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Bush Special Prosecutor is Top Question for Obama

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Headlined to H2 1/5/09

For the second time now, President-Elect Obama has asked his new constituents, the whole of the American people, to come to his web site at to ask and vote for questions, to help set the priorities for his administration.

After five days of citizen voting more than 60,000 questions have been submitted this time in eight categories. . . and the current top vote getter across all topic categories is this one, under the topic "Additional Issues":

"Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor - ideally Patrick Fitzgerald - to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?"
-Bob Fertik, New York City

Voting remains open as of last check. To cast your vote for the special prosecutor question:

1. Sign in at
2. On the left menu, click "Additional Issues." Bob Fertik's question will appear at the top.
3. Look right for the checkbox, mouseover it so it goes from white to dark, then click to cast your vote

As noted by Ari Melber, of The Nation magazine, the same question also ranked high in the first round of voting at the Obama site. But Melber writes, "Now that Vice President Cheney confessed his support for waterboarding on national television, flouting the rule of law, the issue is even more urgent."

According to Bob Fertik of, "Besides Vice President Cheney's admissions of torture, President Bush himself has admitted to illegal spying. If these actions go unprosecuted we will be sanctioning open criminality. Moreover, the Geneva Conventions require the United States to prosecute war crimes. We can stand for the rule of law or against it; the choice cannot be avoided and the question must not be."

President-elect Obama has promised to answer the top questions on his site. In this case it would be the first time since the Pennsylvania primary, and only the second time ever, he has had to address the issue of prosecuting the crimes of the Bush-Cheney administration. On April 14 he said, "if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law."

At the same time, there has been increasing speculation that President Bush, who has been relatively stingy about granting other pardons, will pardon not only Vice President Cheney, but perhaps even himself in the final minutes of his term. "If George Bush pardons Dick Cheney and himself for their crimes, the American people will be outraged," Fertik said. "Under our Constitution, Presidents swear to uphold the Constitution, not to subvert it. If a President can deliberately authorize crimes and then abuse his pardon power to protect those who commit them, we live in a dictatorship - not a democracy."

Melber believes citizen engagement is key. "With so few journalists directly asking the President-Elect about these issues, however, it is up to the rest of us to put accountability and the rule of law on the agenda."


The Pen is a real person, and the founder of The People's Email Network, a resource founded in 2004 with the mission of making sending policy advocacy messages as facile and easy as possible. With this goal in mind we pioneered one click action (more...)
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... but just the fact that they put it as a submis... by Mr M on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 8:00:33 AM
As a citizen of the US you have a power of influen... by Brett Paatsch on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 6:23:49 PM
... but I'm afraid my cynicism trumps any posi... by Mr M on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 7:54:34 PM
to get away with the things he did unless he knew ... by Nick van Nes on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 8:16:51 AM
I believe for most of the crimes, they CYA'd t... by Dan Koch on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 8:26:41 AM
Bush will NEVER be tried by a special prosecutor, ... by steve scheetz on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 8:35:30 AM
If it is a farce why hasn't the tally been adj... by Brett Paatsch on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 10:58:09 PM
but it's design tells me it could easily be on... by Nick van Nes on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 9:04:31 AM
Everytime a change topic of 9/11 is posted, it is ... by Roger Thomas on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 10:07:18 AM
I already signed it because I got the email, plus ... by Jennifer Epps on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 10:59:45 AM
accountable for precisely nothing. On virtually al... by Richard Mynick on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 11:52:04 AM
Richard?If he doesn't anwer the top question, ... by Brett Paatsch on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 6:40:13 PM
create an account, the page said I should "ty... by Richard Mynick on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 10:48:57 PM
word "below". I was too lazy to try both... by Brett Paatsch on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 11:02:04 PM
but I do want to point out that if Bush goes to hi... by Brett Paatsch on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 9:05:17 PM
and submitted the question. As one who supported O... by virginius "gin" arnold on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 12:40:10 PM
Well said Gin.Obama knows that a vast majority of&... by Munich on Monday, Jan 5, 2009 at 1:40:21 PM