic proportions. We should all be out in the streets. As musician Gil Scott Heron said, "The revolution will not be televised". Bush and Cheney should be impeached for political crimes perpetrated in combination.
As John Nichols from The Nation Magazine recently stated, "Nancy Pelosi is disregarding her oath of office. She should change course now." The Judiciary Committee should begin impeachment proceedings as soon as possible.
We in city council and at the state legislature should not disregard our oaths. There are some who say that this doesn't have anything to do with local government. They are missing the point. If the president, as the leading representative of our democracy is an outlaw and we, other elected officials, allow that state of affairs to continue, we are also outlaws. The Minneapolis City Council needs to construct a resolution to recommend impeachment immediately, before it's too late. Our own collective integrity demands it!