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by Makana Shook, staff writer

 

In this past November’s elections, American voters signaled their discontent with Republican rule and with what Democrats call “the Bush administration’s failed war and fiscal policies.” Shifting power out of the hands of Republicans, the public elected for the first time since 1994, a Democratic U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. The public’s dissatisfaction has festered since the start of the Iraq war and lead to not just angry voters expressing themselves at the polls, but also to a growing call for President George W. Bush’s impeachment.

In October of 2006, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a pre-election interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes that, “Impeachment is off the table.…It is a waste of time.” She added, “This election is about them. This is a referendum on them. Making them lame ducks is good enough for me.”

Elizabeth Holtzman, of The Washington Spectator, said that “whether or not it would be a political liability for the Democrats, impeaching Bush is their constitutional duty.” Holtzman served four terms in Congress and sat on the House Judiciary Committee during the proceedings calling for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

According to the U.S. Constitution, “treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors” are grounds for removing a president from office through the impeachment process. Holtzman said in a January 11, 2006 article in The Nation that a President who maintains that he is “above the law—and repeatedly violates the law—thereby commits high crimes and misdemeanors, the constitutional standard for impeachment and removal from office. A high crime or misdemeanor is an archaic term that means a serious abuse of power, whether or not it is also a crime, that endangers our constitutional system of government.”

Many citizens are now publicly expressing their belief that President George W. Bush has abused our governmental system. Bush has broken his oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Matthew Rothschild states in the March 7 Progressive Magazine, “George W. Bush and his administration have been so brazen in violating the law and asserting monarchical powers that we, as American citizens, must use the tool that the Constitution provides to reassert our rights, to reset the system of checks and balances, and to reestablish our democracy. That tool is impeachment.”

Bush has committed the following impeachable offenses under U.S. constitutional law:

1. Deceiving Congress and the American public in going to war with Iraq, violating the trust of the American people.

2. Illegally conducting a domestic wiretapping program, violating the Foreign Intelligence Survellance Act of 1978, as well as the privacy and constitutional rights of American citizens.

3. Allowing the torture and cruel treatment of prisoners in U.S. hands, violating the War Crimes Act of 1996, and the Geneva Conventions, a treaty obligation.

4. Showing gross negligence in responding to Hurricane Katrina and providing emergency resources, as well as sending troops to war without properly providing protective equipment for them and without a sufficient post-invasion plan.

5. Leaking classified information in hopes of covering up his war deceptions, a possible crime.

Kesh Singh, a senior and visual communications major at HPU, believes that President Bush should be impeached simply because “he has screwed the country over by waging an unnecessary war that has ruined the economy and plunged the country into debt.”

On the other hand, Daniel Maile, a sophomore and anthropology major, does not feel Bush should be impeached because he supports similar issues that Bush supports. “I don’t support abortion, and I do believe that a leader can be appreciated for taking action instead of not taking action at all. Personally, it seems that impeachment has become somewhat deglamorized since Clinton’s.”
For the sake of the survival of our Constitution and government, I believe the newly elected Democratic U.S. House and Senate should seriously consider the impeachable offenses of President George W. Bush and his administration. We must uphold the checks and balances of our system and maintain a moral and sound administration.

As HPU students, we can and we will make a difference. No longer is ignorance or disinterest an excuse. The time is now. If not for yourself, do it for those who don’t have a voice. Speak out. Regardless of your stance on the issue, express yourself by contacting our U.S. Senators and Representatives. You may visit their Web sites at: www.senate.gov and www.house.gov.

 

Rules of impeachment

“Impeachment,” according to Holtzman, “is the first step of a two-step process that can result in the removal of a president from office.”

The House of Representatives first decides whether to charge the president with impeachable offenses. If a majority of the House votes to impeach, articles of impeachment, which contain the charges, are forwarded to the Senate. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over a trial in the Senate, and if two-thirds of the senators vote for conviction, the president is removed from office.”

According to the U.S. Senate Archives, Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were both acquitted of charges during their impeachment trials. Richard Nixon resigned before his trial ended.

 
 

 

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