Growing up in a foreign land, the US of A has always been the ideal of what could be. Of what true democracy means. Of the truest sense of equality available to broken spirits. Of the safest shelter from oppression brought on by another man. Although never having set foot in this country, we used to get teary eyed when we’d hear the American national anthem being sung after the American athlete we cheered on during the games won a medal. We dreamt of your dreams fulfilled.
Now, this Promised Land is wrecked with lies, sinister plots and horrendous accusations of torture. We all know of the horrific photographs that found their way into our dailies from Abu Gharib. Merely days ago, the first alleged violation to the McCain torture amendent was filed in New York City by attorneys seeking to end the torture of a Guantanamo detainee. A report by the Center of Constitution Rights (CCR) states that,
‘After being imprisoned without charges for over three years, Mr. Mohammad Bawazir began a hunger strike in August 2005. As recent news accounts have confirmed, military personnel responded with several actions designed to inflict pain, torture and punishment for the hunger strike. The cruel and inhumane treatment is detailed in today’s filing, which alleges that the torture is a flagrant violation of both the McCain torture amendment, which became law as the Detainee Treatment Act, and the Constitution. The filing charges that Guantánamo personnel:
- Forcibly strapped Mr. Bawazir into a restraint chair, tying his legs, arms, head, and midsection to the chair.
- Inserted of a feeding tube that was larger than the tube that had previously been left in Mr. Bawazir’s nose, increasing the pain of the insertion and extraction.
- Poured four bottles of water into his stomach through the nasal gastric tube every time he was fed even though Mr. Bawazir has never refused to drink water by mouth.
- Restrained Mr. Bawazir in the chair for extended periods at each feeding.
- Denied Mr. Bawazir access to a toilet while he was restrained and then for an additional hour or more after he was released from the chair.
- Placed Mr. Bawazir in solitary confinement.
“Mere days after signing the McCain Amendment, the Bush Administration engaged in some of the most flagrant acts of torture that have occurred in Guantánamo. The horrific misuse of the emergency restraint chair and the medical abuses served no purpose other than to terrorize nonviolent prisoners into ending their hunger strike,” said Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. “Senator McCain led an important fight to ban torture, but will he stand up for it now that the Bush Administration is breaking the law?” http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/reports/report.asp?ObjID=C6xZ785AKb&Content=718
Over the course of history, this nation has brought a few of it’s sworn – in presidents to the impeachement altar. Andrew Johnson in 1868. The infamous Richard Nixon who deftly handed in his resignation in 1974 when he was accused of violating his constitutional oath 1) to faithfully execute the office of the president; 2) to protect and defend the Constitution; and 3) to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. He did this by means of false and misleading statements, withholding information from Congress, condoning false statements, misuse of the CIA, and deceiving the people of the United States, as well, with false or misleading statements(1). Then of course, Bill Clinton who was put on the chair for a personal affair and lying about it, thus obstructing justice.
Where is justice now and more importantly, where are the representatives we elected to monitor the powers of a president from becoming abusive? Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution provides that the president may be impeached for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” This was the mechanism that the framers of the Constitution provided Congress to protect itself from executive over-reaching. Clearly the framers drafted this provision in the context of what they viewed as the history of their time, i.e., the conflict between the actions of the English king and the ideals of the English law. Thus, for the framers, impeachment was a key element of American democracy in that it provided an ultimate means to curtail abuses of, or unconstitutional expansion of, executive powers. (2).
The CCR has released a new book out today outlining a legal case for impeaching George W. Bush. I am including the synopsis of the book which also includes links to purchase the book and actions to take.
We know George Bush has lied to us, spied on us, broken the law and sent Americans to fight an illegal war. The time for just debate and protest is over. We need real action to save our country and our Constitution – Congress must consider the impeachment of George W. Bush. Click here to take action: www.ccr-ny.org/impeachment
We outline the legal case for impeaching Bush in an important new book, Articles of Impeachment Again George W. Bush, published by Melville House this week. We want to share special information about the book with our supporters
Legal experts from the Center for Constitutional Rights propose four articles of impeachment in the book, explaining the case clearly and precisely. This is essential reading for all Americans. The book is part of our campaign to demand Congress show the President he is not above the law – please join us in urging Congress consider impeachment today: www.ccr-ny.org/impeachment
Why now? The President’s illegal domestic spying program has been exposed – CCR is currently fighting it in federal court – and a majority of Americans now say Bush lied about the war in Iraq and it is a mistake. A growing number of U.S. Representatives now support a resolution to investigate impeachment. Take a moment to act today and encourage even more representatives to join the fight
Together, we can beat back Bush’s illegal actions through Congress and the courts.
Thank you for taking the time to act today, and please forward this email to your friends so we can spread the word.
Center for Constitutional Rights Legal Director
Where is this nation heading? What path are we on and are we in any position to direct the course of this path? I believe we all know where this nation is heading and what path we are on currently. I also believe that aside from shrugging our shoulders and shaking our heads in disgust or despair, we do not do much else. That is because we have yet to understand our role in the direction of this country and the power each of us ultimately hold in our hands and minds.
1, 2. Center for Constitutional Right’s new book, “Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush,” William Goodman, 2006.