Skip to main content

Neither Nixon nor Reagan was ever held accountable for violations of law, especially the Constitution.  Bringing Bush to justice will be even more difficult.

Anyone who hopes for prosecution via the International Criminal Court must read: and

There may be possibility of prosecution under the principle of "universal jurisdiction": (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:

 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

Originally posted to wigwam on Sun Jul 01, 2007 at 11:59 PM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Nixon was held accountable (4+ / 0-)

    ... in a way that Reagan wasn't.

    It's absurd to talk of criminal prosecutions when we don't have the gumption to remove him from office. That is to me far more important.

  •  Desparate times call for desparate measures... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreyHawk, cassidy3

    I'd almost settle for him getting a spanking from his Dad on the desk in the Oval Office, publicly during prime time TV.

    Would it be justice? No, clearly not.

    Would it be gratifying though? Hell fucking yeah.

    The truth is, we have no justice for people like Bush when the tools available to us don't effectively right any wrongs. We can get rid of Bush, and so we should, but neither him nor Cheney will never serve a day of jail time...

  •  all the more reason... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreyHawk, Yellow Canary, Owllwoman get three impeachments proceeding on fast track (Gonzales, Bush, Cheney).  Even starting the hearings could provide some leverage, since pardoning someone who is the subject of an impeachment inquiry would be legally questionable and generally regarded as an admission of guilt.  

    I have to believe that our people in Congress are thinking strategically, and will spring the trap at the appropriate time.  Though it would be nice if they gave us some reassurance on that point, they can't do it without tipping their hand and potentially triggering the mutual pardon scenario.  

  •  as we already know we are not going to impeach (0+ / 0-)

    These jerks no matter how badly we want to but if we just start the process it would make me happy I Already know that the jerks are going to get away with robbing from us, lying to us I Congress would just start the proceedings that would put that blemish on all their names and we would not have to see any of their faces anymore like Nixon did he went into hiding until his death , Pelosi is saying that she just does not thing we could get the votes in the senate to approve it well this is what I think we need to do  lets rent a hall (a very large one at that) and lay out all of the laws and crimes and everything else we have on him and his cronies with pictures and graph’s and documentation and on the other side of the room set up a table and put nothing on it except a label stating confidential  our  executive privilege and then from march each and every  House member and senate member thru and see just what has been taking place for the last six years and after this viewing drag them all to the theater to view Sicko make them buy their own condiments and then give them all a copy of our constitution and have them read it out loud and then do a question and answer time to see if they really understand just what has changed in the last six years and if they feel that we might be able to correct what has happened to the good OLD USA and take a vote and see who is willing to allow this to go on our who would like to join us in trying to correct this disaster

    Investigate, Impeach and Imprison the corrupt criminal enterprise known as The Republican Party.

    by unit24 on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 02:07:39 AM PDT

  •  Conviction in the Senate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobdevo, Yellow Canary, MyBrainWorks

    This is why impeachment has to take place now.

    You will get exactly NO support from Republican Senators to impeach Bush AFTER the election next year. The Senate trial must occur BEFORE then.

    The Republicans up for re-election must be presented with a stark choice: End their careers defending war crimes and treason, or acknowledge REALITY in the form of the evidence of the crimes before them.

    The next election isn't a reason to AVOID impeachment, it is another reason to pursue it, besides of course, the restoration of the rule of law.

  •  Two steps needed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First, a bill of impeachment needs to move out of committee in the House. In general, the people who comment on this site don't seem to realize how important that is. It has nothing to do with whether there could be 2/3 votes to convict in the Senate. The committee vote itself is the endgame, because then all of the claims of executive privilege fall out the window. This must be done before the statute of limitations could expire on the crimes.

    Second, there is a clause in the old Military Tribunals act that gives immunity to Bush and Cheney by some obscure inference. It needs to be repealed immediately.

    •  You think President Gore would pardon them? (0+ / 0-)

      I don't!

      •  No Democratic President would. (0+ / 0-)

        If Bush is succeeded by a Democrat, there is hope.  And I don't buy that he would resign so Cheney, first pardoned himself, could then pardon him.  Like any President in his last two years, Bush is playing for the history books.  "Resigned to be pardoned" looks a lot worse on one's tombstone than "Impeached over a blow job."

    •  Or... (0+ / 0-)

      First, a bill of impeachment needs to move out of committee in the House.

      There are two other ways impeachment can begin. Any member of the House can introduce a bill (e.g. Kucinich's H Res 333 to impeach Cheney), but we need Speaker Pelosi's cooperation for that. Off the table for now.

      The other way is for a State Legislature to submit a resolution. Recently, Vermont came close, but no cigar.

      The only way any of these will happen is if citizens agitate for it. Call/write/fax/email your local Rep, Pelosi, members of the Judiciary comittee and your State legislators early and often! For all the federal officials, go to

      Just sayin'.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site