ethicaLeft - NEWSAnd So It Begins
Yesterday in D.C., cries for a Presidential Impeachment could be heard far and above the typical whispers that have until now surrounded the Downing Street Memo and supporting evidence. The events do have some major media outlets offering reasons for the lack of coverage until now.
On Thursday, June 16th, Rep. John Conyers, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, chairs a meeting on the Downing Street Memo and pre-Iraq War intelligence. Witnesses include: former ambassador Joe Wilson, CIA analyst Ray McGovern, Cindy Sheehan, mother of fallen American soldier, and constitutional lawyer John Bonifaz.
To get a feel for this dramatic hearing, listen to a portion of Ray McGovern's opening statement outlining this "anatomy of a lie".
Also, visit this video clip of Rep. John Conyers, Rep. Maxine Waters, Cindy Sheehan, and others, lashing out at President George W. Bush, and what they refer to as his lies, that maneuvered the country into the Iraqi War. The rally was held after the hearing on June 16, 2005, at Lafayette Park, in Washington, D.C.
The hearing examined the question of whether there is good cause to investigate possible impeachable offenses by the President in his justification of the war. It was quite an enormous achievement considering what the Democrats call stonewalling on this issue. This hearing was held in a tiny room of the Capitol Basement. Despite the cramped quarters, dozens of Democratic Representatives showed up (122 signed on to Conyers' letter), but only about 15 could make it into the room at any one time, so they came in shifts.
John C. Bonifaz, co-founder of www.afterdowningstreet.org, offered testimony that can only be described as direct and objective. He calls for an investigation in the interest of "asking the questions". John C. Bonifaz is a Boston-based attorney specializing in constitutional law. In February and March 2003, Mr. Bonifaz served as plaintiffs’ lead counsel in John Doe I v. President Bush, a constitutional challenge to President Bush’s authority to wage war against Iraq absent a congressional declaration of war or equivalent action. Mr. Bonifaz represented a coalition of US soldiers, parents of US soldiers, and Members of Congress arguing that the president’s planned first-strike invasion of Iraq violated the War Powers Clause of the US Constitution.
Actions by Republicans regarding this hearing unavoidably raise questions, they:
- Refused to call a full hearing themselves
- Refused to give Democrats a room to hold their hearing
- Scheduled a number of votes timed to intentionally disrupt the Conyers' Hearings. (At approximately 2:15 PM, with hearing scheduled to begin at 2:30, the Republicans scheduled 11 consecutive floor votes, lasting until approximately 4 PM.)
The White House has, to date, refused to answer congressional requests for an explanation of the Downing Street Memo. On Thursday, June 16th, White House spokesman Scott McClellan dismissed the allegation in the Memo. He said the Democrats were "simply trying to rehash old debates that have already been addressed. And our focus is not on the past. It's on the future and working to make sure we succeed in Iraq."