By David SwansonOn the Fourth, Read the Declaration of ImpeachmentSun Jul 2, 2006 17:14
On the Fourth, Read the Declaration of Impeachment
By David Swanson
Sunday 02 July 2006
Veterans for Peace has drafted a Declaration of Impeachment using nothing but excerpts from the Declaration of Independence (plus a few words in parentheses). It reads as follows, and should be read at picnics and protests on the Fourth of July:
"... whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
... all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations ... design(s) to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
... The history of the present King (George)... is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny ... To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
* He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
* He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
* He has ... deprive(ed) us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury ... transport(ed) us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
* He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us ...
* He is at this time transporting large Armies ... to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
* He has constrained our fellow Citizens ... to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
A (President) whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
We, therefore ... do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People ... solemnly publish and declare, That these ... Free and Independent (People) ... are Absolved from all Allegiance to the (Bush Administration), and that all political connection between them and (this Administration), is and ought to be totally dissolved ... And for the support of this Declaration ... we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
Note that the colonists didn't just write these words. They also fought and died for them.
Supporting our troops and working to ensure that they not have died in vain are notions that no longer apply to the soldiers who died in the fields around my house in Virginia. The statute of limitations has expired, and the 4,435 who died to rid America of a King George are now in fact required - as a matter of patriotic duty - to have died in vain.
In vain their deaths to free us of a unitary executive.
In vain their deaths to establish freedom of assembly.
In vain their deaths to separate church and state.
In vain their deaths to create freedom of speech.
In vain their deaths in the cause of freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.
In vain their blood spilled in rivers to establish the right to freedom from cruel and unusual punishment.
In vain their ultimate sacrifices to create a representative democracy based on checks and balances.
In vain the heartache of their families suffered in the name of an end to empire.
All in vain, all unsupported. Welcome to the world of free speech zones, detention without charge, no access to a court of law, no prohibition on torture. Welcome to the end of the veto and the birth of the signing statement. Welcome to an executive branch that neither obeys Congress nor so much as informs Congress of its actions. Welcome to wars of aggression for a theocratic plutocracy. Welcome back, King George.
King George is opposed by almost all Americans who identify themselves as democrats or Democrats. Only 9 percent of Democrats approve of his "handling the situation with Iraq," according to a CBS poll. The so-called Republican Party, on the other hand, is split. 71 percent of Republicans approve of the king's war, a number that is steadily declining. So, I have to say it annoys me a teeny little bit when the military industrial media complex calls the Democratic Party split and makes that alleged split the focus of reporting.
What they mean is that a little band of plutocratic leeches living in the swamps of the District of Columbia displays different tendencies from the citizenry. Within this inbred sect, Republicans are almost united and Democrats quite split on the question of whether to slaughter more Iraqis indefinitely. All the Republicans are for it, and half the Democrats are for it too. But half the Democrats have come over to the side of the American public to receive the scorn of the pundits and preachers of Objectivity.
What nobody is making note of, though, is that the anti-war Democrats in Congress can balance the scorn that the media bestows on them with the implicit gratitude of the soldiers of the War for Independence, the war in which we were opposing, not creating, a foreign occupation.
I fully expect, one day soon, to wake up to this headline: "Dems split on torturing grandmothers," followed by words to this effect: "Republicans forced a deeply divided and uncertain Democratic Party onto the defensive this week, bringing to a vote their long-planned GT bill. The Grandmother Torture Act of 2006 provides the President with the freedom he needs in handling the rising threat from seniors engaged in terrorist activities, said several Republican leaders. The defeat is expected to hurt the Democrats in November, Diebold executives reported.
Of course, on the question of building permanent military bases in Iraq, it is the Dems in Congress who are united and the Republicans in Congress who are very much split. But that story is not a story, so it doesn't really matter who's split or not split or anything else. Nor is historic justice being served the way it should. Every member of Congress working to create permanent bases in Iraq for unwanted and illegal foreign troops should have two dozen reenactors of the American Revolution occupy their office and live off their campaign funds while endlessly reciting the Declaration of Impeachment.
David Swanson is creator of HTTP://MeetWithCindy.org, co-founder of the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition, a writer and activist, and the Washington Director of Democrats.com. He is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and serves on the Executive Council of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, Media Coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as Communications Coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Swanson obtained a Master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1997. His website is HTTP://www.davidswanson.org.
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