Headlines: Cheney: Only Alternative to Guantanamo Is To Kill Terror Suspects; Women’s Health Care Services Clinic in Wichita To Reopen Next Week

Democracy Now Headlines: Cheney: Only Alternative to Guantanamo Is To Kill Terror Suspects; Women's Health Care Services Clinic in Wichita To Reopen Next Week

Headlines from DemocracyNow.org, a daily TV/radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, airing on over 650 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the US.<

GM Files For Bankruptcy

Auto giant General Motors filed for Chapter 11 Monday in one of the largest bankruptcy cases in U.S. history. Under the proposed restructuring plan, the US government will invest another $30 billion in GM-in addition to the $19 billion it has already received-and take ownership of 60 percent of the company.

Women’s Health Care Services Clinic in Wichita To Reopen Next Week

In Wichita Kansas, the Women’s Health Care Services clinic remains closed two days after the murder of its founder Doctor George Tiller. Associates of Tiller said the clinic will resume normal operations next week. Tiller was assassinated Sunday by Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion activist with ties to separatist militia groups. Roeder faces a scheduled court hearing today. Tiller had been a target of anti-abortion activists for over two decades. His clinic was bombed in 1985, eight years later he was shot in both arms. On Monday, anti-abortion activist Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, said Tiller reaped what he sowed.

Randall Terry: “Pro-life leaders and the pro-life movement are not responsible for George Tiller’s death. George Tiller was a mass-murderer and, horrifically, he reaped what he sowed.”

Due to the threat posed by anti-abortion activists, Attorney General Eric Holder has dispatched US Marshals to protect women’s health clinics and abortion providers nationwide.

UN Enters Gaza For War Crimes Probe

United Nations human rights investigators have entered Gaza to probe possible war crimes and other violations of international law during Israel”s military assault on Gaza last December. Israel has refused to cooperate with the investigation. The UN team is headed by South African jurist Richard Goldstone.

Richard Goldstone: “On behalf of the four members of the fact-finding mission sent here by the United Nations to do a fact-finding with regard to not only the military campaign in December and January in the past few months, but also to look at any violations of international human rights law, of international humanitarian law.”

Obama: U.S. Must Be More ‘Honest’ With Israel

President Obama has reiterated his call for Israel to freeze the construction of settlements in the West Bank. Obama’s comment came in an interview on National Public Radio in which he also indicated that he would be more willing to criticize Israel than previous administrations have been.

President Obama: “Part of being a good friend is being honest. And I think there have been times where we are not as honest as we should be about the fact that the current direction, the current trajectory in the region, is profoundly negative — not only for Israeli interests but also U.S. interests. And that’s part of a new dialogue that I’d like to see encouraged in the region.”

Kidnapped Pakistani Students Rescued

Pakistani soldiers have rescued scores of students and staff from a military-run college who were abducted by Taliban militants in the northwest of the country on Monday. Pakistani officials said 71 students and nine staff members had been rescued. Meanwhile a court in Pakistan has ordered the release of Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the leader of an Islamic charity accused of being a front for a group tied to the Mumbai attacks that killed more than 170 people.

Kim Jong-Il Reportedly Picks Son To Be His Successor

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has reportedly designated his youngest son to be the country’s next ruler. Little is known about his youngest son, who is thought to have been born in 1983 or early 1984.

Jimmy Carter Disagrees With Obama on Releasing Torture Photos

Former President Jimmy Carter said last night that he disagrees with President Obama’s decision to block the release of hundreds of photos of torture committed at US prisons overseas. Carter spoke on CNN.

Jimmy Carter: “[M]ost of his supporters were hoping that he would be much more open in the revelation of what we’ve done in the past. But he’s made a decision with which I really can’t contend that he doesn’t want to resurrect the past, he doesn’t want to punish those who are guilty of perpetrating of what I consider crimes against our own laws and against our own constitution. And the revelation of those pictures might very well inflame further animosity against our country causing some harm to our soldiers, so I don’t agree with him, but I certainly don’t criticize him for making that decision.”

Jimmy Carter also also addressed the possible prosecution of Bush administration officials.

Jimmy Carter: “I think prosecuting is too strong a word, what I would like to see is a complete examination of what did happen, the identification of any perpetrators of crimes against our own laws or against international law and then after all that’s done, decide whether or not there should be any prosecutions. But the revelation of what did happen is what I think I would support.”

Gen. Sanchez Calls For Truth Commission

Meanwhile the former top coalition commander in Iraq, General Ricardo Sanchez, has called for a truth commission to investigate abusive interrogation practices. Sanchez said: “If we do not find out what happened then we are doomed to repeat it.” Sanchez was in command of Iraq when the infamous abuses occurred at Abu Ghraib. In 2006 a German attorney filed a war crimes suit against Sanchez and other high-ranking offiicials.

Cheney: Only Alternative to Guantanamo Is To Kill Terror Suspects

Former Vice President Dick Cheney defended the military prison at Guantanamo saying the U.S. needs a place to hold suspected terrorists. Cheney said the only alternative the Bush administration had to creating Gauntanamo was to kill terror suspects.

Dick Cheney: “If you’re going to be engaged in a world conflict such as we are, such as the global war on terrorism, if you don’t have a place where you can hold these people, your only other option is to kill them And we don’t operate that way.”

Number of Armed Contractors on Rise in Afghanistan and Iraq

Newly released Pentagon statistics show the number of armed contractors in both Iraq and Afghanistan is rapidly rising. The number of military contractors in Afghanistan increased by 29 percent in the second quarter of 2009. The number in Iraq jumped by 23 percent. Independent journalist Jeremy Scahill reports there are now over 240,000 private contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Senate Criticized For Voting to Expand Funding of IMF

A coalition of civil society groups, as well as some U.S. lawmakers, are criticizing a recent Senate vote to expand funding for the International Monetary Fund by 108 billion dollars. InterPress Service reports opponents of the funding are concerned about the conditions the IMF usually imposes upon low-income countries when they accept these funds. Typically, the IMF requires recipient countries to reduce their budget deficits and increase interest rates. As a result, countries have been forced to cut essential social programs, like unemployment insurance and other safety-net mechanisms.

Mauricio Funes Sworn In As New President of El Salvador

In El Salvador Mauricio Funes was sworn in as the country’s new president Monday. Funes’ party, the FMLN, is a former guerrilla group that fought El Salvador’s US-backed military government for close to twenty years. Before the start of the inauguration ceremony, Funes visited the shrine of slain Archbishop Oscar Romero at the Cathedral of San Salvador. Romero, the so-called “voice of the voiceless,” was a powerful advocate for the poor and a leading critic of the former military government in El Salvador when he was assassinated while saying mass on March 24, 1980.

Mauricio Funes: “In the midst of the tough economic situation in El Salvador, the least we can do is pay homage publicly to the memory of Monsignor Romero.”?

Baucus to Meet With Single Payer Advocates

After months of protests, Democratic Sen. Max Baucus has agreed to meet with a delegation of leading single payer national health plan advocates on Wednesday. Baucus chairs the Senate Finance Committee and plays a key role in the debate over reforming the health care system. He has repeatedly said a single-payer system is off the table and has iced out single payer advocates from committee hearings.

Protests Set For 200th Execution in Texas Under Governor Perry

Death Penalty opponents in Texas are planning to protest today outside the prison where Terry Lee Hankins is scheduled to be executed. Hankins is set to become the 200th person executed under Texas Governor Rick Perry. No governor has overseen more executions in modern U.S. history. Meanwhile the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the state of Ohio should have another chance to sentence a convicted killer to death, despite a previous factual finding that the man is mentally retarded.

No More Deaths Activist on Trial in Arizona

In Arizona a human rights activist from the group No More Deaths went on trial Monday for leaving plastic jugs of water in a National Wildlife Refuge near the U.S.-Mexico border. The activist, Walt Staton, says the water jugs were left to prevent migrants from dying of dehydration. The U.S. government has accused Staton of “knowingly littering” in the Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge. The group No More Deaths has worked for years to provide humanitarian aid to migrants. Over the past decade, nearly 2,000 men, women and children died while trying to cross the border into Arizona.

Catholic Priest & Writer Thomas Berry, 1914-2009

And the Catholic priest, historian and writer Thomas Berry has died at the age of 94. The self- described “geologian” founded the Riverdale Center for Religious Research. In 2005 Berry told a reporter: “If the earth does grow inhospitable toward human presence, it is primarily because we have lost our sense of courtesy toward the earth and its inhabitants.”

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Headlines: Cheney: Obama Policies Endanger U.S.; Report: GM to Enter Bankruptcy

Democracy Now Headlines: Cheney: Obama Policies Endanger U.S.; Report: GM to Enter Bankruptcy

Headlines from DemocracyNow.org, a daily TV/radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, airing on over 650 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the US.

Obama Backs Indefinite Jailing, Criticizes Bush Measures

President Obama has publicly acknowledged for the first time he supports the indefinite jailing of some prisoners without trial. Obama made the admission during a speech at the National Archives Thursday defending his plan to close Guantanamo.

President Obama: “Let me begin by disposing of one argument as plainly as I can: we are not going to release anyone if it would endanger our national security, nor will we release detainees within the United States who endanger the American people.”

Obama also went on to repudiate several Bush administration counterrorism policies and criticize the media and his own party for failing to oppose them.

President Obama: “I also believe that-too often-our government made decisions based upon fear rather than foresight, and all too often trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions. Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, we too often set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford. And in this season of fear, too many of us-Democrats and Republicans; politicians, journalists and citizens-fell silent.”

Cheney: Obama Policies Endanger U.S.

Just minutes after Obama spoke, former Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a speech at the American Enterprise Institute defending Bush administration policies. Cheney said Obama is endangering the United States.

Vice President Dick Cheney: “The administration seems to pride itself on searching for some middle ground on terrorism. They may take comfort in hearing disagreement from opposite ends of the spectrum. If liberals are unhappy about some decisions and conservatives are unhappy about some decisions, then it may seem to them that the president is on the path of sensible compromise. Half measures keep you half exposed.”

Senate Approves War Funding

The Senate has approved a $91 billion dollar measure funding the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. The measure passed by a vote of 86 to three.

Ex-Soldier Gets Life Sentence in Iraq Rape, Murder Case

A former U.S. soldier has been sentenced to life in prison for the 2006 rape and murder of an Iraqi teenager and the killing of her family. Steven Green was found guilty earlier this month of being the ringleader in raping and killing fourteen-year-old Abeer Kassem Hamza al-Janabi and killing her parents and five-year-old sister. Green was given the life term after jurors couldn’t come to unanimous agreement on sentencing him to death. Three other soldiers have also been sentenced to life in prison in the case.

UN Launches Appeal for Pakistan Refugees

In Pakistan, the UN is appealing for more than $500 million dollars in aid to help the hundreds of thousands displaced by clashes between government troops and Taliban fighters. Some two million people have fled their homes in the Swat valley following last month’s collapse of a government-Taliban truce. UN humanitarian coordinator Martin Mogwanja said the displacements have caused “incredible suffering.”

Adm. Mullen: Afghan Occupation Could “Further Destabilize” Pakistan

Meanwhile, the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, has admitted the escalation of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan could end up worsening Pakistan’s internal unrest. Speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mullen said: “We may end up further destabilizing Pakistan without providing substantial lasting improvements in Afghanistan.” He continued*: “Can I… [be] 100% certain that won’t destabilize Pakistan? I don’t know the answer to that.”

Anti-War Protesters Disrupt Senate Hearing

The hearing was briefly interrupted by four anti-war activists protesting the occupation of Afghanistan. The protesters threw money stained with blood and shouted “stop pouring blood money into warfare.” One demonstrator stood up to repeat the words of committee chair Senator John Kerry when he testified as an anti-war veteran during the Vietnam war*: “How do you ask someone to be the last American soldier to die for a mistake?” The activists are members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance.

Obama to Sign Credit Card Bill

President Obama is expected to sign a bill today imposing new regulations on the credit card industry. The final measure excludes stronger proposals that would have capped interest rates and fees. The bill has drawn criticism from gun control advocates over an amendment that would allow people to carry loaded guns in national parks.

15 Anti-Coal Activists Arrested in Sit-In

In other news from Washington, fifteen people were arrested Thursday protesting Democratic Congressmember Rick Boucher over his support for the coal industry. The activists say Boucher has led efforts to weaken the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill while inserting billions of dollars in incentives for coal companies.

Spanish Judge Reinstates Charges Against U.S. Troops in Bouso Killing

In Spain, charges have been reinstated against three U.S. soldiers in the killing of the Jose Couso. A Spanish journalist, Couso died when U.S. troops shelled Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel in April 2003. Ukrainian cameraman Taras Protsyuk also died in the attack. On Thursday, a Spanish judge revived the case against Sgt. Shawn Gibson, Capt. Philip Wolford and Lt. Col. Philip DeCamp over what he called new evidence. Initial charges were dropped after Spain’s National Court dismissed the case. Jose Couso’s brother, Javier Couso, welcomed the reinstatement.

Javier Couso: “The success of what’s happening today is thanks to a joint effort not just of the justice system but of the civil testament in our country. This case was very important here. Jose gave a face to the victims in the Iraq war. It made many very indignant and we all saw it. It was an attack against the press.”

The judge, Santiago Pedraz, says the new evidence includes eyewitness testimony contradicting U.S. claims the tank that attacked the Palestine Hotel came under fire. One year ago, former Army Sergeant Adrienne Kinne told Democracy Now! she saw the Palestine hotel on a military target list and said she frequently intercepted calls from journalists staying there.

Morales Calls for Shift in U.S.-Bolivia Ties

In Bolivia, President Evo Morales is calling for a new phase in relations with the United States. The Bush administration funneled tens of millions of dollars to Morales’ opponents in an effort to destibilize his government. Bolivia expelled the U.S. ambassador last year over allegations of conspiring with opposition groups. On Thursday, Morales held talks with Thomas Shannon, the assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs.

Bolivian President Evo Morales: “On the issue of cooperation, whatever cooperation that is undertaken must be from state to state. On the issue of investment, the investment must be orientated towards having partners, and the investment must not just made to guarantee the plunder of groups, without any benefit for the people of Bolivia.”

Netanyahu: Israel Won’t Allow Division of Jerusalem

In Israel and the Occupied Territories, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared Israel will never cede control over all of Jerusalem. Palestinians have called for sovereignty over East Jerusalem as part of any future peace deal. But on Thursday, Netanyahu said Jerusalem will remain undivided.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “A united Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Jerusalem was and will always be ours. It shall never be divided and split again.”

Netanyahu’s comments come just three days after his White House meeting with President Obama where he pledged to seek peace with Palestinians.

Report: GM to Enter Bankruptcy

Back in the United States, the Washington Post is reporting the Obama administration plans to steer General Motors into bankruptcy as early as next week. The move would enable GM to take out nearly $30 billion dollars in additional government loans. Meanwhile the government has increased the bailout of GM’s financing arm, GMAC, with an additional $7.5 billion dollars in taxpayer money on top of the $5 billion it’s already poured in.

Fed Closes Florida’s BankUnited FSB

Federal regulators have shut down the Florida-based savings bank BankUnited FSB. The bank was the largest banking institution headquartered in Florida, and the 34th federally-insured financial institution shut down this year.

AIG CEO to Step Down

And the bailed-out insurance giant AIG has announced Edward Liddy will resign as chair and CEO. Liddy has led AIG since the U.S. government bailed it out last September with what’s grown to a $180 billion dollar commitment.

Levin Raises Possibility of Torture Indictments

Yesterady, Michigan Senator Carl Levin raised the possibility of government indictments of administration officials involved in the authorization of torture. His comments come on the heels of a Senate investigation that found that the administration authored torture as well as Vice President Dick Cheney’s recent endorsement of torture.

111607-carl_levin.jpg

Michigan Senator Carl Levin has raised the possibility of indicting government officials over the authorization of torture. Yesterday, Levin appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show to discuss the findings of a recent Senate report on torture.

Levin–who chairs the Senate’s Armed Services Committee that produced the report–was asked about recent comments in the media by Vice President Dick Cheney that suggested that he helped give authorization for torture. Levin said that Vice President Cheney condoned torture on television on Sunday when he said that he supports the use of water boarding.

Levin offered considerable criticism of Cheney, however, when questioned about the possibility of prosecutions, he did not mention Cheney. Instead, he said that after gathering supporting information it is the role of his Committee to:

“…turn over to the Justice Department of the next administration–cause clearly this Justice Department is not willing to take an objective look–to turn over to the next Justice Department all the facts we can and we have put together and get our report–the rest of it–declassified. But then it seems to me that it is appropriate that there be an outside commission appointed to take this out of politics that would have the clear subpoena authority to get to the parts of this that are not yet clear. And that is the role of the CIA… which then may or may not lead to indictments or civil action.”

Here’s Levin on the Rachel Maddow Show:

Levin previously issued a statement saying:

“The abuses at Abu Ghraib, GTMO and elsewhere cannot be chalked up to the actions of a few bad apples. Attempts by senior officials to portray that to be the case while shrugging off any responsibility for abuses are both unconscionable and false. Our investigation is an effort to set the record straight on this chapter in our history that has so damaged both America’s standing and our security.”

Protestors Tell Cheney in Grand Rapids: US Out of Iraq

Antiwar protestors on Friday held a demonstration outside of Vice President Dick Cheney’s appearence in Grand Rapids to demand that the United States immediately end its occupation of Iraq.

Today, around 75 protestors (video) gathered outside the Gerald R. Ford Museum to tell Vice President Dick Cheney that they support an immediate end to the United States’ occupation of Iraq.

The protest, organized by the Grand Rapids antiwar group ACTIVATE/SDS, began at Rosa Parks Circle. Shortly after 10:00am, the group–led by a banner reading “US Out of Iraq”–marched to the Gerald R. Ford Museum to attempt to let Cheney know that they support an immediate end to the war. The group was able to get surprisingly close to site of Cheney’s speech–being stopped by police only fifteen feet from the Museum’s front door. Throughout the protest the protestors chanted “Cheney Out of Grand Rapids, US Out of Iraq,” “No Justice, No Peace, US Out of the Middle East,” and “War and Occupation does not bring Liberation.” The protestors made use of whistles and noisemakers to accompany their chanting in an effort to make themselves heard. After being moved from the Museum’s property (essentially twenty-five feet), the protestors continued to chant and wave signs before half of the crowd marched to the intersection of Michigan and Monroe where they waited until Cheney’s motorcade passed them on its way out of town.

During the protest, ACTIVATE/SDS distributed flyers explaining its stance on the occupation of Iraq. The group calls for an immediate withdrawal of all United States military personal and private contractors. In addition, ACTIVATE demands that the United States pay reparations to Iraq for the damage done to Iraq during the most recent invasion and occupation as well as damages incurred during the twelve years of sanctions. The group frames its opposition in terms of the costs of the war, both in terms of the human costs–more than 655,000+ Iraqis civilians killed–as well as the cost of the war at home, which is estimated to have cost the City of Grand Rapids $236 million in lost revenue. The group further argues that the majority of Iraqis support an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. A recent BBC/ABC poll found that 47% of Iraqis support an immediate withdrawal.

The group also promoted its “End the Occupation” rally that it is holding tomorrow at Rosa Parks Circle at noon. That rally’s focus is to tell area legislators–Representative Vern Ehlers and Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow–that they should stop funding the occupation of Iraq.

In his Grand Rapids speech, Cheney echoed President Bush’s comments last night, arguing that there has been progress in Iraq, stating that “conditions in Iraq are changing for the better and we are seizing the initiative from the enemy.” He claimed that the United States will turn events in Iraq “into victory” and warned that if the United States withdraws from Iraq there will be “chaos” in the Middle East. Like President Bush, Cheney emphasized that the United States’ presence in Iraq will be a “long term commitment.” The comments by both the President and the Vice President underscore the fact that the recent talk of removing a small number of troops from Iraq will leave a substantial occupying force in the country and that the United States has no intention of “withdrawing” from Iraq.

Cheney Visiting Grand Rapids to Talk about Iraq; Protest Planned

Vice President Cheney will be in Grand Rapids on Friday talking about the war on Iraq and ACTIVATE/SDS has planned a 10:00am protest to greet Cheney. People are being asked to meet at Rosa Parks Circle (at the corner of Pearl and Monroe).

On Friday, Vice President Dick Cheney is visiting Grand Rapids to build support for the ongoing occupation of Iraq. We’ll have more on Cheney’s recent statements on Iraq in the next day or two, but for now, ACTIVATE/SDS has called for a protest demanding that Cheney support an immediate end to the occupation:

cheney protest poster

Friday, September 14 – 10:00am (SHARP!)

Rosa Parks Circle

Downtown Grand Rapids

(at the corner of Pearl and Monroe)

Vice President Dick Cheney will be in Grand Rapids on Friday to speak to a closed audience about the war in Iraq and the “global war on terror.” ACTIVATE/SDS is calling for a protest to tell Cheney that the United States’ occupation must end NOW!

For information on why ACTIVATE calls for an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq:

http://www.activategr.org/news/end-the-occupation/

HELP PROMOTE THE PROTEST:

Please pass this announcement along to your friends, your groups, or other contacts. We have flyers below that we encourage people to print and distribute, as well as a graphic suitable for posting on MySpace, Facebook, and other such sites:

Full Size Flyer

Quarter Size Flyer

Image for MySpace/Facebook/etc

Online Film Outlines Evidence for Cheney Impeachment

impeach cheney graphic

A new three-minute short by Brave New Films released on the Internet today lays out in short form evidence supporting proposed articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney. The short film uses video of public appearances by Dick Cheney that provide evidence of the three proposed articles of impeachment–that Cheney has purposely manipulated the intelligence process by fabricating a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, that Cheney has purposely manipulated the intelligence process by fabricating relations between Iraq and Al Qaeda, and that Cheney has openly threatened aggression against the republic of Iran while undermining the security of the United States. Additional evidence supporting the charges has been compiled by Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich who introduced a resolution in April containing the articles of impeachment. Thus far, 13 representatives have co-sponsored a resolution calling for impeachment while a recent poll indicated that 54% of the country supports Cheney’s impeachment.

Detroit City Council Passes Bush and Cheney Impeachment Resolution

On Wednesday, the Detroit City Council passed a resolution calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. The resolution lists specific impeachable offenses including misleading the public to justify the invasion of Iraq, unconstitutional electronic surveillance without obtaining warrants, conspiracy to commit torture in violation of domestic and international law, and the suspension of habeas corpus rights for detainees and United States citizens. It was passed in a 7-0 vote and was supported by the Detroit & Michigan National Lawyers Guild, Latinos Unidos, Veterans for Peace, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, the Gray Panthers, and MIImpeach.org. Around the country, impeachment resolutions have been passed by over 50 municipalities.

The text of the resolution reads:

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney conspired with others to defraud the United States of America by intentionally misleading Congress and the public regarding the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 371; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has admitted to ordering the National Security Agency to conduct electronic surveillance of American civilians without seeking warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, duly constituted by Congress in 1978, in violation of Title 50 United States Code, Section 1805; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney conspired to commit the torture of prisoners in violation of the “Federal Torture Act” Title 18 United States Code, Section 113C, the UN Torture Convention and the Geneva Convention, which under Article VI of the Constitution are part of the “supreme Law of the Land”; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney acted to strip American citizens of their constitutional rights by ordering indefinite detention without access to legal counsel, without charge and without the opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the President of a U.S. citizen as an “enemy combatant”, all in subversion of law; and

WHEREAS, In all of this George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney have acted in a manner contrary to their trust as President and Vice President, subversive of constitutional government to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the City of Detroit and of the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, Petitions from the country at large may be presented by the Speaker of the House according to Clause 3 of House Rule XII;

Be it resolved that George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney, by such conduct, warrant impeachment and trial, and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States;

Be it resolved further by the City of Detroit, that our senators and representatives in the United States Congress be, and they are hereby, requested to cause to be instituted in the Congress of the United States proper proceedings for the investigation of the activities of the George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney, to the end that they may be impeached and removed from such office.

Be it resolved further, that the Clerk of the City of Detroit be, and is hereby, instructed to certify to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, under the seal of the City of Detroit, a copy of this resolution and its adoption by the City of Detroit, as a petition, and request that this petition be delivered to the Office of the Clerk and entered in the United States Congressional Journal. The copies shall be marked with the word “Petition” at the top of the document and contain the original authorizing signature of the City Clerk, Janice M. Winfrey.

Impeachment Protests held in Grand Rapids and around the Country

On Saturday, protests took place across the United States calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. A grassroots impeachment movement has developed an exstensive and compelling case for impeachment despite being ignored by much of the Democratic Party and the corporate media.

photo of impeachment demo in kalamazoo, michigan

On Saturday, April 28 (A28), protests were held across the country calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. In Grand Rapids, around thirty protestors stood on bridges over the Grand River with signs and banners–including one thirty foot banner reading “IMPEACH!”–calling for the impeachment of President Bush. Organizers from the Grand Rapids event report collecting 115 signatures for a petition and receiving “a ton of honks and waves” according to a post on the website A28.ORG. Similar events were held across Michigan, including an event in Kalamazoo. The protests highlighted ten reasons to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney ranging from “Launching an illegal ‘War of Aggression’ against Iraq without just cause” to “Gross negligence in failing to assist New Orleans residents after Hurricane Katrina, ignoring urgent warnings of an Al Qaeda attack prior to Sept. 11, 2001.”

The aforementioned reasons for impeachment are just two of the reasons cited by the organizers of the nationwide A28 impeachment protests. Other reasons identified by the organization include:

  • Violating U.S. and international law by authorizing the use of torture.
  • Violating the Constitution by detaining Americans without due process.
  • Violating the Geneva Conventions by targeting civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances.
  • Violating U.S. law and the Constitution through widespread wiretapping without a warrant.
  • Violating the Constitution by using “signing statements” to defy laws passed by Congress.
  • Violating U.S. and state law by obstructing honest elections in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006.
  • Violating U.S. law by using paid propaganda and disinformation, leaking classified information, and exposing the identity of a covert CIA operative.

    Subverting the Constitution negating the Bill of Rights and the Writ of Habeas Corpus.

In addition to the aforementioned reasons, there have been several lengthy explorations of the issue in recent years. Two books, David Lindorff’s and Barbara Olshansky’s The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President Bush and the Center for Constitutional Rights Articles of Impeachment against George W. Bush, explore the topic in detail and provide both compelling arguments for impeachment as well as extensive evidence supporting it. The Center for Constitutional Rights even compares the case against President Bush to impeachment proceedings against Presidents Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, and Andrew Johnson and argues that the case against Bush is considerably stronger. While the Center for Constitutional Rights developed four articles of impeachment targeting illegal wiretapping, deliberate lies told to the public to build support for the invasion of Iraq, the illegal treatment of detainees, and a fourth article tying the previous three together as a threats to democracy and the Republic, others have crafted additional articles of impeachment and additional books have developed detailed analyses supporting impeachment. Representative Dennis Kucinich recently introduced articles of impeachment against Dick Cheney containing a wealth of supporting documents available online.

While receiving relatively little attention in the corporate media, a grassroots impeachment movement has organized and has some successes in recent weeks. Despite the Democrats’ assertions that “impeachment is off the table,” several opinion polls have found support ranging from 30% to 51% for impeachment and recent actions reflect this support. In March, 36 cities and municipalities passed resolutions in support of impeachment and this month Vermont’s Senate passed a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Bush, while several other cities have passed resolutions in recent months. Resolutions have also been taken up and passed by 16 Democratic parties around the country, including the California Democratic Party who passed a resolution last week calling for a “vigorous investigation” of the President and “appropriate remedies and punishment, including impeachment.” Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich introduced articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney in the House last week, arguing that it made sense to start with him since many of the Bush administration’s policies originated with Cheney. Impeachment also received a rare mention in the corporate media on Sunday, with Democratic Representative John Murtha mentioning impeachment as “one of the ways Congress has to influence the president” on Iraq policy. Murtha’s comments followed a weekend of reports of pro-impeachment rallies across the country.

Bush and Cheney Claim "Terrorists" want a Democratic Victory

Over the past few days, both President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have made assertions that “the terrorists” want to see a Democratic victory in the midterm elections. Over the weekend, Vice President Cheney stated that anti-Untied States forces in Iraq have increased their attacks to influence the elections while offering not evidence to back up his assertion:

Whether it’s al Qaeda or the other elements that are active in Iraq, they are betting on the proposition they can break the will of the American people. They think we won`t have the stomach for the fight long-term… It’s my belief that they’re very sensitive of the fact that we have got an election scheduled. And, you know, they can get on the websites like anybody else. There isn’t anything that’s on the Internet that’s not accessible to them. They’re on it all the time. They’re very sophisticated users of it.

On Monday, President Bush made similar remarks, stating at a campaign rally in Georgia that “the terrorists” will win if the Democrats win the election. Bush stated that “The Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses. That’s what’s at stake in this election.”

Protestors Call for an End to the Occupation of Iraq Outside Cheney Visit

Last night about twenty protestors called for an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq outside of a private fundraiser at the home of Peter Secchia where Vice President Dick Cheney was speaking.

Last night in East Grand Rapids, a group of around twenty protestors attended a protest organized by Activate, and affiliate of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) outside of the home of Peter Secchia where Vice President Dick Cheney was attending a fundraiser for Senate candidate Michael Bouchard. The group called for an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq with a large banner reading “US Out of Iraq Now” and several smaller signs to the same effect, as well as loudly chanting “Cheney out of Grand Rapids, US out of Iraq” and “No Justice, No Peace, US Out of the Middle East” while playing drums. The group showed up around 5:00pm at what was believed to be the starting point of Cheney’s speech, although it appeared to be the case that the speech had not yet started. By taking a side street and working in a coordinated manner, the group was able to position themselves around 50-feet from the entrance to Secchia’s yard. The police presence was minimal when the group initially showed up and the police were clearly caught off guard. While the group probably could have continued to move closer to Secchia’s home, they were still able to move closer than anyone has gotten at previous visits by Cheney and their presence was clearly known. The group dispersed after being informed that East Grand Rapids has a “no picketing ordinance” and receiving a second warning, as Secret Service members appeared to give the police the order to remove the protestors. Despite the fact that the officer giving the order refused to provide it in writing, subsequent research by Media Mouse confirms that there is an ordinance that prohibits “picketing” in front of “the residence or dwelling of any individual in the city” with picketing being defined as the act of walking, standing, sitting, jogging, running, or other similar activity by any person, whether or not such person is carrying, holding, or displaying a placard, sign, banner, badge, or other similar item.” The fundraiser was closed to both the media and the public, so it is unknown what Cheney said during his talk. Early in the day Cheney spoke at the National Guard Armory on 44th Street in Wyoming where he attempted to justify his contention that the Iraq War is the “central front in the war on terror,” declared Iraq “free,” praised the USA PATRIOT Act, and described how he believes that the domestic surveillance program is necessary (transcript).

The fundraiser was held at the home of Peter Secchia who is a longtime financial supporter of Republican candidates. He raised a substantial amount of money for the two campaigns of President George W. Bush, becoming a “Ranger” or one who raised $200,000 or more in 2004 and a “Pioneer” in the 2000 campaign for raising more than $100,000. Last night’s fundraiser was no different, with the $2,100 per person fundraiser expected to raise $375,000 for Republican candidate for Senate Michael Bouchard and $600,000 for the Republican Party. Furthermore, Secchia gave $42,496 to Republican candidates in 2004, $16,500 in 2002, $21,700 in 2000 and several thousand in elections going back to elections since 1994. He has long-standing roots in the Republican Party, with Secchia working to help defeat religious right candidate and televangelist Pat Robertson in the 1988 Republican primary and following George H.W. Bush’s election that year, Secchia was awarded the position of Ambassador to Italy. He has strong connections to the current administration, with Secchia being partially credited for bringing President Bush to Calvin in May of 2005 and bringing Vice President Dick Cheney to Grand Rapids in 2002 to celebrate his birthday in an incident that garnered media attention for costing the city of Grand Rapids $14,600 in police overtime costs. In Michigan, Secchia is credited with reviving the Michigan GOP in the 1980s and shifting the Party from a more “liberal” conservativism to its current manifestation (source).

Peter Secchia has generated the money that he has used to support Republican candidates as a CEO of the logging company Universal Forest Products, a position that he held from 1971 to 1989 (source). In a 2005 review of Universal Forest Products environmental and sustainability policies the company was given an overall score of “D-“ for its lack of transparency with regard to environmental practices. The company has also been targeted by Rainforest Action Network for its use of logging of old-growth forests, describing the company as one of the “dirty dozen” companies engaged in exceptionally destructive logging practices for their sale of wood from endangered forests. In addition to Universal Forest Product’s old-growth logging, the company has also been targeted for treating lumber with pesticides containing arsenic. Seechia is further known for his sexism, calling women “bitches” and “big-breasted devils” as well as allegedly responding that “I’m looking for a big-titted woman” when asked what he hoped to accomplish as Ambassador to Italy. There are also reports that Secchia once mooned a woman on the floor of a GOP convention (source).