Neither Nixon nor Reagan was ever held accountable for violations of law, especially the Constitution. Bringing Bush to justice will be even more difficult.
There may be possibility of prosecution under the principle of "universal jurisdiction": http://en.wikipedia.org/... (In fact, one might consider the precedent of Adolph Eichmann, who was abducted, prosecuted, and executed by a nation whose dominant religion corresponded to that of most of Eichmann's victims.)
To prosecute Bush under U.S. law, there would be the problem of a Nixon-like pardon:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States,
pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II,
Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents
do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for
all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has
committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period
from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.
Per Article II Section 2, "[The President] shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment." And Nixon was never impeached.
Barring impeachment, on 1/19/09, Bush can pardon Cheney and whomever else he pleases, and then resign. After Roberts swears him in, Cheney can pardon Bush and whomever. It is therefore important to read and discuss the following article:
"TREASONGATE: A NEW CONSTITUTIONAL DISCOVERY: Pardons May Be Voided
For Criminal Prosecutions Flowing From 'Cases of Impeachment'" by
CitizenSpook, September 13, 2005:
CitizenSpook argues that pardons may be voided for criminal prosecutions flowing from "cases of impeachment," provided that the impeachment leads to conviction in the Senate.
Of possible relevance to any prosecution of Bush is the principle of "command responsibility," which has precedent in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Command responsibility, sometimes referred to as the Yamashita
standard or the Medina standard, is the doctrine of hierarchical
accountability in cases of war crimes.
The doctrine of "command responsibility" was established by the
Hague Conventions IV (1907) and X (1907) and applied for the first
time by the German Supreme Court in Leipzig after World War I, in
the trial of Emil Muller.
The Yamashita standard is based upon the precedent set by the
United States Supreme Court in the case of Japanese General
Tomoyuki Yamashita. He was prosecuted, in a still controversial
trial, for atrocities committed by troops under his command in the
Philippines. Yamashita was charged with "unlawfully disregarding
and failing to discharge his duty as a commander to control the
acts of members of his command by permitting them to commit war
The Medina standard is based upon the massacre at My Lai which US
Army Captain Ernest Medina failed to prevent. It holds that a
commanding officer, being aware of a human rights violation or a
war crime, will be held criminally liable when he does not take