Impeachment effort gets local tonight

Portlanders who want the City Council to weigh in on whether President Bush and Veep Cheney should be impeached (and those who don't) should plan on attending the council meeting tonight, starting at 7 pm at City Hall. (See the agenda here - the resolution's a little ways down.)

The resolution (text below) is sponsored by at-large councilor Jill Duson, who is "exploring" entering the race for the 1st Congressional District, now that Tom Allen has decided to challenge Susan Collins for her US Senate seat. It's co-sponsored by Green District 2 councilor Dave Marshall.

It's part of the larger move by, who in May delivered a petition to the state Legislature asking lawmakers to demand a Congressional investigation (one of the ways an impeachment movement can get started, under the traditional rules of Congress). Lawmakers, who were no doubt relieved the petition was not one to impeach themselves for failures large and small (including the lack of tax reform), still weren't eager to take it up before recessing for the summer. We'll see how it goes in January when they come back.

But as MaineImpeach's Gary Higginbottom told us this morning, now that Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich has introduced an investigation/impeachment bill against Cheney into the US House, pressure now is shifting onto Allen and Mike Michaud, to get them back it. There's also a resolution to investigate and possibly impeach Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, which nobody thinks would stop with just finding out the truth about his lies.

But back to Portland business, the full text of the proposed resolution is this:



WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney, in violation of their oaths of office, which read: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of (Vice) President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”, in their conduct while President and Vice President of the United States have demonstrated a pattern of abuse of office and disregard for the Constitution of the United States.

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney intentionally misled Congress and the public regarding the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war and conspired with others to do so; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney have caused this Nation to commence a war in violation of treaties adopted by the United States including the Nuremberg Charter and the U.N Charter which prohibits one nation from using force against another except in self-defense or if authorized by the U.N. Security Council; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney committed, permitted or authorized the torture of prisoners, or conspired with others to do so, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Chapter 113C, the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Geneva Convention; and

WHEREAS, the above-mentioned treaties adopted by the United States under Article VI of the United States Constitution are part of the "supreme law of the land”, the President and Vice President are obligated to faithfully execute the laws, and they have intentionally and willfully failed to do so; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has admitted to ordering the National Security Agency to conduct electronic surveillance of American civilians without seeking warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of, duly constituted by Congress in 1978, in violation of Title 50 United States Code, Section 1805 and the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and vice president Richard B. Cheney conspired in the authorization and conduct of such actions; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney acted to strip United States citizens of their constitutional rights by ordering the indefinite detention of citizens arbitrarily designated as "enemy combatants", without access to legal counsel, without charge and without the opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, all in subversion of existing law; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney have unlawfully refused to comply, or cause others under their direction to comply, with subpoenas issued by the United States Congress in the conduct of lawful Congressional investigations; and

WHEREAS, in all of this, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney have acted in a manner contrary to their trust as president and vice president, subverting constitutional government to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of Portland and of the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, petitions from the country at large may be presented by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, according to Clause 3 of House Rule XII; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the United States Congress, and our representatives and senators in the United States Congress in particular, be, and they hereby are, requested to cause to be instituted in the Congress of the United States proper proceedings for the investigation of the activities of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney, to the end that they may be impeached and removed from their offices; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk of the City of Portland, Maine be instructed to certify and transmit to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, under the great seal of the City of Portland, Maine, a copy of this resolution as adopted. The copies shall be marked with the word "Petition" at the top of the document and contain the original authorizing signature of the City Clerk.

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