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We are lawyers in the United States of America. As such, we have all taken an oath obligating us to defend the Constitution and the rule of law.... We believe the Bush administration has committed numerous offenses against the Constitution and may have violated federal laws.... Moreover, the administration has blatantly defied congressional subpoenas, obstructing constitutional oversight .... Thus, we call on House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to launch hearings into the possibility that crimes have been committed by this administration in violation of the Constitution.... We call for the investigations to go where they must, including into the offices of the President and the Vice President. - American Lawyers Defending the Constitution
Over one thousand lawyers - including former Governor Mario Cuomo and former Reagan administration official Bruce Fein - have signed onto the above statement demanding wide-ranging investigative hearings into unconstitutional and potentially criminal activity by the Bush administration.
In a conference call with reporters yesterday, Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and winner of the 2007 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship, said: "The majority of lawyers in this country understand that the Bush administration has really gone off the page of constitutional rights and off the page of fundamental rights, and is willing to push the Congress to restore those rights." Ratner said he was "dismayed" that a Democratic majority has failed "to push on key illegalities... the torture program, and now the destruction of the tapes involving the torture program; the warrantless wiretapping, the denial of habeas corpus, the secret sites/rendition program, special trials, and of course what we now know is the firing of US Attorneys scandal.... The minimal that absolutely is needed to get us back on the page of law is to have serious investigative hearings that go up the chain of command and figure out who is responsible for what."
SOURCE | thenation.com | Read more...