(Reuters) – More than 20 Vermont towns passed resolutions on Tuesday seeking to impeach U.S. President George W. Bush, while 13 towns in the tiny New England state called on Washington to bring U.S. troops back from Iraq.
Known for picturesque autumn foliage, colonial inns, maple sugar and old-fashion dairy farms, Vermont is on the vanguard of a grass-roots movement to impeach Bush over his handling of the unpopular Iraq war.
“The president must be held accountable,” said David Zuckerman, a state representative from Burlington, Vermont’s largest city with 38,889 people.
The resolutions passed on Vermont’s annual town meeting day — a colonial era tradition where citizens gather to debate the issues of the day — are symbolic and cannot force Congress to impeach Bush, but they “may help instigate further discussions in the legislature,” Zuckerman said.
Citizens of 23 towns in Vermont backed a measure calling on the U.S. Congress to file articles of impeachment against Bush for misleading the nation on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and for engaging in illegal wiretapping, among other charges.
Five Vermont towns passed similar resolutions last year.
But the idea of impeaching Bush resides firmly outside the political mainstream.
The new Democratic-controlled U.S. Congress has steered clear of the subject, and Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold’s call last year to censure Bush — a step short of an impeachment — found scant support on Capitol Hill, even among fellow Democrats.
‘SOLDIERS HOME NOW’
Thirteen Vermont towns passed a separate “soldiers home now” resolution calling on the White House, the U.S. Congress and Vermont’s elected officials to withdraw troops from Iraq.
“The best way to support them is to bring each and every one of them home now and take good care of them when they get home,” the resolution said.
Residents of Burlington were voting on a separate ballot question calling for a new investigation into the September 11 attacks.
Voters were asked to circle “yes” or “no” to the question: “Shall Vermont’s Congressional Delegation be advised to demand a new, thorough, and truly independent forensic investigation that fully addresses the many questions surrounding the tragic events of September 11, 2001?”
Doug Dunbebin, who walked door-to-door collecting signatures to get the question onto the town meeting ballot, said there are still unanswered questions about September 11, 2001, when hijacked plane attacks killed 2,992 people at New York’s World Trade Centre, at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.
A group known as Scholars for 9/11 Truth believes the events of that day were part of a conspiracy engineered by the U.S. government and that it took more than two planes to bring down the Twin Towers in New York.
“If you are a person who believes 9/11 changed everything, then we need to know everything we can about 9/11,” said Dunbebin.
Vermont’s new U.S. representative, Peter Welch, a Democrat, said there was no need for a further investigation.