Rev. Bill McGinnis / LoveAllPeople.org – 2006-02-21 00:23:23
A Plan For The Immediate Impeachment
Of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld
Based on the US Constitution and the Parliamentary Procedure of the House of Representatives
(February 19, 2006) — According to the published “House Rules And Manual,” as I read it, any Member of the House, after being recognized by the Chair to speak, could propose the following “motion to impeach,” as shown below:
“I move to impeach the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary of Defense, For their many and persistent high crimes and misdemeanors against the Country; And in particular, for spitting in the face of Congress, By conspiring to commit the crime of Torture, In direct violation of our specific Law, and Against our clear and oft-restated will forbidding Torture.”
Under the “House Rules And Manual,” this motion to impeach would be “highly privileged,” and would take immediate priority over any regular business already before the House. It would be immediately debated on the floor, without first having to go into Committee. If defeated, it could be moved again and again and again, in contrast to regular non-privileged motions. It would not be killed by an initial rejection.
“HOUSE RULES AND MANUAL,” AND RELATED DOCUMENTS
You can see the “House Rules And Manual” located here: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/hrm/index.html . According to this official website, this document “contains the fundamental source material for parliamentary procedure used in the House of Representatives,” and includes The Constitution, excerpts from Thomas Jeffersons’s “Manual Of Parliamentary Procedure,” and “Rules Of The House.”
Within this document, there is a section called “impeachment,” on pages 313-330. The words in this section are a functioning part of the parliamentary rules used by the House today. For your convenience, I have copied this section into a file located at http://www.loveallpeople.org/impeachment.txt , This section contains the following words, which show that any one Member of the House can move to impeach, directly from the floor, without having first to go through Committee:
“. . . there are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion: by charges made on the floor on the responsibility of a Member or Delegate; by charges preferred by a memorial, which is usually referred to a committee for examination; by a resolution dropped in the hopper by a Member and referred to a committee; by a message from the President; by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State or territory, or from a grand jury ; or from facts developed and reported by an investigating committee of the House.”
And this same section says that, “A direct proposition to impeach is a question of high privilege in the House and at once supersedes business otherwise in order under the rules governing the order of business. It may not even be superseded by an election case, which is also a matter of high privilege. It does not lose its privilege from the fact that a similar proposition has been made at a previous time during the same session of Congress, previous action of the House not affecting it.”
And so we see that any Member can move directly to impeach, and that such a motion takes precedence over almost everything else, and that it does not have to go into Committee prior to being debated on the floor, and if it is defeated, it can be made again and again.
Two more related documents are “House Practice,” at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/hpractice/index.html , and “Rules and Precedents that Govern the House of Representatives,” at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/precedents/index.html
These two documents provide additional support for our efforts to impeach. NOTE: A huge and wonderful online source of Government Documents is located at the Government Printing Office: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/
I usually criticize the Bush Administration for almost everything they do, because I think they are fundamentally wrong on almost all the important issues. BUT – they have done a really great job in making so much Government information available online, free of charge, to all people. This is really good, in my opinion.
THE CONSTITUTIONAL POWER TO IMPEACH AND REMOVE FROM OFFICE
The House of Representatives has the Constitutional power to impeach any Government civilian official, that is, to present charges against him to the Senate, which must then conduct a trial and remove him from office if convicted.
In Article I, Section 2, the Constitution says, “The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” And in Article I, Section 3 it says, “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” And in Article II, Section 4 it says, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. Source: United States Constitution, as located at http://www.loveallpeople.org/usconstitutiona.txt and elsewhere.
So there is no question that Congress has the Constitutional authority to remove these people from office, if it chooses to do so.
THE SPECIFIC LAW VIOLATED BY BUSH-CHENEY-RUMSFELD
The “specific law” mentioned above (in the motion to impeach) is found in the United States Code, Title 18, Chapter 113C, “Torture,” also known as “The Federal Torture Act.” It is shown here: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/18/parts/i/chapters/113c/toc. html
This Law provides for the prosecution of a US national or anyone present in the United States who, while outside the US, commits or attempts to commit torture. Torture is defined as an “act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control.”
The specific provision that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld have violated is Section 2340A(c), which says, “Conspiracy. – A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.”
THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT THAT TORTURE WAS OFFICIAL (SECRET) GOVERNMENT POLICY AT ABU GHRAIB
The photographs have made that clear. This wasn’t the misbehavior of a few isolated individuals. And “panties on your head” wasn’t what they were doing. It was official Government policy, and it was torture, as defined in The Federal Torture Act, cited above.
If it were merely some individuals, then where did they get all the sophisticated and expensive torture equipment shown in the pictures? Where did the restraint chairs come from? And the various straps, and racks, and hoods, and electrical equipment, and shackles, and waterboards, etc. etc. come from? Did the individual soldiers bring them from home?
Obviously not. The Government provided all these things, in order to implement their illegal policy of torture. And Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld were behind this policy, all the way. It could not have happened without their knowledge and consent.
REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS MAY EVENTUALLY SUPPORT US
But you might say, “It will never work. Republicans who control the House would never let this happen. They would find some way to block this effort.” To which I would reply, “Maybe not. They would still keep the Presidency, because Speaker Hastert would become the new President, under existing law, and he is a Republican.
All they would lose is Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld. Many Republicans might actually enjoy being rid of these arrogant, dangerous, power-grabbing individuals, who have so clearly and persistently broken the duly-enacted Laws of Congress, including all those relating to torture.”
The order of Presidential Succession is described here: http://bensguide.gpo.gov/9-12/government/national/succession.html )
“Moreover,” I would say, “they may have won some elections, but they do not own the House. They are merely the temporary custodians of it, subject always to the Constitution and the “House Rules And Manual.”
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
I am horrified and revolted by the mere idea that our Country – acting in our name and by our authority – is committing the Satanic and depraved acts of torture which the whole world has now witnessed.
As a Christian minister, I cannot imagine how people who dare to call themselves Christians could ever fall so far into Hell as to do these things or support them. We have no excuse whatsoever, not even the phony excuse that we need to torture in order to “protect Americans from the terrorists, etc.”
To me, this is a flat-out lie, and I challenge them to produce even one solid case where torture was necessary to accomplish any good result. We are not the desperate Israelis, surrounded by hostile neighbors and outnumbered 100-to 1, and being bombed repeatedly. Grasping at straws, and unwilling to admit their mistakes, they have actually legalized torture in some cases (or so I have read).
But their unfortunate situation is far different from ours, thank God. We have no excuse. And we certainly should not be following their example in anything regarding terrorism, because their results have been a disaster. And they are far less safe now than before they started to torture their enemies.
If the United States Of America has become so powerless and ineffective that we now need to torture people in order to “protect ourselves us from terrorism,” then we have become just as rotten as the terrorists, and we do not deserve to defeat them or anybody else.
And I directly blame Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld, first for sleeping through the warnings and allowing the 9-11 attacks to occur, and then for using torture as a favorite means of trying to get us out of the mess that they themselves have created for us.
I hope and pray they will soon leave office and simply go away. Blessings to you. May God help us all. And may God bless America!
Rev. Bill McGinnis is the Director of LoveAllPeople.org
• http://www.loveallpeople.org and
• http://www.internetchurchofchrist.org HTML version of this document is located at
Authors Website: www.LoveAllPeople.org Authors Bio: Rev. Bill McGinnis is an Internet Christian minister, writer and publisher. He is Director of LoveAllPeople.org, a small private think tank in Alexandria, Virginia, and all of its related websites, including InternetChurchOfChrist.org, CommitteeForTheGoldenRule.org, CivicAmerican.com, and AmericanDemocrat.net. His agenda is to help maximize the happiness and well-being of all people