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Special Reports Last Updated: Aug 27th, 2007 - 01:03:56

Angelenos making vocal demand for quick Bush, Cheney impeachment and removal from office
By Terry Heath
Online Journal Guest Writer

Aug 27, 2007, 01:01

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In a tiny office building situated on the west side of Los Angeles, not very far from the famed Cedars Sinai Medical Center and Beverly Center shopping mall where the Hollywood elite go to shop, dozens of unpaid volunteers are spending their summer Saturdays stuffing envelopes, making telephone calls and brainstorming ideas with one goal in mind. They seek to impeach and remove from political office the current president and vice president of the United States.

The Los Angeles National Impeachment Center (LANIC) has begun operations with the participants in the movement having just one intent on their agenda by removing George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, this nation�s two highest political officeholders, from their posts now even though both are second term lame ducks and will be out of office in January, 2009.

�To allow the constitutional rights violations that have been committed by this administration go unchecked would send a message to the next administration and to the world of America�s passivity,� explained Peter Thottam, the director of the newly created political organization. �It would be hypocrisy for the American people not to impeach and remove from office George W. Bush and Dick Cheney over their actions these last four years if we impeached Bill Clinton over sexual misconduct in his personal life while he was in the White House.�

Thottam is a practicing attorney, describing himself as a former Democrat who joined the Green Party in 1998. He received a B.A. degree from Yale University, then obtained his law degree from U.C. Berkeley, with an additional MBA degree last year from UCLA.

He was also an unsuccessful candidate of that political party for the California State Assembly seat in District 53 in the 2006 election. But he has put his legal career and future political considerations on hold while he organizes this grassroots cause in what he hopes will be the successful removal of both federal officials through the will of the people as authorized by the Constitution.

The center has been open for a month, beginning appropriately in the week of the recent July 4 holiday, to those supporters of their cause wishing to be free of the two leaders of the current White House administration in fear of what else the Republican pair could potentially do while remaining in office.

The first question Thottam is always asked when promoting his aims is why should our current chief executive and his deputy be removed from office now when both will be out of power anyway in a year and a half as the nation gears up for another national election and the arrival of a new leader to be chosen by the voters?

He responds by saying that since $68 million was spent to investigate Bill Clinton�s sexual indiscretions and eventually bring up successful charges of impeachment in the House of Representatives but not removal by the Senate, then using the same standard of effort, he claims, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney should be tried on at least 12 separate charges warranting removal, adding that to not do so would be a criminal offense.

He then lists such reasons for dismissal of both as the war in Iraq, unwarranted eavesdropping on American citizens and the use of torture against those being held in Guantanamo.

But with the focus of the American people beginning to turn toward the 2008 primary season and eventual election, and Bush and Cheney both counting the days until their retirement, does it make sense to remove them now?

Thottam thinks it is and believes it should be done as quickly as possible since both men are a danger to our survival as a nation.

�We still have 17 months left of this administration,� he said. �Impeachment and removal of the president and vice president would only take three to five months of the Congress� time, based on what happened in the Nixon and Clinton investigations. But this action needs to be done now, because each week we delay another five to 10 American military personnel and 50 to 100 Iraqi civilians are needlessly dying in that illegal Middle East war.�

Thottam adds that just in the week the impeachment center opened in early July some 28 Americans were killed in action in that faraway country.

�Impeachment and removal of Bush and Cheney is the only way to restore faith in the American political system,� he states as the reason why this extreme act by the citizens needs to be immediately taken. �The Founding Fathers gave the concept of allowing the American people the option of removing their constitutional officers in an extreme emergency considerable thought. Impeachment is mentioned six times in the Constitution.�

And what are Thottam�s thoughts on a potential scenario which suggests that if things really go bad for the Bush administration in the next few months that Dick Cheney would resign as a sacrifice, via a health excuse, allowing the soon to be ex-president to nominate a Fred Thompson or Rudy Giuliani as a replacement vice president to boost that particular candidate�s chances of obtaining the 2008 Republican Party presidential nomination and carry on current government policy while taking off some of the heat for the unpopular incumbent?

�Any number of things is possible,� he admitted of the theory. �But the real power as far as foreign policy goes is with Cheney. So it would be a good start if he is forced out. By impeaching and removing both the president and vice president would show the world that we have taken back our country.�

The events of a recent Saturday afternoon by that day�s four dozen attendees was to coordinate strategy on how to get the Los Angeles City Council to pass a resolution supporting the growing impeachment movement, similar to one those volunteers at the center were successful in getting the West Hollywood City Council to pass July 16.

�If the L.A. City Council does what West Hollywood did and passes an impeachment resolution, that is going to make history,� he proclaimed to the enthusiastic group. �It�s achievable.�

Thottam then announced to those gathered that 80 towns and cities across the nation have passed such resolutions, including six municipalities in northern California. But he believes getting the council members of this country�s second largest metropolis to pass such a sternly worded condemnation about the unlawful actions of this nation�s current chief executive would send a strong message to all politicians and give them fair warning that change is in the air.

So to accomplish that ultimate task all of the volunteers were assigned the job of writing letters and postcards to be sent to specific local council members considered to be leaning in support of such a resolution. That correspondence would include wording to urge each of them to consider voting yes if and when it comes up on the council agenda.

Those in attendance seemed eager to do anything to help speed up any impeachment of Bush and Cheney, as Thottam�s briefing to them on proposed upcoming events to increase public awareness of their actions that included weekly protests at the Westside Federal Building and rallies in front of various southern California congressional members� local offices, could be likened to listening to a popular preacher proselytize to the choir.

Yet the ones who came to help that day, mostly progressive Democrats and Green Party supporters, seemed as willing in their discussions with those in charge to fix the blame on Nancy Pelosi, John Conyers and the other leaders of the Democratic Party that is now controlling both houses of Congress for not pursuing a course of impeachment once taking power last January. This was after they listened to Thottam reveal the names of 18 co-sponsors to Ohio congressman and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich�s April House of Representatives Resolution 333 calling for the immediate impeachment and removal from office of Cheney.

Thottam and fellow member Ruth Stedman then revealed the details of a just concluded scouting mission to City Hall to determine the positions of various council members in supporting an impeachment resolution.

The two subsequently handed out flyers to those assembled listing which council members seemed receptive and which ones were currently neutral. The volunteers then focused their penmanship abilities on which of the local politicians were to receive the letters encouraging such support.

Thottam stated to the group that talks with the staffs of several council members indicated such representatives surprisingly only receive 10 to 30 letters a day from constituents, so any type of mail response over that number would certainly pique their curiosity and make them further examine the matter.

�The council members are accessible, they�re really accessible!� he boasted of the visit the two from LANIC did at City Hall on a day the council is normally in session, since all 15 would be present in their respective offices in the building at some point in the day to visit with citizens over any type of issue.

�I think they�re genuinely surprised at the energy that�s going into this impeachment,� Thottam added to those he met. �They seem willing to support such a resolution.�

The pep talk to show those gathered that their efforts were working seemed to be the motivation needed for all present to begin the tedious work on their writing assignments and initiate the debate on what else could be done on their part to spark a national movement that could eventually bring down both a president and vice president.

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