After spending over 6 hours last Friday in front of my computer at work riveted to the stage set by the House Judiciary Committee players holding a meeting entitled Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations, impeachment-lite as Republican Congressman Lundgren called it, or whatever else it is referred to, I had such a headache, and was extremely depressed.
I watched, possibly jeopardizing my job, intently hoping and waiting for Chair John Conyers to gain a backbone at age 79. I saw many of my activist friends sitting in rows behind the star witnesses like Rep. Dennis Kucinich, former Representative Elizabeth Holtzman, who served on the Judiciary Committee overseeing the Nixon impeachment, and who I had the privilege to work for when she was NYC Comptroller, and Bruce Fein, both of whom wouldn’t back down from the issue of impeachment. In fact, Holtzman said she was there to spell out the primary reasons for impeachment. And that the responsibility to deal with impeachment is sad, but it cannot be shrugged off. There were disruptions, and Conyers pandered to the war-mongering republicans by throwing out people who applauded the witnesses. However, to his credit, he let the scene play out.
I kept yelling at my computer, people around me thinking I had really lost my mind, but I wanted those congress members to LISTEN to what Liz was saying. There is no remedy other than impeachment! They kept asking for other suggestions, only to be told, and with great frustration by Liz and Bruce Fein, the only way out of this mess IS impeachment.
Conyers looked like he needed a shot of adrenaline, and Nadler looked very pensive, as if there was some silver bullet he was missing. So in my estimation this committee wasted the taxpayer’s money upwards of $300,000 just for them sitting there for 6 hours and doing nothing. Figure the cost of what they are getting paid, maybe 10 in the room at a time, and you do the math.
So over ¼ million dollars was just spent to “think” about impeachment. Not to mention that during those 6 hours, hundreds of more Iraqi’s were killed, as well as who knows how many Afghani citizens, as well as troops. But these esteemed members need a reason.
Want one? Here it is. My son, Sgt. James Brower, USMC Reserves, NYPD police officer, which is his regular job, has received redeployment orders. This will be his THIRD tour of duty. I quote from the original orders I now have in my possession since he will be leaving shortly for Baghdad:
TO: Sergeant James W. Brower
SUBJ: ORDERED TO ACTIVATION-PARTIAL MOBILIZATION
You have been involuntarily ordered to active duty from your residence in support of the national emergency declared under Presidential Proclamation 7463 of 14 September 2001 and as prescribed in Executive Order 13223. Under the provisions of Title 38, US Code, Section 4312(c)(4)(A) and (B) this period of active duty is exempt from the five-year cumulative service limitation on reemployment rights under Title 38, US Code, Chapter 43. Your period of active duty is pursuant to US Code Title 10, Section 12302. You are assigned to activation, in support of PFO – Operation Iraqi Freedom, on such a date that will enable you to report to the commanding officer. Period of Duty: 17 May 2008 to 20 June 2009 for 400 days.
So upon doing some research I found that Proclamation 7463 – Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks, was signed by the President 3 days after the attacks of 9/11. In part it reads:
“A national emergency exists by reason of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, New York, New York and the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the Unites States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, I hereby declare that the national emergency has existed since September 11, 2001, and, pursuant to the National Emergencies Act, I intend to utilize the following statutes…”
The National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601-1651) is a United States federal law passed in 1976 to stop open-ended states of national emergency and formalize Congressional checks and balances on Presidential emergency powers. The act sets a limit of two years on states of national emergency. It also imposes certain "procedural formalities" on the President when invoking such powers, and provides a means for Congress to countermand a Presidential declaration of emergency and associated use of emergency powers.