Dear Chairman Conyers,
We have patiently asked you to begin impeachment hearings since you became Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in January 2007, but you have ignored us.
We believed Speaker Pelosi ordered you not to hold hearings, but you insist that's not true - that the decision is entirely yours.
So what's holding you back?
Certainly it's not a question of legal merit. You know better than us that George Bush and Dick Cheney have committed innumerable crimes by invading Iraq on the basis of lies, authorizing torture, outing Valerie Plame, wiretapping millions of U.S. citizens without a warrant, and corrupting the Justice Department, to name just a few. You wrote a book about these crimes entitled "The Constitution in Crisis" before you became Chairman.
Nor is it a question of respecting the Presidency. While you have been the model of respect for a year as Chairman, George Bush and Dick Cheney have demonstrated their utter contempt for Congress (and subverted the Constitution and the Rule of Law) by ignoring Congressional subpoenas and issuing signing statements to nullify Congressional laws.
You never disagree with us on substance, you only disagree with us on politics. You make several political arguments, but they are all fatally flawed:
1. The "corporate power structure" would not allow George Bush to be impeached without unleashing "blowback."
We want you to hold impeachment hearings for Dick Cheney, not George Bush. Bush is the most unpopular President in the history of polling, and Cheney is much more unpopular than Bush. If the "corporate power structure" wants to fight for Dick Cheney, we say bring it on!
2. Democrats who support impeachment hearings will be viciously attacked by Republicans and the rightwing media (FOX, Rush Limbaugh, etc.).
Who cares? They cannot defeat you - or any other Democrat - in the next election, because rightwing Republicans are just 30% of the voters. They viciously attacked Democrats in 2006, but we gained 30 seats. Democratic voters are even more energized than we were in 2006 and the latest Democracy Corps poll shows Democrats could win up to 40 more seats.
3. The Republican "base" will be unified and energized by impeachment hearings and will rally to elect John McCain in November.
The Republican "base" is deeply divided on impeachment - 39% of Republicans believe Cheney has abused his powers and 21% support his impeachment and removal. They are also deeply divided about John McCain because he is not a "true conservative" on immigration, taxes, campaign finance, global warming, and other issues. If Congress begins impeachment hearings, McCain will have to choose between the Constitution and Cheney. If he chooses the Constitution he'll lose rightwingers, and if he chooses Cheney he'll lose moderates. Let's force McCain to make that impossible choice!
4. You cannot persuade 218 Democrats to vote for Articles of Impeachment for Dick Cheney.
History shows impeachment hearings will be closely watched by the American people. As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, your job is to preside over hearings that are comprehensive and fair. If you put all the evidence of Cheney's crimes before the American people, the American people will convince every Democrat in Congress to vote for Articles of Impeachment for Dick Cheney, along with every Republican who honors his/her oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
On 2/7/08, Chairman John Conyers presided over a House Judiciary Committee hearing at which Attorney General Michael Mukasey testified he would not investigate torture (video) or warrantless spying (video), he would not enforce contempt citations (video), and he would treat Justice Department opinions as providing immunity for crimes (report).
It is now the official position of the Bush-Cheney administration that the President and Vice President are above the law.
It is time for Chairman Conyers to uphold his oath to "Protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" by holding impeachment hearings for Vice President Cheney.
After voting in the past 45 years of elections I have reached a low point in my faith in and respect for Congress. It would do wonders for my attitude if you would hold this administration accountable. Impeachment hearings might result as I believe they will with throwing the bums out, or they might exonerate the crooks. What are you lilly livers afraid of? For Christ's sake lets have a little accountability, or get the hell off my payroll!
Honorable Chairman Conyers, Rep. Wexler, Rep. Nadler:
I am a 74 year old woman, independent voter. I have watched as many of the House Judiciary Hearings as I can obtain online, some several times.
I wish to commend you and your committee for the overall conduct of your hearings. I consider each of you to be true statesmen dedicated to being true to your sworn duty to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and uphold the laws of our nation. I feel for each of you in the frustrations and obstructions which you meet at every turn in your efforts to honorably and justly perform your duties.
After watching the hearing at which Attorney General Mukasey testified as your witness, I agree with Rep. Wexler that there seems to be no avenue of communication with the Executive Branch short of the impeachment process because the wall of "executive privilege" and "state secrets" is thrown up to block the House in its oversight duties. I thank Chairman Conyers for reminding the AG that "every member here is cleared for top secret material".
In my opinion these two "reasons" for not providing information to the House is not to protect national security but to cover up their own crimes, the nature of which is well known to each member of your committee. In my opinion, Bush is using executive privilege to exercise the powers of A DICTATOR!
I know Speaker Pelosi has taken impeachment "off the table" and, as far as I can learn, the reason given was that it would be a waste of time. I think that it is for a very different reason. In my opinion she did that because she attended some of the meetings chaired by Condo Rice the subject of which were the specific "enhanced interrogation techniques" to be used on detainees, and since she did not object to same, she thus became complicit in the findings and results of those meetings and in the conspiracy to commit the crimes which resulted from those meetings.
I respectfully request that impeachment proceedings for Pres. George W. Bush and Vice Pres. Cheney be formally brought to the floor of the House for a full vote.
Thank you, each and every member of this Committee.
Peggy A. Wingfield
I didn't remove your comments, but I wonder if you've reviewed our rules? I'm not sure you understand them. Are you a Democrat?
Excerpt from Civil Mayhem
CopyrightÓ 1987, 1997 Lori Valentine
‘Everyone should be treated Equal, and no one should be deprived of their autonomy.
Greed, treachery, fuses their hypocrisy, dovetails their bigotry, disappointments distressing the balance of our lives. Sheer tyranny taking a devastating toll, our world was about to change, forever!
We believed in a system that is supposed to be fair, and just. In verity our system is Corrupt, and there are some extremely wealthy “powerful men” who are the Oppressors, which dominate it.
Our Society has yet to realize the palpable malice, and the full ramifications of this Debacle.’ I choose freedom.
this administration has done enough damage if they walk away from all that has gone down then all i can say is there goes democracy down the drain because we all know that this administration doesn't reflect a true democracy.there should be a trial w/ most likely sentencing to war crimes against the american people and that just the beginning.i think you get the picture so if these so-called corrupt elected officials walk where's our democracy headed? down the road of complete failure is not where we the american people want to go impeachment now or never.
With all the violations of our Constitution it becomes imperative to impeach, or Congress will look like wimps. This will cause blowback when November rolls around.
There is an old Russian saying that a young woman is like champagne, an old one like borscht (beet soup). That is precisely the immediate and most palpable distinction in general between the appeal of Obama versus the appeal of McCain: the former is like champagne and the latter like borscht.
...I think the Right refers to Raygun in poetic terms (as the man had no prose) ;)
Your posts are appreciated. There certainly seems to be no logic that can break the hypnotic state folks have been in.
Seeing a new bolt of light(ning) spring forth in the primaries did not go unnoticed on dems.com. Brought quite a bit of joy to our "family" here!
Welcome to the site.
ON POETRY POLITICS, AND BARACK OBAMA
One of the more astute pundits, reflecting upon the state of American politics over the last several years, recently remarked in a throw-away line that the poetry had all gone out of it. That may appear to be a strange metaphor, but it is, in fact, very apt. To understand why, it is necessary to understand the nature of poetry and the effect it has on the human spirit.
Unlike prose, which more often than not merely describes and relates, a poem – a real poem – means. It cuts through the mundane to the essence of things. It reaches into where we live, jolting into acute awareness a sudden recognition of our own inner being. “Yes!” we say to the poet. “Yes, that is exactly how I feel too! You have found me out and opened this bond between us that validates who I am, and who I am is no longer alone in the universe!” Put another way, poetry is a spark that lights a candle within us, illuminating the darkness that was isolation, revealing assets and potentials of which we had previously been ignorant and connecting us to kindred souls.
Following the deaths of Martin Luther King, of John and Bobby Kennedy and the defeat of Eugene McCarthy, those of us who had been summoned by them to greater heights of personal endeavor by the vision of loftier goals than had previously been set for our generation were thrust back by the forces of prosaic business as usual. That is not to say progress wasn’t subsequently made in some areas, but it came without a sense of triumph and pride, for it rode in on the coattails of sheer expediency and pragmatism, achieved not as an expression of right prevailing over wrong, but as a means to what often became selfish and even nefarious ends.
Jesus is alleged to have said that perfect love casts out all fear. Who has not witnessed the truth of this? Men have faced the most daunting obstacles and dangers for the women they love, mothers for their children. Such displays of courage are by no means limited to these commonplace examples. When people speak of being inspired, as many among the young are now inspired by Barack Obama, what they’re expressing is his capacity for casting out of them their fear to act, their fear of failing, their fear of censure, their fear of revealing who they are. This is the “romance” of politics that has been missing for so long: that unspoken but powerful attraction between a leader who is loved and those eager to prove themselves worthy of implementing the causes he promotes.
In the cause lies the nitty-gritty, and it is, of course, essential. But there is nothing to suggest that Obama does not have a firm grasp of all that involves. What he lends to the mundane details of forging policies and putting them into action with what may well be painful effort is the difference between doing a job grudgingly merely to earn a living and doing it joyfully with a sense of fulfillment and pride.
I am happy for our nation’s youth, happy that they have been given this opportunity to identify themselves with something nobler than partisanship and narrow self-interest. The truly great leader is the one who leaves us with smiles on our faces, not with our fists in the air; who stirs us to jubilation, not anger; and who defeats his enemies by treating them like friends.
From a 66-wizened-male -- well said.
we need to hold the vicepresident and everyone involved accountable.
I would like to see the entire Bush Administration personnel who either lied or tried to interfere with hearing on the truth be impeached along with President Bush. His entire cronies were a fiasco and I know that ex-President Nixon is turning over in his grave for the little corruption that occured on his watch and this Republican Administration has set a differnt pace for the American people to accept which is corrupt so many lies from practically all of his staff who are backing President Bush. Why did Colen Powell resign his post? He knew that he was being used by the George Bush to lie to the people about the WMD in Iraq. Let's go get them all who have played a deceitful role in all important matter concerning this current administration. Thank You.
As long as there are people out there defending Bush, Cheney and the administration because they were led to believe this war is Moral and the troups are there defending us here in America and is tied to 9/11, our activism goes unheard and continually challenged, and bringing Impeachment hearings against these two people will show, for the world to see and know, they are liars and have betrayed the American people and have dismantled our Democracy!
I understand everyone's frustrations, here. But, it's all very much unhinged. This is all a cry in the wilderness. There were 25 Senate Democrats today that voted for telco immunity. We are a nation of laws and a democratic nation. These thugs are out the door. Focus on the future, not the past. Work to elect better Democrats. Work to increase majorities in the House and Senate. There will be no vote on impeachment. This is political reality. History will be the judge, let it be so. Keep the sanctimony for blogs.
The soul of this country is at stake. Whatever the Democrats fear they are risking by taking this step is less important than demonstrating the meaning of 'the rule of law'. The citizens of this country need to know that their representatives will do what they are elected to do even when it's hard. We are counting on you to do what needs to be done or history will show that this Congress was the beginning of the end of this 'democracy'. The walls have begun to tumble. Please...
As I respect you, Congressman, as my representative in Washington, please respect not only me and all your voting constituents, but the integrity of the American Constitution upon which our beloved country stands or falls. This is a time in history where you hold our fate in your competent, courageous, and morally confident hands. Don't disappoint us, please.
Deborah L. Finn
America is in crisis. If we don't start Cheney impeachment hearings, and Bush impeachment hearings for that matter, we are doing our country and constitution a great disservice! If we don't investigate what has happened with this administration, aren't we just opening the door for future administrations to do the same thing? ie: lie, take away our rights, set their own laws, go against the constitution, etc.
It is imperative that we start these hearings to protect our Constitution and to protect our citizens from this ever happening again!!
I am truly frustrated and disappointed with the continued arrogance of this administration and the blind eyes of congress. Open your eyes and do what is right for the nation and not just think of yourselves or your party. Do not protect someone who knowingly lied to the American citizens and who continues to lie for the sake of his agenda and legacy.
It is high time we finally turn around this country and to protect this country!!
I urge the impeachment of Vice President Cheney based on the facts. We cannot begin to heal this great nation or repair the damage that has been done to our reputation overseas until we confront the crimes of this Administration. Impeachment is well justified also once political considerations are dialed in. Force John McCain either to come to the defense of Dick Cheney or to defend the constitution, or perhaps to take a position in which he clearly stands for neither.
Please hold the administration accountable for their actions. Our children and all future generations need us to do this.
Dear Congressman Conyers -
As a former Michigan resident, I've followed your career and had the utmost respect for you for many years.
This is a time to step into history. Impeachment is the last guarantee of our Constitution against tyranny and fascism. By any standard this current Vice President, and President, have undertaken a destruction of the Constitution that has been egregious.
It must be met by official action, or the country - not to mention the democratic party and the democratic process - will go undefended, and will wither away.
You are squarely in the eye of history, now. Please take the steps we all know are right: the Republicans rejuvenated impeachment as a political weapon, now it's up to you to elevate it to where it belongs - as a last line of defense of the constitution.
sincerely, garby francis leon phd
This is long overdue. It should have been done YEARS ago. Instead, you sat on your collective asses and let these fascist thugs trash our country, our military, our reputation, and our economy. Why don't you just once do the job you were elected to do, which is to represent We, the People, and our wishes. Quit playing politics and do what's right for a change, for the country, for all Americans, and for the World; they, too, need to know that this is only an aberration, not the new American way.
Stupidity Should Be Painful To The Stupid, Too!!!
Dear Chairman Conyers: You've been a hero to millions of us over the years, starting with your action as a young coungressman in 1974 getting your peers to inundate the Judiciary Committee with so many bills they thought they'd best start impeachment of Nixon -- who then had the decency (unlike the current "president") to resign.
We are desperately in need of that bravery again, now -- without another moment lost. The only question you and others in Congress need to ask is: IS THIS A NATION OF LAWS OR NOT? Very simple question, to which there can only be one answer.
Think of our prisons, crammed with non-violent inmates, or worse, juveniles, who are behind bars for the slightest offense, caged like animals, in the name of "justice" and the name of the "law."
Yet here is the person holding the highest office in the country, controlling enough nuclear weapons to blow up the world 10 times over, who lied to the citizens and Congress to pursue an illegal war, has illegally spied on citizens and wiretapped them without cause, has blocked the most precious of our freedoms, the right to know what crime we're accused and the right to defend ourselves, and the most blatant power grab in history with the hundreds of "signing statements," giving Bush many more powers than the Constitution allows, a "president" who has blatantly stated: "Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It's just a goddamn piece of paper!" -
If this is not enough cause for impeachment, Chairman Conyers ....WHAT IS? (oh, playing hanky-panky with an intern in the back room, then lying to cover it up???) It's too much to bear. I doubt if Beltway politicians have any idea how much anger and frustration exists out here.
It is time to stand up to the outrageous conempt for the consitution. You know it is so, Just reread your own comments and follow your mind and your heart.
History will record you as a man of honor and courage.