In all 3 impeachment proceedings, the event which triggered the political impeachment process was the President’s violation of a law. Once the impeachment process was underway, Congress then determined what constituted an impeachable offense, and additional charges not based on legal violations were added. Public support for impeaching Bush is highest for his NSA spying program, but only if it turns out his actions were illegal. But, Congress may ratify Bush’s illegal actions with new FISA legislation so that by operation of law his prior illegal actions will now be deemed legal, and potentially provide Bush with a defense at least to the commencement of the impeachment process. Should that occur, the purpose of this post is to review other laws that Bush has violated as a backup to trigger the impeachment process.
A few remarks on methodology. Patriot Daily is both a site that collects and posts major news stories and, when time permits, a blog. To avoid writing a book, this post is based on only those violations by Bush that we reported during the 31 days of March 2006. Some of these reports add new information for a violation that was initially reported earlier and some are first-time reports of a violation. Even this limitation was not sufficient to reduce the size of the post (as the 1st draft was 35 pages), so I deleted the sections listing violations of humanitarian laws and negligence and some of the prior violations. Finally, I included violations by Bush and officials or agencies in his administration. Bush claims that his NSA spying program is legal based on his theory that each part of the executive branch is essentially part of the presidential office. Therefore, Bush claims that one agency of the branch, like the EPA, can not sue another agency of the branch, the military, because it would essentially be a lawsuit of Bush v. Bush. Thus, it seems fair game to hold Bush to that theory that actions committed illegally by his agencies are actions illegally committed by Bush.
Here is my list of Bush’s violations of the law for March 2006: Violations of US laws in general, civil rights, and international laws.
Bush’s Violations Of US Laws
–Bush signed spending bill knowing that it violated Constitutional requirement that a bill must pass both chambers of Congress before signed into law. GOP leaders unilaterally certified it to Bush, which excluded Democrats from lawmaking process.
–Bush violated material witness law by using it as preventive detention authority for people who may commit terrorist acts in the future but no probable cause to charge with a crime.
–Federal court ruled that Bush’s rules to “loosen emission rules for aging coal-fired power plants” violated “the Clean Air Act and that only Congress could authorize such revisions.” In other words, Bush again unilaterally exceeded his legal authority.
–In a legal brief for the US Supreme Court, Bush cited manufactured evidence of a claimed debate by 2 GOP Senators prior to Congressional vote as evidence of Congress’ intent to restrict legal rights of Guantanamo prisoners. The debate did not occur before the vote but was quietly slipped into the Congressional Record to give the impression that the remarks were made before Congress voted on the law.
–Bush defines “material support” of terrorists with such surreal distortion as to violate rules of statutory interpretation. Victims of terrorists are defined as terrorists to deny safe harbor to those fleeing persecution. For example, rebels killed a woman’s father, beat, gang-raped the woman, held her hostage in her home and forced her to wash their clothes, which constituted “material support” to rebels.
–After public signing ceremony, Bush quietly issued signing statement for revised Patriot Act, declaring he would not comply with all requirements of the law.
–Bush approved ports deal, knowing that Dubai’s boycott of Israel was illegal under US law.
–Bush’s illegal NSA spying on Americans may include additional illegal surveillance programs not yet disclosed to public.
–White House indicates that same legal theory used to justify illegal NSA spying permits physical searches of terror suspects’ homes, businesses and lawyer’s office in violation of Constitution. Any evidence collected is admissible in a criminal prosecution because Bush deems the program legal.
–Bush decreased major fines for safety violations by mining companies, did not collect fines in 1/2 of cases, and violated law by not handing delinquent cases to Treasury for collection efforts.
–Cheney’s office deleted Plame probe emails and failed to turn over other emails pursuant to Justice Dept. order. Rove provided information to prosecutor of obstruction by Cheney’s office.
–Potential obstruction of Congress revealed when White House “discovered” a transcript needed to defend against claims that day that Bush was disengaged at a pre-Katrina briefing that was videotaped. However, White House told Congressional investigators months earlier that the transcript did not exist.
–Bush violated law when approved UAE ports deal without conducting required review of national security implications.
–Bush violates constitutional duty to protect Americans by a “line of big terrorism prosecutions marred by government misconduct.”
–Army will now conduct criminal investigation of Tillman’s death and Army’s conduct after he was killed, which may include cover-up.
—2 senior Democrats demand Bush obey laws by rescinding signing statements of his intent to violate laws enacted by Congress.
–Bush misuses law that was intended to provide energy incentives when low energy prices dried up investment and, applies it today when there are high energy prices in order to provide industry with $7-28 billion in royalties (or theft of taxpayer monies).
–The US quietly used evidence obtained from a US citizen, rendered and tortured in Saudi Arabia, in court for criminal conviction.
Bush’s Violation Of Civil Rights
–Following Bush’s lead, police agencies use drones for border security and domestic surveillance of US cities. North Carolina uses drones to monitor citizens.
–Bush AND Democrats propose a “verification” of legal citizenship plan that requires employers to check every worker’s Social Security number or immigration work permit number in federal database.
–US blocking soldiers’ access to political web sites/blogs that disagree with government view and personal email.
–Bush wants more schools to conduct random drug testing of students not even suspected of drug use as preemptive measure against drugs.
–To determine how many people using cocaine, White House obtained county’s permission to test wastewater from cities in river basin. No permission from residents or warrant to test urine.
–When conducting surveillance in past 2 years, FBI admits to more than 100 violations.
–World’s leading researcher on global warming tells CBS “Bush administration is restricting who he can talk to and editing what he can say.”
–FBI internal memos show government expands “terrorist” definition to include political groups and online journalism that oppose Bush and then police/FBI conduct surveillance of online discussion boards, meetings and demonstrations of groups not suspected of any crime.
Bush’s Violation Of International Laws
–3 different charges of US troop massacres against Iraqi civilians. Two charges involve killings in Haditha and Abu Sifa of unarmed men, women and children in their homes and the village animals as well as burning vehicles and blowing up house. The 3rd claim charged US troop massacre at mosque of 20 worshippers. After initial denials that attack occurred at mosque and claims that Iraqis faked the crime scene, US admits it attacked mosque to send a “little reality jab” to Shiite cleric al-Sadr as a “reminder to Sadr of the U.S. military’s reach in Iraq.”
–Iraq charges US troops with damaging ancient cities of Kish and Babylon.
–Bush proceeded to Iraq War in violation of laws of war. More evidence that Bush personally informed of intelligence reports that aluminum tubes not for nuclear weapon; CIA informed no biological weapons or nuclear bomb for years and Rove warning WH aides that public disclosure of Bush’s personal knowledge would hurt 2004 election prospects. In fact, Iraq’s only WMDs prior to war appear to be “camels of mass destruction” as claimed that Saddam planned to load camels with bombs and direct them towards invading troops. Yet, Bush still claims he was provided faulty intelligence of WMDs.
–Bush and Blair had meeting to find legal trigger for war by provoking Saddam to attack US surveillance plane painted with UN colors. Statements rendered more credible by fact that UN weapons inspector’s report, issued a few days earlier noted that Iraq was informed of UN plan of UN aerial surveillance but refused to guarantee its safety.
–US military officers will violate US and international legal precedent by permitting evidence obtained by torture at military tribunals at Guantanamo.
–Now that US courts applying US laws to previously law-free zone at Guantanamo, US moves prisoners to Afghanistan to avoid compliance with US and international laws.
–As Bush’s nuclear deal with India violates US and international nuclear nonproliferation laws, Bush will seek exemption from the laws.
–For the first time since 1817, U.S. Coast Guard vessels on Great Lakes weaponized in violation of treaty so Bush “reinterprets” treaty to permit weapons.
–US unilaterally withdraws troops and military equipment from Iceland in violation of 1951 agreement.
Even a skeptic may be surprised to see that Bush violated so many laws in just 31 days. This exercise shows that one impeachment strategy may be to create a catalog of all of the laws that Bush has violated over the past years of his terms, and then submit it to Congress for impeachment as a serial violator or habitual offender.
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