Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Open letter to Jim Himes & Green convention Jan 13

Hi, Impeachment Folk & Greens,
This message is essentially an open letter to Jim Himes. It seems he
may seek the Green Party's endorsement for Congress. Because the
letter (1) concludes with a request that he examine the case for
impeachment in detail, it also has (2) the National Lawyers Guild's
resolution for impeachment, which some of you may know. (3) Because
Mr. Himes and/or Democrats who support him may want the Green Party to
vote for neither Gerald Falbel nor me, but instead to endorse him, it
concludes with the official meeting notice for the January 13 Green
nominating convention.
Richard Duffee

1) Richard Duffee's open letter to Jim Himes:

January 2, 2008
Dear Jim Himes,
You are making the moralistic case that I should not want to obstruct
the reconstruction of US norms that supposedly will occur if only more
Democrats—including you—are elected. In arguing this, you are not
providing any specific commitments; you're simply stating that your
will is good and that the will of other Democrats is better than the
will of Republicans. But I and other Greens did not leave the
Democratic Party because the Democrats did not make encouraging
abstract promises. I left because the Democrats a) never became the
party of peace McGovern and McCarthy tried to make it, b) then moved
to the right from 1981 on, and c) did not even honor the commitments
they made in the 1960's and 70's, let alone the 1930's. I believe
other former Democratic activists joined the Greens for similar

Specifically, you are relying on the belief that the solution to our
constitutional crisis is to elect more Democrats. That proposition
does not seem obvious to me, so you will have to argue the case for
it. I think you will see from the questions below that the case for
the Democrats is not so easy to make. More generally, you are relying
on the more plausible belief that the Democrats are more benign than
the Republicans. So I'll throw in some questions pointing to the more
general argument that the Democrats are not benign enough.

If you want to persuade me and people who perceive what I perceive,
you can 1) persuade us that the Democrats are better than we think, 2)
that the Republicans are even worse than we think, 3) that the
Democrats are so good that we are safe in their hands even though they
won't defend the Constitution, 4) that you are better than most of the
Democrats, will help move the Party away from its compromises with the
Bush Administration, and WILL defend the Constitution.

1) The constitutional crisis has been triggered largely by Bush's
wars. Bush has only been able to pursue war in Iraq and
Afghanistan—and to prepare for war against Iran—because the Democrats
have funded his wars. They have continued the funding after they knew
the invasion of Iraq was based on deceit. The Democrats voted for the
invasion when they knew it violated the UN Charter and international
law. Show me that you opposed the illegal invasion of Iraq in March,
2003—as I did.

2) The three front-running Democratic candidates for President,
Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, each said in June that they could not
guarantee that the US would withdraw all troops from Iraq by 2013. So
the Democratic Party leaders want to maintain the US presence in
Iraq—probably as Bush does, as a permanent presence like our presence
in South Korea. The Democrats have funded the building of the world's
largest embassy and massive military bases for that apparent purpose.
Show me that you will withhold funds for aggressive wars.

3) Clinton bombed Iraq and maintained the embargo throughout his
terms. The Red Cross studies found that his actions accounted for more
than half a million deaths. Show me that you would not vote for such

4) Most Democrats voted for the "Patriot Act." Show me that you
opposed it in some way if you did.

5) Only six Democrats voted against the "Violent Radicalization and
Homegrown Terrorism Act". Show me that you would have been in the
company of the 6 opponents.

6) 34 House Democrats voted for the fascist Military Commissions Act.
Show me you would not have been among them.

7) The front-running Democrats still will not vote for universal
health care, even when the US has the lowest level of longevity of all
developed countries despite having the second highest GDP per capita.
Show me that you are for universal health care.

8) Bush's tax cuts for the rich could not have been accomplished
without the collusion of Democrats. Show me what sort of tax bills you

9) The fraudulent "No Child Left Behind" legislation, which mandates
achievement levels without providing funds, could not have been
accomplished without the collusion of Democrats. Show me what sort of
education bills you support.

10) Democrats colluded in the 9/11 Commission Report. They have not
insisted on a thorough investigation that includes, for instance, the
collapse of Building 7, the relationship between the attack on the
Pentagon and the reconstruction of the Pentagon, and Cheney's
activities on 9/11. Will you demand a full investigation of 9/11?

11) Democrats are allowing the phone companies that violated FISA
legislation to evade prosecution. Tell me how you believe our laws
should be enforced.

12) Democrats have not responded to Bush's commutation of Libby's
conviction. Where is the investigation into the outing of Valerie
Plame? Isn't it necessary—when there may be evidence of treason there?

13) Democrats gave Bush his extraordinary war powers, the apparent
blank check that he keeps drawing on. Tell me how the Democrats will
reclaim the war powers the Congress is obligated by the Constitution
to preserve for itself?

14) Democrats have not investigated the gigantic sums of money missing
from the Pentagon accounts. Tell me why everyone in this country is
not entitled to bring taxpayer suits on this ground when Congress will
not defend our rights?

15) Democrats did not sign on to the International Criminal Court when
they had the chance under the Clinton Administration.

16) It was Clinton, not Bush, who degraded the Legal Services
Corporation into a mere telephone referral service, thus making it
effectively impossible for the poor to enforce their legal rights and
making Legal Services lawyers unable to deliver the "zealous
representation" necessary for ethical practice.

17) Explain to me how the Democrats will be more peaceful than the
Republicans when, under Clinton, we pursued illegal bombing of Kosovo
and Iraq, and aided the military junta in Haiti more than the
democratically elected President Aristide? The Democrats began and
pursued the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Prove to us that the
Democrats will not do such things in the future and that you will vote
against them consistently if they do.

18) The CIA has been just as active under Democratic Administrations
as under Republican ones. The Kennedys were great champions of
counterinsurgency and promoted the Bay of Pigs; US aid to the Taliban
began under Carter. Will you propose the abolition of the CIA, or at
least of its covert operations, which violate international law, the
law of the nations where they are carried out, and often US domestic
law as well?

19) Under the Democratic administrations of Kennedy and Johnson, the
FBI would not intervene when rioters and police attacked civil rights
workers in Alabama and Mississippi. J. Edgar Hoover operated the
Cointelpro Program against the Black Panther Party, the Socialist
Workers Party. How will the Democrats prevent the FBI from acting as
the KGB did--as political police--violating the Bill of Rights?

20) You know that Bush and Cheney have committed numerous ordinary
crimes as well as high crimes and misdemeanors—and possibly treason.
What will you do to ensure they are prosecuted for their crimes so
that future administrations do not believe themselves above the law?

21) has a statistical study of the political spectrum
based on co-sponsorship of bills. It finds Shays to be single the
Republican representative furthest to the left (3 Senate Republicans
are to his left); 64 House Democrats and 12 Senate Democrats appear to
be to his right. I'd argue that Shays votes to the left when it
doesn't matter and to the right when it does, so that he cloaks his
right-wing corporate Republicanism in Liberal trivia, so the study
misses the dimensions that could make it decisive. But it is
disturbing to note that Larson holds the same position on the spectrum
as Lieberman and that Courtney and Murphy are BETWEEN Lieberman and
Shays, slightly closer to Shays. ONLY DeLauro is to the left of
Lieberman (yet to the right of Kucinich). The implication is that
Connecticut Democratic representatives do NOT have records that should
recommend them to Greens. Therefore I believe you should demonstrate
to us that you will be better for us than Murphy, Courtney, and
Larson—let alone Lieberman—are. This will be a difficult task because
new entrants to the Congress come under very heavy pressure from party

22) Finally, I am attaching a copy of the National Lawyer's Guild's
resolution on impeachment. I use the NLG resolutions because it is
drawn up by lawyers and it comes with links to ample documentation.
Please go through its charges and decide
a) whether each is or is not an impeachable offense,
b) whether the evidence you have seen so far implies that Bush or
Cheney MAY have committed that offense, and
c) if your answer to both questions is "yes", what you will do to
advance the impeachment process.
d) If you decide that the charge is (also) an ordinary crime, please
say what should be done to prosecute Bush and/or Cheney. [I will also
send you a list of the charges in the form of ordinary crimes.]
e) If you will not advocate either impeachment or prosecution, kindly
explain why subsequent executives should not believe they are above
the law.


Richard Duffee

2) National Lawyers' Guild resolution on impeachment:

Whereas George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney:

1. deliberately misled the nation and doctored intelligence, as
described in the Downing Street minutes, about the threat
from Iraq in order to justify a war of aggression and an occupation of
Iraq, as further
described in House resolution H. Res. 333 and as listed in
House Resolution H. Res. 635

2. committed crimes against peace by initiating war against Iraq in
violation of the UN Charter;

3. committed crimes against humanity in their conduct of the
occupation of Iraq in which they killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi
civilians and created millions of refugees,,1892888,00.html and

4. killed over 3700 American soldiers and severely wounded nearly
30,000 more in the pursuit of an illegal, immoral, and unjust
occupation of Iraq. While Bush and Cheney have stated no truthful
noble cause for the war, one of the central purposes appears
to be to take control of Iraq's immense oil reserves to financially
benefit private corporate
interests. See Bush's benchmark listing fact sheet released the same
day Bush announced the "surge" that expressly called on the Iraq
parliament to "enact hydrocarbons law to promote investment . . . "
3.html and;

5. committed further crimes against peace by threatening Iran in
violation of the UN Charter, as described in House resolution H. Res.
bin/query/z?c110:H.RES.333: and;

6. detained thousands of prisoners without charges and without
providing the ability to confront their accusers at a fair trial;

7. condoned the torture of prisoners in violation of the Geneva
Conventions, the US anti-torture statute of 1994, the US War Crimes
Act of 1996, and the oath of office and
Bush's refusal to faithfully execute the laws prohibiting torture and
his declaration on February 7, 2002 that the Geneva Conventions did
not apply to prisoners in Afghanistan and in Guantanamo set the stage
for torture there The Rumsfeld approved
Guantanamo torture techniques were then imported to Iraq in August
2003, where the International Committee of the Red Cross found
"systemic" mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners in
several facilities and where the Schlesinger Report confirmed in
August 2004 that abuses were "widespread" and "serious both in number
and in effect," and that there is both "institutional and personal
responsibility at higher levels;"

8. approved at least two different illegal electronic surveillance
programs of American citizens without a warrant in violation of the
fourth amendment and in violation of the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act of 1978, and repeatedly lied to the American people
by stating that no surveillance was taking place without a court
order. The first
program includes intercepting phone and email conversations without
warrants and was exposed by the NY Times on December 16, 2005 After that
was exposed Bush said the program was carefully targeted to just
include international calls and suspected members of Al Qaeda. Then,
the second program was exposed by
USA Today on May 11, 2006. It provides a wholesale attack on the
fourth amendment by
recording call identification information of tens of millions of
purely domestic calls as well as international calls;

9. attacked basic human rights protections in the constitution
including habeas corpus, fifth amendment freedom from loss of life,
liberty and property without due process of law, eighth amendment
freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and fourth
amendment freedom from unreasonable search and seizure;

10. attacked the separation of powers in an effort to consolidate
power in the executive;

11. attacked the messenger who revealed that Bush "twisted"
intelligence "to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." Just as Nixon
retaliated against former Pentagon analyst Daniel Ellsberg, according to papers
filed in court by special
prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in April 2006, there was "concerted
action" by "multiple people in the White House" to "discredit, punish
or seek revenge against" former Ambassador Joseph Wilson for his July
6, 2003 NY Times op ed piece
that ripped the cover off of Bush's false assertions in his 2003 state
of the union address that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Africa
for building a
nuclear bomb. In retaliation, and to silence other would-be critics,
the White House
collected information about Wilson and disclosed to reporters that his
wife, Valerie Plame, was a covert agent in the CIA counterinsurgency
division, putting her life, and the lives of her contacts, at risk in
violation of a US law protecting intelligence personnel (The
Impeachment of George W. Bush, by Elizabeth Holtzman);

12. as the sole person under the Federal Stafford Act with
responsibility and authority to issue emergency orders to mobilize the
military and any federal resources needed to aid and assist in a
disaster (see Failure of Initiative, February 2006 report of the House
Select Bipartisan Committee to investigate the Preparations for and
the Response to Hurricane Katrina, Bush
failed to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, violated the
public trust, and demonstrated reckless and inexcusable
indifference to human life before, during and after Hurricane Katrina.
Bush knew but did not act until too late, and then he lied about it on
national TV. Footage and transcripts from briefings Aug. 25-31
demonstrate that Bush was personally told well in advance of the
"unprecedented strength" of the hurricane, the "devastating damage
expected," and that "water shortages will make human suffering
incredible," according to highly accurate predictions by the National
Weather Service. The Associated Press reported that "in dramatic and
sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President
Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck
that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans'
Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video
Yet Bush failed to muster resources to evacuate residents in advance
and failed to assist New Orleans residents after Hurricane Katrina
hit. Then three days later Bush told Good Morning America, "I don't
think that anybody
anticipated a breach of the levees."
dyn/content/article/2006/03/02/AR2006030202130.html In years before
the storm Bush demonstrated inexcusable criminal negligence and
violated the public trust by cutting the
budget for hurricane defense, though the high probability of the
breaching of the levees and the enormous risk to human life from a
major hurricane hitting New Orleans
were predicted and well known for years before the hurricane hit;

13. failed to take care that the laws be faithfully executed by
issuing signing statements
that claim the authority to disobey laws based on the president's own
interpretation of their constitutionality, and then by taking action
in violation of these laws, including the US law making torture a
crime, laws regarding Congressional oversight that require providing
information to Congress, laws regarding domestic spying, laws
regarding civil liberties, and laws strengthening whistle blower
protection, thereby expanding the
president's own power by stepping into the legislative and judicial
functions at the expense of Congress and the courts, upsetting the
balance among the three branches of government, and moving us away
from the rule of law toward vastly increased executive
aws/ and;

14. converted the Justice Department into an arm of the Republican
Party by firing meritorious federal prosecutors who refused to base
decisions on whom to prosecute
on political considerations--to help Republicans win election, an offense James
Madison discussed in a speech to the Senate on June 17, 1789, in which
Madison said, "The danger then consists merely in this, the president
can displace from office a man whose merits require that he should be
continued in it. What will be the motives which the president can feel
for such abuse of his power, and the restraints that operate to
prevent it? In the first place, he will be impeachable by this house,
before the senate, for such an act of mal-administration; for I
contend that the wanton removal of meritorious officers would subject
him to impeachment and removal from his own high trust.";

15. condoned criminal conduct and obstructed justice by commuting the
sentence of convicted perjurer Scooter Libby to keep him silent and to
demonstrate that Bush
and Cheney will not allow high officials in the administration to be
held accountable for
their criminal acts;

16. obstructed congressional investigations of these and other acts by
the administration by defying subpoenas from Senate and House
committees seeking documents and testimony under oath by
administration officials and former administration officials; and

Whereas the constitution requires the president to take the following
oath of office: "I do
solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the
President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability,
preserve, protect and defend the
Constitution of the United States;" and

Whereas the constitution provides that the president "shall take Care
that the Laws be faithfully executed;" and

Whereas the constitution mandates that "the President, Vice President
and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from
Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or
other high Crimes and Misdemeanors;" and

Whereas impeachment was so important to our founding fathers that it
is mentioned six times in five different sections of the constitution;

Whereas George Mason, a primary author of the Constitution, said that
impeachment was the single most important part of the entire document.
"Shall any man be above Justice? Above all shall that man be above it
who can commit the most extensive injustice?" July 20, 1787; and

Whereas "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" is a term of art that means a
serious abuse of power, whether or not it is also a crime, that
endangers our constitutional system of government, or an abuse of
public trust. (See Constitutional Grounds for Presidential
Impeachment: Report of the House Judiciary Committee, 1974,,
articles by Elizabeth Holzman who served on the House Judiciary
Committee during the impeachment hearings of Richard Nixon in 1974; and, and the book, The
Impeachment of George W. Bush, by Elizabeth Holtzman)

Whereas each of the above listed acts meets or exceeds that standard; and

Whereas impeachment is the only constitutional method to protect
Americans from a president intent on abusing power, violating the
constitution, violating the laws, and breaching public trust; and

Whereas Bush and Cheney threaten further crimes, including launching a
war of aggression against Iran, and whereas sufficient time remains in
their term of office for them to commit those crimes so allowing
either or both of them to remain in office for that remaining time
will facilitate these crimes, and whereas pretexts for attacking Iran
have been issued, as described by a former CIA Middle East field
officer and current Time Magazine columnist,8816,1654188,00.html; and

Whereas failing to hold Bush and Cheney accountable not only condones
their crimes but
facilitates a future president committing similar or greater crimes; and

Whereas members of Congress swear an oath to "support and defend the
constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and
domestic," and no part of this oath permits exception for partisan
advantage, the next election, political expediency, whether it is
distracting from other issues, or how much time they have left in
office; and

Whereas failure by Congress to initiate the one
remedy--impeachment--provided by our
founding fathers to protect the constitution from such serious abuses
has put that constitution, the rule of law, civil liberties, our
democratic form of government, the
separation of powers, the lives of our men and women in uniform, and
the lives of countless civilians at severe risk; and

Whereas citizen pressure led the Vermont State Senate and 87 cities
and towns around the nation to pass impeachment resolutions; and

Whereas a poll conducted by on
July 5, 2007 found that 54% of American adults want the US House of
Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against Vice
President Dick Cheney while only 40% oppose,
and whereas the poll also found that 45% are in favor of the same
thing for President
George W. Bush while 46% oppose; and

Whereas in view Congress' ongoing complicity with the war, the
torture, the lies, the warrantless wiretapping, and the imprisonment
without trial, and its failure to protect rights and civil liberties,
it is up to the people themselves to defend the constitution and our
civil liberties by building larger grassroots movements, including a
movement for impeachment;

Therefore be it resolved that the National Lawyers Guild calls upon
the U.S. House of
Representatives to immediately initiate impeachment proceedings, to
investigate the charges, and if the investigation supports the
charges, to vote to impeach George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney as
provided in the Constitution of the United States of America; and

Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild will establish
an NLG Impeachment Committee open to all members to coordinate action
by the NLG in
support of impeachment, to work with national and grassroots
impeachment organizations, and to provide legal assistance for those
efforts to strengthen the national campaign for impeachment; and

Be it further resolved that the NLG Impeachment Committee will help
organize and coordinate events at the local, state, and national level
to build public participation in the campaign to initiate impeachment
investigation, impeachment, and removal of Bush
and Cheney from office without further delay; and

Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild calls on NLG
members to ask their
respective member of Congress to support H. Res. 333 to impeach Cheney
and to introduce or support other impeachment resolutions; and

Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild calls on all
other state and national bar associations, state and local government
bodies, community organizations, labor unions, and all other citizen
associations to adopt similar resolutions and to use all their
resources to build the campaign demanding that Congress initiate
impeachment investigation, impeach, and remove Bush and Cheney from
office without further delay; and

Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild will forward a
copy of this resolution to the Speaker and the Clerk of the US House
of Representatives, to
Representative John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee,
to the various state and federal bar associations, to other peace and
justice organizations, and to the news media.

Implementation: By the NLG Impeachment Committee established by this
resolution, by
interested local chapters, and by national officers.

Submitted by: James Marc Leas,

The resolution cosponsors are: Audrey Bomse, Marjorie Cohn, Laura
Safer Espinoza, John Wheat Gibson , Eileen Hansen, Larry Hildes, Jim
Klimaski, Jordan Kushner, Jim Lafferty, James Marc Leas, Kerry McLean,
Bill Monning, Dorinda Moreno, Michael Ratner, Susan Scott, Jennifer
Van Bergen, Aaron Varhola, Karen Weill

3) Green Nominating Convention moved to Sunday, January 13, at 1 pm in
the Norwalk Public Library auditorium, 1 Belden Avenue, Norwalk:

Subject: 4th CD nominating meeting POSTPONED to 1/13/08
Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2008 17:55:21 +0000

A second candidate, Gerry Falbel, has announced he is seeking the
nomination, so to allow both Gerry and Richard Duffee to make
presentations, we have recheduled the meeting to Sunday, Jan. 13.
Sorry for any confusion.

The meeting is open to observers, and Green Party members are
encouraged to attend. Party members in the 4th Congressional District
may vote.

For details and to RSVP, please visit

January 2, 2008

Legislation and Elections Administration Division
Secretary of the State
PO Box 150470
Hartford CT 06115-0470


To Whom It May Concern:

The meeting previously scheduled for January 5 has been postponed to
January 13 in order to accommodate both announced candidates seeking
the nomination.

Pursuant to CT General Statutes Sec. 9-452a, as Secretary of the
Fairfield County chapter of the CT Green Party, I hereby provide
statutory notice of a Party nominating meeting to be held:

Date: Sunday, January 13, 2008
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Norwalk Public Library (2nd floor auditorium), 1 Belden
Ave., Norwalk, CT
Purpose: Nominate candidate for U.S. Congress representing CT's 4th District

Nominations shall be accepted from the floor. Anyone who meets the
requirements of membership as defined by the bylaws of the CT Green
Party, who resides within CT's 4th Congressional District and is
present at the meeting is eligible to vote. The nominees must receive
support from a simple majority of those who actually vote. If there is
more than one person nominated for the same office, instant runoff
voting will be used and abstentions will not be counted as votes.

Respectfully submitted,

David Bedell, Secretary
Fairfield County Chapter, CT Green Party