Efforts to impeach and even prosecute President Bush are gaining wider support as anger mounts over his administration’s disregard for the Constitution and what many see as its continuing gross negligence and criminal behavior.

After Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) introduced 35 articles of impeachment in Congress June 9, their offices were flooded with calls from people throughout the country asking what they can do to help.

Kucinich started a petition on his web site (www.kucinich.us) to collect one million signatures asking members of Congress to back the measure, which has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee headed by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.).

Within days Veterans for Peace presented Conyers with 23,000 signatures on their own petition asking for impeachment hearings.

Respected voices in the legal community have voiced support for impeachment and urged that the issues raised involved not be dropped. Jonathan Turley, noted Constitutional law professor at George Washington University, said on Keith Olberman’s “Countdown” June 10 that there is a “real crisis” and many experts in the field were “quite worried” that the Democratic leadership in the House continues to insist that impeachment is “off the table” in the face of “clear presidential crimes.”

The crimes cited by Kucinich include lying to promote and wage an illegal war in Iraq, illegal surveillance and detention, torture and destruction of evidence.

This record was driven home by the release June 18 of a report by the Massachusetts-based Physicians for Human Rights. The group examined 11 men who had been freed without charges after being held for three years in the U.S. military detention center in Guantanamo, Cuba, and found that they had been systematically subjected to torture including waterboarding, beatings, electric shocks and sexual assault.

In the preface to the report, retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who previously investigated the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at the U.S. military prison Abu Ghraib, stated “there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.”

“Having led the Army’s investigation at Abu Ghraib,” Kucinich said, “Gen. Taguba is an authoritative voice on the administration’s rogue policies and systematic use of torture. His words remind us once again why Congress must act to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney.”

While no action has been taken in response to previous articles of impeachment he filed against Cheney, Kucinich has vowed that, if Congress fails to act on the resolution against Bush, he will return in 30 days with more articles of impeachment.

CNN commentator Jack Cafferty has also called on Congress to act and said that failure to do so in light of such overwhelming evidence “boggles the mind.”

A call for even more serious action has come from Vincent Bugliosi, former Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorney and author of a recent best-selling book, “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.” Bugliosi, who successfully prosecuted 21 murder cases, charged that, by taking the nation to war under false pretenses, Bush is guilty under the law of the murder of the more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq.

In an interview with Democracy Now! June 13 Bugliosi said his book documents facts that Bush had been clearly told by the CIA that Iraq posed no threat to U.S. security and that Bush had made clear to British Prime Minister Tony Blair that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Charges that Bush misled the nation about the reasons for invading Iraq were also made in the recent report of the Senate Intelligence Committee and by Bush’s former press secretary, Scott McClellan.

Virtually all opinion polls now show that two-thirds of the American people disapprove of the job Bush has done and it appears that more and more people are no longer afraid to speak out and demand an accounting for his actions in office.

Disputing claims that there is not enough time to conduct impeachment proceedings before Bush leaves office next January, Kucinich told Democracy Now!

“George Bush has enough time to bomb Iran on another pretext. He has enough time to continue policies of torture. He has enough time to continue policies of eavesdropping and wiretapping.

“We don’t have enough time. We can’t spend any more time temporizing, while the Constitution, the United States laws, international laws, are being shredded.”

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