Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why there is still time and reason for impeachment of Bush.

Dennis Kucinich is introducing a bill with Articles of Impeachment against George W. Bush. Conyers already presented the bogus argument that there wasn't enough time to impeach Cheney last year so we can expect to hear the same baloney from him about the Bush impeachment. However there is plenty of time as impeachment can be completed in four months as Clinton's was.

The most important reason for impeachment now is not remove Bush in order to get a new leadership but to establish the historical record for the deterrence and prevention of Bush-like tyrants in the future.

I am very grateful for Kucinich doing this now and I hope it becomes a campaign issue in every Congressional district.

When we see Conyers saying, "There isn’t the time here for it." Let him know you know he is lying. Of course there is time. And of course Conyers will be doing everything in his power to make this a self-fulfilling prophecy by his own delaying tactics. I call this playing a desperation card because it is so lacking in substance. It is nothing more than B.S., i.e.,blowing smoke.

Why isn't there time? The history of recent impeachments show that there is time. According to the History Place article on Nixon's impeachment, Sen. Sam Ervin began the Watergate investigation in February of 1973 for the purpose of investigating all of the events surrounding Watergate and other allegations of political spying and sabotage After a nearly year-long court battle over the release of Nixon's tapes, the three articles of impeachment against Nixon were approved by the House judiciary committee on the three days of July 27, 29, and 30, 1974. Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974. Thus, impeachment achieved its purpose from the beginning of the investigation to resignation in 18 months. But most of that time was the court battle over the tapes. For Bush there is no foreseeable reason for such a protracted delay of Bush's impeachment investigation to be held up in the courts.

All the evidence against Bush is already in the public domain. Testimony like McClellan's will only be icing on the cake. The evidence merely needs to be presented at a judiciary committee in an organized fashion to create the record for preferring the charges to the Senate. There are 6 months left in Bush's presidency and with no need for an original investigation like Watergate to occur we have plenty enough time, if the Democrats don't put up the road blocks.

In fact there was no time consuming preliminary investigation conducted by the House in Clinton's impeachment. According to the History Place entry on Clinton's impeachment, impeachment proceedings were initiated on October 8, 1998. The House and the Judiciary Committee did not need to conduct original investigations itself and instead relied upon testimony presented at the committee hearings. The Judiciary Committee sent a list of 81 questions to Clinton for him to either admit or deny under oath, and his responses then became the basis for one of the articles of impeachment. The committee voted on articles of impeachment on December 11, 1998, and upon the passage of H. Res. 611, Clinton was impeached on December 19, 1998, by the full House of Representatives. And the Senate trial lasted from January 7, 1999, until February 12, 1999. Thus, the impeachment and trial of Clinton took only four months. We have that much time.

There are books already published with the allegations of Bush's high crimes and misdemeanors. It would only take a relatively short time to present the case for impeachment by the appropriate witnesses to introduce the events and facts in these books as evidence. It should/could/would take only two or three months for the House to vote on articles of impeachment.

If started before Bush leaves office it might be able to continue weven after he leaves.

If delays are created by the Democrats or Republicans, there is also the question of whether or not impeachment would be made moot by the end of Bush's term. In other words, the Constitution may allow impeachment of a president even after he has left office.

Certainly it is arguable that if impeachment proceedings are begun while the president is in office, because Article I Section 3 of the Constitution provides that judgement may extend to "disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of Honor, Trust or Profit under the United States" that an impeachment is not made moot simply by the president leaving office, because a judgement disqualifying Bush from future office would still be an effective punishment that is not made moot by his leaving office by the end of the term.

When Nixon resigned the impeachment hearings were stopped because it was seen that his resignation was punishment enough. But if Bush didn't resign, as we know he wouldn't, if he stays through his term and is simply out of office by the time running out, then he would escape all punishment, so as I see it in order to have a punishment, since removal form office would be moot, the punishment that would be available is the disqualification clause. I would argue that leaving office would make impeachment moot only if the removal from office clause were the only punishment available. Since the disqualification clause is an additional punishment I believe impeachment would not be moot if Bush leaves office on January 21, 2009.

This is an interesting Constitutional question that I have not seen specifically addressed yet. If anyone knows references to this question please post them.

And besides, even if the Republicans could delay a vote on impeachment until January 2009 and that would make impeachment constitutionally moot, impeachment proceedings would still have been the right thing to do and in the name of upholding the rule of law. Conyers and Pelosi act like they doesn't understand that the rule of law is an even more important legacy than whether or not Bush is able to run out the clock. By putting impeachment on the table now, the Democrats finally would be saying that no matter how close to the end of a term a president is, he or she can't escape the checks and balances of our Constitutional democracy.

However, by refusing to allow impeachment proceedings to go forward, it is Conyers and the Democrats who would be preventing justice and it is Conyers and he Democrats who are thumbing their noses at our Constitutional system of protections. It is Conyers and the Democrats who are letting a criminal President literally get away with murder. It is Conyers and the Democrats who are establishing the precedent that a president doesn't have to worry in the least about committing high crimes and misdemeanors if he is near the end of his term.

If the People's sovereignty is not upheld at the very minimum by at least having a hearing of the impeachment charges against George Bush, who is arguably the worst criminal president in our history, then Conyers and the Democratic Party are the one's who should be held responsible and accountable for aiding and abetting Bush's crimes. Not only that, they will be laying the foundation for the future crimes of future presidents even yet to be born. Unless Congress takes impeachment seriously, they will be sending a message to all future Presidents that the days of being held accountable re over. That is the open door to fascism.

We are always hearing how the delusional Bush claims that history will show he ws right and the people are wrong. Impeachment is the best and necessary way to write the initial historical record today that will be used in the future to document that Bush is the worst President in US history.

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