Posted by Andreas from dtm2-t9-1.mcbone.net (22.214.171.124) on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 at 4:57AM :
Former Attorney General Says Bush Should Be Impeached
WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com) -- The U.S. invasion of Iraq was the most serious act of aggression in the country's history and it was in clear violation of the most important provisions of international law, according to former Attorney General Ramsey Clark.
The "crimes" committed by President George W. Bush and others in his administration warrant the severest response from an alarmed citizenry: impeachment, Mr. Clark told a luncheon audience at the National Press Club May 12.
"I urge everyone who cares about the integrity of our Constitution to take back the Constitution by insisting that the House of Representatives, which has the sole power of impeachment, process impeachment proceedings now against President Bush for launching this war of aggression," Mr. Clark said.
"It's time that we recognize that the Constitution of the United States, at length and more than with any other single issue, dealt with the problem of the imperial presidency, or crimes by officers of the United States executive," he continued.
The authors of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution provided the means, he continued, "by which 'We the People' could protect ourselves from an imperial presidency. There are six separate provisions in the Constitution for impeachment."
The first grounds for impeachment"or formal legal charges being brought against the President and others"is treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. In order to be removed from office, federal officers must first be charged with certain violations by the U.S. House of Representatives"the impeachment"and then must be convicted after a trial before the U.S. Senate, with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presiding.
"It's imperative that we face our duty to process impeachment," Mr. Clark said, citing his Internet website address - www.votetoimpeach.org - which has registered nearly 200,000 people who have signed on to impeach Mr. Bush since March 19 when the invasion of Iraq was formally launched.
His organization"International ANSWER"has also collected more than 50,000 paper ballots from citizens "voting" to impeach the popular president.
"The numbers of crimes that we have committed beyond the worst crime of all, the war of aggression, are too lengthy to count, but they include an absolute disregard for all the international law that sought to protect the right of prisoners," said Mr. Clark.
"Do we really think the rest of the world believes that our assault on Iraq complied with international law? Then where are the scholars that say so? Because they don't say so," he continued.
Popular or not, however, Mr. Clark insisted that the drafters of the U.S. Constitution and its impeachment clause would be "nauseated" by the "shock and awe" strategy used by the U.S. military in the opening stages of the invasion of Iraq.
"What was all that shock and awe? Was it just fireworks like the 4th of July, or was it killing people"the heavy bombardments?" he asked.
"Tell me the difference, psychologically, between what is intended by shock and awe, and 9/11? It's sudden, devastating violence against a defenseless people by surprise, seeking awe that will make them tremble and surrender."
Mr. Clark, who was attorney general from 1967-1969 during the last two years of Lyndon Johnson's presidency, has traveled often to Iraq, frequently defying U.S. government regulations, taking humanitarian supplies; and he has met often with former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
"This country of ours has committed the most serious act of aggression in its history by engaging in a war of aggression without a declaration of war by Congress," he said. "We attacked a country that was defenseless, was known to be defenseless before we attacked. We sent missiles that they never saw until they hit."
The U.S. news and information media have done a poor job, Mr. Clark said, of presenting a balanced view of the war. "How many times have you seen concern about how many Iraqis were killed? The media needs to find out how many Iraqis died. Don't they matter? Are their lives worth less than ours?"
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