Thursday, July 26, 2007
Back To Democracy has taken on the task of collecting signatures petitioning the Village to pass a resolution which would encourage our State Legislators, and Congressional Representatives to inquire into the impeachment of President Bush, and Vice President Cheney. We have collected over 100 signatures, and will continue to collect more through the summer. The Mayor and the village board have agreed to hold a special meeting at the Trumansburg Fire Hall on Monday September 24th at 7pm.
We are not asking them to pass this resolution because we disagree with the policies of the Bush Administration, or because of our strong dislike of Bush and Cheney. It's much more than that. Impeachment is a remedy to protect against serious abuse of power and subversion of constitutional government. Impeachment is a means to secure our democracy against present and also future harm. Impeachment is a method of sending a signal to the rest of the world that we do not condone the behavior of this administration.
Recent events have made our case even stronger. President Bush commuted Scooter Libby's sentence just five hours after a federal appeals panel ruled that Libby could not delay his prison term, an obvious quid pro quo. This case is all about how our country was lied into an illegal preemptive war. Libby's sentence was commuted in-order to buy his silence and obstruct justice in the investigations into the treasonous outing of Valerie Plame Wilson. Valerie's covert CIA status was leaked in-order to punish her husband, Joe Wilson for exposing the lies such as the famous 16 words in Bush's 1/28/03 State of the Union "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." The Bush administration was told by the CIA, and the State Department, and Joe Wilson himself after his fact finding trip to Africa, that this was false, yet he felt it was necessary in-order to deceive Congress and the public into supporting his war.
A Zogby poll on 11/05 asked if people would want Congress to impeach Bush if he lied about the reasons for going to war in Iraq. 53% to 42% said yes. Two more years of war, and escalation, and now this with Libby have certainly increased the percentage. The Zogby poll said that 76% of democrats favored impeachment, compared to 29% of republicans. The Board of Elections tells us that we have 577 registered democrats and 309 republicans. If we assumed that Trumansburg would follow the trends suggested by the Zogby poll, there is little doubt that the village would approve of the passage of the resolution.
Nixon claimed executive privilege and refused to hand over the Watergate tapes. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that he could not use executive privilege to withhold evidence if it involved the possibility of a crime by the president. So he handed over the tapes (minus 18 minutes) and things got a little hotter, but it wasn't until he fired Archibald Cox, that it became obvious to the American people and Congress that he considered himself above the law and that impeachment was the clear remedy.
Now Bush is claiming executive privilege and denying Patrick Leahy's subpoena for documents and testimony about the clear lawbreaking that the president bragged about on national television. The NSA warrant-less wiretapping program was clearly in violation of FISA law as has been ruled by Judge Anna Diggs Taylor. Bush's Saturday Night Massacre moment - instead of firing a special prosecutor to prove to the American people that he puts himself above the law - he commutes Libby's sentence.
Presidents have the right to commute sentences, but common sense dictates that he would have to recuse himself from a case involving his own office.