Lobbying For Impeachment
Remarks at United for Peace and Justice Pre-Lobby Day Event on Jan. 28, 2007
It's an honor to be part of this obviously growing movement for peace and justice. Our president took us into war before
Congress gave its so-called authorization. He did so without telling Congress or the American people and without
Congress appropriating any funds for the purpose. In the summer of 2002, Bush took $2.5 billion – according to the
Congressional Research Service – away from other projects, including Afghanistan, and used it to build airfields in
Qatar and to begin bombing Iraq in preparation for the full-scale invasion.
That is a crime.
In fact, it's what the founders of this country would have called a high crime and misdemeanor.
And what do we do about high crimes and misdemeanors?
Our Department of so-called Defense has this kind of money lying around. And this is about the same amount of money that
would be needed to bring our troops home in a safe and orderly manner. And if we persuade Congress to cut off funding to
extend the war, it may be that Bush will bring our troops home without us having to impeach him. But when Congress found
the nerve to cut off the funds for the Vietnam War, it was the pressure of impeachment that persuaded Nixon not to veto,
and it was the pressure of the peace movement that drove impeachment forward. Impeachment helps end the war even if we
never get all the way to impeachment.
The reason that we need an investigation, accountability, a truth commission for this war is in order to prevent another
one. If investigations alone can accomplish that, terrific. If it takes impeachment, then we'll impeach. If it requires
removal from office, then we'll remove Bush and Cheney from office. But we must begin the investigations. And the
investigations must be fearless and must assert the authority of the first branch of our government – the Congress.
Congressman John Conyers will hold hearings on Wednesday into Bush's use of signing statements, but hearings without a
single subpoena. That's progress, but it's not the reason we voted the Democrats a majority. We must thank Conyers and
demand more: John.Conyers @ mail.house.gov
It is an insult to the world that four years after we were lied into an illegal war, the U.S. Congress has not
investigated the Bush Administration's misuse of pre-war intelligence. Congress has not investigated the role of oil
companies in planning this war, the waste and fraud of the war contracting, including in the use of mercenaries, the
decision to build permanent bases and the ongoing construction of those bases in violation of the law. Congress has not
investigated the detentions, the torture, the targeting of civilians, journalists, and hospitals, or the use of illegal
weapons, or their effects on the people of Iraq and on U.S. service men and women and private contractors.
In your packets this afternoon will be information on which Senators and Congress Members are on which committees, and
which committees to ask for which investigations. Much of the evidence is already known to those of us who search it
out, but it needs to be put on our televisions, and more evidence needs to be brought out with the use of subpoenas – a
tool that will lead Congress into a conflict with the White House – exactly what is needed to restore democracy to this
country and to end the occupation of Iraq, giving the people of that country the chance at long last to begin their
struggle forward out from under the shadow of our killing machine.
If in the end we have to impeach Bush and Cheney, it will not be because we feel any animosity toward them. We are the
peace movement. They are the makers of war. We will impeach so that future presidents understand that they are not
permitted to lie us into illegal wars, to misappropriate funds, to spy without warrants, detain without charges,
torture, murder, rewrite laws, hide the workings of our government, and exact retribution against courageous
whistleblowers. It's time for us to get tough on crime. If your Congress Member and Senators won't demand the truth,
then they are covering for criminals, and that's what we will tell the world about them and the way history will
remember them if they fail to act.
We're sending impeachment to the U.S. House from city and state legislatures as well. Get involved at http://www.afterdowningstreet.org
Demand the truth. Bring em home. Bring em home.