The following is from Andrew Sullivan at Atlantic Online. Note his last paragraph:
"Critics will no doubt say I am accusing the Bush administration of being Hitler. I'm not. There is no comparison between the political system in Germany in 1937 and the U.S. in 2007. What I am reporting is a simple empirical fact: the interrogation methods approved and defended by this president are not new. Many have been used in the past. The very phrase used by the president to describe torture-that-isn't-somehow-torture - 'enhanced interrogation techniques' - is a term originally coined by the Nazis. The techniques are indistinguishable. The methods were clearly understood in 1948 as war-crimes. The punishment for them was death."
29 May 2007 12:36 pm
The phrase "Verschärfte Vernehmung" is German for "enhanced interrogation." Other translations include "intensified interrogation" or "sharpened interrogation." It's a phrase that appears to have been concocted in 1937, to describe a form of torture that would leave no marks, and hence save the embarrassment pre-war Nazi officials were experiencing as their wounded torture victims ended up in court. The methods, as you can see above, are indistinguishable from those described as "enhanced interrogation techniques" by the president. As you can see from the Gestapo memo, moreover, the Nazis were adamant that their "enhanced interrogation techniques" would be carefully restricted and controlled, monitored by an elite professional staff, of the kind recommended by Charles Krauthammer, and strictly reserved for certain categories of prisoner. At least, that was the original plan.
Also: the use of hypothermia, authorized by Bush and Rumsfeld, was initially forbidden. 'Waterboarding" was forbidden too, unlike that authorized by Bush. As time went on, historians have found that all the bureaucratic restrictions were eventually broken or abridged. Once you start torturing, it has a life of its own. The "cold bath" technique - the same as that used by Bush against al-Qahtani in Guantanamo - was, according to professor Darius Rejali of Reed College,
pioneered by a member of the French Gestapo by the pseudonym Masuy about 1943. The Belgian resistance referred to it as the Paris method, and the Gestapo authorized its extension from France to at least two places late in the war, Norway and Czechoslovakia. That is where people report experiencing it.
In Norway, we actually have a 1948 court case that weighs whether "enhanced interrogation" using the methods approved by president Bush amounted to torture. The proceedings are fascinating, with specific reference to the hypothermia used in Gitmo, and throughout interrogation centers across the field of conflict. The Nazi defense of the techniques is almost verbatim that of the Bush administration...
Here's a document from Norway's 1948 war-crimes trials detailing the prosecution of Nazis convicted of "enhanced interrogation techniques" in the Second World War. Money quote from the cases of three Germans convicted of war crimes for "enhanced interrogation":
Between 1942 and 1945, Bruns used the method of "verschärfte Vernehmung" on 11 Norwegian citizens. This method involved the use of various implements of torture, cold baths and blows and kicks in the face and all over the body. Most of the prisoners suffered for a considerable time from the injuries received during those interrogations.
Between 1942 and 1945, Schubert gave 14 Norwegian prisoners "verschärfte Vernehmung," using various instruments of torture and hitting them in the face and over the body. Many of the prisoners suffered for a considerable time from the effects of injuries they received.
On 1st February, 1945, Clemens shot a second Norwegian prisoner from a distance of 1.5 metres while he was trying to escape. Between 1943 and 1945, Clemens employed the method of " verschäfte Vernehmung " on 23 Norwegian prisoners. He used various instruments of torture and cold baths. Some of the prisoners continued for a considerable time to suffer from injuries received at his hands.
Freezing prisoners to near-death, repeated beatings, long forced-standing, waterboarding, cold showers in air-conditioned rooms, stress positions [Arrest mit Verschaerfung], withholding of medicine and leaving wounded or sick prisoners alone in cells for days on end - all these have occurred at US detention camps under the command of president George W. Bush. Over a hundred documented deaths have occurred in these interrogation sessions. The Pentagon itself has conceded homocide by torture in multiple cases. Notice the classic, universal and simple criterion used to define torture in 1948 (my italics):
In deciding the degree of punishment, the Court found it decisive that the defendants had inflicted serious physical and mental suffering on their victims, and did not find sufficient reason for a mitigation of the punishment in accordance with the provisions laid down in Art. 5 of the Provisional Decree of 4th May, 1945. The Court came to the conclusion that such acts, even though they were committed with the connivance of superiors in rank or even on their orders, must be regarded and punished as serious war crimes.
The victims, by the way, were not in uniform. And the Nazis tried to argue, just as John Yoo did, that this made torturing them legit. The victims were paramilitary Norwegians, operating as an insurgency, against an occupying force. And the torturers had also interrogated some prisoners humanely. But the argument, deployed by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and the Nazis before them, didn't wash with the court. Money quote:
As extenuating circumstances, Bruns had pleaded various incidents in which he had helped Norwegians, Schubert had pleaded difficulties at home, and Clemens had pointed to several hundred interrogations during which he had treated prisoners humanely.
The Court did not regard any of the above-mentioned circumstances as a sufficient reason for mitigating the punishment and found it necessary to act with the utmost severity. Each of the defendants was responsible for a series of incidents of torture, every one of which could, according to Art. 3 (a), (c) and (d) of the Provisional Decree of 4th May, 1945, be punished by the death sentence.
So using "enhanced interrogation techniques" against insurgent prisoners out of uniform was punishable by death. Here's the Nazi defense argument:
(c) That the acts of torture in no case resulted in death. Most of the injuries inflicted were slight and did not result in permanent disablement.
This is the Yoo position. It's what Glenn Reynolds calls the "sensible" position on torture. It was the camp slogan at Camp Nama in Iraq: "No Blood, No Foul." Now take the issue of "stress positions", photographed at Abu Ghraib and used at Bagram to murder an innocent detainee. Here's a good description of how stress positions operate:
The hands were tied together closely with a cord on the back of the prisoner, raised then the body and hung the cord to a hook, which was attached into two meters height in a tree, so that the feet in air hung. The whole body weight rested thus at the joints bent to the rear. The minimum period of hanging up was a half hour. To remain there three hours hung up, was pretty often. This punishment was carried out at least twice weekly.
This is how one detainee at Abu Ghraib died (combined with beating) as in the photograph above. The experience of enduring these stress positions has been described by Rush Limbaugh as no worse than frat-house hazings. Those who have gone through them disagree. They describe:
Dreadful pain in the shoulders and wrists were the results of this treatment. Only laboriously the lung could be supplied with the necessary oxygen. The heart worked in a racing speed. From all pores the sweat penetrated.
Yes, this is an account of someone who went through the "enhanced interrogation techniques" at Dachau. (Google translation here.)
Critics will no doubt say I am accusing the Bush administration of being Hitler. I'm not. There is no comparison between the political system in Germany in 1937 and the U.S. in 2007. What I am reporting is a simple empirical fact: the interrogation methods approved and defended by this president are not new. Many have been used in the past. The very phrase used by the president to describe torture-that-isn't-somehow-torture - "enhanced interrogation techniques" - is a term originally coined by the Nazis. The techniques are indistinguishable. The methods were clearly understood in 1948 as war-crimes. The punishment for them was death.
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Thursday, May 31, 2007
The following is from Andrew Sullivan at Atlantic Online. Note his last paragraph:
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Watch Keith Olbermann's commentary here.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), co-chairwoman of the Progressive Caucus, called on Congress to be bolder in confronting the president.
"This capitulation proves once and for all that we cannot negotiate with this president," she said. "He won't listen to his military generals on the ground, he won't listen to outside experts like the Iraq Study Group, he won't listen to the Congress, and worst of all he won't listen to the American public.... If we continue to take piecemeal steps such as today's vote, then we must accept our complicity in his continued occupation of Iraq."
We need to give deadlines to Congress and while we're at it give 'em benchmarks too! Let's see, how are they doing so far?
1) Ending the war. Grade: "F"
2) Holding hearings and holding the Bush White House accountable for its lies and crimes. Grade: "F"
Hmm. "If we leave they'll be a civil war" the GOP pundits keep saying about Iraq. Maybe if Congress leaves D.C., abandons the pretense of representing the people who voted them into office and declares itself a vestigal organ like the appendix and cuts itself out (see last posting), a civil war in the U.S. would break out.
Posted by Dennis Loo at 7:27 AM
Friday, May 25, 2007
LAW OF THE LAND
Bush grants presidency extraordinary powers
Directive for emergencies apparently gives authority without congressional oversight
Posted: May 23, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
President Bush has signed a directive granting extraordinary powers to the office of the president in the event of a declared national emergency, apparently without congressional approval or oversight.
The "National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive" was signed May 9, notes Jerome R. Corsi in a WND column.
It was issued with the dual designation of NSPD-51, as a National Security Presidential Directive, and HSPD-20, as a Homeland Security Presidential Directive.
The directive establishes under the office of the president a new national continuity coordinator whose job is to make plans for "National Essential Functions" of all federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments, as well as private sector organizations to continue functioning under the president's directives in the event of a national emergency.
"Catastrophic emergency" is loosely defined as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions."
Corsi says the president can assume the power to direct any and all government and business activities until the emergency is declared over.
The directive says the assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, currently Frances Fragos Townsend, would be designated as the national continuity coordinator.
Corsi says the directive makes no attempt to reconcile the powers created for the national continuity coordinator with the National Emergency Act, which requires that such proclamation "shall immediately be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register."
A Congressional Research Service study notes the National Emergency Act sets up Congress as a balance empowered to "modify, rescind, or render dormant" such emergency authority if Congress believes the president has acted inappropriately.
But the new directive appears to supersede the National Emergency Act by creating the new position of national continuity coordinator without any specific act of Congress authorizing the position, Corsi says.
The directive also makes no reference to Congress and its language appears to negate any requirement that the president submit to Congress a determination that a national emergency exists.
It suggests instead that the powers of the directive can be implemented without any congressional approval or oversight.
Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke affirmed to Corsi the Homeland Security Department would implement the requirements of the order under Townsend's direction.
The White House declined to comment on the directive.
Posted by Dennis Loo at 4:46 PM
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Gary Kamiya recently posted a piece at Salon.com attempting to explain why Bush hasn't yet been impeached. I'm glad that someone in major media is addressing this question. But while Kamiya makes a few good points in his piece, his overall analysis is incorrect. He attributes the underlying problem to a kind of mass psychological problem - an alleged American culture accepting of spin as equivalent to the truth. (See an earlier posting of mine on this blog for a discussion of this question in more depth: "On the Relationship Between Media/Political Leaders and the Public." See, also, a talk I gave in March '07: "Why Isn't There More Outrage?")
Kamiya cites, for example, Lindorff and Olshansky's quote of Sen. Lowell Weicker: "'Bush obviously lied to the country and the Congress about the war, but we have a system of elections in this country. Everyone knew about the lying before the 2004 elections, and they didn't do anything about it... Bush got elected. The horse is out of the barn now.'"
One of the problems with this analysis is that the majority of Americans didn't vote for Bush in 2004 (or 2000 for that matter!). The election was stolen. As I wrote at the start of Chapter 2 of Impeach the President:
"In order to believe that George Bush won the November 2, 2004 presidential election, you must also believe each and every one of the following  extremely improbable or outright impossible things.
1) New voter registrations in the lead up to the election hit record levels, with Democrats swamping Republicans in voter registrations (outstripping them by a factor of 5:1 in Florida and by 6:1 and better in Ohio), but despite this Bush still somehow won.
2) Pre-election day momentum carried through on Election Day with a record turnout and a highly energized and motivated electorate, but for the first time in history a large turnout favored the GOP instead of the Democrats.
3) CNN reported at 9 p.m. EST on election evening that Kerry was leading by 3 points in the national exit polls based on well over 13,000 respondents. Several hours later at 1:36 a.m. CNN reported that the exit polls, now based on a few hundred more—13,531 respondents—were showing Bush leading by 2 points, a 5-point swing. In other words, a swing of 5 percentage points from a tiny increase in the number of respondents somehow occurred despite being mathematically impossible.
4) Early-day voters picked up by initial exit polls (showing Kerry rolling to a 5 million-vote landslide win) apparently reflected GOP supporters waiting to vote until very late in the day, even though there was a complete lack of evidence of any late GOP surge to observers on the ground. This was, moreover, contrary to historic patterns of GOP supporters voting early.
5) Bush loses big to Kerry nationally among the only groups from which Bush could legitimately fashion a win: first-time voters, lapsed voters (those who didn’t vote in 2000), and undecideds. In addition, Bush loses people who voted for him in the cliffhanger 2000 election. Like Athena springing full-grown from Zeus’ brow, however, Bush is nonetheless credited ex nihilo with a 3.4 million-vote surplus in the official tally...."
Here is what I just posted at Salon.com:
A better analogy than a bad marraige would be an evil stepfather. It's much, much harder to get rid of a bad stepfather than a lousy husband.
Kamiya correctly notes that the main reason Bush hasn't been impeached is because of the Democrats, and he also correctly notes that the establishment media have treated "impeachment talk as if it were the unseemly rantings of half-crazed hordes." But then he attributes media's stance to BUYING into the paradigm that Kamiya spends most of his article articulating - "our acceptance of the universality of spin."
This is where his analysis goes very wrong. He fails to distinguish between those who are responsible for spinning the truth (the White House, the right-wing, mainstream media, and the rest of the political leadership) and those who are the recipients of that spin (the public). See this for more.
When Kamiya cites, for example, the senior WH spokesman who told Ron Suskind that the WH was a proud member of the "faith-based community" he treats this as a statement about the whole American psyche. In fact the WH spokesman was referring to the WH alone and was DERIDING Suskind and others for being members of the "reality-based community." Similarly, when Kamiya seeks to support his contention that 9/11 created a "John Wayne" moment among all Americans, he cites Kissinger and Friedman, neither of whom can be said to be representative of the American public as a whole.
The American public HAD TO BE LIED TO in order to justify our illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq. There's no way anyone would have gone along with it absent those lies. The notion that Saddham was responsible for 9/11 isn't something that emerged somehow from the public. The people were not overall engaging in mass, self-deception.
It is not the American people who are strangely disconnected. A majority for some time have been saying they support impeachment (e.g., the 10/06 Newsweek poll showing 51% wanting impeachment). Indeed, they voted powerfully against the war in 11/06 and before that a majority voted against Bush/Cheney in 11/04 (except that the election was stolen AGAIN - see my analysis of this in Chap. 2 of "Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney," ed. by Dennis Loo and Peter Phillips).
The problem is that the people cannot act to change public policy or accomplish impeachment without political leadership advancing their sentiments. The media, by treating impeachment as verboten, and the Democratic Party, in doing the same, have effectively blocked what the majority of Americans want - the impeachment and conviction of Bush and Cheney. If the NY Times or John Kerry were to come out for impeachment tomorrow, would anybody be wondering why the American people have allowed these reactionaries in the WH to remain? Of course not, because the outpouring of public sentiment in support of impeachment would be immense.
What Kamiya treats as a mass, psychological state of mind among Americans is more properly seen as a fraud perpetrated upon the public by opinion-leaders. David Brock in "The Republican Noise Machine" traces the historical development of this egregious state of affairs. We further analyze this phenomenon in "Impeach the President" - our authors including Howard Zinn, Mark Crispin Miller, Greg Palast and many others.
As I wrote in the Preface to ITP:
"The central problem here is that truth and facts have been barricaded off from reaching most of the American people. If Americans truly knew exactly what was going on in their names, they would mass outside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, scale the gates, haul these perpetrators out of the White House by their shirt collars and put them on trial immediately for crimes against humanity. This has yet to happen because the right wing has been resoundingly successful in the plans it laid beginning in the early 1970s to dramatically alter the political landscape. Through the very deep pockets of people like Rupert Murdoch, Adolph Coors and the 'Four Sisters,' they have invested tens of billions of dollars in establishing their own media empire such as Fox News and Clear Channel, their own think tanks, publishing houses, their heavy subsidy and cultivation of right wing scholars and writers, and so on. From these pulpits they have bullied, lied and twisted. Their media empire’s impact cannot be overestimated. They have cowed the Democratic Party and the mainstream media. Like the shadow cast by the immense alien ship in the movie Independence Day, Bush/Cheney and the radical right have generated a black cloud over this country. We wrote this book to help to dispel this.
"These times call for nothing less than that the people take extraordinary measures to repudiate these 'leaders.' An unprecedented mass popular upheaval is what must occur."
Posted by Dennis Loo at 9:07 AM
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Bush and Cheney behave as if they’re playing a game of Monopoly and have just drawn the following card from Community Chest:
“Ignore warnings, scientists and scientific assessments. Move forward on the basis of faith. Don’t bother doing any analysis. Do not envision contingencies and do not prepare for them. Extol the virtues of the free market and slash social programs. Drive up deficits to historic levels. Slash taxes for the wealthy. Privatize what’s public, outsource anything you can, treat regulation and government as a device to further the private gain of private interests, award your friends with posts on the basis of their ideological affinity and loyalty, not on the basis of their expertise or experience. When disaster strikes ignore it as long as possible. Blame others. Promise grand things. Deliver little. In the aftermath of disasters demand more power and less oversight. When things go to hell, claim that ‘no one anticipated that’ things could go to hell. Instill fear as often and as widely as possible. Pass Go, Collect Another Several Billion Dollars for yourself and your buddies. “
Posted by Dennis Loo at 6:51 AM
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I will be on Michael Slate's show today, Thursday, May 10, 2007 at about 5:35 pm PST. We'll be talking about impeachment and about my book, Impeach the President. If you're out of the listening area you can also tune in via the Internet. Go to KPFK's webpage and tune in live.
Posted by Dennis Loo at 9:06 AM
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
House Speaker Pelosi's office is taking calls voting
for Impeachment of Bush/Cheney at 202-225-0100.
Folks, each of you who have been wanting impeachment,
need to commit right now to ask at least 10 others to
call and ask each person to commit to asking 10 others
to call and so on. It needs to happen fast and NOW.
Let's inundate the Speaker's office with demands for
impeachment of Bush AND Cheney.
Posted by Dennis Loo at 4:00 PM
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
[Note: some of the items in the list below are pictures which didn't display when I posted this. You can go to A28.org to see the pictures.]
I am amazed, overwhelmed, and deeply grateful to all of you who came out on Saturday around the country (and the world) to participate in A28. The stories and photos continue to pour in, and nearly everyone reports that the day was a special experience and that the reaction from the public was overwhelmingly positive. In Miami, participants have said it was the largest rally they've ever seen in their city. In Atlanta, the honks of approval from passing cars was nonstop. In San Francisco, 1500 people formed the words "IMPEACH NOW" on the beach with letters 100-feet tall. All told, impeachment actions took place in more than 125 locations around the United States and half a dozen foreign countries.
I believe that this past week may come to be seen as the tipping point for impeachment. On Monday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced Articles of Impeachment against Dick Cheney. On Wednesday, the Impeach07 coalition held a major press conference in Washington, with prominent figures speaking in favor of impeachment. This weekend, at the Democratic Party convention in California, the largest state Democratic party organization in the nation voted overwhelmingly to call for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. And then there was A28.
Did we have an impact?
As Dave Lindorff reports, "A day after the national demonstrations, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), speaking on the CBS News program Face the Nation, told host Bob Schieffer that impeachment is 'one of the ways Congress has to influence the president.' The comment so shocked Schieffer, that he immediately homed in on it asking, 'Are you seriously talking about contemplating an impeachment of this president?' Murtha did not back off, and responded, 'I'm just saying that's one way to influence the president.'"
And then late this afternoon, Murtha unequivocally put impeachment back on the table, telling NPR's Melissa Block: "I'm just saying that's one of the options that Congress has on the table, I'm getting more and more calls from people about the President on impeachment."
Given the significance that has attached to Nancy Pelosi's claim that impeachment was "off the table," Murtha would not use that language casually. This is a major statement that can be seen as a trial balloon to gauge whether the support of the public is there to actually go ahead with this. Now is to the time to flood Murtha's office with phone calls and letters to tell him you want it.
Please contact him immediately to thank him for putting impeachment back on the table and to ask him to move forward with the impeachment of Bush and Cheney immediately.
A28 in words and pictures
Here is a glimpse at some of the stories and images submitted from around the nation. I've received literally thousands of photos since Saturday, and what follows below is just a smattering. Nevertheless, it is an inspiring montage of democracy in action. Apologies if you don't see yours in here. I made a vow to send you all an update today and it's almost midnight, so I've got to stop (not to mention that this may be the longest e-mail ever sent--sorry!). But you can all share your images in the Photos section of the site and your stories in the Forum. Enjoy!
Amherst spelled it out this weekend - I M P E A C H! Activists for the Impeachment of Bush and Cheney joined demonstrators across the country by spelling it out with jumbo letters in the center of town at noon on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Representatives from Amherst's Democratic Town Committee, Town Meeting, Women in Black, and the Amherst Peace Vigil participated over the three days. Women in Black have been protesting the Iraq war every Friday since late 2001. They made the giant letters from the insides of outmoded political lawn signs and wore them on Friday April 27 at noon until 1PM. Saturday, April 28, was a National Protest for Impeachment. Those activists for impeachment from the Amherst Democratic Town Committee and Town Meeting who couldn't join their colleagues in Boston stood in the center of town with the seven letters. On Sunday, April 29 the letters were worn at the regular Peace Vigil at noon on the Common.
Ann Arbor, MI
Our rally was located outside of the Federal Building right in the center of town and we had lots of foot & car traffic pass by us. About 60 people showed up, with a max of 40 at one time. Lots of honks, thumbs up and cheers of support. Surprisingly a local Democratic Party official, who happened to walk by, said we should call them next time and they would give us impeach bumper stickers and people. Amazingly about 2 out of every 3 people we asked actually signed the petition; just Ann Arbor, or is the nation as sick of watching our Constitution being dismantled as we all are? There was a great energy in our group. Someone made large signs of the impeach letters and the other big & small signs had slogans on them. We had a battery-operated megaphone that was great. One of us is a highway blogger for impeachment. He made 20+ of signs for blogging on highway overpasses. (We will do a lot more of that next time!) You all have provided some great ideas! I really like the Impeach cake, pretzels and walking the letters across the street with the cross walk light - very energetic without dividing the group! A wonderful start!
It was great! We had about 40 people in the morning, lots of good response from people passing by. George Bush and Dick Cheney arrived and that got an appropriate response too--we read them the articles of impeachment and handcuffed them (poor George couldn't swig on his oil after that!). Our local CBS affiliate showed up with a camera to do a few interviews so we made the 6 o'clock news. Then on to the Inman Park parade a few blocks away to march with the impeachment coningent. More great response from the crowd. Then back at the park at 7:30 to spell it out with candles. As soon as we set them up and started lighting tem, passersby began honking in support. Some parked and joined us to see what we were about--mainly wanting to stay in touch for future actions. I brought the editor of Atlanta Progressive News to this event, and you can read the article here
Bainbridge Island, WA
Twenty of us participated in two actions on Bainbridge Island today. We were surprised and pleased by the strength of the enthusiastic response from so many of our neighbors and island visitors. Our signs looked great, and drew many positive comments. In the morning we leafleted at the Farmers' Market, and at noon we assembled at the intersection of Winslow Way and Highway 305, where Women in Black has stood every Friday for over four years. We met two ferry-loads of drivers and passengers, well over a thousand people. We know this is the first of many such events this year, and we will be back.
Berks County, PA
Here in Berks County, PA, we didn't just have impeachment day, we had impeachment week. It started last Saturday when we convinced our Berks County Democratic Committee to finally, after working on them for 3-1/2 years, pass a resolution to impeach under Jefferson's Manual that is being presented to our PA commonwealth house of representatives. Then, of course Dennis Kucinich introduced the articles of impeachment for Dick Cheney. Then last night we had a rally on Penn Street Bridge and there was lots of positive response. Today we had three consecutive rallies in different locations, again with a very positive response. At each of the rallies we had about 25 people but it seemed like more because we had big black on white fabric banners saying "Impeach for Peace," "Impeach for the Kids," "Impeach Bush & Cheney," "Impeach for Justice" and my favorite "Impeach the Crooks & Liars." The third rally was at a very busy intersection in conservative Pottstown, PA, and we were actually stunned by the almost raucus honking, thumbs up, peace signs, waving, and after doing this for 4-/12 years, what I found most interesting was they were smiling at us. I guess they were so happy to see that there were others who feel the same way. It was an amazing week!!! And a great lift for so many of us who were getting very tired.
And, while our local media refused to cover anything about the Democratic Committee Resolution or the rallies, a young cameraman from our local television station Channel 69 just happened to be driving by one of today's rallies and he pulled over and ended up doing a terrific piece on our event which they actually aired. See http://wfmz.com/view/?id=90640.
The highlight of the afternoon occurred at about 2:30, after the Raging Grannies had just finishing singing a song of protest in favor of impeachment. Several hundred had gathered on the square, surrounding the flag-draped casket and memorial set up by Carlos Arredondo. As the Grannies' words rang out, a town crier stepped up to read a proclamation. He proclaimed that because the government had failed to act for accountability, the demonstrators and audience were to constitute a Citizen's Council on Impeachment. At that point two colonial guardsmen and a drummer boy cleared a path through the crowd to lead the honorable Judge Justine Grace to the podium. With Judge Grace overseeing the proceedings, the town crier called out for the accused to step up. Two members of Veterans for Peace, dressed as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, were lead through the crowd at musket-point by the colonial guardsmen. Both were wearing crowns. Although the guardsmen helped ensure their safe passage to the impeachment hearing, they were made to suffer no small amount of jeers by an angry crowd!
The crier read the charges while the Raging Grannies, as the Greek Chorus of the event, repeated each charge in short. After some words of wisdom from the Judge, a vote was held. All those in favor of impeachment say Aye! And with that prompt, the crowd of hundreds declared in their most empowered voice "Aye!", many with raised fists. All those against, say Nay! And with that prompt, only the sad and lonesome Billionaires for Bush counter-protesters sung out in small numbers, and were met with boos and jeers. "They ayes have it!" The Judge instructed the crier to read the accused their Miranda Rights and the guardsmen removed the crowns that had been upon their heads. The emotion from the empowered crowd was overwhelmingly energetic, and they took great notice of the fact that Bush and Cheney were told that an attorney would be provided for them if they could not afford one.
Bryn Mawr, PA
We had a great morning in Bryn Mawr! At least fifty people
gathered in front of Ludington Library and liberated the horns of the morning traffic with myriad signs calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. A dedicated core of seven, each with one of the letters of the word IMPEACH, marched across the road at each "Walk" light to let the waiting drivers know that Impeachment is on the table! Spontaneously, the cheerleader in the crowd called for us to give him each letter, then asked us what we get: "Impeach!" rang out across the intersection. The spirit was high and the traffic couldn't have been more supportive. It was a great beginning to the "Summer of Impeachment," the months ahead when Congress will be pressed by citizens like us to live out their constitutional responsibility to "check" this Imperial Executive.
Some 25 people gathered at a busy intersection near Rep. Sue Myrick's office in the upscale Southpark area of Charlotte calling for the impeachment of President Bush & Vice President Cheney.
There was an overwhelming amount of support from passersby honking in response to a "Honk to Impeach Bush & Cheney" sign. It was incredible with the whole area being filled with honking horns and cheers of support at times throughout the rally. Almost every single person showed support by smiling, waving and flashing peace signs & raised fists. Even little kids were flashing peace signs at us.
Several of us went with some ySDS youths to the local recruiting station and held up an impeachment banner and did some street theatre with a "detainee" The recruiting station shut down and we plastered the windows with "Impeach Bush and Cheney for War Crimes" and "Not Our President" signs. We then went to Lincoln Park where about 100 people showed up. We held up large letters and banners along the main drag and did some strong agitation and open mic to an audience that formed across the street by a local church. We recieved many honks and thumbs up. We formed the word impeach in the grass (on top of plastic) and some of us them marched to Pat's In the Flats with 911Truth folks and did some strong agitation outside of local yuppie restaurants ...some folks came out and clapped others yelled at us but we held our positions and had really good agitation going on the whole time. We also had a detainee in jumpsuit with us doing stress positions which always gets attention.At Pat's In The Flats we tabled, danced and listened to Anti-Bush bands until the wee hours of the morning. We also did some impeach petitions and made new contacts. It was a successful day and we met many new faces and activists. Folks really liked the idea of being part of a national movement happening all over. Some expressed interest in doing impeachment actions every week!
Delray Beach, FL
Close to 80 good people gathered at the crossroads of Federal Highway and George Bush Boulevard with their I-M-P-E-A-C-H signs today. We would have had more, but many folks from our area (Palm Beach County) travelled 60 miles south to Miami to protest at Miami-Dade College, where George Bush himself was scheduled to present the commencement address. It was a beautifully sunny day, and very HOT! We made it hot for Bush and Cheney, too! We held a mock trial and found them both guilty of a dozen different impeachable offenses. The Raging Grannies were there and so were folks from CodePink, Democracy for America, Veterans for Peace, Project Truth, and more. We had lots of supportive honks and thumbs up, and several passersby pulled their cars over to join us. For some, it was their first demonstration, and a measure of their disgust with the current administration that they were willing to come and stand with us today. Let's all keep the pressure on until we FIRE THE LIARS! Stay in trouble....Granny Vicki Ryder
Federal Way, WA
We had 70 amazing and enthusiastic people show up at a local
intersection. We had four sets of "IMPEACH" t-shirts, one letter per
shirt, one set per corner. We had lots of enthusiastic honks from
passing motorists, some even got out of their cars and joined us. We also had a few thumbs down and partial waves (middle finger only). Our attendees brought great signs, we passed out "imPeach" candies, and we had many requests for an encore rally.
Ft. Collins, CO
Ft. Myers, FL
We rallied in Centennial Park. Thirty-five people participated, holding signs, and ten of us spoke. We got coverage from our CBS and Fox TV affiliates. Our seven-poster IMPEACH sign was broadcast on both channels. A major goal was to use this event to launch a standing impeachment organization in Fort Myers. A young woman who was moved by it has taken on the responsibility to organize such a group.
Grand Rapids, MI
Our action was taking place on a walking bridge that goes over a river through the middle of Grand Rapids. I brought a 30-foot banner that screamed IMPEACH! and as people came down they said they could see it driving up the surrounding highways! There was a university graduation at the local arena a couple of blocks down the road, so we decided to relocate to the next bridge over when it got done with. We got a ton of honks and waves (along with a finger or two) and 115 signatures for our petition. This was my first attempt at organizing any sort of event and it turned out great! 3 of us hadn't had enough at the end of our rally, so we walked a 10-foot IMPEACH! banner 3 miles home. :) It was a lot of fun and everyone can't wait for the next one!
The rally in Greensboro was a big hit! We were about 30 strong. We posted people on all 4 corners of the intersection. There was a
positive response from most of the cars and pedestrians that came
past. Lots of horn honking, screams, yells, and waves. There were a few who were disgusted by our actions, and most of them made sure they expressed themselves in some distasteful way. That did not dampen anyones siprits, though. We spelled out I-M-P-E-A-C-H with signs on 2 corners, and had many other signs as well. We had a drum, a 5gal. bucket drum, and a couple of steel pans making sounds of impeachment. Our group was very spirited, and everyone had a fun time! Media coverage was sparse, despite a call from Fox 8 saying they would be there. There was a reporter, from an unknown source, who interviewed a few of our group.
About 50 people spelled I-M-P-E-A-C-H with large florescent poster boards at 5 city intersections and a freeway overpass. Response was overwhelmingly positive (running about 15 supporting for every person opposing). Lots of passers-by raised their fists, laid on their horns, shouted, or gave an enthusiastic shaka. Trolleys transporting loads of tourists from one mall to another rang their bells, and lots of city bus and truck drivers honked their horns. At one intersection two groups holding poster boards became "cheerleaders" - enthusiastically shouting "give me in 'I'...give me an 'M'...and raising the appropriate letter. The team holding their signs over a busy freeway overpass were there for an hour before police threatened arrest for "creating a traffic hazard" - finally forcing them to move to a nearby crowded intersection. Many people stopped to give their opinions about Bush or Cheney - ranging from complete outrage to "we just gotta wait until the elections". But the support for impeachment was obvious, with many saying Bush should have been impeached long ago.
In all, 175 street size signs and 10 overpass size signs were hung. Most people were very positive, but one couple started yelling that my signs were illegal. It was a great day, folks. Like I told Jacob, if it is happening here, the NY bastion of conservativism, it is happening everywhere. And this is just the beginning.
We had a very exciting day spelling out Impeach here. A dozen people spelled out Impeach outside graduation day at Western
Michigan University. Although campus security made us leave campus, we regrouped nearby and hundreds of motorists gave us an overwhelmingly positive thumbs up, laid on their horns and yelled and whooped support out their windows. We then moved to a very busy intersection by a shopping center and held two sets of Impeach letters on opposite corners. Again we got over 90% positive responses, with some stopping to buy bumper stickers. It was obvious that the tide has turned overwhelmingly against the Bush Regime and for impeachment. Two high school students who joined us for the day took back calls, yard signs, bumper stickers and plan to organize at their school in a little town between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids!
Kansas City, MO
In one week of fast-track planning and promotion, through email and fliering, we pulled together 85 folks on a beautifully warm, sunny day on the bank of an incredibly stinky creek in the heart of Kansas City and spelled it out with our bodies. We chanted 'I-M-P-E-A-C-H . . . We can't wait until '08!" while we laid in the sun and laughed about how hard we were working for the Republic... Actually, we all work very hard at this--we deserve to lay down on the job for a change! A group of four MU students from Columbia, MO joined us, and a group from Lawrence, KS made the hour drive, as well. And it was great to see people from one year old to 84 years young climb the hill to make this happen. Three dedicated folks hoofed it to the other side of the creek (it's wide...) and photographed the event, giving up their place in the formation, when our photographer didn't come early enough. Sporting my fabulous, trendy, and much-admired "BUSH IS OVER" tee, and with my mother-of-six voice (a little louder than your average mamabear) I reminded the crowd that our Representatives work for us! We pay them, we can fire them! Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, our rep on the Missouri side of KC, told us at our recent 4th anniversary of the war protest, "Impeachment is a distraction." Rep. Dennis Moore, on the Kansas side, doesn't even list the Iraq War as one of the "issues" discussed on his site!! We agreed that it's imperative that they support and cosponsor Kucinich's House Res 333, and that we'd call, write, and visit--It's time they listen to the people who hired them. We pledged to not support or vote for anyone who won't work for impeachment. Period. And we signed impeachment petitions. Recognizing the real value and rarity of having a "captive" audience, I shared with the crowd my theory that until we become an "inconvenience" for the powers that be, they have no reason to listen to us. It takes two minutes to call our reps--one Rep and two Senators takes six minutes... Only six minutes of our time, only six minutes of their staff's time. But if 100 of us call them each day, that's 600 minutes of their time (TEN hours each day!), and if 1000 of us call every day, that's 6,000 minutes of staff time! Now THAT is just damned inconvenient. One activist reminded us that one phone call is perceived to represent 13,000 constituents, in PoliticThink.
We had a most successful day, posted three IMPEACH signs around Lafayette. Early am, tennis balls were worked into the chainlink fence of Springhill School along Pleasant Hill Rd. Lasted until softball started up mid-morning. Then at 2:00 in the afternoon, we used glittery redwhitenblue tinsel to spell it out over Hiway 24 on the Curtola overpass. Hundreds of cars honked in support as they drove under.
Los Angeles, CA
Main Line, PA
It was the largest strictly street action I've ever been involved with outside of Washington. And the traffic response was PHENOMENAL!!
1500 to 2000 people protested and demanded the impeachment of Bush and Cheney from the sidewalk at the entrance to MDC. It is hard to tell because people joined and left from 3PM to past 7PM The traffic was heavy and I've never seen so many cameras taking pictures of protesters from cars before. Thousands drove by, and the overwhelming majority supported us by cheering, applauding and honking from their vehicles.
A diverse group of patriotic Americans got together as never before in Miami. Prior to yesterday, I referred to Miami as the "Apathy Capital of the United States." The only notification of this demonstration came through email, flyers and word-of-mouth.
We had close to 30 people in our group and almost everyone had a sign. We also had a battery-operated megaphone that many in our group took turns using. We had a police escort following us on foot, but they were very polite to us. They were polite to us and one of the officers accepted a DVD and took one of our website cards. He seemed interested in our cause. We stopped at our Federal Building and took some pictures as we chanted IMPEACH BUSH-CHENEY "NOW" over and over. We had many car horns going off, thumbs up, and a lot of cheers from people thatobserved us. We were seen and heard and were ready to do it again and again and again.
We had over 25 people which is incredible in Naples FL--we had a great time and got ALOT of honks of support :)
New Paltz, NY
New York, NY (Tompkins Square Park)
We had a great day in Tompkins Square Park, where the Rude Mechanical Orchestra (NYC's original radical marching band) drew a crowd and led a dance party as we collected 100 letters to Congress calling for impeachment that we then used to spell out IMPEACH on a huge banner.
The response was incredibly positive and had a wonderful time. While I strutted around in my Bush Is Over shirt before and after the event, I got a smile from almost everyone. This was honestly one of the best days of my life and I can't wait for round 2!
New York, NY (Central Park)
I attended the rally in Philadelphia, and marched right up front carrying the banner! It was good times with a rather large turnout! I'd say it all went fairly well as we had people on the sidewalks, coming out of stores and restaurants, and even on the tour buses clapping and cheering for us! One woman was even sweet enough to run out with water bottles for some us! And I KNOW that there were a TON of people taking pictures the entire time, but I haven't been able to find any at all, much to my dismay *sighs* I'm hoping the Metro or the Bulletin will have something tomorrow, I'd love to have some pictures for memories.
The Maine Campaign to Impeach organized two major Impeachment Week events - We jumped the gun a bit, starting on 4/26 by placing an 8-person IMPEACH! sign in front of the Bush family estate at Walker's Point, Kennebunkport, Maine. Then on Saturday, our Impeachment Day event was the Maine Impeachment Town Meeting at the old First Parish Church in Portland, attended by 280 very vocal impeachment supporters stating their opinions on impeachment and planning strategy pushing for impeachment action by Maine's two Congressmen and the Maine State Legislature. Presentations were made by the Maine Lawyers for Democracy who have had two press conferences in the past three weeks announcing support for impeachment. We were VERY fortunate to also have as a speaker David Swanson from AfterDowningStreet.org who pumped the audience up with a terrific speech. After the meeting, some of the attendees went across the street to the Portland Press Herald newspaper offices and woke their staff up by banging on their windows and shouting impeachment slogans because the paper did not cover the Town Meeting Event. The paper responded by phoning the Maine Campaign to Impeach for interviews. One of Portland's major TV stations, WGME-TV (CBS), gave great coverage to the Impeachment Town Meeting and featured the story as the lead item on their Saturday night 11 PM newscast. Stay tuned at www.maineimpeach.org as we approach our goal of 10,000 Maine citizens' names on our MaineImpeach petition.
I feel so great, it's beyond words! I put up my IMPEACH letters at my house first thing in the morning yesterday. Then it was onto Wyomissing for the first stop in our three stop rally. The response was overwhelming! While there were some middle fingers and Pro-Bush responses, most people were honking their horns, giving us peace or thumbs up signs in support. It gives me chills now just thinking back on it and realizing just how many people in this country are waking up to the reality. I truly can't express in words how exhilirating the whole experience was.
I know there is alot of work to do yet and that the reality of the picture as whole is not so bright. But it is days like yesterday that are so crucial for my soul. It is what gives me hope, feeds my optimism and tells me I need to keep going. I can't wait to read about and see pictures from other actions that happened yesterday. Peace & love to you all.
Rome, Italy was great. We started collecting photos from people out and about in Rome early in the week. And on Thurs and Fri our mobile photo-op team, The Flying Seven, went around Rome with t-shirts, each with a letter, and posed in front of monuments and, of course, the U.S. Embassy. .
On Saturday we were in front of the Colosseum with small letters, huge letters, balloons, wind wheels and plum cakes, all spelling out Impeach! Weather was gorgeous.
We got lots of support from people from all over the world. And wave and peace signs from the open top tourist buses passing by
WE GOT A MILLION BEEPS FOR IMPEACHMENT and I feel, took back our flag today. We flew big beautiful red-white-and-blues on both corners of our demo. for 3 hours. There were at least 35 people at all times, I guess. I got Raleys to make a big sheet cake saying "Impeach Bush/Cheney." Note, that's corporate Raleys. I stuck with my request, eventually they said Sure! with a smile. We had music and hugs and promises to gather more people next time. This hit a part of town which never sees this stuff. Matt from Redding (17 years old) brought his friends the 100 miles down here. On the way they hung a bedsheet "Impeach" sign from a cliff overlooking I-5; the cliff is OWNED by an older woman who called them to donate her "Bill Board." It's PERMANENT.
Salt Lake City, UT
San Diego, CA
We had 202 people spell it out on the beach! But the clouds were too low for the plane to get a photo.
The IMPEACHMENT resolution is a new tool! It was very encouraging that right across the street from the convention entrance A-28 had organized a very enthusiastic and creative IMPEACHMENT demonstration. And right at the entrance delegates had to walk past large PDA banners urging IMPEACHMENT and OUT OF IRAQ in order to get into the convention hall. I and someother delegates to the convention had an opportunity to walk over and join the demonstration for a short amount of time. Most of the delegates at the convention were in support of a resolution to IMPEACH and wore buttons and stickers proclaiming their position. It passed by unanimous consent.
San Francisco, CA
April 28 was the second Beach Impeach, and this time over 1,500 people came to San Francisco's Ocean Beach to make sure the message was even bigger and bolder. This time the letters were one hundred feet tall, and said IMPEACH NOW! It was a great crowd, with a certain sense of purpose and community in the air as people found their places in the giant letters. The mood grew even more enthusiastic as the helicopter whirred into view, much cheering and waving - as if people felt they were sending their message and their presence out to people all over the rest of the country and the world.
The Seattle Chapter of World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime's A28 protest had a great day Freeway Blogging on overpasses of I-5 from 1-4 pm. It turned out to be a GREAT day for blogging in Seattle, not just because of the great sunny day we had, but also because of the incredible amount of traffic flowing southbound. The traffic stayed very heavy all three hours of our event! Not so great for the people trying to get through to Seattle, but great for getting our message across to thousands of drivers.
About 30 - 40% of these drivers gave us the "thumbs up," or pumped their fists, or gave us the "peace sign" and there was
lots of horns being honked in support of our message to IMPEACH BUSH and CHENEY. Of course we got some other more negative
signals too, but those were by far the exception. Other groups on other overpasses in the Seattle area also received a great response. So, the response was overwhelmingly positive! At 5:00 pm we rushed to Safeco field and handed out IMPEACH! Balloons and engaged in some interesting conversations with the people going in to see the Mariner's Game.
South Seattle, Washington
A small group of us came together for a local Impeachment rally at our favorite protest site--the walking bridge over Rainier Ave at MLKing. We were a small group of very spirited and determined friends. We passed out "Ten Reasons for Impeaching Bush and Cheney." We got many resounding honks, waves and thumbs up of support. Next time, which will be soon, we hope to gather more people and have bigger signs.
St. Petersburg, FL
Staten Island, NY
The April 27 Impeach Cheney First protest was a wonderful success! Several groups from Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Stillwater came together to create a ruckus and everyone had a chance to say their piece as there were 6 or 8 media outlets on hand. We even drew a reporter from Tele-Mundo! Contrary to local media
accounts about 95 people showed up with a max of about 75 at any one time. We chanted, sang, waved signs and read the names of
the Oklahoma soldiers who to this day have died in Iraq. To those that made it, thanks for the great turn out! To those that couldn't, I'm sorry you missed a good time.
Our IMPEACH went over without a hitch here in Ventura. The man didnt shut us down and it looked great. We had old and young on the beach movin stones and sand.
The relief looked AWESOME. About 90 feet by 12 feet and its gonna stay awhile for all to see. Its sad that we've come to a point where we have to use the most ancient means of communication, stones to get a message across, but it was worth every last one. The irony was not lost on us. Hundreds of people who probably otherwise would never have known about the movement are now in the loop.
I got lots of greats pics not to mention lots of new supporters for the movement. And like the other IMPEACHER said we took back our flag today. Man it felt sooo good to be out there claiming it!
Virginia Beach, VA
A28 media coverage
A number of you have written to ask about media coverage. Although I certainly would have welcomed more of it, we did pretty well considering the almost complete media blackout on the issue of impeachment. Anybody who's worked on the issue can tell you it's almost impossible to get the media to cover it. I've got a plan to change this, which I'll tell you about in the next couple of days.
In the meantime, here are some articles that have either been about or have mentioned A28. The NY Daily News and the Washington Post, right-wing rags that they are, tried their best to downplay what we did, strenuously avoiding the 99% positive aspects of the events. But in this case, any publicity really is good publicity. I'm not worried about winning the debate; I just want to see it started. Meanwhile, we had plenty of more positive press, including a very kind article in The Nation by John Nichols.
I know that there are more articles out there and I haven't even tried to collect the radio and TV coverage, but have heard that this was covered by more than a few stations. If you see something not listed below, please send it on to me.
AM New York: Pro-impeachment movement heating up in NYC
Atlanta Progressive News: Atlantans Spell IMPEACH with Candles at Intersection
Cornell Daily Sun: Local Activists Demand Pres. Bush's Impeachment
Eureka Reporter: Impeachment Rally
Ithaca Journal: Protesters call for Bush's ouster
KSL News Radio: Rally Called for Cheney's Impeachment
Las Vegas Sun: Las Vegas Sun: Anti-war protesters in Reno call for impeachment of Bush, Cheney
Miami Herald: Protesters Driven by War
The Nation: Spell It Out: "I-M-P-E-A-C-H!"
New York Daily News: Coney Island 'impeach' draws a thin crowd
The Raw Story: Impeach protests coordinator hopes 'Republicans can see which way the wind is blowing'
The Raw Story: Protesters demand impeachment as President Bush speaks at Miami-Dade College
Washington Post: Washington Post: Sending a Message, With Unimpeachable Clarity
American Chronicle: California Democratic Party Passes Resolution Demanding Impeachment of Bush and Cheney
Baltimore Chronicle: Rep. Murtha Puts Bush Impeachment Front and Center
Baltimore Chronicle: Huge Win for Impeachment in Vermont
FOXNews.com: Kucinich Prepares Impeachment Articles Against Dick Cheney
Miami Herald: Bush Arrives in Miami
New York Times: Bush Asks Florida Graduates to Back Immigration Change
Z Magazine: Impeachment Fever Rises
What's next for A28?
A lot of people have been asking what happens now that April 28 has come and gone. Will A28 continue? What do we do next?
The short answer is HELL YES. April 28 was not the culmination of A28, it was just the beginning. Keep your signs and banners and t-shirts handy because you're gonna want to be using them again soon. Between Kucinich and Murtha and A28 we've created an opening this past week. Now we've got to hit them (Congress, the media, the Bush administration) with everything we've got. The pressure this summer needs to be relentless.
In the coming days I'll be discussing with you different ideas for how to do this. As always, everybody's suggestions and input are welcomed. Stay tuned for much more to come. We are just getting started...
A28 National Coordinator
Posted by Dennis Loo at 7:15 AM