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a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

It simply isn’t that simple

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 11th February 2009

I’ve mentioned the listserv discussions I’ve been a part of on the Takoma Park license plate scanner issue. Here’s the nub of another point of view, followed by my response; while some of the response is similar to the points in a previous post, enough of it isn’t to warrant a post of its own.  A listserv member wrote:

The Fourth Amendment clearly does not bar the police from observing what is in plain sight in public places — for instance, automobile license plates. You shouldn’t have to consult a constitutional scholar to understand that. Common sense and the ability to comprehend plain written English are all you need.

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It simply isn’t that simple, in my opinion. I have no problem with a single policeman writing down a license plate of a car he thinks is ‘hinky’ for some reason, and seeing if it comes up as a stolen car or whatever. But the operative phrase in the prior sentence is ‘for some reason’, just as ‘unreasonable’ is in the 4th Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

There’s the plain written English for you. If 30 or 300 years from now a robot computer system comes along that replicates that policeman’s “hmm… that’s odd… I think I’ll look up that license plate” reasoning process, I might be more willing to consider it. But that’s not what this is; it’s almost literally the opposite of “reasonable” — multiplied by potentially thousands of plates a day — since it isn’t *reasoned* at all. And that seems like common sense to *me*.

But you’re right, we don’t need to try to be legal experts — in that we don’t have to settle for what merely “gets by” legally. We can ask ourselves, “is this really the kind of community we want?” License plate scanners? With all due respect to the 2007 Council — tasers? What’s next — the latest SWAT gear? armored personnel carriers? (Don’t laugh, it happens.*) Some of these are obviously water under the bridge. But cumulatively this seems to me to be heading the wrong way, away from the Takoma Park I want.

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* Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America, Radley Balko.

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Statement to Takoma Park City Council on proposed license plate scanner

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 3rd February 2009

Guidelines for Public Video Surveillance
Constitution Project’s “Guidelines for
Public Video Surveillance
” (blue cover),
which I distributed to the Takoma Park
City Council on Monday evening.
Originally uploaded by Thomas Nephew.

My name is Thomas Nephew, I live on [address] in Takoma Park.

I’m here to ask that you postpone any purchase of the proposed license plate scanner system until basic questions are fully answered:

  • What is the compelling law enforcement purpose being served?
  • Is this the best way to do it?

Deciding whether or not to get the device should entail…

  • a public decision process,
  • clear understanding of the civil liberties costs and– if we decide to get the system — …
  • clear guidelines…
    • written in advance …
    • restricting the device to its stated purpose, and …
    • developed with council and citizen input, not just the police department’s.

If we get the scanner, issues like when and where it’s used, whether or how long to keep scanned images, and – if that’s done – how to properly restrict access to those images are all vital civil liberties concerns.

As you know, I’ve made contact with the Constitution Project, a respected constitutional law think tank, about this, and I understand they are in touch with you about helping to sort out these issues.

To help, I’ve brought several copies of the Constitution Project’s “Guidelines for Public Video Surveillance” with me tonight; the City Clerk has distributed them to you. While these guidelines focus on closed circuit TV surveillance, license plate scanning is a kind of public video surveillance too. The document provides suggestions for a model process and model legislation; recently, the city of Pittsburgh adopted legislation largely based on that model legislation in this report.

I respectfully request that you study this document, and schedule a work session with a lawyer from the Constitution Project — like the one with Captain Coursey – about this issue before any decisions are made.

As that notorious hippie William Rehnquist once said:

Suppose that the local police in a particular jurisdiction were to decide to station a police car at the entrance to the parking lot of a well patronized bar from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. every business day for the purpose of making a list of the license plates of cars that were driven in and parked in the lot during that time… I would guess that the great majority of people who might have the question posed to them would say that this is not a proper police function…

Thank you.

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NOTE: the above statement was edited to avoid disclosing private information in print. For background, see prior posts tagged “license plate scanner“.
UPDATE, 2/3: For video of the February 2nd council meeting click here. Councilmember Josh Wright again made very good comments about the issue:

[COUNCILMEMBER JOSH WRIGHT, 21:50] …and then last I just want to follow up on our session last week about the license plate scanner. I noticed that someone left us this guide from the Constitution Project on the dais here. I was reading up on this online with some material from the Constitution Project today, and two things occurred to me after reading that.

One is I definitely think we need to map out a process that engages the public more fully in this debate. We had a worksession but maybe we can have — …after we get a briefing from the city attorney about some of the legal issues — I think we should figure out a way to have an open session where we can more fully engage the public on the issues.

And then the second thing is the area of biggest concern to me is around the retention of data, and two things associated with that. One is that if we’re going to go back and look at that data, based on thinking that someone did something and that could be used as evidence against them, there should be some sort of probable cause associated with that, and perhaps even, you’d need to get like what you’d get with a search warrant, get some ruling that says yes this meets the standard of probable cause and then we’re going to go look to see if this car was found in the data at a certain place. And then the second thing is a very serious concern about retaining the data for anything more than a couple of weeks, mainly because that makes .. it available and can be requested, pretty clearly, under the U.S. PATRIOT Act. The big concern to me about that is the U.S. PATRIOT Act …has a great deal of secrecy associated with it, and we have no idea why they’re requesting data, and that’s just a little scary to me.

As I’ve done all the research I just wanted to share those thoughts with my council colleagues and the public. [END, 23:50]

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“The License Plate is Just the Beginning”

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 28th January 2009

Last night the Takoma Park City Council took up the proposed license plate scanner system that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. A video of the meeting can be viewed via this link (Windows Media player required); the worksession begins around the 52:20 minute mark.  A 2-page briefing (.PDF) can be seen here.

While civil liberties concerns were expressed, I mainly sensed a desire not to disagree very much with the plan.  It seemed to me councilmembers were still coming to grips with the issue, let alone opposing, reining in, or even closely questioning the police about the device — or they might have called other witnesses and experts: perhaps the city attorney, perhaps any of a number of other lawyers the town boasts.

After the meeting, I talked with several of the police officials. Captain Coursey — the officer who wrote the grant proposal for the device — told me that the systems he was looking at included PlateScan (slogan: “The License Plate is Just the Beginning” ) and ELSAG, maker of the “Mobile Plate Hunter 900“, which brags that “after-action analysis” of license plate data can lead to, among other things, “watch list development” and “pattern recognition.”

What was frustrating to me was that a number of assertions were made during the meeting, or emerged after the meeting, that deserved clear rejoinders but didn’t get them.  Herewith some of those assertions and my own rejoinders:

  • License plates are public knowledge; people can pay a business like this one a few bucks and find out who owns a given license plate.

Answer: I don’t like that people can buy such information either.  But at any rate, I expect more of our police department, and what it or other agencies could do with the information is of even more concern to me than what some snoopy private citizen might do.  Moreover, as a citizen, I can hope to do more about it.

  • With this system, there are no “pings” of another agency’s database — all the queries are done against downloaded data.

Answer: That is undeniably a good thing, and at least the PlateScan and ELSAG systems do appear to do checks against downloaded data, rather than sending data elsewhere to be checked and stored.  But notice also that in the past, those “pings” were (or ought to have been) based on some policeman’s or policewoman’s suspicion about a car — it matched a description she’d heard, something about the driving behavior was off.  Now it’s simply wholesale surveillance.

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License plate scanners coming to a community near me

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 13th January 2009

Last month I happened to open an email on a neighborhood listserv I follow.  It was a Takoma Park Police Department press release titled “Takoma Park Police to Acquire License Plate Recognition Scanner.”  The announcement was as follows:

Chief Ricucci is pleased to announce that the Takoma Park Police Department has been granted funding in FY2009, through the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention (GOCCP), for a “License Plate Recognition Scanner (LETC).”

LETC is attached to a police cruiser. It works by capturing digital license plate images as they pass a camera, whether mobile or fixed. The plates are automatically cross-checked in real time against multiple local, regional, statewide and, if appropriate, national databases to identify vehicles that are of interest to the authorities. In fact, LETC can access multiple databases simultaneously and report not only matches but which database contained the vehicle of interest. Vehicle matches are reported instantly, allowing the officer to take appropriate action. […]

Research has shown that patrol officers equipped with the technology can have arrest rates significantly higher than officers working without it. This will deliver reductions in crime, enhanced community safety and safer roads.”

It turns out that “LETC” is not a technical acronym, but merely a funding source — it stands for “Law Enforcement and Corrections Tech Center” (and is therefore sometimes abbreviated LECTC), which is a federal funding mechanism (via the Department of Justice) for law enforcement technology grants such as this one.  The Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention (GOCCP) receives LETC funds and disburses them to grant applicants deemed worthy of support; I’ll return to that in a moment.

This kind of program is something security expert Bruce Schneier calls “wholesale surveillance,” and it’s spreading fast.  Possibly the best known example is New York City’s “Operation Sentinel” scanning license plates coming into Manhattan via bridges and tunnels; in August 2008, WJZ (Baltimore) reported that a $4.5 million Homeland Security grant will pay for about 200 of the devices (either fixed or in squad cars) in the Maryland/DC area.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Mayor Kathy Porter on MSNBC after impeachment vote

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 25th July 2007

Takoma Park Mayor Porter appeared on MSNBC with Tucker Carlson yesterday evening. It came as no surprise that Carlson decided to use the occasion to belittle the impeachment vote, essentially echoing Jim Henley’s “silly” remark last weekend.

But Mayor Porter completely turned the tables on Carlson, responding to his foolery with calm, measured, sensible answers.

Impeachment advocates take note: having people like Mayor Porter speak on your behalf is one of the great, great benefits of passing impeachment resolutions like Takoma Park’s.*

Time wouldn’t have permitted every one of Carlson’s mistakes to be rebutted — particularly when he simply repeats them and says he’s right. I’m referring to Carlson’s charge that supporting impeachment is “partisan,” which Mayor Porter rightly denied without elaboration — only for Carlson to repeat, “it’s partisan because… it is partisan, obviously…”

No, it’s not. Any voting on this may well turn out to follow partisan lines, but impeachment itself isn’t partisan, it’s constitutional — it’s a mechanism mentioned over and over again in our Constitution. The word is there for a reason, and that reason isn’t to benefit Democrats, Republicans, Greens, or Libertarians — it’s to benefit the country.

(Via Takoma Park Impeach Bush & Cheney)

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* In this regard, I question the value of returning to Kensington this weekend if it’s mainly to confront that city’s decision — one I think is wrong — to prevent one activist’s sale of “impeach them” buttons at a local farmer’s market. Rather than continuing to make the issue about button sales, I think it would be far better to go there and simply petition and distribute literature about impeachment — and it would be better yet if the city’s leadership could be persuaded to consider and adopt a pro-impeachment resolution like Takoma Park’s. I don’t know how likely the latter is, but I suspect it will be less likely if impeachment advocates needlessly confront Kensington about a separate issue. Protesting the abuse of zoning ordinances to limit free speech is very important — but that has now been done. If the priority is advocating impeachment in Kensington, it seems impolitic and unwise to do so in a way sure to arouse opposition, including that of the mayor, when alternatives are available.

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Impeachment resolution passes unanimously

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 24th July 2007


Click the image above and then the “Video” button (the same
image but smaller, in “SideBar”) for the very good Fox 5 news
report by Roz Plater. The TV report features short interviews
of me and Lisa Moscatiello, and a clip of Jay Levy speaking to
the City Council.

On Monday evening the Takoma Park City Council unanimously approved — and improved — a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Sponsoring councilmember Reuben Snipper was joined by councilmembers Seamens, Barry, Williams, and Mayor Kathy Porter in the 5-0 vote. Councilmembers Austin-Lane and Clay were out of town.*

The original resolution was amended by Councilmember Seamens to also recommend that the county council and state legislature pass impeachment resolutions, and to urge Takoma Park residents to write Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Senator Ben Cardin, and Senator Barbara Mikulski asking them to support impeachment.

All of us working on this were deeply gratified (and relieved) to see very good turnout for the meeting by local impeachment supporters — including a number of dear neighbors of mine. We had learned there would actually be local TV camera crews on hand, and hastened to try to add a little more “visuals” to the scene; an alert and quick canvass of our neighborhood produced enough American flags to add some red, white, and blue to our ubiquitous green lawn signs. A mother/daughter team also brought a banner with a striking double portrait of Bush and Cheney and the words “Partners in Crime.”

I had actually happened to meet one of the news teams, from Fox 5, on Cedar Avenue on my way to the meeting. I had struck up a conversation with a neighbor about why and where I was carrying eight or nine lawn signs — and that got filmed. A minute later, in the community center parking lot, I was interviewed — and a couple passing by asked for another lawn sign; that got filmed too. Sometimes you just need to get lucky — ten minutes had turned into a pretty good bit of footage, and it all got used in the news report at 10 o’clock. But of course, it wasn’t just luck — Lisa Moscatiello has done a lot of media outreach in the last week, and she’s why that news team was there in the first place.

The best was yet to come. Once we were all settled in the council meeting room and other business was taken care of, the meeting was opened up to speakers — just as my family and Maddie’s pal B. arrived. So I got to say my piece with Maddie watching, which meant a lot to me. I withdrew to the side of the room after that, holding our family’s U.S. flag up for the cameras — and was really moved as one speaker after another gave proof through the evening that our country is still there. I couldn’t help but think of that Norman Rockwell painting, “Freedom of Speech“; you can watch the city’s own video of the meeting and see what I mean.

But since this is my blog, and I don’t have the energy to transcribe everyone else’s remarks, I’ll weary you with my own, which were a rewrite of those I made five weeks ago.

I’m here to support the impeachment resolution sponsored by Councilman Reuben Snipper.

Tonight it seems like momentum is building for impeachment. We’ve heard that Judiciary Committee chair John Conyers is looking for just a few more representatives to endorse an impeachment resolution put forward by Kucinich, and he’ll begin impeachment hearings.

Locally, too, the response to this idea is overwhelmingly positive when we petition or go door to door. On July 4, we got a lot of support – including from Rep. Chris Van Hollen, 202-225-5341, who told parade watchers the Libby commutation was making him consider impeachment, too.

But there have also been questions that deserve answers, including, fundamentally, why bother with this? What good will a city council resolution do?

I think the short answer to “why bother?” is summed up by the question: “what if we don’t even bother?” Among the terrible precedents this administration has set are: the utter sin and crime of torture. A fraudulent case for war. Abrogation of habeas corpus. Warrantless surveillance in direct defiance of specific law. A king-like disregard and contempt for other laws properly passed and signed, and a refusal to enforce them. Each of these are grounds enough for impeachment, and new ones taunt us each day – Libby’s commutation – the US Attorneys scandal (both considered impeachable by James Madison) – executive orders threatening to dispossess Iraq war opponents – refusal to honor congressional subpoenas or enforce contempt citations. Together, they add up to a administration that must be opposed, whose very policy is to flout the Constitution, to make it a dead letter instead of a living guardian of our liberties and the rule of law.

But also, unless we act now, the next administration like this one can take its lawless, amoral, unconstitutional approach as a consensus starting point, instead of a shame on this country and a reproach to its institutions.

That’s where we come in. The first three words of the Constitution are “We, the people.” We “ordain and establish” the Constitution, we are responsible for it. We, here in this room, too. You, our elected leaders, too. While Congress has hesitated discussing this, you have not, and you have my deep gratitude for that.

Tonight we’re proving that ordinary citizens and local elected leaders care deeply about their country, the Constitution, and the rule of law. I hope we’ll do more, and send a clear message to Congress – and to our own great representative, Chris Van Hollen — that they must take up the impeachment of a president and vice president who deserve it more than anyone else in the history of this country.

So thank you all for considering this resolution, and for the opportunity to speak for it. And to all of you who vote for it: I’m sure you’ll have many other important achievements — but I think this may be the finest thing you ever do in public office.

Thank you.

It’s nice to get outside and win one every so often.

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* Ms. Austin-Lane emphasized at prior council meetings that she supported the bill. Ms. Clay did as well, judging by her “thumbs up” response to “IMPEACH THEM” lawn signs along the July 4th parade route a few weeks ago.
MORE HERE (Takoma Park Impeach Bush & Cheney): Impeachment resolution passes unanimously!!!, Impeachment resolution approved, improved

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Takoma Park City Council to vote on impeachment resolution today

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 23rd July 2007

From the “Takoma Park, MD Impeach Bush & Cheney” press release :

On Monday, July 23rd at 7:30 P.M. the Takoma Park, MD City Council will vote on a resolution that calls for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney and President Bush. If the measure passes, Takoma Park will become the first municipality in the Washington, DC area to pass an impeachment resolution. Currently eighty towns and cities across the country have passed impeachment resolutions, including Detroit, MI, San Francisco, CA, Chapel Hill, NC, several towns in Vermont and, most recently, West Hollywood, CA. The Rules of the House of Representatives allow Congress to accept petitions from state and local governments, which are then recorded by the Clerk of the House in the Congressional Journal.

The resolution, now posted at the city’s web site, was sponsored by Councilman Reuben Snipper. It lists the fraudulent case for the Iraq war, torture, warrantless electronic surveillance, indefinite detentions of American citizens, and Presidential signing statements as grounds for impeachment. A copy of the resolution, annotated with links to supporting news items and analyses, is available at the TPIB&C web site.

In the absence of action in Congress, gathering and proving local support for impeachment seems to me a good and logical place for impeachment advocates to begin. Yet resolutions like this one can sometimes unaccountably elicit eye-rolling responses — even from some impeachment advocates. I had a friendly exchange with Jim Henley (proprietor of the deservedly popular “Unqualified Offerings” blog) about this over the weekend, after running into him and his family during Pottermania at a local Border’s Books and mentioning the resolution. Henley (who has opined that just about every president since Kennedy has merited impeachment) termed the pending resolution part “silly,” part “embarrassingly earnest.” I responded:

I don’t think we deserve that. If Congress were showing signs of doing anything about impeachment, I might agree. But they aren’t. This is a legitimate “sense of the people” idea; assuming it passes — knock on wood — it would also tell our Congressman (and DCCC chair) Chris Van Hollen that many of his voters, many of the people he collects money from, and even many of the people he shares microphones with feel strongly about the Constitution, human rights, and the separation of powers. The resolution itself is pretty good, I think, mentioning the fraudulent case for the war, torture, indefinite detention, warrantless electronic surveillance, and signing statements as grounds for impeaching both Bush and Cheney.

There’s nothing wrong and a lot right about city councils making these kinds of things topics of respectable discussion — especially when politicians who *ought* to be doing so won’t. It gives those of us who support the idea a first rung up the ladder to work towards, and gives our reps higher up the political food chain a sense it’s not “just” DFHs who support the idea. Community petitions like this one are often a part of getting “oh it’s hopeless” ideas rolling — abolition, nuclear weapons freeze, to name a couple. Of course they don’t guarantee success. They’re just one way to start trying.

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Takoma Park impeachment resolution vote tentatively July 23

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 27th June 2007

Impeach Them
Takoma Park Impeach Bush Cheney yard sign:
“call your reps * attend council meetings
* takomaparkibc.wordpress.com

According to the rolling agenda document posted at the city’s web site, the Takoma Park City Council has tentatively put a resolution calling for the impeachment of George Bush and Richard Cheney on the agenda for the meeting of July 23 (7:30pm, Takoma Park Community Center, 7500 Maple Avenue). If you support impeachment:

  • Call or contact your council member between now and the 23rd and let him or her know you support the resolution. Phone and e-mail contact information for the mayor and each ward’s council member are available on the City Council web page (click on their photographs.)*
  • Attend a city council meeting between now and the 23d, to thank the council for considering the resolution, and to speak for it. You’ll have three minutes during the public comment period, and are expected to give your name and address.**
  • Attend the July 23d city council meeting, and speak for the impeachment resolution during the comment period preceding the vote.
  • Visit the Takoma Park Impeach Bush & Cheney web site to learn more about impeachment and about how you can help.

I went door to door recently, distributing lawn signs and gathering signatures supporting impeachment and the resolution; while support is strong, I sometimes encounter people who think it’s naive or inappropriate for a local city government to weigh in on an issue like this.

I tell them that yes, I’d have preferred members of Congress to have made much more progress than they have (a resolution by Rep. Dennis Kucinich calling for Cheney’s impeachment has 8 co-sponsors). But they haven’t, and they’re clearly not going to unless it’s demanded of them. As a speaker at the last council meeting put it:

I think that we can see that Congress has been intimidated by the president and by the whole national security apparatus, and that it’s the place of local governments like Takoma Park, who don’t suffer the same intimidation, to stand up and create some groundswell so that Congress understands that the people are behind this.

We can wring our hands and say “somebody oughta do something” about Bush and Cheney. It turns out that ‘somebody’ is each of us. This is one thing we can do. Let’s do it.

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* Don’t know which ward you’re in? Here’s a map of Takoma Park, and here’s a street list if you can’t tell from the map.
** Your comments will be an important part of a public record documenting support for impeachment, and resistance to unconstitutional and lawless behavior by President Bush and Vice President Cheney. If you can’t make it in person, you can also submit written testimony: “If you are unable to attend a public hearing, you may submit your testimony in writing to the City Clerk via clerk@takomagov.org or by mail to City Clerk’s Office, 7500 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912. Written testimony will be copied to the Council and included in the official record of the hearing.”
EDIT, 6/29: photo added.

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Remarks to the Takoma Park City Council on impeachment

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 19th June 2007

During public comment period at Monday night’s Takoma Park City Council meeting, several of us spoke in favor of a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Like all Takoma Park City Council meetings, this meeting was videotaped and can be viewed on line.

After some preliminary remarks by councilmembers, the public comment period began at around 7:45 minutes into the meeting; click here for the video. Speaking for the impeachment resolution were Sue W., myself, Katie Bergstrom, Robert Lanza, Colleen Cordes, Nina Falk, and Michelle Bailey.* Here’s my own statement:

I’m here to support the impeachment resolution sponsored by Councilman Reuben Snipper.

I’ve collected signatures on behalf of this at the Farmer’s Market, and can tell you that the response to this idea is overwhelmingly positive.

But there have also been questions that deserve answers, including, fundamentally, why bother with this? What good will a city council resolution do? So I’ll try to explain why I think this resolution is a crucial duty.

The short answer to “why bother?” is summed up by the counter-question: “what if we don’t even bother?” Among the terrible precedents this administration has set are: the utter sin and crime of torture. A fraudulent case for war. Abrogation of habeas corpus. Warrantless surveillance in direct defiance of specific law. A king-like disregard and contempt for other laws properly passed and signed, and a refusal to enforce them. Each of these are grounds enough for impeachment, and there are more; together, they add up to a administration that must be opposed, whose very policy is to flout the Constitution and laws designed to control it.

But also, unless we act now, the next administration like this one can take its lawless, amoral, unconstitutional approach as a consensus starting point, instead of a shame on this country and a reproach to its institutions.

That’s where we come in. The first three words of the Constitution are “We, the people.” We “ordain and establish” the Constitution, we are responsible for it. We, here in this room, too. You, our elected leaders, too. To echo a certain president’s father: “these aggressions must not stand.” They must at least not stand unopposed.

I think we absolutely have to do this. I want to be able to tell my little girl years from now “we tried.” (Of course, I’d like even more to say, “and we won!”).

So thank you all for considering this resolution, and for the opportunity to speak for it. And to all of you who vote for it: I’m sure you’ll have many other important achievements — but I think this will be the finest thing you ever do in public office.

Thank you.

Pardon all the emphases; I hoped they’d help me a little while I was speaking, and maybe they did. All the comments were good, but I’ll highlight a point made by Ms. Cordes:

…I think that we can see that Congress has been intimidated by the president and by the whole national security apparatus, and that it’s the place of local governments like Takoma Park, who don’t suffer the same intimidation, to stand up and create some groundswell so that Congress understands that the people are behind this.

Mayor Kathy Porter said the impeachment resolution would likely come up for a vote in July.

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* I may have misspelled one or more of these names.
NOTE: “Takoma Park Impeach Bush Cheney” may post transcripts of each supporting statement at their web site. The group can be reached at takomaparkibc@gmail.com.
UPDATE, 6/19: Meetup badge added.

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Takoma Park impeachment resolution

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 2nd June 2007

Takoma Park, MD Impeach Bush Cheney hopes to gain our city council’s approval of this resolution:

Resolution to Impeach President George W. Bush
And Vice President Richard B. Cheney

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of Takoma Park, that George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney, by such conduct, warrant impeachment and trial, and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT our senators and representatives in the United States Congress be, and they are hereby, requested to cause to be instituted in the Congress of the United States proper proceedings for the investigation of the activities of the George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney, to the end that they may be impeached and removed from such office.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Clerk of the City of Takoma Park be, and is hereby, instructed to certify to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, under the seal of the City of Takoma Park, a copy of this resolution and its adoption by the City of Takoma Park, as a petition, and request that this petition be delivered to the Office of the Clerk and entered in the United States Congressional Journal. The copies shall be marked with the word “Petition” at the top of the document and contain the original authorizing signature of the City Clerk.

As readers may surmise from prior posts and links festooned at the top of this blog, I support this effort. The resolution has been sponsored by Ward 5 councilman Reuben Snipper.

Now it’s up to us. Takoma Park citizens need to prove to the council they support this by

  • talking with others and collecting signatures supporting the resolution,
  • appearing at City Council meetings, and
  • contacting their councilmembers.

I intend to help, and I hope I won’t be the only one. To learn how to help with this in Takoma Park, visit Takoma Park IBC; elsewhere, I suggest AfterDowningStreet.org or Impeach07.org.

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