3 speakers urge City Council to impeach B&C
Three speakers continue the parade of Portlanders urging the City Council to join more than 100 cities and towns—including Detroit, San Francisco, etc.—and pass a resolution to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney. A local poll announced on Air America's Morning show just revealed that 92% of area residents support their impeachment. The text of the speakers' statements are below.
Statements Supporting the Resolution to Impeach President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney at the Portland City Council Meeting Oct. 17, 2007
Bonnie Tinker, Portland Activist
My name is Bonnie Tinker, a resident of Portland.
We've all heard that impeaching Bush and Cheney is a long shot, if not politically impossible. But this is Portland. We are known for tackling the impossible. You severed ties with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force because it was a threat to liberty and justice.
The Portland City Council passed a resolution opposing the Iraq war because the Bush administration's pursuit of that war was initiated by deceit, is killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Our national conduct of that war has destroyed the reputation of our country's claim of liberty and justice for all.
History now demands of us that we resist the loss of our civil rights, democracy, and the inhumane conduct of our government by petitioning our Congress to impeach George W. Bush and Richard Cheney. If you have any doubts, go to PBS.org and watch Cheney's Law on Frontlines.
The points of the proposed impeachment resolution are simple:
• George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney conspired with others to defraud the United States of America by intentionally misleading Congress and the public regarding the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war in violation of U.S. law.
• George W. Bush has admitted to ordering the National Security Agency to conduct electronic surveillance of American civilians without seeking a warrant, a violation of U.S. law.
• George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney conspired to commit the torture of prisoners in violation of the Federal Torture Act, the U.N. Torture Convention, and the Geneva Conventions, which are part of the "supreme Law of the Land."
• George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney acted to strip American citizens of their constitutional rights by ordering indefinite detention without access to legal counsel, without charge and without the opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the President of a U.S. citizen as an "enemy combatant," all in subversion of law.
• 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, subversive of constitutional government to the manifest injury of the people of Portland and of the United States of America.
It is possible for Portland to recommend the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. By law, petitions from the country at large may be presented by the Speaker of the House. Send a message to our children, to the global community, and to history that Portland is a city dedicated to liberty and justice for all and to a democratic government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
We urge you to bring the Impeachment Resolution forward for public discussion and adoption by the Portland City Council.
David H. Jackson, Portland Activist
Good Morning, Mayor Potter and City Council members.
My name is David H. Jackson. I hold a Master of Political Science degree from the University of Oregon and have taught political science and U.S. citizenship at the community college level.
I am a citizen activist. My recent focus has been on election integrity issues. I have testified previously before you in favor of voter-owned elections.
Let me first remind you that impeachment is a right of Americans, mentioned seven times in the U.S. Constitution. It is not a conviction or a trial, but a fact-finding effort.
While many serious charges have been made regarding President Bush's conduct, I will confine my remarks to the illegal war in Iraq. Let me quote from an Article of Impeachment that was drafted by the Center for Constitutional Rights:
The initiation and continuation of the war constitutes a high crime and misdemeanor and is illegal as well. In undertaking that war, George W. Bush violated his oath of office and constitutional obligation that the laws be faithfully executed.
George W. Bush has subverted the Constitution, its guarantee of a republican form of government, and the constitutional separation of powers by undermining the rightful authority of Congress to declare war, oversee foreign affairs, and make appropriations. He did so by justifying the war with false and misleading statements, and deceived the people of the United States as well as Congress. He denied the electorate the right to make an informed choice and thereby undermined democracy... .
George W. Bush acted contrary to his trust as president ... and by such conduct warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.
Why should the Portland City Council pass a resolution to impeach President Bush?
One answer is that the U.S. Constitution is precious to Portland citizens, as it is to all Americans. Another reason is the deaths of Portlanders resulting from Mr. Bush's Iraq adventure: We mourn the loss of these members of our community. A very real concern to this Council is the drain on our National Guard and Reserves, in terms of both manpower and materiel. As a city, we are less safe when our National Guard units are deployed overseas at times of emergencies like forest fire, flooding, tsunami, or earthquake.
Is it too late to mount this effort? I say that it is not. We must begin this process to put future presidents on notice about the limits to presidential power under our Constitution.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak before you today.
Carla ("K.C."), Vice Chair, Multnomah County Democratic Central Committee
My name is Carla ("K.C.") Hanson. I am Vice Chairperson of the Multnomah County Democratic Party, and it is my honor today to come before you as a representative of that body.
The Multnomah Democratic party supports the impeachment of president George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, and we urge you to endorse the resolution of impeachment that is before you.
You've heard from dozens of speakers who have detailed the transgressions committed by the Bush administration. I'll not reiterate these, but instead focus on why you, as City Commissioners, should take such action.
My party has endorsed the prospect of impeachment neither out of partisanship, nor out of venom. While we seek to hold individuals accountable for their crimes, the higher priority for us is the integrity of the Republic. Never before has the united States' Constitution been so systematically eviscerated through the dozens of edicts issued from and acts perpetrated by an administration.
Whether on the street or in the meeting room, there is a level of palpable fear and concern that exists among citizens. The balance of power has been skewed dramatically, yet few attempts have been made to correct this shift. The people of this country understand this, yet we have been continually dismissed by elected officials who insist that talk of impeachment is extremist.
It is not.
Impeachment is not a problem, but a solution to a severe problem. Thomas Jefferson and the Founders foresaw the need for such a tool and carefully constructed it to protect future generations of Americans.
We are truly in a Constitutional crisis, and it is up to elected officials at all levels to recognize this and act appropriately. There is an interconnectedness between the governances of this country from the Beltway to the downtown one-way. Our system is dependant upon the fact that we all follow the same rules—and the rock of those rules is our Constitution.
As the Constitution is set aside, the citizens in your care suffer. They are spied upon. Their homes are raided. And they are sent again, and again, and again, into a war—into an illegal occupation.
Because of our form of government, statesmen and women can exist at any level. Today I ask you, on behalf of the Multnomah County Democrats, in defense and protection of the citizens of Portland, to be such statesmen.
Uphold your oath of office: Support the Constitution of the United States. Support the citizens of Portland. And support the resolution of impeachment before you.
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