Statement of Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson, Mayor of Salt Lake City
Before the Washington State Senate
Governmental Operations Committee
March 1, 2007
I am honored to address you today and am pleased that you, unlike so many members of Congress and most state legislatures, have recognized your solemn responsibility to examine whether proceedings should be commenced for the impeachment of the President of the United States.
Never before has there been such a compelling case for impeachment and removal from office of the president of the United States for heinous human rights violations, breaches of trust, abuses of power injurious to the nation, war crimes, misleading Congress and the American people about threats to our nation’s security and the supposed case for war, and grave violations of treaties, the Constitution, and domestic statutory law.
Our nation’s moral standing in the world, our nation’s principled commitment to basic freedoms and individual rights, our nation’s essential democracy – all now depend upon a conscientious, non-partisan determination that our representatives in Congress will, with integrity and without partisan bias, make it clear, for our nation’s sake now and in the future, that a president will not be permitted any longer to hold the office he has abused by egregiously violating the trust, the laws, and the essential principles of the United States – a nation that has, since its founding, prided itself in fighting against, and distinguishing itself from, the sort of tyranny, cruel immorality, and disdain for the rule of law exemplified by George W. Bush and several members of his administration.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq has been tragic at every level. Our nation was led into this tragedy through the dishonesty of President Bush. No clearer case for impeachment can be found than misleading our nation so it will engage in a tragic, illegal war.
The United States and the President are bound to obey treaties to which our nation has committed itself. By pursuing war against a country that had not attacked the US, and which was not threatening an imminent attack, President Bush blatantly violated the most fundamental treaty obligations.
The violation of personal liberties and rights guaranteed by the Constitution, which limits governmental intrusions in our lives, is an offense so grave as to merit impeachment. President Bush’s secret authorization of warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, in clear violation of the protections explicitly assured by the Fourth Amendment, and in direct violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, is a high crime.
Finally, in violation of numerous treaty obligations and domestic statutory law, President Bush has authorized and condoned the kidnapping, incarceration without charges or trial, and torture of hundreds of human beings. Those are not only offenses against every fundamental principle of justice and decency, they are offenses in violation of numerous treaties to which the U.S. has committed itself, as well as federal statutory law.
To restore some modicum of decency and accountability for our nation, and to protect our nation against those who would rule without regard to established law, we must commit ourselves to the rule of law and call for the impeachment and removal from office of President Bush.