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Conyers: a Hero of the Constitution



When it comes to defending the Constitution from the saboteurs of freedom and democracy in the Bush administration, my hero is Conyers.

Not Congressman Conyers. He had a shot at the title during 2005, when he was holding informal hearings on the administration’s impeachable crimes, and in 2006, when he published a book laying out the case for impeachment, but he lost his chance when he buckled under pressure from then minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who about a year ago began insisting that should the Democrats take over Congress, impeachment would be “off the table.”

Rep. Conyers, who as chairman of the judiciary committee of the House would be in charge of impeachment hearings, has made it clear that he believes the president should be impeached, but he has not stood up to Speaker Pelosi, or challenged her absurd position on impeachment.

No, I’m referring to Conyers’ wife, Monica.

As president pro tempore of the Detroit City Council and a political leader in her own right, Monica Conyers clearly isn’t swayed by Pelosi. Indeed, last week she sponsored a resolution in the Detroit City Council which passed unanimously. That resolution doesn’t mince words. It calls for the impeachment of both Bush and Cheney for defrauding the public to justify launching a war of aggression against Iraq. It also calls for their impeachment for ordering illegal spying on Americans, for ordering torture, and for doing away with habeas corpus.

Here is the full text of the resolution, which was drawn up by the Detroit chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and which was endorsed by the Gray Panthers, Veterans for Peace, the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, Latinos Unidos and Michigan

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney conspired with others to defraud the United States of America by intentionally misleading Congress and the public regarding the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 371; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has admitted to ordering the National Security Agency to conduct electronic surveillance of American civilians without seeking warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, duly constituted by Congress in 1978, in violation of Title 50 United States Code, Section 1805; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney conspired to commit the torture of prisoners in violation of the “Federal Torture Act” Title 18 United States Code, Section 113C, the UN Torture Convention and the Geneva Convention, which under Article VI of the Constitution are part of the “supreme Law of the Land”; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney acted to strip American citizens of their constitutional rights by ordering indefinite detention without access to legal counsel, without charge and without the opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the President of a U.S. citizen as an “enemy combatant”, all in subversion of law; and

WHEREAS, In all of this George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney have acted in a manner contrary to their trust as President and Vice President, subversive of constitutional government to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the City of Detroit and of the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, Petitions from the country at large may be presented by the Speaker of the House according to Clause 3 of House Rule XII;

Be it resolved that George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney, by such conduct, warrant impeachment and trial, and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.

The city council resolution is to be presented to Congress as a petition.

I hope it is also put “on the table” at the Conyers household, where I suspect Monica Conyers will be exerting considerable pressure on her significant other to do something about it.

After all, just a year ago, he was saying those same things himself.

It must be galling to Monica Conyers that her husband lately has been paying more attention to that “other woman” in Washington than to her own wise counsel. Let’s hope that the Detroit city council resolution was not just a political act, but also a shot across the bow in Conyers family domestic relations-one that will convince John Conyers that he needs to stand up for his own principles and beliefs, not just buckle under political pressure.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s newest book is “The Case for Impeachment“,
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at:



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).

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