Archive for the 'warrantless surveillance' Category

Dear Mr. President: Are you preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution?

Dear President Obama,

After a little over three months in office, you have accomplished so much, and have remained true to your stated ideal of being able to disagree without being disagreeable.  I have not approved of all of your decisions, but I appreciate your willingness to consider various opinions, and I am deeply grateful for the tremendous amount of time you have spent informing the public, and the care with which you have presented your views. I have never doubted that you are deeply committed to the good of your fellow citizens. I sense the deep respect you bear toward the American people, and feel as if am once more part of a living representative democracy after the past eight years of arbitrary and secretive rule.

My question for you is this: What are you doing to address the legal and constitutional violations by the previous administration? I realize that you have much to do, but the wrongdoing by the Bush administration was so extensive and was met with almost no opposition from Congress, that in a few years it will be all too easy for another imperial president to cite the history of our era in order to justify another war of opportunity or further erosions of our civil liberties.

The Bush administration violated our fundamental values as a people. They disregarded the constitutionally mandated division of power between the legislative and executive branches of government. They deceived the American people into supporting a catastrophic war and then violated the Geneva Conventions by the manner in which they prosecuted that war. They retaliated against critics like Ambassador Joe Wilson, Governor Don Seligman, and the U.S. Attorneys who refused to abuse their power to punish political opponents. With the complicity of Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris, members of the Bush administration may have systematically disenfranchised thousands of black voters in the 2000 and 2004 elections. Despite compelling evidence linking such an unthinkable betrayal of the American people to Bush operatives (most notably in BBC journalist Greg Palast’s exhaustively researched book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy), there has yet to be a full Justice Department investigation into these charges of election fraud.

Our leaders serve only by the consent of the governed, but it is not consent if it is granted on the basis of lies. Please make sure that these breaches of our trust do not go uninvestigated and unpunished. Our future depends on it.

With support and respect,

Lisa Moscatiello

Takoma Park, MD

“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:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2MWTh0QF40

Rep. Robert Wexler:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T1ojrKhp6E

Rep. Steve King:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eZxCloEbQk

Rep. Jerrold Nadler:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hL7259BAP9s

Rep. Dennis Kucinich:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRAcenaTVkQ

Bruce Fein:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80IphtHrFzg

Vincent Bugliosi:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDAFozFn4kU

Bruce Fein:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXyDK2-p4fU

Vincent Bugliosi:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q53p34yzZac

Vincent Bugliosi:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7abu9a0xtNI

Rep. Baldwin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFNmanXtZ9o

More Videos here >>

Press Release: Takoma Park, MD City Council to Hold Impeachment Vote on Monday, July 23rd

seal100.jpgOn Monday, July 23rd at 7:30 P.M. the Takoma Park, MD City Council will vote on a resolution that calls for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney and President Bush. If the measure passes, Takoma Park will become the first municipality in the Washington, DC area to pass an impeachment resolution. Currently eighty towns and cities across the country have passed impeachment resolutions, including Detroit, MI, San Francisco, CA, Chapel Hill, NC, several towns in Vermont and, most recently, West Hollywood, CA. The Rules of the House of Representatives allow Congress to accept petitions from state and local governments, which are then recorded by the Clerk of the House in the Congressional Journal.

This past April, Takoma Park residents began meeting weekly to discuss ways to advance impeachment on both the national and local level. One of the first events the group held was a forum with State Senator Jamie Raskin to discuss the constitutional principles behind impeachment and the political aspects of the process. The purpose of this event was to help counteract what group member Lisa Moscatiello views as some of the myths surrounding the impeachment process.

“One of the misconceptions is that the measure has no chance of passing, since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared impeachment off limits following the November elections. Since that time, the mood of the country has changed, due to frustration over Congress’ inability to end the war and outrage over the Administration’s refusal to cooperate with Congressional hearings. Congressional offices are now reporting being inundated with calls from constituents. Members are starting to realize that if they are to retain their seats in Congress they need to respond to these calls. There are now thirteen cosponsors to a bill in Congress to impeach Vice President Cheney. Among the cosponsors are Rep. Al Wynn of Maryland and Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia. And the fact that an increasing number of voices calling for impeachment are coming from the right indicates that it is not about party politics. It’s about first principles, that we are a country ruled by laws and not by the whims of individuals.”

The Takoma Park resolution cites the following as grounds for impeaching the President and Vice President:

  • Conspiring to lead the country into war based on false information.
  • Using electronic surveillance against U.S. citizens without warrant, in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
  • Breaching the Federal Torture Act, the Geneva Conventions and the UN Torture Convention
  • Stripping Americans of their constitutional rights by detaining them indefinitely without trial or access to legal counsel
  • Infringing on legislative powers granted solely to Congress in the Constitution, by issuing presidential signing statements that void sections of laws passed by Congress.

 

The Takoma Park City Council vote on the impeachment resolution will take place on Monday, July 23rd at 7:30 P.M in the Takoma Park Municipal Building at 7500 Maple Avenue.

For more information: (202) 256-1764 or see http://www.takomaparkibc.wordpress.com.

Moyers airs “Tough Talk on Impeachment”

Conservative Clinton-impeacher Bruce Fein and progressive “The Nation” editor John Nichols joined forces on PBS’s “Bill Moyers Journal” last Friday. The duo — probably unthinkable ten years ago — were on to discuss and urge impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney for a pattern of executive overreach that istotally anathema to a democratic society devoted to the rule of law,” as Bruce Fein put it. As ever, the PBS show’s web site has made the transcript, audio recording, and full video of the show available (via the “Tough Talk on Impeachment” home page)*, and it is an exceptionally valuable production.


Make it happen.**

Fein and Nichols — one an old-school conservative, one a progressive liberal — advance complementary, mutually reinforcing arguments for impeachment. Fein was positively eager to speak out — with what one might call unimpeachable credibility — on this administration’s numerous specific, patent abuses of power, which he rightly terms “[m]ore worrisome than Clinton’s– because he is seeking more institutionally to cripple checks and balances and the authority of Congress.” Fein also stressed how impeachment is intended to be about “political crimes against the Constitution,” as he quoted Alexander Hamilton at a Senate hearing on Bush’s signing statement abuses.

Continue reading ‘Moyers airs “Tough Talk on Impeachment”’

Boxer: Impeachment should be on the table

On Wednesday Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) was interviewed by Ed Schultz on his radio show. Jonathan Schwarz (“A Tiny Revolution”) provides an .mp3 link and transcribed some of her remarks (emphases added):

…I’ve always said that you need to keep it on the table, and you need to look at these things, because now people are dying because of this administration. That’s the truth. And they won’t change course. They are ignoring the Congress. They keep signing these signing statements which mean that he’s decided not to enforce the law. This is as close as we’ve ever come to a dictatorship. When you have a situation where Congress is stepped on, that means the American people are stepped on. So I don’t think you can take anything off the table. Because in fact the Constitution doesn’t permit us to take these things off the table.

SCHULTZ: Would you counsel Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to put it on the table and make a statement before everybody goes home in August. Because they’re going to get an earful from the American people when they go home.

BOXER: Well, I don’t presume to tell people what to do. I have made my statements. And of course if asked I will say. I’ve been out there, I’m out here again today. I think, John Conyers is — this is where impeachment starts. When Alberto Gonzales, when it came out that he fired these U.S. attorneys, that it was politics being played with it, I thought then that we should look into impeachment hearings. So I don’t think it should be taken off the table.

Boxer also lists warrantless electronic surveillance as grounds for impeachment.


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