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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Encourage Your Friends, State Officials To Review Presidential Misconduct

When Congress refuses to hold President's accountable, We the People have lawful options.

This note outlines some ideas you may wish to raise with your friends and State officials. We the People can conduct oversight of Congress. It is up to State and Federal officials whether they cooperate and lead; or require lawful prosecution for defying their oath. We the People can find new leaders.

Best wishes for a blessed Thanksgiving.

[Links at Bottom May Be of Interest]

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This is a list of things you may wish to include in letters to your state legislators. Obviously, you are free to ignore, modify, or expand the points.

The aim of this list is to give you a starting point if you are looking for ideas of things you may want to say to your local and state officials about impeachment proclamations. Some of the ideas below are not necessarily complicated, or difficult. The hope is that the list will give you an idea of the things some people have said to slowroll the process; and some suggestions on how you might be able to prepare for their opposition.

As always, if you are facing resistance, or you run across a novel point opposing what you think should happen, share it with others – someone may have an idea on what can be done. If there are people in your state legislator who are not willing to listen, perhaps you and your friends may know of others who might be able to do a better job.

Use the state proclamation process as a test of your leaders: Are they serious about their oath; and are they interested in asserting the Constitution and finding facts. Perhaps they have some valid reasons why ignorance is superior to fact finding (sarcasm).

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Draft Letter

Dear State Representative,

I’m writing to ask your support for a State Proclamation calling for Congress to investigate, and if appropriate, impeach the President. The State can rely on US House of Representatives Rule 603, which relies on the Swayne Precedent, permitting States to call for the House to consider a privileged State Proclamation calling for an investigation of a Federal Officer.

My reason for writing is my concern that the House of Representatives, despite clear evidence of wrong doing, has stated that impeachment is off the table. After fact finding is complete, this may be an appropriate conclusion; however, it is premature to decide, before gathering facts or conducting a formal inquiry, what should or should not be done.

Regardless what Congress chooses, I hope you’ll support efforts of the State officials to lawfully prosecute the President. The State is permitted to enforce State law, and there are many law review articles discussing this possibility, one written by Jonathan Turley, a Georgetown University Law Professor.

There are also other ways to review evidence related to Presidential misconduct. One of them includes targeting the Staff counsel who have allegedly been complicit with the illegal activity. I would hope that you as a State legislator might consider working with your peers in the Legislator and remind the State Bar Attorneys of their obligations: If they are aware of criminal conduct, or they know of White House, DoJ, or Executive Branch counsel who may be involved with illegal war crimes or other violations of the law, they should review their professional standards of conduct and consider whether they do or do not have an obligation to report attorney-peer misconduct to the State Bar.

Even if the State Officials choose not to investigate, State legislators also have the power to inquire whether State resources and citizens are or are not supporting illegal US government Activity. I would hope that you as a State Legislator would be willing to pose during hearings questions related to alleged US government use of our State resources, and work with your peers to share with others states whether something can be done at the state levels to end illegal support for unlawful US government activity, including abuse, unlawful kidnapping, war crimes, and violations of our privacy.

Some states have started litigation against the US Government. These states in clued New Jersey, Main, and Missouri who have brought claims I Federal Court. Also, the German and Italian War Crimes prosecutors have been contacted by American legal representatives to review evidence related to US government official war crimes.

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My other reason for writing it to express my support for the notion of informed governance. The Founders created a three-branch system of government, and permitted political parties so that factions would clash. This Congress is doing the opposite. Rather than clashing with the Executive, as the Founders intended, the Congress appears more interested in rolling over.

House Rule 603 permits the States to compel the House to commit whether they will or will not take action. It is secondary whether they do take action; the primary concern is whether they are or are not willing to go on the record to say whether they are or are not willing to review facts related to the President’s misconduct.

There are some understandable arguments against taking action, but none of them are persuasive. I’ll briefly mention some of them only to share my concern that despite the frivolous arguments, some appear to embrace these arguments without much consideration for the implications.

Some have suggested that the country cannot afford the distraction of an impeachment. Indeed, it takes time to review facts. However, the alternative – not looking at facts – is what drove the nation to march into Iraq without exhausting all our non-military option. In Vanity Fair, Richard Pearle well reported that he was concerned that the US did not do all it could prior to the invasion to exhaust all the non-military options.

Some have suggested that an investigation might harm the DNC chances for victory in 2008 in the White House. Indeed, if done without measured organization, and without a sense of leadership, investigations can be disruptive. However, unless there is a review of the facts, neither of the leading parties can credibly argue their candidates are better positioned to provide solutions. Political platforms must be built on reality, not in ignoring what remains unknown. Any potential party leader, if they are to modernize and improve American governance, must take the time to review the problems, and then consider solutions. Until the leading politicians face what is wrong, they are in no position to argue their solutions are better or worse than their opponents.

Some have suggested that an investigation could backfire, or that the opposing party will gain power. This incorrectly assumes that the voters, when they learn information, will not use that information. This is contrary to the results of the 2006 election. Voters, when fully informed, made decisions about who was or was not best positioned to provide better leadership. It is just as likely that the GOP members, upon learning that the Republicans have committed more crimes, could, as many of them did, support new candidates or are not linked with the illegal activity. Also new, non-voting citizens may be energized to vote, especially if they see the leadership is willing to face facts, regardless who is to blame.

Also, assuming voters will or will not do something in 2008 is based on a focus group assessment – based on information in 2006 – not on what we may learn between 2006 and 2008. I urge you to consider keeping an open mind, not removing options from the table. Please encourage your peers and friends to reach out to others in the opposing party, and consider what is in the interests of American governance: Fact finding, solutions based on realty, and a credible plan to modernize governance.

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There have been some suggestions that the House does not have the option to impeach, or that option has been taken off the table. The Constitution delegates this power elusively to the House of Representatives, not to a single person or leader. Whether the Speaker does or does not support impeachment is a separate matter than whether the house of Representatives will or will not review facts. If the House of Representatives, as a legislative body, chooses to ignore reality, not investigate, and remain silent on Presidential misconduct, this sends a clear signal to the world that the US government is not serious about oversight, only in talking about meaningless change.

No speaker has the power to prevent the House of Representatives, as a body, from making an independent decision whether there should or should not be an investigation. Even the State officials can review the matters, and refer the evidence to the State Attorney General for prosecution.

Indeed, it will take time; and we might as well start now. Until we start, we will be condemned to repeat the unknown errors, and re-elect leaders who are just as likely to permit, fail to stop, and illegally support what appears to be illegal conduct.

The size of the problem may be large. But the size of the problem is irrelevant so long as the problem remains. It may take time to review the issues, but the state leadership is not alone in this examination. Others around the world are working in concert to gather facts, understand what has gone wrong, and outline new ideas and solutions.

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Other states have started action. There are 603 Proclamations in the States of Illinois, Vermont, and California. More are needed to put pressure on Congress.

A State proclamation is privileged. Once the House receives it, and chooses to do nothing, it has sent a signal it is not willing to act or review the facts. Another sate proclamations will bring the House to a halt, and once again force them to face the issue.

Although a single state may not be able to compel Congress to do anything, there are many States which, when sending multiple sate proclamations, can remind the Congress: Until you face this, you’re not going to get anything done.

The House of Representatives may have an agenda, but that agenda cannot be credibly asserted as long as the largest problem facing America is ignored: What happened to the system of governance which permitted the US to march into Iraq, make a mess, and have no solution. The answer appears to have been the failure of Congress to challenge the President.

The States can no longer afford to remain silent. Scarce state resources, national guard units, and our community members are being asked to spend time overseas on a poorly planned, poorly executed, and possibly illegal adventure.

It’s the job of Americans to fix what went wrong. We can only proceed and remedy what is broken if we fix what is not right; and continue with what is working.

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Fact finding is important. The 2008 Presidential candidates need to know what went wrong so they can develop solutions, and debate their plans.

When we identify what went wrong, we can establish appropriate priorities. When we confront what has been ignored, we can make informed decisions as to who is or is not appropriately doing their job, or should be replaced.

The nation has learned from some states what might dissuade a legislator from taking action. Some have suggested that they do not want to tie the hands of the Federal legislator, so they have refused to take a vote. Indeed, refusing to act at the state level will mean the Congress will never act.

The argument that someone’s hands will be tied is not a valid argument. A Member of Congress will always vote after a State Legislator on a given proclamation; and a Sate Legislator will always vote before a Member of Congress. One does not bind the other; one only precedes or follows the other. A request to investigate is not a requirement to punish; it is only a request to start what has not started: A review of the President’s illegal conduct. It is meaningless to suggest that a State Action will tie their hands; this incorrectly suggests that the solution would be to not take action. The is not a solution, but an excuse.

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Fact finding is appropriate. To set a course, and develop plans, the nation’s candidate need information.

Refusing to conduct fact finding is not a credible option. Without acting, we are doomed to repeat the problems of Iraq: More action without credible plans; more speedy decisions without careful review of the lawful options; more artificial timelines without exploring the options. America’s leaders must be challenged, not just by events, but by the informed citizenry. Without exploring the issues, the candidates cannot credibly ask Americans to believe their plans are linked with real, known problems, just more convenient distractions.

If we are to make America better, and create a more credible system that solves problems, we have to face what went wrong, identify the errors clearly, and then fix those problems. Until we face the problems, we cannot fix them; until we fix them, we’ll have more of the same.

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Some suggest the US government cannot afford the time and energy to fuse on a large problem like an impeachment investigation. Indeed, the US government has many missions and priorities. However, not all of government is required to do this job; rather, it is the job of American leaders to govern, and this includes examining facts.

If America’s government cannot do more tan one thing, the first ting it must do is make sure it’s leadership is credible. Power can only be credibly delegated when that leadership can be trusted; it is not the job of We the People to assume that power will be used properly, especially when this leadership improperly hides its improper abuses.

A credibly government would be able to do many things. Our Constitution calls for many branches, functions, and things. The role of government is to work on many fronts to assert the rule of law, and simultaneously do many things, at many levels, with many people. Focusing on impeachment does not mean all functions grind to a halt; or that other activity cannot proceed.

Rather, to suggest that impeachment might interfere with other things suggests the importance of the fact finding: Until we have facts, there are things that should be on hold. Rather tan consider what is being blocked by impeachment, the more appropriate question might be: Why are we continuing with things that should not be started until we start an investigation.

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What the Congress does or doesn’t find is not as important as whether the Congress agrees to use its power to protect the Constitution. When the Executive will not enforce the law or remove officers who violate the law, impeachment is there as a legislative tool to check what the Executive may ignore.

The waters have been charted. An investigation is not difficult – experts are available, records can be reviewed, and questions can be answered. The only issue is whether Congress is going to agree to review the President, or make excuses not to start something that may or may not be an impeachable offense.

The way forward remains to be seen. We will not know until we start. Your decision is whether you wish to join us, or do something else.

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Regardless who leads the investigation of the President, the Republicans in November 2006 remain in charge. Their decision appears to be one of doing nothing, letting others take responsibility for the work that should have been completed in 2006.

When the GOP appears in 2008 to offer solutions, the record will show they had the chance to review matters and use power in 2006 but refused; there is little to suggest that they should be given more power to do more of the same: Nothing.

Inaction cannot be rewarded. There is no excuse for the Republicans and Democrats to go on winter brake, ignore the issues, or jointly agree in both House of Congress to depart. The decision to ignore the issues is just as important as the decision to review. This Congress is more interested in choosing inaction, going on break, than in choosing to do its job.

I would hope that the State officials are looking at what the Congress is or isn’t doing; and consider whether there are better leaders, and other options which will force the Congress to do what the President will not: Protect the Constitution.

Inaction is not acceptable. After losing power, the Republican Senators may, after reviewing the mounting evidence, conclude that their political futures are at risk if they do not convict the President. We will not know what the GOP voters might do unless we do what we must: Explore the facts.

Without action, the President incorrectly gets the false message that he may continue to violate the law in secret, as long as others do not discover his illegal executive orders, regulations, and directions. This is not governance, but tyranny.

A Republic relies on an enforcement mechanism. State officials can and must prosecute the President and Federal officials when the jeopardize the State’s right to an enforcement system. We the People are an entitled to having our Constitution enforced and protected: You promised that with your oath to the US Constitution.

When the Federal officials illegally ignore the Constitution, the States officials have the power, right, and duty to do what the Federal Officials refuse to do: Protect the Constitution.

Responsibility attaches to accountants, attorneys, auditors, and law enforcement to ensure their oaths are fully asserted, and that their peers in Congress are held to account. Indeed, some may prefer inaction to protect political interests. This tells us they put their financial interests before their oath or the Constitution. This is not acceptable.

No party can put the prospect of what may or may not happen in 2008 as an excuse to do nothing in 2006. An election is not an excuse for inaction; it is a reminder that action is the measure by which we oversee the US government.

We the People can work with new leaders who act on their oath; or find new people who are interested in putting their oath before all things. The same 2006 election, where we saw voters disgusted with the government problems, can be the same catalyst for change in 2008.

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A mass love of tyranny, and preference for inaction is not governance, but anarchy. The Constitution is not a framework permitting it’s destruction, but the opposite: Vigilance is needed to preserve it, protect, and in this case, defend it from those in Congress and the Executive branch who would twist the document to something unrecognizable for partisan gain.

The excuses for inaction are frivolous. The same rush and artificial timelines before we invaded Iraq is at hand. The threat of a backlash isn’t based on anything real. The same people who claim there might be bad consequences for investigating, are the same ones who do not want an investigation. They cannot explain which facts they are pointing to claim a backlash is certain, or that accountability is not.

The Republican Party is imploding. More facts could expedite that implosion. The prospect of a backlash against the DNC does not appear to be real, but linked with a false argument. The RNC could support accountability to identify what failed in American governance, and create better checks and balances. The 2006 voters didn’t attack the strong, they attacked the incompetence.

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Fact finding is needed to identify what is wrong and fix it. Facts are needed to lay the foundation for solutions and reforms.

The 2008 Presidential candidates must be prepared to resolve, with facts, what is wrong; the candidates’ plans must be linked with fixing what is known, not simply guessed.

Until the candidates link their platforms with facts, and choose to understand what is wrong, they cannot be expected to be a non-partisan player in creating a solution, or overseeing a transformation from what we have to something better. Leadership means focusing on the mess that exists, not sweeping the problem under the rug, and inviting more of the same.

It is the job of We the People to do what government refuses: Find leaders who are willing to solve problems, not give excuses to ignore their malfeasance, or defiance of their oath.

Excuse for inaction will fuel more abuse. The facts will decide whether we should or should not impeach. Without starting an investigation, there is no basis for any American leader to suggest they are starting change.

There is no basis to assert consequences without knowing the facts. We don’t have the facts. Speculative benefits of inaction are not linked with anything, but more defiance of our Constitution.

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Useful Supporting Material

Ref Links to the State Proclamations in VT, CA, IL

Ref How to use Proclamations to start an impeachment investigations

Ref Guide For Citizens: What You Can Do To Trigger An Investigation of the President; Other Helpful Guides

Ref Draft indictment, disbarment against Member of Congress for alleged malfeasance, inaction, and alleged 5 USC 3331 violation conspiracy

Ref Sample Attorney Disbarment Process

Ref War Crimes Archive

Ref State Prosecution of a President

Ref Reasons to Investigate the President

Ref Vermont: Proclamation Lessons

Ref 2008 Presidential Election: Investigation Needed to make a Credible Party Platform; or is there another rushed, artificial timeline as there was with Iraq?

House Precedents on Proclamations, privileged State proclamations [GPO]

Ref Questions of Privilege: 603 Trumps All Questions Except A Motion To Adjourn

Ref Precedents For Investigations

Ref Members of Congress May Be Issued Subpoenas

Ref When Members of the House Refuse to Assert their Oath: Alleged 5 USC 3331 violations