Posted by Curt on 7 August, 2006 at 11:32 am. 1 comment.


Your gonna love this.  Democratic Representative John Conyers has compiled a book detailing his case against President Bush.  What your gonna love is some of his sources and contributors.  Byron York details some of them in his new article:

There's a word you won't find in the text of Democratic Rep. John Conyers's new "investigative report" on the Bush administration, "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War, and Illegal Domestic Surveillance." And the word is…impeachment. Yet the 350-page "Constitution in Crisis," released last week, is, more than anything else, a detailed road map for the impeachment of George W. Bush, ready for use should Democrats win control of the House of Representatives this November. And Conyers, who would become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee – the panel that would initiate any impeachment proceedings – is the man who could make it happen.

While it's absent in the body of the report, the I-word does appear a few times in Conyers's 1,401 footnotes, which include citations of authorities ranging from the left-wing conspiracy website to the left-wing antiwar sites and to the left-wing British newspaper the Guardian to the left-wing magazines The Nation and Mother Jones to the left-wing blogosphere favorite Murray Waas to the New York Times columnists Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd, Bob Herbert, and Frank Rich to former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal to the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh. (Sources for "The Constitution in Crisis" even include one story co-written by the disgraced Internet writer Jason Leopold.) Relying on such material, Conyers has created what might be called the definitive left-wing blogger's history of the Bush administration.

With those sources how can you argue with the report?  But it does give you a preview of what will happen if the Democrats take the House, there will be shananagins from day one. 

The report states that Bush should be charged with fraud because he had intended to go to war with Iraq from day one to avenge his Father.  He then proceeds to call everything after this decision a crime because it was all a lie.

Does this tell you a bit more about the author and his sources?

Whoa nelly, these are some twisted people. 

Besides the alleged fraud, Conyers also contends that the administration's preparations for war – the moving of military equipment and personnel to the Gulf region – violated at least two other laws. "Our investigation has found that there is evidence the Bush Administration redeployed military assets in the immediate vicinity of Iraq and conducted bombing raids on Iraq in 2002 in possible violation of the War Powers Resolution, Pub. L. No. 93-148, and laws prohibiting the Misuse of Government Funds, 31 U.S.C. 1301," he writes. And key elements of the president's case for war, Conyers says, violated yet another statute. "We have found that President Bush and members of his administration made numerous false statements that Iraq had sought to acquire enriched uranium from Niger," the report continues. "In particular, President Bush's statements and certifications before and to Congress may constitute Making a False Statement to Congress in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001."

Yup, moving military assets to the area of Iraq and sending some missiles into that country was a crime.  Not like Clinton ever did that.  And then he states that Iraq did not seek to acquire Uranium from Niger when there is evidence that indeed, they did attempt to acquire it.  Hell, even the posterboy of the left, Joe Wilson, stated as much in his debrief to the CIA.

But these are facts, what would they want facts for. 

He then wants Ashcroft and Gonzales tried for torture:

Conyers suggests that American officials might be tried under the War Crimes Act for "grave breaches" of the Geneva Conventions, and might also be liable under the Anti-Torture Statute. "Those who order torture, or in other ways conspire to commit torture, can be held criminally liable under this statute," the report says. "The statue doesn't require a person to actually commit torture with his own hands." Conyers singles out the two attorneys general of the Bush presidency, John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales, as potential targets of prosecution.

He then writes that Bush should be impeached due to some in the media getting their feelings hurt:

The most famous case of alleged retribution, of course, involved the former ambassador Joseph Wilson, but Conyers broadens his charges to include alleged retribution against several others who have publicly disagreed with the administration, including former General Eric Shinseki, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, and former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke. Conyers also places antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan on the list, and even an ABC News reporter named Jeffrey Kofman. 

[…]In the case of Sheehan, Conyers describes the administration's allegedly criminal acts this way:

Instead of meeting with Sheehan, the administration and other conservative media outlets began to attack Sheehan. Columnist Maureen Dowd noted that the "Bush team tried to discredit ‘Mom' by pointing reporters to an old article in which she sounded kinder to W. If only her husband were an undercover C.I.A. operative, the Bushies could out him. But even if they send out a squad of Swift Boat Moms for Truth, there will be a countering Falluja Moms for Truth."

The attacks continued as Fred Barnes of Fox News labeled Sheehan a "crackpot." Conservative blogs then started talking about Sheehan's divorce…The president also joined in on the attack by criticizing Sheehan as unrepresentative of most military families he meets….

And of course, what schizophrenic report from the left would be complete without the spying: 

"The warrantless wiretap program disclosed by The New York Times," Conyers writes, "directly violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. 1801; and the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment, and, just as dangerously, threatens to create a precedent that may be used to violate numerous additional laws. The NSA's domestic database program disclosed by USA Today also appears to violate the Stored Communications Act and the Communications Act of 1934. In addition, the administration appears to have briefed members of the Intelligence Committees regarding these programs in violation of the National Security Act, 50 U.S.C. 401, and we have found little evidence they provided useful intelligence or law enforcement information."

Most of Conyers's discussion of surveillance is familiar to anyone who has followed the issue, but some readers may be surprised by his suggestion that the administration, in addition to all of its other alleged crimes, broke the law when it notified Congress about the NSA surveillance program. The administration informed eight top officials in the House and Senate – four Republicans and four Democrats – about the program. Conyers argues that was a crime. "Briefings of this nature would appear to be in violation of the National Security Act of 1947, which governs the manner in which members of Congress are to be briefed on intelligence activities," he writes. "The law requires the president to keep all members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees ‘fully and currently informed' of intelligence activities. Only in the case of a highly classified covert action (when the U.S. engages in operations to influence political, economic or military conditions of another country) does a statute expressly permit the president to limit briefings to a select group of members. Covert actions, pursuant to the statute, do not include ‘activities the primary purpose of which is to acquire intelligence.'"

Byron then provides a bit more detail on who Conyers sources are: 

For example, one analysis of the administration's alleged misconduct that Conyers apparently finds quite persuasive – he cites it six times in "The Constitution in Crisis" – is an article originally published by the left-wing website Entitled "Bush's Uranium Lies: The Case for a Special Prosecutor That Could Lead to Impeachment," it was written by a Connecticut lawyer named Francis T. Mandanici. Readers might remember Mandanici from Whitewater days, when he engaged in a personal crusade against Kenneth Starr, filing ethics complaint after ethics complaint against the independent counsel. Readers with longer memories might recall that before Mandanici attacked Starr, he was fixated on the Bush family. In a November 1992 story about the savings-and-loan investigation involving the first President Bush's son Neil, the Washington Post reported the following:

A federal grand jury in Denver investigating the failure of Silverado Banking, Savings and Loan Association heard from an unusual witness yesterday – a Connecticut lawyer with no firsthand knowledge about the Colorado S&L's collapse, who says that President Bush's son Neil should face criminal charges for violating banking laws while serving on Silverado's board.

In a rare legal proceeding, the grand jury investigating Silverado's collapse spent 1 1/2 hours meeting with Francis Mandanici, a Bridgeport public defender who persuaded the panel to listen to what he has to say about the case.

Motivated by what he admits is a long-standing grudge against President Bush, Mandanici said he researched thousands of pages of documents in the Silverado case and developed what he contends is evidence of a dozen felony violations by the president's son.

Today, Mandanici seems to be pursuing a similar course with George H. W. Bush's other son George. As for his motivation, Mandanici once told the online magazine Salon, "I guess I never left the ‘60s."

Besides Mandanici and the entire liberal side of the New York Times columnist lineup, other writers cited in "The Constitution in Crisis" include left-wing journalists and bloggers Glenn Greenwald, Robert Dreyfuss, and Larisa Alexandrovna.

Byron ends with a warning to us all: 

[…]Conyers's defenders will no doubt argue that such writers make up a minority of the sources cited in "The Constitution in Crisis." But the interpretive structure of the report is undoubtedly inspired their work – and that of similar writers in the left-wing blogosphere. And the nature of the other sources on which the report is based – newspaper articles, transcripts of interviews, and previously released government documents – also suggests that the Conyers report is not the product of a real investigation. Conyers would likely respond by saying that as a member of the minority party in the House, he has no power to issue subpoenas, compel testimony, and demand the production of documents from the administration. That's true. But if he were to win such power, it seems fair to say that he has already decided the conclusions he will reach.

Reading Conyers's various statements on the Huffington Post, where he is a regular contributor, it's clear that Conyers believes his case against George W. Bush has not received enough attention. And indeed, "The Constitution in Crisis" has been overlooked by many major press outlets. It shouldn't be. The point is not the legitimacy, or lack of legitimacy, of Conyers's charges. It is the fact that Conyers might be just a few months away from the chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee. If he wins that seat, and he moves toward impeachment – and how could he not, if he believes the president broke not one, not two, not three, but 26 laws and regulations? – observers who haven't been paying attention might express surprise or call such action precipitous. To that, Conyers can answer, correctly, that no one should be surprised. After all, he's been making the case for a long time, whether or not anyone was listening.

    This should be a warning to us all, especially those who think that by sitting at home on election day they are sending a message.  This guy could take a leadership role in the House if they win…and that would be a disaster for this country.  Anything that puts these goofballs into power would be a disaster.

    Think about it.


    I had forgotten about this little episode:

    Two former aides to Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) have alleged that he repeatedly violated House ethics rules.

    Deanna Maher, a former deputy chief of staff in Conyers's Detroit office, and Sydney Rooks, a former legal counsel in the district office, provided evidence for the allegations by sharing numerous letters, memorandums and copies of e-mails, handwritten notes and expense reports with The Hill.

    In letters sent separately by each woman to the House ethics committee, the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office, they allege that Conyers demanded that aides work on several local and state campaigns and forced them to baby-sit and chauffeur his children. They also charge that some aides illegally used Conyers's congressional offices to enrich themselves.

    Maher decided she could no longer work for Conyers in such an unethical environment and quit in May 2005. Rooks had left Conyers years earlier; she was a full-time staffer working in the office for him from 1997 to 1999. Before leaving, Conyers placed her on paid administrative leave for several months and stopped paying her in April 2000.

    "I could not tolerate any longer being involved with continual unethical, if not criminal, practices which were accepted as ‘business as usual,'" Maher wrote in a letter to the ethics panel dated Jan. 13, 2006.

    A perfect spokesman against unethical conduct.

    Other's Blogging:

    This should be a warning to us all, especially those who think that by sitting at home on election day they are sending a message. This guy could take a leadership role in the House if they win…and that would be a disaster for this country. Anything that puts these goofballs into power would be a disaster.

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