An Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi: Madame Speaker, Live Up to Your Oath!

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

– Congressional Oath of Office

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House of Representatives

United States Capitol

Washington, D. C.

 

Dear Speaker Pelosi,

 

On Wednesday, September 26th, 2007, you appeared on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, during which you repeated your position that any effort to pursue the impeachment of President Bush is “off the table”.  As you have done in the past, you argued that the American people put the Democrats in the majority in order to pursue your legislative agenda, and that this agenda should be the Democrats’ priority.  You insisted that the Democrats will hold President Bush accountable (you weren’t particularly clear on how), and have succeeded in changing the “conversation” about Iraq.  You also made sure to engage in some political posturing, making the point that the war in Iraq “was President Bush’s war; was Vice President Cheney’s war; now it’s the war of the Republicans in Congress.”

 

Yadda, Yadda, Yadda.

 

Speaker Pelosi, you seem to be forgetting something – something of the utmost, over-riding importance:  you took an oath upon assuming your office.  You did not take an oath to “pursue a legislative agenda”.  You did not take an oath to change the “conversation” about Iraq.  You did not take an oath to engage in political posturing.  You took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States”, and you are failing to live up to that oath each and every day that you refuse to open an inquiry that would lead to the impeachment of President George W. Bush!  Moreover, by taking impeachment “off the table”, you are assuring President Bush that he can feel free to violate the Constitution – something he has shown a remarkable propensity to do – and that he can do this with absolute impunity.  That is unacceptable.

 

Despite your statements on CNN, this is not just about the war in Iraq.  President Bush has failed to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, in violation of his oath of office, by failing to enforce the War Crimes Act of 1996 and the Geneva Convention against Torture, by blatantly claiming the authority to refuse to execute the laws through the use of “signing statements”, and by declaring himself to be above the law, able to circumvent any law if he, at his sole discretion, determines that it is necessary for “National Security” for him to do so – a decision, he argues, for which he is accountable to no one; he has committed serious abuses of power, by causing the disclosure of the identity of a covert intelligence officer as political retaliation against that officer’s husband, and most notably by putting forth the theory of the “Unitary Executive”, in which he claims that the Executive branch becomes the dominant power in a time of war – even a war that may last indefinitely – and that the other two branches somehow become secondary, in direct violation of the constitutional principle of three co-equal branches; he has committed several felony violations of the laws, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the False Statements Accountability Act, the War Crimes Act, the Hatch Act, and the Intelligence Identities Protection Act; he has misappropriated funds by ordering that $700 million, authorized by the Congress for the Afghanistan theater, be diverted away from that theater – in other words, away from the search for Osama Bin Laden and the actual “War on Terror” –  and instead be spent on preparations for his war in Iraq, at a time when Congress had not yet authorized the use of military force in Iraq; he has engaged in the obstruction of justice through his commutation of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s prison term as a means of buying Libby’s silence, and through his continuing refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas in a wide array of areas.

 

President Clinton’s statements regarding an extra-marital affair were cause enough to impeach him; don’t the above actions committed by President Bush even justify an inquiry – at the very least?

 

To “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” must be a higher priority than any legislative agenda.  Our Constitution is under attack by this Administration, but so far you have not even deemed these attacks to be worthy of an inquiry.  These attacks must be repelled by any (legal) means necessary, the best of which is the process written directly into the Constitution as a means of protecting it – the process of impeachment.

 

This is not about politics-as-usual in Washington.  This is not about positioning for the 2008 elections.  This is about what kind of nation we will leave to our children and to our children’s children; whether we will “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”.  The time has come, Speaker Pelosi, for you to rise above partisan politics and perform your Constitutional duty.

 

Speaker Pelosi, live up to your oath of office, and “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” – open the impeachment inquiry against this President! 

 

Please.  For our Constitution’s sake.