Original article here

December 20, 2005

On the seventh anniversary of the House’s decision to impeach then-President Bill Clinton, a pair of leading Congressional Democrats raised the specter of impeachment regarding President Bush’s authorization of domestic spying by the National Security Agency.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) on Monday sent a letter to legal scholars asking their opinion of whether Bush’s actions, revealed last week, amount to an unconstitutional action that warrants Congress considering impeachment proceedings.

Boxer, the Chief Deputy Minority Whip, appeared on a radio program over the weekend with Nixon White House Counsel John Dean, who said that the NSA executive order was an impeachable offense. Boxer said Dean’s statement prompted her to consider the matter and issue the letter to other legal scholars, asking their opinion on the matter and vowing to see the issue explored in the Senate.

“I take very seriously Mr. Dean’s comments, as I view him to be an expert on Presidential abuse of power. I am expecting a full airing of this matter by the Senate in the very near future,” she said in a statement.

Boxer’s letter came on the same day that Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who is currently Senior Chief Deputy Minority Whip for House Democrats, flatly accused Bush of breaking the law and signaling that impeachment proceedings should be considered.

“He violated the law,” Lewis said in a radio interview in Atlanta. “The president should abide by the law. He deliberately, systematically violated the law. He is not king, he is president.”

Raising the specter of impeaching Bush has been something generally uttered only by the far fringes of the liberal movement in the wake of the war in Iraq, although a few House Democrats mentioned the phrase during his first term.

Boxer and Lewis are easily the most senior Democrats to even consider whether his actions on NSA spying were impeachable offenses, a sign of how serious they consider the issue and how much the president’s political standing his slipped in the past year.

Top Senate Republicans considered even the talk of impeachment to be irresponsible, saying so many facts about the NSA program were still not known. “It’s irresponsible to even be talking in such terms before any of the facts are on the table,” Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said.

“That’s utterly absurd, utterly absurd,” Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) echoed.

And some top Democrats also shied away from discussing such a controversial topic.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), who has been at odds with the liberal wing of his party over the conduct of the war in Iraq, said he considered it far too early to begin talking about the issue.

“Impeachment, that’s a last resort,” he said. “It’s way premature to start using words like that.”

And the man who lost to Bush in 2004, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), also balked at the impeachment talk. “I just haven’t gotten to that evaluation,” Kerry said.

The issue has struck a chord in Congress, with even leading Republicans worried about the constitutional issues at hand. Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said Monday that he was so far not sufficiently pleased with the explanations for the NSA authorization offered to him by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

  1. bobbo, in Repose says:

    Clever, accurate, misleading Headline.

    Well done.

  2. msbpodcast says:

    You know that we don’t impeach for lying our way into a war to both congress and the ‘Murikan public, for wrecking the economy or for killing a few thousand troops.

    Why should we impeach?

    Did O’Mama get his big fat dick sucked?

  3. Cap'n Kangaroo says:

    Did Rip von Boxer just wake up?

  4. podblast says:

    If I could have a wish grant, W and Co. would have to face a World Court. Impeachment would then only be whipping cream on the cake (I don’t like frosting).

  5. MikeN says:

    The Senate doesn’t impeach, the House does.

  6. Dave Phillips says:

    What needs doing is the education of the American public as to the actual facts , examples of why are doing this. There is too much guessing about this NSA stuff because of high classification. We have too many secrets that will never be understandable until we can all be educated. Alas it seems that it will never happen unless our law makers make changes in the law. This ignorance of the law because the law is secret is scary.
    We will never be able to trust our government and elected officials until we can know and understand the facts.

  7. So What? says:

    Question one, can a non sitting president be impeached?
    Question two, assuming you can impeach a non sitting president what would be the penalty?
    Question three, don’t they something better to do, like jobs, healthcare, immigration, the deficit, et fucking cetera.

    • Cap'n Kangaroo says:

      It is sorta like Jr High where you and your friends sit around with construction paper and scissors. You are just B@llsh*tting until a teacher walks by and suddenly everyone is busy cutting out holiday decorations.

  8. Tim says:

    Well, I thought the man should have been executed after he did 911 but I digress. This talk of impeachment of Failbama is coming up fast with news cycles being wall-to-wall *scandal*. I’m leaning toward Clyde Lewis’ take on the whole situation. That being that this is a setup. This is the plan of the globalists (with Half-Brother complicate, even) to take america down. There are many countries out there who don’t like us very much and who could blame them as we’ve been shitting in everyone else’s backyard first. A few of those countries are quite powerful and heavily financially invested in america. Who is to say that they shouldn’t come in and protect their investment?

    Impeaching Failbama should be off the table as that will show the rest of the world that we really are that fucked up and unstable. So, shun him. Yes, I said “shun” him. Ignore him through the states’ rights. Use nullification. Call your attorneys general and put together grand juries to prosecute the apologists (yes Lindsey, you are top-o-my-list). If it makes anyone feel any better, throw his genetically-challenged grandkids out of the incubators and record them flopping on the hot asphalt for youtube. But leave the man in office — he’s impotent, let him know it.

  9. What? The moth is always drawn to the flame? says:

    He will be impeached, and B. Obama (R-Whitehouse) will pardon.

  10. noname says:

    Personally I think Obama should be impeached! He has done nothing to steer America off its course of zero tolerance of infractions by the American populous.

    Yes, the first helmsman Bush may have been the first to lay in our current course of American Bill of rights destruction, but; Obama has had more than enough time to correct!

    He is a constitutional lawyer who has no concept of what being an American historically is and why we fought a war of terror on our soil to separate our governmental bonds from England!

    The only “respect” he has is positional and not earned by true American leadership! Obama leadership style is toothless pretty speeches!

    1st Americans where paranoid of suicidal terrorist after 9/11 and believed in the integrity of our Government, now Americans are paranoid (and more rightly so) of our unchecked, compunctionless government that seeks to secretly monitor, track and kill it’s own!

    Suicidal terrorist devastate thousands, but; our government hounds millions and kills secretly millions, indiscriminately, without compunction and unchecked!

    I guess Stalin had it right, “A Single Death is a Tragedy; a Million Deaths is a Statistic”!

  11. bobbo, in Repose says:

    As stated, while a minority of folks think the various programs involved are UNCONSTITUTIONAL, there is no analysis showing they are not done under color of law. NO PRESIDENT will be impeached for acting under the words of the law FOR the protection of america that is supported by the Majority of Americans.

    My question remains one of cost effectiveness. The system doesn’t “prove” anything. It only provides a heads up for those willing/able to do additional work to check it out. THE SYSTEM MISSED the Boston Bombers even after the Russians provided a warning. We just have another player at the Government Welfare Trough: BIG DATA. Spend Millions to collect and store Trillions of Data all amounting to a big pile of BS and claim in can be “mined” like any other pile of trash.

    More a continuation of INEFFECTIVE electronic counter espionage rather than the dirty and harder work of human assets. IOW—same old story, over and over again.

    My kneejerk negativity towards the program is that it was done in secret which creates a we vs them rift between the governed and our Overlords. Also leads to that List of Reasons Mark provided in Earlier post. Think I’ll go back and parse that one.

    • msbpodcast says:

      My kneejerk negativity towards the program is that it was done in secret …

      Exactly! Only the NSA get the benefit and that is fundamentally stupid!

      Its our money that is being spent mining our data and we fundamentally have a right to that data.

      Oh, we wont use it for the same purpose that the NSA does, but we’ll make damn better use of it than they will.

    • noname says:

      A List of Reasons:

      America is government by the people for the people!
      For that to be so, Americans have to cast informed votes.
      Informed votes require honest news sources and honest/transparent Government. Americans are voting for how they want to be governed (America had a revolution because it didn’t want to governed by England).

      Obama ran for office on a platform of honest/transparent government. He has lied to the most important part of the government, Americans.

      Governmental lies, over-classification, over-redacted Freedom of Information Act responses, SPY-BOTs, … prevent Americans from casting informed votes, which undermines our Republic/Democracy.

      It seems bobbo doesn’t care about the importance of informed voting as long as Papa Obama is “protecting” U.S., childish!

  12. Ah_Yea says:

    Boxer again shows herself to be a complete idiot, along with those who voted for her.

    Impeach a former President? Stupid. It’s like trying to fire someone who already quit their job.

    Since she opened up the conversation, the next step it to –

    IMPEACH OBAMA for supporting and expanding these very same programs.

  13. Glenn E. says:

    Domestic Spying is another one of those oxymoron terms. You can’t “spy” on yourself. And your own elected government, shouldn’t be able to, either. Or what it is doing is not “spying”. It clearly is in violation of the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution, regardless of the justifications. The 4th Amendment gives NONE, for bypassing the public courts system. Period!

    See – Article [IV]

    And the Congress and President are in violation and contempt of the US Constitution, for allowing and/or signing off on any exceptions to these, and other Amendments. Period! And the whole lot of them ought to be impeached for participating in this.


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