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davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-05-08 10:27 PM
Original message
Subpoena Dementia
Subpoenas? What are those? Miers? Rove? Who are they? Are they from Chicago? Do they believe in change?

We interrupt this honeymoon to remember that there's something we should be remembering.

Here is a list of some of the subpoenas issued by the 110th Congress and laughed at by the Bush-Cheney Justice Department: http://democrats.com/subpoenas

Come January there will be a brand new Justice Department. And here's the interesting thing: justice departments don't do "looking forward." Punishing crimes is always about looking backwards. Plus, back during the Pennsylvania primary, president-to-be Barack Obama promised a Philadelphia Daily News reporter that his Justice Department would look into the crimes of his predecessor. And people like Seymour Hersh claim that all sorts of insiders want to spill their guts come January 20th: http://tinyrevolution.com/mt/archives/002677.html

So Congress members must be chomping at the bit to reissue their subpoenas and finally see them enforced, right?

Well

It turns out that Chairman Henry Waxman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who demolished several large forests just to print his voluminous letters to the Bush Administration requesting and re-requesting and subpoenaing and complaining, is interested in moving to the Commerce Committee since there's no longer any need for oversight and -- despite having his requests and subpoenas laughed at -- considers his work complete.

While this attitude bodes very ill for the prospect of restoring powers to Congress during the tenure of a potentially law-abiding president, it tells us something even more damning as well. If the Democrats do not reissue the subpoenas and the contempt citations in January, they will be admitting that they never cared about anything other than electoral advantage, that every pretense of pursuing justice during the past two years was a political campaign at taxpayer expense.

This shouldn't shock us. Remember that Congress voluntarily threw out the power of impeachment. When subpoenas were then mocked and ignored, Congress declined to use the power of inherent contempt and lock up recalcitrant witnesses. When contempt citations were not enforced, Congress sought their enforcement just slowly enough to maintain the pretense of trying to enforce them right through this week's elections.

Another indication that the "investigations" as a substitute for impeachment were sheer farce will come if Congress puts up no resistance during the next three months to the pardons that many expect Bush to issue his subordinates for crimes he authorized them to commit.

A third indication will come if Congress fails to reintroduce and pass in January the sort of resolution introduced this past September by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin urging President Obama to pursue accountability for the crimes of his predecessor ( http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/baldwinbill ) and if Congress fails to pursue that accountability itself.

If President Obama ceases to commit some of Bush's crimes, declines to use signing statements, agrees to abide by most laws, signs reforms related to the PATRIOT Act, torture, etc., those will all be major positive steps, but warrantless spying, baseless detention, torture, and executive legislating were never ever remotely legal. And laws are not partisan or in conflict with unity or brotherly love. If future presidents know that the penalty for lawlessness is only that your successor will obey laws, how much deterrence will that offer? If future voters know that Congressional subpoenas, hearings, and press conferences are all just stunts and charades, how much civic capital will that create?

Let's try, you and I, to have a slightly longer memory than Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid, or perhaps to give some of the fine congress members with sharper minds a turn in the leadership slots.

*****

Here's one way to help on Monday, November 10th, from the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR)

In September organizers from NCNR sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey. In the letter we called for the indictment of Bush and Cheney for war crimes. We asked for a meeting with AG Mukasey to discuss this matter. We have not heard back from AG Mukasey, so on November 10 at 12 noon we will go to the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and demand a meeting, demand that Bush, Cheney and others are held accountable. If we are not granted a meeting, some of us will be led by our conscience to take action in the spirit of nonviolence where we may be risking arrest. We take this action knowing that we are doing what we are called to do, knowing that we are doing the only thing we can do as our leaders have continued to disobey the laws of the United States and to trample on and shred the U.S. Constitution for the last 8 years.

If possible, please join us in DC on November 10 for this action. If you are not able to make it to DC, we ask citizens all around the country to join us in solidarity through local actions on November 10.

First, call the Attorney General's office on November 10 to encourage him to meet with the citizenry outside who want to discuss the indictment of Bush and Cheney: Department of Justice Main Switchboard 202-514-2000 and Office of the Attorney General 202-353-1555.

Second, if possible, hold a solidarity demonstration at your local federal building on November 10. During the demonstration, you would have a copy of the NCNR letter requesting a meeting. You would emphasize that the AG must meet with these concerned citizens and must consider an indictment.

It is time to bring the criminals of the Bush regime to justice. Please, wherever you are, do your part in joining us in this call for justice and truth.
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-05-08 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. Somebody Should Make Demoratic Subpoena Toilet Paper
A page from an actual subpoena on each sheet.
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Old Codger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-05-08 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. In my book
I will go to the polls in two years and vote rep. or Ind. if they don't follow up on this stuff, if it was all talk and no action as it usually is we may see a one term pres also... This is supposed to be about change, and if they let the bush regime off with some BS about "the good of the country" Then this cynical old fart will know it was all smoke and BS ...
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-05-08 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. Now I see why the Republicans are Elephants with long memories and the Democrats
are Jackasses with beady eyes, little round spectacles and cheesy moustaches. Waxman. That about describes him--melts when the heat is on.

But boy he sure put up a good front for a couple of hearings.

Thanks for the reminders David.

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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 06:38 AM
Response to Original message
4. Conyers said yesterday he is going to enforce his subpoenas
I think it was on Democracy Now. He said that the Bush people can't just say they ran out the clock. I understand the OP's concern, but at least some in Congress are going to continue their investigations.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. The mantle of Hero is just hanging there in the Congressional Cloakroom
. . .Up on a hook for whoever DOES THE JOB for the Republic.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. If Obama is smart, he will make sure that those in the House pursuing this
Edited on Thu Nov-06-08 12:48 PM by truedelphi
Will secretly get his encouragement.

He probably cannot make this announcement as the first item on his plate - the media would make that out to be snarky - "There are big problems on his plate, and he is just being partisian!!" they would scream and wail.
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davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. i hope so
it would go a long way toward suggesting that it wasn't all a farce
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davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. I sure can't find it on DN or anywhere else
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
5. K&R nt
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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
6. K&R n/t
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
8. If Republicans can't spell the word, they won't acknowledge it.
That's my take on the "I don't know what countries are in NAFTA" party.
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ThoughtCriminal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
9. I assume that Obama can simply remove the previous
claims of Executive Privilege for Rove and company. He just has to hold his own staff to the same standard.


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Crabby Appleton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Nope
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
10.  K&R
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
14. K&R
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
16. Would love to hear Clinton say "failure to prosecute '41' for Obstruction was a horrible mistake. .
Edited on Thu Nov-06-08 06:49 PM by pat_k
. . .We can't afford to repeat it by failing to prosecute '43'" ("Hey Democrats, Truth Matters")

I imagine there's little chance of seeing such a statement.

Unfortunately, if Bush and Cheney are allowed to exit unimpeached I fear that we will see Obama do exactly the same thing Clinton did -- i.e., do whatever he can to keep prosecution "off the table."

Chances of making impeachment a reality may be slim, but it may actually be a far easier task than making prosecution a reality. If a 30 day treatment program can turn an addict around, 12 weeks should be time enough to wake up some key members of Congress. After chipping away at the wall of DC denial for years, we could even be on the verge of a "breakthrough."
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
17. K&R
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
18. Justice is off the table big time now.
This is the dawning of the four-year Era of Kumbaya.
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specimenfred1984 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
19. If dems had impeached Chimp and failed, which they would have, Chimp
would have then pardoned everyone who was implicated along with him. Chimp cannot do that now. It's as if someone was thinking ahead, imagine that.
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Danascot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-06-08 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
20. I'm ready!
:popcorn:
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