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Green Party on impeachment & other Dems/Repubs failures

Greens at Chicago Convention will discuss impeachment, telecom immunity, and other issues on which Democrats and Republicans have violated the public trust

Green Party leaders, preparing for the 2008 Green National Convention in Chicago (July 10-13), say that the convention will be a public forum for discussion of impeachment and other major issues on which Democrats and Republicans have failed in their responsibility to voters.

“We’re going to talk about a lot of things at the Green National Convention that the Democrats and Republicans don’t want the public to talk about,” said Cliff Thornton, co-chair of the Green Party, and co-founder of Efficacy, Inc. (http://www.efficacy-online.org), which promotes major reforms in drug policy, and a featured speaker at the convention.

“We won’t hear a peep about impeachment, war crimes, the telecom amnesty outrage, the failure of the war on drugs, mass incarceration of young black and Latino men, the urgent need for single-payer health care, and other important topics during the Democratic and Republican conventions,” said Mr. Thornton.

Greens have accused Democrats of enabling the Republicans and the Bush agenda, and have even legalized some of the crimes committed by the White House. Democratic leaders and committee members who were briefed about intelligence on Iraq before President Bush ordered the invasion, on torture, and other issues gave the White House a pass, said Green leaders.

“Mr. Obama’s positions ensure that much of the debate between him and John McCain will be minimal. The retreat by Mr. Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and their fellow Democrats shows how urgent it is for the Green Party to place its presidential and congressional ticket on every state ballot,” said Steve Alesch, Green Party nominee for Congress in Illinois (District 13) (http://www.votesteve.org).

• IMPEACHMENT: Despite massive evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and other White House officials, Democratic leaders have rejected motions for impeachment. Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, when she was a Georgia Democrat in December, 2006, was the first to introduce an impeachment motion in the US House.

All four Green presidential candidates — Jesse Johnson, Kent Mesplay, and Kat Swift, as well as Ms. McKinney — have supported impeachment, calling it necessary for reestablishing the rule of law.

“By rejecting impeachment, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and their fellow Democrats have given future presidents a license to abuse their power, deceive the American people, and commit further crimes while in office,” said Carol Wolman, California Green candidate for Congress (District 1) and co-chair of Impeach Bush-Cheney (http://newbroomcoalition.org).

Democrats, including Mr. Obama, have joined Republicans in voting not to hold telecommunications companies legally responsible for their role in the Bush Administration’s warrantless eavesdropping on US citizens. The corporations under the protection of the ‘FISA amnesty’ bill have given both parties’ candidates huge campaign donations. Green leaders warn that the bill will encourage future administrations to violate the US Constitution with help from the telecom industry.

• ENDING THE IRAQ WAR: While claiming opposition to the Iraq War and the continuing occupation, Barack Obama would leave a ‘lighter, smaller, more nimble residual force’ in the war zone and would maintain preventive detention policies by the US, the presence of private contractors and advisors, and US troops in surrounding countries.

The Green Party has called for immediate withdrawal of all US troops and military contractors from Iraq, a cutoff of funding for the war, and redirection of money from the bloated military budget to human needs.

“The Obama ‘troop withdrawal’ plan is a ploy to continue the war under the radar,” said Jody Grage, treasurer of the Green Party. “Democrats in Congress have squandered their leadership since 2006, betrayed their promise to bring US troops home, and voted for continued war funding.”

• CAMPAIGN FINANCING: Mr. Obama’s rejection of public financing for his campaign signals that he will not promote campaign financing reform or take action to reduce the corrupting influence of corporate money on elections. The Green Party, which accepts no corporate money, supports far-reaching reforms, including ‘clean money’ options, full public financing, and free time for candidates on the public airwaves.

Other major issues:

• Neither Barack Obama or John McCain will challenge the war on drugs and its destructive effect on African American, Latino, and poor communities throughout the US. Greens have called the war on drugs a war on youth and people of color, resulting in mass incarceration of US citizens (which reached a record high in 2006), and have noted the influence of the private prison industry, which makes its profits by filling up cells.

• Greens have noted that Mr. Obama and the Democratic leadership have joined Republicans and President Bush in threatening a US military assault on Iran, maintaining unconditional support for Israel’s strategic objectives in the region, and refusing to press Israel to observe UN directives and human rights guarantees.

• Mr. Obama and John McCain both support nuclear power. The Green Party opposes nuclear power as a replacement for fossil fuels, citing severe risks to security and public health and the problem of massive and extremely toxic waste disposal. Mr. Obama also favors ethanol as a source of energy, despite its damaging effect on food production and prices.

• Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain both oppose single-payer national health care (which the Green Party strongly supports) and would leave control over health care in the hands of HMO and insurance company middlemen that demand huge profits. Mr. Obama has also retreated from his criticism of NAFTA and other free trade pacts that have proven damaging to the environment, local economies, and labor rights.

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