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Most of the meeting went pretty well as expected. Conyers expressed fear of what might happen following an impeachment; his fear of installing a Bush replacement or losing an election. The "corporate power structure", he said, would not allow impeachment without unleashing "blowback." Conyers told Ellen Taylor and Manijeh Saba:

"You need to be more than brave and courageous. You need to be smart."

It seems there are people who want impeachment hearings to start so bad that there willing to take a stand even if that stand involves self-deprivation.

Activist David Swanson of afterdowningstreet.com wrote about the meeting over @ OpEdNews:

On Rosa Parks' birthday last week, Leslie Angeline began a fast for impeachment. Taylor and over 20 other activists have joined the fast. Conyers has agreed to meet with Angeline to discuss impeachment on Tuesday.

The Chairman told Taylor and Saba that he is listening to several advocates for impeachment, including Liz Holtzman and this author, and asked "So how would it look if I allowed two women to push me over the edge?" Conyers leaned out of his chair for dramatic effect.

A number of organizations will be sending their members this alert Monday morning: Let's push Conyers over the edge by flooding his office with phone calls, faxes, and Emails on Monday and Tuesday.

Angeline, whose father was on the original Freedom Riders bus that was firebombed in Anniston, Ala., in 1961 began her fast and a sit-in in Conyers' office on Rosa Parks' birthday, and within a few minutes had been granted an appointment with Conyers for Thursday. He postponed it until Tuesday because of the duration of the Mukasey hearing. Taylor, Saba, and others attended the hearing and were told by Conyers' staffer Therise West that they would be removed by force if they did not cover up shirts and pins with messages including "No Torture," "Arrest Bush," "Not One More," and even the text of Article II Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. Rather than comply, Taylor and Saba wore shirts displaying that section of the Constitution, were not removed, and were granted the meeting with Conyers to discuss it.

After an hour delay, Conyers entered the room attached to the committee room with three beers, a bag of nuts and two staffers. According to Swanson, nobody drank the beers but Conyers did eat the nuts. Conyers’ staffers were Perry Appelbaum, whom I’ve spoken with on a number of occasions, and George Slover. Appelbaum left the meeting early.

You wouldn’t normally think that a man who wrote a book two years ago titled "The Constitution in Crisis," which details many of Bush and Cheney’s impeachable offenses, would need pushing, but both members of Code Pink did their best to impress upon the chairman the importance of the Constitution; the crisis it faces, and how Congress’s lack of action jeopardizes democracy in America.  

Conyers' initial reply was along the lines of "Didn't you see the hearing we just had? Do you know how many people saw that?" To their credit, the two Code Pink women replied "Not very many, since most people don't get C-Span." Conyers said he would keep following up with Mukasey, but Taylor and Saba asked to what end he would do so and advised him to shift his focus to the executive.

Conyers, Taylor said, then began giving reasons why he was afraid of impeachment.

Taylor understood his concerns to all be expressions of an inchoate fear. Conyers spoke of "potential ramifications that haven't been examined." Interestingly, among his concerns was not the one he has used a lot recently, namely that impeachment would not pass the House. Instead he was concerned about what might happen after a successful impeachment and removal from office. Of course, the inconsistency in the excuses Conyers uses could simply be a reflection of the lack of importance he places on the choice of excuse.

They talked about Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida and his courage for calling on the committee to start impeachment hearings, and his website where his petition now has over 221,000 names on it. WexlerWantsHearings.com.

Conyers mentioned that he’d been talking to Elizabeth Holtzman, a former colleague of his on an impeachment committee long, long ago. But, I don’t know whether to believe him on that statement. If you read Ms. Holtzman’s book The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Handbook for Concerned Citizens I don’t see how anyone could finish that book and come away not believing "impeachment" is our only choice now.

Ms. Holtzman makes an ironclad case, and Conyers knows it. What it’s going to take for him to finally say: "enough is enough" I don’t know. Congress is stymied at every juncture. Subpoena power has been useless. Contempt citations have proven to be an exercise in futility, Bush has systematically usurped Congress’s powers one by one to the point that if they don’t begin impeachment hearings ASAP, both houses of Congress will be reduced to subservient collaborators; forever known as the Congress that let America down in her hour of need.

It's strange how at no time does Conyers' mention the retrogressive state of democracy in America. Every reason he's stated against impeachment has to do with political expediency.

Shame on you and your peers, Mr. Conyers. History will not be kind to any of you.

Let him know that only impeachment hearings...

• Will Make it on TV.

• Will force compliance with subpoenas by eliminating "executive privilege."

• Will hold brazen criminals accountable.

• Will convince voters that Democrats care about the U.S. Constitution.

Please Contact:

Call 202-225-5126

Fax 202-225-0072

Email: john.conyers@mail.house.gov

Impede, impeach and imprison – (if you’ve got the guts, Conyers)


Source : http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/02/08/452510/-Impeachment-Hearings-Conyers-Said-to-be-on-the-Edge

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