Friday, December 23, 2005

Impeach George Bush

Daschle: Congress Denied Bush War Powers in U.S.:
The Bush administration requested, and Congress rejected, war-making authority "in the United States" in negotiations over the joint resolution passed days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to an opinion article by former Senate majority leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) in today's Washington Post.

Daschle's disclosure challenges a central legal argument offered by the White House in defense of the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. It suggests that Congress refused explicitly to grant authority that the Bush administration now asserts is implicit in the resolution.

The Justice Department acknowledged yesterday, in a letter to Congress, that the president's October 2001 eavesdropping order did not comply with "the 'procedures' of" the law that has regulated domestic espionage since 1978.

"Literally minutes before the Senate cast its vote, the administration sought to add the words 'in the United States and' after 'appropriate force' in the agreed-upon text," Daschle wrote. "This last-minute change would have given the president broad authority to exercise expansive powers not just overseas -- where we all understood he wanted authority to act -- but right here in the United States, potentially against American citizens. I could see no justification for Congress to accede to this extraordinary request for additional authority. I refused."

Daschle wrote that Congress also rejected draft language from the White House that would have authorized the use of force to "deter and pre-empt any future acts of terrorism or aggression against the United States," not only against those responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.
Legislative history matters. I'm not a lawyer, and I know that. Surely Alberto Gonzales, Harriet Miers, or someone on their staffs picked up that factoid somewhere between college and serving in the Office of White House Counsel. Congress specifically denied the president the powers he arrogated to himself.

Daschle writes:

I can state categorically that the subject of warrantless wiretaps of American citizens never came up. I did not and never would have supported giving authority to the president for such wiretaps. I am also confident that the 98 senators who voted in favor of authorization of force against al Qaeda did not believe that they were also voting for warrantless domestic surveillance.
By acting beyond the authority Congress granted him, he broke the law and violated the Constitutional separation of powers.

I say this in the least shrill way possible: Impeach George Bush. Impeach him now.

I'm not alone in saying this, remember.

Norm Ornstein, AEI:

I think if we’re going to be intellectually honest here, this really is the kind of thing that Alexander Hamilton was referring to when impeachment was discussed.
Bruce Fein, former deputy attorney general in the Reagan Administration:
If President Bush is totally unapologetic and says I continue to maintain that as a war-time President I can do anything I want – I don’t need to consult any other branches – that is an impeachable offense. It’s more dangerous than Clinton’s lying under oath because it jeopardizes our democratic dispensation and civil liberties for the ages. It would set a precedent that … would lie around like a loaded gun, able to be used indefinitely for any future occupant.
When Josh Rosenau, a deputy AG for Reagan and a resident scholar at the AEI all agree that a Republican president should be impeached, it's time to file a bill of impeachment.

Can I Kick It?” by A Tribe Called Quest from the album Hits, Rarities and Remixes (2003, 4:26).

Can I kick it?

Yes you can.