On July 28th, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was asked on ABC’s The View why she insists on “not impeaching” Bush and Cheney. She responded: “If somebody had a crime that the President had committed, that would be a different story.” She finished her rationalization by implying that no-one yet had “the goods”, as she put it, on the President. However, Pelosi has yet to address the substance of – and perhaps even to read, if her off-hand comment is to be believed, the 35 Articles of Impeachment against Bush which Rep. Dennis Kucinich proposed to the House on June 9th. Yet Kucinich isn’t giving up. His speech at the DNC was so rousing, the amazed crowd cheered incessantly through most of it and continued for some time after. And he wants 1 million signatures for impeachment by Sept. 10th. Sign his petition to Congress here.
Since “the goods” on Bush are already there, in the documentation Kucinich gave Congress (as well as many other places), much more attention should be paid to these 35 Articles. I plan to write several op-eds on Kucinich’s Articles of Impeachment. But first…
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Moreover, the investigations have already happened. We’ve been at it for years. Bush’s crimes are public record. You don’t need FBI agents snooping around for months; you just need the word ‘impeachment’ and the website ‘Amazon’ and the whole case could be made. Impeachment movement leaders keep trying to tell people: it could take only a few days.
Recent House Judiciary Committee events have energized the impeachment movement: the testimony of Scott McClellan, the HJC vote to hold no-show Karl Rove in contempt of Congress, the July 25th hearing on the limits of executive power at which the word “impeachment” came up countless times, (watch over a dozen of the speakers here) and also videos below), the July 31st ruling by District Court Judge John Bates that the White House cannot ignore congressional subpoenas, and the subsequent Aug. 26th refusal of Bates to grant the White House a stay on that decision. Re-invigorated, Veterans for Peace, Democrats.com, and National Impeachment Network activists will lobby in D.C. for 2-3 weeks this month. Kucinich’s champion Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL, 19th) and other pro-impeachment HJC members, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA, 35th) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN, 5th), have told activists not to quit. Also, at the July 25th proceeding, HJC member Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI, 2nd) gave a clarion call for impeachment hearings as the next step.
“But there isn’t enough time to impeach Bush before he leaves office…”
And why should it be? Kalt notes that scholars during the Nixon era believed he could have been tried even after he resigned. And Jon Ponder argues if he had been, that might have deterred Bush and Cheney. (After all, deterrence is one of the reasons we have a criminal justice system.) Imagine if the Enron principals had left to head up Halliburton, and that erased all responsibility for previous fraud. Or to use an analogy even Bill O’Reilly should like: imagine if a camp counselor molested a child but, because camp was only two weeks, the authorities just said in Sept., “well, what’s done is done.”
Now, there’s always the risk that Bush could be tried and then acquitted. Well, he’s a free man right now – and the country is not – so it wouldn’t be a step backward. It would at least revive a little public faith in Congress. And the Republicans, if they are to teach us anything, should teach us that the odds don’t need to stop anyone. They didn’t care about the odds or even the polls when they impeached Clinton. This time, the polls are on the other side: Bush is so unpopular he was even a liability at the RNC. Moreover, the case against Bush is completely different. The proof is overwhelming - if only the Democrats would stop fleeing it.
The trial itself would be a huge event. The media would carry the proceedings live. People who’ve been out of the loop (because they don’t follow alternative media) would hear the damning facts for the first time. As Joy Behar said to Pelosi on The View: impeachment would mean“that the world and America can really see the crimes that [Bush and Cheney] committed.” And that, regardless of prosecutorial outcome, would be a victory for Truth. After 8 years of being trampled, Truth deserves a hand up.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
The National Impeachment Network, a coalition of grassroots groups, is fundraising for national ads and offering other suggestions at: http://nationalimpeachment.org/ They are also calling for activists to help lobby in D.C. between Sept.8-26 -- appointments with 75 members are being set up – in concert with Democrats.com (not an arm of the Democratic Party!). For info on the lobbying campaign call Sophie de Vries at 415-492-1210 or send an email with subject “want to lobby in DC” to: email@example.com. For housing or airfare questions, email Tobi Dragert at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEANWHILE, please pass around Kucinich’s online petition, aiming for a million signatures: http://kucinich.us/
Jennifer Epps is an anti-war protester, feminist, environmentalist, and activist with the L.A. Area Impeachment Center. She is also a screenwriter, stage director, and former film critic.
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