Oakland–March 25th–Barbara Lee, who popularly epitomizes Californiaâ€™s Ninth Congressional District, serves on the Black and Progressive Caucuses of the United States House of Representatives. She is, also, one of the most politically liberal members of the House. I quoted her in my article on Dennis Kucinich that appeared on these pages a few weeks back.
The program with her constituents began with the archival footage of her prophetic speech of the 14th of September 2001 on the attack on the East Coast of America three days before. She stood statuesque before a combined assembly of Congress that day wherein she was the only member of that august body to vote against giving the President absolute authority to wage a â€œWar on Terrorâ€ that covered most of the Islamic world.
â€œâ€¦military action [alone] will not protect us.â€ Now, as we look back on those farsighted remarks she uttered five and one-half years ago, we can attest, â€œAs we act. let us not become the evil we deplore.!â€ Unfortunately we have sunk down into that evil.
Several local politicians and personalities spoke with her. Keith Carson (my Alameda County) Supervisor brought the War home to us in the East Bay; i.e. directly across from San Francisco. â€œWe must go forward in peace!â€ â€œ[At least] 59,000 Iraqis have died [now there is a strong argument that the figure might be closer to 650,000]; not to mention our troops [which included Muslim and non-Muslim Coalition members]â€¦We must focus on peace [now]!â€
Carson continued that Local government has been horribly hit by the Feds (to finance this war). â€œWe have been struggling for a [suitable] response to Bushâ€™s illegal and immoral War!â€
I was quite impressed with the speech of the well-known American actor Sean Penn.
Since he is a successful actor, the quality of his speaking was no surprise, but the depth of his thinking was impressive.
Addressing our government, he said, â€œYouâ€¦have misused and abused our soldiersâ€¦we support our troops while you exploit themâ€¦the children of the poor are forced to fight!!â€
He estimated that over 200,000 individuals have suffered from the fighting since 9/11.
Regarding Tehran (which he has visited as well as Iraq), Penn stated, â€œIran is a great country! One of the most promising potential allies for us in the world.â€
Admittedly, â€œIraq suffered under Saddam, but they are now living in Danteâ€™s Hell!â€
Leeâ€™s recent Bill to pull out of Iraq by the end of the year was blocked in the Congress. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has said that impeachment is not on the table, but Dennis Kucinich, who is running for President, has challenged the new Madam Speaker.
The Democratic Congress has stared down the Executive Branch, and demanded G.W. Bushâ€™s leading advisors to give testimony publicly under oath regarding the nationwide firing of Federal prosecutors.
Barbara did use the â€œIâ€ word, Impeach. As one of or speakers said, â€œLetâ€™s show the public that we can fire this President, and put him in jail!â€ Let us revive the Constitution!
The House of Representatives impeaches. There have been several Presidents impeached–including Bill Clinton–over the years.
An impeachment is a proclamation that the US House feels there may have been a crime committed. It is sort of like an indictment in a criminal court. From there the matter goes to the Senate for Trial.
After listening to the arguments, it takes a two-thirds vote of the Senators to convict. Then, a sitting President, etc. loses his/her protection from being prosecuted in a civil or criminal court. By the way, there never has been a conviction.
Now, there is another way to do it. That is, to go through the same process via the State legislatures. One state has such a bill pending, and several other states are considering similar action. Again, the process takes two-thirds of the states, and has never unseated a President.
Our collapsing government that is in crisis could have effects upon Muslims at home and abroad. I think it will likely be for the better for this impeachment to go forward.