by Sherwood Ross
President George W. Bush did much to turn the world into the lawless battlefield it is today, and as he has not yet been prosecuted for his crimes, other terrorists will only continue down his path.
The late Vincent Bugliosi, the famed Los Angeles county district attorney, wrote, “Bush should be prosecuted, in an American courtroom, for first degree murder arising out of his war in Iraq.”
Bush “beyond all reasonable doubt” is responsible for all the murders of American troops killed in Iraq and could be prosecuted by any of 140 Federal and State legal authorities, Bugliosi wrote.
The president is guilty of “the most serious crime ever committed in American history…knowingly and deliberately taking this country to war in Iraq under false pretenses,” Bugliosi said, killing 4,000 GIs, seriously wounding 30,000 more, and killing 100,000 innocent Iraqis as a consequence.
Bush is referred to above as a “terrorist” as the facts overwhelmingly support this epithet.
In his book, “George W. Bush, War Criminal?”(Praeger) professor Michael Haas writes prisoners of the Bush regime typically were held without even knowing the charges against them, a right first established in the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 in Britain. (Haas is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Hawaii and has authored and edited 33 books on human rights.)
Haas counts no fewer than 269 different kinds of war crimes for which Bush is liable, of which the denial of habeas corpus is just one. These range from torture of children(!) to denying prisoners’ attorneys, to forcing confessions under torture to sexual attacks to threatening prisoners’ families to water boarding.
Many innocents were held in prisons kept secret from the Red Cross, another war crime. The CIA alone operated at least 11 such prisons. Bush’s forces also took 24,000 prisoners, most of them civilians, virtually all of them innocent of any offense, and locked them away for years without lawyers or bringing them to trial.
Referring to Bush’s many wrongs, Haas asserted, “they have been so devastating to those affected that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because civilization cannot survive their being repeated over and over again.”
Since Bush has left office, Haas noted, he is no longer immune from prosecution. In fact, he can be tried in federal district courts.
While a federal prosecution by the U.S. Attorney General in Washington, or any of the 93 U.S. attorneys throughout the country “would be the easiest procedure,” Bugliosi wrote, any of the 50 State attorneys-general also “could bring a murder charge against Bush for any soldiers from that state…who lost their lives fighting Bush’s war.”
Writing in “The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder”(Vanguard Press), Bugliosi said Bush’s lies to the public constituted “overt acts” and their broadcast nationally via the media are a basis for prosecution in every state. Charges could include murder as well as conspiracy to commit murder, the veteran prosecutor said.
“Bush and his gang of criminals were constantly telling Americans that Hussein constituted an imminent threat to the security of this country, but they kept the truth from the American people that their CIA was telling them the exact opposite, that Hussein and Iraq were not an imminent threat to this country,” Bugliosi writes.
In his speech of October 7, 2002, in Cincinnati, Bush said “The Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gasses and atomic weapons…” even though a CIA report dated October 1 gave Bush notice that “the CIA did not consider Hussein an imminent threat to this nation,” Bugliosi pointed out.
As Bush did not act in self-defense, he did so with “a criminal state of mind,” with “criminal intent,” Bugliosi asserted, thus, “every killing of an American soldier that took place during Bush’s war was an ‘unlawful killing’ and murder.”
“In my opinion,” Bugliosi continued, “there certainly is more than enough evidence against Bush to justify bringing him to trial and letting an American jury decide whether or not he is guilty of murder, and if so, what the appropriate punishment should be.”
Another prominent legal authority, Professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois, Champaign, identified a number of presidential aides and Pentagon officials as candidates for prosecution as war criminals. These are:
Vice Presidents Dick Cheney and Joseph Biden; Secretaries of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta; Secretaries of State Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and Hillary Clinton; National Security Advisors Stephen Hadley, James Jones, and Thomas Donilon; Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and James Clapper and Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) Directors George Tenet, Leon Panetta, and David Petraeus.
In the Pentagon, war criminals include the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and some Regional Commanders-in-Chiefs, especially for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), and more recently, AFRICOM. Besides Chairman General Martin Dempsey, U.S. Army, JCS members include Admiral James Winnefeld Jr.; General Raymond Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army; General James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps; Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations; and General Mark Welsh, Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
Those who have headed the Central Command since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan include Lt. General Martin Dempsey; Admiral William Fallon; General John Abizaid; General Tommy Franks; Lt. General John Allen; and General James Mattis.
“In my book ‘Tackling America’s Toughest Questions'(Clarity Press), I argued and reached the exact same conclusion that Vince did: Bush and his immediate subordinates can be prosecuted here in the United States for murdering U.S. Armed Forces (personnel) whom they deployed to Iraq knowingly to die in an illegal, unconstitutional, and criminal war,” Boyle said in a statement to this reporter.
“I had worked with some lawyers in Boston to get Rumsfeld so prosecuted when he went there to give a speech. But they chickened out at the last minute. I and other lawyers around the world will continue our efforts to bring Bush et al. to Justice in American Courts, Foreign Courts, and International Courts,” Boyle added. He noted further:
“There is no Statute of Limitations for committing murder or their other international crimes, and there is Universality of Jurisdiction to prosecute Bush et al. everywhere in the world for these offenses for the rest of their lives.”
“It took me about eight years to bring Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to Justice before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for his International Crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the time I first went after him in the International Court of Justice as the Lawyer for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993 and despite Richard Holbrooke’s promise of immunity/impunity to Milosevic if he signed the Dayton Agreement in 1995. See my book ‘The Bosnian People Charge Genocide!'(Aletheia Press:1996). The Wheels of Justice turn slowly against once powerful government officials. But they do turn!”