Not too late to begin impeachment
Mountain View City Council should urge Congress to hold Bush accountable
You might occasionally see around Mountain View — in the vicinity of the Sunday Farmers Market, the Caltrain station and the Post Office — several petition circulators with signs dangling from their necks reading "Impeach Petition to MV City Council." Probably two-thirds of passing pedestrians are puzzled about what exactly the signs mean.
To shed some light on this, the signs are signaling a citizens' petition to the Mountain View City Council. Specifically, we are asking the council to join the efforts of scores of other American municipalities in urging the U.S. House of Representatives to promptly hold impeachment hearings. The hearings would be conducted to investigate charges that President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney committed "high crimes and misdemeanors." The House hearings would serve as a type of grand jury, not as a trial.
If, following the hearings, members of the House decided that the charges warrant a trial, they could, by a majority vote, call for the Senate to conduct an impeachment trial.
Many citizens do believe that Bush and Cheney are impeachable, but they think there just isn't enough time to hold the hearings before the 110th Congress adjourns in January. Also, they note, Bush and Cheney will be termed out of office in January 2009, so what's the point?
The point is this: Nothing else the House does could be more important than uncovering the truth about the Iraq War — and whether it was started by Bush and Cheney on false pretenses — before those two leave office. Concern about the gravity of their abuses is immense. Setting a precedent by not holding our leaders accountable would send an ominous message to future governments that our highest office-holders are simply above the law.
Members of the Silicon Valley Impeachment Coalition, who for the past year and half have been busily advocating impeachment trials for Cheney and Bush, are very aware that time is running out in Congress. Yet we believe that during the next six months it is possible, and indeed appropriate and necessary, that the House allots the time needed to hold the president and vice president publicly accountable for their egregious misdeeds. Though it is unlikely an impeachment trial will result during this Congress, hearings that can ferret out the truth can and must take place.
In calling on the House to hold hearings, our City Council members will be honoring their promise to defend our Constitution, and will be standing up for their constituency. It is up to them to remind Congressional representatives of the sacrifices of our local youth who have been killed or injured while carrying out their ill-conceived military assignments.
The council should also express reproach over the approximately $150 million Mountain View residents have paid in taxes that have been squandered during the past five years of war and occupation. As a consequence of this misuse of our tax dollars, federal and state funds for education, health care, housing, transportation and more have been preempted to pay for Cheney and Bush's imperial pipe dreams.
As co-founding members of the Impeachment Coalition, several of us from Mountain View will continue to seek support from the City Council by petitions and word of mouth. Soon, we will respectfully present the rationale — and the urgency — for why the city should deliver a resolution to The Peoples' House of Representatives calling for impeachment hearings.
The SVIC welcomes the readers of this report, and all Mountain View residents, to join our effort. Urge the City Council to take a stand for our community and for justice.
Fred Duperrault lives on W. Middlefield Road. To learn more about the Silicon Valley Impeachment Coalition, visit www.svimpeach.org.