Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fournier vs Larson; Pax Christi; Valerie Plame & treason; Catherine Wilkerson

Hi, Impeachment Person,
We have some good and useful reading and requests for action (#1, #2 and #4):
1) Steve Fournier et al v. John Larson;
2) Pax Christi's request for letters, faxes, and calls to support
civil liberties;
3) Forwarded by Ann Gallagher: Treason is not Old News;
4) A particularly despicable example of how the police state is
intensifying its gross and arbitrary violence: Alexander Cockburn on
Catherine Wilkerson, MD.

1) Steve Fournier et al v. John Larson:
Connecticut Accountability Project
(Hartford, November 26, 2007) Congressman John Larson was today
presented with a set of pointed questions challenging his stated
position on the impeachment of the President of the United States.
Larson has told local impeachment advocates that the Congress has moreimportant things to do and that it's too late to hold the executive
branch accountable.
The questions, twelve in all, originated with a group calling itself
"Greater Hartford Impeach. " In a document signed on-line by 27
additional petitioners, 12 of whom vote in Larson's 1st district, the
group challenges Larson to acknowledge (or refuse to acknowledge) that
it's a crime to lie to Congress, to hold prisoners without legal
process, to torture captives in the course of interrogation, to apply
pressure to federal prosecutors over prosecutorial decisions, and to
instruct federal employees to ignore federal laws, among other acts of
presidential misconduct enumerated by the group.
Larson is asked to acknowledge that the House of Representatives has
sole law enforcement authority over crimes committed by a president
and malfeasance by the commander-in-chief. He is challenged to answer
whether his failure to hold this president accountable will set a
precedent for lawlessness in future administrations, and he is asked
explicitly whether it is his intention by his inaction to create a
presidency that is above the law.
The spokesman for Greater Hartford Impeach, Hartford lawyer Stephen
Fournier, had asked twice for a brief personal audience with the
congressman, but staff members who promised to reply never called
back. Fournier left the 12 questions with aides in Larson's Hartford
office Monday afternoon.
"It appears that big-d Democrats are more interested in the outcome of
the next presidential election than in the future of the presidency,
the Congress, and our small-d democratic system," said Fournier. "My
congressman must be held accountable for refusing to discharge his
constitutional duties. To this end, I am forming a political action
committee whose purpose will be to remind John Larson of his
responsibilities and replace him if necessary. "
Fournier says he is making himself available as a candidate for
Larson's seat, but only tentatively. "There are more qualified people
than me who haven't considered the possibility of taking on Larson.
This move might empower somebody," said Fournier. "I want Larson to
face the strongest possible opponent who will confront the racketeers
that now control Congress. I'll do it if nobody else will. "
Fournier--former Democrat, former Republican, now Green--made himself
a write-in candidate for Larson's seat in 2006, receiving fewer than
100 votes. Fournier vows that, "in 2008, Larson will face an opponent
who is an articulate and passionate advocate of the rule of law and
whose name will appear on the ballot. In the last election, Larson
could blame the Republican majority, but that excuse evaporated a year
ago. Our political action committee will mount a frontal attack on
Larson's performance in office, and we will warn voters in the
district about the dire consequences to our nation if we continue on
the course Larson and his party have been following. "
Letter to Congressman Larson
Stephen Fournier
74 Tremont Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06105
Tel: 860 794 6718 Fax: 860 233 3044
November 26, 2007
Representative John B. Larson
221 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Dear Congressman Larson:
I write on behalf of a local discussion group called "Greater Hartford
Impeach." Our periodic discussions have yielded a dozen questions that
I have been asked to pose to you:
· The rationale for the resolution purporting to authorize the
military occupation of Iraq was based on false and misleading
statements by the president. Isn't lying to Congress a felony?
· Executive branch officials are holding prisoners without
access to legal process. Isn't this kidnapping?
· Executive branch officials conducted warrantless wiretapping
of Americans. Isn't this a felony under the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act?
· Executive branch officials interfered in federal
prosecutions, removed federal prosecutors for noncompliance with
political demands, and committed perjury before congress when asked to
remember critical facts relevant to the prosecutors' removal. Doesn't
this amount to obstruction of justice?
· The president has defied subpoenas duly issued by Congress.
Isn't it the duty of Congress to enforce its subpoenas with a contempt
citation and to enforce that citation by appropriate legal means?
· Executive branch officials, military and civilian, have
tortured prisoners during interrogation. Isn't this felonious conduct
under federal law?
· The president has issued "signing statements" authorizing or
directing federal employees to violate selected provisions of duly
enacted laws. Isn't this contrary to his constitutional oath to see
that the laws are faithfully executed?
· Officials of the executive branch maintain contracts with
armed civilians that purport to authorize the killing of other
civilians. Isn't this a violation of the laws prohibiting homicide?
· As commander-in-chief, the president has permitted the
misdirection of billions in cash and government property and has
failed to equip soldiers properly. Other than mutiny, isn't Congress
the sole check on criminal malfeasance by the commander-in-chief?
· Aren't you and the other members of the House of
Representatives the only people in America who can hold the president
accountable for these crimes and isn't it your responsibility to do
that, regardless of the political consequences?
· If you fail to hold the president accountable, aren't you
setting a precedent for future presidents and future congresses not to
hold the executive accountable for high crimes?
· Aren't you concerned that your failure to act will be seen as
a deliberate step in the creation of a presidency that is no longer
subject to the rule of law?
I have attached a list of names of people who subscribed to these
questions at my website: The
names in bold type are of people who vote in our district. Several
subscribers also submitted a message, and I have included these just
after their names.
Stephen Fournier
David J Norton: "Do the right thing, impeach Bush"
David Kideckel: "You took an oath. You need to keep it. Honor the
Constitution. Impeach the criminals."
Mary L. Sanders: "Out of Iraq Now - Impeach Yesterday!"
Frank O'Gorman
William R. Petrillo, Sr.
Tracy Thompson Gale
Sadu Nanjundiah: "We should ask these questions of all our reps. and
force them to either pursue impeachment for all the right reasons or
admit to their being utterly incapable of doing their duty and so,
Paula Zeiner
Barb Schade: "It is of utmost importance that you answer these
questions openly and honestly and publicly."
Guy Blais
Valentin Rosario : "Act now and hold the president accountable!!!"
Kris Treat
Janet Conley: "Please hold the President and the Administration
accountable for the crimes they have committed. It is your
Flo Woodiel
Gail Canzano
Jeremy Brecher: "From a Connecticut Democratic Party member."
Ana Lachelier: "I fully concur with questions posed here.
Unfortunately, I am quite sceptical that Congressman Larson will
answer these questions fully and honestly."
David Schneider: "Is it permitted for the Executive Branch of our
government is permitted to break the laws and harm the people of
America? Is there no justice in the land? Are we becoming so separated
from integrity, honesty, decency, HUMANITY?"
Steven Santoni
Marge Schneider: "How could you possibly be working in a democratic
system and not fight to uphold the foundation of our democracy - our
Constitution? Are you not willing to honor the moral fibre and
integrity of this nation and help to restore democracy?"
Diane Mellen
Miriam Kurland: "What kind of strategies can you offer, suggest, or
help everyday citizens who are determined to hold the current
administration accountable to their many numerous crimes, to proceed
with to attain this goal?"
Paula Norton
David Ionno
Gerry George: "Show some leadership. Take responsibility. Represent
your people who somehow have lost their voice in the press but who are
screaming at the top of their lungs at you. Pay attention, please.
Show some courage."
Thomas S. George: "Act like a public servant. Take the responsibility
of your office."
Bruce Martin: "I look forward to your answers to our questions re Bush
& Co.'s constitutional malfeasance deserving rapid impeachment."

2) Pax Christi's request for letters, faxes, and calls to support
civil liberties:

Dear Pax Christi friends, There are two items here which relate to
civil rights and how you can help defend them.

The first is a request for prayers that the Supreme Court will make
the right decision on Dec. 5, regarding the right of detainees The
second is a request to phone District Attorney Morgenthau asap about
the rights of people to protest.
1) On December 5, the Supreme Court will hear arguments for the cases
of Al Odah vs. U.S. and Boumediene vs. Bush. A key issue in these
cases is the right of detainees to challenge their detention using
habeas petitions. The cases represent a challenge to the
constitutionality of the Detainee Treatment Act and the Military
Commissions Act of 2006.

2) On September 25th, while Bush was speaking at the UN, deriding what
he considers the "brutal regimes" of the world (while it his that has
made torture legal, invaded and occupied two countries with one
million people dead, and is making plans to attack a third country),
hundreds of people were outside the UN in protest. A sea of orange
filled the plaza, with a contingent marching in wearing the orange
jumpsuits and hoods that Guantanamo detainees are forced to wear
everyday, as well as a plethora of orange bandanas, flags, clothes,

The authorities clearly did not like this showing of resistance,
cutting off the sound permit an hour early. When more than a dozen
people sat down on a sidewalk just over the police barricade in an act
of civil disobedience, police arrested them. And they also arrested
three who protested the initial arrests and they were held overnight
and slapped with more serious charges. This did not deter people,
hundreds of people took off downtown, marching all the way from the UN
to Washington Square Park.

People are rightly disgusted with the way protesters are herded in
pens, off to the side and marginalized. That people who sat down a
few feet outside those pens, on a street already closed to traffic
would be arrested is an outrage. Then several weeks later, rather
than dropping these charges, the highly unusual step of adding
additional charges against those who engaged in this civil
disobedience action. This is an additional outrage which should be
called out and reversed.

On November 27th, the three who spoke out against the arrests and then
themselves were arrested are to appear in court and the initial group
of 14 arrested are to appear in January 17.

We call on people to stand with all of these defendants. Their
actions should be applauded, not punished!

And beginning immediately, call or send letters or faxes to:
Robert M. Morgenthau, District Attorney
One Hogan Place, New York, NY 10013
Phone: 212-335-9000
Fax: 212-385-9789

3) Forwarded by Ann Gallagher: Treason is not Old News:
Treason is Not Old News
Posted November 22, 2007 | 04:37 PM (EST)

Read More: Dick Armitage, I Lewis Scooter Libby, Joe And Valerie
Wilson, Joe Wilson, Karl Rove, Richard Armitage, Scooter Libby, Scott
Mcclellan, Scott McClellan Book, Scott Mcclellan Lies, Valerie Plame,
Valerie Plame Wilson, Valerie Plame Wilson Book, Breaking Politics

"I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust
by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most
insidious, of traitors." George Herbert Walker Bush, CIA dedication
ceremony, April 26, 1999.

When Bush administration officials I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Karl
Rove, Richard Armitage and Ari Fleischer betrayed Valerie Plame
Wilson's identity as a covert CIA operations officer, they fell into
the category of "the most insidious of traitors." Now we learn from
the president's former press secretary, Scott McClellan, that the
president himself "was involved" in sending him out to lie to the
American public about the betrayal. If his direction to McClellan was
deliberate and knowing, then the president was party to a conspiracy
by senior administration officials to defraud the public. If that
isn't a high crime and misdemeanor then we don't know what is. And if
the president was merely an unwitting accomplice, then who lied to
him? What is he doing to punish the person who misled the president to
abuse his office? And why is that person still working in the
executive branch? Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald made clear his
suspicions about the culprit when he said "a cloud remains over the
office of the vice president." But we may never know exactly what
happened because President Bush thwarted justice and guaranteed the
success of the cover-up when he commuted Scooter Libby's felony
sentence on four counts of lying, perjury and obstruction of justice.
With the exception of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and the
intrepid David Shuster, the mainstream media would have you believe
that McClellan's revelation is old news. "Now back to Aruba and the
two-year old disappearance of a blond teenager." But treason is not
old news. The Washington press corps, whose pretension is to report
and interpret events objectively, has been compromised in this matter
as evidence presented in the courtroom demonstrated. Prominent
journalists acted as witting agents of Rove, Libby and Armitage and
covered up this serious breach of U.S. national security rather than
doing their duty as journalists to report it to the public.
So far there is no apparent desire for redemption driving the press to
report on the treachery of senior officials. Instead, the mainstream
press has compounded its complicity by giving the Bush administration
yet another free pass and shifting blame. The New York Times failed to
publish an article on McClellan's revelation and The Washington Post
buried it at the end of a column deep on page A-15 in the newspaper.
Earlier in the week, Newsweek magazine, owned by the Washington Post
Company, proudly announced the identity of its new star columnist --
Karl Rove, one of the key actors in this collective treason. Robert
Novak, who willfully disclosed Valerie's identity, having been twice
warned not to do so by the CIA, and who transmitted his column to Rove
before it was published, remains a regularly featured columnist in The
Washington Post.

With nearly 70 percent of the public now believing that our country is
on the wrong track, it is no wonder that many feel let down by major
institutions, including the Washington press establishment that
increasingly resembles the corrupt Soviet propaganda mill. One
reporter from a major news organization even asked whether McClellan's
statement wasn't just "another Wilson publicity stunt." Try following
this tortuous logic: Dick Cheney runs an operation involving senior
White House officials designed to betray the identity of a covert CIA
officer and the press responds by trying to prove that the Wilsons are
publicity seekers. What ever happened to reporting the news? Welcome
to Through the Looking Glass.

Fearful of its access to the powerful, and defensive about its status
in the high school social culture that permeates the capital of the
Free World, much of the press has forgotten its responsibility to the
public and the Constitution.
Presidents and those who aspired to be president in the past once took
strong positions in defense of U.S. national security. Today,
Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson has tried to build his
support through fronting for the Scooter Libby Defense fundraising
efforts. Meanwhile, other Republican candidates accuse Patrick
Fitzgerald of being "a runaway prosecutor" and remain silent about the
stain on Bush's presidency.
Where is the outrage? Where is the "contempt and anger?"
Click here to read more from Valerie Plame Wilson on The Huffington Post.

4) A particularly despicable example of how the police state is
intensifying its gross and arbitrary violence:
Weekend Edition
November 24 / 25, 2007
Welcome to the Jackboot State, Ann Arbor Division
The Ordeal of Catherine Wilkerson, M.D.
Welcome to the jackboot state, not to mention the jackboot campus,
anno domini 2007. A doctor gives verbal advice to protect the life of
an unconscious man and she duly gets hit with attempted felonies by
vindictive campus cops, with the connivance of the University of
Michigan. Jury selection for her trial starts on Monday in a county
courthouse in Ann Arbor.
This case began with an on-campus talk about Iran last November 30 by
Raymond Tanter, a former Reagan administration foreign policy advisor
and nutball cofounder of the Committee on the Present Danger. More
recently he's co-founder of the Iran Policy Committee. Tanter has said
publicly on more than one occasion that nuking Iran wouldn't be a bad
The audience at November 30 event was lively and contentious. On the
campus that Columbia's Lee Bollinger once ran there's an elaborate
policy about free speech, but those precepts were promptly flouted. As
is now the fashion at many universities, the U of M campus guards are
gun-toting goons who decided to wade in aggressively at the behest of
the event's organizers.
Here's how Dr. Catherine Wilkerson described what happened next, on
this site on March 13 of this year.
I heard a commotion in the hall and stepped out of the room. In the
hall I saw the same huge cop on top of the second protester who'd come
to the first victim's aid. The cop had the man, a relatively small guy
in his forties, pinned down, arms pulled behind his back, getting
handcuffed. The cop used PPCT against this person also, not once but
twice. The man writhed and cried out in pain.
The cop used his far-greater strength and body weight, along with the
force of his knee on his victim's back to press his chest against the
floor. It would be impossible for a person to inflate his lungs
pressed against the floor with his hands cuffed behind his back like
that. Asphyxiation being a well-known cause of death of people in
custody, when the man started calling out that he couldn't breathe, I
approached, identified myself as a doctor, and instructed the cop to
turn him over immediately. The victim went limp. The cop turned him
onto his back. I saw that the victim had a wound on his forehead and
blood in his nostrils. He was unconscious. Reiterating numerous times
that I was a doctor, I tried to move to where I could assess the
victim for breathing and a pulse. The cop shoved me, until finally,
after my imploring him to allow me to render medical care to the
victim, he allowed me to determine that the victim was alive. But he
refused to remove the cuffs despite my requests. A person lying with
hands cuffed beneath his body risks nerve damage to the extremities
and, moreover, cannot be resuscitated. I continually re-assessed the
man, who had now become my patient, and who remained unconscious.
Eventually an ambulance arrived, along with the fire department and a
contingent of Ann Arbor police officers. While the paramedics went
about their business, the first thing being to have the cop un-cuff
the patient, I tried to fulfill my obligation to my patient. I tried
to oversee what the paramedics were doing, which, contrary to protocol
and the normal relationship between physician and paramedic, was all
that I was allowed to do. I was forced to stay away. What I witnessed
in the course of their treatment appalled me. When the patient didn't
respond to a sternal rub, one of the paramedics popped an ammonia
inhalant and thrust it beneath the patient's nostrils. If you're
interested in what's wrong with that, google Dr. Bryan Bledsoe,
foremost authority on paramedicine, and read his article condemning
this dangerous practice. That it's "just bad medicine" is sufficient
to make the paramedic's actions unacceptable, but what happened next
made my blood curdle. He popped a second inhalant and a third, then
cupped his hands over the patient's nostrils to heighten the noxious
effect. "You don't like that, do you?" he said.
At that point I issued a direct medical order for him to stop, but he
ignored me. "What you're doing is punitive," I said, "and has no
efficacy." Then as the patient retched, rather than rolling him onto
his side to avoid the chance of his choking on his own vomit, a
firefighter held his feet down and yelled, "don't spit." In thirty
years of doctoring, I have never witnessed such egregious maltreatment
of a patient. Again I spoke up, "this is punitive." I hoped to shame
the paramedical into stopping his unethical behavior."
Please note that at no point did Wilkerson do anything other than
offer verbal advice.
The police--by now not just campus but also city cops were on the
scene -- ordered her to leave. As she was doing so, a city cop seized
her and put her under arrest. His superiors soon determined there were
no grounds for arrest and she was released without having been
handcuffed or requested to produce ID.
Wilkerson has made her career serving low-income patients. For the
last 5 to 6 years she's worked at a community medical clinic. She
takes the U.S. Constitution seriously and filed a complaint about the
incident alleging police misconduct. It took seven weeks for the cops
to answer the charges, which they did by the expedient of filing a
report plump with mendacity about Wilkerson's conduct the night of the
arrests. The Washtenaw County Prosecutor, Brian Mackie, at the
apparent request of the UM police, charged her with two attempted
felonies based on "attempted interference" with the police officer who
had seized her.
Her attorney, civil rights lawyer Buck Davis, tells me that that
county judge Elizabeth Pollard Hines recently threw out two subsequent
charges, claiming that Wilkerson had tried to interfere with the
campus police as well as the police officer.
This coming week Wilkerson faces jury trial at the 15th District Court
in Ann Arbor. Wilkerson's lawyers will bring in eyewitnesses to the
events on November 30, 2006, plus expert witnesses including Brian
Bledsoe, a Texas attorney who has testified in cases across the
country on the use of ammonia. (Ammonia was involved in the death of
Martin Lee Anderson at a juvenile 'boot camp' detention facility in
Buck Davis tells me that "ten or fifteen years ago this case would
have been a slam dunk, on First Amendment and medical privilege
arguments, with no physical contact with the cops, all in liberal Ann
Arbor." Wilkerson would have been swiftly acquitted.
"But now people are scared to death. They know the social system is
falling apart. They no longer have a generous spirit. I've learned
that the erosion of the economic and social fabric means people want
to believe the cops. They're frightened. So I'm not as arrogant about
'slam dunk' cases as I once was."
The case will probably run all week, except Thursday. If you can, show
up in court to support Catherine Wilkerson.
Learn more at or sign the petition at