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Please Help Build a National Grassroots Movement for Congressional Hearings – Forward This to Blogs, Web Sites, and Email Addresses Of All Friends, Family, and Associates

Please add your name to the list of people who want the truth by clicking on the following link: www.restoreruleoflaw.com.  This link will take you to a web site, where you can add your name to a letter indicating to Congressman Conyers, other members of the House Judiciary Committee, and Congress as a whole that you support efforts to investigate and disclose any illegal acts and abuses of power by the President and others in his administration – and declare to the world, and to our posterity, that, as US citizens, we will proudly support our long-held constitutional principles, we will raise our voices to reaffirm our democracy, and we will insist upon accountability for those in our government who have disregarded our Constitution, violated statutory law, or engaged in immoral human-rights abuses.

Thank you for your commitment, your willingness to take a firm stand, and for your authentic patriotism.

Please Help Build a National Grassroots Movement for Congressional Hearings – Forward This to Blogs, Web Sites, and Email Addresses Of All Friends, Family, and Associates

Please add your name to the list of people who want the truth by clicking on the following link: www.restoreruleoflaw.com.  This link will take you to a web site, where you can add your name to a letter indicating to Congressman Conyers, other members of the House Judiciary Committee, and Congress as a whole that you support efforts to investigate and disclose any illegal acts and abuses of power by the President and others in his administration – and declare to the world, and to our posterity, that, as US citizens, we will proudly support our long-held constitutional principles, we will raise our voices to reaffirm our democracy, and we will insist upon accountability for those in our government who have disregarded our Constitution, violated statutory law, or engaged in immoral human-rights abuses.

• You proudly support our long-held constitutional principles.
• You are speaking out to reaffirm our democracy.
• You demand accountability for those in our government who have disregarded our Constitution, violated statutory law, or engaged in immoral human-rights abuses.

Thank you for your commitment, your willingness to take a firm stand, and for your authentic patriotism.

www.restoreruleoflaw.com

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Chair, Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives
2426 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Conyers:

We are writing out of deep concern for our nation. The President and members of his administration have violated, and continue to violate, our Constitution, significant and numerous treaty obligations, customary international law, and laws passed by Congress. However, the federal courts and Congress (even with a Democratic majority) have utterly failed to hold the President and his administration accountable and to put an end to the egregious violations of law and abuses of power.

When the President abuses and exceeds the powers vested in the executive branch, the people of our nation have reason to expect, and our Constitution contemplates, that the other co-equal branches of government – the courts and Congress – will rein in the President, not only holding him to account, but also making it clear that such abuses and excesses will not be tolerated, now or in the future, in our constitutional democracy. When the courts and Congress fail in their duties to challenge and repair abuses of executive power, they condone the abuses and are thereby complicit in undermining our Constitution, our international standing, and our nation’s commitment to the rule of law.

Our nation and our constitutional form of government are at a crucial crossroads. Either we condone and thereby encourage unlawful misconduct by our President and his administration, or we hold them to account and put an end to the illegalities. We can make it clear to the world, including all U.S. citizens, present and future, that we are a nation of laws, that we will support and uphold our Constitution, and that we will not tolerate the undermining of the carefully structured system of checks and balances among three co-equal branches of government. To challenge, disclose and censure the abuses of power by the Bush administration would also serve to uphold our nation’s proud history of support for fundamental human rights, which has distinguished our nation, until now, from those totalitarian, human-rights abusing nations that have kidnapped, disappeared, and tortured people, and deprived them of any semblance of due process.

In a constitutional form of government, which is committed to the rule of law, the courts are a safeguard against unlawful conduct by government officials, including the President. The courts are intended to be a safeguard against tyranny and dictatorship, both procedurally and substantively. Alarmingly, that is no longer the case in the United States.

Recently, a federal court has ruled that the invocation of the “state secrets” doctrine by the Bush administration is sufficient to deny citizens the right to obtain information about whether their communications have been subjected to warrantless governmental surveillance, in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution and federal statutory law (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act). Without the ability to obtain that information, the parties challenging the unlawful governmental surveillance have been held to lack standing to pursue their claims in court. Contrary to earlier false representations by President Bush that warrants were being obtained by his administration before electronic surveillance of communications was being conducted, the federal government is known to have continually and blatantly violated a criminal law passed by Congress and one of the most cherished rights protected by our Constitution. However, astoundingly, there is now no recourse in the federal courts.

The federal courts have even denied recourse to those who, pursuant to the “extraordinary rendition” program, have been illegally kidnapped, disappeared, and tortured by US agents and assignees in other countries. That dangerous lack of accountability has resulted from the indiscriminate acceptance by the courts of the assertion by the Bush administration of the “state secrets” doctrine. The Bush administration has invoked the “state secrets” doctrine 39 times, compared to a total of only six times by other presidents from 1953 to 1976, during the height of the Cold War.

Without action by Congress, these recent court decisions significantly undermine any notion that the rule of law prevails in the United States in instances of presidential abuse of power – and make it clear that no remnant of justice remains in relation to claims that such abuses have caused severe harm to innocent people. These decisions also call into question whether the truth about these abuses will ever be brought to light. All of this is leading our nation toward an unbounded and unaccountable tyranny, completely foreign to what many of us value most about our beloved country.

Because the courts are not providing a means of disclosing, or holding the Bush administration accountable for, serious violations of the law, it is particularly essential that Congress vigorously assume its constitutional prerogative and duty to thoroughly investigate and disclose the truth about the abuses of power and excesses of President Bush, Vice-President Cheney and others in the administration, all of which have caused extreme damage to our country.

Of course, the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives is best suited to conduct any inquiry into abuses of power by the President and others in his administration, particularly when violations of domestic statutory law, the Constitution, and treaty obligations have occurred. As Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, you have an historic opportunity and solemn responsibility, through the holding of hearings, to discover and disclose, and to bring the President and others to account for, the astounding abuses of power and violations of the law arising from the following misconduct, all of which have been severely injurious to our great nation:

• Authorizing, permitting, and condoning the kidnapping, disappearance, imprisonment and torture of people throughout the world, in violation of the US Constitution, domestic statutory law, treaty obligations, and customary international law. (In connection with the investigation of the illegal “extraordinary rendition” program, the Judiciary Committee should consider recommending passage of a compensation bill for Khaled el-Masri, Maher Arar, and others, who have been kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured by U.S. agents and who have been denied any recourse to justice in US federal courts.)

• Authorizing and permitting the arrest of US citizens without charges, and causing them to be held, indefinitely and incommunicado, without access to an attorney, without the right to challenge the lawfulness of their confinement through the great writ of habeas corpus, without a trial, and under inhumane circumstances.

• Authorizing, permitting, and condoning the electronic surveillance of US citizens’ communications, including emails and telephone conversations, without a warrant, in violation of the US Constitution and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

• Engaging in an illegal war of aggression against Iraq, in violation of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the Nuremberg Covenant, and the United Nations Charter (all international treaty obligations, which, under the Constitution, comprise the supreme law of the land), following a public campaign comprised largely of fictitious and fraudulent representations intended to persuade the people of the United States that the war was justified by self-defense. The fraud was comprised of outright misstatements of material fact and by withholding material information known to President Bush and members of his administration that was directly contrary to the representations of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and others in the administration to Congress and the American people.

• Abusing and exceeding the executive power, and undermining the constitutional principle of separation of power, through the issuance of a record number of signing statements following the enactment of legislation by Congress. These signing statements have led to an unprecedented disregard by the executive branch, including administrative agencies, of federal statutory laws, and to the assertion of an unbounded dictatorial “unitary executive” presidential power, during the so-called “war on terror,” an undeclared “war” that is geographically and temporally unlimited.

In addition to inquiries into the above grave criminal misconduct and other gross abuses of power, we urge that Judiciary Committee hearings include an inquiry into the use of false propaganda by members of the Bush administration, which has served as the source for articles in the news media that misled many of the people in the United States and elsewhere concerning the supposed “threat” posed by Saddam Hussein and the execution of the war. When our government lies to the people, with the aid of an inept and credulous news media, our democracy is at grave risk.

Hearings on the matters described above could be held for the purposes of (1) disclosing serious criminal misconduct and egregious abuses of power, (2) accountability, and (3) deterrence. Crucial to our constitutional democracy and a commitment to the rule of law is a determination of the facts of abuse and illegal misconduct, then conveying that the outrages of the Bush administration are not reflective of American values, and that our proud nation will not condone the subversion of our values, our laws, or our Constitution by any president or members of his or her administration. Such a result would also vindicate Congress’s vital role as a co-equal branch of our government that will zealously protect its role, rights, and responsibilities under the Constitution.

We urge you, as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, to commence hearings without further delay in connection with the above described violations of law and abuses of power by President Bush and members of his administration. To embrace the opportunity to discover and disclose the truth, and to provide for the sort of accountability, transparency, and openness due to any democratic people, will be an important step toward a national recommitment to the rule of law, a renewal of international respect, and a return to the national values we Americans have always cherished for ourselves and our posterity.

Respectfully,

George McGovern, Ralph Nader, Robert A. Feuer, Rocky Anderson, Blase Bonpane, Theresa Bonpane, Ramsey Clark, Mimi Kennedy, Andy Jacobs, Jr., James Abourezk, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Paul Findley, Kevin Zeese, John Nichols, Tim Carpenter, Marcus Raskin, Jonathan Kozol, Harry Belafonte

www.restoreruleoflaw.com

Originally posted to Rocky Anderson on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 02:05 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good On Ya! (8+ / 0-)

    Now put up a tip jar so we can give you your due and I can say "tipped and recced!"

  •  I appreciate your work, but time seems to be (4+ / 0-)

    running out on any hope for justice as it relates to these criminals.

  •  Hear! Hear! (5+ / 0-)

    Crucial to our constitutional democracy and a commitment to the rule of law is a determination of the facts of abuse and illegal misconduct, then conveying that the outrages of the Bush administration are not reflective of American values, and that our proud nation will not condone the subversion of our values, our laws, or our Constitution by any president or members of his or her administration. Such a result would also vindicate Congress’s vital role as a co-equal branch of our government that will zealously protect its role, rights, and responsibilities under the Constitution.

    Thank you!!!!!!

    You have spoken out so many times and I appreciate it!!

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 02:08:33 PM PDT

  •  I'll believe this letter if someone from Utah (7+ / 0-)

    signs their name on the bottom of it.

    OOOPPSS  my bad.

    Great job.  My question is this...

    Why did we elect the Democrats in 2006 with a mandate to clean up this mess that started in 2001?

    Why?

    WhY?

    Republicans are not a national party anymore.

    by jalapeno on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 02:10:01 PM PDT

    •  Cuz maybe we can shame them? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jimstaro, mango, JasonThe, jlms qkw

      That's what got me to click on the link, etc.
      As it always does.
      With the repubs it was clear there would never be movement except of the negative sort. They were running a cover-up after all.
      Conyers has only institutional inertia and pressure from above to overcome.
      Formidable? Yes, hence this nudge, and so many others.
      But it ain't impossible, like it was.

      Apparently only elections of Republicans have consequences. My bad.

      by kamarvt on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 02:16:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes!!! This is the most important issue before (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hornito, jimstaro, JasonThe, jlms qkw

    this Nation.  Failure to do this is throwing away our government's legitimacy.

    An idea is not responsible for who is carrying it. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 02:22:42 PM PDT

  •  These petitions are not working. Our reps (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, JasonThe, siamesewonka, jlms qkw

    could care less.  These people we send to DC routinely betray our interests, and they keep getting away with it.

    We need a better approach to this, and the stakes are rising each day.

  •  Pissing in the Wind (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, jlms qkw

    The present Congress will not, under any circumstances, stand up for the rule of law in a consistent, principled fashion.

    A few members will.  Others will write Strongly-Worded Letters.  Most will roll onto their backs and put their legs up when the Decider orders them to.

    Want a republican form of government.  Step One:  abolish the Federal Reserve.  That doesn't necessary imply going to the gold standard; it means dumping off our backs a banker elite that issues money created out of nothing and lends it to the taxpayers at interest.

    If there need be a central bank, let it be publicly owned, and let the people who make the decisions now made by the Fed be technocrats and public servants.

    More needs to be done -- much, much more -- but without that step, it's all illusory.

  •  Is it just me, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, JasonThe, jlms qkw

    or does it seem that when the republican party grabbed for the reins-everything went down hill? Things became so violent. We lost respect for so many things. Each other in particular. Bare knuckled politics, it's called. They can have it. Not interested-but yes-we do need to have the Rule of Law resored.
        Republicans threatened to spend the day slapping democrats across the face; republicans threatened to spend the day spitting in the faces of democrats; they threatened to have us deported, put in interrment camps, have us hanged as traitors.  
         Their foremost pundits, called for the poisoning of Supreme Court Justices. They posted personal contact information on the internet, for people they didn't like.  They cheered for torture, and vocalized tremendous support for it. I'm thinking there is a level of violence with these people, and I still find it very troubling.
         McCain is very obviously not really attacking anyone with his campaign style; but that doesn't "cut the muster" with me. I have too good a memory.

    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." --Blaise Pascal

    by lyvwyr101 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 02:35:39 PM PDT

  •  thank you rocky! (6+ / 0-)

    from your supporter in sugarhouse, still wondering why the better dem didn't win the city council seat, but looking forward to this november!  

  •  We are nearing Failed State Status (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hornito, JasonThe, siamesewonka

    and must fight with every tool we have.  We can not give up our country and Constitution, even if it seems these SOB's have weasel worded every document to protect themselves.

    IMPEACH

  •  Mayor Anderson rocks! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hornito, JasonThe

    Thank you Mr. Anderson for your defense of the Constitution at this time.  I was very proud to call myself a Democrat and American when I saw your debate on Fox.

    You obliterated Sean Hannity because there are things called "facts".  All Hannity seemed to do was make an emotional case without citing any evidence.

    It's too bad the format that you used in the debate hasn't been used more.  I hope it is employed in upcoming political debates.  It allowed more of an intellectual arguement- at least from you.

    MAKE TRADE FAIR DAMMIT! And impeachbush.org! (1 mill+ names already)

    by siamesewonka on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 04:10:10 PM PDT

  •  Please send this petition (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JasonThe

    to the ICC as well.  It is looking increasingly like that might be our only hope in this matter.

    MAKE TRADE FAIR DAMMIT! And impeachbush.org! (1 mill+ names already)

    by siamesewonka on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 04:15:37 PM PDT

  •  Rocky, Please move to Nevada and run for Governor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JasonThe

    Utah does not deserve you!

  •  Anything with Nader's name on it (0+ / 0-)

    goes straight in the trash.  

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