Annual Fundraising Appeal
Over the course of 21 years, we’ve published many unflattering stories about Henry Kissinger. We’ve recounted his involvement in the Chilean coup and the illegal bombings of Cambodia and Laos; his hidden role in the Kent State massacre and the genocide in East Timor; his noxious influence peddling in DC and craven work for dictators and repressive regimes around the world. We’ve questioned his ethics, his morals and his intelligence. We’ve called for him to be arrested and tried for war crimes. But nothing we’ve ever published pissed off HK quite like this sequence of photos taken at a conference in Brazil, which appeared in one of the early print editions of CounterPunch.
100716HenryKissingerNosePicking
The publication of those photos, and the story that went with them, 20 years ago earned CounterPunch a global audience in the pre-web days and helped make our reputation as a fearless journal willing to take the fight to the forces of darkness without flinching. Now our future is entirely in your hands. Please donate.

Day11

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
cp-store

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

Leaders Afraid to Lead

Empty Rhetoric from Congress

by WALTER BRASCH

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the House has so much to do that impeachment proceedings against Dick Cheney and George W. Bush would be a distraction.

John Conyers (D-Mich.), chair of the House judiciary committee, says there aren’t enough votes to impeach the President or Vice-President and that he would rather "propose comprehensive oversight of these alleged abuses."

Both Pelosi and Conyers are right. There are at least a couple of dozen reasons not to initiate impeachment proceedings, and only one reason to do so. Because it’s right.

It’s right because the two men who swore to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States have violated that oath, and caused others to violate that oath for whatever reasons they may or may not have had. It’s right because a failure to hold them accountable would be a failure to hold any elected federal official now and in the future accountable.

The actions of Cheney and Bush over almost seven years have damaged the strength of six amendments-the First (free expression), Fourth (unreasonable searches), Fifth (right against self-incrimination), Sixth (due process), Eighth (reasonable bail and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment), and Fourteenth (equal protection guarantee for both citizens and non-citizens).

Conyers and Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) had filed resolutions during the 109th Congress to seek impeachment, but both resolutions died at the end of the session. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) filed a resolution in May to impeach Dick Cheney. Kucinich, one of the few elected officials who courageously spoke out against the impending war in Iraq, and who has been vigorous in his opposition to Constitutional abuse, filed HR 333, now with 11 co-sponsors, to help assure that impeachment against Bush won’t leave the nation with Oil-Drip Dick as president.

With each Bush-Cheney action, lie, and stonewalling, the movement for impeachment has gained credibility and strength. National opinion polls show anywhere from one-fourth to one-half of all Americans favor impeachment. Eighty cities in ten states and the state of Vermont have passed resolutions calling for impeachment. There have been hundreds of mass rallies, all of them poorly covered by the nation’s mainstream media, which have called for impeachment.

Dozens of organizations have been formed not only to energize Americans to push for impeachment, but to give reasonable explanations why impeachment is necessary. ImpeachBush.org has collected almost one million signatures on a petition for impeachment. Impeachforpeace.org has a Do It Yourself kit that shows how, in the absence of Congressional action, citizens can initiate impeachment charges. Among those calling for impeachment are a wide range of Americans of every ethnic, religious, social, and political demographic. Writers, singers, and musicians have wrapped up calls for impeachment in 32 bars of powerful music, and YouTube has hundreds of videos showing why impeachment is now necessary. Among advocates for impeachment are former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark; John Dean, Richard Nixon’s White House counsel; conservative columnist Pat Buchanan, and even the right-wing John Birch Society.

Among major books, which have methodically outlined reasons and legal precedent for impeachment are Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush by the Center for Constitutional Rights, The Case for Impeachment by David Lindorff and Barbara Olshansky, The Impeachment of George W. Bush, by Cynthia L. Cooper, and Warrior-King by John C. Bonifaz.

On only the flimsiest of reasons, the Republican Congress impeached President Clinton. Despite elephantine roaring, their reasons had nothing to do with protecting the Constitution, and everything to do with political greed, vindictiveness, and the desire to mute the progress President Clinton gave the nation, while they paved a path for a Republican takeover of the White House.

The Democratic leadership-late in coming out against the war in Iraq, late in opposing the PATRIOT Act, late in recognizing and publicly opposing the mistreatment of prisoners-stared into space until they felt the winds of change generated by the people. Once again, it’s time for the people to push their leaders, to demand more than bluster and empty rhetoric. Gandhi was once asked, "Where are you going?" and answered, "There go my people; I must run to catch up with them for I am their leader." He understood that social revolution begins with a small group of people, and that leaders must be willing to run to that group to help give direction in order to attain a greater good. Unlike what seems to pass among America’s elected officials, whose concerns seem to be raising money to get re-elected and then pandering to those who could re-elect them, Gandhi was a true leader.

It would be nice to see American leaders running to be ahead of the masses, leaders who realize that to be leaders they must first lead. Until that happens, it will have to be the masses who lead. Pursuing Articles of Impeachment to protect what our Founding Fathers pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor would be the patriotic way to honor them and our nation.

WALTER BRASCH, professor of journalism at Bloomsburg University, is an award-winning syndicated columnist and the author of 15 books, most of them about social issues, the First Amendment, and the media. His latest book is America’s Unpatriotic Acts; The Federal Government’s Violation of Constitutional and Civil Liberties (Peter Lang Publishing.) You may contact Brasch at brasch@bloomu.edu or at www.walterbrasch.com