Thursday, March 20, 2008

Impeach for Peace

I attended an Impeach for Peace rally at the state capitol on Monday. It wasn't well-advertised -- in fact the only way I knew about it was from the website -- and the turnout reflected that. We were a rag-tag bunch of 20 or so. To some appearances, a bunch of weirdos and outcasts, I'm sure. But there we were, bundled against the cold wind jetting up the capitol steps, holding our signs and trying to kick up a ruckus that would be worthy of our outrage at the abuses and crimes against the constitution by the Bush administration and the lack of accountability with which they are being held.

The event was part of the effort to escalate impeachment pressure, this time on state and city representatives.

Impeach for Peace researched a method for impeaching the President or Vice President using a little known and rarely used part of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives ("Jefferson's Manual"). This document actually empowers individual states to initiate the impeachment process. All that's required is that the MN House and Senate pass an impeachment resolution.

I wasn't able to speak to my rep that day -- she was introducing a bill of her own at the time we got to her office -- but I made an appointment. Meanwhile, I'm getting my presentation in order. Keith Ellison submitted one several years ago, I'm told, when he was in the Minnesota congress. They may have gotten this resolution from that:

Resolution to Impeach President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney conspired with others to defraud the United States of America by intentionally misleading Congress and the public regarding the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 371; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has admitted to ordering the National Security Agency to conduct electronic surveillance of American civilians without seeking warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, duly constituted by Congress in 1978, in violation of Title 50 United States Code, Section 1805; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney conspired to commit the torture of prisoners in violation of the "Federal Torture Act" Title 18 United States Code, Section 113C, the UN Torture Convention and the Geneva Convention, which under Article VI of the Constitution are part of the "supreme Law of the Land"; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney acted to strip American citizens of their constitutional rights by ordering indefinite detention without access to legal counsel, without charge and without the opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the President of a U.S. citizen as an "enemy combatant", all in subversion of law; and

WHEREAS, In all of this George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney have acted in a manner contrary to their trust as President and Vice President, subversive of constitutional government to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of _____insert_your_City/Town/State______ and of the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, Petitions from the country at large may be presented by the Speaker of the House according to Clause 3 of House Rule XII; and

WHEREAS, Jefferson's Manual section LIII, 603, states that impeachment may be set in motion by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State;

Be it resolved that George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney, by such conduct, warrant impeachment and trial, and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States;

Be it resolved further by the legislature of the State of _________, That our senators and representatives in the United States Congress be, and they are hereby, requested to cause to be instituted in the Congress of the United States proper proceedings for the investigation of the activities of the George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney, to the end that they may be impeached and removed from such office.

Be it resolved further, That the Secretary of State of the State of ________ be, and is hereby, instructed to certify to each Senator and Representative in the Congress of the United States, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, under the great seal of the State of _____________, a copy of this resolution and its adoption by the legislature of the State of _____________. The copies shall be marked with the word "Petition" at the top of the document and contain the original authorizing signature of the Secretary of State.

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