Democrats Take Cover from Impeachment

by SAM HUSSEINI

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was widely criticized for not addressing a host of questions in his testimony last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But the chair of that Committee — Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont — himself won’t address the issue of impeaching Bush and Cheney. I’ve asked him about it twice in the last month, and both times he has responded by talking about Gonzales. This even though Vermont — the state Leahy is sent to D.C. to represent — is the state leading the impeachment drive againt Bush and Cheney.

Last month, after nearly 40 cities and towns in Vermont voted for impeachment, I questioned Leahy as he walked out of the studios of CBS’s "Face the Nation":

Question: Senator, townspeople all over your state of Vermont have recently voted for impeachment. Do you think that the facts and the constitution, not the politics, but the facts and the Constitution merit at least investigating Bush and Cheney for impeachment?

Senator Patrick Leahy: We have a great deal of investigation going on and you’ll see Kyle Sampson, the Assistant to the Attorney General appear before my committee under oath on Thursday this week and I’ve already go the authority for subpoenas for many others. There’s not going to be a lack of asking questions. Thank you. Video is here.

And again, this Sunday, I asked him about the Vermont State Senate voting overwhelmingly for a pro-impeachment resolution. And again, he sidestepped my repeated efforts to have him address the substance of the subject. See video here.

On Friday, Dave Lindorff noted:

In a joint statement issued in Washington, DC, Vermont’s Congressional delegation, Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch, responded to the state senate resolution by saying that "before we talk about impeachment," current investigations in the Congress need to be "allowed to run their course."

Ignoring the fact that 39 towns in the state, including some it Vermont’s larger municipalities, have voted out impeachment resolutions, the three, all Democrats, go on to say, "In our view, the people of Vermont want us to focus our attention on such issues as ending the war in Iraq, protecting the needs of our veterans, raising the minimum wage, addressing the crisis of global warming and providing health care to all of our citizens." … If ever there was a case of elected officials ignoring the clearly expressed will of their constituents, this is it.

This effort has been lead by activists in Vermont who actually still seem to believe in the Constitution. One of them, Ellen E. Tenney, wrote to Pelosi earlier this year when the Speaker said impeachment was "off the table":

When everyone in the three branches of government took their oath of office, they swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States, therefore, you are honor bound, it is your duty, and the duty of every member of the House and Senate to investigate and try, anyone who breaks the laws of the land, including the president and vice president and anyone else involved. No one is above the law.

Tenney also noted that Senator Leahy said in his newsletter, "I have never seen a time when our Constitutional and fundamental rights, as Americans, were more threatened by our own government."

If he believes that, then is Leahy not violating his oath of office by not advocating an impeachment investigation of Bush and Cheney?

SAM HUSSEINI is the founder of http://www.WashingtonStakeout.com his web page is http://husseini.org.

 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas: Into the Void
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington
Geoffrey McDonald
Obama’s Overtime Tweak: What is the Fair Price of a Missed Life?
Brian Cloughley
Hypocrisy, Obama-Style
Robert Fantina
Israeli Missteps Take a Toll
Pete Dolack
Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode of Colonialism
Ron Jacobs
Spying on Black Writers: the FB Eye Blues
Paul Buhle
The Leftwing Seventies?
Binoy Kampmark
The TPP Trade Deal: of Sovereignty and Secrecy
David Swanson
Vietnam, Fifty Years After Defeating the US
Robert Hunziker
Human-Made Evolution
Shamus Cooke
Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone
David Rosen
Hillary Clinton: Learn From Your Sisters
Sam Husseini
How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life
Shepherd Bliss
Why I Support Bernie Sanders for President
Howard Lisnoff
The Wrong Argument
Louis Proyect
Manufacturing Denial
Tracey Harris
Living Tiny: a Richer and More Sustainable Future
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
A Day of Tears: Report from the “sHell No!” Action in Portland
Tom Clifford
Guns of August: the Gulf War Revisited
Renee Lovelace
I Dream of Ghana
Colin Todhunter
GMOs: Where Does Science Begin and Lobbying End?
Ben Debney
Modern Newspeak Dictionary, pt. II
Christopher Brauchli
Guns Don’t Kill People, Immigrants Do and Other Congressional Words of Wisdom
S. Mubashir Noor
India’s UNSC Endgame
Ellen Taylor
The Voyage of the Golden Rule
Norman Ball
Ten Questions for Lee Drutman: Author of “The Business of America is Lobbying”
Franklin Lamb
Return to Ma’loula, Syria
Masturah Alatas
Six Critics in Search of an Author
Mark Hand
Cinéma Engagé: Filmmaker Chronicles Texas Fracking Wars
Mary Lou Singleton
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz
Patrick Hiller
The Icebreaker and #ShellNo: How Activists Determine the Course
Charles Larson
Tango Bends Its Gender: Carolina De Robertis’s “The Gods of Tango”