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Re: [FairfieldCountyGreens] Impeachment can be quick & the Phony Persian Gulf Incident

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  • Sharon Foster
    Maine Congressman Rep. Michael Michaud urges Rep. Conyers to begin impeachment hearings on VP Cheney, and Rep. Michaud s hometown paper supports him:
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 10, 2008
      Maine Congressman Rep. Michael Michaud urges Rep. Conyers to begin
      impeachment hearings on VP Cheney, and Rep. Michaud's hometown paper
      supports him:

      "Expansions and potential abuses of power by this administration become
      precedents for future ones, which lead to further erosions of our
      constitutional rights."


      Richard Duffee wrote:
      > Dear Impeachment Folk and Greens:
      > The following three messages are enlightening on our ability to
      > impeach and the need to impeach. Steve Fournier argues in detail that
      > impeachment need not take much time or energy at this point. It's
      > simply a matter of the willingness of Congress to do its clear duty.
      > The second article exposes a Bush Administration attempt to
      > manufacture an incident to justify attacking Iran modeled on the Gulf
      > Of Tonkin incident Johnson created to justify bombing Hanoi. Because
      > there's no telling, of course, when another of Bush's frauds will
      > succeed, we must impeach.
      > The third message comes from Stop War on Iran. It elaborates on the
      > faked incident in the Persian Gulf and gives us some simple actions to
      > take.
      > I'm postponing the message on over-consumption.
      > Richard Duffee
      > 1) Steve Fournier: Too Late for Justice?
      > >From Current Invective * www.currentinvective.com
      > Most people seem to be pretty much satisfied that the current
      > president and vice-president have acted criminally, but the citizenry
      > doesn't seem to be in a hurry to do anything about it. Some say that
      > with just a year left in their term of office, it's too late for
      > justice for these guys. Impeachment would take forever, they argue,
      > and nothing else would get done, and when it's over, Bush wins,
      > because Bush always wins. That's my congressman's view, anyway. I know
      > because I asked him.
      > Is it really too late? What sort of groundwork would have to be laid?
      > What processes would kick in, how long would they take, and what might
      > be pushed aside? What consequences might be anticipated?
      > The groundwork has already been laid. The charges against the
      > executive have been fleshed out in meetings and conferences across the
      > country. They have been presented to political committees, town
      > meetings, and state and local governing bodies, and they have been
      > summed up in articles of impeachment now pending against Richard
      > Cheney.
      > To proceed on the articles now pending in the House, the Judiciary
      > Committee would have to convene a hearing of some kind. In
      > Connecticut, when we impeached our governor a few years back, we had
      > evidence on the record before the corresponding state legislative
      > committee. The House committee can dispense with that step because it
      > has an ample public record, including sworn testimony in court and
      > before Congress.
      > For the top ten crimes committed by this executive, there is no need
      > for additional testimony. The evidence is on the record, and it could
      > be presented in narrative form by the committee's chief counsel,
      > presenting the work of two lawyers working hard for two weeks. In the
      > House, it's an accusation, remember, and not a trial.
      > There is little question that the committee would establish criminal
      > liability in connection with the stated rationale for war, the
      > politicization of federal prosecutions, spying on Americans, torturing
      > prisoners, holding prisoners without trial, malfeasance as
      > commander-in-chief, and any of the dozens of other crimes committed
      > openly and brazenly by our chief executive officers. I would expect a
      > unanimous vote, since the evidence is overwhelming.
      > This could all be accomplished quickly. A few committee staffers would
      > be occupied for a few short weeks putting together an iron-clad
      > indictment, using evidence on the public record. The committee would
      > hear the evidence in the form of a narrative for a day or two and
      > vote. Most likely, on a vote of the committee that the articles
      > against Cheney should be considered by the full House, the articles
      > would be amended to include Bush. If Cheney is impeached, Bush has to
      > be impeached on the same grounds, since there can be no doubt that
      > Bush had full knowledge of Cheney's activities and sanctioned them.
      > The full House would schedule a few days of debate, with Judiciary
      > Committee members leading the debate for and against the indictment,
      > and the House would vote on the articles. Each article that received a
      > majority vote of the full House would go to the Senate for trial.
      > Members of the Judiciary Committee would form the prosecution team in
      > the Senate. The Chief Justice presides as judge over a trial in the
      > Senate, and the trial takes as long as it takes to make the case on
      > each article. The president and vice-president would have an
      > opportunity to rebut and defend. The evidence would be presented much
      > as it was in the House, except that it might be reverified by live
      > witnesses. Figure a couple of weeks.
      > A few congressmen would be occupied full-time for some weeks putting a
      > coherent and compelling presentation together, but the rest of the
      > House could go back to other business, having spent a grand total of
      > three or four days on this. Nothing would have to be pushed aside to
      > make way for impeachment. As for the senators, they could busy
      > themselves with other matters in advance of the trial. They would be
      > acting as a jury, and there's nothing for them to do until they get
      > the evidence. Not long after the trial starts, it ends, and the Senate
      > votes. Two-thirds to convict. On the line is the rule of law itself,
      > and politics takes a back seat. Would the stock market go down? Maybe.
      > Would foreigners lose faith in the dollar? Maybe they'd get it back.
      > On conviction, the president and vice-president are removed, but the
      > Senate could suspend their removal until shortly before the expiration
      > of their term to ensure an orderly succession. It's win-win. In
      > Connecticut, we spent a summer impeaching our governor, and it was
      > worth it. He actually went to jail. He must be seething now--he was
      > removed and prosecuted for taking gifts from state contractors. The
      > guv had to do time for something a thousand times less serious than
      > what these thugs have done, and they're walking around free.
      > What are the consequences of doing nothing and allowing Bush and
      > Cheney to serve out their term? A strong precedent would be
      > established to exempt the president from all law. The next president
      > will almost certainly claim a privilege to imprison people without
      > trial if this president is allowed to get away with doing just that.
      > By compelling logic, a future president who wished to extend the
      > privilege to shooting people down in the street could cite the license
      > accorded by the House to the Bush administration in our time,
      > exempting the president from the criminal laws.
      > Your congressman would be happy if he or she were not the sole
      > prosecuting authority in the case of crimes committed by the
      > president. It's true that a federal prosecutor could bring criminal
      > charges against the president and vice president, but the president
      > happens to be in charge of all the prosecutors, and prosecutors don't
      > often prosecute their bosses. There could be an independent
      > prosecutor, but the president can fire that officer, too, as Nixon
      > proved the last time we removed a president.
      > And so it's left to the House to prosecute, and the House won't do it.
      > My member won't, and he wants me to think it's too late, so I'll stop
      > pestering him. It's not, and I won't.
      > >From Current Invective * www.currentinvective.com
      > 2) From The Lede, New York Times:
      > Jan10, 2008, 9:40 am
      > Degrees of Confidence on U.S.-Iran Naval Incident
      > By MIKE NIZZA
      > Updated, 5:48 p.m. Eastern. Scroll down for the latest.
      > The list of those who are less than fully confident in the Pentagon's
      > video/audio mashup of aggressive maneuvers by Iranian boats near
      > American warships in the Strait of Hormuz now includes the Pentagon
      > itself.
      > Unnamed Pentagon officials said on Wednesday that the threatening
      > voice heard in the audio clip, which was released on Monday night with
      > a disclaimer that it was recorded separately from the video images and
      > merged with them later, is not directly traceable to the Iranian
      > military.
      > That undercuts one of the most menacing elements from the Pentagon's
      > assertion that Iranian forces threatened the Navy ships: The voice on
      > the radio saying, "I am coming to you. … You will explode after …
      > minutes."
      > Here's an excerpt from an article in this morning's New York Times on
      > the Pentagon's assessment of the audio:
      > The audio includes a heavily accented voice warning in English that
      > the Navy warships would explode. However, the recording carries no
      > ambient noise — the sounds of a motor, the sea or wind — that would be
      > expected if the broadcast had been made from one of the five small
      > boats that sped around the three-ship American convoy.
      > Pentagon officials said they could not rule out that the broadcast
      > might have come from shore, or from another ship nearby, although it
      > might have come from one of the five fast boats with a high-quality
      > radio system.
      > Update, 3:36 p.m. ABC News just reported more details from the
      > spokesperson for the U.S. admiral in charge of the Fifth Fleet, who
      > confirmed the above and explained why they concluded that the threat
      > came from the Iranian boats:
      > "It happened in the middle of all the very unusual activity, so as we
      > assess the information and situation, we still put it in the total
      > aggregate of what happened Sunday morning. I guess we're not saying
      > that it absolutely came from the boats, but we're not saying it
      > absolutely didn't."
      > ***
      > Update, 5:48 p.m. At a news conference this afternoon, a reporter
      > asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates about his level of "confidence in
      > the U.S. military version" of the incident. He was unequivocal:
      > I have no question whatsoever about the report on this incident from
      > the captains of the ships and also from the video itself.
      > ***
      > Earlier on Wednesday, a reader posted a comment on The Lede claiming
      > to be a former Navy officer with experience in the Strait of Hormuz
      > and offering an explanation for how easily a mistake could have been
      > made by Navy personnel trying to sift through radio transmissions
      > filled with chatter:
      > All ships at sea use a common UHF frequency, Channel 16, also known as
      > "bridge-to bridge" radio. Over here, near the U.S., and throughout the
      > Mediterranean, Ch. 16 is used pretty professionally, i.e., chatter is
      > limited to shiphandling issues, identifying yourself, telling other
      > ships what your intentions are to avoid mishaps, etc.
      > But over in the Gulf, Ch. 16 is like a bad CB radio. Everybody and
      > their brother is on it; chattering away; hurling racial slurs, usually
      > involving Filipinos (lots of Filipinos work in the area); curses
      > involving your mother; 1970's music broadcast in the wee hours
      > (nothing odder than hearing The Carpenters 50 miles off the coast of
      > Iran at 4 a.m.)
      > On Ch. 16, esp. in that section of the Gulf,
      > slurs/threats/chatter/etc. is commonplace. So my first thought was
      > that the "explode" comment might not have even come from one of the
      > Iranian craft, but some loser monitoring the events at a shore
      > facility.
      > The commenter, who signed his posting "SWO officer," went on to say,
      > "I hope everybody exercises great caution here and doesn't jump to
      > conclusions."
      > President Bush was criticized today for doing the opposite. According
      > to The Washington Post, "some diplomatic and military officials in
      > Washington" said that Mr. Bush's statements on arriving in Israel
      > Wednesday "inflated the significance of the brief incident" in the
      > strait.
      > In his remarks, Mr. Bush warned Iran that "all options are on the
      > table to protect our assets."
      > Meanwhile, the video images that were released by the Pentagon came in
      > for some more contradiction from Iran, which has contended that the
      > United States was exaggerating a workaday encounter between two naval
      > powers in the Persian Gulf: A competing video purporting to show
      > Sunday's incident from the Iranian side was broadcast today on Iranian
      > television.
      > Here is how the semiofficial Fars News Agency described it:
      > The four-minute video showed an Iranian commander in a speedboat
      > contacting an American sailor via radio, asking him to identify the
      > U.S. vessels and state their purpose.
      > "Coalition warship number 73 this is an Iranian patrol," the Iranian
      > commander is heard to say in good English.
      > "This is coalition warship number 73. I am operating in international
      > waters," comes the reply.
      > That would seem to be a much less aggressive interaction between the
      > American and Iranian forces, of course. But the timing of the
      > recording could not be confirmed, and as Iran itself has said, these
      > types of exchanges happen all the time.
      > Agence France-Presse noted one way that Iran's video seemed to match
      > up with the United States account of the encounter: all three U.S.
      > vessels involved in the incident are seen in the video.
      > But The Associated Press was skeptical, saying that "the short clip
      > likely did not show Sunday's entire encounter."
      > Update, 11:37 a.m. The Iranian video is now online.
      > A reader using the name Hamid Pasha sent The Lede a link to an
      > English-language Iranian web site, PressTV.com, that has posted the
      > Iranian video.
      > The clip is a bit over 5 minutes long. The first few minutes are views
      > of coalition warships shot from smaller boats (if you thought the
      > motorboats seemed to be moving fast in the American video, wait until
      > you see the bow waves on the warships). In the latter portion, we see
      > an Iranian on the boat using a microphone handset to hail "coalition
      > warship 73″ by radio, in fairly clear but accented English, and we
      > hear responses in an American voice.
      > The video clearly covers only part of an encounter — perhaps the
      > encounter, though there's no obvious way a layman would be able to
      > know — and it cuts off abruptly after the American voice is heard
      > answering several inquiries from the Iranian by saying simply that the
      > coalition ship is operating in international waters. We don't see or
      > hear what happened next.
      > Patrick J. Lyons contributed to this post.
      > 3) From Stop War on Iran:
      > ALERT!
      > U.S. war provocation against Iran: Another Tonkin Gulf?
      > Take Action NOW to Stop War on Iran!
      > The Bush Administration has initiated an extremely dangerous war
      > provocation just off Iran's coast, in the Strait of Hormuz. With Bush
      > on his way to the Middle East to mobilize a collection of oil-rich
      > U.S. client states against Iran, the U.S. government is working
      > overtime to create a public-relations incident to heighten tensions
      > in the region and threaten a new war. We must take action now to Stop
      > War on Iran.
      > On Jan. 6, the U.S. Navy alleged that a "confrontation" took place
      > between three massive guided-missile U.S. attack vessels and five
      > small, open Iranian speedboats at the entrance to the Persian Gulf in
      > the world's most important and busiest sea lanes. The Navy even
      > produced a video purporting to show the Iranian speedboats approaching
      > the U.S. warships.
      > NO Phony Provocations!
      > In the coming days, we must mobilize like never before to Stop War on
      > Iran! We need your help to do this. Please consider making an
      > emergency donation at http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml.
      > <http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml.>
      > But the Iranian media on Jan. 9 quoted an Iranian official as saying,
      > "Images released by the U.S. Department of Defense about the Navy
      > vessels were made from file pictures, and the audio was fabricated."
      > Nearly five years ago, the Bush Administration, with active
      > collaboration from Congress and the media, led the U.S. into war,
      > claiming that Iraq possessed chemical and nuclear weapons and that the
      > people of Iraq were behind the attacks on 9/11. Now the Bush
      > Administration is clearly grasping for some excuse - any excuse - to
      > attack Iran. Once the National Intelligence Estimate revealed that
      > Bush has been lying about Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program, the
      > hawks in his Administration have begun looking for any justification,
      > real or fabricated, to sell a military attack they have been planning
      > for years.
      > The real provocation here doesn't come from Iran. The U.S. currently
      > has half of its Navy off the coast of Iran, including nuclear-armed
      > aircraft carriers, guided-missile destroyers, frigates, cruisers and
      > submarines.
      > Meanwhile, Bush is spending eight days visiting Kuwait, Bahrain, Abu
      > Dhabi, Dubai and Saudi Arabia. The purpose of his trip is to convince
      > these corrupt, feudal regimes, which are dependent U.S.-client states,
      > that Iran represents a dangerous threat, in preparation for a U.S.
      > attack.
      > U.S. warships a constant threat
      > The U.S. Navy has again and again held major war games to plan for and
      > stage just such a confrontation with Iran. The Pentagon has announced
      > that it has already set targets on thousands of sites in Iran.
      > Even the video released to the media - if looked at closely- belies
      > the very story that is being drummed up by the Bush administration. It
      > shows five small open-air Iranian speedboats buzzing in the distance,
      > far from the USS Hopper. Iranian boats have every right to patrol and
      > defend their own coastal waters.
      > It should be noted that, according to the Pentagon's own description,
      > the USS Hopper is a guided-missile destroyer. It carries an M240
      > machine gun that can fire 10 armor-piercing projectiles per second and
      > is capable of carrying nuclear missiles that can destroy whole cities.
      > This high-tech ship weighs 8,373 tons and measures 504 feet in length.
      > It was traveling in convoy with the USS Port Royal--a guided-missile
      > cruiser that weighs 9,600 tons fully loaded and has a length of 567
      > feet and is also capable of firing Tomahawk cruise missiles--and the
      > guided-missile frigate USS Ingraham, weighing 4,100 tons and measuring
      > 445 feet in length.
      > These three deadly ships are just a small part of the U.S. Navy armada
      > arrayed off the Iranian coast.
      > We Must Act Now to Stop War on Iran
      > No New Tonkin Gulf!
      > Even after 16 of the top U.S. spy agencies publicly released a
      > National Intelligence Estimate concluding that Iran has no nuclear
      > program, at least since 2003, nor nuclear weapons, the Bush
      > administration has continued to threaten Iran.
      > It is important to remember that the massive U.S. bombing of Vietnam
      > and the Johnson administration's escalation of the war was preceded by
      > reports of an attack on a U.S. destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin off the
      > coast of Vietnam - which years later was finally admitted to be phony.
      > On Aug. 2 and 4, 1964, the Pentagon claimed that small Vietnamese
      > boats had fired on the USS Maddox and another destroyer in the Gulf of
      > Tonkin. Lyndon Johnson used this "attack" as pretext for ramming a
      > resolution through Congress giving him the power and funds to wage war
      > on Vietnam.
      > Johnson's own papers later revealed it was a fraud, and later Defense
      > Secretary Robert McNamara admitted in the film "Fog of War" that the
      > whole incident had been phony.
      > Nearly all the Republicans and Democrats in both houses of Congress,
      > including the present major contenders for the presidential
      > nomination, voted for resolutions against Iran. In a staged or
      > fraudulent confrontation with Iran, with wild charges from the
      > corporate-owned media, Congressional opposition is highly unlikely.
      > The only force that will stop an attack on a Iran is a massive,
      > grassroots campaign.
      > It is more urgent then ever that we raise a global alert.
      > We must continue to mobilize and act to Stop the War on Iran BEFORE it
      > starts! It is essential that the anti-war movement denounce this
      > latest provocation by the Bush Administration.
      > The Stop War on Iran campaign was the first international campaign
      > launched to oppose Bush's plans to attack Iran. Since our founding
      > in 2006, with initiators including George Galloway, MP; Ramsey Clark;
      > Tony Benn, MP; Dennis Halliday; Harold Pinter, 2005 Nobel Laureate in
      > Literature; Margarita Papandreou, former First Lady of Greece; Ervand
      > Abrahamian, Prof. ME History, Author, Between Two Revolutions; and
      > David N. Rahni, Professor and scholar; and dozens more, we have now
      > generated more than half a million petitions sent to President Bush,
      > Congress, and major media.
      > But we must do more. In the coming days, we will be mobilizing like
      > never before to stop another bipartisan rush to war. We need your
      > help to do this. Please consider making an emergency donation at
      > http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml
      > <http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml> .
      > We must join forces to demand:
      > U.S. Navy Out of the Gulf!
      > U.S. Troops Out of Iraq!
      > We need Jobs, Health Care and Housing, Not Endless War!
      > 1. Sign the Petition - http://stopwaroniran.org/petition.shtml
      > <http://stopwaroniran.org/petition.shtml>
      > 2. Print out and circulate Stop War on Iran petitions -
      > http://www.stopwaroniran.org/petition.pdf
      > <http://www.stopwaroniran.org/petition.pdf>
      > 3. DONATE to continue the Campaign to Oppose U.S. War on Iran -
      > http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml
      > <http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml>
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