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When I first heard that Vincent Bugliosi was coming out with a new book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, I was skeptical.  Granted, there is now a mountain of evidence as high as K2 that this president deliberately lied to us and our elected representatives about the evidence supporting war.  For that, he should have been impeached ten times over.  However, it took only one piece of evidence out of the avalanche of documentation outlined by Bugliosi to convince me that impeachment is no longer sufficient, and that this president must be tried for murder.

Bugliosi refers to a meeting Bush held on January 31, 2003 with Tony Blair and six of Bush and Blair's top aides to discuss the Iraq issue.  According to a memo summarizing the meeting that was written by David Manning (then Blair's foreign policy adviser and later British ambassador to Washington), Bush actually indicated that he was willing to provoke a confrontation with Saddam.  This summary has never been disputed by the White House.

Among the ways Bush proposed to provoke a confrontation was to paint U2s to look like UN airplanes.  The theory was that if Saddam tried to fire on them, it would justify military action.  I have to say that in reading this, a chill went down my spine.  The image I immediately got was of how Hitler started World War II--with a purported violation of the German border by Poland.  SS men disguised as Polish soldiers were to stage a phony attack on a German radio station located right on the border, and leave drugged concentration camp inmates dying as "casualties."  

This Manning memo got limited play in the press--it was mentioned only in passing in an NYT front-page story in March 2006.  However, even without the plans to use U2 aircraft disguised in UN colors, the memo is absolutely damning and proves that the invasion of Iraq is a criminal act.

But behind closed doors, the president was certain that war was inevitable. During a private two-hour meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, he made clear to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that he was determined to invade Iraq without the second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons, said a confidential memo about the meeting written by Mr. Blair's top foreign policy adviser and reviewed by The New York Times.

"Our diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning," David Manning, Mr. Blair's chief foreign policy adviser at the time, wrote in the memo that summarized the discussion between Mr. Bush, Mr. Blair and six of their top aides.

"The start date for the military campaign was now penciled in for 10 March," Mr. Manning wrote, paraphrasing the president. "This was when the bombing would begin."  (emphasis mine)

It's one thing for a president to mislead his own people about a threat to the nation.  But if Bugliosi and this NYT story are to be believed, then the invasion of Iraq is an American war of aggression, and all of the deaths of the American soldiers up to this point amount at the very least to second-degree murder.  As Bugliosi puts it in his book:

[I]f a conspirator (or anyone for that matter) deliberately sets in motion a chain of events that he knows will cause a third-party innocent agent to commit an act (here, the killing of American soldiers by Iraqis), the conspirator is criminally responsible for that act.

As most of us know, Bush knew as early as 2002 that there was no evidence of an imminent Iraqi threat.  That year, he made a speech claiming that Iraq posed an imminent threat on the same day that he was almost certainly informed by the CIA that in fact there was no threat.  So any assertion of our right to self-defense on Bush's part goes up in smoke.  Without an American claim of self-defense, we can only assume that the Iraqis were well within their rights to defend themselves against an unlawful invasion--and under the law, this makes every American death a murder for which Bush is guilty.

Bugliosi does throw water on one thing that many of us (including myself) have been screaming for years--that Bush and friends should be brought before The Hague on war-crimes charges.  At the end of the book, Bugliosi says that under the terms of the ICC treaty, the ICC only has original jurisdiction in matters where the courts of the defendant's nation are "unwilling or unable" to prosecute the defendant.  Bugliosi proves that even if no U.S. Attorney brings him up on charges, under the long arm statutes of most states any state attorney general or local district attorney can indict Bush for the murders of any soldier living in their jurisdiction.  The only other route would be if the UN Security Council remands the case to the ICC--but even if that were to overcome a possible veto by London, it's not likely Washington would turn him over for prosecution.

So the onus is now on us.  After Bush's term is over, we should bombard our U.S. Attorneys, state attorneys general and district attorneys with demands that Bush be prosecuted for murder and conspiracy to commit murder.  I never thought I'd make such a call, but a cursory review shows that the evidence against this president is simply overwhelming.

Originally posted to Christian Dem in NC on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 09:15 AM PDT.

Poll

After reading this, do you feel George Bush should be prosecuted for murder?

91%257 votes
6%19 votes
2%6 votes

| 282 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip jar (25+ / 0-)

    I have a feeling that sometime in January or February 2009--after President Obama takes office--I'll be writing my district attorney to demand Shrub be prosecuted for the murders of every solider from Charlotte-Mecklenburg who was killed in Iraq.  Hopefully someone will have the guts to pursue this.

    Support our troops--end waterboarding!

    by Christian Dem in NC on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 09:16:46 AM PDT

  •  Muder? Try "War Crimes". nt (7+ / 0-)

    "Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." ~Voltaire

    by The BBQ Chicken Madness on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 09:18:38 AM PDT

  •  I voted yes, but had already decided yes b/f (8+ / 0-)

    reading.  I heard Bugliosi interviewed late this week.  It's a really intriguing proposition -- getting local DAs to try W & company for murder.  My question -- can W pardon himself on the way out????  

    Impeachment! Indictment! Incarceration!

    by followyourbliss on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 09:22:20 AM PDT

    •  The answer is no, he cannot (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane

      but others have said he could temporarily step down, say to a surgery, and will Cheney was acting Pres. , he could pardon Bush. I don't know it that is legal or not but....

      Molly Ivins reply when asked about Obama, Her answer: "Yes, he should run. He's the only Democrat with any `Elvis' to him."

      by SmileySam on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 10:09:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bush can be impeached even after he leaves office (5+ / 0-)

      A commenter (taraka das) on another diary posted a pretty thorough discussion of his theory of how Bush can be impeached AFTER he leaves office, if before he leaves he pardons an impeachable offense (including Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld), which is illegal and the only remedy for which is indictment by impeachment.  This turned into a lengthy thread which I wish he had posted as a separate diary, it was good.

      My post-term impeachment theory is unprecedented.

      My reasoning for it's soundness rests on a couple of assumptions.

      First, the retroactivity. My reasoning on this is that the post-term impeachment wouldn't be retroactive, since the impeachment would be directed at overturning a remainder of Bush's presidential power which persists after he leaves office(the pardon). If Bush abuses the pardon power to shield himself and his cronies from prosecution, then he has committed an impeachable offense, and the only remedy to check that abuse is to impeach him for it. There is no other way to reverse the pardon.

      Legally, it should stand up, because the alternative would be to vest anti-republican sovereign powers in the presidency, essentially making the president and the whole executive branch immune to prosecution for any crime.

      Second, a blanket pardon is not legitimate, and for the same reason I just gave. Pardons have to be specific, not just an all-purpose "get-out-of-jail-free" card. Bush may try something like this, couching the pardon in language that goes something like this: "...so-and-so is pardoned from prosecution for any acts deemed criminal hereafter which derive from official duties."

      No one can be "pardoned" from prosecution. Pardons are for convicted criminals. This is the reason Richard Nixon shouldn't have received a pardon, and the reason that Nixon's pardon should have been challenged. He hadn't been impeached. He hadn't been prosecuted. He was going to be prosecuted. At the time, Ford was hailed for "being wise" and "helping to heal the nation." But Ford's pardon of Nixon set the stage for the pardons issued during Iran/Contra, and ultimately, for what we may face today.

      Nixon's case was first held as a rare exception, then as precedent. This is why any attempt by Bush to pardon his cronies pre-emptively or issue a blanket pardon must now be countered with impeachment, even post-term.

      So those are the assumptions I make for my "post-term impeachment" theory.

      I also asked him if Bush could pardon himself:

      I don't think Bush can pardon himself. If he could, then he could use the decapitated heads of babies to play polo on the White House lawn, and no one could do anything about it. No, the presidency is not a principality, and no such Machiavellian concepts of transcendant morality are vested in the office of the presidency, no matter how much Dick Cheney and fellow neocons want to believe it true.

  •  Interesting, but highly unlikely (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    p gorden lippy

    I can't imagine anyone would be willing to take on this administration even after it's out of the White House.

  •  It has been clear from the start (4+ / 0-)

    How so many people can ignore the obvious boggles my mind.  How our leadership can ignore their duty to impeach is sinful.  We have no government.  Decent people have no country.

    An idea is not responsible for who is carrying it. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 09:27:46 AM PDT

  •  We need an Iraqi Eli Wiesenthal (5+ / 0-)

    to hunt down all the Bushi war criminals, preferably before they all move to Paraguay and Dubai.

    Got a problem with my posts? Email me, and let's resolve it.

    by drbloodaxe on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 09:28:43 AM PDT

    •  they're all in plain sight (nt) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drbloodaxe

      "They're telling us something we don't understand"
      General Charles de Gaulle, Mai '68

      by subtropolis on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 10:09:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Reports say Paraguay is changing Policys (2+ / 0-)

      so it is no longer a safe harbor.

      Molly Ivins reply when asked about Obama, Her answer: "Yes, he should run. He's the only Democrat with any `Elvis' to him."

      by SmileySam on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 10:23:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, leadership changed! nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thatvisionthing, SmileySam

        (CNN) -- Six decades of single-party rule in Paraguay came to an end on Sunday after Colorado Party candidate Blanca Ovelar conceded a loss to former Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo, who claimed the historic win on his promise to help the poor.

        Fernando Lugo gives the thumb's up from vote results Sunday in Asuncion, Paraguay.

        1 of 3 With more than half of the 14,000 precincts reporting, Lugo, backed by the Patriotic Alliance for Change, claimed 41 percent of the votes, according to the preliminary results reported by the government's election department.

        Ovelar had 30 percent of the votes before she stepped down as a candidate, and Lino Oviedo, of the National Union of Ethical Citizens, had 21 percent.

        Nearly 2 million Paraguayans turned out at the polls Sunday, with two-thirds of the nations 2.8 million registered voters participating.

        Lugo, the 56-year-old ex-bishop, was a popular candidate as he campaigned to support the Paraguay's indigent population.

        http://www.cnn.com/...

        Passenger on the long train of abuses.

        by OleHippieChick on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 10:57:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  maybe not quite an Eli Wiesenthal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thatvisionthing

      but ex-Gitmo prisoner Murat Kurnaz came out with a book recently about his experiences.

      There's also a book or two of poetry from other prisoners (I've started to hate that BS euphemism "detainees").

      Tiberius to the Roman Senate upon their assurance that they would pass whatever laws he liked: "How eager you all are to be slaves."

      by StudentThinker on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 02:05:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  War criminal or murderer? (6+ / 0-)

    There is no difference.  A war criminal is by definition a murderer.  I think that since it is highly unlikely that George Bush will ever be held accountable for his crimes, at least an unsuccessful attempt to have him remanded by the ICC to the Hague would have greater value as a statement.  The legal findings would be precious historical documents!

    •  nit pick: (0+ / 0-)

      "War crimes" are not, by definition, limited to murder.

      "They're telling us something we don't understand"
      General Charles de Gaulle, Mai '68

      by subtropolis on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 10:11:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Killing for hire is a felony (0+ / 0-)

        Hey, great minds all here, please cast your net wider to include Blackwater:

        Blackwater Potrero protest at San Diego County Department of Planning and Land Use hearing in April 2007

        This photo was taken at an April 2007 protest against Blackwater's plan to build Blackwater West training facility in Potrero, California, an hour east of San Diego.  Blackwater gave up on that and then turned up in Otay Mesa near San Diego, under another name, three blocks from the Mexican border, where GHWBush-appointee federal judge Marilyn Huff just assumed jurisdiction from state courts on Friday.  She decides next week whether to force San Diego to issue a certificate of occupancy so that Blackwater can begin a contract with the Navy.  Citizens had protested and the city said it needed more review, especially considering the secretive way Blackwater had come in. H E L P?

        (If you click the link to the judge above, it takes you to an evaluation page, where she scored an average 3.5 out of 10 when evaluated by nine attorneys:  "This Judge lacks even the most basic understanding of the law. What's worse, she is so afraid to reveal her own ineptitude, that she feigns knowledge and almost always gets it wrong. Should be removed from the bench."  "The absolute worst judge on this otherwise good bench!"  Also http://copswiki.org/... has link to LA Times article that says Huff testified to Senate Judiciary Committee in favor of confirming a GWBush nominee who was found "not qualified" by the ABA.)

        My total upshot on this is that you're depending on a fundamentally broken judicial system to do something only a fundamentally superb judicial system could.

  •  After reading this? (11+ / 0-)

    I felt he should be prosecuted long before reading this.

    The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves. - Plato

    by robroser on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 09:39:48 AM PDT

    •  I wasn't sure myself (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      subtropolis

      But seeing that Shrub wasn't just lying to us, but actively planning a war of aggression--that pushes his behavior into the realm of criminal conduct.  There is no substantive difference between this and Hitler's attempts to make his aggression look all nice and legal.

      Support our troops--end waterboarding!

      by Christian Dem in NC on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 09:50:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  my gut tells me (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, amRadioHed, Everest42, JG in MD

    they're all gonna walk. The spectre of a US administration tried/convicted of war crimes is too much even for many Democratic politicians to stomach. I suspect they will not go for it because there will be to many who fear that any such proceedings will weaken the US in the world politically in all its future dealings. I disagree with that sentiment, since I think it would gain us major mojo in the eyes of the world if we fought internally to make this right. That having been said, I think its going to prove damned difficult to put enough muscle together to go after any of these guys. I hope I'm proved wrong by people of courage and conviction.

    Fear is the mind killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

    by p gorden lippy on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 09:45:16 AM PDT

  •  won't happen (0+ / 0-)

    It's great to see this getting some attention again (it sure didn't given a lot at the time) and i hope it even opens a few eyes. With junior's support in the toilet, perhaps some more people will be finally willing to face up to the fact that they were lied to about all of this.

    However, i don't think there's much of a chance that junior will be indicted, save by Ramsey Clark, simply because of the notion that it would set a nasty precedent. To some, weighing the political consequences, it would tie the hands of any future president. Not such a bad thing, IMO, but certainly something that would give many pause.

    "They're telling us something we don't understand"
    General Charles de Gaulle, Mai '68

    by subtropolis on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 10:03:52 AM PDT

  •  Not The Hague (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moose67, JG in MD, followyourbliss

    I strenuously disagree with my fellow critics of Bush that he should be tried in an international court.

    I supported the actions of the CCR to bring war crimes indictments in foreign courts, because the reason for that action was that George Bush had acted in an official manner to obstruct investigations of war crimes and to immunize his administration from prosecution, and therefore universal jurisdiction was the only avenue.

    We now have evidence that the Bush Administration abused power to circumvent those foreign efforts to prosecute his administration as well.

    And we are now back to the only avenue for justice: removal from power, or transfer of power.

    The numerous attempts to bring forward procedings to remove Bush and his cronies from power have been frustrated by the Democratic leadership, and for a good reason: There is no telling what a war criminal and fascist traitor will do with the power he still has if he is threatened with impeachment. Bush is literally holding the whole country hostage.

    For political purposes, and for our best interest as a nation, the best avenue is to prosecute these criminals domestically. We have enough evidence to convict at least 33 of them on death penalty charges.

    We must not give apologists for the neocon cabal any propaganda points to use against us as we prosecute them. We must not lose control of prosecutorial power, either. I favor domestic prosecution first, and then international prosecution to suit the demands that international law be restored.

    Let international prosecution wait until we have secured death penalties under domestic law. There will be plenty of time to give credence to international law, as these criminals will be sitting on death row for a long time while they exhaust appeals.

    We must also prosecute the lessor crimes of racketeering and bribery, once convictions for war crimes and treason are secured. We must prosecute all offenders, including protegees who aided and abetted. We must brush aside charges of "piling on." This criminal administration abused power in every conceivable way, and each affront must be answered.

    It will take us YEARS to prosecute all of the cases, and we may even need to set up a special court just to hear the cases.

    Very important: We must have a care how we go about arresting them, detaining them and interrogating them for intelligence debriefing purposes. Doubtless, we must carefully interrogate them to gain as full a picture as possible, of the crimes and the consequences of the crimes, even present consequences.

    If I were considering how to do it, I would hold them incommunicado for a period of months without access to lawyers, or any supporters. I would question them separately, and confront them with documentation of their lies and with testimony obtained from accomplices. We need to know not just what happened previously, but also what plans and schemes they have currently set in motion. Interrogation HAS to be by the book. No rough stuff.

    Once debriefing was completed, the normal process of prosecution could begin. It would still be necessary to isolate them as much as legally possible, because these are prisoners at least as dangerous as espionage suspects.

    It would be necessary, for political purposes and for national security purposes, to prosecute them as thoroughly and as speedily as possible. We must not allow their fascist movement supporters to use the media to whip up social unrest and cast these criminals as victims and political prisoners.

    It is this last point that makes international prosecution untenable as our first choice.

    •  Wow. This should be a diary. One point... (0+ / 0-)

      if I understand the rules of the ICC, the country with original jurisdiction must not be capable of prosecuting the war crimes before jurisdiction acrues to the ICC.  Now, notwithstanding the fact that we are not signatories to the ICC, doesn't that mean they all would have to be prosecuted in American courts?

      Impeachment! Indictment! Incarceration!

      by followyourbliss on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 10:17:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even if we had, we ARE capable of prosecuting him (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JG in MD

        Even if a federal prosecutor wasn't willing to do so, any state attorney general or local district attorney can use his state's long arm statute to ring him up on murder charges.

        The only other route would be if the Security Council remanded it to the Hague ... but then the question would be whether the UK would veto it.

        Support our troops--end waterboarding!

        by Christian Dem in NC on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 10:19:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Jurisdiction (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rambler american, JG in MD

        I'm not a lawyer. My specialty is political science. But often that interest has led me to research legal topics, and many friends and relatives tell me that I should go back to school and become a lawyer.

        Anyway, from what I understand, the CCR has built a legal argument that since the United States government is currently controlled by the war criminals who should be indicted, that several treaty obligations justify the jurisdiction of any signatory nation to those treaties. This the universal jurisdiction argument for war crimes.

        Universal jurisdiction does not depend upon membership in the ICC regime. ICC is simply an international institution created to uphold international law.

        The crimes of the Bush Administration that are international in nature can be tried in BOTH American courts and international courts. We do have war crimes tribunals, internationally, whose authority is not dependent upon the ICC regime agreements.

        My understanding is that the same Bush Administration crimes could be tried, first in domestic courts, and then in international courts, without double jeopardy. Why? Because the domestic prosecutions would determine whether violation of US law an/or treaty law ocurred, and the international prosecutions would focus specifically on violations of international law.

        Perhaps experts would disagree with me.

        I think that the path I just outlined is the best, because we need to reassure the world that the rights we claim as Americans are human rights, that the laws we observe as Americans are just laws for all human beings, and that the rule of law is not malleable for Americans but a standard we mean to uphold as an example for human beings everywhere.  

        •  I love your last paragraph (4+ / 0-)

          ...we need to reassure the world that the rights we claim as Americans are human rights, that the laws we observe as Americans are just laws for all human beings, and that the rule of law is not malleable for Americans but a standard we mean to uphold as an example for human beings everywhere.

          Amen.  If you're talking about our old laws and not what corporatocracy has rewritten.

        •  I disagree w/ your assessment of how many angels (0+ / 0-)

          can dance on the head of that particular pin.

        •  You don't even need treaty support for universal (0+ / 0-)

          jurisdiction over war crimes.  It's already part of customary international law.

          Perpetrators of war crimes are treated like pirates, or slave traders, under the law, at least of Western countries.  They're calles hostes generis humani, enemies of the human race.  And every country's courts have jurisdiction over them.

          The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

          by lysias on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 04:22:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  But we're not Republicans! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burrow owl, taraka das

      Hi taraka das, I just quoted you and posted you above from our earlier conversation.  Glad to see you here!  But I have to protest:

      If I were considering how to do it, I would hold them incommunicado for a period of months without access to lawyers, or any supporters. I would question them separately, and confront them with documentation of their lies and with testimony obtained from accomplices. We need to know not just what happened previously, but also what plans and schemes they have currently set in motion. Interrogation HAS to be by the book. No rough stuff.

      and

      It would be necessary, for political purposes and for national security purposes, to prosecute them as thoroughly and as speedily as possible. We must not allow their fascist movement supporters to use the media to whip up social unrest and cast these criminals as victims and political prisoners.

      That seems fundamentally unconstitutional, not to say impossible.  So top down, so bushified, so unreal!  

      •  Defense of my proposed tactics (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rambler american, JG in MD

        I don't propose that we adopt the Republican's methods of dealing with national security threats. Maybe you interpret what I propose as a copy of their odious practices. But be assured. It's not.

        Confinement and interrogation of individuals accused of endangering national security, for intelligence purposes, is not new and was not invented by the Republicans. What's new, is doing that without any checks on the process, doing it without any accountability or transparency, and doing it in secret, concealing what is being done and how and for what purpose.

        Think back to our numerous prosecutions of spies. Were those guys walking to court before the cameras in nice suits every day, going home to their families and working media channels in their spare time? Relaxing and enjoying some stipend from the government or a corporation? NOPE.

        I'm arguing that we need to treat these guys (and gals) just the same way we treat espionage suspects. We really do need to know what kinds of plots they are setting up right now. We need to know what's active at the time of their arrest.

        I'm not suggesting that we keep them locked up for years without charges or hearings, etc. I'm suggesting that, first and foremost, we need to know what kinds of games these people have been playing with our national security, and we need to know WHY. I don't think it will take long to get the answers. We already have a lot of info, but we can't take it for granted that there isn't more.

        One thing that's REALLY different between what I'm proposing and what the Republicans have done? They locked people up for years who were innocent; no evidence of wrongdoing. Contrast that with stacks of documentation of war crimes, treason, abuses of power, racketeering, bribery, etc etc etc.

        •  When you equal national security with spies, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JG in MD, StudentThinker

          and bring that into the courts with secret evidence and secret protections, you're only buying into the military-industrial-congressional(-immigration)-complex and the military empire nightmare that the United States has so stupidly and tragically sacrificed itself to.

          Simplest thing of all, watch this, it even reinforces your paragraph I said amen to.  Our Declaration of Independence was based not on faith but on reason and self-evident truths.  We said it to the world:  This justifies us, we the people justify ourselves.  Any group of people in the world could make the same claim.  All the people in the world can make that claim. And on that we based our Constitution.  And all our laws follow from that, including nobody being able to be convicted by the state but by a jury of your peers.  The ultimate authority resides in the people, not the state and not the state's representation of God.  The ultimate sense must be common.

          So if you want security, treat everybody everywhere as if they had the same constitutional rights that we claim for ourselves.  Include everybody and then reason, reason, reason openly together.  "The alternative to dialog is dialog."  Mahmoud Abbas said that, for Pete's sake.  I don't believe our national security is enhanced by the CIA or bombers or wars or Abu Ghraibs or Guantanamos.  I think they fundamentally undermine and erode our national security.  The best bombs we ever dropped were the candy bombs in Germany during the Berlin airlift -- Stephen Colbert (May 15) just interviewed the author of Candy Bombers:  "We were able to make the people go from hating us, as they had in World War II, to loving America."  If violence begets violence, care can beget care and respect can beget respect.  Just be commonly decent, no exceptions.

          •  Just a second (0+ / 0-)

            I didn't say anything about secret evidence or secret protections.

            I never said that I wanted Bush and his neocon cabal to be denied due process or a fair trial. I insist upon it, just as you do.

            Just for interest, take a look at how we prosecute spies.

            As for common decency, I agree. Did we show common decency to the Nazis that we tried? I would show the same common decency to these neocon criminals today.

      •  About the fascist movement (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JG in MD

        I'm really gung-ho on the idea that fascism is an illegitimate ideological viewpoint in American political discourse. We should not tolerate the repackaging of fundamentally anti-republican policies and practices by people who think that it's acceptable, just because they call it something else (conservative? LOL).

        Unfortunately, we have the mass media captured by those who buy into this neofascist frame of political discourse (I won't name names. Not necessary). And it's time for a serious pushback. We want our conservatives back!

        You know very well that prosecutions of the kind that I'm proposing (and which I'm arguing must occur), is going to stir every fascist-sympathizer mouthpiece to scream bloody murder.

        That's why I stress that we must be VERY careful not to compromise ourselves with excesses in prosecuting these criminals. We can't give these apologists any quarter from which to assail us and start the climb back to power for the fascist movement.

        So, I'm not suggesting suppressing first amendment rights. I'm suggesting that we must not act against our own ideals, and give comfort to those who would, or do.

        •  Holding without access to lawyer IS excessive (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JG in MD

          and I daresay unconstitutional.

          I also think there is no way to muzzle the media.  Or at least no liberal way to muzzle the corporate media.  And I hope no real way at all to muzzle the blogs, including right wing ones.

          Your better avenue is to make the better argument and appeal to the American in both conservatives and liberals.  Defend the commons!  Now that's constitutional and unifying and something sorely missed.  I got thanked and recommended for making this case in my comment Why not unite us as Americans? on the thread I met you at.  Somebody likes the idea.

          •  I like your ideas (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JG in MD

            Your better avenue is to make the better argument and appeal to the American in both conservatives and liberals.  Defend the commons!  Now that's constitutional and unifying and something sorely missed.

            Yes, I'm in agreement with this. I'm not going to sacrifice prosecutions of traitors and war criminals to make nice, but otherwise, I think we progressives and conservatives have more in common with one another than either of us do with fascists.

            But I do beg to differ with you on a point: Holding persons accused of treason and war crimes, without access to lawyers, for as long as we need to do that for intelligence debriefing purposes, is neither unconstitutional, nor illegal, nor unprecedented.

            I think liberals would not use this rare exception to create broad unchecked police powers that would be generally applicable at the discretion of the president. That's what we got from Bush. That's not something I support.

            Practically speaking, though, it would be foolish to assume that Bush and his cronies will cease to be dangerous once they step down. They have experience operating in the shadows, below the radar, and patiently waiting for decades to press their fascist theories forward. Rumsfeld and Cheney have been at this a long time, and they no doubt have learned a thing or two about moles and compartmentalization and utilizing back channels and off-the-books contractors.

            For a short time, it will be necessary to isolate them and interrogate them. At least until they get it into their heads that the game is really up and that they have no recourse to any plots or schemes. If they have such things in the works, we need to find out what they are and put an end to them. That HAS to come before they get the due process, which, they of course deserve.

            I know it's distasteful to civil libertarians, and especially since we must prosecute them for crimes that violate civil liberties, but it's just not safe to do otherwise. Can I remind you that Cheney and Rumsfeld were planning "pre-emptive nuclear war" a few years ago? We don't know if they have abandoned such ideas or what they may have done to push such schemes forward!

            •  "Intelligence" gained by force is stupid (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              StudentThinker

              Like "forced democracy."  So if you're holding prisoners or politicians uncharged and without access to lawyers, you are fundamentally undermining the thing you are proposing to defend.  Tell me how this is not unconstitutional, and tell me how this does anything but strengthen the polarizations between us and them, however defined, and destroy the commons.  There is no safety in this.  See my previous post on national security and spies.

              It's 1st Jefferson inaugural:

              ...should divide opinions as to measures of safety. But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this Government, the world's best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? I trust not. I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest Government on earth. I believe it the only one where every man, at the call of the law, would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasions of the public order as his own personal concern. Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

              No exceptions, no kings.

              •  You're preaching to the choir (0+ / 0-)

                And I'm not suggesting "forced confessions."

                I'm suggesting using standard interrogation techniques used routinely by the FBI. I'm suggesting using the same procedures we would use to interrogate persons suspected of espionage. In fact, some of the crimes we need to know about ARE espionage or espionage related.

                Let's take Rove for example. In interrogating him, he is likely to simply spew out the same lies he's been giving us for years. So what do you do? You confront him with documentation and testimony that shows him that we know he's lying. And then you put him back in the tank. You let him think about how he gets past this episode to the next episode.

                Doing this to all the accomplices over a period of a month or two, and reporting to each one the "breakthroughs" with other prisoners that will occur, will eventually get us to a point of truth. Someone will eventually quit giving talking points.

                They would have no reason to believe that we would act differently than they do, and seek to conclude the process in favor of prosecution and trial. That's an advantage.

                Don't misunderstand me. I'm not suggesting that we do anything that was considered abnormal before these wingnuts took over the government.

                If you research it, I'm sure you'll find that there are justifications for what I suggest. For crimes as grave as war crimes, treason, anti-republican abuses of power, etc, what I'm suggesting is well within the powers that we had at our disposal before "The Patriot Act" or the assertions of extra-constitutional powers claimed by the Bush Administration.

            •  Also the public case has been made (0+ / 0-)

              You don't need to force confessions and cast about for secret plots.  The evidence is already in the public domain.  I think the point of this diary is that Vincent Bugliosi just wrote a book on how a murder trial could come and the evidence in hand that supports it.  Our hope for justice doesn't rely on a king with super powers, it relies on some local district attorney or a state attorney general doing his job with the evidence at hand.  And we know much of what we know not because of an attack on Republicans, but because Americans stepped up to the plate.  James Comey for one, and Richard Clarke, and now Scott McClellan.

              •  I disagree on a few points (0+ / 0-)

                I'm not suggesting that we rely upon a "king with super powers." But I also think the spectacle of these criminals walking around free and using their power and influence to continue to thwart and obstruct justice, mocking the attempts seek justice, is exactly what we DON'T need.

                If we just sit back and allow some district attorney to fight the whole entrenched system of power, the effort will become a story about the district attorney. And he will be attacked, harassed, intimidated and maybe someone will turn up missing or dead.

                We cannot employ feeble attempts. We cannot seek to try Bush, and leave all the rest to their own devices, for example. That would be futile. It would fail, and our justice system would be weaker and more corrupted than it is now.

                No, I say there must be a swift sweep. At least 33 of them must be arrested and be held incommunicado while we debrief them. Once we make sure that they do not have some kind of active scheme to sow chaos and violence or to instigate a war, then we can do the standard interrogations regarding their crimes, before we put them into a process for prosecution.

                Let me say this: I do not object to this kind of process for suspected terrorists either. The key? Probable cause.

                Where the Bush Administration went wrong, is that they didn't do anything by the rules, and they tried to create an entirely lawless process and they tried to justify broadly applying techniques that should only apply when the government has probable cause. On top of all of that, they tried to torture people into admitting to things to fabricate probable cause.

                That's not what I'm suggesting here. We have plenty of probable cause, with regard to the entire neocon cabal, some 33 people.

            •  thatvisionthing is right (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              thatvisionthing

              you CANNOT ultimately defend the rule of law through means that themselves subvert the rule of law (nor does the end justify the means). Due process comes into play even before an arrest is made - the whole probable cause thing - and continues every step of the way; i.e. due process. This explicitly includes access to lawyers and understanding of the rights guaranteed you. And denial of any part of due process IS unconstitutional and illegal.

              I understand your motivations here. I personally think these bastards deserve exactly what they dished out - but that's not how the rule of law works. Create an exception in even one case and it sets a precedent; it says that due process is not a fundamentally guaranteed right, it is only a "right" if the powers that be decide it is. This is precisely what we are fighting AGAINST. You do not defend the rule of law by subverting it, even in the name of the highest things.

              Tiberius to the Roman Senate upon their assurance that they would pass whatever laws he liked: "How eager you all are to be slaves."

              by StudentThinker on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 02:17:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've been misunderstood (0+ / 0-)

                I am not suggesting that we abandon due process.

                I am not suggesting that we abandon probable cause.

                Take a look at how espionage cases are handled. Take a look at cases of war crimes and treason.

                You will see that what I'm suggesting is not unusual for those kinds of cases.

                There is a very real danger to national security. We do not know, and we need to find out, if Bush, Cheney, or their accomplices, have set in motion some chain of events to create chaos, violence or instigate a war. They have been making noises like that for years.

                Aside from that, the nature of their crimes requires an intelligence debriefing.

                These two priorities DO take precedence over their civil liberties. But it has to be done the RIGHT WAY. We've seen every single example, from them, on what the WRONG way is. That doesn't mean that there ISN'T a right way to do it.

                We've heard from the Bushies, ad nauseum, the argument that security must sometimes trump civil liberties. These criminal bastards used that argument to try to institutionalize the wholesale destruction of the rule of law! That's not what I'm suggesting.

                I'm suggesting that there ARE exceptional circumstances when civil liberties take second place to security. And foiling any schemes by Bush and Cheney and their accomplices to start wars or create chaos or violence is a good example.

                If you disagree with me, then let's agree to disagree. I'm not such a purist on civil liberties that I would allow these traitors and war criminals to remain free on bond. I'm not such a purist that I would allow these criminals to communicate with their accomplices from a jail cell while they may have an active plot to plunge us into war, or so they can give a signal for an off-the-books contractor to set off a "terrorist attack."

                Granted, I'm also not willing to buy into a rationale to keep them in jail incommunicado any longer than it takes for us to confirm that they are not an imminent threat to national security. And that shouldn't take long, relatively speaking.

            •  also (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              thatvisionthing

              how better to prove to the world our devotion to the rule of law, justice, and fairness than by being excruciatingly fair to those who have committed such injustices? THAT (IMHO) truly bespeaks an intention to be impartial and fair, to pursue justice instead of revenge. It also would create less backlash from the remnants of the radical right if we adhere strictly to the law - or rather, doing it your way would create MORE backlash.

              Tiberius to the Roman Senate upon their assurance that they would pass whatever laws he liked: "How eager you all are to be slaves."

              by StudentThinker on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 02:20:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Loving Chris Dodd, embracing uncertainty of trial (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                taraka das, JG in MD, StudentThinker

                Chris Dodd - Nuremberg: Past, Present and Future:

                When we went to war, we did not fight for land or for treasure or for dominance or for influence--we fought for a set of ideas and principles. The idea that laws should rule, not men. The idea that the principles of justice embodied in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution--of due process, of innocence until proven guilty, of the right to a fair trial--do not get suspended for vengeance. The idea that this nation should never tailor its eternal principles to the conflict of the moment, because if we did, we would be walking in the footsteps of the enemies we despised.

                At Nuremberg, we rejected the certainty of execution for the uncertainty of a trial. The test was one of principle over power, and we passed the test. As Justice Jackson himself said, the trial represented not the triumph of superior might, but the triumph of superior morality. Nuremberg was the place where America's moral authority in the second half of the twentieth century was born. It was no accident!!

                Among the leaders of the Nuremberg generation, there was a shared understanding, particularly among the Americans, that they were uniquely placed in history to do things for other people and the world. To minimize the future risk of war; To provide for the assistance of others; To guarantee basic liberties; And to ensure that the postwar world would be rooted in shared goals and shared values.

                They understood that America's ability to help bring about a world of peace and justice was rooted not in our military might alone, but in our moral authority. They were rooted not on our ability to compel people with our tanks and planes--as powerful as we were and as easy as that would be to do--but rather, on our ability to convince others that our values and our ideals were right. And most importantly, these Americans understood that our ability to succeed in spreading American values of freedom and democracy and human rights would only be as effective as our willingness to uphold them.

              •  Let's go right to it (0+ / 0-)

                how better to prove to the world our devotion to the rule of law, justice, and fairness than by being excruciatingly fair to those who have committed such injustices? THAT (IMHO) truly bespeaks an intention to be impartial and fair, to pursue justice instead of revenge. It also would create less backlash from the remnants of the radical right if we adhere strictly to the law

                I agree wholeheartedly with this.

                doing it your way would create MORE backlash.

                I don't think you understand what I'm suggesting, since I'm not suggesting anything that is a departure from law, justice and fairness.

                Do you allow that, first and foremost, we must thwart any active criminal designs that these criminals may have in motion at the time that they are arrested?

                Any attempt to bring these criminals to justice, or to thwart their ongoing criminal plans, is going to create a backlash. Justified or not, the backlash will come.

  •   Just because (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christian Dem in NC

    Molly Ivins reply when asked about Obama, Her answer: "Yes, he should run. He's the only Democrat with any `Elvis' to him."

    by SmileySam on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 10:25:30 AM PDT

  •  I do not support use of the death penalty but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExStr8

    as long as it is still legal Bush and all the rest should be tried for murder in jurisdictions that do have that option. Irony would be the Govenor allowing the most executions might face that pssibility himself.

    Obama: Pro-Defense. McCain: Pro-War

    by OHdog on Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 10:59:38 AM PDT

    •  Any US president, Obama included, would sic the (0+ / 0-)

      special forces on any country that tried to seize a former U.S. president.  

      And rightfully so.

    •  Nuremberg: "Why not just give in to vengeance?" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JG in MD

      Christ Dodd recounting his dad's experience as a Nuremberg prosecutor, in Nuremberg: Past, Present and Future:

      History tells us that the cold war began with Churchill's Iron Curtain speech in Fulton, Missouri in March of 1946. But it's clear from my father's letters that the cold war actually began right there in Nuremberg in 1945, as Russia grew further and further apart from the alliance with each passing day. Nearly every week, he wrote about stories he heard about Russian atrocities being committed in former Nazi camps. In one, he describes the Katyn Forest massacre in Poland, correctly predicting who was responsible more than 50 years before the Russian government officially admitted the truth. He called Russia's involvement the "Achilles heel of a great trial."

      Far from advocating a fair trial, he tells the story of a dinner party that Justice Jackson hosted before the trial even began. A visiting Russian dignitary raised a glass and said: "May the road for these war criminals from the court house to the grave be a very short one.

      "I winced," my father wrote, "and I could see that Judge (John J.) Parker, the American alternative, was certainly embarrassed and the Lord Justice was in a stew." But of course, that was the temptation at the end of the war. We had seen a monstrous regime try to conquer the world, for the second time in thirty years. We had seen them take the lives of tens of millions of men, women, and children--and then brag especially about how they killed the "tender ones." We had seen them try to exterminate the Jewish people in the most gruesome way possible. We had seen more than 400,000 of our friends, neighbors and families die trying to stop them.

      Why not just give in to vengeance? Why not just shoot them, as Churchill wanted? Why not just turn Germany into a pasture, as Morgenthau wanted? Why not just create show trials that led to a hangman's noose, as Stalin wanted? Why not just give in to legal scholars, who said there was no court, no judge, no laws, and no precedent under which to try them? Why not just succumb to the law of power politics and impose our will without any regard to principle? Why not just give in to violence, which was certainly within our ability, and many argued, within our right? Why not? Why not? Because America has always stood for something more.

      I say again, defend America, BE America again.

  •  The ICC doesn't have jurisdiction over America. (0+ / 0-)

    End of analysis.

  •  Bumper sticker spotted recently (0+ / 0-)

    George Bush Deserves a Fair Trial!

    "No matter how cynical I get it's impossible to keep up." -Lily Tomlin

    by rambler american on Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 09:40:13 AM PDT

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