Welcome to Impeach Central (IC)Wed May 11, 2005 14:57126.96.36.199
Welcome to Impeach Central (IC),
a clearinghouse for individuals and groups who want to see President Bush and his administration impeached, and who wish to contribute to that end. While some information germane to impeachment is offered on this site, IC will not showcase the latest theories or stories on George W. Bush's misconduct in the White House. The Petition, featured below, and the Articles of Impeachment (included in the lobbying kit) fully document this administration's villainy in accurate detail.
It is assumed that voicing concern over an issue is something conducted by professional lobbyists. What is not so evident is that ordinary people, coming together in an organized manner, can greatly impact the decisions of their elected officials.
Traditional values, such as patriotism, have been expropriated by the current administration and put to use in the service of waging the administration's wars. Impeach Central is a place where the patriot is an engaged citizen proudly standing up and speaking his or her truth. There is no "you're either with us or against us" mentality. Only the integrity of one's conscience is relevant. IC calls upon all of us to put democracy in action.
The well-worn question of choosing impeachment over election is frequently asked. Both processes are essential to the health of the nation at this critical juncture. Elections are about voting for a preferred candidate; impeachment is about criminal wrongdoing. Though there is speculation about the legitimacy of the upcoming election, one fact remains clear: The Bush Administration has violated domestic and international laws, circumvented the Constitution, and undermined our democratic rights. The remedy is obvious; it is finely articulated in Article II, Section 4 of the US Constitution:
"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."
The introduction of a bill of impeachment in the House of Representatives is the first step towards a full inquiry. This bill then gets assigned to the House Committee on the Judiciary where public hearings can be held and facts can be brought to light. It is useful to note that, during the Watergate era, then President Richard Nixon invoked "executive privilege" and a "national security prerogative" in which to hide his dark deeds. The Bush White House extends the veil of secrecy even further.
The oft-quoted wrong-doings of this Administration are well known. What may not be understood is the pernicious sway (for example) of one foundation and certain individuals on the development of White House policies. The concept of "endless war" (on terrorism), pre-emptive attacks on sovereign nations (labeled rogue), and the resolute determination at all costs to maintain our military status (as the world's only superpower) is aptly described in both the "Defense Planning Guidance" papers (1992, Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Chenney, respectively), and later in "Rebuilding America's Defenses" (September 2000,The Project for the New American Century). The PNAC is a neo-conservative (Neo-Con) think tank founded by a formerly liberal group of political and corporate elites committed to promulgating US world dominance (think Empire).
With the addition of Harlan K. Ullman's "Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance", (1996), where the goal is to overwhelm one' s opponent (both physically and psychologically), using fewer troops and cutting-edge technology, the "military circle" is complete. As regards the economy, Grover Norquist is the father of "no new taxes". He has pushed the concept of shrinking the government "down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." Both Bush and Cheney regularly seek out his advice.
In the final analysis, one person, if given the opportunity, would have had some useful advice for this administration. His prophetic words still echo in this chill and fretful age.
"This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists. Our planet teeters on the brink of atomic annihilation; dangerous passions of pride, hatred and selfishness are enthroned in our lives; and men do reverence before false gods of nationalism and materialism. The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
About This Site
It was the early summer of 2003, in Northern California. Citizens for Democratic Change had participated in all the marches and rallies that the Left could muster in opposition to the war in Iraq. A few of us decided to try a different road.....the road to impeachment. With all the Bush administration's lies and abuses of power in copious display, and with the urging of key experts in constitutional law, we put forth the idea that "We the people" (through legitimate lobbying) could influence our representatives to take action regarding impeachment.
With that thought in mind, we began letter-writing campaigns in two congressional districts. Several months later we were presented with the opportunity to create a national website. Thus Impeachcentral.com was born.
We, at Impeachcentral, have made this site as interactive as possible and easy to navigate. Using the tools as provided will ensure that the impeachment process is a productive one that will yield positive results, if carefully followed. Through the Meetup tool and The Central (list server), you will be able to communicate directly with each other virtually and in person. It is crucial to remember one point: It only takes a very few individuals to begin the lobbying process in any given district. If you should choose to download the impeachment kit we would appreciate knowing where your district is located. This information will help to co-ordinate our efforts more efficiently, so as to avoid duplication. It will also aid us in analyzing and mapping pertinent data needed to reach our goal.
Please feel free to contact us with district updates and any questions you may have.
Cheney Wins Court Ruling On Energy Panel Records
By Carol D. Leonnig and Jim VandeHei
The Washington Post
Wednesday 11 May, 2005
A federal appeals court in Washington dismissed a lawsuit yesterday that sought to force Vice President Cheney to turn over records of private meetings his office held in 2001 to shape the administration's energy policy.
The unanimous ruling was a major legal and political victory for the White House, further solidifying the president's power to deliberate and seek advice behind closed doors without disclosing details. The court's eight judges supported the Bush administration's contention that forcing the executive branch to produce information about its internal policy deliberations is unnecessarily intrusive and violates the president's constitutional powers.
"The president must be free to seek confidential information from many sources, both inside the government and outside," Judge A. Raymond Randolph wrote for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The court, prompted by a 2004 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, stressed the necessity of protecting the separation of powers for the executive branch.
In lawsuits filed five years ago, the advocacy groups Judicial Watch and Sierra Club contended there was evidence that members of large energy corporations and industry groups effectively became members of Cheney's energy task force and helped write the administration's energy policy, parts of which are now before Congress. Suing under the open meetings law, the two groups sought minutes of task force meetings and records showing who attended.
But the court concluded that the groups failed to show that people other than federal officials were members of the energy task force under the court's admittedly narrow definition. Randolph noted that White House officials had testified that industry members offered opinions only at advisory meetings and did not have a vote or veto in writing the administration's recommendations. Therefore, he wrote, Cheney had no duty to disclose details of internal government meetings.
"What this court decision does . . . is to preserve the confidentiality of internal deliberation among the president and his advisers that the Constitution protects as essential to wise and informed decision making," said Steve Schmidt, a senior Cheney adviser.
But environmentalists and advocates of open government said the decision was a double blow.
"As a policy matter, we see the Bush administration has succeeded in its efforts to keep secret how industry crafted the administration's energy policy," said David Bookbinder, the Sierra Club's lead attorney on the case. "As a legal matter, it's a defeat for efforts to have open government and for the public to know how their elected officials are conducting business."
The case was one of the most politically charged suits against the government since President Bush took office. Some Democratic strategists said they had hoped that it would embarrass the administration and that the suit would produce revelations in 2004 that would hurt Bush's reelection chances.
The court decision is unusual for two reasons, say law professors and lawyers involved in the case. First, it was unanimous, an atypical result for a court whose members hold a broad spectrum of views and are not hesitant to disagree. Some experts say unanimity is the judges' way of signaling that their court should not be used to settle political scores.
"Rightly or wrongly, this is their view of the way to get good government: to have discussions in secret," said Richard J. Lazarus, a Georgetown University law professor. "At a time when the judiciary is under attack for being partisan, and in this very high-profile case, they made clear they were speaking with one voice."
The decision also hinges on accepting, without question, assertions by two senior administration officials who said industry members were not task force members.
Randolph wrote that Karen Knutson, who was one of Cheney's deputy assistants for energy policy, said in her affidavit that industry members participated in smaller stakeholder meetings but that these "were simply forums to collect individual views rather than to bring a collective judgment to bear."
"The only individuals the President named to the [task force] were federal officials; only federal officials signed the final report," he wrote.
Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University professor of constitutional and environmental law, said the court's ruling creates "an absurd standard" because it required the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch to prove their assertions but prohibited them from gathering records or information from the White House.
"It's impossible to establish that industry substantially participated in these meetings, if you deny them basic discovery needed to show those facts," Turley said.
In 2002, a district court judge allowed the plaintiffs to seek a limited number of energy task force documents from Cheney's office as part of the discovery process. The government appealed, and the circuit court ruled that the White House could protect the materials from release, but only by citing executive privilege, a step it had not taken.
The government appealed to the Supreme Court, which last year sent the case back to the appeals court with directions that it consider "the weighty separation-of-powers objections" of the government and reexamine whether to order the complaint's dismissal.
"Bottom line: This is a significant win for those who believe the presidency needs more power and has lost power over the past 30 years," said American University's James A. Thurber, who is writing a book on presidential power.
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