Saturday, December 09, 2006

Rep. McKinney Files Articles of Impeachment


The Green Party has been calling for impeachment for 3 years, Cynthia McKinney became the first to answer that call, will any Democrats in congress join her... probably not. Call your Senators and Congressman or Congresswoman today and tell them you support Impeachment!

www.gp.org/impeachbush

Impeach Bush and Cheney Now!

Rep. McKinney Files Articles of Impeachment
Fri, 08 Dec 2006 16:02:07 -0800



By Matt Pascarella
Outgoing lawmaker cites numerous abuses of the Constitution by President Bush

Editor’s note: GNN has been covering this story as it unfolds on Capitol Hill. We will have video of Rep. McKinney’s floor speech and an exclusive interview with the Congresswoman up shortly.

On Monday, gathering in a conference room in Washington D.C., Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and her advisors worked on a draft copy of the articles of impeachment against President Bush.

At the heart of the charges contained in McKinney’s articles of impeachment, is the allegation that President Bush has not upheld the oath of presidential office and is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Article I states that President Bush has failed to preserve, protect and defend the constitution. Specifically cited in this article is the charge that Bush has manipulated intelligence and lied to justify war: “George Walker Bush … in preparing the invasion of Iraq, did withhold intelligence from the Congress, by refusing to provide Congress with the full intelligence picture that he was being given, by redacting information … and actively manipulating the intelligence on Iraq’s alleged weapons programs by pressuring the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies.”

This manipulation of intelligence was done, the charge continues, “with the intent to misinform the people and their representatives in Congress in order to gain their support for invading Iraq, denying both the people and their representatives in Congress the right to make an informed choice.”

Article II, “Abuse of office and of executive privilege,” states that President Bush has disregarded his oath of office by “obstructing and hindering the work of Congressional investigative bodies and by seeking to expand the scope of the powers of his office.” The President has “failed to take responsibility for, investigate or discipline those responsible for an ongoing pattern of negligence, incompetence and malfeasance to the detriment of the American people.”

This article continues by indicting Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in their actions to manipulate or “fix” intelligence and mislead the public about Iraq’s weapons programs. Ultimately, this article calls not only for Bush’s impeachment and removal from office but also asks the same actions to be taken against Cheney and Rice.

Article III states that President Bush has failed to “ensure the laws are faithfully executed” and that he has “violated the letter and spirit of laws and rules of criminal procedure used by civilian and military courts, and has violated or ignored regulatory codes and practices that carry out the law.”

Specifically, McKinney cites illegal domestic spying as a result of failing to obtain warrants thereby subverting congress and the judiciary in the process: “… by circumventing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act courts established by Congress, whose express purpose is to check such abuses of executive power, provoking the presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to file a complaint and another judge to resign in protest, the said program having been subsequently ruled illegal; he has also concealed the existence of this unlawful program of spying on American citizens from the people and all but a few of their representatives in Congress, even resorting to outright public deceit.”

The article continues by citing public statements Bush has made that were blatantly contradictory to his policy and actions regarding domestic spying.

While the staff was editing the document, one advisor told me, “As we sat down and worked on this, a pattern became very clear … a pattern to specifically undermine the constitution and establish a unitary presidency.”

The charges addressed in McKinney’s resolution are nothing revelatory or new. Rather, they are issues which have been in the public eye for quite some time and have increasingly been covered in the media over the last year.

Despite winning the congressional majority, the Democrats have yet to put forth a plan to investigate what have become somewhat ubiquitous allegations.

Speaker-elect, Representative Pelosi, dismissed any possibility of impeachment, saying it is “off the table” and that it is “a waste of time … making them lameducks is good enough for me.” Although, in the November election, 60% of the voters in her own district cast ballots in favor of Proposition J, a measure calling for the impeachment of President Bush.

In 2005 Representative John Conyers sponsored a resolution, HR 365, to create a special committee to investigate allegations against the Bush Administration – a move that would likely lead to the discovery of impeachable offenses. This resolution was passed to the House Committee on Rules and was never brought up for a vote.

At that time it was widely believed that if the Democrats took control of congress, Conyers would reintroduce the resolution as would have subpoena power if selected as leader of the House Judiciary Committee.

A few days after the Democrats won control Conyers echoed Pelosi’s statement saying, “I am in total agreement with her on this issue … impeachment is off the table.” Last week a spokesperson from Conyers office said that the resolution would not be reintroduced and that the Representative had no intention to pursue the matter.

Will other members of congress support the action Congresswoman McKinney has brought forth?

At the table in what could be considered her impeachment “war room” the question is brought up a number of times.

Mike, an advisor to McKinney, mentions, “Conyers was supposed to have investigations. They were chomping at the bit 6 months ago to do subpoenas.”

McKinney quietly replies, “Now they say they aren’t even going to issue subpoenas.”

Looking up from her papers she takes a deep breath, “I’m going in alone on this one because now it is all about them playing majority politics.”

This is McKinney’s last week as a member of congress and this act, to impeach the president, is the final resolution she will enter into the Congressional record.

For those who know anything about Cynthia McKinney it may come as no surprise that she would file this resolution as her parting gift to Congress.

McKinney is no stranger to being attacked by the media and has been isolated from her own party.

From her inquiries into election fraud in 2000 to her calls for a transparent and thorough investigation into 9-11, not to mention the widely covered run-in she had with the Capitol Hill Police, the congresswoman is aware that this resolution will likely be ignored and that she will be ruthlessly attacked upon its filing.

“What do you think they are going to do to me this time?” she asks her staff. Everyone uncomfortably shifts in their seats and after no answer comes McKinney explains, “We have to do this because this is simply the right thing to do. The American people do want to hold this man and his office accountable for the crimes they have committed and if no member of congress is willing to do it, than I will.”

It is questionable as to how effective this move could be in gaining support because of her reputation as a firebrand congresswoman and because, ultimately, she is on her way out of office.

The Congresswoman and her staff realize this but hope that by filing the articles of impeachment it will, at the very least, open up a discussion on whether or not President Bush and key members of his administration have committed impeachable offenses and whether our officials should be held to account.

“My duty as a member of Congress is merely to uphold and preserve the constitution and to represent the will of my constituency. Ultimately, it isn’t up to me or any other member of congress – it is up to the American people to decide.”

GNN contributor Matt Pascarella is a freelance journalist & producer who was present during the drafting of the Articles of Impeachment that Congresswoman McKinney filed today.

additional links:
http://www.gp.org/impeachbush/links.shtml

2 comments:

Causal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jason Nabewaniec said...

Rep. McKinney's floor statement on the impeachment of George W. Bush

Guerrilla News Network, December 8, 2006
http://www.gnn.tv/articles/2792/_No_American_is_above_the_law

Download a PDF of the Articles of Impeachment (H.R. 1106) here
http://www.gnn.tv/_var/blogs/20357-7c20362eb1057347958a7d0556d87323.pdf


Mr. Speaker:

I come before this body today as a proud American
and as a servant of the American people, sworn to
uphold the Constitution of the United States.

Throughout my tenure, I?ve always tried to speak
the truth. It?s that commitment that brings me
here today.

We have a President who has misgoverned and a
Congress that has refused to hold him
accountable. It is a grave situation and I
believe the stakes for our country are high.

No American is above the law, and if we allow a
President to violate, at the most basic and
fundamental level, the trust of the people and
then continue to govern, without a process for
holding him accountable?what does that say about
our commitment to the truth? To the Constitution?
To our democracy?

The trust of the American people has been broken.
And a process must be undertaken to repair this
trust. This process must begin with honesty and
accountability.

Leading up to our invasion of Iraq, the American
people supported this Administration?s actions
because they believed in our President. They
believed he was acting in good faith. They
believed that American laws and American values
would be respected. That in the weightiness of
everything being considered, two values were rock
solid?trust and truth.

>From mushroom clouds to African yellow cake to
aluminum tubes, the American people and this
Congress were not presented the facts, but rather
were presented a string of untruths, to justify
the invasion of Iraq.
President Bush, along with Vice President Cheney
and then-National Security Advisor Rice,
portrayed to the Congress and to the American
people that Iraq represented an imminent threat,
culminating with President Bush?s claim that Iraq
was six months away from developing a nuclear
weapon. Having used false fear to buy consent?the
President then took our country to war.

This has grave consequences for the health of our
democracy, for our standing with our allies, and
most of all, for the lives of our men and women
in the military and their families?who have been
asked to make sacrifices?including the ultimate
sacrifice?to keep us safe.

Just as we expect our leaders to be truthful, we
expect them to abide by the law and respect our
courts and judges. Here again, the President
failed the American people.

When President Bush signed an executive order
authorizing unlawful spying on American citizens,
he circumvented the courts, the law, and he
violated the separation of powers provided by the
Constitution. Once the program was revealed, he
then tried to hide the scope of his offense from
the American people by making contradictory,
untrue statements.

President George W. Bush has failed to preserve,
protect, and defend the Constitution of the
United States; he has failed to ensure that
senior members of his administration do the same;
and he has betrayed the trust of the American
people.

With a heavy heart and in the deepest spirit of
patriotism, I exercise my duty and responsibility
to speak truthfully about what is before us. To
shy away from this responsibility would be
easier. But I have not been one to travel the
easy road. I believe in this country, and in the
power of our democracy. I feel the steely
conviction of one who will not let the country I
love descend into shame; for the fabric of our
democracy is at stake.

Some will call this a partisan vendetta, others
will say this is an unimportant distraction to
the plans of the incoming Congress. But this is
not about political gamesmanship.

I am not willing to put any political party
before my principles.

This, instead, is about beginning the long road
back to regaining the high standards of truth and
democracy upon which our great country was
founded.

Mr. Speaker:

Under the standards set by the United States
Constitution, President Bush?along with Vice
President Cheney, and Secretary of State
Rice?should be subject to the process of
impeachment, and I have filed H. Res. _ in the
House of Representatives.

To my fellow Americans, as I leave this Congress,
it is in your hands?to hold your representatives
accountable, and to show those with the courage
to stand for what is right, that they do not
stand alone.

Thank you.