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Ten Reasons to Impeach the President!

Ten Reasons To Impeach the President -- And One Reason Why 
Democratic Leaders Are Wrong To Be Afraid To Do It 

President Bush has committed grave offenses against the Constitution 
and against the people of the United States. Among these offenses 

1. Initiating a war of aggression against a nation that posed no 
immediate threat to the U.S. -- a war that has needlessly killed 
2500 Americans and maimed and damaged over 20,000 more, while 
killing between 50-100,000 innocent Iraqi men, women and children. 

2. Lying and organizing a conspiracy to trick the American people 
and the U.S. Congress into approving an unnecessary and illegal war. 

3. Approving and encouraging, in violation of U.S. and international 
law, the use of torture, kidnapping and rendering of prisoners of 
war captured in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the course of the so-
called War on Terror. 

4. Illegally stripping the right of citizenship and the protections 
of the constitution from American citizens, denying them the 
fundamental right to have their cases heard in a court, to hear the 
charges against them, to be judged in a public court by a jury of 
their peers, and to have access to a lawyer. 

5. Authorizing the spying on American citizens and their 
communications by the National Security Agency and other U.S. police 
and intelligence agencies, in violation of the First and Fourth 
Amendments and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). 

6. Obstructing investigation into and covering up knowledge of the 
deliberate exposing of the identity of a U.S. CIA undercover 
operative, and possibly conspiring in that initial outing itself. 

7. Obstructing the investigation into the 9-11 attacks and lying to 
investigators from the Congress and the bi-partisan 9-11 Commission -
- actions that come perilously close to treason. 

8. Violating the due process and other constitutional rights of 
thousands of citizens and legal residents by rounding them up and 
disappearing or deporting them without hearings. 

9. Abuse of power, undermining of the constitution and violating the 
presidential oath of office by deliberately refusing to administer 
over 750 acts duly passed into law by the Congress -- actions which 
if left unchallenged would make the Congress a vestigial body, and 
the president a dictator. 

10. Criminal negligence in failing to provide American troops with 
adequate armor before sending them into a war of choice, criminal 
negligence in going to war against a weak, third-world nation 
without any planning for post-war occupation and reconstruction, 
criminal negligence in failing to respond to a known and growing 
crisis in the storm-blasted city of New Orleans, and criminal 
negligence in failing to act, and in fact in actively obstructing 
efforts by other countries and American state governments, to deal 
with the looming crisis of global warming. 

Each one of these offenses (and it is not meant to be a complete 
list) would be sufficient on its own to require the president's 
removal from office, and in some cases, where an actual statutory 
crime can be charged, his subsequent indictment and trial. Together 
they cry out for impeachment and removal. 

There are those, like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who 
argue against impeachment, claiming that it would be a diversion 
from the "important agenda" of the Democratic Party. Aside from the 
fact that there is not much "there" in the so-called agenda of the 
so-called opposition, the reality is that the Democratic Party, 
should it manage to win a majority in House and Senate in November, 
will be unable to accomplish a single thing with President Bush in 
the White House, since the president has already claimed that he has 
the power to violate and ignore 750 acts and laws passed by a 
Congress led by his own party. Before the Democrats can count on a 
single bill of theirs becoming the law of the land, they will have 
to remove this usurper from office. Even ardent conservatives should 
be afraid of leaving stand actions that, if unchallenged, will set a 
precedent for all future presidents, Republican and Democrat, making 
American presidents into tyrants answerable to no one. 

There are those who fear that impeaching Bush would mean turning 
over the White House to Vice President Dick Cheney. This is 
nonsense. The vice president has long been known to be the real 
president, and any constitutional crimes that are exposed in the 
course of impeachment hearings will quickly be traced also to 
Cheney's office. The vice president, however, does not have the 
president's Constitutional immunity from prosecution, and would 
likely be indicted and forced to resign long before Bush's 
impeachment got to a Senate trial. Nor would impeaching Bush mean 
turning the White House over to Rep. Dennis Hastert. Besides the 
fact that Hastert is reportedly facing his own legal troubles, 
impeachment is not even going to occur unless the Democrats take 
over the House in November first, and that would make the next 
person in line after Cheney none other than Democrat Pelosi. 

There are people, especially in the media, who say impeachment is a 
bad idea both because it would allegedly cause a "constitutional 
crisis" and because it would lead to public anger at Democrats who 
promoted another divisive political battle. This is both 
unprincipled and absurd. First of all, impeachment is no 
constitutional crisis: the Founders thought it so important that 
they included impeachment of the president in the same Article II of 
the Constitution that defines the president's powers. If anything, 
we are facing a constitutional crisis right now. Impeachment is an 
integral part of the governing process. Secondly, polls suggest that 
a majority of Americans favor impeachment -- certainly more than 
ever favored impeachment of either Clinton or Nixon. People have had 
it with the sanctimoniousness, the dishonesty, the staggering 
incompetence and the nasty political dirty tricks of this 
administration. Third, they want an opposition that will stand on 
principle. But finally and most importantly, the crimes of this 
president and this administration are so grievous that it is 
shameful to even talk about practicalities and political advantage. 
The president simply must be impeached, because as the Willie Sutton 
of Constitutional violators, he is putting the Republic and the 
Constitution at grave risk. The only principled and valid discussion 
about strategy is about how best to achieve impeachment, not about 
whether to seek impeachment. 

No one should imagine that a successful impeachment of President 
Bush would usher in some wonderful new world of honest and 
progressive government. The Democratic Party long ago lost its soul 
and its right to call itself a party of the people. But if the 
American people, in the course of this 2006 election year, force the 
Democratic Party to do that which their leaders are afraid to do -- 
to impeach this criminal president -- there is a chance that those 
same people will also push the Democratic Party to do other things 
that it has not done in decades: namely, to act in the interests of 
ordinary working people instead of the same moneyed interests that 
own the party of Lincoln.

Dave Lindorff 


Dave Lindorff, a long-time Salon contributor, is co-author with 
Olshansky, of  The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for 
President George W. Bush from Office, (St. Martin's Press, May 2006).
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.