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04.23 Melting permafrost in Arctic will have $70tn climate impact – study

04.23 US threatens to veto UN resolution on rape as weapon of war, officials say [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]

04.21 Trump and impeachment: where Democrats stand after Mueller

04.21 Dutch engineers build world's biggest sun-seeking solar farm [A replacement for lost Arctic ice?]

04.21 We’re altering the climate so severely that we’ll soon face apocalyptic consequences. Here are 9 last-ditch ways we could hack the planet to reverse that trend.[Hail Mary pass ideas]

04.18 'We Can Be Whatever We Have the Courage to See': New Video From AOC Envisions a #GreenNewDeal Future [7:35 video]

04.18 'Decades of denial': major report finds New Zealand's environment is in serious trouble

04.17 Thawing Permafrost Emitting Higher Levels of Potent Greenhouse Gas Than Previously Thought: Study

04.16 'That Backfired': Watch Bernie Sanders Counter Right-Wing Talking Point, Make Case for Medicare for All on Fox News

04.16 Cause of cancer is written into DNA of tumours, scientists find, creating a 'black box' for origin of disease

04.16 Scientists Unveil World's First Human Heart 3D-Printed From Patients' Own Cells

04.15 What It Was Like to Have a Baby in Sweden

04.14 'Shut the country down': British climate group Extinction Rebellion heads to US

04.13 With Youth Climate Actions Backed by Leading Experts, Latest Round of Protests Highlights Call for Bold and Urgent Action

04.11 Will You Rise Up for Climate Justice Next Week? Don’t Let Fatalism and Cynicism Hold You Back

04.11 300+ Groups to Congress: #GreenNewDeal 'Must Transform Our Food System and Revitalize Rural America'

04.10 Glaciers and arctic ice are vanishing. Time to get radical before it's too late [Willfully ignorant "conservatives" and corporately-bribed liberals diddle self-obsessively while life on earth dies]

04.10 Is there a beautiful, briny solution to the world’s clean water crisis?

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04.23 'A Really Exciting Proposal': Elizabeth Warren's Education Overhaul Would Wipe Out Student Debt, Provide Free Public College

04.23 To Reassert Congressional War Authority, Sanders Demands Vote to Override Trump Veto on Yemen

04.21 Trump's moral squalor, not impeachment, will remove him from power

04.21 Pentagon Spending Set to Hit Near-Record Levels, But 'Establishment Says We Can't Afford' Progressive Policies

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04.23 BALTIMORE POLICE TRIED TO KILL KEITH DAVIS JR. PROSECUTORS HAVE BEEN TRYING TO CONVICT HIM OF MURDER EVER SINCE.

04.21 In Ruling on Coal Mining, Federal Judge Issues Latest Rebuke of Trump's Attack on Public Lands

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04.24 Nothing to See Here: The U.S. Government Prevents Investigations Into War Crimes in Afghanistan

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04.24 Capitalism is failing workers. People want a job with a decent wage – why is that so hard?

04.24 The kings of capitalism are finally worried about the growing gap between rich and poor

04.23 The “disintegration” of global capitalism could unleash world war 3, warns top EU economist

04.23 The financial sector must be at the heart of tackling climate change [A reversal of their history of bad behavior]

04.21 Progressive Capitalism Is Not an Oxymoron [For the good of the public and healthier economic growth, can we make government and financial markets behave morally?]

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04.23 To stop global catastrophe, we must believe in humans again

04.21 Frustration grows among migrants in Mexico as support fades

04.21 Decrying 'Toxic Alliance' of Macron and Polluters, Climate Campaigners Stage One of France's Largest Ever Acts of Civil Disobedience

04.21 Yellow Vests Demonstrate in Paris as Notre Dame Donations Highlight Wealth Inequality

04.21 The Observer view on the Mueller report: Trump is a disgrace not welcome in Britain

04.21 The Government Is Still Massively Complacent About Climate Change

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  Rep. Murtha Puts Bush Impeachment Front and Center
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COMMENTARY:

Rep. Murtha Puts Bush Impeachment Front and Center

by Dave Lindorff
It appears, from Murtha’s comment about impeachment, that leading Democrats in Congress are starting to realize that the public is way ahead of them, and is growing frustrated and angry at Democratic pussyfooting.
Impeachment is moving inexorably into the mainstream.

On Saturday, August 28, people across the nation rallied to spell out the word "Impeach" with their bodies, from coast to coast. Most of their efforts went unreported in the nation’s complicit, propaganda-organ-like corporate media, but the effects of the effort were still felt.

Earlier in the week, the Democratic Party convention in California (the largest state Democratic party organization in the nation) voted overwhelmingly to call for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. Also that week, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), filed a bill of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney.

A day after the national demonstrations, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), speaking on the CBS News program Face the Nation, told host Bob Schieffer that impeachment is “one of the ways Congress has to influence the president.”

The comment so shocked Schieffer, that he immediately homed in on it asking, "Are you seriously talking about contemplating an impeachment of this president?" Murtha did not back off, and responded, "I'm just saying that's one way to influence the president."

As Bob Fertik, a leader of the national impeachment movement, observes, “It is no accident that Murtha used the ‘I’ word: he wanted to send a shot across Bush's bow that he’d better start negotiating (on Iraq troop funding) -- or else.” Fertik adds, “And Murtha must have cleared his comments with Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi before his appearance, so one can safely conclude that impeachment is back `on the table' where it belongs."

For too long, Congressional Democratic leaders have been blocking impeachment, beginning with Pelosi’s pre-election vow that if Democrats took control of Congress impeachment would be "off the table.” The public explanations for this position have never made any sense, and indeed have been specious: the claim that impeaching Bush would mean Cheney would become president is ludicrous (what Republican would want to have the monumentally unpopular Cheney at the head of the GOP heading into the 2008 elections?); the claim that Democrats had an important agenda of bills to pass is preposterous, given their slim margins of control in both houses, the promise of presidential vetoes, and the president’s hyperactive use of “signing statements” to illegally kill laws enacted by Congress; and finally the claim that impeachment would be “divisive” is bogus, because it is the administration and the Republicans in Congress who have been divisive for the past six years.

In fact, the real reason the Democratic leadership has been running away from impeachment is that party leaders think they are better off letting this increasingly unpopular administration continue to foul up domestically and especially in Iraq. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), a party leader, actually at one point publicly stated that it would be “good” for Democrats if the Iraq War continued into November 2008. This heartless Machiavellian thinking may or may not be strategically valid (I suspect it's not correct), but it is certainly a betrayal of the American people who voted Democrats into control last November, and is certainly also a betrayal of the troops who are fighting and dying in Iraq every day.

It appears, from Murtha’s comment about impeachment, that leading Democrats in Congress are starting to realize that the public is way ahead of them, and is growing frustrated and angry at Democratic pussyfooting.

Americans don’t want symbolic action by Democrats on ending the war. They want the troops brought home--now. They don’t want tangential investigations by Congress into the political firing of federal prosecutors, or into the faked documents alleging that Iraq was buying uranium ore from Niger, They want impeachment bills filed against President Bush, and the convening of impeachment hearings in the House Judiciary Committee to defend a Constitution that has been vitiated by six years of Bush administration crimes, abuses of power and blatant undermining of the Bill of Rights. They want Pelosi to remove the handcuffs from Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

Rep. Murtha should be swamped with phone calls congratulating him for recognizing this, and for putting impeachment back on the agenda (the number to call is 202-225-2065).

The impeachment movement, which is just getting going, needs to keep the pressure on Congress and the media.


Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Another book is of CounterPunch columns, titled This Can't Be Happening!, is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff's latest book is The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky. Visit his website for more information. Lindorff may be reached at dlindorff@yahoo.com. This story is published in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.


Copyright © 2007 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on April 30, 2007.
 

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