Archive for July, 2008

House Judiciary Committee Holds Historic Hearings on the Case for Impeachment

Democracynow.org | July 28, 2008

The House Judiciary Committee held historic hearings on Friday about whether the White House overstepped its constitutional authority during the presidency of George W. Bush and whether or not such abuses would justify his impeachment. The hearing was billed as one on “Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations.” Although the title expressly did not include the word “impeachment,” several Democratic Congress members and witnesses used the opportunity to begin impeachment proceedings against the President and Vice President. We play highlights. [includes rush transcript]

Click photo below to read, listen to, or watch the whole story:

Democracy Now!

Watch Highlights on Democracy Now!

“Imperial Presidency” hearing coverage

US Congressional Panel Hears Testimony on Case for Bush Impeachment
voanews.com | July 25, 2008

House Committee Considers the “I” Word
thenation.com
| July 25, 2008

Hearing Videos

Kucinich enters hearing to cheers:

Rep. Robert Wexler:

Rep. Steve King:

Rep. Jerrold Nadler:

Rep. Dennis Kucinich:

Bruce Fein:

Vincent Bugliosi:

Bruce Fein:

Vincent Bugliosi:

Vincent Bugliosi:

Rep. Baldwin:

More Videos here >>

In one of the overflow rooms at the Judiciary Comittee hearing on Executive Power & the Constitution

photo

It’s showtime!! “Imperial Presidency” hearing in Congress next Friday, July 25th. Be there.

For Immediate Release
July 17, 2008
Contact: Jonathan Godfrey (Conyers)

(Washington)—Today House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. announced that, on July 25, the House Committee on the Judiciary will hold a hearing on the Imperial Presidency of George W. Bush and possible legal responses.

“Over the last seven plus years, there have been numerous credible allegations of serious misconduct by officials in the Bush Administration,” said Conyers. “At the same time, the administration has adopted what many would describe as a radical view of its own powers and authorities. As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I believe it is imperative that we pursue a comprehensive review commensurate to this constitutionally dangerous combination of circumstances. Next Friday’s hearings will be an important part of that ongoing effort.”

The Committee is expected to examine a range of legal and legislative responses to allegations of administration misconduct and their expansion of executive branch power.

Since the beginning of the 110th Congress, the Committee has conducted extensive oversight into allegations of misconduct by the administration, including: (1) improper politicization of the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorneys offices, including potential misuse of authority with regard to election and voting controversies; (2) misuse of executive branch authority and the adoption and implementation of the so-called unitary executive theory, including in the areas of presidential signing statements and regulatory authority; (3) misuse of investigatory and detention authority with regard to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, including questions regarding the legality of the administration’s surveillance, detention, interrogation, and rendition programs; (4) manipulation of intelligence and misuse of war powers, including possible misrepresentations to Congress related thereto; (5) improper retaliation against administration critics, including disclosing information concerning CIA operative Valerie Plame, and obstruction of justice related thereto; and (6) misuse of authority in denying Congress and the American people the ability to oversee and scrutinize conduct within the administration, including through the use of various asserted privileges and immunities.

The July 25 hearing will be held at 10:00 a.m. in room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Additional information, including witness participation, will be announced next week.

Gordon Clark (Green-MD-8th CD) on Congress and impeachment

Gordon Clark is a former SANE/Freeze, Peace Action, and Public Citizen state and national organizer who is challenging Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D, MD 8th C.D.) in the November election, as the Green Party candidate for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District seat in Congress. As befits a Green Party and progressive candidate, he’s centering his campaign on the issues of the Iraq war, global warming, and to some extent on the storm clouds gathering for a possible Iran war; as I noted at the time, I first learned about the execrable H.Con.Res.362 bill demanding a blockade of Iran via a press release from the Gordon Clark campaign.

I was curious where Mr. Clark stands on impeachment, accountability, and the dream of a healthy constitutional democracy in the United States. Via his website, I just got through listening to an interview he gave on June 13th on the (quite excellent) BlogTalkRadio news show “Radio Resistance,” hosted by Chip Gibbons. The Clark interview begins at around 32:30 minutes*; the key part, for me, is here:

GIBBONS, “RADIO RESISTANCE” (at around 44:52): If you were in Congress right now instead of Representative Van Hollen, would you be pursuing impeachment of George Bush?

CLARK: As I said, I think it’s a tough call in some ways. I’ll start off by saying: yes, I would. […] If I were in the legislature right now, there’s no question that this administration has committed crimes that deserve impeachment and I would be forced to vote for it.

(All emphases are mine.)

Continue reading ‘Gordon Clark (Green-MD-8th CD) on Congress and impeachment’

Cardin to support Dodd-Leahy-Feingold amendment to FISA Amendment Act; Mikulski position not yet clear

Just spoke with a staffer at the Cardin office, who confirmed that Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) will be supporting the Dodd-Feingold-Leahy amendment to the FISA Amendment Act. Their amendment removes language conferring immunity from civil lawsuits to telecommunications companies who worked with the NSA warrantless surveillance program. A staffer at Senator Mikulski’s (D-MD) office was unable to say how she would vote on that amendment.

You can use the easy Blue America tool I did to contact your own Senators; it connects you with the right office, provides a brief bit of phone coaching, a script, and a place to record what happened. (Via “Get FISA Right”, which also recommends a Electronic Freedom Foundation tool, which is about the whole FISA bill.

raise-your-voice-blue-america.png

Graphic and button via firedoglake, where you’ll find a lot of good links to Chris Dodd, Glenn Greenwald, and others.

(– Thomas Nephew)

Activism is Patriotic – At the Takoma Park, MD July 4th Parade

Thomas Nephew dressed as the Town Crier and talked with parade-goers about the FISA Amendment Act — “a terrible idea.”

Thomas Nephew of Takoma Park, MD

Thomas Nephew of Takoma Park, MD

(photo: Michelle Bailey)

Celebrate the US Constitution this 4th of July! Tell the US Senate and Barack Obama to get FISA right before voting Tuesday July 8th. Don’t let illegal wire-tappers off the hook!

The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Without your help right now, a flawed FISA bill will give George Bush and the phone companies a pass next Tuesday for years of illegal spying on millions of US citizens.

What can you do to defend the Fourth Amendment? How about something easy, patriotic and fun?

(1) Call your Senators and especially Barack Obama and ask that they vote against the current FISA bill on Tuesday. Don’t let illegal wire-tappers off the hook!

Senator Cardin 202-224-4524
Senator Mikulski 202 224-4654
Barack Obama HQ 866-675-2008

(2) Visit “newsrackblog.com

Learn more and get active about this online – including how to join “Senator Obama – Please Vote NO on Telecom Immunity – Get FISA Right” groups at “facebook” and “mybarackobama.com.”

 


Related:
Judge Rejects Bush’s View on Wiretaps

 

Eric Lichtblau, reporting for The New York Times, writes: “A federal judge in California said Wednesday that the wiretapping law established by Congress was the ‘exclusive’ means for the president to eavesdrop on Americans, and he rejected the government’s claim that the president’s constitutional authority as commander in chief trumped that law.”


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