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If George Bush Unilaterally Declared Himself Dictator, Would Congress be Obligated to Impeach?

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:00 PM
Original message
If George Bush Unilaterally Declared Himself Dictator, Would Congress be Obligated to Impeach?
I mean that as a serious question. Seriously. Bear with me a minute. I and many other DUers have posted numerous articles advocating impeachment on numerous grounds. In this post Ill discuss a reason that Ive touched on many times but never discussed in detail: Bushs numerous signing statements. This is the process whereby he signs a bill passed by Congress (rather than vetoing it), thereby officially making it the law of our land, as specified in our Constitution, but he appends a signing statement to it, which re-interprets the law as written by Congress.

Admittedly, there is some legitimate purpose to signing statements, as other presidents have used them in the past. There are sometimes situations where the language of Congress is ambiguous, so perhaps it sometimes makes sense for a president to append his interpretation of the law to the bill when he signs it.

Charlie Savage provides a history of presidential signing statements in his new book, Takeover The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy. He notes that George W. Bush has so far issued more than 1,100 signing statements, in comparison to approximately 600 signing statements by all 42 of his predecessors combined. In fairness to Bush, signing statements have become much more common in recent times, beginning with the Reagan presidency: Reagan issued 95 signing statements in 8 years; Bushs father issued 232 in 4 years; and Clinton issued 140 in 8 years.

But what is more important than the mere number of signing statements that Bush has issued is their nature and purpose. Thats what I will discuss in this post, using examples from Savages book

So, back to the question posed in the title of this post. Consider that question as you read over these examples of George Bushs signing statements. And just as important, consider whether or not there is much or any substantive difference between declaring himself dictator and issuing hundreds of signing statements similar to the ones described below.

But before I get to the signing statement examples, lets take a quick look at what our Constitution says about this.


The legislative powers provided in our Constitution

Article 1, Section 1 of our Constitution says:

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 7 says that the President may veto bills passed by Congress, but that if he doesnt veto them, or if Congress overrides his veto by a two thirds vote, then the bill shall become a Law.

Article II concerns the Executive Branch. It gives the President the power to execute the law. It gives absolutely no power to the president to make laws or to nullify them, except by presidential veto, which may be over-ridden by a two thirds vote of both houses of Congress.

Thats all we need to know in order to interpret whether or not George Bushs signing statements violated the Constitution which he swore to preserve, protect, and defend, and whether or not there is a difference between issuing those hundreds of signing statements and declaring himself a dictator.


11 examples of George Bushs signing statements

U.S. military intervention in Colombia
Congress enacted several laws (See section on Citing unitary executive) prohibiting U.S. troops from engaging in combat in Colombia (in our War on drugs) and capped the number of contractors and troops that we could use there.

Bush signing statement response: Only the president, as commander in chief, can place restrictions on the use of US armed forces, so the executive branch will construe the law as advisory in nature.

Oversight of missing reconstruction money in Iraq
Congress named an Inspector General to investigate, among other things, missing billions of dollars that were supposed to go for the reconstruction of Iraqi infrastructure.

Bush signing statement response: The CPA IG shall refrain from initiating, carrying out, or completing an audit or investigation, or from issuing a subpoena. (blah blah blah) which would constitute a serious threat to national security.

Diverting money from authorized programs to secret ones
Congress passed a law requiring the president to notify Congress before diverting money from authorized programs to secret ones, such as the Bush administrations secret prison system.

Bush signing statement response: Bush claimed the right to bypass (See Bushs Latest Signing Statement) those provisions of the bill: I will interpret and construe such provisions in the same manner as I have previously stated in regard to those provisions.

Use of unconstitutionally collected intelligence
Congress twice passed laws forbidding the use of intelligence that was collected in violation of our Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Bush signing statement response: Only the president (See paragraph 6), as commander in chief, can tell the military whether or not it can use any specific piece of intelligence.

Congressional torture ban
Congress appended a provision to the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which banned torture.

Bush signing statement response: ''The executive branch shall construe (the law) in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President . . . as Commander in Chief".

Training on the humane treatment of prisoners
Congress passed a law requiring the training of military prison guards in the humane treatment of prisoners.

Bush signing statement response: Bush told the military that he was not obligated to follow this. In fact, the new version of the Army Field Manual removes any reference to Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions with respect to the treatment of detainees.

Reporting on civil liberty issues to Congress
Congress passed a bill requiring the Justice Department to report to Congress the use of wiretaps on U.S. soil, memos outlining new interpretations of domestic spying laws, and various other civil liberties issues.

Bush signing statement response: Bush said that he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would ''impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties."

Disclosure of scientific information
Congressed passed a law saying that scientific information prepared by government researchers and scientists shall be transmitted to Congress uncensored and without delay.

Bush signing statement response: Bush said he could order researchers to withhold information from Congress if he thought its disclosure could impair national security, etc.

Transfer of nuclear technology to India
Congress passed a law prohibiting the transfer of nuclear technology to India if it violated certain international nonproliferation guidelines.

Bush signing statement response: Among several other objections to portions of the law, Bush wrote that approval of the Act does not constitute my adoption of the statements of policy as U.S. foreign policy."

Minimum qualifications for important FEMA positions
Largely in response to the incompetence with which the response to Hurricane Katrina was handled, Congress passed a law saying that for important FEMA positions the president must nominate a candidate who has a demonstrated ability in and knowledge of emergency management.

Bush signing statement response: Bush said that he could ignore those requirements because they interfered with his power to make personnel decisions.

Whistleblower protections
On several occasions Congress passed whistle-blower protection legislation.

Bush signing statement response: Bush routinely issued signing statements to whistle blower protections legislation to the effect that he can ignore the requirements. For example, Bush added a signing statement to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 saying that The president or his appointees will determine whether employees of the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can give information to Congress."

There are plenty more examples, but these should suffice for the purposes of this post.


A hypothetical conversation between a journalist and a Congressperson

This is a conversation that very much needs to take place and be publicized:

Journalist: If George Bush unilaterally declared himself dictator of our country, do you think that would provide sufficient justification for Congress to begin impeachment hearings?

Congressperson: Of course I do. We cant allow presidents to declare themselves dictators. That would be the end of our democracy. Thats not even a serious question.

Journalist: Are you generally familiar with the numerous signing statements that George Bush has issued during his presidency?

Congressperson: Of course I am.

Journalist: Are you aware that he (describe details of 5 signing statements), thereby effectively nullifying those numerous laws enacted by Congress.

Congressperson: Uh, yes.

Journalist: Well, whats the difference between doing that and declaring himself dictator?

Congressperson: Lets not exaggerate this. He doesnt do that with all the laws that we enact only some of them.

Journalist: You mean, he only nullifies those laws enacted by Congress which he thinks are important to nullify?

Congressperson: Uh, yeah, he only nullifies some of our laws.

Journalist: So, whats the difference between that and what a dictator does?

Congressperson: Look, George Bush has not DECLARED himself to be the dictator of our country.

Journalist: So, whats the difference if he declares himself to be dictator and just being one?

Congressperson: Please dont waste my time. This is the United States of America! We dont tolerate dictators here.


Opinion of the American Bar Association on Bush signing statements

In 2006, an American Bar Association Task Force reviewed the Bush administration use of signing statements. The task force was bipartisan and included many prominent Republicans. It unanimously concluded that President Bush should stop issuing statements claiming the power to bypass parts of laws he has signed. Specifically, the report took issue with the Bush administrations ridiculous assertion that the Constitution puts Bush beyond the reach of Congress in military matters and executive branch operations:

The president's constitutional duty is to enforce laws he has signed into being, unless and until they are held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court The Constitution is not what the president says it is. The recommendations that we make are an effort to correct practices that, if they continue, threaten to throw this country into a constitutional crisis


What is Congress waiting for?

George Bush has committed numerous impeachable offenses in addition to his use of signing statements to evade his responsibility to enforce and abide by the laws that Congress enacts. His use of signing statements is no worse than many of his other high crimes and misdemeanors, including lying to Congress and the American people to justify a war of aggression and the routine use of torture.

One advantage of pursuing his signing statements on the road to impeachment is that that particular offense shouldnt require much of an investigation at all, since it is all a matter of public record. Congress only needs to decide whether or not the President is required by our Constitution to enforce the laws that Congress enacts and abide by them. If Congress doesnt have enough respect for the laws that it enacts to take the only measure left open to it to ensure that those laws are obeyed, then what are we paying them for?
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. NO! Haven't you heard? Impeachment is OFF the Table! The Nancy Disaster said so.
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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
17. Wouldn't Congress to be obligated to apologize again?
Then put their collective heads far enough up their collective asses to prevent hearing the will of the people?

That's how it works, right?



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katty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #17
93. Or Defend his "Constitutional" Right to declare himself Sun King?!
Like they have been doing for 6 years
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zorahopkins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. Depends
It would depend on whether there were enough courageous people in Congress to introduce an impeachment resolution and pass it.

Of course, such an impeachment resolution might be "off the table", or could be buried inside some committee.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. Constitutionally? No
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
20. Why is that?
Edited on Thu Dec-06-07 06:43 PM by Time for change
Our Constitution says:

"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors"

It doesn't say may be impeached for those offenses, it says shall be.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. No it doesn't say
they shall be impeached. It says they shall be removed upon conviction.

so IF the congress impeaches and convicts, they SHALL be removed.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #24
34. And J.C. says there are not enough votes, but then Schmuckabee prollee still
doesn't know there is an N.I.E. report.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #24
41. So, do you think that it's optional for Congress to impeach and remove from office a president who's
done those things?

It seems to me that I could just as well ask whether it's optional for a prosecutor to prosecute a person who is suspected of mass murder.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. constitutionally
yes, it is optional.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #42
44. Well, they take an oath to defend and support the Constitution
Does neglecting to impeach a president and VP who have continually tried to destroy the Constitution count as defending supporting it?
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #44
48. You can ask me as many ways as you want
the fact remains that there is no affirmative obligation on Congress to impeach.

Since the constitution doesn't mandate impeachment, an oath to defend it doesn't require them impeach, either.

You can list the worst crimes imaginable, and my answer will be the same: there is no obligation on congress to impeach, under any circumstances.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #48
65. This Time You Lost Me
Normally i agree with your logic on this. But, a blatant subrogation of the Constitution would require a response consistent with the oath of office.

The example provided here would be an unambiguous violation of the Constitutional responsibilities of the Executive.

Like i said, normally i concur with your logic. This time, you lost me.
The Professor
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #65
92. My point
is that no matter how much they SHOULD impeach, they would never have a legal obligation to do so.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #92
98. Your point seems to be that Congress doesn't have a legal obligation to do the job that
they're paid to do.

In other words, a Congressperson can decide to do nothing whatsoever. Stay home, never do any work, and that wouldn't be illegal, right?
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #98
102. I thought I was pretty clear
the constitution puts no legal obligation on the House to impeach, under any circumstances.

No need to read any more into it than what I said specifically.

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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #41
43. it actually is optional for prosecutors to prosecute
Prosecutors have broad discretion to decide whether to pursue charges against particular individuals in particular cases, whether to accept plea bargains for lesser offenses, what sort of penalties to ask for, etc.

The Constitution places the power to decide whether to impeach "solely" in the hands of Congress. It is a completely discretionary power, much like the president's power to grant pardons. No other branch of government (i.e., the judiciary, the executive or the Senate) can compel the House to impeach or even to consider impeachment. Just as no other branch of government can compel the president to grant (or not grant) a pardon.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #43
45. Right, just like it was discretionary whether a president would respond to national disasters and do
something.

What about the oath that Congress takes to support and defend the Constitution? Is that discretionary?
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #45
59. an oath doesn't create a legally binding obligation
It may create a moral imperative. But the requirement to "defend the constitution" does not translate into an obligation to impeach.

Ask yourself the following: Should Harry Truman have been impeached? To avert a nationwide strike of steel workers in April 1952, which he believed would jeopardize national defense, Truman issued an Executive Order directing the Secretary of Commerce to seize and operate most of the steel mills. The Supreme Court subsequently held this was unconstitutional. Was Congress obligated by its oath office to impeach Truman? Should it have done so before the Supreme Court ruled (the lower courts divided on the constitutionality of Truman's actions).

You could probably find instances in every presidency of acts that were unconstitutional or alleged to be unconstitutional. FDR's decision to issue an executive order directing that Japanese Americans go to relocation camps during WWII seems blatantly unconstitutional to me. Should FDR have been impeached? Does it matter that the SCOTUS found that the relocation order was constitutional?

Its easy to view impeachment as a black and white matter. But its all shades of gray in reality. And the framers intended it to be so.

Personally, I think impeachment is warranted for chimpy. But I also recognize that its a discretionary act and that the only way the citizenry can compel Congress to act is to elect members who share their views. In this instance, it should come as no surprise that Congress isn't inclined to move forward since the electorate decidedly did not make impeachment an issue in the 2006 elections.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #59
60. It's a matter of degree
While it may be true that most presidents have been guilty of infringements upon the Constitution, none has exhibited the blatant and consistent disregard for it that Bush has.

Since you admit that it may create a "moral imperative", perhaps we don't fundamentally disagree on this, though I personally consider a "moral imperative" to translate into an obligation.

Anyhow, it's the stated purpose of our government to "promote the general welfare", among other things. Consequently, IMO any elected or appointed government official who doesn't even attempt to do that is acting illegally. It may be shades of gray as far as trying to prove that that's the case, but it's still illegal IMO.
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #24
99. Impeachment could be a hindrance to Bush continuing to act as president
...and in fact there would be a suspension of powers of both the president and vice president while under trial by the U.S. Senate as it deliberates after impeachment if both were impeached simultaneously:

IMPEACHMENT - (1) The process of calling something into question, as in "impeaching the testimony of a witness." (2) The constitutional process whereby the House of Representatives may "impeach" (accuse of misconduct) high officers of the federal government for trial in the Senate.

<snip>

Impeachment:
Background on Impeachment


The United States Constitution grants the House of Representatives "the sole power of impeachment" and the Senate "sole power to try all impeachments" (Article I, Sections 2-3). The House of Representatives impeaches a President or other accused with articles of impeachment (offenses drawn up by the House Judiciary Committee). A majority vote by the House is required to do so. After passed in the House the Senate "tries" the accused. A two-thirds majority vote is needed for conviction and expulsion from office. According to the Constitution, "The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."(Article II, Section 4)
(note: high crimes and misdemeanors means a "Serious Offense" or, in simpler terms, a felony)
What does 'High Crimes and Misdemeanors' mean? Does it apply to perjury?

Contrary to popular belief, the term 'high crimes and misdemeanors' does not translate by the modern meanings of this phrase. Nor was this phrase specifically left vague by the founding fathers for future interpretation. Within the course of debate at the Constitutional Convention it was decided that the 'Ex Post Facto' law and the 'Bill of Attainder' be specifically banned from usage by Congress. These two terms refer to common legislative practices of the time which allowed a legislature to pursue criminal action against individuals without a proper trial in court. Such debate naturally prompted a discussion of impeachment. James Madison quickly argued that, in order to prevent dominance by the legislature through the use of impeachment, impeachment must be specifically limited to the serious offense. Upon this statement George Mason proposed to substitute the old British law term 'high crimes and misdemeanors' as terminology for what constitutes impeachment. Neither James Madison nor the clerk recorded any further discussion of this matter.

The use of a British common law term to define grounds for impeachment gives us a very precise area by which to define impeachment. At the time of the writing of the Constitution, the framers were educated in British law. For this reason, the framers spoke with British legal terms under a common understanding of their meanings. Such interpretation is not only a natural assumption by which the Constitution is to be interpreted. Such interpretation is mandated in precedent by the Supreme Court. In Smith v. Alabama the Supreme Court ruled "The interpretation of the Constitution of the Untied States is necessarily influenced by the fact that its provisions are framed in the language of the English common law, and are to be read in the light of its history." (a ruling of similar terminology is also found in United States v. Wong Kim Ark) From this ruling we draw the grounds for interpreting all Common Law terminology in the Constitution as such.

Naturally the next course we must investigate is what the term 'high crimes and misdemeanors' means in Common Law definition. The term 'high crimes and misdemeanors' specifically dates to 1388. Since word usage from 1388 differs greatly from that of today (misdemeanor alone has shifted from meaning an 'offense' or 'illegality' to a minor crime such as certain traffic violations. It is unthinkable to assume an official may be impeached for double parking). It helps to view this phrase as not a sentence of specified distinctions but as a legal term of art in itself. If we turn to actual impeachment trials in Britain between 1388 and 1789 we discover 'high crimes and misdemeanors' translates loosely as a "serious offense" or "crimes against public justice" (as termed by William Blackstone). Blackstone, among the most prominent expert of Common Law in Britain's history, included "willful and corrupt perjury" with what he described as "crimes against public justice." This association gives us natural inclination to believe that perjury is clearly included in what is described as 'high crimes and misdemeanors.'

To further support this association we look to the reasoning behind the inclusion of perjury under 'high crimes and misdemeanors.' A certain number of crimes (perjury, bribery, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and subornation of perjury included) constitute crimes against the judicial system. These crimes directly attack the system of justice at its roots by obstructing the process by which justice is carried through. For this reason, all are crimes of precedence. All of these crimes run the danger, if not properly dealt with, of setting a precedent of great damage to the judicial system itself. It is here we find the truth behind the argument that if a president is allowed to commit perjury without receiving punishment, such a precedent will be established in which perjury may no longer hold ground as a crime in court. Such a precedent would obviously be catastrophic to a system which relies on truthful testimony.

Being a crime of precedence, perjury clearly constitutes an impeachable offense. Because it is a crime of precedence in which the judicial system is directly at stake, material perjury in almost all cases is a crime against the state. Perjury associates in all clarity with the constitutionally impeachable crime of Bribery as well as the standard of 'high crimes and misdemeanors' based on its position in the judicial system.

Perjury being established as impeachable, we now may look to historical impeachments in which perjury was the crime at issue. The Constitution makes little distinction between the impeachment of federal officials (judges, etc.) and presidents when procedure is concerned. For all practical purposes the grounds are the same, "Treason, Bribery and other High Crimes and Misdemeanors." The only distinction is that the Chief Justice of the United States chairs impeachment trials for presidents.

Perjury has long been used to impeach federal judges. Two cases occurred in 1988 in which federal judges were impeached and convicted for perjury. Judges Walter Nixon and Alcee Hastings were both impeached on the grounds of perjury (Hastings was also accused of conspiracy to obstruct justice). The House of Representatives impeached both these men. The Senate convicted and expelled both these men. In the course of trial a Democrat controlled Congress accepted perjury as clear and reasonable grounds for impeachment and removal. Ironically Alcee Hastings currently serves as a Congressman from Florida. Hastings voted against all four articles of impeachment for Bill Clinton.

The definition of 'high crimes and misdemeanors' is clearly set out for us to see by examination of historical definition. Further proven is that perjury is impeachable. For this reason Congress is fully justified for removing an official on the charges of perjury, be it judge or president.

Justice rests "not upon the niceties of a narrow jurisprudence, but upon the enlarged and solid principles of morality." - Edmund Burke

What an Impeachment is:
An impeachment is essentialy an indictment, or call to trial, of an official (including the President).
After an impeachment the official is put on trial. This trial determines if the accused is guilty of the offenses and if he should be removed from office. Impeachment can apply to most officials, the most recent being a judge in the mid 1980's.

What impeachment is NOT:
Contrary to popular belief, impeachment does not expel an official from office, it merely brings the official to trial.


Is Perjury Impeachable?
With regards to definitions of impeachable offenses, perjury is without question an impeachable offense. Perjury is (1.) a felony ("high crimes and misdemeanors" essentially means a serious crime or a felony), (2.) A crime of a serious nature be it in a civil or criminal investigation, and (3.) A strictly punishable offense be it committed on any level of power by any official. If precedents are considered, the Impeachments of Judge Nixon and Judge Alcee Hastings in 1989 for perjury prove this crime is impeachable.

What happens after expulsion from office?
After expulsion, criminal proceedings may take place regarding the official in question. These proceedings take place in the court system (Note: Richard Nixon's actions were not pursued after his resignation due to a presidential pardon- This pardon was most likely issued in regards to Nixon's health).

Does Impeachment conflict with elections?
No. Impeachment is merely a tool of procedure to enforce the law with regards to an official. It would be very difficult to pursue traditional legal proceedings against an official. Impeachment has been established as a process to deal with officials who break the law in regards to their elected position. In the event of a serious offense, if proven, the law regarding that offense takes precedence over an election and for that matter public opinion. The law stands as applicable to all no matter what opinion or elections show in regards to an officials popularity.

<MORE>

http://members.tripod.com/~GOPcapitalist/constitutionquotes.html
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
4. He already pretty much has and NO Congress has put Impeachment OFF The Table.
He doesn't call himself Dictator though. He calls himself "Decider" and in a more formal note "Unitary Executive". He has told Congress he and all his staff are "Priviliged" and will not answer to the People of the USA (Congress)...They will not Impeach nor will they even enforce their subpoenas..
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. That's my take too. n/t
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
5. I wouldn't want them to rush into anything.
:banghead:
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
6. They would be falling all over each other to attend the coronation
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Wizard777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
7. When they say Bush is above the law. Does that include the laws saying
Edited on Thu Dec-06-07 05:26 PM by Wizard777
he must surrender the Presidency to the winner of the 2008 elections? I've also heard that in the dusty filing cabnet they kept the patriot Act in. There is also a plan to indefinately extend his second term.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #7
62. That's one of my greatest worries
I am not at all convinced that he will surrender the presidency after the 2008 elections. If he doesn't, god knows what will happen then. I think that there will be a lot of bloodshed in this country if that happens, whether or not we willingly accede to BushCo's coup.
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PetrusMonsFormicarum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:27 PM
Original message
I don't give a crap
whether Congress would move to impeach or not. If that ass clown declares himself dictator, it's the American people who will descend on 1600.



And then we can make a shitty cellphone video of him falling through a trapdoor, noosebound.

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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 01:10 AM
Response to Original message
51. In what fucking universe do YOU reside in! I want to live there!!!
There is NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM that the LAZY AMERIKKKAN SHEEPLE will get off their fat lazy asses for ANYTHING - except maybe if cable rates are raised too high - or they cancel the superbowl - you know, something IMPORTANT to them...
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sjdnb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 01:47 AM
Response to Original message
52. Well researched post ....
Thanks for taking the time, but it doesn't appear anyone (including the Dems we elected to care) gives a damn.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #52
89. Thank you -- I have been very disappointed with theire failure to pursue this
I think the only thing that would cause them to do it would be if the people pressure them enough to do so.
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PetrusMonsFormicarum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
8. I don't give a crap
whether Congress would move to impeach or not. If that ass clown declares himself dictator, it's the American people who will descend on 1600.



And then we can make a shitty cellphone video of him falling through a trapdoor, noosebound.

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tomg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #8
95. I absolutely agree.
And I'll join you as soon as I am done looking at that big bright shiny thing. . . .Okay. Oh, wait. American Idol is on. . . .Now now I'm ready to - Hey, Britany has no underwear on and she just shaved her head again.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
9. I especially like how some in Congress say "No one is above the law"
Edited on Thu Dec-06-07 05:28 PM by Solly Mack
and they say this with a straight face - and yet..so very obviously, Bush is (above the law)

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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
10. We still won't have the votes.
:mad:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #10
19. If Congress began impeachment hearings the votes would probably materialize
As the American people became more familiar with the numerous crimes of the Bush/Cheney administration, Republican House members and Senators would be faced with a choice. They could vote for impeachment and conviction, respectively, or they could choose to put their seats in great jeopardy.
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Oh, I totally agree.
I was parroting the line from Conyers and Pelosi. If they would make a serious effort, IMO, it's an open and shut case.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. Ok, I get it
So many people, even some DUers, have used that as a real argument that I thought you were serious.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. Which 18 Republicans
will vote to convict?

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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. After a serious and thorough investigation?
After the details are aired on the nightly news for a few weeks, those that are up for re-election?

I know Conyers said that the pukes wouldn't vote to Impeach, no matter what the crime. I'd like to make them vote that way.

My only hope is that when Pelosi tells us it's off the table, it's because she has assurance that they will leave when their time is up.


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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. Then let's have a serious and thorough
Edited on Thu Dec-06-07 07:20 PM by MonkeyFunk
investigation now. But voting to impeach is putting the cart before the horse.

You investigate, then you impeach. You don't impeach and then go looking for a crime.

Edit: but even then, I don't believe sufficient numbers of Republicans would vote to remove Bush. And if they did, Cheney becomes President. Under no circumstances imaginable would they vote to remove both Bush and Cheney, thus handing the White House to a Democrat. Not in a billion years.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #32
80. They've had almost a year so far to get their investigations going
How much investigation does it take to show that Bush has unconstitutionally nullified hundreds of laws enacted by Congress?
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Lerkfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #32
94. so, you're advocating allowing a dictator in the US through inaction?
so far, I have never seen you ever consider any possible reason to impeach.

do you consider impeachment against the constituition, or do you completely support a Bush dictatorship?
I can't believe you do, of course, but I"d appreciate you explaining your constant nonsupport of impeachment, beyond its possibility in your mind of success.

I'm beginning to feel that you never want impeachment not because you're afraid it will fail, but because you're afraid it will succeed. Which, in your mind, do you find more upsetting?
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #94
103. I'm advocating nothing here
I'm simply pointing out that impeachment is not obligatory, under any circumstances. Why is that so hard to understand?

I would LOVE to Bush impeached and removed. I don't want to see him impeached and acquitted, which is what would surely happen today.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #27
56. Any Republican who cares more about getting re-elect than s/he does about George W. Bush
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LiberalLovinLug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #27
76. "which 18 Rebublicans will vote to convict?"
Don't you mean which Democrats will vote to even bring it TO a vote? All the Republicans will be voting FOR it in the first stages. Just daring the Dems to start it so that the Repukes friends in the MSM can get all "shocked and awed" and demonize them for "shutting down the government" (oh the irony) and ridicule the Dems into the minority again. Thats whats already happened with Kucinich's attempt.

No the GWB could be caught with his pants down in a drunken orgy with Craig, Gannon, and Foley and 20 WH pages, and using the original Constitution literally as toilet paper, and NOTHING would happen because:

The Democratic autocrats have decided that they want GWB in office right to the end along with his unpopular war in order to ensure a win for the WH. That's there plan and they're sticking to it!
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #19
26. Somehow I don't think enough Repubs would peel away to convict in the US Senate.
You need 67 votes in favor of impeachment. 49 seats currently belong to Dems. 2 are Independents (Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman). Something tells me Joe would be against impeachment.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #26
57. Once impeachment hearings begin, Americans will become more familiar with Bush administration crimes
Those in favor of impeachment is already about 50%. Once this stuff starts being televised I suspect the number will go way up, there will be outrage, and a great clamoring for impeachment. At that point I think that any Republican who wants to get re-elected will feel great pressure to vote for impeachment.
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bullimiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
11. i dont believe any past president used signing statements like this.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #11
70. They didn't
Nothing like this at all.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
12. It depends.
If he nationalizes the oil industry (he might wanna do that to Big Pharma, too), gives the poor a six hour workday, institutes socialist mechanisms to ameliorate poverty, provides pensions for people who work under the table, and makes the announcement wearing a red shirt, he might be cannonized a saint.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #12
71. If he did all that he wouldn't be George W. Bush, would he?
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
13. Nancy would lecture us that we shouldn't get distracted and...
...that we have to keep our focus on what's important to Americans, like supporting the new government.

.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #13
90. That was a great mistake on her part
It will hurt our Party and our country a great deal IMO.
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Red Zelda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
14. good question, actually
Probably 25 percent of people would just salute him. And few would even bother to "take to the streets." He could get away with it, particularly since "9/11 changed everything."
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
16. If he declared himself and became a dicator no other of our laws would apply.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #16
31. That's my point
Edited on Thu Dec-06-07 07:16 PM by Time for change
That's already the case. None of our laws apply unless he says it's ok for them to apply.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
18. Not unless their powder miraculously dries to their satisfaction.

Which is, apparently, a never to be seen occurrence because the Blue Dogs keep pissing on it.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
22. Yes, unless his name was Chavez and the people voted for it
:rofl: sorry, could not resist.....
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. I don't see the relevance
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
28. And like so many lemmings, the rest just go along under the table with their ears, nose, eyes
Edited on Thu Dec-06-07 07:12 PM by lonestarnot
plugged and their mouths duct taped.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
29. Congress has no Constitutional duty to impeach--it's completely permissive...nt
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #29
75. No duty to impeach?
They took an oath of office to protect and support the Constitution. Is it not their duty to do that? We pay them pretty good money for that.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #75
88. The Constitution does not have any requirement that they impeach.
It says they may impeach, and gives only the vaguest criteria for doing so "...high crimes and misdemeanors." Therefore, it is completely at the Congress' discretion as to whether to impeach, and on what grounds...
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drslammy Donating Member (7 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
33. I wish we lived in a country where this post was obviously ridiculous
But we don't, do we? I mean, this is actually a plausible question, and as long as it is we're in trouble.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. Well welcome to the watering hole!
:toast:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #33
38. The question was meant to be rhetorical
I wish Congress would think about it and ask themselves these questions. Then they'd see how ridiculous the question really is.
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
36. They might be too busy, or there might not be enough votes
or the moon might be at the wrong position in the sky

or Nancy might have a headache that day

or Jupiter might be out of alignment with Mars

or Steny might need to get his brakes fixed

or there might be a terrorist attack

or it might be raining too hard

.......you know, stuff keeps happening that's more important :shrug:
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 04:05 AM
Response to Reply #36
54. or it might be that the signing statement story
is ignored by the M$M and so very few Americans know about it that there is not a huge public outcry for impeachment.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #54
86. That is doubtlessly a huge part of it
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Dukkha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
37. he'll be impeached from a rooftop then
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 10:34 PM
Response to Original message
39. I don't believe the constitution with its checks and balances
intended there to be dictatorships (what the hell is checks and balances but to prevent one?). I guess the founding fathers assumed the legislative branch would be against it.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #39
61. Excellent point
There is no doubt that the prevention of dictatorship was foremost in our Founders' minds when they created the Constitution. If Congress doesn't see that or doesn't choose to act on it, they are failing in their duty to their constituents and to their country, whether or not (as some propose) it's not "illegal" to fail to carry out their responsibilities.

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biermeister Donating Member (425 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
40. the end is near pdd51
NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/NSPD 51

HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/HSPD-20

Subject: National Continuity Policy

Purpose

(1) This directive establishes a comprehensive national policy on the continuity of Federal Government structures and operations and a single National Continuity Coordinator responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Federal continuity policies. This policy establishes "National Essential Functions," prescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies, and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency.

Definitions

(2) In this directive:

(a) "Category" refers to the categories of executive departments and agencies listed in Annex A to this directive;

(b) "Catastrophic Emergency" means any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions;

(c) "Continuity of Government," or "COG," means a coordinated effort within the Federal Government's executive branch to ensure that National Essential Functions continue to be performed during a Catastrophic Emergency;

(d) "Continuity of Operations," or "COOP," means an effort within individual executive departments and agencies to ensure that Primary Mission-Essential Functions continue to be performed during a wide range of emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies;

(e) "Enduring Constitutional Government," or "ECG," means a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches and with proper respect for the constitutional separation of powers among the branches, to preserve the constitutional framework under which the Nation is governed and the capability of all three branches of government to execute constitutional responsibilities and provide for orderly succession, appropriate transition of leadership, and interoperability and support of the National Essential Functions during a catastrophic emergency;

(f) "Executive Departments and Agencies" means the executive departments enumerated in 5 U.S.C. 101, independent establishments as defined by 5 U.S.C. 104(1), Government corporations as defined by 5 U.S.C. 103(1), and the United States Postal Service;

(g) "Government Functions" means the collective functions of the heads of executive departments and agencies as defined by statute, regulation, presidential direction, or other legal authority, and the functions of the legislative and judicial branches;

(h) "National Essential Functions," or "NEFs," means that subset of Government Functions that are necessary to lead and sustain the Nation during a catastrophic emergency and that, therefore, must be supported through COOP and COG capabilities; and

(i) "Primary Mission Essential Functions," or "PMEFs," means those Government Functions that must be performed in order to support or implement the performance of NEFs before, during, and in the aftermath of an emergency.

Policy

(3) It is the policy of the United States to maintain a comprehensive and effective continuity capability composed of Continuity of Operations and Continuity of Government programs in order to ensure the preservation of our form of government under the Constitution and the continuing performance of National Essential Functions under all conditions.

Implementation Actions

(4) Continuity requirements shall be incorporated into daily operations of all executive departments and agencies. As a result of the asymmetric threat environment, adequate warning of potential emergencies that could pose a significant risk to the homeland might not be available, and therefore all continuity planning shall be based on the assumption that no such warning will be received. Emphasis will be placed upon geographic dispersion of leadership, staff, and infrastructure in order to increase survivability and maintain uninterrupted Government Functions. Risk management principles shall be applied to ensure that appropriate operational readiness decisions are based on the probability of an attack or other incident and its consequences.

(5) The following NEFs are the foundation for all continuity programs and capabilities and represent the overarching responsibilities of the Federal Government to lead and sustain the Nation during a crisis, and therefore sustaining the following NEFs shall be the primary focus of the Federal Government leadership during and in the aftermath of an emergency that adversely affects the performance of Government Functions:

(a) Ensuring the continued functioning of our form of government under the Constitution, including the functioning of the three separate branches of government;

(b) Providing leadership visible to the Nation and the world and maintaining the trust and confidence of the American people;

(c) Defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and preventing or interdicting attacks against the United States or its people, property, or interests;

(d) Maintaining and fostering effective relationships with foreign nations;

(e) Protecting against threats to the homeland and bringing to justice perpetrators of crimes or attacks against the United States or its people, property, or interests;

(f) Providing rapid and effective response to and recovery from the domestic consequences of an attack or other incident;

(g) Protecting and stabilizing the Nation's economy and ensuring public confidence in its financial systems; and

(h) Providing for critical Federal Government services that address the national health, safety, and welfare needs of the United States.

(6) The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator. The National Continuity Coordinator, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA), without exercising directive authority, shall coordinate the development and implementation of continuity policy for executive departments and agencies. The Continuity Policy Coordination Committee (CPCC), chaired by a Senior Director from the Homeland Security Council staff, designated by the National Continuity Coordinator, shall be the main day-to-day forum for such policy coordination.

(7) For continuity purposes, each executive department and agency is assigned to a category in accordance with the nature and characteristics of its national security roles and responsibilities in support of the Federal Government's ability to sustain the NEFs. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall serve as the President's lead agent for coordinating overall continuity operations and activities of executive departments and agencies, and in such role shall perform the responsibilities set forth for the Secretary in sections 10 and 16 of this directive.

(8) The National Continuity Coordinator, in consultation with the heads of appropriate executive departments and agencies, will lead the development of a National Continuity Implementation Plan (Plan), which shall include prioritized goals and objectives, a concept of operations, performance metrics by which to measure continuity readiness, procedures for continuity and incident management activities, and clear direction to executive department and agency continuity coordinators, as well as guidance to promote interoperability of Federal Government continuity programs and procedures with State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure, as appropriate. The Plan shall be submitted to the President for approval not later than 90 days after the date of this directive.

(9) Recognizing that each branch of the Federal Government is responsible for its own continuity programs, an official designated by the Chief of Staff to the President shall ensure that the executive branch's COOP and COG policies in support of ECG efforts are appropriately coordinated with those of the legislative and judicial branches in order to ensure interoperability and allocate national assets efficiently to maintain a functioning Federal Government.

(10) Federal Government COOP, COG, and ECG plans and operations shall be appropriately integrated with the emergency plans and capabilities of State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure, as appropriate, in order to promote interoperability and to prevent redundancies and conflicting lines of authority. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall coordinate the integration of Federal continuity plans and operations with State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure, as appropriate, in order to provide for the delivery of essential services during an emergency.

(11) Continuity requirements for the Executive Office of the President (EOP) and executive departments and agencies shall include the following:

(a) The continuation of the performance of PMEFs during any emergency must be for a period up to 30 days or until normal operations can be resumed, and the capability to be fully operational at alternate sites as soon as possible after the occurrence of an emergency, but not later than 12 hours after COOP activation;

(b) Succession orders and pre-planned devolution of authorities that ensure the emergency delegation of authority must be planned and documented in advance in accordance with applicable law;

(c) Vital resources, facilities, and records must be safeguarded, and official access to them must be provided;

(d) Provision must be made for the acquisition of the resources necessary for continuity operations on an emergency basis;

(e) Provision must be made for the availability and redundancy of critical communications capabilities at alternate sites in order to support connectivity between and among key government leadership, internal elements, other executive departments and agencies, critical partners, and the public;

(f) Provision must be made for reconstitution capabilities that allow for recovery from a catastrophic emergency and resumption of normal operations; and

(g) Provision must be made for the identification, training, and preparedness of personnel capable of relocating to alternate facilities to support the continuation of the performance of PMEFs.

(12) In order to provide a coordinated response to escalating threat levels or actual emergencies, the Continuity of Government Readiness Conditions (COGCON) system establishes executive branch continuity program readiness levels, focusing on possible threats to the National Capital Region. The President will determine and issue the COGCON Level. Executive departments and agencies shall comply with the requirements and assigned responsibilities under the COGCON program. During COOP activation, executive departments and agencies shall report their readiness status to the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Secretary's designee.

(13) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall:

(a) Conduct an annual assessment of executive department and agency continuity funding requests and performance data that are submitted by executive departments and agencies as part of the annual budget request process, in order to monitor progress in the implementation of the Plan and the execution of continuity budgets;

(b) In coordination with the National Continuity Coordinator, issue annual continuity planning guidance for the development of continuity budget requests; and

(c) Ensure that heads of executive departments and agencies prioritize budget resources for continuity capabilities, consistent with this directive.

(14) The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall:

(a) Define and issue minimum requirements for continuity communications for executive departments and agencies, in consultation with the APHS/CT, the APNSA, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the Chief of Staff to the President;

(b) Establish requirements for, and monitor the development, implementation, and maintenance of, a comprehensive communications architecture to integrate continuity components, in consultation with the APHS/CT, the APNSA, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the Chief of Staff to the President; and

(c) Review quarterly and annual assessments of continuity communications capabilities, as prepared pursuant to section 16(d) of this directive or otherwise, and report the results and recommended remedial actions to the National Continuity Coordinator.

(15) An official designated by the Chief of Staff to the President shall:

(a) Advise the President, the Chief of Staff to the President, the APHS/CT, and the APNSA on COGCON operational execution options; and

(b) Consult with the Secretary of Homeland Security in order to ensure synchronization and integration of continuity activities among the four categories of executive departments and agencies.

(16) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall:

(a) Coordinate the implementation, execution, and assessment of continuity operations and activities;

(b) Develop and promulgate Federal Continuity Directives in order to establish continuity planning requirements for executive departments and agencies;

(c) Conduct biennial assessments of individual department and agency continuity capabilities as prescribed by the Plan and report the results to the President through the APHS/CT;

(d) Conduct quarterly and annual assessments of continuity communications capabilities in consultation with an official designated by the Chief of Staff to the President;

(e) Develop, lead, and conduct a Federal continuity training and exercise program, which shall be incorporated into the National Exercise Program developed pursuant to Homeland Security Presidential Directive-8 of December 17, 2003 ("National Preparedness"), in consultation with an official designated by the Chief of Staff to the President;

(f) Develop and promulgate continuity planning guidance to State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector critical infrastructure owners and operators;

(g) Make available continuity planning and exercise funding, in the form of grants as provided by law, to State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector critical infrastructure owners and operators; and

(h) As Executive Agent of the National Communications System, develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive continuity communications architecture.

(17) The Director of National Intelligence, in coordination with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall produce a biennial assessment of the foreign and domestic threats to the Nation's continuity of government.

(18) The Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall provide secure, integrated, Continuity of Government communications to the President, the Vice President, and, at a minimum, Category I executive departments and agencies.

(19) Heads of executive departments and agencies shall execute their respective department or agency COOP plans in response to a localized emergency and shall:

(a) Appoint a senior accountable official, at the Assistant Secretary level, as the Continuity Coordinator for the department or agency;

(b) Identify and submit to the National Continuity Coordinator the list of PMEFs for the department or agency and develop continuity plans in support of the NEFs and the continuation of essential functions under all conditions;

(c) Plan, program, and budget for continuity capabilities consistent with this directive;

(d) Plan, conduct, and support annual tests and training, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, in order to evaluate program readiness and ensure adequacy and viability of continuity plans and communications systems; and

(e) Support other continuity requirements, as assigned by category, in accordance with the nature and characteristics of its national security roles and responsibilities

General Provisions

(20) This directive shall be implemented in a manner that is consistent with, and facilitates effective implementation of, provisions of the Constitution concerning succession to the Presidency or the exercise of its powers, and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (3 U.S.C. 19), with consultation of the Vice President and, as appropriate, others involved. Heads of executive departments and agencies shall ensure that appropriate support is available to the Vice President and others involved as necessary to be prepared at all times to implement those provisions.

(21) This directive:

(a) Shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and the authorities of agencies, or heads of agencies, vested by law, and subject to the availability of appropriations;

(b) Shall not be construed to impair or otherwise affect (i) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, and legislative proposals, or (ii) the authority of the Secretary of Defense over the Department of Defense, including the chain of command for military forces from the President, to the Secretary of Defense, to the commander of military forces, or military command and control procedures; and

(c) Is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the United States, its agencies, instrumentalities, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(22) Revocation. Presidential Decision Directive 67 of October 21, 1998 ("Enduring Constitutional Government and Continuity of Government Operations"), including all Annexes thereto, is hereby revoked.

(23) Annex A and the classified Continuity Annexes, attached hereto, are hereby incorporated into and made a part of this directive.

(24) Security. This directive and the information contained herein shall be protected from unauthorized disclosure, provided that, except for Annex A, the Annexes attached to this directive are classified and shall be accorded appropriate handling, consistent with applicable Executive Orders.

GEORGE W. BUSH
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
46. They would initiate 16 investigations and send out 200 worthless subpoenas. nm
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 12:29 AM
Response to Original message
47. But he would never declare himself a dictator. He might ask Congress to extend his term temporarily
while we are at war with Iran. Or he might declare marshal law and delay the next election temporarily.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #47
49. No he won't
there is no provision for doing so.

He will leave office in January '09. I don't think he even wants the job now - much less extending it.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #49
63. More important, the Neocons have given up on him. They are hot for Big Gulie.
But as far as "no provision", this administration has taught us to expect the unexpected. If the Neocons still wanted him in there they would figure out a way. So far they haven't let things like the rule of law or the Constitution get in there way.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 01:06 AM
Response to Original message
50. No, silly! They'd approve it in a "voice vote", or in Obama's case, vote "present" so as not to
cause undue suffering to some imaginary "other" persons (certainly not himself!)

And then spend the rest of their future spinning on why they did/did not vote the way they did...

That's the ONLY shoe that has yet to drop - and - mark my words - the Dems will do NOTHING to stop it - NOTHING...
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 01:54 AM
Response to Original message
53. This discussion points out the tacit fact that the difference
between the "letter of the law" and the "spirit of the law" is not enforced by the letter, but by the spirit that is present in those reading and fulfilling the law.

Absent people showing up for the spirit of the law, those who show up to use its letter will prevail.


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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #53
55. Excellent point
Not much more can be added to that.
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 07:59 AM
Response to Original message
58. What makes you think there would be a Congress? nt
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
64. They'd say it would be too divisive.
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f the letter Donating Member (402 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
66. dictatorship is definitely not far from us n/t
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Beausoleil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
67. Obviously, only a few take the Constitution seriously
It is, after all, "only a GD piece of paper". Power trumps all. Congress derives its power from the GD piece of paper, but they do not have to exercise any responsibility or hold anyone accountable. I really believe Bush could refuse to step down on 1/20/09, declare himself Supreme Ruler of All Humanity, and he would get away with it. Who's going to stop him? Congress? Give me a break. The military? Yeah, right. Us peons marching in the streets? Dream on.

There is nothing that will rise to the level of an impeachable offense if impeachment is "off the table". That concession was/is a blank check that Bush can draw on anytime and in any manner he chooses, the Constitution be damned (but I repeat myself).

In my mind, the Democrats will NEVER impeach Bush. NEVER. NO MATTER WHAT. It will not happen. He can do whatever he wants. Anything.

We can argue Constitutional minutiae all day long but it is a waste of time if nobody in power takes it seriously.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #67
68. I agree that Congress will never impeach Bush.... UNLESS
the people put enough pressure on them to do that. Congress has obviously vacated their leadership role on this issue. Yet, they want to be re-elected, so if they perceive enough of a demand from the people, they will follow, and do what they should have done all along.

I also agree with you that Bush may refuse to step down. I personally estimate the odds of that at about 25%, but that may be wildly optimistic, resulting from the fact that I am in some denial over how serious this situation is.
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Beausoleil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #68
69. What's to make Congress respond to the people
when they are all power-tripping at the thought of the Republicans having Bush around their necks? It's a matter of the Dems thinking that they are giving them enough rope to hang themselves, and that is their only consideration. I really believe that they think all they have to do is tread water for 11 months and they'll get more power. It matters little to them what the people really want. They show this all the time. "You'll vote for us because, well, look at the alternative. And BTW, screw you!"
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #69
87. They called me yesterday while I was writing this post
They wanted money. I told the caller to tell the Dems that they'll never get a penny from me unless they start impeaching, and I kept her on the line for about 10 minutes ranting about it. If everyone did that they'd impeach. They know they can't win this election without money.
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DadOf2LittleAngels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
72. Not only would congress be obliged
The Military would be duty bound to remove him..
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
73. He would have gotten rid of congress waaaaay before that. nt
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #73
74. The Roman Empire continued to have a Senate for hundreds of years after the Republic became an
empire.

But for the most part it functioned in name only. Sometimes it seems to me that we are marching towards that point.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #74
85. True. Moron* does have his own Praetorian guard with blackwater. nt
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Justanothercoverup Donating Member (10 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
77. If He Declared Martial Law, Congress couldn't Impeach
That's the worst part of this situation, and many people believe that Congress won't begin impeachment hearings because the President will dream-up or create a situation where he can declare Marital Law. That's a pile of bull as far as I'm concerned, because if he did manufacture such a situation, the people would be quick to react. (I hope....) We stand on the precipice of total dictatorship and face the possibility of World War III if Bush is allowed to stay in office, so the necessity of impeachment hearings grows dramatically as each day passes.

When Does Impeachment Become A Matter Of Survival?
http://justanothercoverup.com/?p=338

It seems to me that only solidarity and action will save us now, and with Congress evidently somewhat cowed/ and/or complicit with the Bush administration, the only remedy we have left is the people themselves expressing their outrage and indignation, loud and clear, and on a daily basis until Congress finally bends to the will of the people.

William Cormier
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #77
79. I agree with all of that
Welcome to DU William :toast:
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txaslftist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
78. Nancy would talk them out of it.
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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
81. No, "We" dont have the votes. Translation- DLC traitors would vote to protect Bush, as usual.
Edited on Fri Dec-07-07 01:44 PM by Dr Fate
n/t
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
82. Yes. Impeachment off the tables because of the 2008 election. If no election, yes impeachment.
Cheney, too, and Pelosi would be the president. The Dems are not dumb.
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
83. What do you mean, "If?"
Or does that depend on what the meaning of "if" is?

:eyes:
rocknation
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #83
84. I mean, what IF he comes out and actually SAYS what is actually the case
Then Congress would look stupid or gutless to the whole world if they didn't do anything.

As it is now, since he hasn't actually SAID that he's our dictator, Congress only appears to look stupid to those who understand what's going on -- which is a minority of Americans.
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windoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-07-07 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
91. I wish he would declare it
perhaps that would be the wakeup call for the thick skulled representatives in DC.
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raging_moderate Donating Member (86 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #91
96. executive privelage
Am I incorrect in my understanding that impeachment proceedings render executive privelage claims completely null and void? That alone is reason enough to proceed with impeachment... ie find out the truth, and shut them down.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #96
97. Maybe not completely, but to a large extent they do
Edited on Sat Dec-08-07 11:24 AM by Time for change
Failure to comply with Congressional subpoenas was one of the three charges on which impeachment hearings went forward with Richard Nixon, and which certainly would have been approved had Nixon not resigned when he did. Nixon's claims of executive privilege (as with Bush's claims) were motivated by trying to hide the truth, while claiming that they were based on national security. Congress certainly has the right to impeach on that basis if it believes that the president is really trying to hide the truth.

On the other hand, if Congress thought that the president had a legitimate national security reason for withholding information, it could choose to let that go. But I really don't see how any national security issue could justify withholding information from Congress. Without the information neither Congress nor anyone else can determine whether there is a real national security issue at stake. And Congress is charged with the responsibility under our Constitution of overseeing presidential actions and preventing executive tyranny. How can they do their job if the president won't share information with them?

Welcome to DU :toast:
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
100. bush would not leave, even if the Senate voted to remove. I'm sure his
legal department has found a way to get around such a verdict and punishment. He will say he rejects his opinion and as commander in chief he can't be removed. Impeachment is for the President, not the Commander in Chief he will say.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
101. they'd want to keep the powder dry
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