Rep. Dennis Kucinich talks with Truth Movement
Last night 911Truth.org hosted a conference call with Rep. Dennis Kucinich. If you missed it, or would like to listen again and forward to friends,
In addition, NoLiesRadio.org will rebroadcast this conversation at 11am Pacific Saturday. Following are the questions we asked him, as well as the full transcript, with a few links and very brief commentary, which we’re posting for convenience and further study.
We are grateful to Rep. Kucinich for his time with us, especially on the day he introduced a powerful Article of Impeachment against George Bush; to Allan Rees of NoLiesRadio.org for recording the call and making available; to Paul Deslauriers for organizing the call; and we’re grateful to all of you for listening, for submitting questions, and for your ongoing commitment to reclaiming our government!
At this time we most strongly encourage you to get on the phone, right now! Call every member of the House Judiciary Committee, over and over, to demand hearings on impeachment and a vote out of Committee and onto the full House Floor immediately. If your own Representative is a member of the Committee, double your efforts there. If s/he’s not a member, call anyway, and insist that they support this critical effort, cosponsor the bill, and work aggressively to push the Committee to move on this right away. Full committee member contact information is available at http://judiciary.house.gov/about/members.html , and a call to the main Committee number can be made to 202-225-3951, or email sent via the Contact form at http://judiciary.house.gov/contact.aspx . Nancy Pelosi indicated yesterday , (in an abrupt about-face that leads many to wonder what political shenanigans are actually underway–perhaps Cindy Sheehan’s challenge for Pelosi’s office is having an effect?), that “the House Judiciary Committee may hold hearings.”
I just spoke to a staffer in Rep. Conyers’ office (Chair of the Committee), who told me that committee hearings are being scheduled , though she’s not sure whether it will get back out to the floor until Fall, after the upcoming recess (August 11-September 5, per House.gov 2008 schedule). Speaking of the upcoming recess — They’re going to be in their home districts campaigning during that time, which means you need to let them know you’re paying attention, you demand accountability, and you VOTE! This would be a great time for letters to the editor in local papers, thus informing other voters and asking them to also arrange meetings, and encouraging constituents to ask these Reps what the heck they’re waiting for at EVERY campaign stop! If we don’t make this THE issue, they don’t have to mention it… imagine, everywhere they go people are hounding them about immediate impeachment. Really, what other issue is as crucial right now? Without a Constitutional Republic, the other issues about which we’re all so passionate can’t even begin to be addressed.
Now, back to the call …
Grassroots Call with Kucinich July, 2008
Transcript (Janice Matthews’ preparation):
Introductory remarks by Rep. Dennis Kucinich re. Impeachment Strategy:
The general strategy is that the Article has been introduced; it deals specifically with what the President told the Congress in asking for approval to go to war and what the Article maintains is that the President deceived Congress with fabricated threats of Iraq weapons of mass destruction to fraudulently obtain support for the authorization of the use of force against Iraq. Congress is going to have this presented to it again on Tuesday and I will move to have it referred to Committee; I’m going to be asking for a hearing in Judiciary, an opportunity to present my case. I think it’s really important that people need to understand this is about more than an article of impeachment–this is about us regaining control of our government that we have lost since 9/11. This impeachment resolution is grounded in fact — if you get a chance check it out, it’s on the web or you can go to Kucinich.us and get a copy of it. It’s really important for people to become informed and then contact their member of congress to ask them to support the Resolution.
Paul Deslauriers, 911truth.org Question 1: There are actually millions of Americans working to reclaim their government, whether the issue is impeachment, voter fraud, a new 9/11 investigation, or ending and preventing wars. The American people seem to have no voice in their own government. We’ve been protesting, educating, presenting an impeachment petition with more than one million signatures, and there have been numerous polls that show all-time low support for Congress, the President, and the direction the country is going. Given these facts, we have two questions: 1) What prevents members of Congress from taking the action they know is necessary and demanded by the people? For example, there are only seven cosponsors of your impeachment bill when we know that more Representatives should actually support it. 2) What is the single most powerful strategy to reclaim our government?
Dennis Kucinich: These are very good questions. I think that what prevents Congress from moving forward is a sense of fear–fear of what do you do when you start to exercise power? I mean, think about it. It’s a classic story of a condition where people who have power are afraid to use it and then they forget that they have it and then when they’re told to use it they don’t know how. This Article of Impeachment helps Congress regain its rightful role, not just as a co-equal branch of government, but the founding fathers provided Congress would be established first, in the sense it has a superior position. We have to move away from this imperial presidency, away from a nation on a warpath, away from a reach for empire and military buildups and return to a more humble position in world affairs where we deal with the matters that people care about — their health, their housing, their education, their environment — but America’s first going to have to go through a period of truth and reconciliation and I know that’s what you’re about, and that’s why I appreciate an opportunity to speak with you.
RESOURCES : During the call, listeners were encouraged to check out these resources, to get involved in grassroots work: www.911truth.org/Grassroots , international listing of groups ; www.truthaction.org , and www.wearechange.org
PD: You mention fear in Congress. What is the primary thing generating that fear and how can we support and help alleviate that fear so they can take the proper action?
DK: Encourage people to stand up. People need encouragement. People in Congress have come into an environment which is dramatically different than it was before 9/11. Let me give you an example. Today, all over Capitol Hill you will see cameras, guard dogs, streets that turn into instant barricades — they actually fold up — guards with shotguns and automatic weapons and with sniper rifles that can fire hundreds of yards. We’re like a garrison state here. That plays with people’s heads and when that becomes ordinary, then it becomes ordinary to vote for FISA, ordinary to vote for the war, ordinary to look the other way when the President lies to take us into war, ordinary not to ask the kind of questions that need to be asked about what do we do to make this country more secure without going into war. We’re in a condition right now which is not conducive to democracy. So in a very simple way, an article of impeachment gives us the ability to reclaim some of that power that belongs to the people. It doesn’t belong to these people that hold the offices and it certainly doesn’t belong to the President to horde the power and pretend that somehow he’s now a dictator or a monarch.
PD: You just described almost a police state in a way. What is the most powerful strategy for us to reclaim our government? What is the primary thing you suggest we do as activists?
DK: To practice being free every day. That may sound trite, but to exercise the capacity of citizenship, to stand up and speak out in forums both large and small, to write that letter, to make the phone call, to meet with the Representative, to organize rallies, to bring people together, to have discussion groups. To reclaim our sense of agency as citizens because that’s a capacity, a quality that has been lost in the last seven years. We can reclaim it. It was lost, it can be reclaimed, but we can only do it through action, and in a sense we have to acquire a capacity for active thought, word and deed. It can be done in a way that can be dedicated, it can be done in a way that’s joyous, but it needs to be done. We need to remember the ferment that caused the nation to be born. And the nation is born and dies every day within each of us, depending on our inclination to challenge the status quo or to accept it.
PD: So you’re saying grassroots activism is our most powerful tool?
DK: That’s what’s going to save America. Because what happens in Washington is, everything in Washington is now from the top down. They’re not paying enough attention to what’s happening at that grassroots level. But yet the grassroots activity in its totality has the ability to change Washington. People who are in positions of power, if they lack a certain amount of humility, then secretly understand that they can be toppled very easily. This system has a very fine line that supports its continuation and if people get involved and decide to change it they can do it. And that’s actually our inheritance as you read the Declaration of Independence. If you don’t like the system, you can change it.
Mike Berger, 911Truth.org: Question 2: You told Student Scholars for 911 Truth and have stated in radio interviews that “because you can, you will” hold hearings to examine the insider trading and the financial market anomalies connected to the 9/11 attacks which implied foreknowledge. And you told Justin Martel of Student Scholars that you would have an announcement about these hearings last September. Since you stated you would hold these hearings more than a year and a half ago, what prevents you from holding these hearings? And also, would you include in these hearings questions regarding the missing $2.3 trillion from the Pentagon budget which was announced by Donald Rumsfeld in a press conference the day before 9/11?
DK: First of all, of course I remember speaking to Justin. The presidential campaign I was in quickly turned into a congressional campaign where I had to fight to stay in Congress. I won that race in March. Since then I have been working on these impeachment resolutions. I have every intention of moving forward with a hearing or hearings on the matter of the stock options — that’s something I’ve been looking at for quite a while and gathering information. I’m hopeful to be able to do something before the election. I don’t want to make it just a matter for this campaign, it’s a matter of seeking the truth. I have a small subcommittee but I am absolutely determined to hold a hearing. The only thing that prevents me from doing it is the limitations of staff and time, but I want to do this. It’s something that no one is telling me not to do. I want to do it, I’ve been gathering information, and I’m always ready to receive more. You’ve just told me about that matter involving Rumsfeld; I can’t say that I’ve heard that before, but I’m certainly interested in hearing what anyone has to offer. I’m the kind of person who is not afraid to ask the questions. And I certainly have asked questions here in Washington that others have failed to and I will continue to do that. And I look forward to working with you on some of the areas that we just talked about.
MB: I would like to offer our efforts in helping you, if you’re short of staff. We would be more than willing to help you in any way we could with time and volunteers. I’m certain we can do that if you would like our help.
DK: Here’s what I’d like you to do. Look at the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of Congress, go to the web and look at it, (?) the oversight. I have one of the more active subcommittees. We cover a range of things that come into our view. While I’ve been dealing with all the things you can look at, at the same time I have been meeting with people to talk about this issue of the stock transactions. Because since the minute it happened I’ve been interested. And I’m gathering information. The hearing process is a long and drawn out one in terms of setting the stage for a hearing. But it’s my intention to have a hearing, certainly before this Congress runs its course. And that is a commitment.
RESOURCES : Here is one of the most important and accurate papers on insider trading preceding 9/11: “Unusual Option Market Activity and the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001″ ( Full Paper PDF ), by Allen Poteshman of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His paper is endorsed and referenced in “The Hidden History of 9-11″, by Paul Zarembka, Professor Economics at SUNY, Buffalo.
Allan Giles, 911blogger.com– Question 3: There are many questions about 9/11 that could have been answered long ago if the 9/11 Commission had proceeded in a more open manner. The Commission turned over its records to the National Archives where they remain under a “general restriction from public access on these records until 2009″.(1) The National Archives website states that these materials are free from FOIA requests, “Because the Commission was part of the legislative branch.”(1) My question is: Will your office write a Bill or Resolution that will make the public release of these records lawfully binding? It should be crafted to include a message to all government agencies to collaborate with, and aid, the Archives in its work. It should also include text that will release physical evidence for public examination, so that the public can weigh the value of any proofs that the Commission used to draw their conclusions. (This would include all Pentagon surveillance videos depicting the attack on the Pentagon; all surveillance video that depicts the alleged hijackers boarding the aircraft that were used as missiles on 9/11; access to the debris from United 93 currently stored at the Iron Mountain facility in Boyers, Pennsylvania; and, access to the steel recovered from the World Trade Center, currently stored in Hangar 17 at the JFK airport in NY.)(2)
References — 1. http://www.archives.gov/research/9-11-commission/ 2. http://www.panynj.gov/AboutthePortAuthority/PressCenter/PressReleases/Pr… and 9/11, Deep State Violence and the Hope of Internet Politics , by Peter Dale Scott
DK: Well, first of all let me say that when the National Archives received the legal custody of the 9/11 Commission (files) in August 2004, it set up through the Commission this restriction from public access. I think that saying the Commission is part of the legislative branch is not appropriate and I think that, I would argue that these records should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, particularly since there are so many contests about the viability of facts that were represented to the public. And I certainly favor an open and transparent information process. Wherever you have information not available, it’s very easy to manipulate a public position. So I would be happy to entertain the question that you raised about sponsoring a law that would open it up. But what we’d have to do, apparently, is amend the Federal Records Act so that it would say that the Commission would be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. I think it should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
Janice Matthews, 911Truth.org Question 4. We know that on 9/11, Continuity of Government procedures were implemented. Our question is, are we still operating under Continuity of Government or has it been lifted, and when? Is this the reason why Congress cannot do anything, because they literally have no power? Obviously — [remainder of question unasked, because Kucinich jumped right in to answer this one: Even the Committee on Homeland Security, which has proper clearance, has been denied access to the detailed documents. Has Congress been prohibited, legally, from talking about Continuity of Government? The American people deserve to know what structure of government we're living under, and we appreciate you clarifying this for us. What do the American People need to do to restore co-equal branches of government, given this scenario?]
Well, Congress does have power and it is acting; whether it’s acting wisely is another question. The President sent, a couple months ago, an executive order that continued the emergency that existed after, I believe it was after 9/11. The questions that have been raised about Continuity of Government are very serious because they relate to whether or not the President could take us into a state of emergency and essentially suspend the Constitution. We need to know what the rules are here. Members of Congress have made efforts to try to get the documents from the Administration that relate to the Continuity of Government; they have not been able to obtain it. This is something I’m very concerned about, that I have followed, that I continue to follow up on. I have the same concern. If we hadn’t seen this Administration take us into a war based on lies, suspend habeas corpus , attack the Fourth Amendment and many other provisions of the Constitution, then there’d be no reason to be concerned about this provision of Continuity of Government. But since they have done this and have shown a willingness to compromise the Constitution of the United States in very deep ways, we’d better be very concerned. And I think that Congress has to get the information of what the intentions are of this Administration with respect to the issues of Continuity of Government. Continuity of Government should not be about a power grab. If the nation is under some type of severe attack there has to be a way to continue to govern. But Continuity of Government should not be used as a cover for an anti-democratic takeover of this nation. And I’m, I think that we have to be suspicious of this Administration’s activities any time the President signs an Executive Order that seems to take steps in the direction of anti-democratic conduct.
JM: Is there something that we the people who are familiar with Continuity of Government planning and what that means can be doing to push our legislators to take more action? Even the Homeland Sec Committee, which has proper clearance, as you mentioned, was denied access. What can we be doing to find out what’s happening with that?
DK: Well, I can tell you that I have spoken to members of Congress who have been even more involved in this than I have, and they’ve told me they’ve been stonewalled trying to get information out of the Administration. When you have a Congress that is either unwilling or unable to enforce its subpoena powers, there are limitations there. That’s why the Articles of Impeachment become important, inasmuch as Congress reasserts it authority and causes the Administration to realize that they’re within the reach of legal process when Congress demands information. Right now the Bush Administration generally has ignored requests from Congress for detailed info about areas that relate to its administrative conduct and its enforcement of the law and its lack of enforcement of the laws.
JM: So we need to push them to act on those subpoenas?
DK: Listen, all subpoenas, Congress’s subpoena power relates to Congress’s co-equality, its checks and balances. The next article of impeachment could very well deal with the Administration not responding and obeying the subpoenas of Congress. Congress has trouble getting information. And when it does get info, we always see the admin is held in a very bad light because they’ve been proceeding along a path that has either been anti-democratic, has undermined the Constitution, — new laws, or helped put money into the pockets of some special interest group. So again, this is something that Congress is going to have to do. It’s Congress that has to get this information out that the Administration is holding with respect to their plans and their views on the issue of Continuity of Government. I was the one who raised the question about posse comitatus , where the Administration clearly was taking a step that compromised the century-old prohibition on the use of the military in domestic affairs. We’ve got to realize that our Constitution is on the line every day in every way and Continuity of Government is just one.
I want to thank all of you for your vigilance, for your love of our country, because it really is love that motivates you. To me it’s an honor to work with you on any occasion, whether it’s impeachment or trying to get to the truth of some of the issues you raise with respect to 9/11. I can’t tell you that, I can’t pretend that I know what happened there, but I can tell you that when we have questions it’s our responsibility as Americans to ask questions and we should have a right as Americans to get information. So I thank you for raising many issues today.
RESOURCES : For more on this incredibly important Continuity of Government issue, please read the following and forward to your lists, then start calling the House Committee on Homeland Security and your own Representative for answers:
Congress, the Bush Administration and Continuity of Government Planning–The Showdown by Peter Dale Scott The Last Roundup by Christopher Ketcham constitutionally.blogspot.com National Security Presidential Directive 51
Rep. Peter DeFazio’s statement on being denied access to the secret annexes to NSPD-51 (Overview at wikipedia , see References 9-11 re. DeFazio, and several other good “External Links” worth reading)
PD: One more question before you go, about whistleblowers.
Janice Matthews, Question 5: I’ll make it really quick then. We’re contacted by whistleblowers from military and intelligence agencies a lot. We’ve not been able to find anyone who’s willing to help them, so I’m asking you — for instance, I’m currently in touch with a military intelligence officer who’s being held in an institution in Georgia for two years with no hearing, no habeas corpus . Where do we go with these whistleblowers which are numerous, not only about 9/11 but about a lot of other issues, and who do we contact and how can we get them help?
DK: Whistleblowers are a special breed of people. It takes a lot of courage. People put their careers on the line. They have a [sense of] moral responsibility to come forward to protect the public, and I think that we need to protect whistleblowers, we need to welcome them, we need to make sure they don’t lose their job, we need to encourage people if information is being brought forward by their superiors, that they learn is not true, we need to reward them for bringing that info forward. Currently we have an administration where whistleblowers are always in jeopardy. If you stand up and speak out, the chances are you can lose your position, lose your job, lose your security. So here again, we have to get rid of the fear in our society, have an open government, a transparent government, encourage people to have a place to come to. I certainly have an open door to all those who want to bring information forward in confidence and protect them. So we need to make sure that whistleblowers are protected. We haven’t really done enough. Congress has dealt with bills to protect whistleblowers over the years and people who blow the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse, or people who blow the whistle on corrupt practices, have to have protection, and the protection has to be total and complete. Even when the laws are passed there are still ways to try to subvert it. So I’m always interested in a case where there’s a whistleblowers at risk and whatever I can do to be of help to anyone who courageously stands up and courageously challenges our government. It’s an honor to do so.
JM: Thank you. That’s a real relief, and I’ll be in touch!
DK: Thank you everyone. We’ll talk again.
Concluding Remark Summaries
Allan — 911Blogger.com A couple other activism websites other than 911truth.org: Truthaction.org conducts an action on the 11th of every month, mostly 9/11 activists who get together and talk about what they think happened on 9/11 and carry signs and distribute literature, garner attention. WeAreChange.org. Another group of activists working to be the new media, a tough learning process but they’re doing what they can to get the truth out on a variety of topics, notably 911.
Paul: Thanks to NoLiesRadio.org — Allan is taping this so it will be available at his site, 911truth.org, and 911blogger.com, with the questions posted.
Janice: Contacting every member of judiciary every day really seems to be in order. Not only around impeachment hearing right now, but also perhaps pressing them to move forward with taking action on subpoenas — Rove just thumbed his nose at a subpoena, it just continues. I think I heard Rep Kucinich say members of Congress also need encouragement to be able to stand up. We have to practice liberty every day by standing up and dissenting and encourage each other to do that, but also members of Congress. So I’ll post a link to Judiciary Committee with their phone numbers. If you’re a constituent, you have more power in contacting your Rep. Form emails have little value, letters are better, phone calls are even better, visits to their office are best. Now that they’re coming home for summer recess, it’s time to set appointments while they’re in their home districts. I would really encourage everyone to notch up their activism now — it’s not just a matter of forwarding emails and reading Citizens for Legitimate Government headlines every day, it’s time to really ramp that up, get some appointments set with them while they’re home, calling every day — it takes two minutes to make the call but the tallies add up — it sounds to me like that’s what they need to hear, there really are that many people behind this.
Also, he just said to us he’s willing to hear from and assist whistleblowers. That’s the first time I’ve ever been told that by a Congressperson or Senator. We’ve certainly been contacted by a lot; we know there are a lot more out there, so we now have a door hopefully to help people. If there are attorneys listening to the program who are willing to help whistleblowers, we’ve got whistleblowers who need help, right now. Habeas corpus hasn’t only been lost for “enemy combatants”; there are political prisoners all over the United States. Many of you recently read the story of Susan Lindauer, who’s been held four years now as “delusional” for saying she worked with the intelligence, when she actually DID work with intelligence! There’s another military intelligence member who has the same situation happening in Georgia right now. Of people are listening they know someone or they’re an attorney, and it sounds like even with a small staff, Dennis is willing to help. So it seems like there are some things we can move forward on now.
NOTE: Anyone who’s followed Sibel Edmonds’ case ( excellent summary here )is well aware that this is a significant problem. Similarly, the Susan Lindauer case reveals she’s only now getting help and hearings, after four years of harassment, custody, “mental evaluation” … It appears increasingly clear that one way individuals who speak out and try to bring attention to various agency shortcomings (failures) are silenced is by being held as “delusional” in a system that allows no recourse. While we’re all looking at habeas corpus for non-citizens, we’d better start looking at whether American citizens–even military and intelligence agency veterans–are included in that elusive “enemy combatant” category, and figure out ways to help them.
PD: 911truth.org/Grassroots has a lobby packet, with useful information on how to contact legislators and other helpful materials that are very useful for going to your Representative. Meeting with them helps those who are fearful in federal government, and state government. Feeling the support of more and more citizens behind them will give them the courage to confront what we must confront right now, tyranny.
JM: Continuity of Government — We asked a question about Continuity of Government because this is a critically important issue. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans have never heard of it. Continuity of Government is planning for the continuity of government should we be attacked, in their words “if DC is decapitated.” During the Cold planning was begun by Cheney and Rumsfeld in 1976, even throughout the years they were not in office they continued with this planning. Now it’s gotten to a really secretive police state/martial law point and it would take almost nothing to have that kick off. So at the risk of sounding alarming and “sky is falling,” that’s where we are with that. I will put links to incredibly good articles that have come out, The Final Roundup, by Christopher Ketcham and Peter Dale Scott’s good work on that. I encourage you to do some reading to find out the little bit we do know, then encourage Congress, particularly the Committee on Homeland Security, which has clearance to see the documents but has been not allowed to see them. That’s another call we need to make–That we Americans demand to know what structure of government we’re living under. And when Bush issues national emergencies at will, what does that mean for us? What does it take for him to issue the Continuity of Government orders that take us to the next level? I feel strongly we need to be learning about that right now, immediately, and taking action.