Sunday, April 20, 2008

H. Burbank's impeachment work & candidacy; R. Duffee article; C. McKinney on Mexican news we don't get

Hi Impeachment Person:
I haven't communicated for well over a week: I've been attending all
of Shays' meetings and then spent three days in Concord, New
Hampshire, at the meeting Harold Burbank organized and the vote of the
New Hampshire legislature. At times I'm flooded by campaign and
impeachment activity and other obligations, but until I can find
someone to take over this impeachment list, I'll keep sending out
information relevant to impeachment that you are unlikely to have
received from other sources. Today, 3 articles:

1) A press release about Harold Burbank's candidacy for congress in
the 5th district and his work for impeachment.
2) An article about Richard Duffee (me), and my candidacy from the
Fairfield County Weekly.
3) Barb Schade forwards an extremely informative talk by Cynthia
McKinney, who is seeking the Green Party nomination for President, at
the Earth Day Celebration, California State University, Northridge
April 15, 2008. Mexico is in massive rebellion against NAFTA, Mexican
leaders are being forced to yield to popular demand, and we are not
being told a WORD about it!


US House Candidate human rights attorney, Harold Burbank, of Canton,
Ct., announced
that he has drafted what he believes is the nation's first town ordinance to
create a US war criminal free zone. He did so at the request of Kennebunkport
resident and Maine US Senate Candidate, Laurie Dobson, who, in March,
2008, announced her support of a "Kennebunkport Indictment" against
President GW Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney for war crimes
defined by the United Nations Charter, the Nuremberg Charter, and the
Geneva Conventions, and in violation of the
US Constitution, which makes these human rights treaties the supreme
law of the land.

The draft ordinance incorporates the Nuremberg Charter, and specifically
creates town authority to investigate, arrest, indict, prosecute and refer
for further legal action any suspected or known war criminal within
Kennebunkport. The Bush family has had a Kennebunkport summer home for
generations. Burbank published the proposed ordinance last week at a
Concord, New Hampshire, event he organized advocating impeachment of
Bush and Cheney, and featuring Pentagon Papers' icon Daniel Ellsberg,
former Star Wars
missile defense shield program director Dr. Robert Bowman, author John
Nichols, and former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Ellsberg and Bowman,
staunch advocates for impeaching Bush and Cheney for crimes against the
Constitution and humanity, have publicly announced their support of
Burbank's 5th District US House campaign versus incumbent Chris
Murphy, who refuses to support impeachment, and who continues to vote
for budgets for the Iraq occupation.

"At Chris Murphy's September, 2007, New Britain town meeting on Iraq, I asked
him publicly why he was not supporting impeachment of Bush and Cheney, given
that he agreed the Iraq war and many other administration policies were the
results of their criminal actions," Burbank said. "Chris had no answers,
which was inexcusable, since he swore the same oath I did as a Connecticut
attorney, and another when he entered the US House, to uphold and defend the
Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. I then decided I had to
run for his seat. Chris was denying his obligation to protect my family and
my country by protecting the Constitution from fascism. My model ordinance,
which incorporates the Nuremberg Charter, in effect since August 7, 1945, and
never repealed, is a logical extension of my oath and campaign to protect
the Constitution from war criminals and war crimes of the Bush-Cheney

Burbank is a Kennebunk native who was recommended to law school by the
President's father, President GHW Bush. The family also recommended young
Burbank to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, to which he was later
nominated. In 1986 the senior Bush helped Burbank's law school Amnesty
International group gain release of a Thai political prisoner. Burbank
corresponds to this day with President GHW Bush on war and peace issues,
including possible US war with Iran.

"I am a human rights lawyer specializing in international law, which
includes war crimes. Kennebunk, Maine, is my hometown, where I grew up golf
caddying and grounds keeping for the Bush family. As a Maine and Connecticut
licensed attorney I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution,
which makes all US treaties like the Nuremberg Charter the supreme law of
the land. The American people, and people of the Middle East, need the
benefit of the Nuremberg Charter now, not after Bush administration attacks
and occupies a new country like Iran, which will surely plunge us into WW
III. The Kennebunkport war crimes ordinance is designed to give Americans
and all others the maximum authority to prevent WW III from starting,"
Burbank said. "If the Congress will not stop current imperialist US wars,
and prevent future ones, especially in Iran, the people will have to do it,
even if we have to build a ground-up system of local policing and
enforcement," Burbank said.

President GW Bush comes to the 5th District this Friday to raise funds for
likely Republican US House candidate David Cappiello, at a $1000 plate
dinner hosted by Henry Kissinger of Kent. Burbank will seek to hold an ice
cream fundraiser in Kent the same day and play his tape of Dan Ellsberg's
April 14, 2008, speech given in Concord, New Hampshire, in support 87-year-old
New Hampshire State Representative Betty Hall's HR 24, a bill to impeach
Bush and Cheney for crimes against the Constitution an humanity.

"Ellsberg challenged all Americans to consider what it took to stop the
Vietnam War; that it took great sacrifice by peace activists like Randy
Kehler, who went to the Danbury Connecticut Federal Prison for two years rather
than serve in the immoral and illegal Vietnam War, or seek CO status, or
escape to Canada. Randy went to prison to make the maximum moral statement
that the war was wrong, that everyone had a moral duty to confront that
issue, and do what they could to peacefully end the war. Randy was Dan
Ellsberg's inspiration for his release of the Pentagon Papers. Dan faced
over 100 years in prison for treason for what he did (he was released after
Nixon had Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office burglarized). That is the kind
of legal, moral and spiritual heroism it takes to build a war crime free
world, and that is what I am for. It is terribly ironic that President Bush
is coming to the 5th District to promote his immoral and illegal wars this
week - the same District in which Randy served his time for peace which
moved Dan Ellsberg to spark the end of the Vietnam War," Burbank said. "I am
afraid that our major parties have yet to learn anything from what Randy and
Dan taught my generation, but I am hoping to speak up for them in my
5th District campaign, for the sake of my children and theirs."

2) News County Fair: Impeach and a Pair

Thursday, April 17, 2008
By FCW Editorial

In 2006, Richard Duffee, the Green Party candidate for Connecticut's fourth
congressional district, dropped out and endorsed Democrat Diane Farrell when
a Quinnipiac poll put her in a dead heat with Republican incumbent Chris
Shays. This year, Duffee says he's running again and has no plans to back
likely Democratic nominee Jim Himes since he won't run on a promise to
impeach George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Impeachment, says Duffee is more
vital in post-Bush 2009 than it was in 2007.

Please stay with us for an explanation.

"In the last two years, the Bush administration has continued to push the
boundaries of executive power to a nearly imperial state," Duffee says.
"Someone needs to hold them accountable, preferably by [an impeachment]
prearrangement before January 20."

He adds that "power is not an easy thing to give up. It doesn't extinguish
itself. Let's say Barack Obama is our next president, and he's a great guy;
he'd never do the things Bush and Cheney did. Unless congress acts, those
powers that Bush appointed for himself"-the suspension of habeas corpus,
warrant-less wiretapping, the use of torture, preemptive warfare (to name a
few)-"will still be there for the president after him, and the president
after him."

Duffee, a Stamford-based poet, essayist and law professor, displays an
encyclopedic knowledge of U.S. and international law, and his complaints
about American government don't end with the Bush administration. In fact,
they predate the Washington administration. "What I would really like to do
is have a constitutional convention," Duffee says. He wants to replace the
winner-take-all voting system, insert guarantees of economic fairness into
the Constitution and dump the two-senators-per-state rule, saying that it
gives the 500,000 residents of Wyoming as much say in the Senate as the 36
million Californians.

But back to the issue at hand: The impeachment of the president (which all
of a sudden seems reasonable and doable). Himes, the former chair of the
Greenwich Democratic Town Committee, says "as a matter of principle, we
should hold any officials who've broken the law to task. God knows, Chris
Shays has taken no action. But for a guy like me who won't have Bush and
Cheney leaving office by the time I get to Washington, I don't see it as a
worthy use of time." Himes says he's more invested in restoring the
Constitution by bolstering congressional oversight, clarifying habeas corpus
regulations, closing Guantanamo Bay, strictly banning the torture, and
wrangling with the next president over disregard for parts of legislation he
or she signed.

"I respect Richard Duffee," says Himes, who has met with Duffee several
times. "He's a thoughtful and passionate activist. We care about many of the
same things but we clearly differ on focus." And Duffee, when asked if the
two main-party candidates were the Pepsi and Coke of the fourth district,
says firmly, "No, Jim Himes is much better; Chris Shays is a true believer
in the war and the imperial presidency."

Himes, hoping to throw that knock-out blow Farrell almost delivered twice to
the 15-full-term congressman (she got 48 percent of the vote in 2004 and
2006), doesn't see Duffee as a potential spoiler. "I think the people in
this district can see that there is a clear choice between me, someone who
cares deeply about the Constitution, and Chris Shays, someone who's voted to
help destroy it."

3) Barb Schade forwards this extremely informative talk by Cynthia
McKinney at the Earth Day Celebration, California State University,
Northridge April 15, 2008:

I would like to thank the students at Cal State University,
Northridge for inviting me to speak on campus today. I have just
returned from an exciting trip to Mexico City and I'd like to share
some of my observations with you this afternoon.

First of all, it is important to note and ask the question why is it
that the corporate press are not even touching the events playing out
right now in the capital city of our neighbor to the south and their
importance to us? Had I not actually been there myself, I would be
hard pressed to convince any audience that events of this magnitude
were actually taking place anywhere in the world, let alone in a
country as important and close to us as Mexico.

A quick review of today's press shows us that we are currently being
titillated by news of sex tapes featuring Marilyn Monroe and another
such tape featuring an unnamed British Royal. The top of the news
hour greets us with information of an intemperate statement made by a
former television executive about a current Presidential candidate;
video is plentiful of the contorted Presidential theatrics around the
Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in Beijing. We were treated today to
the visual of the Pope descending from the Alitalia jet. But, while
we have more television stations that feed us 24-hour news, we are
less informed. We have more and more political pundits feeding us,
what Fred Hampton described as "explanations that don't explain,
answers that don't answer, and conclusions that don't conclude."

CNN even tells us in a feature story who suffers as a result of a
choice made by our policy makers to emphasize ethanol as a preferred
method of weaning a hulking, overfed economy off its petroleum-based
consumption habit. But they forgot the other half of that equation:
who's winning? And it's the "who's winning" part that is just about
always the key piece of information, that could guide us, especially
when the choices of our elected leadership diverge from the core
values of the voters who elected them.

And yet, as we speak, the Mexican Senate Chamber has been occupied.
The massive rally held today has probably just ended, and some of the
opposition Members of the Mexican Congress are inside the building on
the dais and have announced a hunger strike. Days ago, one of the
leading papers in Mexico City had a photo of the Chamber of Deputies
of the Mexican Congress with an unfurled banner covering the
Speaker's Rostrum, proclaiming the Chamber "Closed." The banner was
hung by elected Members of the Mexican Congress who constitute the
Frente Amplio Progresista that has dared to draw a line in the sand
against U.S.-inspired legislation just introduced to allow foreign
corporate ownership of PEMEX, Mexico's state-owned oil company.

Mexican women are energized around the idea of nation. The idea of
patria. I wrote my Master's Thesis on the "Idea of Nation." And to
see the women, in their t-shirts and kerchiefs, so committed to their
country, their nation, their identity. To them, that's Mexico's oil,
natural gas, electricity, land, and water and it ought to be used by
the Mexican people first and foremost for their own national
development. But sadly, it's the public policy emanating from
Washington, D.C. that threatens that.

But to tell that story accurately, would also require that the U.S.
corporate press expose why this citizen outrage exists in the first
place. And to tell that story, they would have to expose the fact of
a stolen Presidential election, where a private U.S., Georgia,
corporation, possibly played a role in stripping citizens of their
right to vote and have their votes counted. Well, while that might
sound like what happened in the United States, centering in Florida,
in the U.S. 2000 Presidential election, I'm really talking about the
2006 Mexican Presidential election in which the popular candidate
didn't win because all the votes weren't counted.

According to Greg Palast, the U.S. corporation involved in the
Mexican move was none other than that now infamous Georgia-based
company: Choicepoint. We know that in Florida, Choicepoint, then
doing business as DataBase Technologies, constructed an illegal
convicted felons list of some 94,000 names, many of whom were neither
convicted nor felons. But if your name appeared on that list, you
were stopped from voting. Greg Palast tells us that for most of the
names on that list, their only crime was "Voting While Black."

Under a special "counter-terrorism" contract, the U.S. FBI obtained
Mexican and Venezuelan voter files. Palast learned later in his
investigation that the U.S. government had obtained, through
Choicepont, voter files of all the countries that have progressive
Presidents. Many Mexicans went to the polls to vote for their
President, only to find that their names had been scrubbed from the
voter list, and they were not allowed to vote. So now, not only in
the United States, but in Mexico, too, one can show up to vote and
not be sure that that vote was counted, or worse, one can show up
duly registered to vote, and not even be allowed to vote.

I guess this is the way we allow our country to now export democracy.

Unlike in the United States in 2000, Mexico City was shut down for 5
months when Lopez Obrador, Mexico's Al Gore, refused to concede and
instead, formed a shadow government.

The issue in the 2006 Mexican election was privatization of Mexico's
oil; it is the riveting issue taking place in Mexican politics today.
Teachers on strike at the same time as the Presidential elections in
Oaxaca, one of the poorest states in Mexico, began their political
movement as a call for increased teacher salaries and against
privatization of schools. Due to heavy-handed tactics used by the
government against the teachers, tens of thousands of citizens joined
them and took over the central city area of that state. Today, after
Mexico has added teachers and those who support teachers to its
growing ranks of "political prisoners," teachers are still protesting
their conditions, the reprisals taken against them for striking, and
now, the teachers' union is a committed part of the national
mobilization against privatization of PEMEX.

I was invited to participate in the Second Continental Workers
Conference. The first meeting was held in La Paz, Bolivia. And so,
people from all over Mexico and eight different countries told of
their struggles, their hopes, their ideals, their values, their
patriotism, their desire for peace-no more war.

Representatives from Chiapas, another one of Mexico's poorest states,
told us of the indigenous struggle for land and self-determination,
the low-intensity warfare waged against them, and how now they, too,
count themselves a part of the national mobilization against PEMEX

While I was there, mine workers had taken over the mines, and so,
could only send a handful of inspiring representatives. They are
pressing for the right to unionize, denied to them by the Government.
And the mine workers are a part of the solid front forming in Mexico
to protect this powerful idea of nation.

I participated in one of the many rallies organized by opponents of
the government's plan to offer up Mexico's patrimony to the
insatiable multiple U.S. addictions. One woman removed her
brigadista t-shirt and gave it to me-proud that a citizen of the
United States came to stand with them.

Today's front page of La Jornada says that the women, who marched
10,000 strong on the day that I was there, have renewed their
protests and civil disobedience. The threat of violence and
bloodshed is very real.

Now, why should this massive social, political, and economic upheaval
in Mexico, aside from its human rights implications, be important to
us up here in the United States?

Because the sad truth of the matter is that, in many respects, it is
our military and economic policies that are causing it. Of course, I
recognize that all the way back to the practice of Manifest Destiny
and the declaration of the Monroe Doctrine, U.S. policy decisions
have at times sent shock waves to places outside our borders. You
could say that the modern version of that is NAFTA.

In 1993, the Democratic majority in the United States Congress
supported then-President Bill Clinton's push for passage of the North
American Free Trade Agreement. The stated purpose of the legislation
was to remove barriers to trade and investment that existed in North
America. The propaganda had it that the objective was to lift all
boats, in Canada, the United States, and Mexico through trade and
investment. The result is the stripping away and transfer of
Mexico's patrimony in terms of their natural and human resources.
And the Mexican people are taking a stand against it. They are
taking the same stand that the little people in Haiti, Venezuela,
Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Argentina have taken.
With the power of the vote, the people of these countries dared to
believe that they could peacefully defeat the colossus to the north.
And they did.

And so, in a way, now, I guess I understand why the corporate press
can't tell you and me the truth about the valiant stand for dignity
that's going on in Mexico, because to truly cover the story, they'd
have to uncover and point out some inconvenient truths.

One of those inconvenient truths particularly meaningful to me:
There comes a time when silence is betrayal.

We, the little--and yet so powerful--people in this country have been
way too silent for way too long on all the issues that mean so much.

Dr. King also said that our lives begin to end the day we become
silent about the things that matter.

On one of my early days in Congress, I was late for a vote. I looked
up on the board and only saw green votes; I presumed that the vote
was a non-controversial item on the calendar. Since I was among the
last to vote, there was no time to inquire. I pressed my green
button. Afterwards, I learned that the vote might have been what
others would have called an "easy" yes vote, but for my conscience it
was a no vote. Later that night, my heart sank as I watched the
news. One man of 78 years was so angered by that vote that he threw
stones. Only thing, he had a heart attack throwing stones, and died.

My heart sank. I felt personally responsible for that man's death
and vowed that I would never cast what they call easy votes, again.
My one vote would not have changed the outcome of the tally on the
resolution. But my one vote would have been true to my values and my
ideals that everyone is entitled to human rights that are to be

I got into trouble often after that, because I recognized my
responsibility to read the legislation, think analytically, question
critically, and vote independently.

That was while I was in Congress. But now that I'm not, does that
mean that the responsibility is gone? No.

I happened to vote against NAFTA, and I'm glad for that. But imagine
if the all the voters in the entire United States understood that
something as simple as a vote in a federal election might determine
who lives and who dies in another country. Imagine, if we in the
United States were as certain of the possibility of peaceful change
through the vote as were the people of Haiti, Mexico-despite having
their election stolen from them, Venezuela, and the rest. Then we
would vote Members of Congress out of office who support Plan
Colombia. We would vote Members of Congress out of office who
support Plan Mexico-which like its Colombian counterpart, is the
military answer to the cry of the people for dignity,
self-determination, and that idea of patria. We would not vote for
any political party that did not have as its agenda extending the
same respect and love of life to all others as we reserve for

And so I come to the additional meaning of Earth Day, today. I met
people in Mexico City who are willing to die in this struggle-But
they shouldn't have to because the United States wants their oil.
Let us express our respect for the planet that sustains us by first
showing love to our brothers and sisters beside us. We voters in the
United States do have as much power as the voters in all those other
countries. All we have to do is believe in ourselves and use it.

Finally, I'd like to recognize the role of student activists in
promoting change. Of course, it was high school students who faced
the water hoses and the dogs in the civil rights movement. It was
the university students who faced the riot gear and the bullets in
the anti-war movement. The current anti-globalization, pro-peace
rallies are all organized and led by young people. Keep it up and
don't ever give in.

Monday, April 7, 2008

“The Pottery Barn Rule” is An Exit Strategy

"The Pottery Barn Rule" is An Exit Strategy

In the last couple of weeks, lots of politicians and newscasters have
been offering minor variations on what they call the "Pottery Barn
Rule"—it's an idea that's caught on—or a script someone has handed
them. Christopher Shays, Connecticut's 4th district Representative,
has it too. On Sunday in his Westport town meeting, Rep. Shays said
"You break it, you own the place." On Saturday in Wilton he said that
we should not be paying to reconstruct the Iraqi economy; the Iraqis
should be doing that themselves.

The Pottery Barn Rule I know goes, "You break it, you own it." Very
simple. But all the people who are talking about it now mean something
different. They are using it as a justification for staying in Iraq.
Their rule goes, "You break Iraq, you own the place."

Let's apply the two rules. By my interpretation, you drop a pot, you
apologize, you pay the owner, and you leave—with or without the shards
of the pot you bought.

By their interpretation, you drop the pot, you own the Pottery Barn,
you bring in a bunch of guys with machine guns, tell the owner where
to sit, shoot around his feet, tell him he doesn't know how to run his
store, and tell him you're staying until he learns, and spray the
store with .50 caliber rounds. When some of his employees protest the
owner's just sitting there, you nail them. You tell them you had to
because they have issues with each other. You tell them they don't
know how valuable their pots are, that they might have not only 10% of
the world's pots right there under their roof, but 20%--and the
world's in desperate need of pots. You tell them you are guaranteeing
pots for the world, so you might have to stay for 50 years, but you
might be satisfied with less if they run their store right.

Curious interpretation.

Let's apply the REAL Pottery Barn Rule: pay for what we have broken,
apologize, and LEAVE.

If you drop a pot in the Pottery Barn, do you tell the owner how much
the pot was worth? Or does the owner tell you? What if you disagree
with him? You go to court, right?

So let's assume there's going to be some agreement. After all, the US
military SAYS we don't count Iraqi bodies, so we can hardly turn
around and say we have the right figure for the number of people we've
killed, directly and intentionally or negligently. We certainly don't
know how many people we have left maimed and diseased, let alone how
many are suffering from the pollution by uranium dust. Though the
UNHCR says more than 4 million Iraqis are homeless, we don't have a
good estimate of the condition of each home they've had to abandon,
let alone of the condition of all the infrastructure, factories, and
public buildings we've destroyed. Estimates of damage to the Iraqi
economy run to 30 years' worth of their economic activity. So we
should expect the bill to be pretty large.

is estimated at 87.9 billion in purchasing power parity dollars. The
entire bill for all the economic damage we've done would be 2.6
trillion in PPP dollars—400 billion less than the 3 trillion Nobel
laureate Joseph Stiglitz says we're paying for our criminal occupation
of Iraq. The exchange rate for the Iraqi dinar has always favored us,
so the real figure would have to be lower.

So let's go to court. We should go to the International Criminal Court
to determine guilt and to the International Court of Justice to
determine reparations.

We'd better show some good faith efforts to ameliorate the damage
we've caused. So let's start by paying all the refugees who have left
their homes to rebuild their homes. Let's pay the government to
rebuild the infrastructure.

We don't need to stay in Iraq to do this. We can leave NOW. Lots of
other countries will be glad to work in Iraq so long as we, the
international criminals, are not running the show. The UN can
distribute the money to get Iraqis back on their feet while the ICC
and ICJ do their work.

Think of the benefits. It will be the first war in which the winners
have submitted to international law, admitted their guilt, and made
amends. If we do this, we can look forward to a sort of peace that has
never before existed on earth, peace based on justice, not mere force.
We will regain our self-respect, and even, perhaps, the respect of the

And we'll have learned our lesson. Next time we'll be more careful in
choosing our president. We'll choose congressional representatives who
will take their oaths of office seriously—and so will impeach criminal
presidents to defend the Constitution. We'll have earned our

Richard Duffee

Friday, April 4, 2008

Mawwal Tomorrow night

This is Richard Duffee. Hope to see you tomorrow night. Just got this message:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mawwal <>
Date: Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 6:28 PM
Subject: Mawwal Tomorrow night

MAWWAL performs this Saturday,
April 5th, 2008

info: 413-584-2471

(4th district Green Party Candidate for Congress) and ANTI-NUKE GROUP

Event begins at 8PM $10 donation