The National Campaign to Impeach President George W. Bush

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Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s installation of George W.
Bush as President in January of 2001, the peoples of the
world have witnessed a government in the United States of
America that demonstrates little if any respect for fundamental
considerations of international law, international
organizations, and human rights, let alone appreciation of
the requirements for maintaining international peace
and security. What the world has watched instead is a comprehensive
and malicious assault upon the integrity of the
international legal order by a group of men and women
who are thoroughly Machiavellian in their perception of
international relations and in their conduct of both foreign
policy and domestic affairs.
This is not simply a question of giving or withholding
the benefit of the doubt when it comes to complicated matters
of foreign affairs and defense policies to a U.S. government
charged with the security of both its own citizens and
those of its allies in Europe, the Western Hemisphere, and
the Pacific. Rather, the Bush Jr. administration’s foreign
policies represent a gross deviation from those basic rules of
international deportment and civilized behavior that the
United States government had traditionally played the pioneer
role in promoting for the entire world community.
Even more seriously, in many instances specific components
of the Bush Jr. administration’s foreign policies constitute
ongoing criminal activity under well-recognized
principles of both international law and U.S. domestic law,
and in particular the Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg
Judgment, and the Nuremberg Principles.
Depending upon the substantive issues involved, those
international crimes typically include but are not limited to
the Nuremberg offenses of crimes against peace, crimes
against humanity and war crimes, as well as grave breaches
of the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the 1907
Hague Regulations on land warfare, torture, disappearances,
and assassinations. In addition, various members of
the Bush Jr.
administration committed numerous inchoate crimes
incidental to these substantive offenses that under the
Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles were international
crimes in their own right: viz., planning, preparation,
solicitation, incitement, conspiracy, complicity,
attempt, aiding and abetting, etc. Of course the great
irony of today’s situation sis that six decades ago at
Nuremberg, representatives of the U.S. government participated
in the prosecution, punishment and execution of
Nazi government officials for committing some of the
same types of heinous international crimes that members
of the Bush Jr. administration currently inflict upon people
all around the world.
To be sure, I personally oppose the imposition of capital
punishment upon any person for any reason no matter how
monstrous their crimes: Bush Jr., Tony Blair, Saddam Hussein,
Slobodan Milosevic, Vladimir Putin, Ariel Sharon, my
former client John Wayne Gacy, etc. Furthermore, according
to basic principles of international criminal law, all
high-level civilian officials and military officers in the U.S.
government who either knew or should have known that
soldiers or civilians under their control committed or were
about to commit international crimes, and failed to take the
measures necessary to stop them, or to punish them, or
both, are likewise personally responsible for the commission
of international crimes.
This category of officialdom who actually knew or at
least should have known of the commission of such substantive
or inchoate international crimes under their jurisdiction
and failed to do anything about it typically includes
the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, Director of
Central Intelligence, the National Security Adviser, the
Attorney General, the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and
regional CINCs, and presumably the President and Vice
President. These U.S. government officials and their immediate
subordinates, among others, were personally responsible
for the commission or at least complicity in the commission
of crimes against peace, crimes against humanity,
and war crimes as specified by the Nuremberg Charter,
Judgment, and Principles – at a minimum. In international
legal terms, the Bush Jr. administration itself should be
viewed as constituting an ongoing criminal conspiracy
under international criminal law.
Consequently, on Tuesday 11 March 2003, with the Bush
Jr. administration’s war of aggression against Iraq staring the
American People, Congress and Republic in their face, Congressman
John Conyers of Michigan, the Ranking Member
of the House Judiciary Committee (which has jurisdiction
over Bills of Impeachment), convened an emergency meeting
of forty or more of his top advisors, most of whom were
lawyers. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and
debate immediately putting into the U.S. House of Representatives
Bills of Impeachment against President Bush Jr.,
Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld, and then Attorney General John Ashcroft in
order to head off the impending war. Congressman Conyers
kindly requested that Ramsey Clark and I come to the meeting
in order to argue the case for impeachment.
This impeachment debate lasted for two hours. It was
presided over by Congressman Conyers, who quite correctly
did not tip his hand one way or the other on the merits of
impeachment. He simply moderated the debate between
Clark and I, on the one side, favoring immediately filing
Bills of Impeachment against Bush Jr. et al. to stop the
threatened war, and almost everyone else there who were
against impeachment for partisan political reasons. Obviously
no point would be served here by attempting to
digest a two-hour-long vigorous debate among a group of
well-trained lawyers on such a controversial matter at this
critical moment in American history. But at the time I was
struck by the fact that this momentous debate was conducted
at a private office right down the street from the
White House on the eve of war. Suffice it to say that most of
the “experts” there opposed impeachment not on the basis
of enforcing the Constitution and the Rule of Law, whether
international or domestic, but on the political grounds that
it might hurt the Democratic Party effort to get their presidential
candidate elected in the year 2004.
As a political independent, I did not argue that point.
Rather, I argued the merits of impeaching Bush Jr., Cheney,
Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft under the United States
Constitution, U.S. federal laws, U.S. treaties and other
international agreements to which the United States is a
party, etc. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution provides that
treaties “shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” This socalled
Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution also
applies to international executive agreements concluded
under the auspices of the U.S. President such as the 1945
Nuremberg Charter. Congressman Conyers was so kind as
to allow me the closing argument in the debate.
Briefly put, the concluding point I chose to make was
historical: The Athenians lost their democracy. The Romans
lost their Republic. And if we Americans did not act now
we could lose our Republic! The United States of America is
not immune to the laws of history! After two hours of most
vigorous debate among those in attendance, the meeting
adjourned with second revised draft Bills of Impeachment
sitting on the table.
Certainly, if the U.S. House of Representatives can
impeach President Clinton for sex and lying about sex,
then a fortiori the House can, should, and must impeach
President Bush Jr. for war, lying about war, and threatening
more wars.
All that is needed is for one Member of Congress with
courage, integrity, principles and a safe seat to file these
currently amended draft Bills of Impeachment against Bush
Jr., Cheney, Rumsfeld, and now Attorney General Albert
Gonzales, who bears personal criminal responsibility for
the Bush Jr. administration torture scandal. Failing this, the
alternative is likely to be an American Empire abroad, a
U.S. police state at home, and continuing wars of aggression
to sustain both—along the lines of George Orwell’s
classic novel 1984. Despite all of the serious flaws demonstrated
by successive United States governments that this
author has amply documented elsewhere during the past
quarter century as a Professor of Law, the truth of the matter
is that America is still the oldest Republic in the world
today. “We the People of the United States” must fight to
keep it that way!

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