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June 10, 2008

Impeach Bush
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 08:36 AM * 124 comments

Thanks to Paula Lieberman for noting that Congressman Dennis Kucinich has read 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush on the floor of Congress.

More on that here.

In my opinion:
Warrantless wiretapping is a high crime or misdemeanor that rises to an impeachable offense.
“Outing” Valerie Plame is a high crime or misdemeanor that rises to an impeachable offense.
Approving torture is a high crime or misdemeanor that rises to an impeachable offense.
“Preemptive war” is a high crime or misdemeanor that rises to an impeachable offense.
Use of “Signing statements” to violate the law even as the law is being signed is a high crime or misdemeanor that rises to an impeachable offense.
Violation of habeas corpus is a high crime or misdemeanor that rises to an impeachable offense.
Extraordinary rendition is a high crime or misdemeanor that rises to an impeachable offense.
Employment of mercenary armies is a high crime or misdemeanor that rises to an impeachable offense.

Comments on Impeach Bush:
#1 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 09:03 AM:

Yeah, but has he been fking the interns? Cause otherwise, he's pretty safe.

#2 ::: yatima ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 09:04 AM:

Thank you, Dennis Kucinich. You speak for me.

#3 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 09:28 AM:

While I applaud Kucinich for acting now, I do wish someone had impeached Bush years ago. We've had more than enough evidence of Bush's lies and their noxious consequences to support an impeachment case for quite a while. When we know that Bush is leaving the presidency next January anyway, talking of impeachment doesn't do very much active good.

Then again, I guess impeachment three years ago wouldn't have solved the problem of President Cheney.

#4 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 09:34 AM:

If anyone has a link to the text of Kucinich's resolution, please post it here. I haven't been able to find one, even on Kucinich's website (and the Kos thread is so long it crashes my browser).

#5 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 09:37 AM:

Here is a Belfast Telegraph article from 20 minutes ago that lists the 35 points. (thanks Google news search!)

Later,
-cajun

#6 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 09:42 AM:

The link I gave only lists the 35 articles, it does not contain a transcript. Reads like a good summary, though. I, too, look forward to a good transcript. I note that the most recent news link on the Google search from a US source is 5 hours ago...

Later,
-cajun

#7 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 09:44 AM:

How about focusing on getting the White House and Congress back instead?

#8 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 09:44 AM:

Still nothing about it on CNN.
I'm somewhat shocked to see that it's not on the BBC site either. They're usually quite impartial.

#9 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 09:48 AM:

Reuters covered it, but didn't take it seriously.

#10 ::: Jamie ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 09:48 AM:

Like it's actually going to happen. Screw impeachment. Outing an active covert agent is treason. I want to see all those involved in that hang (I'm a contractor, we work with various intel agencies here in the DC metro area, and I have some idea just how hard gathering humint is).

#11 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 09:55 AM:

It will be interesting to see if anything actually comes of it.

#12 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:01 AM:

Any vote on this, by anyone seeking reelection, is going to be a pretty sharp test.

Can any Democrat risk voting against the motion, and so for the enemy?

Can any Republican risk being tied to Bush?

I expect abstentions. But that would be tricky to explain.

#13 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:02 AM:

If Obama hadn't been running, Kucinich would have gotten my vote. I doubt anything will come of it, but hey, I'm glad someone in the democratic party did it.

#14 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:06 AM:

The Democratic leadership hasn't shown very much interest in pursuing impeachment. It feels unfair that the Republicans can both use impeachment a political tool and poison impeachment such that it can't be used for a legitimate purpose.

Still, it's good to get GWB's actions stated clearly into the Congressional Record. (Or at least that's what I assume happened. I can't download the full text. My browser keeps crashing when I do.)

#15 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:06 AM:

Rymenhild @3 this is not the first time that Kucinich has persued impeachment of the President or V.P.

He has had difficulty getting backing by his own party, and has even been stomped on by the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. Kucinich speaking here.

It's a move that unfortunately has come too late in the game. Then again, how do you impeach a monarch?

#16 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:08 AM:

Illegal deeds boldly done seldom have consequences for the perpetrator. (Almost) Everyone knows these things ought to be wrong, but if our President did them with such confidence, how could they have been?

This will go nowhere, and will be filed under, "Oh that wacky Kucinich and his space aliens!Isn't that funny?" by the media, if they acknowledge it at all. It doesn't fit the narrative, and it doesn't align with the wishes of the people who own and control the media.

Not sure if the House actually has to do anything with this. Even if they do, they'll find a way not to.

#17 ::: Krinn DNZ ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:14 AM:

Just sent emails supporting Kucinich's plan to all three of my congresscritters. I like to finish with a nice chorus of "impeach, impeach, impeach!" As they say over at Shakesville - break out your teaspoons.

#18 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:20 AM:

Nothing happens unless people make it happen....

The Executive Branch of the United States Government is headed up by oath-breaking, vainglorious, self-aggrandizing, self-serving, powermongering, self-centered, oligarchial, delusional sociopaths. They remind me of Nicolai Ceacescu, but with much savvier press agents, a friendly and fawning national conglomerate media establishment, and fawning associates with much larger wallets, much more influence, and much more control by means that extend beyond control of armed forces--and with fawning clerical connections (though some of them have started fraying a bit).

The news media of the 1960s and 1970s loathed Richard M. Nixon, and according to a Harvard faculty political scientist, colluded to remove him from office--I was present at a party back when I was a senior in college, at Prof Willam E Griffith's home, at which he and his colleague from Harvard (Prof Griffith taught a graduate level political science seminar class I took, and invited all the students in the class to the party)were having a discussion about Nixon, his impeachment, and the press establishment, both having been imbibing.

The conversation went something like,
"The last collective action of the press [before it split into factions that were no longer in consonance with one another] was to get Nixon. They hated his guts and were out to get him."
"I think he deserved it."
"They wanted to treat him like a Nazi war criminal--put him to death, cremate him, put his ashes in the gutter, and urinate on his ashes."
"I think he deserved it."
============================================

Nixon was a saint, compared to the current regime.

#19 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:22 AM:

Here's the text. (warning: PDF)

#20 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:24 AM:

Hrmm. Personal opinion/speculation time.

While I'm no political strategist, nor a domestic or foreign policy expert, I see something potentially useful here, with many perils.

If an impeachment is successful, the new Democratic President can successfully convict Bush and those who were willfully complicit in the listed wrongdoing, and the new Democratic President can successfully get UN help in cleaning up the mess we made in Iraq and Afghanistan, and somehow either prevent a major recession in the US or successfully pin it on the convicted, then the US and the Democratic Party can come out of this looking pretty decent, despite being much the worse for wear.

That's a big if. There are many possible points of failure in that if.

I think convicting Bush et al would help gain back some vitally needed international respect for the US, and could be a deciding factor in getting enough help from the UN et al to help us clean up the mess we made in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While I'm no warmonger, I believe very strongly that Iraq and Afghanistan deserve to be left in better condition than when we went in. Failure to clean up our mess there could further damage the US's international reputation.

Note: I'm not saying we have to "win" in Iraq and Afghanistan, nor am I advocating "losing" there either. I don't want to get into that argument. I only bring these things up because I don't believe that impeaching Bush is "enough" to fix our current crop of problems wrt the US's international reputation. It's a dang good start, though.

Obama is running on a "hope and change" platform, at least from what I gather - I'm not much for following politics closely. If he wins and Bush is impeached (or reverse the order - impeach Bush, elect Obama), the Democrats may gain enough "political capital" to really make a good start at cleaning things up here at home. It will take some very good rhetorical speaking (and from what I've heard so far, Obama's good at that) to get the US to tighten its collective belts and buckle down to Set Things Right.

There are numerous problems here in the US - healthcare costs, to name one that worries me more than many others - that will require huge, shuddering changes in the US to "fix". It is not enough to just "get the ball rolling" on this sort of thing. While gradual change may be easier to accept, it is also easier to halt or reverse. I fear a backlash in 2010 and/or 2012 if things are not handled smoothly and/or if the US economy tanks in a major way. I don't want Obama's presidency to be a "throwaway term" that gets the Democrats sidelined as "crazy job-smashers that tax people and companies into oblivion, all so we can stand in line for weeks to get a checkup for "free"".

I'm unable to articulate these thoughts as well as I'd like, especially with the combination of rage and fear that seems to be constantly rattling me these days. Rage at all the crap being done to the US/constitution, fear of the consequences of said crap, and a near-existential fear of the possibility of a tanking economy sinking my family and I. Fighting that is very stressful. I'm going to have to clam up for a bit.

later,
-cajun

#21 ::: Dan ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:25 AM:

I can understand how your browser is crashing, John. Kucinich spoke for almost five hours.

#22 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:34 AM:

#21: Yeah, right. It's more the one thousand comments (and I suspect, as typical of Daily Kos lately, about half were variants on "HILLARY SUX" and "OBAMA RULZZ").

Seriously, accessing a Kos thread of over 600 comments is on my list for evaluating new computers. Does the machine have enough processor speed and memory to not only load the thing but to make it navigable? My old Thinkpad fails there, though it's adequate for just about all other web actions.

#23 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:41 AM:

Per me at #21 I'm going to have to clam up for a bit. I mean clamming up about "involved" stuff, not casual contributions.

That said, too bad it was only 35. I'd have preferred it be 37. <clerks>"37!?!"</clerks>

later,
-cajun
P.S. Finally figured out how to get "<" and ">" to show up! Yay for "View Source"! For future reference: "& l t ;" without spaces gets you "<" and "& g t ;" without spaces gets you ">".

#24 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:52 AM:

Then again, how do you impeach a monarch?

With the heaviest weapons you can find.

More seriously, I suspect the reason this is happening now is because it's too late for the outcome to matter. The act of calling for impeachment makes a useful political act in itself; as Dave Bell pointed out, it can be used as a litmus test for politicians running for office in November. Moreover, it's a cheap operation; it costs Kucinich' time, plus a few other congressthings to back him, plus some staffers and lawyers. But on the other side, if the Bush crowd and the republican power structure doesn't want it to get out of hand they need to spend time and energy countering it, just when they'll be needed most in pushing McCain and defending the conservative agenda against blowback from Bush unpopularity. And it just might damage some of the defenders at the polls.

#25 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:57 AM:

The main Kos thread on this now has more than 1100 comments.

I don't see it mentioned at the LA Times site - it may be buried somewhere in the print edition, though.

#26 ::: Joe D ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 11:23 AM:

This is pure political theater.

Yes, Bush will probably be remembered as the worst president in US history. Yes, he did indeed do some really bad and illegal things.

But he'll be gone in 7 months. And good riddance.

In the meantime, a lot of energy will be expended on this pointless gesture, generating lots of sound and fury, that will amount to nothing, since this will go nowhere.

I'd prefer that all that energy be directed to something a little more productive. Energy policy. Health care reform. Just about anything else other than theater.

#27 ::: Tom ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 11:29 AM:

P J Evans @ 25: Observation leads me to believe the Tribune Co. has declared Kucinich topic non grata, except when they can ridicule him.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe BushCo can still be impeached after their reign of terror ends. I sure do hope so, even if it sets a risky precedent.

#28 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 11:29 AM:

If the investigations had been started last year, this could have been done, completed, by now.
The investigations are the important part: they show what these @#$^&*s have been doing to us - and others - for the last seven years.

#29 ::: Emily ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 11:30 AM:

The Washington Post covered it. Slightly. The AP and Reuters articles are pretty minimal, and no other major outlets seem to care.

That got me curious, so I did some digging. Right now, Kucinich is proposing a House resolution. It doesn't actually *pass* without a vote. It doesn't get a vote without the approval of either Pelosi (who is second in line for the Presidency remember) or John Conyers, the head of the Judiciary committee.

If they pass the Bush impeachment and it gets past the Senate, they know that Cheney's first official act will be to pardon Bush. They gain nothing.

If they pass the Cheney impeachment bill that is stalled in the Judiciary committee, same problem. As soon as Cheney is impeached, Bush pardons him. They gain nothing.

If they attempt to do a dual impeachment, Pelosi looks like she's doing a giant power grab. She'll lose any pull she has with the Republicans in the House, and many Democrats will think about bolting. Any coalition building that Pelosi has worked for will fall apart. (and since she's a smart woman, she probably doesn't want to become the first female president of the US by that route...)

It will be very difficult for Kucinich to convince House leadership to act on this resolution. I doubt he has the clout or the coalition building skills to get it done within the time limit. And party leadership is likely to view impeachment proceedings as a dangerous distraction from the job of getting Senator Obama elected. Pelosi and Conyers have a lot of good political reasons for wanting the Democratic party back in the White House, and I can't see either one putting their personal desire for power ahead of that goal.

(I think from a moral standpoint, Bush *should* be impeached and tried for treason... but doing so is not the easiest thing in the world.)

#30 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 11:46 AM:

Even if the impeachment takes until the end of the year to achieve, it is a goal worth working toward, and should include Cheney, Rove, Libby, Gonzales and Rumsfeld as well as Bush.

Why do I say this? Because if the above parties are impeached (House) and tried and convicted (Senate), they will not get Federal pensions and they will be ineligible for any Federal office.

This is what should have been done to Nixon and Reagan's cohorts -- if it had we wouldn't be dealing with the current criminals.

#31 ::: JANE YOLEN ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 11:49 AM:

#15 asks "Then again, how do you impeach a monarch?"

Guillotine or axeman. It's been done before. Or a bunch of brave senators with knives on the Ides of March.But that's all history, and not here in the Good Old US of A. Just in barbaric places like France, England, and the Roman Empire.

Jane

#32 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 11:53 AM:

7 months is long enough for conception to birth of a baby without a need for incubator. 7 months is much longer than it takes to build a typical house, it's nearly two semesters of college, it's 15 paychecks at two-week intervals, it's longer than several trips by slow boat across oceans, it's more than long enough to get a pilot's license, it's two growing seasons of harvest in places with multiple harvests....

And the sooner the current regime is ejected, the less ADDITIONAL damage they can do, and the faster the REPAIRABLE damage can start being repaired... though it's far, far, FAR too late for the myriads of the dead and murdered in New Orleans, Baghdad, Iraq, New York City, the Pentagon, the US and allied forces in Iraq... dead from the incompetence/malice/malfeasance/mismanagement/hubris/self-aggrandizement/ruthlessness (in the sense of lacking ruth and compassion and failing to provide humanitarian aid on any competent concerned responsive basis) of the regime.

The dismantling of regulatory infrastructure, the excision of expertise and competence in healthcare areas relating to competence in treating reproductive system problems and controlling fertility and effectively treating and preventing transmission of sexually transmitted disease, the dismantling of the infrastructure not only for collecting data about the workforce as regarding work conditions and treatment of personnel and equality of lack thereof in promotional opportunities and equal pay etc. for women, minorities, etc. versus White Christian Anglo US-citizen-by-birth males but the wholesale destruction of archives records of data in all sorts of areas, the same treatment of climate data and data about salmon in the northwest.... the regime has been on a binge to search out and destroy information and the records about the information, ranging from email communicatons of the Executive Branch during the runup to the manufactured war (manufactured in the sense of the creation of false information and fabrication of a tissue of lies used as basis for going to war) in Iraq to replacement of perr-research-based information about contraception and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases with evangelizing religionist morality claptrap about abstinence and the calumnification of anything with contraceptive effects (except for expensive medications prescribed for conditions that have nothing to do with reproduction....)

Every HOUR that the current regime continues to have any influence, much less control, is one more hour of destruction of accurate information and infrastructure built over the course of decades in science and technology and health care administration and data collection and analysis, and replacement if there is any replacement, with corrupted, biased, malfeasant suspect data and policies. EVERY SINGLE HOUR!!!

#33 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 11:53 AM:

I wonder if this is about Iran.

Wasn't that the exception Pelosi made in her "No impeachment" statement, or am I confusing that with something else? Letting Kucinich put this forward now, and then allowing it to hang around all summer and fall means that it's an available tool, and as tightly as MnCain has tied himself to the mast of Bush's leaky ship, an impeachment proceeding, which would drag lots of filthy laundry out*, just when it could not be ignored, would make life even harder for McCain and the Republican House and Senate candidates just in time for an election. When considering how long it takes to impeach someone, don't look at the proceedings against Clinton. Look at Watergate. Like current events, the Watergate-based case had real material to support it, and once it started moving, it went down pretty quickly. Also, all of Nixon's maneuverings to stop it just made things worse for him. This would replay in much the same manner if it went forward, IMO. Consider carefully the results of the 1974 and 1976 elections.
Like I said, I thnk part of this is about Iran, and the threat of becoming collateral damage is being aimed at every Republican candidate out there, in the hope that they'll side against any attack on Iran, and condemn any unauthorized actions.

This may explain some of SecDef Gates's changes in the Air Force commanders as well. (Although breaking the rule of the Fighter Jocks is part of what must be done to keep the USAF on the straight and narrow.) Putting people who are less attack-happy in there might throw some roadblocks in the way--not stop things, but slow them down.

*Yes, we all know what the laundry looks like here. A lot of people out there are only vaguely aware of the details. An impeachment would make it harder for Fox et al. to obfuscate the details. Even the people who aren't sure if they hate torture "if it keeps me safe" are likely to react negatively to "because torture was used to get this confession, it can't be used against this terrorist mastermind, and so he may get off scot-free". People like Bob Barr would be likely to speak up vociferously in favor of impeachment, and that will effect more people than we might realize.

#34 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 11:59 AM:

Bottom line--
EVERYTHING touched directly or indirectly, by the US Government under the current Executive Branch, and Congress with the former Republican majority and the current strong Republican minority, is suspect, as regards integrity, accuracy, responsiveness to the bests interest of "We, the People of the United States of America," of the interests of humanity in general, in the interests of world peace and prosperity, as opposed to the thriving of male oligarchs with Friends and especially clerical good buddies with discriminatory against women attitudes.

Every regulation written/rewritten, every Presidential Directive, every contract award, every specification written... EVERYTHING is suspect, done the past decade and a half plus. Every appointments of judges, flag officers, high level administrator, every regulation written or rewritten, every word on every federal website, every ALL of them are suspect, and require vetting.

#35 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 12:01 PM:

The current betting is that this will, like the last one, be dumped into committee, where Conyers et al will sit on it for the next several months.

I wonder what would come out about current Congressional leaders if impeachment of Buch and Cheney was actually pursued?

#36 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 12:01 PM:

It's reached USA Today and CBS news.

#37 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 12:01 PM:

"More seriously, I suspect the reason this is happening now is because it's too late for the outcome to matter."

If it prevents Bush et al from pardoning the criminals in his regime, or if it prevents an invasion of Iran, it would matter. But it's not likely.

#38 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 12:05 PM:

It occurs to me that, if formal impeachment were to be blocked by a process which didn't bring it to a vote, an assassin who survived to stand trial might make a defence based on the "doctrine of necessity"--yes, it was a crime, but necessary to prevent a greater crime.

The usual examples I hear are things like breaking into a house so as to obtain shelter in a winter storm. That is, the same general idea as a plea of self-defence, but without being explicitly in the statutes.

Folks may recall the fuss about the British drama, in documentary style, about the assassination of President Bush, and the political fallout of the success. Essentially, the suggestion was that an assassination would be used to justify an ever greater war on terror, and never mind the truth.

Perhaps the example of Caligula would be more relevant, given the problem of getting past bodyguards, but does McCain stammer? Or perhaps the Presidency will end up on eBay?

I don't recommend bidding.

#39 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 12:12 PM:

It's not a pointless gesture.

The sole limit on the power of Presidential pardons is in cases of impeachment.

George W. Bush cannot pardon his cabinet and VP if they're in the process of being impeached. Even President McCain can't pardon George if he's being impeached.

Note that not prosecuting George H. W. Bush's cabinet is a substantial direct contributor to the magnitude of the mess y'all have got to deal with, and that it rested in significant part on that 'last act as President' blanket pardon.

Also note that seven months is plenty of time to nuke Iran or commit similar rash acts.

#40 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 12:12 PM:

Unless he's just changed his stance, Obama, now leader of the dems, has said bushimpeachment is off the table.

Love, C.

#41 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 12:23 PM:

I really want to drop Bush in Fallujah in his famous flight suit with the socks stuffed in the crotch.

Hey, at least he'll have an extra pair of socks. You could even give him weapons...but dissassembled. He should have to assemble them to use them.

That said, the most likely outcome is for him to live happily ever after, and 20 years from now be considered an Elder Statesman instead of the monstrous war criminal he is.

Hmm, maybe we can get someone to render him extraordinarily...to the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.

#42 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 12:35 PM:

Emily #29: I must be missing something, because that doesn't make sense. The president can issue a pardon, but what would that have to do with impeachment? If Bush were impeached and removed from office, Cheney would become president, but he couldn't have any power to undo the impeachment of Bush, could he? I just don't see how that could work. More fundamentally, the power to impeach one is the power to impeach both, assuming no specific new information about Bush or Cheney committing some crime individually. (That is, assuming the impeachment is over actions carried out by the administration.)

#43 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 12:51 PM:

Of course it isn't a pointless gesture.

If the President of the U.S. is not held accountable to rule of law, but must be allowed to slide due to political expediency and no one wanting to "waste time on this pointless gesture," then democracy in the U.S. is a lie.

I am not ready to give up on my country and admit its principles to be lies. And cynicism is a poor sort of wisdom.

#44 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 12:54 PM:

Emily @ 29:

If they pass the Bush impeachment and it gets past the Senate, they know that Cheney's first official act will be to pardon Bush. They gain nothing.

If they pass the Cheney impeachment bill that is stalled in the Judiciary committee, same problem. As soon as Cheney is impeached, Bush pardons him. They gain nothing.

A small point Emily -- impeachment and conviction only removes an official from office. The pardon power does not apply to impeachment as there is no criminal conviction by an Article III court. This works both ways though. In the case of the President, impeachment and conviction do make it easier to pursue both civil and criminal charges as he no longer has presidential immunity. Also, impeachment and conviction don't "count" as far as double jeopardy is concerned.

Impeachment is nice, but I would prefer the two of them in jail. My occasional fantasy these days involves federal marshals with arrest warrants waiting behind the inaugural platform to transport Bush and Cheney to the DC Jail on a variety of charges.

#45 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 12:56 PM:

Claude Muncey @ 44... My occasional fantasy these days involves federal marshals with arrest warrants

...and led by Tommy Lee Jones.

#46 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 01:01 PM:

Why is this happening now? Only Rep. Kucinich knows.

It's definitely not because the Democratic leadership is interested in pursuing the matter.

Maybe he's been inspired by Scott McClellan's recent revelations.

#47 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 01:16 PM:

Claude Muncey @ 44:
My occasional fantasy...
I'm with Xopher - my fantasy involved them taking a trip to The Hague.

I can't help but see this as a good thing, even while I remain convinced that if won't get far.

#48 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 01:20 PM:

Also, impeachment might help set us up to invoke "odious debt" against our creditors. That could make recovery from the Shrub regime much easier....

#49 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 01:30 PM:

Graydon, #39: The sole limit on the power of Presidential pardons is in cases of impeachment. George W. Bush cannot pardon his cabinet and VP if they're in the process of being impeached.

Yes, but that requires that we impeach the whole damn passel of them, not just Bush. As I read the relevant text, a President who is being impeached can still pardon other people who are not. If starting the impeachment process on Bush could prevent him from going on that last-minute pardoning barrage, then I agree that it's vitally important to do so, and to say that this is why it's being done. But I don't think it works that way.


#50 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 01:37 PM:

Serge @#7:

How about focusing on getting the White House and Congress back instead?

Just getting back the White House isn't enough, if the office of the presidency continues to have powers so far beyond the law. The value of impeachment is to show that what Bush has done is illegal, as opposed to being valid use of his power that we just don't like. Executive power needs to be subject to checks an balances, and it hasn't been lately, and it won't be when a new president takes office either, if nothing is done about the abuses.

It's just going to sit in committee like Kucinich's earlier resolution to impeach Cheney, but it's important to make it a matter of public record anyway, I think.

#51 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 01:46 PM:

Mary Dell @ 50... I agree completely, and would like nothing better than to have Bush caned in public, at the very least. My concern is that it'd force Democrats to spend their much needed energies away from getting the White House and Congress back. I'd be very glad to be proven wrong.

#52 ::: Leva Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 02:49 PM:

Why now?

It occurs to me that if they impeach him this late in the game, it means less (or no) time that Cheney's in office.

#53 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 02:53 PM:

#52

There's an impeachment resolution for Cheney that's been sitting in committee since Kucinich introduced it last year. Taking him out first would have been better.

#54 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 03:20 PM:

#53: Witness the Nixon impeachment only getting under way after Spiro Agnew had managed to take himself out.

On the other hand, if a President Agnew had issued the pardon that Gerald Ford made, Agnew would have been quickly impeached himself. Given what we have now as a result of Ford's pardon, that could well have been a better outcome.

#55 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 03:21 PM:

JK Richard #15: Then again, how do you impeach a monarch?

Well, now....

On Saturday, being the 20th day of January 1648, The Lord President of the High Court of Justice with near fourscore of the Members of the said Court, having sixteen Gentlemen with Partisans, and a Sword and a Mace, with their, and other Officers of the said Court marching before them, came to the place ordered to be prepared for their sitting, at the West end of the great Hall at Westminster, where the Lord President in a Crimson Velvet Chair, fixed in the midst of the Court, placed himself, having a Desk with a Crimson Velvet Cushion before him; the rest of the Members placing themselves on each side of him upon the several Seats, or Benches, prepared and hung with Scarlet for that purpose, and the Partisans dividing themselves on each side of the Court before them.
The Court being thus sat, and silence made, the great Gate of the said Hall was let open, to the end, That all persons without exception, desirous to see, or hear, might come into it, upon which the Hall was presently filled, and silence again ordered.

This done, Colonel Thomlinson, who had the charge of the Prisoner, was commanded to bring him to the Court, who within a quarter of an hour's space brought him attended with about twenty Officers, with Partisans marching before him, there being other Gentlemen, to whose care and custody he was likewise committed, marching in his Rear. Being thus brought up within the face of the Court, The Sergeant at Arms, with his Mace, receives and conducts him straight to the Bar, having a Crimson Velvet Chair set before him. After a stern looking upon the Court, and the people in the Galleries on each side of him, he places himself, not at all moving his Hat, or otherwise showing the least respect to the Court; but presently rises up again, and turns about, looking downwards upon the Guards placed on the left side, and on the multitude of Spectators on the right side of the said great Hall. After Silence made among the people, the Act of Parliament for the Trying of Charles Stuart, King of England, was read over by the Clerk of the Court; who sat on one side of a Table covered with a rich Turkey Carpet, and placed at the feet of the said Lord President, upon which table was also laid the Sword and Mace.

After reading the said Act, the several names of the Commissioners were called over, every one who was present, being eighty, as aforesaid, rising up and answering to his Call.

Having again placed himself in his Chair, with his face towards the Court, Silence being again ordered, the Lord President stood up and said:

Lord President: Charles Stuart, King of England; The Commons of England Assembled in Parliament, being deeply sensible of the Calamities that have been brought upon this Nation (which is fixed upon you as the principal Author of it) have resolved to make inquisition for Blood, and according to that Debt and Duty they owe to Justice, to God, the Kingdom, and themselves, and according to the Fundamental Power that rests in themselves, They have resolved to bring you to Trial and Judgment; and for that purpose have constituted this High Court of Justice, before which you are brought.

This said, M. Cook Attorney for the Commonwealth (standing within a Bar on the right hand of the Prisoner) offered to speak, but the King having a staff in his Hand, held it up, and laid it upon the said M. Cook's shoulder two or three times, bidding him hold; Nevertheless, the Lord President ordering him to go on, he said:

M. Cook. My Lord, I am commanded to charge Charles Stuart, King of England, in the name of the Commons of England, with Treason and high Misdemeanors; I desire the said Charge may be read.

The said Charge being delivered to the Clerk of the Court, the Lord President ordered it should be read, but the King bid him hold; Nevertheless, being commanded by the Lord President to read it, the Clerk began. The Charge of the Commons of England, against Charles Stuart, King of England, Of High Treason, and other High Crimes, exhibited to the High Court of Justice. . . .

The Charge being read the Lord President replied:

Lord President. Sir, you have now heard your Charge read, containing such matter as appears in it; you find, that in the close of it, it is prayed to the Court, in the behalf of the Commons of England, that you answer to your Charge. The Court expects your Answer.

The King. I would know by what power I am called hither. . . . by what Authority, I mean, lawful; there are many unlawful Authorities in the world, Thieves and Robbers by the highways: but I would know by what Authority I was brought from thence, and carried from place to place, (and I know not what), and when I know what lawful Authority, I shall answer: Remember, I am your King, your lawful King, and what sins you bring upon your heads, and the Judgment of God upon this Land, think well upon it, I say, think well upon it, before you go further from one sin to a greater; therefore let me know by what lawful Authority I am seated here, and I shall not be unwilling to answer, in the meantime I shall not betray my Trust: I have a Trust committed to me by God, by old and lawful descent, I will not betray it to answer a new unlawful Authority, therefore resolve me that, and you shall hear more of me. . . . I will stand as much for the privilege of the house of Commons, rightly understood, as any man here whatsoever. I see no House of Lords, here that may constitute a Parliament, and (the King too) should have been. Is this the bringing of the King to his Parliament? Is this the bringing an end to the Treaty in the public Faith of the world? Let me see a legal Authority warranted by the Word of God, the Scriptures, or warranted by the Constitutions of the Kingdom, and I will answer.

Lord President. Sir, you have held yourself, and let fall such Language, as if you had been no ways Subject to the Law, or that the Law had not been your Superior. Sir, The Court is very well sensible of it, and I hope so are all the understanding People of England, That the Law is your Superior, that you ought to have ruled according to the Law, you ought to have done so. Sir, I know very well your pretence hath been that you have done so, but Sir, the difference hath been who shall be the Expositors of this Law, Sir, whether you and your Party out of Courts of Justice shall take upon them to expound Law, or the Courts of Justice, who are the Expounders; nay, the Sovereign and the High Court of Justice, the PARLIAMENT of England, that are not only the highest expounders, but the sole makers of the Law. Sir, for you to set yourself with your single judgment, and those that adhere unto you, to set yourself against the highest Court of Justice, that is not Law.

Sir, as the Law is your Superior; so truly Sir, there is something that is Superior to the Law, and that is indeed the Parent or Author of the Law, and that is the People of England, For Sir, as they are those that at the first (as other Countries have one) did choose to themselves the Form of Government, even for justice sake, that Justice might be administered, that Peace might be preserved, so Sir, they gave Laws to their Governors, according to which they should Govern, and if those Laws should have proved inconvenient, or prejudicial to the Public, they had a power in them and reserved to themselves to alter as they shall see cause. . . .This we learn, the end of having Kings, or any other Governors, it's for the enjoying of Justice, that's the end. Now Sir, if so be the King will go contrary to that End, or any other Governor will go contrary to the end of his Government; Sir, he must understand that he is but an Officer in trust, and he ought to discharge that Trust, and they are to take order for the animadversion and punishment of such an offending Governor.

This is not Law of yesterday Sir, (since the time of the division betwixt you and your People) but it is Law of old; and we know very well the Authors and the Authorities that do tell us what the Law was in that point upon the Election of Kings, upon the Oath that they took unto their People; and if they did not observe it, there were those things called Parliaments; the Parliaments were they that were to adjudge (the very words of the Author) the plaints and wrongs done of the King and the Queen, or their Children, such wrongs especially when the People could have no where else any remedy. Sir, that hath been the People of England's case, they could not have their remedy elsewhere but in Parliament. . . .

Sir, that road we are now upon by the command of the highest Courts hath been and is to try and judge you for these great offenses of yours. Sir, the Charge hath called you Tyrant, a Traitor, a Murderer, and a public Enemy to the Commonwealth of England. Sir, it had been well, if that any or all these terms might rightly and justly have been spared, if any one of them at all.

King: Ha!
******
The Lord President commands the sentence to be read. Make an O yes, and command silence while the sentence is read. O yes made. Silence commanded. The Clerk read the sentence, which was drawn up in parchment.
Whereas the Commons of England in Parliament had appointed them an High Court of Justice for the trying of Charles Stuart, King of England, before whom he had been three times convented, and at the first time a Charge of High Treason, and other Crimes and Misdemeanors, was read in the behalf of the Kingdom of England, etc.

Here the Clerk read the Charge.

Which Charge being read unto him as aforesaid, he the said Charles Stuart was required to give his Answer, but he refused so to do, and so expressed the several passages at his Trial in refusing to answer.

For all which Treasons and Crimes this Court doth adjudge, That he said Charles Stuart, as a Tyrant, Traitor, Murderer, and a public Enemy, shall be put to Death, by the severing his Head from his Body.

#56 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 03:23 PM:

Employment of mercenary armies is a high crime or misdemeanor that rises to an impeachable offense.

It is? I did not know that....

...found it: the Anti-Pinkerton Act of 1893. It appears that interpretations of this law have been a bit controversial over the years.

#57 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 03:29 PM:

I think we need to impeach and convict the lot of them: Bush, Cheney, the cabinet, anyone else who is in on the lawbreaking. And then take them to court, after seizing their assets under the RICO statutes, what we can find of them. It will be a drop in the bucket, but maybe it will pay for rehab for a few vets or something. I want to see their asses in jail.

#58 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 03:38 PM:

Employment of mercenary armies is a high crime or misdemeanor that rises to an impeachable offense.

...which is why you should instead employ lots of cooks, and arm them with knives...

#59 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 03:51 PM:

abi #58: The Winchester repeating steak-knife is much favoured by your guerrilla chef, I gather.

#60 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 03:52 PM:

The handy EFF guide to Contacting Congress.

#61 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 03:55 PM:

Restitution, retribution, contrition, expiation....

#62 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:00 PM:

Fragano @ 59... Wasn't that the favorite weapon of Chef Guevara?

#63 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:05 PM:

I just got an email from Kucinich, stating that his website is down under "suspicious circumstances."

Seems SOMEONE didn't like the Articles of Impeachment...

#64 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:06 PM:

Serge #62: No, for ideological reasons he preferred the Kalashnikov steak-knife (made with Rostov steel). His friend, Filet Castro, known far and wide for the excellence of his lechón asado is known to prefer chopping pork with an automatic guámpara, but those are embargoed in the United States.

#65 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:06 PM:

Serge @62:
Simón Boilivar created Chilli in South America with nothing more than a crack squad of sous chefs. (Not to be confused with the Sioux chefs that defeated General Custard at his last stand*.)

-----
* Got quite a skin on him, standing that long.

#66 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:10 PM:

What did Troutsky use?

#67 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:15 PM:

But one should not forget that favorite of Chicago chefs in the 1930's, the Thompson Subcuisine Gun.

#68 ::: elfwreck ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:25 PM:

http://tinyurl.com/4fxwzf: Text of PDF of the articles of impeachment, slightly reformatted for easier reading.

Maybe later I'll have enough time to link the articles to their subsections. (Or someone who's not grabbing break-time from work can do that.)

#69 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:29 PM:

Fragano at #59, I thought gorillas ate their food raw!

#70 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:31 PM:

As much as I detest the current Resident, ya can't impeach the guy unless he got a blowjob.

#71 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:33 PM:

Lori #63

That's a genuine act of terrorism against the US Government--I am being completely serious saying that.

#72 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:35 PM:

Nancy C Mittens @ 69... That may be, but their favorite weapon is the grenadine.

#73 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:45 PM:

Serge #66: Troutsky, in spite of his name, and his very un-proletarian liking for beurre blanc, had an un-chef-like preference for fine tailored Lenin. This was a result of his being very hasty, and thus being opposed to stallin'.

#74 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:47 PM:

If George and Co are going to be impeached it should be over this sort of peculation and criminal waste of the taxpayers' money.

#75 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:48 PM:

Nancy C. Mittens #69: That's what they want you to think.

#76 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:51 PM:

Fragano @ 73... I thought it was Saltine who had asked Beurria to prepare Troutsky.

#77 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 04:56 PM:

Though I'm sure abi was thinking of a certain voracious Vor, suddenly those CIA cooking textbooks sound ever so much more relevant.

#78 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 05:40 PM:

Serge #75: But they were all replaced by a Crushed Chef.

#79 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 06:04 PM:

Fragano @ 78... Curse the Crêmlin! So much for their saying that they fought for the lumpy proletariat.

#80 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 06:51 PM:

My fantasy has been for Bush, Cheney, and a dozen or so of their more egregious friends to be tried, convicted, and sentenced to hard labor on a construction work gang rebuilding bombed out houses and schools in Iraq. A national betting pool could be started to see how long any given one of them evades the IEDs.

It occurs to me that maybe Kucinich has an unseen agenda here. Maybe he wants to take this just far enough that investigation begins, so that subpoenas and warrants can be served. With the right legal moves, papers and computer files might be sequestered to prevent them being shredded and erased, so the next President can order them opened up to the courts for criminal proceedings.

#81 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 07:02 PM:

Serge #79: What you need, mon ami, is a nice Cozy Gin.

#82 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 07:31 PM:

Whereas the Steel Chef preferred his troutsky picante. (Or maybe picado.)

#83 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 07:54 PM:

Lori Coulson #63: I just got an email from Kucinich, stating that his website is down under "suspicious circumstances."

Although the topic hasn't been formally slashdotted yet, it is plausible that the site could have easily suffered overload from normal access by all the people interested in this kind of news.

#84 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:06 PM:

Impeachment is on C-SPAN 1 right now.

Kevin Hanrahan, Reading Clerk of the House of Representatives, is on screen.

Captions (one sentence at a time):

The House Clerk is reading Rep. Kucinich's 35-count resolution to impeach President Bush. Last year, Rep. Kucinich (D-OH) introduced legislation to impeach Vice President Cheney. The House Judiciary Committee has not acted on the VP Cheney resolution.

The clerk began reading the Kucinich (D-OH) impeachment resolution at 8:25 PM EDT. The resolution was read in full by Rep. Kucinich on Monday. It took almost 5 hours. A vote on this resolution may take place Wednesday.

#85 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:16 PM:

Curses! Foiled again by a cru-el fate. I mortar know better than to let things slide, but I had time only to skim the site before I had to pestle off to meetings.

#86 ::: 'As You Know' Bob ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 10:42 PM:

Somewhere on-line, I recently read that the head of the GOP Senate campaign is hoping to hold their losses to 'only' eight seats this fall.

That's an interesting number: if the Dems go from the currently shaky "60 seats" to a solid 68-seat super-majority . . . why, then they'll have the two-thirds majority to convict on a House impeachment.

What's really interesting is that the new Congress gets sworn in on Jan. 1st.

In my dreams, the House impeaches Bush ... and the new Senate's very first order of business is to convict him and remove him from office.

Granted, it would be at most 19 days early...but it's still the right thing to do.

#87 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 11:25 PM:

AYKB, #86: Do it fast enough, and we still might prevent the blizzard of pardons. That's one of my major nightmares, and it would be entirely in keeping with the way Bush has behaved for the last 8 years. He would certainly love one last chance to thumb his nose at the American people and the rule of law, by making sure that anyone who could possibly bring him down got a pre-emptive pardon.

And I'm still agitating for a Constitutional amendment prohibiting Presidential pardons from being issued until someone has actually been convicted of a crime. This was apparently brought up in 1993, but didn't get anywhere. Perhaps the last 15 years would make a difference.

#88 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2008, 11:39 PM:

Claude @ 67 - Thank you. I now have bits of Greek salad embedded in my sinuses.

#89 ::: Ame ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 01:26 AM:

Earl @ 83
It has now.

#90 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 07:24 AM:

Fragano @55, You Sir, are entirely too much.

For all which Treasons and Crimes this Court doth adjudge, That he said Charles Stuart, as a Tyrant, Traitor, Murderer, and a public Enemy, shall be put to Death, by the severing his Head from his Body.

...a punishment fit for a dictator.

#91 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 09:01 AM:

severing his Head from his Body

Don't forget the garlic-flavored mouthwash.

#92 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 10:06 AM:

JK Richard #90: Well, you did ask.

#93 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 11:50 AM:

Some thoughts:

Who replaces Nancy Pelosi, both as Speaker and in her district. With a very short Presidency, the State Governor could conceivably replace her with herself, but a Republican Governor?

How will republican Senators dare vote in the run-up to an election? How many might vote differently afterwards, either because they have another term. or because they're clearing their offices?

How does Ted Kennedy's illness affect the balance. In the UK system we have "pairing" to cover this, so that somebody else would abstain, but what about the supermajority?

#94 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 12:14 PM:

Dave Bell @93: If Bush and Cheney are impeached this summer, the House Democrats would have to elect a new Speaker. They would probably choose the Dem with the most seniority.

A replacement for Pelosi's House seat would be done by special election. Only Senators can be appointed by the State Governor to fill out a term.

Since the Republicans are beginning to distance themselves from Bush (they've already over-ridden one veto), I think that most House members would vote to impeach (the Dems DO have a majority there), and most Senators up for re-election would vote to convict.

Regarding Senator Kennedy, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a Democrat -- that seat will remain Democratic, so no change there.

Should "As You Know, Bob's" scenario occur, there is no guarantee that Pelosi will be Speaker for the next Congress.

The reason I'm urging the commencement of impeachment hearings, is to finally show the 28 percenters just how badly they've been rooked by the current so-called Administration.

#95 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 12:51 PM:

Okay, it's been a very long time since civics class: if I want to encourage my congresscritters to get on this, I write to them, obviously, but what do I say? My pretty dang fabulous Representative, Jim McDermott, was a co-sponsor on Kucinich's HR 333, the one to impeach Cheney, but that's been buried - can it be exhumed if enough people apply enough pressure? With all the sound bytes in the past few days indicating that Bush wants to attack Iran before he gets booted out of the White House, I suddenly feel like this needs to be more than just a show, and it needs to apply to Bush and Cheney equally.

Is it reasonable to write to Pelosi to urge her to put impeachment back on the table and to revive HR 333, even though she's not from my state? As speaker, does she start listening to all of us?

Some days I feel woefully uninformed. I need to review my Schoolhouse Rock videos.

#96 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 12:57 PM:

Sarah @ 95

All of the above.
(Not that Grandma Nancy is listening to us, but we keep trying.)

#97 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 01:24 PM:

Sarah @96: Writing is good -- and phoning and faxing work too; I do all three.

When you call be sure to mention that you do excercise your right to vote -- and that failing to impeach could cost him/her your vote next time.

Yes HR 333 (should be 666) can be revived -- IIRC it's locked "in committee" (House Judiciary, I think).

#98 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 02:13 PM:

#97

Conyers is apparently using it for a bookend or a paperweight. He's not going to do anything until he's forced into it.

#99 ::: Ronit ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 03:16 PM:

Sarah @96: write to all the reps in your state, particularly those whose districts border yours.

#100 ::: Richard Brandt ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 04:17 PM:

Lee @ 87: W hasn't even waited until just before he leaves office before granting mysterious pardons, of course. Aside from that Scooter guy, he pardoned two guys from here in Colorado who'd been convicted of selling mounted migratory birds.

#101 ::: dolloch ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2008, 05:53 PM:

HR 1258 has been put into committee, effectively killing the bill, according to USAToday.

When Thomas.loc.gov puts up who voted and how, I'm posting the coward's names and lauding the heroes. I've already let Kucinich know how proud I am to be a former Buckeye.

#102 ::: Emily ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2008, 08:26 AM:

A small point Emily -- impeachment and conviction only removes an official from office. The pardon power does not apply to impeachment as there is no criminal conviction by an Article III court. This works both ways though. In the case of the President, impeachment and conviction do make it easier to pursue both civil and criminal charges as he no longer has presidential immunity. Also, impeachment and conviction don't "count" as far as double jeopardy is concerned.

That's *exactly* the point. If Bush is removed from office, Cheney inherits... and gets the pardon power. And the pardon power will work to prevent a criminal trial for treason. (after all, they've worked *very* hard to give bin Laden's group just what they wanted) Unless they are both impeached in the right order, they can and will use pardons to protect themselves from criminal trial. The threat of death does tend to motivate people, and both men are old enough that they *remember* Nixon and Ford.

The pardon power is a right royal pain in the ass. And limiting it so that it doesn't work on convicted criminals won't solve this sort of mess. (and it'll remove one of the safety valves for wrongful conviction, which is a giant leap backwards for civil rights)

From Pelosi's point of view, prosecuting the impeachments means she's executing a power grab. Even if it is right, moral and succeeds, she knows she will be judged brutally for it... and will likely never hold political office again. For a career politician, that probably sounds like a fate worse than death. She's also not a great fool, and has to know that making the criminal trials stick is very difficult. The Hague is likely an even harder sell, but I suspect she isn't very invested in seeing Bush and Cheney pay in a court of law. (she's also got a fair bit of reason to *want* the President to keep the unconstitutional powers... it's easy to tell yourself that your side will only use power for Good Reason)

(on a side note, the Constitution makes for a damn interesting gaming system... the Founding Fathers really knew what they were doing. it would be very hard to modify impeachment or the pardon power in a manner that would protect us in this situation. if someone comes up with something beyond "don't elect treasonous presidents" I'd love to hear it.)

#103 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2008, 09:28 AM:

Richard Brandt @ 100

If he mounted them himself, maybe the pardon can be bypassed by charging him with a sex crime. Bestiality is illegal in a lot of places.

#104 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2008, 09:33 AM:

Sarah #95: As speaker, does she start listening to all of us?

That's about the funniest thing I've heard in weeks.

#105 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2008, 09:47 AM:

ethan @ 104...

"Your speaker is still on."
- the Doctor, in The Curse of Fatal Death.

#106 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2008, 10:43 AM:

I wish they'd started the preliminary investigations last year. That's one of the things the HJC is for, looking at this kind of stuff. Once the evidence is public, we can decide if we want to impeach. And it wouldn't make Pelosi look power-hungry (I don't think she wants that job, actually).

#107 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2008, 11:22 AM:

Emily (#102): I do like the sound of making it impossible to pardon anyone for a crime they haven't already been convicted of, but I could well be missing a fatal flaw in the idea.

That would at least make it impossible to "preemptively pardon" someone, while preserving the "you were unjustly convicted" aspect. Pardoning the justly convicted would at least have potential political repercussions, I would hope.

#108 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2008, 11:56 AM:

Breaking News:

Rebuking the Bush Administration, SCOTUS upholds Gitmo detainees habeus corpus rights. Decision was 5-4. It seems the MCA is un-Constitutional...

#109 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2008, 01:40 PM:

Emily @ 102

the Constitution makes for a damn interesting gaming system

So the last seven years were the result of a series of really bad saving throws? That's the last time I run a half-Orc Senator.

#110 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2008, 01:46 PM:

Lori #108

Is there a URL, and which (In)Justices voted against it, versus Justices who voted for it.
I would expect that Scalia, and Alito voted for extermination of Habeas Corpus, and one of Roberts, Thomas, and Kennedy didn't--Clarence Thomas surprised me once or twice in the past three years, voting for something I approved and and I was astonished that he'd voted that way. Kennedy supposedly is starting to migrate away from right wing hardliner territory, and Roberts is less extreme than the bigot he replaced.

#111 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2008, 02:01 PM:

Hmm... could the so-called new media be indicted as accessories to the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Executive Branch of US Government and hit with an set of chargers of obfuscation and obstruction of justice?

I think they deserve it...

#112 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2008, 02:07 PM:

#110
Kennedy was with the majority on this one.

#113 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2008, 02:12 PM:

Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia were the dissenters.

Kennedy wrote the opinion, which includes some luscious language upholding the Constitution.

"Via SCOTUSBlog:

The Court has released the opinion in Boumediene v. Bush(06-1195) and Al-Odah v. United States (06-1196), on whether the Military Commissions Act of 2006 violates the habeas corpus rights of foreign detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. The ruling below, which found for the government, is reversed. Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion. The Chief Justice, Justice Scalia, Thomas and Alito dissented."

Paula, the folks at Firedoglake have much more on this, I'd say check there for links.

#114 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2008, 02:51 PM:

Lori Coulson @ 108

Chekhov: That's what I said... Habeas Corpus, I know that.

;-)

(includes links to BBC and NPR news stories)

#115 ::: dolloch ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2008, 06:10 PM:

HRES 1258 Motion to Refer.

Does that mean it's dead, or that the slow wheels of justice are moving? All but 7 abstentions on the Democratic side voted Aye.

Still, Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) responded back to my e-mail calling for impeachment saying that "At this time, however, I believe that impeachment proceedings against President Bush will only divide the country even further, frustrating our hopes for a meaningful change in direction, while having little chance of success."

Coward. Won't receive my vote again.

#117 ::: Gregory Fegel ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2008, 07:24 AM:

A preponderance of evidence shows that the highest officials of the Bush Administration, in collusion with many other officials from the Pentagon, CIA, FBI, FEMA, NSA, NORAD, airline executives, and others, together planned and committed the horrible attacks of 9/11, which were subsequently blamed on some bogus "Arab highjackers." The 9/11 attacks provided the excuse for the US government's "War on Terrorism," the chief purpose of which is for the USA to gain control of the lucrative oil fields of the Middle East. A secondary purpose is to increase taxation of Americans for Defense spending in support of the USA's enormous Military/Industrial Complex, and a tertiary purpose is the justification of the enactment of Police-State measures within the USA under the umbrella of "Homeland Security."
The Pentagon, CIA, FBI, and other agencies and officials of the US Government have perpetrated many crimes, assassinations, and bombings against US citizens and US interests during the past 45 years, including, but by no means limited to, the assassinations of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Martin Luther King; the 1988 Berlin Disco bombing; the 1993 WTC bombing; the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing; and the anthrax letter attacks of October 2001. Since the end of World War Two, fanatic right-wing ideologues with corporate connections have gradually gained control of the US military, the US intelligence agencies, and the US government. Fascism in the USA is not merely a current threat posed by the George W. Bush Administration; it is an already accomplished situation that has been decades in the making.
The USA's descent into fascism cannot be halted or stopped merely by electing a member of the Democrat Party to the Presidency or by electing a Democrat majority to Congress. The infiltration and control of the US government by right-wing extremists is far too advanced and complete -- they manipulate our elected officials like puppets on a string, and many of our elected officials are themselves part of the fascist establishment. The right-wing takeover of the US government has been a gradual and very successful fascist coup that will not be reversed without a very serious struggle. Given the history of extreme and indiscriminate violence shown by the ruling junta, it appears quite likely to me that restoring democracy to the USA would inevitably require a violent armed struggle.
As a US citizen and as a human being, I personally view the killing of innocent people in foreign countries by the CIA and the US military in support of the economic interests of US corporations as totally immoral and intolerable, and I consider it my duty to oppose US aggression and Imperialism in any way that I can. There is nothing noble or 'heroic' about unprovoked military aggression and genocide.
I realize that there are some very worthy reasons to oppose capital punishment in many situations. However, it is also quite apparent to me that any show of clemency for the US government perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks leaves open the possibility that they and their sympathizers could revive their subversion of American democracy and their violence toward peace-loving Americans. That is why I advocate a policy of capital punishment without any mercy for the US government perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and their allies.
George W., George H., Jeb, Neil, and Marvin Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Rove, Wolfowitz, Powell, Armitage, Ashcroft, Mueller, Tenet, Goss, Giuliani, Hayden, Chertoff, Baker and scores of other individuals working for the White House, CIA, FBI, FEMA, the Pentagon, NSA, NORAD, the airline industry, and the US news media together planned and executed the 9/11 attacks. All of the above-named and their accomplices need to be tried for Treason and Mass Murder, with the death penalty as the reward for their conviction of those crimes.
We need a Nuremberg-style trial for Treason and Mass Murder for all of the members of the US government, the US military, the US intelligence agencies, and their civilian accomplices in the airline industry and the news media who participated in the murderous crimes of 9/11. The death penalty should be applied to all of the principals and their accomplices, even if that means executing several hundred or even several thousand people, because crimes against the Republic of this magnitude cannot go unpunished, and the punishment must be extreme to send a message that the American people will not tolerate such Treason now or in the future. If allowed to remain unpunished and at liberty, these individuals represent a grave threat to the safety and security of all Americans. If convicted of the heinous crimes of 9/11, the death penalty is the only way to ensure that they or their allies will not somehow manage to attack America and Americans again. The executions should be performed in public and be televized for the entire world to witness.
No one in or out of the US government should be exempt from prosecution and capital punishment for the Treasonous attacks of 9/11. The planners and participants in the 9/11 attacks within the US government and their accomplices must not be allowed to protect themselves behind the specious excuse of "National Security." The true security and survival of our Republic depends entirely on this.

-- Gregory F. Fegel

#118 ::: Terry sees a rant of questionable merit ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2008, 07:34 AM:

Not spam, exactly, but not all that wonderful either.

#119 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2008, 08:23 AM:

It's cut-n-paste from elsewhere on the 'Net.

Over at McClatchy I'd delete it without notice and without a second thought.

#120 ::: Matthew Nielsen ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2008, 05:41 PM:

I quite agree with #116, dolloch. This is a pathetic attempt by the speaker to appear to be in possession of a spine. After yesterdays craven capitulation the first person I think of for impeachment is Pelosi, then Reid, THEN Bush.

#121 ::: AJ ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2008, 12:06 AM:

Midnight tonight. The move to impeach Bush is waiting on people's signiture and support. Dennis will hand deliver all signitures this Friday, in an effort to put it back on the table. If he fails, it means the American people are OK with Bush's unilateral wars, and all presidents to follow get the legal precedence.
Please help Congressman Kucinich stand up for us. http://www.kucinich.us

#122 ::: Jacque Denise Yap ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2008, 03:22 PM:

well i hope that the next president well do good on his turn, but as of the moment , i really can't tell which i would side with, but i am leaning towards obama. Furthermore, the GOP base is not even warming up to mccain (of course, i could be wrong) and even though it's still early in the game, this just proves to show how we see our candidates to-date. i know i will get burned for this, but i think mccain is a warmonger. i get the impression that he doesn't care to what happens to our troops in the middle east and the other parts of the world. Can’t we just all get along? i think it is time for a purification; i think it is time for a change; i think it is time for obama time. Now that the candidates are set for the US Presidential Election, Barack Obama and John McCain are beginning to set the tone for their campaign, i just want to share a video that i saw earlier in pollclash that the two presidential candidates talked about their plans on how to solve the huge taxes that we are paying and so far Obama has a good plan than McCain has,, well you can see the video in http://pollclash.com

#123 ::: Joel Polowin sees astroturf ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2008, 03:29 PM:

Same message posted all over blogspace.

#124 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2008, 03:37 PM:

Well, thanks to the Nofollow link, he isn't getting any googlejuice out of it. At least not from here.

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