Cong. Lewis calls for impeachment.

Congressman John Lewis has called for the impeachment of President Bush for authorizing the NSA to listen in on overseas phone calls. As far as I know, Lewis is the first member of Congress to call for Bush’s impeachment and unlike John Kerry, I don’t think he’s joking.

The Democratic senator(sic) from Georgia told WAOK-AM he would sign a bill of impeachment if one was drawn up and that the House of Representatives should consider such a move.

Pajamas Media,Michelle Malkin and for our friends on the left Daily Kos have round ups of blogosphere reaction of the NSA wiretapping story.

24 comments

  1. larry smith says:

    Just when you start to respect John Lewis for being an extremely liberal but relatively sane and honorable guy, he jumps off the deep end like this.

    What’s next, we tear down the FDR memorial because of Japanese interment during WWII? Or, we can ditch the Lincoln since he suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War.

    Presidents are expected to act decisively during times of war. Bush did. We’re safer. And, this is bad how?

  2. Ben King says:

    The article says he’d vote to impeach “if he broke the law”. I’m not suggesting that I agree, but what would y’all suggest doing if it _is_ found that the President broke the law with these wire taps (and my impression at this point is that this is legally shakey ground – it isn’t clear one way or the other, even though each person advocating for their point is going to say it is obvious)?

  3. GAWire says:

    Yeah, good luck with that, Lewis!

    >>”””Just when you start to respect John Lewis for being an extremely liberal but relatively sane and honorable guy”””

    “Relatively” being the key word there. Relative to what? Mental patients that are in an actual asylum, or just general morons like Howard Dean, Kerry, Reid, et al?

  4. billy says:

    Agree or disagree, I’m not sure you can call it “off the deep end” –
    One of Nixon’s Articles of Impeachment* was for “Abuse of Power” for spying on citizens. The new revelations about Bush’s use of the NSA is fanning this flame.

    I can understand some use of wiretaps to collect information but what i don’t understand is: 1) why not use the court system set up by the 1978 Foriegn Intellegence Act (tittle could be wrong there) to obtain the wiretaps? Those courts are secret and you can even get a warrant 72 hours after the wiretap is placed; and 2) why does it harm the effort by revealing we’re doing this? (I was esspecially disturbed by Bush’s chastising the NYT – the free press should not be the next victim in the war on terror)

    Further, while FDR and Lincoln did some pretty dispicable things to deal with their respective wars, Bush is set apart because there are some out there who believe he diliberately misled the country into war.

    *Articles of Impeachment were written and passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee before Nixon resigned.

  5. GAWire says:

    General message to the folks complaining about Patriot Act, wiretaps, etc:

    You are the same folks that were complaining that we didn’t do enough to prevent 9/11. Now, you are saying that Bush and Republicans are going too far to preserve our safety, even though the judicial side of our gov’t has declared these things as being legal and within the President’s authority. AND THEN, you somehow find someway to defend Clinton on the definition of “IS” and think impeachment for LYING UNDER OATH is “crazy”! But, when it is Tom DeLay or Newt Gingrich, you can’t tie the noose fast enough. Seriously, you guys crack me up.

    Enjoy your safety and freedom, b/c it comes as something to which you contribute NONE!

  6. GAWire says:

    Here is a general statement on the “Why” questions that have already been asked and will continue:

    -Why don’t you go into dangerous territory to collect information where TIME and TIMING could determine whether or not hundreds, thousands, or even millions of lives? Then ask “Why” going through the normal motions might not work.

    -Why don’t you ask intelligence officers and justice officials why waiting the normal time limit and filing the proper paperwork, just to simply fulfill the 30 yr old methods might not work when American lives (and their own lives) could be on the line?

    -Why don’t you ask yourself about the hundreds of terrorists that have gotten away, b/c the pre-arranged methods and administrative processes didn’t allow us to detain them?

    -Why don’t you ask yourself about the terrorists that don’t reveal VITAL information to us, b/c we don’t want to offend them or hurt their feelings?

    Ask yourself these things, and really think what it would be like if these assenine factors were preventing us from protecting our citizens. No one is saying that we should throw out Rule of Law and wantonly torture suspects, but what is being done (in this current situation) is not breaking the law, or forbidding ROL in any way, so now I must ask: Why are these folks complaining?!?

  7. billy says:

    My understanding of warrents for wiretaps in these cases is that it takes less than an hour and can happen after the fact – so there is no issue with timing, paperwork, etc.

    Moreover, I don’t think anyone really cares whether or not a foriegn terrorist is protected by the Bill of Rights. But, so long as there is oversight. Because, if there is no oversight, then there is nothing stopping them from wiretapping me and calling it “important to the national security” – this is exactly what got Nixon in trouble, as i noted earlier.

    Is it illegal? I honestly don’t know. Is it troubling? Absolutely. The power to spy on citizens of the United States should never be concentrated in one person. If we are going to allow it to occur, then it should at the very least be monitored by more than one branch of government.

    Why don’t you ask yourself what you are fighting for?

    Baby with the bathwater, much?

  8. GAWire says:

    What I am fighting for is the simplest thing anyone can imagine … removing unnecessary constraints to combat terroists.

    The better question is: What exactly is it that YOU are fighting for?

    No one is questioning oversight. That’s fine. But the current procedures are not adequate to sufficiently fighting the enemy that is currently facing, nor do the numerous unnecessary elements to those procedures, which are preventing timely action, need to be in place. New enemies and new wars require new strategies.

    So, what is it that you and the rest of the President’s opponents are trying to do? Hinder effective techniques (and I’m not referring to anything illegal)? Create more barriers to effectively combating our enemies? Preventing us from making progress in this war? What are you doing? Why are you arguing this? No one is proposing we throw out the law, so, what are you worried about … that the President and a conservative majority might be effective and successful, ultimately leading us to winning the war? What? Why? It doesn’t make any sense? Why argue for something the prevents furthering the safety and welfare of this nation!

  9. billy says:

    I seriously hope you don’t honestly believe that I want to stop the President from being successful at fighting terrorism. As much as I hope no one honestly believe that critics of the president are treasonous or any less patriots than those they argue with.

    So, I honestly hope you are just not listening to what I am saying. My concerns are not that we might actually be successful. My concerns are not that terrorists might actually be caught. Despite party leanings and political ideology I too hope for a better nation safe from all enemies, foriegn and domestic.

    The President’s wiretaps had no oversight. There was no judge, jury, or any offical body outside of the executive branch that approved the use of these wiretaps. So, then, can I presume from your statement, “No one is questioning oversight. That’s fine.” that you agree it is wrong for the President to do what he did?

    Effective techniques? Sure, I’m all for finding better techniques to combat terrorist and criminals for that matter. But if we get wrong information because we unduely tortured someone, if we turn off prospective enemy recruits because they don’t trust us, then are we truely effective using these techniques?

    Freedom? I love freedom and I would fight for it, which is what I am doing now. If we forsake all that we were founded upon to save it (throwing out the baby with the bathwater) then what is the point? If we give the executive free reign to shape the Judiciary, if the legislative branch does not care to oversee the actions of the executive – if we truely place all power in the President…

    If we stop reporters from reporting,
    If we stop protestors from protesting,
    If we spy on our citizens without due process,
    If we search private property without cause,

    …then what the hell is the point of trying to keep up safe?

    We’ll be safe in a land that used to be free.

  10. Decaturguy says:

    What we’re worried about is what conservatives used to be worried about GAWire. Unlimited, unchecked government power. If the President needs some additional powers in the war on terror, ask the Congress to pass a new law giving him those powers. Don’t break the law, sign secret orders, and spy on American citizens.

    If you want to justify any government power in the name of preventing terrorism, how far are you willing to take it?

    We’d be a lot safer if we banned the ownership of guns in this country. That way terrorists wouldn’t be able to buy them. That would clearly violate the Second Amendment, but it would “further the safety and welfare of this nation,” wouldn’t it? So lets dump the Second Amendment to prevent terrorism, OK?

    It would certainly be a lot easier to protect the public from crime if we just searched the homes of people we suspected of crimes without probable cause, without getting warrants. That would clearly violate the Constitution, but what if it could prevent terrorism? How about we toss out those Constitutional protections, OK?

    There comes a point where we have to say that protecting the founding principles of limited government in our country is more important than invading the civil liberties of American citizens in the name of preventing terrorism. Otherwise it is a slippery slope and then what values are we fighting to protect anyway?

    If we can impeach a President in this country for lying about having sex certainly we can impeach a president for violating his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution. In his speech Sunday night, President Bush, admitted to violating federal law (FISA) and said he would continue to do it.

    I don’t necessarily support taking such action against the President in this time of war, however, it don’t believe it is far out there. If anything, impeaching a President for lying about sex is far out there.

  11. waterboy says:

    Decaturguy…your name should really be Loserguy. You must live in a freakin’ pipedream! Your comment “ask the Congress to pass a new law giving him those powers” is THE DUMBEST STATEMENT to surface on this blog in many, many moons.The sad part is that the actions taken by President Bush were done to help protect ALL Americans. That includes idiots, so you should extend your thanks to him for looking after you.

  12. Romegaguy says:

    Last week the President claimed he had briefed Congress on this but when Congressional leaders (both Dem and GOP) said that it was news to them then W went to his tride and true defense of “if you dont like this you want to help the terrorists win.” Makes me sick.

    God I wish Bill Barr was still in DC to help people understand that personal privacy is not a liberal issue.

    And I agree with John Lewis’s full comments, “if the President broke the law he should be impeached.”

  13. Decaturguy says:

    Waterboy, your calling people names (like “dumb” or “liberal”) in response to their arguments is really getting old and is not very effective.

    Why is making the case to Congress for the necessity of new laws to help prevent terrorism a dumb idea? I guess the whole concept of democracy is a dumb idea to you then, huh, Waterboy?

    When the Patriot Act was voted on in 2001, in the Senate passed it 98-1.

    Why shouldn’t the President just have signed a secret order to give him these new powers instead of dealing with that pesky democratically elected Congress?

  14. waterboy says:

    Dguy – I didn’t call YOU “dumb” and didn’t call YOU “liberal.” My apologies for the offensive tone earlier.

    The reason is that such action was needed swiftly and quietly – to tote this as an agenda item and resulting legislation would have taken way too long. Y’all need to look back at the video of 9-11 and stir those emotions that we all had during those dark days. The ultra-conservative agenda is getting in the way of rationale. I’m republican and I’m conservative, but there are times when you just have to go get the job done and put those flags to the side. President Bush led, that’s what a President should do. He did it to better protect Americans, not to benefit himself or his friends. He made a tough decision and it is just fine with me. Terrorist suspects should be worried our President is watching – to say otherwise is just plain crazy. In a perfect world I agree with your approach, but 9-11 was an act of war and swift action was the right action in my book.

  15. Bill Simon says:

    SO, GAWire and Waterboy…IF Clinton admitted he was doing these things OR had Gore won and was doing these wiretaps, would YOU be so supportive of that?

  16. kspencer says:

    Waterboy,

    I swore an oath lo these many years ago to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Pardon, but under no circumstances am I willing to set aside that constitution for expediency. Experience – watching what has happened not only in a lot of other nations but in this nation – says that once the people in charge have had their reins loosened it’s **** hard to wind them back in.

    To phrase it another way, Osama bin Laden said he was fighting a war against our culture. If we give up key elements of our culture to defeat him and his, it becomes at best a pyrrhic victory, and at worst it’s a loss.

    We are not that kind of people.

    Kirk

  17. billy says:

    Yes, I would. Just like i disagreed with Welfare reform, NAFTA, Clinton lying about his sex life, Kerry’s position on Gay Marraige, and Gore’s backing off the Kyoto Protocol.

    I’m a Democrat, if I were completely happy with my Party’s leadership then something would be wrong.

    🙂

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