Kucinich Pushes on Impeachment By Jason Leopold July 12, 2008


Kucinich Pushes on Impeachment

By Jason Leopold
July 12, 2008

Congress has plenty of evidence that George W. Bush deserves impeachment for misleading the nation into war in Iraq, authorizing torture and other grave crimes, and violating the Constitution – and it is now time to act, says Rep. Dennis Kucinich.

“How many more hearings do we need to have to prove this administration has violated the Constitution, taken the law into its own hands, and condoned torture?” asked Kucinich, D-Ohio, author of some three dozen articles of impeachment.

“These articles of impeachment are about accountability,” Kucinich said in an interview. “I think our country is at risk. We’re setting a terrible precedent for future administrations if we choose to turn a blind eye to the crimes committed by this administration.

“We need to send a message to the next President that if he conducts himself in a similar capacity it would be met with a response from the Congress that you are going to be held to account. … There is a point at which you reduce Congress to a debating society.”

Last month, Kucinich stunned colleagues when he introduced an impeachment resolution on the House floor and then spent nearly five hours reading the 35 articles, alleging that President Bush was guilty of a wide range of crimes.

The articles of impeachment were introduced a few days after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a long-awaited report on prewar Iraq intelligence that concluded Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney knowingly misled the public and Congress about Iraq's links to al-Qaeda and the threat the country posed to the United States.

The House sidetracked Kucinich’s resolution by voting – 251-166 – to send it to the House Judiciary Committee. At the time, Kucinich said he expected Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers to hold hearings within a 30-day deadline Kucinich had imposed, but Conyers chose not to act.

On Thursday, Kucinich said he had whittled down the 35 articles of impeachment to a single article, alleging Bush “deceived” Congress into believing Iraq had weapons of mass destruction in order to get lawmakers to back a U.S.-led invasion of the country.

The one article was introduced by Kucinich on the House floor as a privileged resolution, which requires lawmakers to act on the measure within two legislative days.

‘Good Faith’

At a news conference, Kucinich said he understands “that many members of Congress voted in good faith to authorize the use of force against Iraq, and I understand that many in the media supported that action.

“When the President of the United States makes representations on matters of life and death, we all want to believe him and give him the benefit of the doubt. Trust is the glue which holds the fabric of our nation together. …

“We all know the consequences of the war, the loss of lives and injury to our troops, the deaths of innocent Iraqis, the cost to the American taxpayers. There has been another consequence: Great damage to our Constitution through an unnecessary, illegal war and the destruction of the superior role of Congress in the life of this nation.”

Kucinich said "Congress must, in the name of the American people, use the one remedy which the Founders provided for an Executive who gravely abused his power: Impeachment.”

In 2006, then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared impeachment “off the table,” in part, to avoid alarming centrist voters. Now, House Speaker Pelosi is keeping the issue “off the table” as Democrats eye the possibility of larger majorities in November’s elections.

"Speaker Pelosi will continue to lead legislative efforts to find a new direction in Iraq but believes that impeachment would create a divisive battle, be a distraction from Congress's efforts to chart a new course for America's working families and would ultimately fail," Pelosi's spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer last month.

On Thursday, Pelosi shifted her stance somewhat by indicating that there is a strong possibility that the House Judiciary Committee may hold hearings on impeachment, but indicated that it’s still unlikely that the full House would take action on impeachment.

"This is a Judiciary Committee matter, and I believe we will see some attention being paid to it by the Judiciary Committee," Pelosi told reporters. "Not necessarily taking up the articles of impeachment because that would have to be approved on the floor, but to have some hearings on the subject."

Conyers's office did not return calls Thursday afternoon. In the past, the Michigan congressman said he did not support Democratic efforts to impeach President Bush. Last year, a resolution introduced by Kucinich to impeach Vice President Cheney died in Conyers's committee.

Iran Threats

Some leading Democrats have indicated they would back impeachment proceedings but only if President Bush authorized a military strike against Iran without first consulting Congress, according to a May 8 letter sent to President Bush by Conyers.

"Late last year, Senator Joseph Biden stated unequivocally that ‘the President has no authority to unilaterally attack Iran, and if he does, as Foreign Relations Committee chairman, I will move to impeach’ the President.

"We agree with Senator Biden, and it is our view that if you do not obtain the constitutionally required congressional authorization before launching preemptive military strikes against Iran or any other nation, impeachment proceedings should be pursued,” Conyers's letter said.

Kucinich said Conyers’s way of ensuring the administration does not launch a preemptive attack against Iran is illogical.

“The way to make sure [the Bush administration] doesn't attack Iran is to move forward with impeachment now,” Kucinich said in the interview. “We have an obligation to move forward now. We can't have this administration put us in a second war based on a similar approach.”

President Bush “misled the American people. He led us to believe Iraq posed an imminent threat. We cannot wait until they do something with Iran,” Kucinich said.

Kucinich said if Pelosi attempts to derail his efforts or if Conyers fails to hold hearings he would keep on introducing new articles of impeachment.

“I have informed the leadership of the House should they fail to hold hearings I would come back to the Congress in 30 days with even more articles,” Kucinch said.

“I may have to do this one or two more times before I get their attention and Congress starts to take this seriously. After I introduced this, there was discussion among the media that this is dead.

“Well, I hope they believe in life after death because I am coming back with this. Under a privileged resolution I can bring it up again and again and again. We cannot keep silent. We cannot allow the country to be lost to lies.”

Jason Leopold has launched a new Web site, The Public Record, at www.pubrecord.org


Is Kucinich the only America first member of Congress?

It certainly seems like

It certainly seems like that. Like it's one big national "The Emperor Who Wore No Clothes" story. In a parallel universe. I just don't get it. How Reality is completely ignored by most in Congress, many Americans, and the Fourth Estate.

What will it take to activate Congress . . . ? (Rhetorical question . . .)

Summer of Truth

Add your name to Kucinich's petition

We can all add steam to this effort by signing the petition at kucinich.us.
On Tuesday, July 15, Kucinich will personally deliver the signatures to each of our congressional representatives, so it will be apparent that vocal, active people within their own districts are concerned about the crimes that were - and continue to be - committed by the Bush Administration. Help with this push to justice!

Waste of time

This is a waste of time, a distraction, it just will not happen. We should instead be focusing on prosecuting Bush, Cheney et al once they are out of office in January and become "ordinary citizens" again. There are lots of lawyers and DAs preparing cases against them right now, both in the US and Europe - books like Bugliosi's provide a literal "off the shelf" case that's clear cut. And our specific demand must be that President Obama will not give them a pardon, the only thing that can truly protect them.
Just as Watergate was ultimately rooted in the JFK assassination - Nixon called it the "Bay of Pigs thing" on the White House tapes, the crimes of this regime revolve around 9/11, so even a trial that deals only with Iraq and/or torture should come back to 9/11.

I agree 110%

A pardon from Obama would be their only way out and that would only be good in the United States. Let them go to Europe or some foreign country and watch them get arrested as war criminals. I would love it. I hate those people and want to see them shot! I mean it. They have caused so much misery to so many people it isn't funny. LEGS JUST HOPE we can get them out of office. Who knows what they might try between now and then to stay in power. I think it's a little late for impeachment. I agree, it's a waste of time.................................."Have I told you lately how much I hate these people?"

Makes one wonder.

It makes you wonder if the whole procedure has intentionally been held back this long because it's too late to make a difference and yet people like Kucinich can always claim they tried.
Either Bush/Cheney will have moved on to greener pastures by then or, God forbid, there will be a "terror attack and martial law and all that entails.
It just seems like an exercise in futility. Those in power will not readily relinquish it.

How stupid do they think we are?

I hear you guys, and I agree

I hear you guys, and I agree with you to an extent, but it's not a waste of time (whose time?) keeping the impeachment issue in the spotlight (especially as it's beginning to make the MSM news), and in the forefront of everyone's mind, even if it doesn't happen.

Dennis Kucinich is playing the political game by its rules. If he didn't push for impeachment and get his 35 Articles of Impeachment on record, what else could he do but twiddle his thumbs and sit silently by on the sidelines like most of our other Congress men and women?

The impeachment issue HAS to continue, even if it won't happen, because it will then make it harder for Obama to pardon Bush et al. which I could see Obama doing, and to make it easier for any attorneys a la Bugliosi to go after these criminals currently in office after they leave office. (Tell me why George W. Bush has purchased 99,000 acres in Paraguay?)

Impeachment is SO not 110% a waste of time! If we hadn't tried to impeach Nixon, maybe he would never have resigned. (Although "the powers that be" would probably have deleted him in another manner . . . ) : )

Clinton should have gone after "the Crazies" and the people involved in the Iran-Contra affair. The Democrats need to do the right thing now and "steel their spines", to borrow a quote from D. William Pepper.

Summer of Truth


A Note to the Peace Movement

Submitted by davidswanson on Fri, 2008-07-11 20:20. Activism Impeachment
From David Swanson

The peace movement has stood for peace and justice, for ending wars, preventing new ones, and building peace. Our top priority in Washington, D.C., has been ending the funding of the occupation. That work is over for the next year, because Congress has provided that funding.

We can still work against recruitment, we can still educate, we can still agitate, we can still oppose an attack on Iran. But one of our secondary priorities in Washington has been imposing a penalty for the illegal attack on Iraq in order to discourage future attacks on Iran or anywhere else. We have pushed half-heartedly for impeachment, with our main lobbying focus on cutting off the money.

Now, at the same time that the money is a done deal for another year, the possibility of impeachment is beginning to spark. After over two years of declaring impeachment "off the table," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has relented and suggested that some sort of preliminary hearing be held in the Judiciary Committee - and specifically on the impeachable offense of misleading a nation into war.

If the peace movement is not just a movement against one war or occupation, but a movement for peace, we should push with everything we've got for that hearing to happen, happen soon, and happen well. We should ask everyone who cares about peace to phone Pelosi and Committee Chairman John Conyers, as well as their own representatives, whom they should ask to introduce their own articles of impeachment.

We've been on a losing streak, brothers and sisters, and the door is cracking open toward a major victory. Let's open that door fully and lead a peaceful march of millions through it.



The rest of the above article:

"PLEASE CALL and demand that Impeachment Hearings be started BEFORE the Election

House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr.: (202) 225-5126
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (202) 225-4965
And your Congressman: Call Toll Free 800-828-0498 & ask for your Rep.

Contact info:

If we fail to motivate our Congressmen to call for Impeachment Hearings before the Election, we will lose all of our
power to change America for four years. "

I just called and left strong messages!

Here's a recent link for some positive news from Pelosi's office:


Let's push for hearings ASAP, if nothing else it will give these crooks something to divert attention away from the Iran attack plans!

Here's the latest from Scott Ritter on an Iran attack.

Thanks Betsy! It's never too late!


Interesting. James, you probably know a lot more about this than I do, but wouldn't it helpful to any future trials for there to be impeachment? Or is your position that it is not the best investment of time?

I'll be honest, I have one major, massive concern right now regarding the final days of the Bush administration: I don't want a war with Iran. I don't know tactically how impeachment fits in there, but if it makes it harder for Bush to attack Iran for fear of escalating the impeachment process, then I am all for it.

Or maybe it wouldn't make a difference and there are better approaches. I honestly don't know.

I hear ya bearcat

A war with Iran would be a total disaster and the Bush administration wants one real bad. Now would be the time for a nuclear 9/11 so as to blame Iran, declare Martial Law and keep Bush in power. Pray it doesn't happen.

No-win situation.

Whether it's a nuclear 9/11 or a pre-emptive attack on Iran, the impeachment proceedings are automatically shelved because it would be "unpatriotic" to go after the exalted leader in time of war.
I so hate to be a pessimist but it looks like a no-win.
Edit. Cynthia McKinney is the only real hero.

How stupid do they think we are?

Remember, Bush Sr.

Remember, Bush Sr. sent US troops into Somalia as a lame duck in December '92--a nice parting gift (that and the Iran-Contra pardons), another crisis to hand off to the next administration.

I suspect much more going on.....

Bush and Cheney should be impeached. Everyone realizes the treasonous behavior of this administration!

I suspect, Conyers has been compromised and Pelosi is actually part of the Agenda. I even have my doubts about Kucinich who may just be a token outlet for dissent ? The deaths of Carnahan and Wellstone leave little doubt there are forces of intimidation at work in Congress.

I also suspect COG (Continuity of Government) has much more to do with the peculiar behavior of Congress than virtually anyone realizes at the moment!

You can't count on Congress. Congress has failed the people too many times.

Kucinich is right the only answer is the one you see in the mirror!

...don't believe them!