(CNSNews.com) - A former U.S. attorney general has drafted articles of impeachment against President Bush and three other top administration officials as a means of preventing the U.S. from advancing a "first strike, potentially nuclear preemptive war" against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
"Impeachment is the means by which We the People of the United States and our elected representatives in Congress can prevent further crimes by the President and the human catastrophe they threaten and for accountability for crimes committed," former Attorney General Ramsey Clark states on his website, VotetoImpeach.com.
Clark first announced his campaign to impeach Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a speech to thousands of anti-war protestors who rallied in the nation's capital on Jan. 18.
According to Clark, the U.S. Constitution provides the legal means for removing both elected officials and appointed officials from office when they have "acted or threatened acts" that are serious constitutional offenses or threaten to "injure the Presidency."
Signatures in support of impeachment will be collected online and "hand delivered to the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and to the ranking Democrat on the Committee" at an undisclosed time and date.
The International Action Center, the activist group that Clark founded, did not respond to CNSNews.com's inquiries.
"Far from being a threat to the United States, or any other people, Iraq has been a victim of U.S. aggression for 12 years," Clark wrote in his Feb. 7 letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
"[T]welve years of sanctions have inflicted death on over 1,500,000 people in Iraq, the majority children under 5 years old. You must remember the enormity of this genocide as you consider whether to agree to another major U.S. military assault on Iraq."
Clark also accuses the Bush Administration of manufacturing evidence against Iraq.
"Secretary Powell's charts, photos and electronic intercepts of conversations require authentication," he said, referring to Secretary of State Colin Powell's Feb. 5th presentation to the United Nations.
"They are repetitious of old tactics like the U.S. claim North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked U.S. Navy ships in the Tonkin Gulf in 1964," Clark stated. "Only later the U.S. admitted there were 'no boats' there.
"The only rational explanation for a war on Iraq is an intention by the U.S. to control and exploit its oil, use oil sales to pay for the cost of the war and occupation, benefit U.S. oil companies and petroleum engineering firms with awards of contracts, control the price of oil to enrich the U.S. and enlarge U.S. geo-political power in the region," Clark said.
"It's amazing that someone like [Clark] ever served in our government, considering the stance that he's taken since," said David Almasi, spokesman for the National Center for Public Policy Research. "There's not a leftist cause that...he seems to dislike."
Almasi said Clark has failed to grasp that Saddam Hussein is not interested in pursuing a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict between Iraq and the U.S.
Almasi believes Clark's latest signature-collecting campaign is just another publicity stunt for anti-war groups such as the International Action Center, which Clark founded, and International A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop the War and End Racism).
"Someone can introduce a resolution to impeach the president and then you can immediately blame (House Speaker) Dennis Hastert for squashing it, even though it's not something that's going to go anywhere," Almasi said.
"Even when the Democrats were in charge of Congress, Rep. Henry Gonzalez (D-Tex.) used to impeach [former President Ronald] Reagan regularly and it would go nowhere because...he's crazy," Almasi said. "I think the same thing will happen [with Clark's petition]...it'll be introduced, but it won't go anywhere."
'Worst' case scenario
While Clark's International Action Center tries to gather enough digital signatures to merit an impeachment investigation by the House Judiciary Committee, the effort to remove Bush and Cheney from office - even if successful - might not have the desired effect.
In the unlikely event that Clark succeeded in ousting Bush and Cheney, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) would assume the presidency while the President pro tempore of the Senate, Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), would assume the role of vice president, as laid out in the Presidential Succession Act of 1947.
Last October, Stevens co-authored a Washington Times column with Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) describing Saddam Hussein as "Hitler's Disciple in Baghdad."
Hastert has been vocal in his support for President Bush's efforts to win the war against terrorism and to disarm Saddam Hussein. He referred to the Iraqi dictator as a "threat to the American people, to Iraq's neighbors, and to the civilized world at large" when he endorsed the president's Iraq resolution on Oct. 7.
"Some may question the connection between Iraq and those terrorists who hijacked those planes. There is no doubt that Iraq supports and harbors those terrorists who wish to harm the United States," Hastert stated. "Is there a direct connection between Iraq and al Qaeda? The President thinks so; and based upon what I have seen, I think so also."
Following Sec. of State Colin Powell's address to the United Nations last week, Hastert again urged a swift resolution to the threat that Hussein's regime poses to America and the rest of the world.
"Some say they want to see a smoking gun when it comes to the evidence of Iraqi subversion. I disagree," Hastert said. "A smoking gun means lost American lives. The evidence proves that Saddam Hussein has a loaded gun pointed at the civilized world. It's time to take that loaded gun away from this evil tyrant."
Clark, on the other hand, remains convinced that the Bush Administration is a greater threat to world peace.
"Congressional proceedings for impeachment can bring about open, fearless consideration of the most dangerous acts and threats ever committed by an American President," Clark states on his website.
"If courageously pursued, they can save our Constitution, the United Nations, the rule of law, the lives of countless people and leave open the possibility of peace on Earth.\b Each of us must take a stand on impeachment now, or bear the burden of having failed to speak in this hour of maximum peril."
See Related Stories:
Former Attorney General Casts Christ as Terrorist (10 Jan. 2003)
Christians And Muslims Condemn Ramsey Clark, Demand Apology (13 Jan. 2003)
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