CONGRESS SHOULD BEGIN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY OF BUSH AND CHENEY

From: Bill Cole (bill_at_scconsult.com)
Date: 04/20/04


Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 03:18:10 GMT

Nader: Iraq an Unconstitutional, Illegal War

Based on Five Falsehoods:
  CONGRESS SHOULD BEGIN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY OF BUSH AND CHENEY

"All public policy should revolve around the principle that individuals
are responsible for what they say and do." -- George W. Bush, 1994.

Washington, DC:
  Building on his call for the impeachment of President
  Bush and Vice President Cheney, Independent Presidential candidate Ralph
  Nader today is calling on Members of the House of Representatives to
  begin an impeachment inquiry to investigate two distinct impeachable
  offenses.

An Impeachment Inquiry is the first step toward considering Articles of
Impeachment. During an Impeachment Inquiry the House would investigate
whether there are potential impeachable offenses.

Impeachment Inquiry and the Process of Impeachment

  While the Constitution is clear in granting the impeachment power to the
  House, it leaves the development of mechanisms for exercising the power
  to the House. As noted by the Association of the Bar of the City of New
  York in "The Law of Presidential Impeachment By the Committee on Federal
  Legislation" (see: http://www.abcny.org/presimpt.htm):

    "A variety of methods have been employed to institute impeachment
    proceedings: Charges may be made orally on the floor by a Member of the
    House; a Member may submit a written statement of charges; one or more
    Members of the House may offer a resolution and place it in the
    legislative hopper; a presidential message to the House may initiate
    proceedings. The House has also received charges from a state
    legislature, from a territory, and from a grand jury. Finally, there may
    be a report of a committee of the House which may submit facts or
    charges that will lead to impeachment. Under the rules governing the
    order of business in the House a direct proposition to impeach is a
    matter of highest privilege and supersedes other business. Similar
    privileged treatment is given to propositions relating to a pending
    impeachment."

  The purpose of the Impeachment Inquiry is to have a Committee develop a
  report for the House which then can be considered for the purpose of
  determining whether to proceed with impeachment proceedings. The House
  determines whether to impeach based on a majority vote. It is important
  to remember that impeachment does not mean conviction - that is left to
  the Senate. Impeachment is the equivalent of an indictment, making
  formal charges, which the Senate then considers. Conviction requires
  two-thirds of the Members present in the Senate to vote for conviction.

Two Potential Articles of Impeachment that Should be Part of an Impeachment Inquiry

The Impeachment Inquiry should focus on two areas involving President
Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

The unconstitutional war in Iraq.

  "The Inquiry should examine whether President Bush and Vice President
  Cheney have gone beyond the bounds of the Constitution, defied the rule
  of law, and if so, whether impeachment is the appropriate constitutional
  punishment," said Nader. The United States Congress never voted for the
  Iraq war. Congress voted for a resolution in October 2002 which
  unlawfully transferred to the President the decision-making power of
  whether to launch a first-strike invasion of Iraq. The United States
  Constitution's War Powers Clause (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11) vests
  the power of deciding whether to send the nation into war solely in the
  United States Congress. This can only be changed by a constitutional
  amendment.

  "Our founders had seen what could occur when the power to declare war
  was vested in one person, a King or a Queen, so they took clear steps to
  ensure no one person could declare war for the United States. As James
  Madison wrote: "In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be
  found, than in the clause which confides the question of war and peace
  to the legislature, and not to the executive department," noted Nader.

Five Falsehoods that Led to the Iraq Quagmire:

  Making matters worse in this situation, the illegal first-strike
  invasion and occupation of Iraq was justified by five falsehoods. Nader
  calls for a second area for Impeachment Inquiry to examine: the "five
  falsehoods that led to war." In 1994 George W. Bush said: "All public
  policy should revolve around the principle that individuals are
  responsible for what they say and do." In 2000, he ran as the
  "responsibility " candidate. Manipulation or deliberate misuse of
  national security intelligence data, if proven, would be "a high crime"
  under the Constitution's impeachment clause. Article II, Section 4 of
  the Constitution provides: "The President, Vice President and all civil
  Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on
  Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high
  Crimes and Misdemeanors."

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

  The weapons have still not been found. Nader emphasized, "Until the 1991
  Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was our government's anti-communist ally in the
  Middle East. We also used him to keep Iran at bay. In so doing, in the
  1980s under Reagan and the first Bush, corporations were licensed by the
  Department of Commerce to export the materials for chemical and
  biological weapons that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick
  Cheney later accused him of having." Those weapons were destroyed after
  the Gulf War. President Bush's favorite chief weapons inspector, David
  Kay, after returning from Iraq and leading a large team of inspectors
  and spending nearly half a billion dollars told the president :We were
  wrong."

            See: David Kay testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee,
                 January 28, 2004.

IRAQ TIES TO AL QAEDA:

  The White House made this claim even though the CIA and FBI repeatedly
  told the Administration that there was no tie between Saddam Hussein and
  Al Qaeda. They were mortal enemies - one secular, the other
  fundamentalist.

SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS A THREAT TO THE UNITED STATES:

  In fact, Saddam was a tottering dictator, with an antiquated, fractured
  army of low morale and with Kurdish enemies in Northern Iraq and Shiite
  adversaries in the South of Iraq. He did not even control the air space
  over most of Iraq.

SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS A THREAT TO HIS NEIGHBORS:

  In fact, Iraq was surrounded by countries with far superior military
  forces. Turkey, Iran and Israel were all capable of obliterating any
  aggressive move by the Iraqi dictator.

THE LIBERATION OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE:

  There are brutal dictators throughout the world, many supported over the
  years by Washington, whose people need "liberation " from their leaders.
  This is not a persuasive argument since for Iraq, it's about oil. In
  fact, the occupation of Iraq by the United States is a magnet for
  increasing violence, anarchy and insurrection.

Nader urges the Congress to investigate the illegal nature of the war,
and how the five falsehoods became part of the Bush Administration's
drum beat for war, in a formal Inquiry of Impeachment.

--
For further information, contact: 
Kevin Zeese 
1-202-265-4000 
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