George W. Bush/impeachment/2008 resolution/Article XXIII
Article XXIII. VIOLATION OF THE POSSE COMITATUS ACT
In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed", has both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates, repeatedly and illegally established programs to appropriate the power of the military for use in law enforcement. Specifically, he has contravened U.S.C. Title 18. Section 1385, originally enacted in 1878, subsequently amended as "Use of Army and Air Force as Posse Comitatus" and commonly known as the Posse Comitatus Act.
The Act states:
- "Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."
The Posse Comitatus Act is designed to prevent the military from becoming a national police force. The Declaration of Independence states as a specific grievance against the British that the King had "kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures," had "affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the civil power," and had "quarter[ed] large bodies of armed troops among us . . . protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States"
Despite the Posse Comitatus Act's intent, and in contravention of the law, President Bush
- a) has used military forces for law enforcement purposes on U.S. border patrol;
- b) has established a program to use military personnel for surveillance and information on criminal activities;
- c) is using military espionage equipment to collect intelligence information for law enforcement use on civilians within the United States; and
- d) employs active duty military personnel in surveillance agencies ,including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
In June 2006, President Bush ordered National Guard troops deployed to the border shared by Mexico with Arizona, Texas, and California. This deployment, which by 2007 reached a maximum of 6,000 troops, had orders to "conduct surveillance and operate detection equipment, work with border entry identification teams, analyze information, assist with communications and give administrative support to the Border Patrol" and concerned "...providing intelligence... inspecting cargo, and conducting surveillance."
The Air Force's "Eagle Eyes" program encourages Air Force military staff to gather evidence on American citizens. Eagle Eyes instructs Air Force personnel to engage in surveillance and then advises them to "alert local authorities," asking military staff to surveil and gather evidence on public citizens. This contravenes DoD Directive 5525.5 "SUBJECT: DoD Cooperation with Civilian Law Enforcement" which limits such activities.
President Bush has implemented a program to use imagery from military satellites for domestic law enforcement through the National Applications Office.
President Bush has assigned numerous active duty military personnel to civilian institutions such as the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security, both of which have responsibilities for law enforcement and intelligence.
In addition, on May 9, 2007, President Bush released "National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51," which effectively gives the president unchecked power to control the entire government and to define that government in time of an emergency, as well as the power to determine whether there is an emergency. The document also contains "classified Continuity Annexes." In July 2007 and again in August 2007 Rep. Peter DeFazio, a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, sought access to the classified annexes. DeFazio and other leaders of the Homeland Security Committee, including Chairman Bennie Thompson, have been denied a review of the Continuity of Government classified annexes.
In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.