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Dori Smith: Who do you think might be the most effective person to introduce this bill {of impeachment against Bush Jr} and what is in the works in that regard?

Francis A. Boyle: We just need one person to introduce the bill with courage, integrity, principles, and of course a safe seat. In Gulf War I, I worked with the late great Congressman Henry B. Gonzales on his bill of impeachment against Bush Sr. We put that one in. I did the first draft the day after the war started. So in my opinion there is no excuse for these bills not to have been put in already. In fact, I think I mentioned to you before, on 11 March 2003 Congressman John Conyers convened a meeting of 40 to 50 of his top advisors, most of whom were lawyers, to debate putting in immediate bills of impeachment against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft, to head off the war. And there were draft bills sitting on the table that had been prepared by me and Ramsey Clark. And the Congressman invited Ramsey and me to come in and state the case for impeachment. It was a two hour debate, very vigorous debate, obviously all of these lawyers there. And most of the lawyers there didn’t disagree with us on the merits of impeachment. It was more as they saw it a question of practical politics, namely, John Podesta was there, Clinton’s former White House chief of staff; said he was appearing on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and they were against putting in immediate bills of impeachment because it might hurt whoever their presidential candidate was going to be in 2004. Well at that time no one even knew who their presidential candidate was going to be in 2004.

I didn’t argue the point, I’m a political independent, my position, and it was not for me to tell Democrats how to elect their candidates. I just continued arguing the merits of impeachment. But Ramsey is a lifelong Democrat and he argued that he felt that putting in these bills of impeachment might help the Democrats and it certainly wasn’t going to hurt them in 2004.

Well the Democrats did lose in 2004 but as Ramsey and I were walking out after a two hour debate adjourned and I had offered to stay as long as it took to polish up my bills of impeachment and get them put in right away, because the war started, it was going to start in four days. I turned to Ramsey and I said Ramsey I just don’t understand it, their arguments make no sense, why did they not take me up on my offer to stay and polish up those bills of impeachment and put them in right away to head off a war. And sadly, Ramsey said, “I think most of the people there want a war.” That was 11 March 2003.

It’s very clear that the high officials in the Democratic Party, certainly on the DNC, have been complicit with the Bush Administration in this war against Iraq from the get go. The Democratic national committee still vigorously opposes putting in any bills of impeachment against Bush and Cheney. Podesta and the DNC  made that very clear to us on 11 March 2003.

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On Tuesday 11 March 2003, with the Bush Jr. administration’s war of aggression against Iraq staring the American People, Congress and Republic in their face, Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee (which has jurisdiction over Bills of Impeachment), convened an emergency meeting of forty or more of his top advisors, most of whom were lawyers. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and debate immediately putting into the U.S. House of Representatives Bills of Impeachment against President Bush Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and then Attorney General John Ashcroft in order to head off the impending war. Congressman Conyers kindly requested that Ramsey Clark and I come to the meeting in order to argue the case for impeachment.

This impeachment debate lasted for two hours. It was presided over by Congressman Conyers, who quite correctly did not tip his hand one way or the other on the merits of impeachment. He simply moderated the debate between Clark and I, on the one side, favoring immediately filing Bills of Impeachment against Bush Jr. et al. to stop the threatened war, and almost everyone else there who were against impeachment for partisan political reasons. Obviously no point would be served here by attempting to digest a two-hour-long vigorous debate among a group of well-trained lawyers on such a controversial matter at this critical moment in American history. But at the time I was struck by the fact that this momentous debate was conducted at a private office right down the street from the White House on the eve of war.

Suffice it to say that most of the “experts” there opposed impeachment not on the basis of enforcing the Constitution and the Rule of Law, whether international or domestic, but on the political grounds that it might hurt the Democratic Party effort to get their presidential candidate elected in the year 2004. As a political independent, I did not argue that point. Rather, I argued the merits of impeaching Bush Jr., Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft under the United States Constitution, U.S. federal laws, U.S. treaties and other international agreements to which the United States is a party, etc. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution provides that treaties “shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” This so-called Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution also applies to international executive agreements concluded under the auspices of the U.S. President such as the 1945 Nuremberg Charter.

Congressman Conyers was so kind as to allow me the closing argument in the debate. Briefly put, the concluding point I chose to make was historical: The Athenians lost their democracy. The Romans lost their  Republic. And if we Americans did not act now we could lose our Republic! The United States of America is not immune to the laws of history!

After two hours of most vigorous debate among those in attendance, the meeting adjourned with second revised draft Bills of Impeachment sitting on the table.

Certainly, if the U.S. House of Representatives can impeach President Clinton for sex and lying about sex, then a fortiori the House can, should, and must impeach President Bush Jr. for war, lying about war, and threatening more wars. All that is needed is for one Member of Congress with courage, integrity, principles and a safe seat to file these currently amended draft Bills of Impeachment against Bush Jr., Cheney, Rumsfeld, and now Attorney General Albert Gonzales, who bears personal criminal responsibility for the Bush Jr. administration torture scandal. Failing this, the alternative is likely to be an American Empire abroad, a U.S. police state at home, and continuing wars of aggression to sustain both-along the lines of George Orwell’s classic  novel 1984. Despite all of the serious flaws demonstrated by successive United States governments that this author has amply documented  elsewhere during the past quarter century as a Professor of Law, the truth of the matter is that America is still the oldest Republic in the  world today. “We the People of the United States” must fight to keep it  that way! Podesta and the DNC did not!

Francis A. Boyle is a Professor of International Law and a human rights attorney. He is the author of “Destroying World Order” (2004, Clarity Press]

 

 

One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    Had the impeachment executed on time, much of destruction in the name of ‘ war on terror’ would have been averted. But the bush sr. and jr. ruled their full tenure and massacred thousands of innocents in their time and have not been tried for murders. Hey escaped trials and their successors continued their policies.