The Bothwell Letter

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APRIL 3, 2006 Vol. VIII / No. 1 / /


[1] A scenario – President Nancy Pelosi in 2007
[2] Whistleblower stopped carcinogen hazard in Napa wine country drinking water supplies
[3] Executives who ran a polluting oil refinery… hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil
[4] Countrywide Bank, RE/MAX, Financial Title named in Sacramento real estate lawsuit
[5] Los Banos School District employee wins a court ruling on sexual harassment claim
[6] Lawyers tell about getting government records
[7] Book reviews are available on-line
[8] Antiterror strategy envisioned at West Point


[1] A scenario – President Nancy Pelosi in 2007

            A path in which Nancy Pelosi becomes Speaker of the House and then President of the United States is described by Atty. Tony Bothwell.  “If enough enlightened members are elected to the House and Senate in the November 2006 elections,” he says, “it might be possible to remove President Bush and Vice President Cheney from office, with Speaker Pelosi next in line for the presidency.”  Some background:             

Jan. 18, 2003 – Former Atty. Gen. Ramsey Clark, addressing an antiwar rally in Washington, called for impeachment of President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and then-Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft (later updated to name Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales).  

Nov. 11, 2005 – At Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., Atty. Tony Bothwell of San Francisco conferred with Prof. Robert F. Drinan, S.J. concerning legal remedies for illegal acts of Bush and Cheney.  Drinan, D-Mass., was a member of the House Judiciary Committee in 1974 when it voted articles of impeachment against President Nixon.      

Historical precedent

            Dec. 7 – The Bothwell Letter, vol. VII, no. 3, published excerpts from “Obstruction of Justice,” “Abuse of Power” and “Contempt of Congress” articles the Judiciary Committee voted against Nixon – precedent for impeachment of Bush and Cheney.  The newsletter listed 12 items of Bush/Cheney misconduct that may be impeachable, e.g.: failure to act on pre-9/11 warnings; outing of a Central Intelligence Agency covert agent; and violation of treaties on conduct of war and treatment of prisoners.  It compared recent events to Vietnam and Watergate, and quoted former Nuremberg prosecutors comparing post-9/11 America to 1930s Germany.

            Dec. 16 - The New York Times revealed Bush’s use of the National Security Agency to conduct warrantless domestic suveillance.

            Dec. 18 – Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., introduced H.Res. 365, to create a select committee to investigate war crimes, manipulation of intelligence, and retaliation against critics, and to make recommendations regarding possible grounds for impeachment.

            Dec. 20 – In a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Bothwell, citing illegal surveillance and other offenses, said the Judiciary Committee should be urged to draft articles of impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

            Jan. 5, 2006 – Pelosi announced she would conduct a public meeting on national security issues Jan. 14 at San Francisco’s Marina Middle School.

Spontaneous eruption

            Jan. 14 – In Pelosi’s meeting, attended by more than 1,000 constituents, an aide read questions aloud.  Question no. 2:  “Attorney Tony Bothwell writes, ‘President Bush withdrew military forces needed in Afghanistan, withheld protective armor needed by U.S. troops in Iraq, and committed innumerable violations of international law, the Constitution and statutes of the United States.  Do these not rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors…” – at which point the audience spontaneously erupted into sustained cheers, applause and chants of “Impeach Bush now!”  When the auditorium and TV monitor rooms eventually quieted, Pelosi said all who feel that way should devote energies to electing a Democratic-majority House in 2006.

            Later in Pelosi’s Jan. 14 meeting, another attorney’s question was read aloud, suggesting Bush’s impeachment because “our form of government is at stake.”  This touched off another outburst of extended cheering, applause, and shouts of “Bush should go to jail!” and “Felony indictment!”  Pelosi again responded by urging the election of a Democratic Congress. 

            Answering other questions, Pelosi said that she and most House Democrats back the proposal by Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., for U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq; that it would be “dereliction of duty” for Congress to fail to investigate Bush’s actions regarding NSA domestic surveillance; and that the current GOP-run Congress is “the most closed and therefore corrupt” in history.

The impeachment uproar in Pelosi’s meeting, broadcast on CSPAN, sparked supportive e-mails from across the nation.

            Jan. 15 –Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), answering a question from George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, called impeachment “the principal remedy” if Bush violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., outlawry of NSA domestic surveillance.  

            Jan. 16 – Former Vice President Al Gore, in a speech in Washington, said Bush was “breaking the law repeatedly and persistently.”  Answering ABC News questions afterwards, he said lawless domestic spying may be an impeachable offense, as it was in the Nixon case. 

Presidential succssion

            Apr. 3 – “If Democrats win control of Congress, Pelosi becomes Speaker of the House,” Bothwell says.  “Democratic control of the Judiciary Committee would improve the climate for possible impeachment of Bush and Cheney.  If Bush is impeached, Cheney would become President; then, under the 25th Amendment, President Cheney would nominate a Vice President, subject to the House and Senate confirmation.  But if Bush and Cheney both are impeached by the House, tried jointly by the Senate, and both found guilty in one Senate roll call, then both offices would become vacant.”

Impeachment and removal are authorized by the Constitution, Art. II, sect. 4, and the “removal…both of the President and Vice President” is contemplated in Art. II, sect. 1(6).  The House impeaches by majority, Const., Art. 1, sect. 2(5); the Senate convicts by two-thirds vote, Art. I, sect. 3(5).

Under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, 3 U.S.C. §19, if the presidency and vice presidency both become vacant, the Speaker of the House automatically becomes President. 


[2] Whistleblower stopped carcinogen hazard in     

    Napa wine country drinking water supplies

            A water operations supervisor experienced retaliation after complaining that a City of Napa manager, who did not have a water plant operator’s license, tampered with chemical levels in public drinking water supplies.  A lawsuit filed Mar. 9 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco says the unlicensed manager ordered a plant operator to set chemical levels causing water taste and odor problems and possible carcinogens in the drinking water.  The supervisor who complained about and corrected the chemical hazard, Turan Ramadan, is an internationally recognized authority on water operations management.  The suit says Ramadan has been harassed because he blew the whistle on the Oct. 15, 2003 water tampering incident and because of his Turkish Cypriot Muslim heritage.  According to the suit, retaliation for disclosing misconduct violated Ramadan’s First Amendment free speech rights, and ethnic discrimination violated state and federal civil rights laws and standards of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.  Ramadan is represented by San Francisco attorneys Rey Hassan and Tony Bothwell.  The City of Napa Water Department supplies public drinking water to about 82,000 residents of Napa, Calistoga, St. Helena, American Canyon and Yountville. 


[3] Executives who ran a polluting oil refinery

    hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil

Oil company executives testified in depositions taken by Atty. Tony Bothwell in Billings, Mont. and Minneapolis, Minn., Mar. 14-17.  Bothwell represents an engineer forced out of his job after he discovered, and refused to help cover up, evidence of intentional violation of sulfur dioxide emission limits at an oil refinery.  Atty. Shane McGovern of the Matlovich and Keller law firm in Billings is local counsel.  The Cenex refinery, in Laurel, Mont., is owned by CHS, Inc., a St. Paul-based Fortune 500 conglomerate.  Senior Vice President and Legal Counsel David Kastelic testified he didn’t know it’s against the law for a refinery to violate state permit limits and federal environmental regulations.  Corporate Environmental Affairs Director Todd King testified he did not take part in a discussion about allegations of criminal violation of Environmental Protection Agency regulations – but revised his answer when shown a copy of his meeting notes.  Sulfur dioxide pollution of the atmosphere causes lung disease.                 


[4] Countrywide Bank, RE/MAX, Financial Title

    named in Sacramento real estate lawsuit

A complaint filed in superior court in Sacramento charges that a dozen defendants took part in a complex conspiracy that defrauded nine homebuyers.  The 99-page complaint alleges: 

Unlicensed real estate and mortgage representatives promised to help arrange financing but instead used the plaintiffs’ good names to tie up property for other purposes.  Four of the plaintiffs later found out that their signatures were forged on real estate transaction documents.  Lenders, without even doing credit checks, told well-qualified buyers they did not qualify for loans.  Financial Title Co. failed to return a rejected buyer’s deposit.  An unlicensed agent used forged documents to substitute herself in as the purchaser of a home.  She took another plaintiff’s identity and property and used his credit to arrange loans for other alleged conspirators.  Countrywide Bank used aggressive collection tactics against a plaintiff even after it had learned that he was a fraud victim who did not owe the debt on which the bank was attempting to collect.  A RE/MAX agent even threatened to have one of the plaintiffs deported on trumped-up charges if he did not accept a settlement offer.  The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Rey Hassan and Tony Bothwell. 


[5] Los Banos School District employee wins

    a court ruling on sexual harassment claim

Lawyers representing the plaintiff in a sexual harassment case prevailed in a ruling by a federal magistrate judge in Fresno, rejecting an attempt by the Los Banos Unified School District to have the case thrown out.  A 57-page order by Judge Sandra M. Snyder means a jury can decide whether the school district failed to take corrective action when the plaintiff complained she was sexually harassed by her supervisor.  Though the order bars a harassment claim against the supervisor under state law, it leaves for jurors to decide:  Is the district liable for the alleged sexual harassment that is prohibited by federal law?  Did the district, in violation of state and federal law, retaliate against the plaintiff for protesting the harassment?  The order, denying in part the distict’s summary judgment motion, was dated Feb. 16.  The plaintiff, an employee of the school district, is represented by Attys. Rey Hassan and Tony Bothwell of San Francisco and Tom Sharpe of Fresno.

Law Offices of Anthony P. X. Bothwell and associates have helped clients win monetary awards against federal, state and local government agencies and private-sector businesses, in various discrimination and whistleblower retaliation cases.  Tony Bothwell has testified as an expert witness on legal ethics issues in cases in San Francisco and Los Angeles.                             


[6] Lawyers tell about getting government records

A panel of California attorneys presented a Freedom of Information Act seminar Mar. 4 at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, hosted by University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene.  Loulena Miles, staff attorney for Livermore-based Tri-Valley CARES, told how the Bush administration has curbed public access to government records.  Michael Veiluva of the Walnut Creek law firm of Alborg, Veiluva & Epstein cited court decisions favoring disclosure.  Tony Bothwell, adjunct professor at Kennedy School of Law, told of extracting data from the CIA and other agencies, and about ways of avoiding costs and recovering fees in FOIA cases.  An audience member, Dave Bahr, staff attorney in the Eugene office of the Western Environmental Law Center, noted that courts sometimes reexamine, de novo, whether an agency should have made a requestor pay for public records.                   


[7] Book reviews are available on-line

            Fred Bothwell III of Georgetown, Tex., an IBM manager and former commanding officer of a training unit at the U.S. Military Academy, has published incisive book reviews available on line.  His review of The Da Vinci Code (“pedestrian…overwrought”) is at  His review of Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point (“comprehensive portrait…a must read”) is seen at 

[8] Antiterror strategy envisioned at West Point

            In September 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks, a cadet in a classroom at the U.S. Military Academy asked whether the “endstate” of U.S. antiterror policy should be “eradication, containment, or some other option?” The professor, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, U.S.A. ret., answered, “There will be no endstate….” McCaffrey, who was drug czar in the Clinton administration, explained:

            [W]e will, if successful, manage this chronic threat to our survival, economy, and self-confidence by dramatically lowering the risk. We will build a series of defensive programs that will make a multiple order of magnitude increase in our day-to-day security. Second, we will form a coalition based on common danger. Much of the globe will join us to leverage foreign intelligence services and security forces to fight these FTOs [foreign terrorist organizations] forward in the battle area. Finally, we will at last take the gloves off and use integrated military power to find, fix, and destroy these organizations.
            We are going to disrupt these people through pre-emptive attack. We will deceive them, we will run psyops on them.... [A]t selected points and times they will be killed suddenly, in significant numbers, and without warning. Tomahawk missiles, 2000 lb. laser guided weapons dropped from B-2s or F-22s at very high altitude, remote-control booby traps, blackmail, and at places...small groups of soldiers or Seals will appear in total darkness ...blow down the doors and kill them at close range with automatic weapons and hand grenades. We will find their money and freeze it. We will arrest their front agents. We will operate against their recruiting and transportation functions. We will locate their training areas and surveill or mine them. We will isolate them from their families. We will try to dominate their communication function and alternately listen, jam, or spoof it. We will make their couriers disappear. If we can find out how they eat, or play, or receive rewards, or where they sleep...we will go there and kill them by surprise.
            The military component will be a supporting but lesser aspect of a strategy that will be based fundamentally on diplomatic and economic leverage to compel cooperation with international law. Of prime importance, we must reduce the environmental factors that feed this type of extremist madness.... [F]oreign aid must be dramatically increased to address the misery and poverty of the Palestinians, the Afghans, the Sudanese and others.

Bill of Rights

            We must also not be unwilling to confront the state sponsors of terror...Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Cuba, North Korea....none can be allowed to provide the base for another sickening strike against our civilian population or our allies. Conventional military power will be used at the end of the day to place at risk those states who present a direct threat to our security. If deterrence does not work with coherent political and economic measures in support of a threat capability...then their political will must be shattered with overwhelming violence directed at their armed forces and the political decision-makers.
            The big challenge will be to organize America to protect our transportation, our economic activity, our entertainment...etc., with minimal invasion of our privacy and our free movement. We will constrain domestic law enforcement through the protection of our judicial system. We will ensure the unfettered operation of a free press. We will have to be zealous to protect the Bill of Rights and the dignity and safety of foreigners living among us during this war. We can do all of this. We have no option. The American people will depend on you and your fellow soldiers to step forward and stand between us and the barbarians.

            Gen. McCaffrey’s excerpted classroom response did not answer potential followup questions, e.g.: Where is the line drawn between proper functions of armed forces and CIA? Where is the line drawn between the law of war and the criminal law? The excerpt did not anticipate the Bush administration’s claim that it has power to designate persons who have “no rights” under the Constitution, international law or any other source of law. But it was a more comprehensive strategy statement than the administration itself has yet provided.

ANTHONY P. X. (TONY) BOTHWELL, Esq. – Member, the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Bar of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, The State Bar of California, American Bar Assn. (2003 delegate to the International Court of Justice, The Hague), National Lawyers Guild, International Bar Association, Southern Poverty Law Center (Leadership Council).  Qualified expert, lawyers' standard of care (Los Angeles County Superior Court).  U.S. Holocaust Museum (Circle of Life); Rotary Club of Fisherman's Wharf (Vice President, 2006-2007).  Georgetown Univ. School of Foreign Service, B.S.F.S., International Affairs; Boston Univ. School of Public Communication, M.S., Journalism; John F. Kennedy Univ. School of Law, J.D.; Golden Gate Univ. School of Law, LL.M. summa cum laude, International Legal Studies.  Professor of law, John F. Kennedy Univ. School of Law. Who’s Who in the Law; Who's Who in America; Who's Who in the World.  Descendent of John P. Dreibelbus, captain in the Continental Army under General George Washington.

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