Greens, Democrats And Impeachment
This is an article that will be in the on line magazine We! with a readership of 60,000 nationwide. I have been contacted by Democrats all over the country, agreeing with my analysis and thanking me for "taking the gloves off."
"Now the gloves are off."
Let me explain that statement.
First, on the issue of Impeachment, either you get it or you don't. Sadly, the
Democratic Parties leadership are of the latter, they don't and apparently won't
get it. Former Federal Prosecutor, Elizabeth de la Vega has done a supreme job on
making of the case for Impeachment. Far more eloquently and concisely than I ever
My name is Michael Cavlan, Registered Nurse, active in the group Impeach For Peace
impeachforpeace.org and the Green Party candidate for US Senate in Minnesota 2006.
I was also the second politician in the country to publicly call for Impeachment,
two days after the now infamous Downing Street Memo became public. Chairman of the
Judiciary Committee, John Conyers was the first. He later arrested Cindy Sheehan
in his office for staging a sit down protest in his office due to his effectively
taking it "off the table." I can now safely say that I was the first to
say it and actually mean it. More on Representative Conyers later.
Fellow progressives, we need to be honest with ourselves and understand something.
The Democratic Party and it's corporate corrupted leadership have not simply
been inactive on this issue of Impeachment. Democratic "leadership" have
actually been fighting and blocking Impeachment all over the country. I base this
statement of fact on my four years of experience in the Impeachment movement. I
have worked with Impeach For Peace and have made the statement that on this issue,
I have been deliberately non-partisan because it is so important. Now, with what
happened to the Dennis Kucinich Bill HR 799 that has changed my entire perspective.
At this time I told my local Minnesota Democratic friends in Impeach For Peace that
my ceasefire was over and that the "gloves were indeed off." There has
been no argument from them on this. As I told them, it was time to look seriously
at "Plan B" for Impeachment. More on "Plan B" and what it entails
in a minute.
Let me explain what the corporate media and the corporatized leadership of the Democratic
Party will not tell you. We need to understand that their actions and lack of actions
are actually protecting the Bush Administration and their illegal activity from
the wrath of "We The People." All over the country, while rank and file
Democrats and indeed the majority of the American people want to have Bush and Cheney
Impeached, the Democratic party leadership have done everything in their power to
stop Impeachment. While at the same time, hyping us all up on how evil those in
the Bush Administration are. Of course this mirrors the blatant lie on the Iraq
war, where the Democrats tell us about needing 60 votes in the Senate to stop the
Iraq war. That is a lie as the truth is, they only need 41 votes to block funding
for this illegal and immoral war. Just don't expect a Democrat politician or
their apologists to tell us that. So it is with Impeachment. The lie being perpetrated
on a lack of Impeachment and accountability is that "it will make the Democrats
look bad, small and spiteful." Just as the lie on not having enough votes
to stop the war, so this lie must be exposed.
The truth is that having the Congress call for Impeachment will do two very important
things at the same time. It will begin the public investigation into the crimes
of the Bush Administration and then the corporate media will be unable to ignore
the issue further. They will be forced into investigating and reporting it in a
serious and meaningful way. The second part is, in my book even more important than
the first. With the American people awakened to the crimes being perpetrated in
our names, the groundswell of support for Impeachment will take off immediately.
Instead, we have seen the movement for Impeachment squashed all over the country.
>From Vermont, to New Mexico and elsewhere all over our country it has been stifled
and marginalized. Not by the "greater evil" Republican Party but instead
by the "lesser evil" Democratic Party. So very often, going against the
wishes of the rank and file Democrats. As I stated earlier I have been working with
a primarily Democratic organization Impeach For Peace and have witnessed this phenomena
going on all over the nation, as well as locally. Our federal government has failed
us, all of us. Instead of standing up and protecting us, they have blocked and stalled
the Impeachment Movement all over our nation.
By their actions and equally important, lack of action our elected officials have
abandoned their oath to "defend and protect the Constitution from all enemies,
foreign and domestic." Even more damning, they have, as stated earlier actually
protected the Bush Administration from being held accountable by us for their criminal
and immoral actions. In Minnesota recently Congressman John Conyers was recently
challenged on this very point. He told us that it was more important to be re-elected
and have a Democrat in the White House than this critical issue of accountability
for those criminals in the White House. These are his words here, not mine. I told
him that we have reached a point in our nation that we need to hold those people
accountable who refuse to hold this criminal Administration itself accountable.
Remember this term for later.
Then we have the earlier mentioned HR 799, entered into the political record by
Dennis Kucinich. What happened to that Bill irrefutably makes my case. When presidential
candidate Kucinich used his position and privilege as a Congressman to introduce
this bill, calling for the Impeachment of Dick Cheney look at what happened. It
was the Democratic Party which attempted to table it, to effectively kill the Bill
and all that it stood for, accountability. Yet in a stunning turn around, it was
the Republicans who actually kept it alive, in an obvious attempt to make the Democrats
look bad. In fact the story goes that an unnamed Republican "accidently"
dropped his pen where he could not reach it. Then the Republicans quickly had a
meeting and decided to keep it alive, obviously for what they perceived as short
term political gain. At the obvious behest of House leader Nancy Pelosi, the Bill
was then sent to the Judiciary Committee, where it currently sits. We must note
that it now sits with it's virtual mirror HR 333 which also calls for the Impeachment
of Cheney. HR 333 has been languishing with no movement for over six months now
and it appears that HR 799 will suffer the same fate, as was intended. For all intended
purposes "Mission Accomplished" or so it would appear.
It was at this point that I told my friends in Impeach For Peace that "the
gloves are off." Now we need to analyze why the Democratic Party leadership
would make such a horrific political blunder. Some have put it down to yet another
example of "the Dems spinelessness and cowardice again." I disagree. I
hold, firmly that the reason that Nancy Pelosi, Barck Obama, Hillary Clinton, yes
even John Edwards and John Conyers have been guilty of these unbelievable acts of
craven cowardice is not just simple lack of political will and spine. I put it to
you all, very directly that the real reason that they are not moving and in fact
are attempting to kill Impeachment is much deeper and troubling.
The plain and simple reason that the Democratic Party are willing to go against
the will of the majority, not just in their Party but indeed the general public
is this simple and chilling. Their owners won't let them. Their owners are,
of course the wealthy, monied corporate interests who own the entire political system,
media and just about everything else in our country. Those people and interests
who fund campaigns, the ones responsible for the slick, glitzy TV adds, the fancy
glossy brochures and parades that we often attend. The very groups and people that
the Democratic party claims to fighting against. They own them, they are not our
representatives, they are theirs. Years of watching good, honest people "petitioning"
them has made that clear to me. The sooner we all come to that realization and fight
for a true representative, grassroots government, the sooner we can actually achieve
it. Of course that means we have to look honestly and realistically on where we
are and just how bad and deep the mess we find ourselves is. "They" are
not the solution, they are a manifestation of the problem we face. I base this on
the dual understanding, the undeniable truth that corporate interests own both political
parties. Corporations do not like instability and Impeachment would indeed create
some short term instability in the market. So they are probably threatening to withhold
their campaign constibutions if Impeachment is not "taken off the table."
This leads us to Plan B and all that entails, given the realities just described.
Here in Minnesota we are starting to organize a plan, a call to action. Since the
federal government have indeed failed us all so dramatically, we need to go local.
The good people in Impeach For Peace have found a way to make that happen. According
to the Thomas Jefferson Manuel On Impeachment, there is another way to institute
the will of We The People in regards to Impeachment. Apparently Jefferson foresaw
the situation we find ourselves in today. he gave us the blueprint for Plan B.
It is this simple. We need to have just One State House and Senate pass, together
a Resolution for Impeachment. That happens and the Congress which has failed us
by refusing to even bring it to the House is forced to put all other business aside
and deal with Impeachment. Here in Minnesota we are, even now planning for a Call
To Impeachment Rally on the steps of the St Paul Minnesota Capitol. It is planned
for February 15th, the first day of business for the Minnesota House and Senate.
At the end of the rally, we in essence Storm the Bastille. The message will be clear,
crystal clear. We are not "lobbying" or begging for Impeachment, we are
demanding it. We will also be crystal clear in this message. If the politicians
we talk to, do not actively do everything in their power to promote Impeachment,
we will hold them accountable. They will face opposition in the next election and
their oppositions message will be simple. He or she will face another candidate
running against him with this message, "this person violated his oath of office
to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic."
We will ask them, in very plan language that do they want to face the accusation
that "they actually protected the Bush Administration?" The simple beauty
of this plan is that we will be afforded the opportunity of talking to people and
potentially affecting them, on the local level where they are much less beholden
to the corporate interests which has made our democracy "the best that money
can buy" on the Federal level, as investigative journalist Greg Palast has
Of course it would be beautiful if Minnesota did this, which we will but can we
imagine the impact of California, Hawaii, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia,
Arizona, New Mexico and a host of other states did the same thing?
This is your call to action. Make it happen. As is often the case, if you face a
career politician who will use the structure of his political party and it's
apparatus, then this is your opportunity to use us, the Green Party. That way you
can't be crushed or marginalized in a primary race by those who are better funded
than you. Get involved in your local Green Party and seek the Green endorsement
in your run for office. If you don't know how, contact myself at email@example.com
or (612)327-6902. We can actually make this thing happen. We can and should put
Impeachment and accountability back on the table. It is our table to set after all,
although those in Washington Dc seem to have forgotten that.
Like I said at the start of this piece, I had very deliberately been non-partisan
on the issue of Impeachment because it was so critical. I am now strictly partisan
for the same reason. Now is the time to get active on Impeachment. Let us hold the
Bush Administration accountable for their crimes. Not just because it is the right
thing to do but to ensure that their are no further abuses of power in the future.
Let us all do this now, acting as though the very future of our democratic Republic
depends on it. It just may.
Michael Cavlan RN
Below is a Green Party Statement on Impeachment
Home | Press | Print
Impeach Bush and Cheney Now!
GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, firstname.lastname@example.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, email@example.com
Congress must impeach Bush and Cheney, say Greens, citing White House lawlessness,
growing threat to U.S. democracy, and war crimes.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Citing a litany of alleged high crimes and misdemeanors, abuses
of power, and violations of the U.S. Constitution, Green Party leaders urged Congress
to initiate impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush and Vice President
Cheney as soon as possible.
"The evidence that President Bush has abused his office and betrayed the trust
of the American people is now so overwhelming that failure to undertake impeachment
would make Congress even more complicit in this administration's lawlessness,"
said Nan Garrett, Georgia Green Party co-chair and spokesperson for the National
Women's Caucus. "Three more years of Bush and Cheney will do lasting damage
to the rule of law and result in even more death and destruction under Bush's
"The Bush Administration blocked an independent probe into 9/11 while making
fraudulent statements about the reasons for invading Iraq, and now admits that it
spies on American citizens in disregard of legal limits. What more does Congress
need before it says enough is enough?" Ms. Garrett added.
The Green Party of the United States called for Congress to commence impeachment
of President Bush in July, 2003, after he ordered the invasion of Iraq. The resolution
accused the President of numerous deceptions to justify the invasion, as well as
violations of the U.S. Constitution (restriction in Article II on the deployment
of Armed Forces to defense of U.S. borders; required adherence to international
treaties in Article VI) and of international law (U.N. Charter; Geneva conventions).
"In early 2003, there already existed credible evidence that the war was based
on White House fraud: false claims that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs, sought nuclear
weapons materials, and colluded with al Qaeda. But most Democrats feared accusations
that they'd be soft on terrorism and unpatriotic if they criticized the invasion,"
said Jody Grage Haug, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "Three
years later, after more than 2,100 U.S. troop deaths, tens of thousands of dead
Iraqi civilians, a continuing military quagmire in Iraq, and indications that the
invasion and occupation inflamed anti-U.S. sentiment around the world, especially
in Islamic nations, some Democrats have caught up to the Green Party."
In addition to White House falsehoods leading up to the war on Iraq, Greens listed
other grounds for impeachment:
President Bush ordered the National Security Agency to spy on American citizens
without obtaining a warrant in accord with the Fourth Amendment and the 1978 Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Recent FBI targets of surveillance (nonviolent
peace and human rights organizations, Catholic Workers Group, People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals, Vegan Community Project) prove that his administration's
goals have more to do with politics than with preventing terrorism. Mr. Bush's
insistence that such surveillance is justified and will continue is further proof
of his contempt for the law.
Numerous Bush Administration policies -- denial of due process, extraordinary rendition,
secret detention centers, and torture at various sites, including Abu Ghraib and
Guantanamo Bay -- have violated U.S. and international law. Vice President Cheney
attempted to gain a license from Congress for torture, even though it has been proven
ineffective for gathering accurate information (e.g., Ibn Al Shaykh Al Libi's
testimony about links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, later recanted). Greens
noted that the agreement reached by Mr. Bush and Sen. John McCain purportedly outlawing
torture allows a significant loophole (see "Tortured Logic: McCain-Bush deal
has a big loophole" by James Ridgeway with Michael Roston, The Village Voice,
December 19, 2005, < http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0551,ridgeway,71143,2.html>).
Congress must investigate whether the White House endorsed the use of outlawed weapons
materials such as depleted uranium, which causes radioactive contamination of humans
(U.S. troops as well as Iraqi civilians) and the environment; white phosphorus,
a chemical whose use in warfare is proscribed by international agreement; and cluster
bombs, which do not distinguish between civilians and combatants. Their use in Iraq
is a war crime for which either the President himself or the Defense Department
must be held accountable. Other war crimes, which require impeachment if based on
White House orders, include the military targeting of journalists, individual reporters
as well as television stations (Al Jazeera and Abu Dhabi), and looting of hospitals,
museums, and private homes.
"Many Americans have realized that the Bush-Cheney ideology is about installing
a permanent corporate elite in power, buttressed by military power and public fear
over perceived and fabricated threats, while missing real dangers to our security,"
said Jake Schneider, treasurer of the Green Party of the United States. "The
response to Katrina, dismissed evidence of global warming, manipulated scientific
research, energy policy crafted in secret with corporate lobbies, new prescription
drug policy, attack on Social Security, 2000 and 2004 election irregularities, and
other evidence should lay to rest any illusion about this Administration's disregard
for the interests of the American people."
Green Party of the United States
1711 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009.
"Congress Must Reject Patriot Act, Ban Warrantless Spying"
Press release from the Green Party of the United States, December 19, 2005
"Greens Call for Impeachment of Bush, Withdrawal of Troops by the Winter Holidays"
Press release from the Green Party of the United States, July 21, 200
contribute to this article
add comment to discussion
view discussion from this article