Atlanta Progressive News obtained remarks prepared by the Congresswoman, and learned she was not allowed to read them on the US House Floor. I will present them in full below.
APN also promises an interview with the Congresswoman, and you can expect another report on this very page.
Mr. Speaker:No, Congresswoman. Thank YOU.
I come before this body today as a proud American and as a servant of the American people, sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
Throughout my tenure, I've always tried to speak the truth. It's that commitment that brings me here today.
We have a President who has misgoverned and a Congress that has refused to hold him accountable. It is a grave situation and I believe the stakes for our country are high.
No American is above the law, and if we allow a President to violate, at the most basic and fundamental level, the trust of the people and then continue to govern, without a process for holding him accountable, what does that say about our commitment to the truth? To the Constitution? To our democracy?
The trust of the American people has been broken. And a process must be undertaken to repair this trust. This process must begin with honesty and accountability.
Leading up to our invasion of Iraq, the American people supported this Administration's actions because they believed in our President. They believed he was acting in good faith. They believed that American laws and American values would be respected. That in the weightiness of everything being considered, two values were rock solid: trust and truth.
From mushroom clouds to African yellow cake to aluminum tubes, the American people and this Congress were not presented the facts, but rather were presented a string of untruths, to justify the invasion of Iraq.
President Bush, along with Vice President Cheney and then-National Security Advisor Rice, portrayed to the Congress and to the American people that Iraq represented an imminent threat, culminating with President Bush's claim that Iraq was six months away from developing a nuclear weapon. Having used false fear to buy consent, the President then took our country to war.
This has grave consequences for the health of our democracy, for our standing with our allies, and most of all, for the lives of our men and women in the military and their families--who have been asked to make sacrifices--including the ultimate sacrifice--to keep us safe.
Just as we expect our leaders to be truthful, we expect them to abide by the law and respect our courts and judges. Here again, the President failed the American people.
When President Bush signed an executive order authorizing unlawful spying on American citizens, he circumvented the courts, the law, and he violated the separation of powers provided by the Constitution. Once the program was revealed, he then tried to hide the scope of his offense from the American people by making contradictory, untrue statements.
President George W. Bush has failed to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States; he has failed to ensure that senior members of his administration do the same; and he has betrayed the trust of the American people.
With a heavy heart and in the deepest spirit of patriotism, I exercise my duty and responsibility to speak truthfully about what is before us. To shy away from this responsibility would be easier. But I have not been one to travel the easy road. I believe in this country, and in the power of our democracy. I feel the steely conviction of one who will not let the country I love descend into shame; for the fabric of our democracy is at stake.
Some will call this a partisan vendetta, others will say this is an unimportant distraction to the plans of the incoming Congress. But this is not about political gamesmanship.
I am not willing to put any political party before my principles.
This, instead, is about beginning the long road back to regaining the high standards of truth and democracy upon which our great country was founded.
Under the standards set by the United States Constitution, President Bush, along with Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of State Rice, should be subject to the process of impeachment, and I have filed H. Res.1106 in the House of Representatives.
To my fellow Americans, as I leave this Congress, it is in your hands to hold your representatives accountable, and to show those with the courage to stand for what is right, that they do not stand alone.
Thanks also to APN and Matthew Cardinale for covering this development honestly, unlike some so-called news services which have covered it otherwise, and some other so-called news services which have not covered it at all.
Further thanks to Matt Pascarella, who has more, including the following:
Article I states that President Bush has failed to preserve, protect and defend the constitution. Specifically cited in this article is the charge that Bush has manipulated intelligence and lied to justify war: “George Walker Bush … in preparing the invasion of Iraq, did withhold intelligence from the Congress, by refusing to provide Congress with the full intelligence picture that he was being given, by redacting information … and actively manipulating the intelligence on Iraq’s alleged weapons programs by pressuring the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies.”
Article II, “Abuse of office and of executive privilege,” states that President Bush has disregarded his oath of office by “obstructing and hindering the work of Congressional investigative bodies and by seeking to expand the scope of the powers of his office.” The President has “failed to take responsibility for, investigate or discipline those responsible for an ongoing pattern of negligence, incompetence and malfeasance to the detriment of the American people.”
This article continues by indicting Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in their actions to manipulate or “fix” intelligence and mislead the public about Iraq’s weapons programs. Ultimately, this article calls not only for Bush’s impeachment and removal from office but also asks the same actions to be taken against Cheney and Rice.
Article III states that President Bush has failed to “ensure the laws are faithfully executed” and that he has “violated the letter and spirit of laws and rules of criminal procedure used by civilian and military courts, and has violated or ignored regulatory codes and practices that carry out the law.”
Specifically, McKinney cites illegal domestic spying as a result of failing to obtain warrants thereby subverting congress and the judiciary in the process: “… by circumventing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act courts established by Congress, whose express purpose is to check such abuses of executive power, provoking the presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to file a complaint and another judge to resign in protest, the said program having been subsequently ruled illegal; he has also concealed the existence of this unlawful program of spying on American citizens from the people and all but a few of their representatives in Congress, even resorting to outright public deceit.”
While the staff was editing the document, one advisor told me, “As we sat down and worked on this, a pattern became very clear … a pattern to specifically undermine the constitution and establish a unitary presidency.”
“What do you think they are going to do to me this time?” she asks her staff. Everyone uncomfortably shifts in their seats and after no answer comes McKinney explains, “We have to do this because this is simply the right thing to do. The American people do want to hold this man and his office accountable for the crimes they have committed and if no member of Congress is willing to do it, then I will.”