A Blueprint for Impeachment: The Constitution Still in Crisis

This pattern of immunity for presidents must stop. Impeaching George Bush for lying to get us into war will not only protect us from him, but also send an unmistakable message to future presidents: Never again. Elizabeth Holtzman, former Congresswoman in the forward to: Constitution in Crisis by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. and Staff

I was recently given an award by the Cranbrook Peace Institute and the ceremonies were held in Detroit, the hometown of Rep. John Conyers. I was pretty surprised that he agreed to introduce me at the event considering that the last time I saw him I was being hauled out of his office in DC in handcuffs and I have been very outspoken about the Democrats’ failure to hold BushCo accountable. I must give the Congressman a lot of credit to always show up to events where he knows he is going to be harassed about impeachment and he gave me a nice introduction reading part of my testimony in Congress regarding the Downing Street Minutes that Rep. Conyers conducted in a cramped room in the basement of Congress on June 16, 2005. In the intro he called me the “mother of the modern peace movement.”

John Conyers and I have had a cordial relationship that goes back to that June day when we believed that we were taking profound first steps in peacefully and lawfully overthrowing the Bush crime regime. Rep. Conyers wrote the intro to my first book: Not One More Mother’s Child; I am mentioned in his brilliant analysis of the reasons to impeach BushCo and I was with him at the People’s State of the Union in 2006 just hours before I was arrested at the War Pig State of the Union address for wearing a t-shirt. Whenever I am in DC, I just have to call his office and he always makes time to see me. His commitment to our country is decades long: from being a veteran of the military and Civil Right’s campaigns to serving in Congress for over 40 years. He is on the right track by seeking universal, single payer health care. He has been correct on so many issues that progressives hold dear and that’s why it is so puzzling to me and the so many others in the progressive community why he will not institute impeachment proceedings for the criminals who are only getting worse since Conyers wrote the book on impeachment, not better. It’s not as if BushCo has found a new propensity to follow the law and as a matter of fact, the 110th Congress has made a habit of legitimizing and legalizing the crimes.

A brief recount of the reasons Conyers lists for impeachment in his book is: Deception (lies that led to war), manipulation (of intelligence and the tragic events of 9-11), torture (our new AG is not so sure about torture), retribution (against “enemies” i.e.: Valerie Plame and Bunnatine Greenhouse: Halliburton whistleblower), illegal surveillance (which Congress recently approved) and cover-ups. All of the charges are brilliantly documented and proved by John Conyers’ brilliant staff, which has also inexplicably become anti-impeachment along with most of the rest of the failed and failing 110th Congress.

At the peace events in Detroit, I also had the high honor of holding a dialogue with young peace and social justice activists in the Detroit area. A young Hispanic girl had the floor and she recounted the feeling of hopelessness that she and her peers were feeling about the future. She cried when she said: “We feel like we have no future.” If BushCo are allowed to continue their crimes against peace, humanity, civil rights, basic human rights and the environment, unchecked, then the young lady may be tragically correct in her analysis.

The Democratic leadership has made a mockery of our Constitution by excising “awkward” parts out of it. For example, by invoking “Title X” (Contempt of Congress) which is a harsher punishment against protesters that leads to harsher penalties, such as being banished from Capital Hill for a determined amount of time, they have killed the pesky First Amendment Rights to free speech and peaceable assembly.

By confirming Michael Mukasey for Attorney General and approving the Military Commissions Act, Congress has stripped away our Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment. By suspending habeas corpus we are denied our Sixth Amendment rights to fair and speedy trials and to confront our accusers with an attorney present. Congress has also abrogated its Constitutionally mandated role of declaring war to a bloodthirsty Executive Branch and have invalidated Article II; Section 4 which states that a President and Vice-President “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

The Dems were swept back into power off of the backs and energy of the anti-war left and they have betrayed us by surgically removing important parts of the Constitution. Cardinal Mahoney of the Los Angeles Diocese calls such picking and choosing of what to believe or disbelieve in the Church as “Cafeteria Catholicism,” I call disregarding parts the Constitution: “Treason,” and the only way that Congress can redeem itself from infamy is to follow the road map that has been laid out for us centuries ago and declare the phony “War on Terror” over and restore our country to sanity by impeaching the people who have led us down this highway to hell.

We must not let Congress off the hook by allowing them to let BushCo off the hook.

We are collecting handwritten letters to Speaker Pelosi to deliver to her office demanding that Resolution (H Res 799 introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich) to impeach the cruel and callous puppet master, Dick Cheney, be given the attention and resources that are needed to go forward with an indictment in the house and a trial in the Senate on the crimes outlined by the Resolution. We already have a couple thousand and we will deliver them to the Speaker when we reach 10,000. Let’s flood her office with letters as if she is Santa and we want impeachment on our Christmas table.

We need to leave the young people of the world with hope that rule of law will be restored in the US and that future presidents will know that their hands are at least restrained by two co-equal branches when it comes to invading countries contrary to international law, US law, and basic human dignity.

Send your letters demanding the Speaker go forward with HR 799 to:

Cindy for Congress
1260 Mission St.
San Francisco, Ca 94103

For a sample letter go to: www.CindyforCongress.org

“People before Politics”
Support Cindy for Congress!

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush's war of terror on 04/04/04. Sheehan is a congressional candidate running against Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco. You can visit her campaign website at CindyforCongress.org. She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute. Read other articles by Cindy, or visit Cindy's website.

9 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Robert B. Livingston said on November 20th, 2007 at 10:44am #

    The House Resolution about impeachment is HR 333, not 799.

  2. Robert B. Livingston said on November 20th, 2007 at 1:07pm #

    Actually, I’ve been informed:

    It is not actually HR…it is H Res and it became H Res 799 when it was sent to the house judiciary committee by Steny Hoyer.

  3. Robert B. Livingston said on November 20th, 2007 at 11:47pm #

    I really hope people send letters as Cindy Sheehan asks.

    The other day, because I live nearby I happened to be around when some of the first letters were being counted. I understand that Cindy has several thousand now– but she wants at least 10,000.

    Naturally, Nancy Pelosi’s office has denied that Pelosi ever said she would consider putting impeachment on the table if she received 10,000 hand-written letters.

    Some are saying Cindy is wasting her time– but the interest people are showing clearly shows she is not.

    It is almost too bad Pelosi had not asked for a million letters. I think Cindy would get them.

  4. Bert Eifer said on November 21st, 2007 at 6:11pm #

    Go for impeachment. Please put my e-mail address on your subscription list.

    Thank you.

  5. hp said on November 22nd, 2007 at 2:50pm #

    I sure wish you would hurry up and endorse Ron Paul and get it over with. This way who knows how many people will open their eyes and see he is the only candidate who is an American at all. Well, Kucinich is too but c’mon, I’m serious.
    We all are going to have to swallow a pet need or maybe two but isn’t that what America is all about? The good of the whole. I’m willing to give up my one important to me issue if it means over all we all benefit and benefit hugely.
    Do it Cindy. Endorse Dr. Ron Paul. He really is a doctor. He’s the only one who will end this so-called war, this nightmare.

  6. Jeremy Wells said on November 22nd, 2007 at 8:36pm #

    I live in Henry Waxman’s Congressional district in Santa Monica, CA. and despite my better instincts, have sent emails to him several times and actually received a couple of responses besides form auo-resplies.

    But Henry Waxman is supposedly one of the few “good” people in Congress who, like Bernie Sanders an “independent socialist”, ends up on the wrong side of too many critical votes. They often vote for more war funding and never would consider signing on for impeachment, or removal of Nancy Pelosi for being speaker of the House, or pass resolutions against the invasion of Iran, or oppose nuclear arms in the Middle East, etc. There are many things this Democratic party could do to end this regime (including filibuster, cut off all war funding, bring the government to a financial stalement as did the Republicans under Newt Gingrich) but they sare too compromised and corrupted by corporate capitalist agendas to do this.

    The unescapable fact is that both parties are completely bought and owned by corporate interests and their main candidates fully support corporate agendas.
    Obama and Clinton (funded with tens of millions of corporate money) want to continue U.S. occupation in some form forever. Both oppose single-payer universal health insurance that is needed to cut out the for-profit companies and greed inflation that has destroyed the public health “system” in the U.S.

    To keep hoping that some shining super-hero “knight on a white horse” is single-handedly going to overthrow this entire system of corrupt corporate privatization of the federal government is truely insane. Individual humans are too corruptible and too vulnerable to indvidual assassination. Let’s not keep repeating the same bankrupt political strategy of supporting a particular individual, thinking that this next time things will be different.

    When Cindy Sheehan left the Democratic Party in disgust, I had hopes that she would follow the logic of her action and thinking and call for the formation of a new political party. A new party that would not be funded by corporate money or corporate agendas. A People’s Peace Party (PPP) that would stop funding wars, cut the military budget by 50%, shutdown most of the 700 plus foreign military bases, and re-instate the tax cuts to the super-wealthy and coprorations that are plundering the federal government.

    The new PPP would be a party “of, by and for the people” and not to simply promote the unending greed of corporations and wealthy individuals. The agenda or platform of this new party would be made up of the “issues” that energize the thousands of anti-war groups, environemtal groups, public health advocates, school teachers and parents, etc. ad infinitum. There would be a “ready made” constituency numbering in the tens of millions.

    Hopefully Cindy Sheehan will call put this notion onto the agenda of her Peace Summit next January 15. This would be a start of a new party to run people at local, state, and federal government. Perhaps a few might get elected in November 2008. No matter. It would signal the end of the tyranny of two parties but one corporate agenda of run-amok gangster capitalism.

  7. Jeremy Wells said on November 22nd, 2007 at 8:56pm #

    P.S. from Jeremy Wells, moc.sllewofninull@ymerej.
    Is my notion above pure fantasy? Although I have been registered to the Green Party for over 10 years, and although the Greens are supposedly for “good” things, they are typically clueless as “progressives” and have no understanding of how corporate capitalism has seized the federal government and both parties.
    Such a new party must not simply attempt to attack the symptoms of problems but understand the root cause of the problems we are facing. See Naomi Klein’s SHOCK DOCTRINE: The rise of Disaster Capitalism.

  8. Mike McNiven said on November 26th, 2007 at 2:51am #

    Ron Paul, as a “libertarian”, is an imperialist capitalist! Some people think that “imperialism” means war. That is a very wrong understanding of a very serious matter called imperialism. Sweden, for eample, is not in a war with any country, actually has, wrongly, a peace-loving reputation. However, it is a very criminal imperialist state! It exports capital–sometimes using intimidation– and steals the Third World countries wealth and resources! Ron Paul is against the visible bloodshed , but, not against stealing the wealth and resources of other countries! The libertarian ideology is about more caoitalism not less! This planet needs protection against US imperialism, and for that to start to happen a Third Party founded by individuals like Ms. Sheehan is very badly needed! To that day…

  9. Marq Goldberg said on December 2nd, 2007 at 3:20am #

    As I see it the only cure for the root evils is for those who oppose the status quo to boycott companies that work against the interests of most Americans. For starters anyone who advertises on conservative radio or tv programs should be getting ZERO dollars from us. And campaign finance reform should be our number one demand of our Congress people.

    Cindy I’m sure you are well aware of Randi Rhodes’ position on 3rd parties and I completely agree with her. I would much rather see you take out Pelosi at the primary stage and run as a Democrat.

    I hear a lot of support for Ron Paul. RP is not a true Republican. RP is a Libertarian. The problem with L’s is that they can’t wrap their skulls around the fact that the only thing that keeps corporations from running over us all is a strong government. Weaken the government and corporations will rush in to fill the vacuum. And if you think we have problems now you can’t imagine how bad they would be under a weaker government. Hell, weak government is the problem now. The gov’t is already doing too much of corporate America’s bidding.

    As for impeachment check out why Ralph Nader says the Dems are not pursuing it. I found it rather enlightening.