Please John Conyers: Impeach Bush NOW

by Bob Fertik
//www.democrats.com/please-john-conyers

On Thursday, Harper's Magazine held a truly outstanding forum on impeaching George Bush with Sam Seder, Rep. John Conyers, John Dean, Liz Holtzman, Lewis Lapham, and Michael Ratner (photo by Kate Anne).

Everyone agreed Bush should be impeached, the important question was when.

During Q&A, I asked John Conyers if he would introduce Articles of Impeachment now. He replied, "My goodness, please look at H.Res. 635, which calls for an investigation that could lead to impeachment. But I cannot call for impeachment now, before we have investigated all the facts."

My time was up, so I could not continue the debate. But if I could, these are the arguments I would make for the immediate introduction of Articles of Impeachment.

First, the Articles of Impeachment have been written. You can find them in Michael Ratner's brand new book. We don't need a committee to struggle for months over the wording; Conyers and his allies can simply "throw the book" at Bush.

Second, when House Republicans impeached President Clinton in 1998, they emphasized ad nauseum that "impeachment" is merely the equivalent of an indictment, the determination that there is sufficient evidence to charge a suspect with a crime. Impeachment, like an indictment, leads to a trial, in which a jury (in this case the Senate) determines whether the evidence is sufficient for conviction. The evidence we have in hand (as presented in Michael Ratner's book, as well as John Conyers' thorough report on the Iraq War lies, The Constitution in Crisis) is far more than is needed for an indictment. There is absolutely no reason for Conyers' proposed Select Committee to do the work of the Senate in weighing the evidence.

Third, Bush's criminal activity is ongoing and must be stopped. Our occupation of Iraq has already cost 2,300 American lives and at least 28,636 Iraqi lives, if not well over 100,000. We are committing war crimes by torturing and murdering prisoners, using chemical weapons and depleted uranium, and pushing Iraq to the brink of civil war. Bush is still wiretapping countless Americans without a warrant, in direct violation of the FISA law. And even though Bush's crimes are flagrant and obscene, the Republican Congress refuses to either investigate them or stop them.

Finally, as the panelists made clear, the American people are truly in a state of despair that George Bush is able to commit these unspeakable crimes without any effort to hold him accountable. By introducing real Articles of Impeachment - even if only a few Members do so - those Members will make a powerful statement that they are determined to challenge that despair and demand accountability. That act of leadership, in and of itself, would galvanize the 52% of Americans (when last measured in January, long before Dubai and the Katrina tapes) who support impeachment. And it would most likely persuade even more Americans that Bush's impeachment was both necessary and urgent. So if 55% or 60% or even 65% of Americans supported impeachment, Republicans in Congress would have a very difficult time standing in the way - especially as they faced a disastrous election in November.

After four distinguished decades in Congress, John Conyers is not a man who acts rashly. But all of us who have watched Bush shred the Constitution know that Conyers has tried to stop him every step of the way by sending urgent letters, filing Freedom of Information requests, and proposing Resolutions of Inquiry. Through those diligent efforts, Conyers has laid the most solid groundwork possible for impeachment.

So please John Conyers, I honestly beg you to introduce Articles of Impeachment now.

Action items:

1. Send this article with a few words of your own to campaign@johnconyers.com

2. Urge your Representative and Senators to support Impeachment: //capwiz.com/pdamerica/issues/alert/?alertid=8329176

3. C-Span taped this outstanding forum but it does not appear on C-Span's schedule for Saturday, Sunday or Monday. Email viewer@c-span.org and urge them to broadcast it.

4. The New York Times is one block from Town Hall, yet it did not even mention this historic event. Email Executive Editor Bill Keller executive-editor@nytimes.com and Public Editor Byron Calame public@nytimes.com and demand to know why.

5. Link to this article from your favorite blogs and ask the blog owner to join ImpeachPAC's Citizens Impeachment Commission.

6. Register to join in local protests: //www.democrats.com/user/register

7. Read the whole protest plan: //www.democrats.com/cd

8. Organize your congressional district: //pdamerica.org/orgs/cdpp-form.php

9. Support our efforts by contributing to ImpeachPAC.

Thank you for your tireless efforts to save American Democracy!


UPCOMING EVENTS TO END THE WAR AND HOLD WARMAKERS ACCOUNTABLE

Sign up for these, find others, and create your own at //www.afterdowningstreet.org/event

See Also: UFPJ's 3rd Anniversary of the War Calendar of Events //unitedforpeace.org/calendar.php?caltype=39&lcountry=&state=&search=Search

See Also: PDA Events //pdamerica.org/events/main-list.php

4th Annual Party for Progressives! Activist San Diego presents: We say NO to War! We Support Peace & Justice for All! Special Guest: CINDY SHEEHAN Sat March 4, 8 -11pm Balboa Park Club Ballroom, San Diego, CA Dancing to award winning dance band LIQUID BLUE To purchase tickets: 619-528-8383 or //www.ActivistSanDiego.org

Scott Ritter and Gore Vidal in LA U.S. Tour of Duty's Real Intelligence Project, Los Angeles City Beat, and Progressive Talk AM 1150 present an emergency public discussion about Iraq, Iran and America's constitutional crisis with Former UN Weapons Inspector SCOTT RITTER and GORE VIDAL March 4, 4 - 5:30 p.m. Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles Doors open 3 p.m. //www.ustourofduty.org

IRAQI & U.S. WOMEN SAY NO TO WAR! March 5 - 6 Events in NY March 7 - 9 Events in DC Tuesday 7 March 7-9 PM Foundry United Methodist Church Meet the Delegation: Gold Star Mothers Cindy Sheehan and Elaine Johnson Eman Khammas, Nadje Al-Ali, Faiza Al-Araji and Others Medea Benjamin, Ann Wright and Others... Music by In Process, Holly Near and more… 1500 16th Street NW DC (16th & P) Dupont Circle Metro, #30 bus - Suggested donation $10.00

March/Rally to Deliver Women's Peace Plan with 100,000 signatures Wednesday 8 March NOON (sign and forward the petition at //womensaynotowar.org) start at Iraqi Embassy and finish at the White House NOON meet: 1801 P streets, NW - Dupont Circle Metro

Iraqi Women's Briefing and Q&A for Congress Thursday 9 March 11 AM Sponsored by Out of Iraq Caucus (Room TBD) For more Info about the Iraqi delegation and additional events: //womensaynotowar.org or call Allison at 202 487 5112 or email dc@codepinkalert.org


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