Sunday, January 22, 2006

Call is out to impeach Bush

Freep.com: WASHINGTON -- A Democratic congressman, a prominent legal scholar and a self-described target of government surveillance urged Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee on Friday to consider impeaching President George W. Bush for his domestic surveillance program.

The recommendation by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., law scholar Jonathan Turley and Florida-based political activist Richard Hersh emerged at an unofficial Judiciary Committee hearing staged entirely by Democrats.

The proceedings on Capitol Hill were conducted with no legal authority after the committee chairman, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., rejected Democrats' requests for an inquiry into the spying program.

Nadler, a senior Democrat on the committee's panel on the Constitution, called for the Republican-led committee to explore whether Bush should face impeachment for alleged high crimes and misdemeanors stemming from his decision to authorize domestic surveillance without court review.

Hersh, 59, testified that he learned in a Pentagon report unearthed last year by NBC News that he had been the target of government surveillance during participation in a meeting at the Quaker meeting house in Lake Worth, Fla., in 2004.

At that meeting, activists from religious, educational, environmental, peace and social justice organizations organized the Truth Project to help educate high school students and their parents about military service, he said.

Senate investigation: In preparation for the Senate's Feb. 6 hearings on the Bush administration's spying program, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., pointed out that Bush said in 2004 that "when we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so."

That statement came at the same time the National Security Agency was engaging in warrantless eavesdropping on Americans.

Bush plans a Wednesday visit to the NSA, where he will reassert his claim that he has the constitutional authority to let intelligence officials listen in on international phone calls of Americans with suspected ties to terrorists, said White House press secretary Scott McClellan.

Heated rhetoric: Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser, gave Republicans a preview of the party's fall election strategy.

In a speech Friday to a partisan audience, he attacked Democrats for what he described as their "cut and run" policy on Iraq, blocking a renewal of the USA Patriot Act and challenging the legality of the administration's use of warrantless wiretaps.

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