Volume 10 Nr. 11, Issue 119
by Jozef Hand-Boniakowski
The long-time editor and publisher of a Vermont progressive political newsletter is calling it quits. The Watchman, published by Michael Badamo, issue number 87, entitled "The Big Chill, Harbinger of Worse to Come", is the newsletter's last issue. Badamo ran for governor as a Progressive Party candidate in 2002. The Watchman prints,
There are times, however, when the ship of freedom struggling in the midst of the hurricane of fear needs to confront head on, the waves of oppression in order to stay afloat. A perpendicular approach, full steam head, as the best course may have the best chance of success. For the sake of liberty, now is not the time to head for the harbor.
For the past few months, I have resorted to flipping the Byrd when confronted by the fascists who gladly intimidate and project fear in the name of freedom. I flip them the Byrd when they stifle free speech and attempt to prevent the people from exercising their right to peacefully assemble. I flip them the Byrd when they complain and preach that dissent and not supporting war is un-American. I flip them the Byrd, the Robert Byrd, that is, by citing the pages and amendments in the Constitution, where it is stated as law that free speech is a right (First Amendment). More importantly, it is the obligation of citizenship and a duty of conscience to speak out. The squashing of criticism, dissent and debate is what is un-American and un-Constitutional.
The tactics of silencing opposition are not always as overt as the Stalinist PATRIOT Act and its Third Reich modeled successor, the PATRIOT Act II. Often, silencing the citizenry is subtle and effective. Instilling fear goes a long way in censoring those that have the truth to let out, but much to lose from the institutionalized oppression of censors. People fear losing their jobs, position within a community, friends, family, etc. It takes little effort and even less courage to shut down a newsletter like The Watchman through implied fear and institutionalized intimidation.
I have taken up the example of the U.S. Senator from West Virginia, Robert Byrd. Like him, I carry with me, a copy of the United States Constitution, including the Amendments, and, the Declaration of Independence. In this, the neo-con age of P.C., Patriotic Correctness, there is much in the Constitution that galls the present day ruling elite. I find it troubling that the same people who have been for a decade trying to get government out of our lives have, when becoming the government, intruded on our privacy, trampled the Bill of Rights, spy on us in the library and the bookstores, tap our phones, read our paper and electronic mail, scan our retina, even record and identify our swagger.
While holding the Bill of Rights in abeyance, the neo-con P.C. crowd use the people's flag, the red, white and blue, to muffle the critics' voices. How simple it is to place Old Glory over the evidence of this administration's lies, malfeasance, high crimes and misdemeanors and their subversion of the Constitution. In the words of Robert Byrd,
Perhaps, when one turns 85 and has spent 51 years in Washington, 45 years in the United States Senate, their exists a feeling of confidence in using the privilege of free speech and the judgment in favor of speaking out,
Herein lies the high crime and misdemeanor. Consider that in the last week of May 2003, professional voices within the intelligence community, evidence from parliamentarians in the United Kingdom, and this administrations' own admission, have sufficiently documented that the invasion of Iraq was based upon known pretenses. Secretary of State Colin Powell has stated as much in a conversation with his U.K. counterpart, Jack Straw. In other words, the administration lied to Congress, they lied to the United Nations, they lied to the world and they lied to us, the people. Surely, if Congress can impeach a president for consensual fellatio in the Oval Office, they can do so for the high crimes and misdemeanors of subverting the Constitution.
Make no mistake about it, the cabal, that is the petro-banking- finance corporate profiteers that have orchestrated the coup d'etat that put the evil of two lessers into the White House, want The Watchman to remain silent. They want the good citizen to be a quiet citizen. The "patriotic" citizen should not speak out against the emperor. That's what the empire wants and that is what they want the people to believe. Simply put, the truth about this administration is dangerous to it. It is, that which portends to put an end to the Bush family assets of evil. These assets go back to Prescott Bush. I leave it to the reader to research the connection between Prescott Bush and the Nazi regime, the fortune that was made as a consequence of the relationship. A good starting point is the Google search engine. Just do a search at www.google.com under "Prescott Bush Nazi UBC 1942"
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr, writing in the May 29, 2003 issue of The Seattle Times, "going to war does not abrogate freedom of conscience, thought and speech." Schlesinger further cites,
Schlesinger cites the national mood after Pearl Harbor. In those similarly traumatized times, he points to Senator Robert A. Taft, "a much revered Republican" who said,
My copy of the United States Constitution is the same as Robert Byrd's. The first amendment therein states that "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Matthew Engle, writing "Washington's Rare Byrd", in the May 27, 2003, edition of The Guardian, ends by saying, "You would have thought a few more politicians under the age of 85 might acquire the courage to say that, but they haven't." This is precisely why the citizenry must. This is precisely why we, the people, must. This is precisely why newsletters, such as The Watchman, and tens of thousands of similar publications, voices like those of Michael Badamo, etc., need to continue.
There are not so desirable aspects of Robert Byrd's past. There is the flirtation, in his younger days, with the KKK (he was a member for a brief time). Byrd is also the grandmaster of the filibuster. He has an uncanny ability in consistently acquiring pork for his home state of West Virginia. Given the Democrats stifled voices over the illegality of the war on Iraq, however, Byrd's speeches, have take on an air of importance as a lonely alarm, a call to defense of the Constitution. We need to remember that violating our ratified and signed international treaties and commitments which when signed by the chief executive are de facto part of the U.S. Constitution. Violate them and you violate the Constitution. A pre-emptive first strike against the sovereign nation of Iraq violates the U.N. Charter which the U.S. has signed.
Dr. David Cole, Georgetown University Law professor, author of "Terrorism and the Constitution" assessed a Secret Draft Bill from The Department of Justice to Extend Powers of The Patriot Act. The document was exposed on the Bill Moyers NOW television program. Cole stated,
Amendment IV to the Constitution of the united States of America declares:
Under the Patriot Act libraries become fascist centers of surveillance. The U.S. Department of Justice stated in a document released to Congress that the new powers under the so-called PATRIOT ACT have been exercised in libraries across the nation. In Santa Fe, N.M., a patron accessing a chat room on the library's computer wrote sneering and negative comments about President Bush. The patron was arrested, handcuffed and interrogated about his writings and online usage. (Susan Hildreth, San Francisco Chronicle, May 29, 2003). Just a few years ago, the Patriotically Correct front of Bush, Cheney, et al, were chastising the government of China for its violations of human rights. Today, we practice the same abhorrence that we then criticized. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's even worse when the absolutely corrupt are allowed to take power.
What do we say to the people, U.S., Iraqi and other, who have died and been maimed unnecessarily as a result of the war on Iraq? What do we say to them after it is revealed that the evidence for war was a fabrication designed to support a political agenda? What do we do when we, as a people, realize that we have been duped by the spinmeistering of Ari Fleischer, Karl Rove, Paul Wolfwowitz, Condoleza Rice, John Aschcroft, Tommy Ridge, and the rest of the assets of evil? I know what I will do. I will take out my copy of the Constitution and flip them the Byrd. I will flip them over to Article II Section 4 of the United Sates Constitution where its states:
Section 4 The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
I will further distribute the following far and wide, and, I will continue to speak our, for not only as Robert Byrd put it, for long as I have two feet to stand on, but as long as I am able to think. A safe harbor is a free harbor. A silenced "sailor in a safe harbor" is neither prudent nor safe. He is, however, missing in action.
Articles of Impeachment
President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, and Attorney General John David Ashcroft have committed violations and subversions of the Constitution of the United States of America in an attempt to carry out with impunity crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes and deprivations of the civil rights of the people of the United States and other nations, by assuming powers of an imperial executive unaccountable to law and usurping powers of the Congress, the Judiciary and those reserved to the people of the United States, by the following acts:
1) Threatening Iraq with a first-strike war of aggression by overwhelming and indiscriminate force including specific threats to use nuclear weapons while engaged in a massive military build-up in surrounding nations and waters.
2) Authorizing, ordering and condoning
direct attacks on civilians, civilian facilities and
3) Threatening the independence and sovereignty of Iraq by belligerently proclaiming an intention to change its government by force while preparing to assault Iraq in a war of aggression.
4) Authorizing, ordering and condoning assassinations, summary executions, kidnappings, secret and other illegal detentions of individuals, torture and physical and psychological coercion of prisoners to obtain false statements concerning acts and intentions of governments and individuals and violating within the United States, and by authorizing U.S. forces and agents elsewhere, the rights of individuals under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
5) Making, ordering and condoning false statements and propaganda about the conduct of foreign governments and individuals and acts by U.S. government personnel; manipulating the media and foreign governments with false information; concealing information vital to public discussion and informed judgment concerning acts, intentions and possession, or efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction in order to falsely create a climate of fear and destroy opposition to U.S. wars of aggression and first strike attacks.
6) Violations and subversions of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, both a part of the "Supreme Law of the land" under Article VI, paragraph 2, of the Constitution, in an attempt to commit with impunity crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes in wars and threats of aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq and others and usurping powers of the United Nations and the peoples of its nations by bribery, coercion and other corrupt acts and by rejecting treaties, committing treaty violations, and frustrating compliance with treaties in order to destroy any means by which international law and institutions can prevent, affect, or adjudicate the exercise of U.S. military and economic power against the international community.
7) Acting to strip United States citizens of their constitutional and human rights, ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to counsel, without charge, and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the Executive of a citizen as an "enemy combatant."
8) Ordering indefinite detention of non-citizens in the United States and elsewhere, and without charge, at the discretionary designation of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Defense.
9) Ordering and authorizing the Attorney General to override judicial orders of release of detainees under INS jurisdiction, even where the judicial officer after full hearing determines a detainee is wrongfully held by the government.
10) Authorizing secret military tribunals and summary execution of persons who are not citizens who are designated solely at the discretion of the Executive who acts as indicting official, prosecutor and as the only avenue of appellate relief.
11) Refusing to provide public disclosure of the identities and locations of persons who have been arrested, detained and imprisoned by the U.S. government in the United States, including in response to Congressional inquiry.
12) Use of secret arrests of persons within the United States and elsewhere and denial of the right to public trials.
13) Authorizing the monitoring of confidential attorney-client privileged communications by the government, even in the absence of a court order and even where an incarcerated person has not been charged with a crime.
14) Ordering and authorizing the seizure of assets of persons in the United States, prior to hearing or trial, for lawful or innocent association with any entity that at the discretionary designation of the Executive has been deemed "terrorist."
15) Institutionalization of racial and religious profiling and authorization of domestic spying by federal law enforcement on persons based on their engagement in noncriminal religious and political activity.
16) Refusal to provide information and records necessary and appropriate for the constitutional right of legislative oversight of executive functions.
17) Rejecting treaties protective of peace and human rights and abrogation of the obligations of the United States under, and withdrawal from, international treaties and obligations without consent of the legislative branch, and including termination of the ABM treaty between the United States and Russia, and recission of the authorizing signature from the Treaty of Rome which served as the basis for the International Criminal Court.
Let's listen to the veterans when they call for impeachment. Their statement can be found here: http://www.veteransforpeace.org/Articles_of_Impeach_051003.htm
Former U.S. Attorney General's impeachment effort is at the URL: http://www.votetoimpeach.org
© 2003 Jozef Hand-Boniakowski, PhD