Prosecute Bush 43 and Cheney as war criminals
How do we remove the stain on our country’s reputation if we don’t prosecute Bush 43 and Cheney as war criminals?
This isn’t Democrats against the GOP. I love our country, and we can’t allow Bush 43’s crew of criminals to disregard worldwide laws against torture.
When I was a kid in the Philly suburbs we were all part of the Clinton Road gang. My mom told me to remove myself from that group because when one kid filched an apple we were all blamed. We had the leaders of our country torture prisoners and on television Dick Cheney speaks unapologetically about it. How do we ordinary citizens burnish the status of our country in this?
We should have all of the information about their wrongdoings in the same manner that we learned about the horrors of the Vietnam War. Only when the totality of the information is available can the American people make an informed decision about the criminality of Bush 43’s crew’s actions.
Democrats pardoned "Tricky Dick: Nixon for his Watergate crimes. "Teflon Ronnie" Reagan was responsible for the Iran-Contra scandal, but Democrats allowed Reagan to make Ollie North take the blame for the Iran-Contra scandal. Democrats allowed both GOP presidential crooks to evade punishment because they made the ethical consideration that the country would be ripped apart if they prosecuted the villains.
Our country has many problems to deal with now, and it will be hard to deal with the Bush 43 villains being prosecuted. Having said that, I think President Obama should prosecute Bush 43 for war crimes.
The 1994 convention against torture requires the US to investigate Bush 43’s administration.
The article states, “In a blistering editorial published in the Monday edition of the New York Times, the editorial page editors are calling upon the Justice Department to open an investigation into the torture practices committed during the administration of President George W. Bush with an eye towards prosecuting those who “committed torture and other serious crimes,” along with former Vice President Dick Cheney and other major administration officials….
The editorial also notes that the American Civil Liberties Union will present a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. on Monday calling for appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate what appears to be “a vast criminal conspiracy, under color of law, to commit torture and other serious crimes.”
What type of torture did they do? The article goes on to say, “Noting confirmation of reports of 'rectal feeding,' water boarding, detainees hung by their wrists, confined to coffins, beaten, and threatened with death, the board calls the acts criminal offenses.”
It is commonsense that these are crimes as the article states, “They are prohibited by federal law, which defines torture as the intentional infliction of 'severe physical or mental pain or suffering.' ”
The board concludes, “Starting a criminal investigation is not about payback; it is about ensuring that this never happens again and regaining the moral credibility to rebuke torture by other governments. Because of the Senate’s report, we now know the distance officials in the executive branch went to rationalize, and conceal, the crimes they wanted to commit. The question is whether the nation will stand by and allow the perpetrators of torture to have perpetual immunity for their actions.”
We should have all of the information about their wrongdoings in the same manner that we learned about all of "Tricky Dick’s" crimes.
The December 26, 2014 article “Mark Udall Can Make History by Releasing the Torture Report” details how we had to struggle to bring the horrors of the Vietnam War to the public and how we have to make the Bush 43 crews’ war crimes see the light of day.
That article also says, “Mark Udall, the outgoing Democratic senator from Colorado, may be a lame duck, leaving office in less than a week. But his most important work in the Senate may still be before him. For the week he remains in office, he still sits on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He worked on that committee’s epic, 6,700-page, still-secret report, the “Committee Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program,” otherwise known as the torture report.
The intelligence committee has recently released a heavily redacted declassified executive summary of the report, in which new, gory details of the torture conducted during the Bush/Cheney administration have been made public for the first time. Udall is angry about the U.S. torture program. He is angry about the heavy redaction of the executive summary, and the CIA and White House interference in the intelligence committee’s oversight work. He wants the full report made available to the public. While it is still secret, Udall could release the classified document in its entirety. To understand how, it helps to go back to 1971, the release of the Pentagon Papers and a senator from Alaska named Mike Gravel.
The GOP will block any attempt to allow this information become public just as “Tricky Dick” did 40 years ago. Dick Cheney was asked recently on “Meet the Press” about the use of torture. He said, “I would do it again in a minute.” Really? Water boarding? Death by hypothermia or beating? Rectal feeding? Sleep deprivation? Maybe the former vice president would like torture to continue. But it is not up to him. It is up to the American people. And for that, they need information.
That’s where Sen. Mark Udall comes in. He can release the full torture report. As a sitting senator, he is protected by the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution. He cannot be prosecuted. Mike Gravel has advice for Mark Udall. Since the secret report is already in the Congressional Record, Gravel says: “What he has to do is … take this record of 6,000 pages, put a press release describing why he’s doing it, and release it to the public. It’s that simple.”
We have to force the Democrats to bring this to the light of day because we have hurt our country when we let Nixon and Reagan evade justice.
Democrats pardoned Tricky Dick Nixon for his Watergate crimes. Teflon Ronnie Reagan was responsible for the Iran-Contra scandal, but Democrats allowed Teflon Reagan to make Ollie North take the blame for the Iran-Contra scandal. Democrats allowed both GOP presidential crooks evade punishment because they made the ethical consideration that the country would be ripped apart if they prosecuted the villains.
The article “Why Pardoning Nixon Was Wrong” states “The pardon may have had the long-term effect of tamping down partisan warfare between Democrats and Republicans over a possible criminal trial (obstruction of justice would have been the likeliest charge), but when a Republican short-circuits prosecution of a fellow Republican, you can't call that bipartisanship. These logical obstacles help explain why people who defend the pardon today do so with vague language about how, in retrospect, it was better for the country to set rancor aside and move on.”
In the US no one is above the law as the article points out, “If Ford hadn't issued the pardon, would Nixon have stood trial, or perhaps even been sent to jail? If so, his successors might have learned the valuable lesson that presidents are not above the law. “
Tricky Dick rationalized that presidents did not do illegal activities as the article states
“But it did not serve the interests of justice, it had an unfortunate consequence in the Weinberger pardon, and it carried a mild whiff of corruption. Ford placed great stock in the fact that, according to a 1915 Supreme Court decision in Burdick v. United States, acceptance of a pardon constitutes an admission of guilt. But in May 1977, Nixon the ex-president would tell David Frost, "When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal." Which do you remember—that quotation, or Burdick v. United States, a copy of which Ford would carry around with him for the rest of his life?”
By letting Tricky Dick evade the consequences of his villainous activity we emboldened the GOP. “What was the Iran- Contra scandal?” shows it only took them six years to get another GOP operative in the presidency who didn’t think twice about criminal activities.
“In the Iran-Contra Affair, United States President Ronald Reagan's administration secretly sold arms to Iran, which was engaged in a bloody war with its neighbor Iraq from 1980 to 1988 (see Iran-Iraq War), and diverted the proceeds to the Contra rebels fighting to overthrow the leftist and allegedly democratically elected Sandinista government of Nicaragua. Those sales thus had a dual goal: appeasing Iran, which had influence with militant groups that held several American hostages in Lebanon and supported bombings in Western European countries, and funding a guerrilla war aimed at aborting Nicaraguan independence from US hegemony.
Both transactions were contrary to acts of Congress, which prohibited the funding of the Contras and the sale of weapons to Iran. In addition, both activities violated UN sanctions….
The U.S. Congress then on November 18, 1987 issued its final report on the affair, which stated that Reagan bore "ultimate responsibility" for wrongdoing by his aides and his administration exhibited "secrecy, deception, and disdain for the law."
President Obama might be reluctant prosecuting Bush 43 with the erratic behavior of the “Party of No”.
Just what will the GOP do if President Obama does act against Bush 43? It would almost immediately be followed by President Obama’s impeachment. What could be accomplished for our 99% if that happened?
Having said that President Obama must investigate Bush 43's criminality.
The December 22, 2014 article “Obama Should Prosecute the Torturers” details why we should prosecute the villains. The article states “The New York Times has a blistering editorial calling on President Obama to prosecute those who committed torture and the officials who authorized them. The nation cannot move forward in any meaningful way without coming to terms, legally and morally, with the abhorrent acts that were authorized, given a false patina of legality, and committed by American men and women from the highest levels of government on down.”
“Starting a criminal investigation is not about payback; it is about ensuring that this never happens again and regaining the moral credibility to rebuke torture by other governments. Because of the Senate’s report, we now know the distance officials in the executive branch went to rationalize, and conceal, the crimes they wanted to commit.
The question is whether the nation will stand by and allow the perpetrators of torture to have perpetual immunity for their actions.”
President Obama should realize that if other entities have judged Bush 43 and Cheney as being guilty then we must also or we'll relinquish our credibility in the international arena. That is too expensive a price to pay.
In 2012 Bush 43 was convicted of war crimes in absentia, and there is a war crimes case filed in Germany.
The May 12, 2012 article “Bush Convicted of War Crimes in Absentia” describes, “It’s official; George W Bush is a war criminal.
The article states “In what is the first ever conviction of its kind anywhere in the world, the former US President and seven key members of his administration were yesterday (Fri) found guilty of war crimes.
Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia.
The trial held in Kuala Lumpur heard harrowing witness accounts from victims of torture who suffered at the hands of US soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan….
At the end of the week-long hearing, the five-panel tribunal unanimously delivered guilty verdicts against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their key legal advisors who were all convicted as war criminals for torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.”
These people are simply war criminals as the article states “After the guilty verdict reached by five senior judges was delivered, Mahathir Mohamad said: “Powerful countries are getting away with murder.”
This was a credible verdict as the article states “War crimes expert and lawyer Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law in America, was part of the prosecution team….
Boyle then referenced the Nuremberg Charter which was used as the format for the tribunal when asked about the credibility of the initiative in Malaysia. He quoted: “Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit war crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any person in execution of such a plan.””
The Bush 43 criminals committed torture at the infamous Abu Ghraib facility as the article states “They included testimony from British man Moazzam Begg, an ex-Guantanamo detainee and Iraqi woman Jameelah Abbas Hameedi who was tortured in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.”
The article “Should Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & CIA Officials Be Tried for Torture? War Crimes Case Filed in Germany” details how in addition to the above noted trial held in Kuala Lumpur in 2012, after the release of a Senate report on CIA torture a German human rights group has filed a criminal complaint against the Bush 43 war criminals.
We must not allow Bush 43 and Cheney to evade justice.
We allowed Tricky Dick and Teflon Ronnie Reagan to evade justice. It didn’t help our country because the GOP realized they could commit criminal activities and evade justice. We must prosecute Bush 43 and Cheney as war criminals!