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H2O Man

(73,997 posts)
Wed Dec 10, 2014, 01:32 PM Dec 2014

Voices in the Wilderness

“For those who want America to one day be the great nation it once was, it can hardly do this if it doesn’t take the first step of bringing those responsible for the war in Iraq to justice.”
-- Vincent Bugliosi; The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder; Vanguard Press; 2008; page 13.

Between logging on to DU:GD numerous times throughout the night, I re-read Bugliosi’s book on prosecuting Bush et al for murder. The outrage I saw here regarding torture was mirrored in that powerful book. The same passion for justice is found in each. Perhaps the only surprising thing is that Bugliosi frequently uses even stronger language than the average D.U.er to describe his utter contempt for George W. Bush.

This morning, after again reading through DU:GD, and the numerous OP/threads regarding the Cheney-Bush administration and torture, I was struck by the number of posts that took a defeated position -- “yes, the torture policy and its execution were criminal, but there will be no legal consequences.” I understand that thinking -- yes, I do -- and cannot argue that it is irrational or not logical. Yet, I believe that we must fight to hold Bush, Cheney, etc accountable, not because we may or may not win, but because they are war criminals who are responsible for committing horrible crimes against humanity.

Vincent Bugliosi, like every good prosecutor, knows that it is not possible to arrest, try, and convict certain criminals for the “top” crime (or crimes) they have committed. We saw this with Scooter Libby. But it is possible to bring charges relating to that “top” crime, and get a conviction. So let’s put on our DU prosecutorial hats for a few minutes, and ponder our options.

We know that President Obama and his administration are not going to pursue any criminal charges against Cheney and Bush. Although the Senate report proves beyond a reasonable doubt they committed war crimes, and Bugliosi’s book proves beyond any doubt that they committed murder, the administration doesn’t want to risk having the republicans in DC obstructing President Obama in his final two years. We certainly don’t want that, now, do we?

However, as Bugliosi documents in his book, any District Attorney in the United States can file charges of murder against Bush et al. As long as some man or woman from the DA’s region was killed in Iraq, they can file those charges. And one of the damned shames about that war is that this country has forgotten those who died in Iraq -- including our soldiers, and thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians.

It would seem less likely that, DU on its own, has the juice to convince a DA (even one with a strong conscience) to pursue this. Yet we do have options. Earlier in the year, for example, Bill Maher attempted to use his HBO show “Real Time” to “flip” a congressional district. While this effort was not successful in terms of flipping the district, it was an important exercise of political muscle. It would be foolish to abandon that option, simply because it was 100% successful. Indeed, the only thing that is 100% for sure is that if we don’t try, we definitely won’t accomplish anything. And that is exactly what the real enemies of democracy are hoping for, and counting on: that we will not even try.

Now, I’m not saying that Bill Maher is the perfect vehicle for trying to find a DA with conscience. Nor am I suggesting that he is not. Rather, I’m using his recent effort as a model that we could use. If the DU community were to put our minds together, and engage in a letter-writing campaign to someone like Maher, we might get a response. Maybe he’d have Mr. Bugliosi on as a guest to discuss the Senate report, and the possible prosecution of Cheney and Bush, etc.

The most important question at this time is: What do you think?

I’m just one person, and I think it’s definitely worth making an attempt. Being an American citizen should mean something. We have rights and responsibilities. And I think we are responsible for saying that these crimes were not committed in our names, and that we aren’t okay with overlooking them. That the criminals must be held responsible, and have consequences for crimes such as torture and murder.

I also know that when the DU community lobbies individuals in the legal system, it gets noticed.

Thank you for your consideration.
H2O Man

17 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Voices in the Wilderness (Original Post) H2O Man Dec 2014 OP
I agree with your entire premise, my dear H20 Man. CaliforniaPeggy Dec 2014 #1
Thanks. H2O Man Dec 2014 #2
Kicking ....... Hotler Dec 2014 #3
I'm beginning to think H2O Man Dec 2014 #4
Chief did that--but I'm sure you could do it too. panader0 Dec 2014 #8
Mac was H2O Man Dec 2014 #11
"The most important question at this time is: What do you think? kentuck Dec 2014 #5
It seems to me that those who vote Democratic ticket no matter what and then say well we liberal_at_heart Dec 2014 #7
Kicking Hekate Dec 2014 #6
I am sorry to use the repugs steady answer sadoldgirl Dec 2014 #9
That, of course, H2O Man Dec 2014 #12
... Solly Mack Dec 2014 #10
Prosecute!!! calimary Dec 2014 #13
how about Papantonio? Not the exposure of Maher, but Papantonio is a lawyer and antigop Dec 2014 #14
Great idea. H2O Man Dec 2014 #15
We've been out in the streets seeking justice for the victims of this corrupt system... countryjake Dec 2014 #16
I went looking for a lawyer that I thought would handle such a monumental task... countryjake Dec 2014 #17


(150,306 posts)
1. I agree with your entire premise, my dear H20 Man.
Wed Dec 10, 2014, 01:38 PM
Dec 2014

I can only second it. You have stated it so much more compellingly than I ever could.

I would be happy to join you in a letter writing campaign.

H2O Man

(73,997 posts)
4. I'm beginning to think
Wed Dec 10, 2014, 06:57 PM
Dec 2014

that the others on the DU wing don't believe that I, Randle Patrick "Mac" McMurphey, can actually lift this fucking stone sink off the floor, and toss it through that window.


(111,255 posts)
5. "The most important question at this time is: What do you think?
Wed Dec 10, 2014, 07:03 PM
Dec 2014

I don't know for sure?

I feel sad and despondent and angry, all rolled into one.

It saddens me that so many of my fellow Americans are so quick to accept brutal torture by our government and looks at it as nothing more than a Party squabble.

I feel like our entire nation has been seriously wounded by it all.


(12,081 posts)
7. It seems to me that those who vote Democratic ticket no matter what and then say well we
Wed Dec 10, 2014, 07:18 PM
Dec 2014

can't do anything about economic inequality or torture are displaying the same hopelessness that those who have given up on voting express. They just haven't stopped voting yet. Sometimes it does seem hopeless, but I'm sure there have been lots of times in history when things have seemed hopeless. When I feel hopeless I look to our own history; the civil rights movement, the women's rights movement, the labor movement. There must have been times when it all seemed hopeless. But they didn't stop fighting to make changes, and I refuse to stop fighting to make changes even when it seems hopeless.


(3,431 posts)
9. I am sorry to use the repugs steady answer
Wed Dec 10, 2014, 07:43 PM
Dec 2014

but I cannot recall whether it was the case brought by Wilson
or someone else against someone in the B/C administration.

The important part was the judgement of the court, which was
essentially that once out of office you cannot be punished for
what you did while in office.

That judgement was never reversed. Still, we can write, and
we can also sign petitions asking for justice.

H2O Man

(73,997 posts)
12. That, of course,
Wed Dec 10, 2014, 08:03 PM
Dec 2014

is not true. Nor is it anything from any legal case. If it were, of course, Ford would not have pardoned Dick Nixon.


(12,778 posts)
14. how about Papantonio? Not the exposure of Maher, but Papantonio is a lawyer and
Wed Dec 10, 2014, 10:02 PM
Dec 2014

may be interested in doing something on his show.


(8,554 posts)
16. We've been out in the streets seeking justice for the victims of this corrupt system...
Thu Dec 11, 2014, 07:21 AM
Dec 2014

and, as tired as I am, I can't help but feel a twinge of rising irony since this latest report on all the torturing has hit the airwaves.

Where is the justice for all of those many victims of such horrific treatment at the hands of the good ole U.S. of A. "Intelligence" and its military?

For days before the release of that thousands-paged indictment, the MSM was chuck full of officials moaning and groaning, worrying greatly about possible repercussions, the safety of Americans abroad, and the security of the multitude of American "interests" around the world. Not once did I hear any talking-head mention the word "Justice" for those who've been murdered and tortured, not before the Torture Report was released and not now after, even tho they've all been so busy reading it and analyzing it and gaping their shocked mouths wide.

You've asked what I think and while I've no idea, legally, who might be brave enough or competent enough to do it, it must be done...seeking justice for those wretched crimes that were committed by our own government. I'm already preparing letters to send off to the two women who represent me in Washington (toning down my absolute disgust has been hard, but they've both heard from me several times before on the subject of Torture over the years and I know that they're sympathetic to my feelings, so I believe each of them might understand), telling them that now is the time to take decisive action to see that such criminals are rightly punished.

I've often felt thru my life that dealing with our government was similar to being alone in the wilderness, but you have my voice, if needed.

Not in my name.


(8,554 posts)
17. I went looking for a lawyer that I thought would handle such a monumental task...
Thu Dec 11, 2014, 08:48 AM
Dec 2014

I'd been reading about his work for years, representing the Guantanamo prisoners, and fighting the death penalty. But, after combing thru my bookmarks to find him, alas, the guy is a Brit. He may help and support any attempts to bring a case, tho.

Clive Stafford Smith

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