Sunday, January 07, 2007

the impeach Bush sign

This is impressive, if for no other reason than the logistical considerations: a thousand San Franciscans spell out the word "IMPEACH" in hundred-foot high letters with their bodies. Their stated reason was for warrantless eavesdropping.

So, what do you think? Given the activities we know about,
  • warrantless wiretapping and eavesdropping of domestic citizens
  • the indefinite detention and interrogation of U.S. citizen(s) (Hamdi and Padilla)
do they rise to the level of "high crimes and misdemeanors"? Do they warrant further investigation? Should there be additional investigation into allegations of vote manipulation?

Personally, I think impeachment should be reserved for the most serious of cases, those that interfere with the voters' abilities to oversee the President (as in Watergate, as opposed to, say, perjury and obstruction of justice allegations related to extramarital affairs with Whitehouse interns). If an investigation of vote flipping were to turn up links to the President, to me that would constitute an impeachable offense. The others are reprehensible but don't seem to fit the category of impeachable conduct. But I'm curious to know your views.


Anonymous said...

Which is a more serious "high crime" or "misdemeanor":

1) Perjury to a special prosecutor who is on a fishing expedition into a civil suit against a sitting president


2) "Warrantless wiretapping and eavesdropping of domestic citizens" and
"Indefinite detention and interrogation of U.S. citizen(s)"

Far as I can tell, 1) is a criminal offense which breaks no constitutional laws, and 2) appears to violate the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th Amendments [i.e. Unreasonable search and seizure, Due process, Rights of the accused, Cruel and unusual punishment].

Clearly, sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar. :-)


PS Why does Blogger by default hide the original post in the comment submission page? Why can that even be toggled off? It's not like this text box gets any bigger, not even when I up the font size.

False Data said...

Art II § 4 allows removal for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." To me, mentioning Treason and Bribery suggests crimes which interfere with the voter's ability to throw the bum out. Based on that criterion, I don't think perjury in a civil suit to a prosecutor should have been an impeachable offense, though perjury to Congress might be. In other words, even though I agree (2) is worse than (1), I don't think (1) should've been impeachable. So I guess I still wonder whether you think warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention, etc. rise to the level of impeachable offenses.

Sorry, can't help with the Blogger interface.

Causal said...

Certainly it does.

Pelosi most likely said impeachment was "off the table" to remove any appearance of conflict-of-interest that would arise if she were thrust into the presidency as a result of the coming impeachment.

What we need to do is to pressure Pelosi not to interfere with impeachment maneuverings within her party. Sending her Do-It-Yourself impeachments legitimizes her when she is forced to join the impeachment movement in the future.

Sacks and sacks of mail are about to arrive in Nancy Pelosi's office initiating impeachment via the House of Representative's own rules this Monday January 15th. This legal document is as binding as if a State or if the House itself passed the impeachment resolution (H.R. 635).

There's a little known and rarely used clause of the "Jefferson Manual" in the rules for the House of Representatives which sets forth the various ways in which a president can be impeached. Only the House Judiciary Committee puts together the Articles of Impeachment, but before that happens, someone has to initiate the process.That's where we come in. In addition to a House Resolution (635), or the State-by-State method, one of the ways to get impeachment going is for individual citizens like you and me to submit a memorial. has created a new memorial based on one which was successful in impeaching a federal official in the past. You can find it on their website as a PDF.

You can initiate the impeachment process and simultaneously help to convince Pelosi to follow through with the process. Do-It-Yourself by downloading the memorial, filling in the relevant information (your name, state, etc.), and sending it in. Be a part of history.

Wataru said...

I guess, there's always some fuzziness in the language, so it makes the legal aspects of impeachment interesting.

I work in the Japanese American community, so this is a current news item... There's been an issue raised by an officer in the US army named Lt. Ehren Watada who refused orders deployment to Iraq based on his questions of the constitutional legality of the current war in Iraq. He seems to feel so strongly about it as to speak publicly and to put himself and his entire military career on the line...

If there's any impeachable offense, a violation of the US Constitution seems like something pretty serious. I'm not a lawyer (or a law student), but was wondering what people thought. Here's a link to a recent online article from the Nation on "Lt Ehren Watada". But I'm sure a Google search can bring up more articles...