UPDATE: STOP CONGRESS/Conyers Says He’s on Edge of Starting Impeachment


Jamilla El-Shafei wrote:


Greetings Friends,

This March will mark the beginning of the 6th year of the war and occupation of Iraq. I hope that you will join me on Capitol Hill for an action which will focus

on the role which Congress has played in the continuation of the war.

On Monday, March 10th and Tuesday March 11th  Iraq Veterans in uniform,

Veterans for Peace, Students on Spring Break and citizens of conscience will be

on Capitol Hill to deliver STOP-LOSS orders to Congress.

Just as Congress has condoned the involuntary extensions of the tours of duty

(called stop-loss) to military personnel, resulting in physical and mental

stress for soldiers and hardship to their families and the continuation

of suffering, death and destruction in Iraq,  WE THE PEOPLE, for whom

Congress works, will notify them that their upcoming Spring Recess has

been canceled. Congress will be ordered to stay at their posts (offices)until they perform the job we elected them to do, which is


On Wednesday, If Congress does not comply, we will confront  them with

peaceful, civil resistance. CONGRESS CANNOT GO HOME UNTIL THE TROOPS

COME HOME! If Congress members attempt to leave Capitol Hill the

CODE PINK POLICE will issue citizen citations, but others will form blockades.

However, if Congress members do manage to slither out of DC and make

their way back to their districts the following week, we ask that you

organize SIT-INS in their offices and DEMAND that they watch the footage of the WINTER  SOLDIER testimony!

If you cannot make it to DC please visit the web site and sign the STOP-LOSS CONGRESS petition NOW in support of this action.   http://www.stop-losscongress.org

also visit  http://www.resistinmarch.org and

STUDENTS  check out  http://www.ourspringbreak.org

Peace NOW!

Jamilla El-Shafei


[email protected]  


Conyers Says He’s on Edge of Starting Impeachment


By David Swanson

On Thursday, Chairman John Conyers’ House Judiciary Committee held a hearing at which Attorney General Michael Mukasey said that he would not investigate torture (video) or warrantless spying (video), he would not enforce contempt citations (video), and he would treat Justice Department opinions as providing immunity for crimes (report).

None of this was new, but perhaps it touched something in Conyers that had not been touched before. Following the hearing, he and two staffers met for an hour and 15 minutes with two members of Code Pink to discuss impeachment.

Conyers expressed fear of what might happen following an impeachment, fear of installing a Bush replacement or losing an election. The “corporate power structure”, he said, would not allow impeachment without unleashing “blowback.” Conyers told Ellen Taylor and Manijeh Saba: “You need to be more than brave and courageous. You need to be smart.”

Their response? They are asking people who care about justice to help them let Conyers know that the smart thing right now would be bravery and courage.

On Rosa Parks’ birthday last week, Leslie Angeline began a fast for impeachment. Taylor and over 20 other activists have joined the fast. Conyers has agreed to meet with Angeline to discuss impeachment on Tuesday.

The Chairman told Taylor and Saba that he is listening to several advocates for impeachment, including Liz Holtzman and this author, and asked “So how would it look if I allowed two women to push me over the edge?” Conyers leaned out of his chair for dramatic effect.

A number of organizations will be sending their members this alert Monday morning:

Let’s push Conyers over the edge by flooding his office with phone calls, faxes, and Emails on Monday and Tuesday. Let him know that only impeachment hearings

1-will make it on TV,

2-will force compliance with subpoenas by eliminating “executive privilege”,

3-will hold brazen criminals accountable, and

4-will convince voters that Democrats care about the Constitution.

Call 202-225-5126

Fax 202-225-0072

Email [email protected]

Angeline, whose father was on the original Freedom Riders bus that was firebombed in Anniston, Ala., in 1961 began her fast and a sit-in in Conyers’ office on Rosa Parks’ birthday, and within a few minutes had been granted an appointment with Conyers for Thursday. He postponed it until Tuesday because of the duration of the Mukasey hearing. Taylor, Saba, and others attended the hearing and were told by Conyers’ staffer Therise West that they would be removed by force if they did not cover up shirts and pins with messages including “No Torture,” “Arrest Bush,” “Not One More,” and even the text of Article II Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. Rather than comply, Taylor and Saba wore shirts displaying that section of the Constitution, were not removed, and were granted the meeting with Conyers to discuss it.

The meeting took place in the rooms attached to the committee room. After an hour delay, Conyers came in with three beers, a bag of nuts, and two staffers. Nobody drank the beers. Conyers ate the nuts. The staffers were Perry Appelbaum, who left early, and George Slover.

As Taylor recounted it to me, she and Saba pushed Conyers on the importance of the Constitution, on the crisis it faces, and on Congress’s lack of action. Of course, Conyers wrote a book two years ago called “The Constitution in Crisis,” which details many of Bush and Cheney’s impeachable offenses.

Conyers’ initial reply was along the lines of “Didn’t you see the hearing we just had? Do you know how many people saw that?” To their credit, the two Code Pink women replied “Not very many, since most people don’t get C-Span.” Conyers said he would keep following up with Mukasey, but Taylor and Saba asked to what end he would do so and advised him to shift his focus to the executive.

Conyers, Taylor said, then began giving reasons why he was afraid of impeachment. That wasn’t the word he used, but Taylor understood his concerns to all be expressions of an inchoate fear. Conyers spoke of “potential ramifications that haven’t been examined.” Interestingly, among his concerns was not the one he has used a lot recently, namely that impeachment would not pass the House. Instead he was concerned about what might happen after a successful impeachment and removal from office. Of course, the inconsistency in the excuses Conyers uses could simply be a reflection of the lack of importance he places on the choice of excuse.

The two women argued for the wisdom, bravery, and courage of Congressman Robert Wexler’s proposal to simply begin impeachment hearings on Dick Cheney and see where they go. The impeachment movement is urging people not only to contact Conyers but also to ask their own representatives to sign onto a letter Wexler has written to Conyers, and to themselves sign Wexler’s petition at http://wexlerwantshearings.com

Conyers said that he knew all about Wexler’s idea and that he was listening to various impeachment advocates. The two names Taylor remembered him mentioning were mine and Holtzman’s. He’s certainly not listening closely to me, and I would love to meet with him at his convenience. Holtzman, I know, has wanted to meet with Conyers on this topic for quite some time, but to my knowledge has never been able to do so.

I think the people Conyers is really listening to are too smart for their own good but lacking a bit in the bravery and courage area. Their wise strategy places the outcome of elections ahead of preserving the democracy in which those elections are held or even the verifiability of those elections. And, on their own terms, they are probably wrong. Nothing (except perhaps hand-counted paper ballots) would benefit the Democrats in the next election more than a real fight to stand up for justice. If Congress chooses to cede all power to the White House and move to the back of the bus, Conyers’ legacy will not be what it might have been.

dancing tiger


Skip to comment form

    • Tigana on February 8, 2008 at 06:27

    Dharmaniacs, you know what to do!  

  1.     1-800-828-0498



  2. his hurry?

    • Tigana on February 8, 2008 at 08:25


    • Ska-T on February 8, 2008 at 09:05

    if he made a big deal out of consulting with Bruce Fein.


    That way he wouldn’t look like two women from Code Pink pushed him over the edge.

  3. thank you…..

    impeach ……


  4. otherwise they may leave to vote third party…..

  5. … when it happens.

    And maybe not even then!

  6. They are going to say and do whatever they damn well please, including AG Mukasey, because why not?  They’ve been pushing buttons right down the line and getting away with literally EVERYTHING they have done.  What’s there been to stop them?

    Why even after the advent of Abu Gharaib, Bush and mentors quickly sat down and wrote a law whereby they could be not be charged with war crimes against them.  

    Can you imagine these criminals walking off into the sunset and continuing to operate and push the buttons in the “shadows,” along with all their corporate buddies?  Think not?  And this is why I keep saying that any presidential electee (save McCain), no matter how much they would push for change, will find himself thwarted just about all the way. For this and for all the reasons we already are aware of, IMPEACHMENT IS IMPERATIVE.

    As concerns this government, I can think of no more important place to spend our time and energy, money, too, if necessary, than to fight for Impeachment!

  7. Dear (deleted),

    Our Constitution is under threat and the most basic principle of checks and balances is being undermined. Not since Watergate has a president so openly disregarded the will of Congress.

    During hearings in the Judiciary Committee yesterday, I told Attorney General Michael Mukasey that I called for impeachment hearings because of the stonewalling and blatant abuses of the Bush Administration. He responded by stating that he will NOT enforce a contempt of Congress citation against Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten for refusing to testify before Congress. The video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

    Alberto Gonzales may be long gone, but the Bush Administration continues its executive overreach with the new Attorney General.

    We can debate the need for Impeachment hearings. We can argue its effects on the election or our agenda. But one thing is abundantly clear:

    If Congress’ right to require testimony is undermined, then our country’s leaders – Democrat, Republican, or Independent – will be immune from accountability.

    The power of the subpoena – to call officials before us – is one of the most fundamental safeguards in our system of government. To have it effectively discarded – by virtue of the President instructing Administration officials to ignore a congressional subpoenas and not even appear before Congress – is unprecedented. The idea that the Attorney General would willingly defend this position – despite Congress’ constitutional right to call such witnesses, is outrageous.

    Impeachment hearings could render this moot: The President, Vice President, and all officials under them would no longer invoke executive privilege. There would be no more smokescreens.

    In one week, I will be delivering my letter calling for impeachment hearings to Chairman John Conyers. Already, 16 Members of Congress have joined my call, including 3 Judiciary Committee members. I am hopeful for more in the coming days, but it is important for you to reach out to your representative in Congress to express how you feel. You can view the current list of signers, here: http://www.wexlerforcongress.c

    I do not know how Congress will react, but I do know this: I will pursue this course aggressively. I will not compromise away the constitutional role of Congress. Your support is invaluable. Please know that I am working everyday to ensure that the Bush Administration is held accountable.

    Please continue to support this movement at http://www.wexlerwantshearings.com.

    Yours truly,

    Congressman Robert Wexler


    I recently made a contribution to Wexler.  I hope everyone, who is able will help Wexler in this courageous stand.

  8. insists that DLC power over the Judiciary Committee is alive and well and, having stopped impeachment, is now going after Kucinich’s seat…

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