Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 





Testimony for Impeachment Hearing
Thursday, 01 March 2007 09:10

by David Swanson


MARCH 1, 2007

I live in Charlottesville, Va., the home town of Thomas Jefferson, who feared we would not be able to maintain a republic and would slip into elected despotism. I am the Washington (DC) Director of Democrats.com and of ImpeachPAC.org. I am a co-founder of the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition, creator of MeetWithCindy.org, and a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and of the Backbone Campaign, an activist organization based on Vashon Island in Washington State. I was the organizer in 2006 of Camp Democracy. I serve on the steering committee of the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice and on a working group of United for Peace and Justice. I have worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, Media Coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as Communications Coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. I am a member of and have served on the Executive Council of the Washington Baltimore Newspaper Guild. I obtained a Master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1997.

Democrats.com and After Downing Street have been keeping large lists of citizens in Washington State informed of the progress of this resolution. Generating enthusiasm has not been a problem. This is something people are passionately behind. It's important to understand that passion, and I'm sure that many speakers today will help to communicate it. Jefferson and his colleagues in framing the Constitution intended the body of our federal government closest to the people, the House of Representatives, to have the power of impeachment in order to check abuses by the executive and judicial branches. And Jefferson's Manual, rules used by Congress to this day, allows for a state legislature, a body still closer to the people, to petition the House to begin impeachment. Impeachment is supposed to arise from public concerns at the local and state levels. While an impeachment is merely an indictment, and initiating an impeachment hearing is only the equivalent of convening a grand jury, there is nothing more serious or solemn than this process. And my impression is that the vast bulk of the public enthusiasm for impeachment today is appropriately serious.

Known and very popular cialis coupon which gives all the chance to receive a discount for a preparation which has to be available and exactly cialis coupons has been found in the distant room of this big house about which wood-grouses in the houses tell.

We must pursue impeachment of Cheney and Bush, not because of any animosity toward those individuals, and certainly not for electoral advantage. Rather, we must impeach because if we do not, we will be rewriting the rules for all future administrations. The greatest concern of those who put impeachment in the Constitution was that an executive could needlessly take the nation into war. We now face a case in which the President and Vice President began a war in secret with misappropriated funds, intentionally misled the Congress and the public about the need for war, launched a war that is patently illegal under the U.N. charter and U.S. law, began the construction of permanent military bases in a foreign nation with no consultation with Congress and continued that construction after Congress forbade it. Through the course of this war, which US intelligence and international studies conclude has made the world far more dangerous and the United States far less popular, and which has put our great grandchildren into financial debt, the Bush Administration has sanctioned illegal spying, kidnapping, extraordinary rendition, detentions without charge, torture, murder, the use of illegal weapons, and the illegal targeting of civilians, hospitals, and journalists. Numerous attempts by Congress to temper these policies have been unconstitutionally reversed by presidential signing statements.

Evidence of these crimes has been collected at http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/keydocuments

Please take some time to study it. No summary does it justice.

If we do not impeach, we can expect the same behavior Bush and Cheney have engaged in, and worse, from future administrations.

The President has made clear that he will not end the war or place himself under the rule of law. The Congress has made clear that it will not seriously attempt to end the war or to investigate the fraud that initiated it. The people of the United States and of the world are looking to state governments like yours for heroic leadership. And there can be no doubt that history, should our species weather the current storms, will look back on your actions as heroic if you successfully initiate the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

Congress will not act without you. You are the people's last recourse. If you let them down, democracy lets them down.

Please do not be like the neighbors who watch a murder out the window and all assume that someone else is phoning for help. Everyone else is failing. We are looking to you for leadership.

Please heed the warning of Congressman Abraham Lincoln, who heroically challenged President Polk's fraudulent and aggressive war on Mexico:

"Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so, whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose – and you allow him to make war at pleasure. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect, after you have given him so much as you propose. If, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, 'I see no probability of the British invading us' but he will say to you 'be silent; I see it, if you don't.' The provision of the Constitution giving the war-making power to Congress, was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons: Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us."
More from this author:
U.S. v. Bush (9209 Hits)
By David Swanson Now, we almost all agree that Bush and Cheney have done bad things. But have they actually committed crimes? If you know...
The Melbourne Minutes: New Downing Street Memos from Down Under (10391 Hits)
By David Swanson Over a year before the United States launched an endless war on Iraq in what President George W. Bush told Congress was...
Be All That You Can Be: Leave the Army (8824 Hits)
By David Swanson As long as there has been a U.S. military, people have been leaving it. That choice has never been more appropriate than...
Closer to Home (8400 Hits)
By David Swanson I did something worse than St. Augustine did when I was a kid. I must confess I broke into a house on the other side of...
Honesty in Iraq (7569 Hits)
By David Swanson The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently published an editorial that said of Bush: "His pronouncements now bear no...
Related Articles:
Let's March in January! An Impeachment Call to Action (15133 Hits)
by Dave Lindorff   I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that, barring some incredible act of criminal cynicism such as the...
Why Nancy Pelosi Has it Wrong on Impeachment (12662 Hits)
by Dave Lindorff   Forget her "Pledge," She Took an Oath: Why Pelosi is Wrong on Impeachment House minority leader Nancy Pelosi...
McKinney, Smith, Bush, and Impeachment (6865 Hits)
by David Swanson. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has introduced articles of impeachment [PDF] against George Bush, Dick Cheney, and...
Torture, Impeachment and a Vietnam Veteran's Tears (7317 Hits)
by Dave Lindorff The true horror of what President Bush--and the Republican-led 109th Congress--have done to all of us American citizens by...
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney Makes the Case for Impeachment (8996 Hits)
by David Swanson As some people learned from the minimal and abusive media coverage, on December 8, 2006, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney...

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments (0)add comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger



Top 123