by Nick Welsh

Impeach%20Rally.jpgAbout 250 people crammed into the
Faulkner Gallery in the downtown library last Tuesday to hear three
speakers lay out the case for the impeachment of President George
W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Impeach%20Rally2.jpgLisa Hajjar, a professor of law and
society at UCSB, argued that the most compelling legal argument was
Bush’s authorization of warrantless — and apparently
illegal — wiretaps of thousands of American citizens. She also
contended that the administration had lied to Congress about the
reasons for waging war on Iraq, and that that deception constituted
high crimes and misdemeanors. And she argued that the
administration has knowingly and intentionally encouraged the
systematic torture of suspected combatants in the “war on terror,”
and in so doing has violated countless international treaties to
which the United States is a signatory. Richard Falk, a Yale
professor of international law, acknowledged that the impeachment
process would be traumatic for the nation, but argued that even if
Congress chose not to impeach, the exercise would help salvage
American democracy. “Only by the activism of the American people
will we be spared a future that will destroy all that is great
about this country,” he said. Jim Lafferty with the National
Lawyers Guild added a note of skepticism, arguing that even if the
Democrats controlled the House and Senate, they would never impeach
Bush. The real problem, he said, was not Bush but a national policy
of imperialism to which both parties have actively subscribed since
the end of World War II. Organizers of the event explained
afterwards that they plan to take a resolution calling for
impeachment of the president and vice president to the Santa
Barbara City Council sometime in September.


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