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2006-12-10,1:17 PM

Activists to Rally for Impeachment

Nathan Burchfiel
Staff Writer

CNSNews.com) - Impeachment may be "off the table" for the Democrats' incoming congressional leadership, but left-wing activists will rally across the nation Sunday calling on Congress to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney for what they consider to be human rights abuses and war crimes.

More than 50 demonstrations are planned from Connecticut to New Mexico on Sunday, the anniversary of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was signed Dec. 10, 1948. The anniversary has been dubbed "Human Rights Day."

Protesters will lobby their elected officials in Congress for investigations and impeachment and will encourage their local officials to pass resolutions in support of impeachment, organizers said.

According to ImpeachPAC, the left-wing group organizing the protests, at least 28 city and town councils have passed resolutions in support of impeachment, although no statewide legislatures have done so.

The group gave $32,100 to seven candidates in 2006. None of them won. In fact, only one of a total of 21 candidates the group endorsed won - Democrat Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who will become the first Muslim in Congress.

Supporters of impeachment argue that Bush and Cheney, along with other key figures such as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, engaged in a conspiracy to deceive the American people to justify the Iraq war.

Some of the rallies will feature long-time anti-war activists like Col. Ann Wright, a former State Department official who resigned amid the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, and Cindy Sheehan, who began protesting the war after her son, Spc. Casey Sheehan, was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Impeachment advocates face an uphill battle, even with the newly elected Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, which has the authority to impeach the president.

In interviews before the election, incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said impeachment was "off the table," because it was "a waste of time." She said a Democratic impeachment of Bush and Cheney would give Republicans something to rally around.

Dani Doane, director of congressional relations at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said Friday Pelosi would be "getting pressure from all sides" of the liberal spectrum to enact various agendas. It would be up to her "to find the middle ground from all of this."

Several liberal groups have already launched efforts to get their legislative agenda pushed through Congress. Through a coalition called Change America Now (CAN), 31 liberal interest groups from labor unions to environmentalists are urging Democrats to keep the promises they made to those groups leading up to the elections.

CAN will press House and Senate Democrats to pass legislation implementing the 9/11 Commission recommendations, raise the minimum wage, reform health care and repeal tax cuts.

Doane said liberal activists have "salivated at the idea of a Democratic Congress for 12 years" - since Democrats last controlled the legislature - and that all groups will be seeking victories.

But she was skeptical of whether Pelosi's bipartisan image would play out in the legislation the Democratic Congress produces.

While Pelosi had pledged not to impeach Bush and Cheney, Doane said, Democrats were "still going to do investigations."

"If they happen to find something during their good-government-making-sure-everybody's-working-for-the-good-of-the-people investigations," they would be happy to seek impeachment, she predicted.

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