A GRIM Report

Crossposted from OrangePolitics.org
Guest Post by Alan McSurely

Alan McSurely gives an update on efforts to get our member of congress, David Price, to support impeachment of President Bush. There’s been a community forum, two meetings with Price, and now…

We present the Case for Impeachment on Tuesday, February 28th at 7 p.m. at Chapel Hill Town Hall. Michelle Cotton Laws and Rev. Robert Seymour will participate, along with Prof. Dan Pollitt and myself. We will be announcing the formation of GRIM, and asking for your help to build the Movement.

Since the press reported the massive unconstitutional domestic spying program of President Bush and Vice President Cheney 2 months ago, a spontaneous grass roots impeachment movement has taken off. One poll showed over 53% of the American people favored an impeachment investigation, over 90% of African Americans were for such an investigation, and over 24% Republicans. This belief that our two leaders have committed crimes is well grounded. The men lied to Congress to give them authority to invade a sovereign nation. Their intentional lies, mixed with their massive ignorance of the Iraqi nation and stumblebum incompetence in handling basic governmental functions has led to the murderous mayhem in Iraq that has destroyed the Nation’s leaders, its culture, and tens of thousands of its children. This is a high crime.

The carefully constructed plausible deniability of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfield about U.S. intelligence forces torture program has been blown. They knew about, permitted, and ratified the most cruel and unusual punishments of prisoners including tying prisoners to waterboards for faked drownings, mocking prisoner’s sexual mores and religious beliefs, and other cruelties that have been photographed and shown to the world. They have ordered prisoners held for years without hearings or charges. These acts have been outlawed by every civilized society, including the U.S. for centuries. Bush knew the poor Black neighborhoods of New Orleans would be wiped out when the dams broke. Bush fiddled on his Texas farm while Black people drowned. Intentional failure to provide equal protection to all citizens is a constitutional violation. These are high crimes.

Bush/Cheney set up a massive spying program that was specifically prohibited by the 4th Amendment and the Foreign Intelligence Security Act (FISA) after the unconstitutional abuses of the FBI, CIA, NSA, and the Defense Intelligence Agencies were exposed in the 1970´s Watergate inquiries. It is such a blatant violation that Republican Senators are trying to blunt the impeachment movement by talking about retroactively making the violations legal. This far-fetched fig-leaf will draw more attention to the impeachable crimes they have already committed.

If such convincing evidence were presented to a competent law enforcement official, prosecuting attorney, grand jury, or probable cause Judge, they would quickly file charges and set the trial date. Taken together the lies, spies, torture and ethnic cleansing in New Orleans is overwhelming. This is the basis for the grass roots impeachment movement.

BUSH AND CHENEY HAVE BEEN CAUGHT BLUFFING

Like poker players who have been caught cheating and who have nothing in the hole, Bush and Cheney’s initial reaction is to bluff some more. Bush’s handlers send him out to his vetted daily photo opportunities where he tries to impersonate his hero, Ronald Reagan, acting like his hero, the Marlboro Man. But as people jump his right wing ship daily, Bush’s personal insecurities are beginning to take over. Compare his facial expressions when he lies now with how he acted say, six months ago. His frat boy cockiness covers a very short fuse.

As Scooter Libby can begin to hear the jail doors clanging, he and his lawyers are implying that Cheney directed Libby to out a CIA agent Cheney didn’t like. This stressful news was on the Sunday morning talk shows two weeks ago, but Cheney got as far away from D.C. as possible, to a beer party at a Texas ranch with old friends. He was so relaxed he shot a friend in a bright orange coat about 30 yards away on Saturday about 5 p.m. Instead of reporting this shooting immediately, so he could be given a breathalyzer and the forensic and other material evidence could be preserved, law enforcement and the public were not given any facts until after the Sunday morning talk shows and the alcohol were past/passed. Cheney’s psychological state was revealed by his hostess. She said her first thought, when she saw Cheney’s secret service detail rushing toward him, was that Cheney had suffered a heart attack. Bush and Cheney´s psychological state is not our concern. Their corporate sponsors will pay for empathetic handlers to approach them with golden parachutes, as they did with Nixon when his lies and crimes became evident to everyone but himself.

The task of the Grass Roots Impeachment Movement (GRIM) is to make it clear to every politician, Republican and Democratic, that the criminal acts of Bush/Cheney must be tried quickly in the U.S. Senate. For this trial to take place, 218 members of the House of Representatives must file charges against them. We are working on the one member we have some control over, Cong. David Price.

AN INTERIM REPORT

The Carrboro Forum: Starting from scratch in mid-January, we held an overwhelmingly successful forum, ¨The Case for Impeachment¨ in Carrboro in late January. At the close of the presentations, Carrboro Alderman to be, Dan Coleman, asked the crowd of over 140 how many supported asking Cong. Price to be a sponsor of House Bill 635, that calls for a Congressional investigation leading toward impeachment. Practically everyone raised their hands, except for the two members of Cong. Price´s staff who were there. Coleman then asked how many people would support a candidate to run against him, if Price refused to sponsor the impeachment bill. Practically everyone raised their hand again.

1st Price Meeting: The following week, a dozen people who had attended the Carrboro forum met with Cong. Price and the two staffers who had briefed him on our agenda. He implied the impeachment demand was not “middle America” and said he was interested in requesting a special prosecutor, like Clinton had agreed to Kenneth Starr, to investigate Bush´s acts. Price said he got the idea from Al Gore´s recent speech. We asked him pointblank whether he would become the first white Southerner to sponsor Cong. John Conyers´ bill that had about 10 sponsors then. Price asked whether Cong. Mel Watt had signed it. (No.) Shortly after our meeting, Price and Watt had a meeting with a predominantly Black group at the N.C. Mutual Building in Durham. Watt said he thought talk about impeachment was premature. Professor emeritus Chuck Stone polled the crowd as to whether they favored impeachment and about half raised their hands. Stone chided the rest for being timid.

2nd Price Meeting: We met with Price again last week. He showed us a letter that he and another member had written Bush, asking him to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate himself. We asked, incredulously, did he think Bush would respond? He said no. We again asked him to sponsor the Impeachment Investigation Bill, which now has over 25 sponsors. The only southern sponsors are two Black members from Georgia, John Lewis (the “conscience of the House”) and Cynthia McKinney. We also suggested he and like-minded Members hold hearings throughout the South to educate the people about the crimes and the need for impeachment. He implied he believed coming out openly for impeachment hearings now would marginalize us. We left agreeing that there are many approaches to this constitutional crisis.

Other Developments

Mr. Kent Kanoy, from Carrboro, who works at Duke, filed in the Democratic Primary and is carrying the Impeachment Banner proudly. The Primary is May 2nd. According to experts, about 20,000 votes will carry the Democratic primary.

The first counterattack from Rove to the national Impeachment Movement is that the more we ¨extremists¨ talk Impeachment, the more it will mobilize the Republican right wing base for the off-year election. If every time Rove trots out one of his dirty tricks we play into it, we should hang it up.

We present the Case for Impeachment on Tuesday, February 28th at 7 p.m. at Chapel Hill Town Hall. Michelle Cotton Laws and Rev. Robert Seymour will participate, along with Prof. Dan Pollitt and myself. We will be announcing the formation of GRIM, and asking for your help to build the Movement.