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Legacy Be Damned: Americans want Justice

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There has been much blather by Bush apologists decrying and denouncing as 'Bush-haters' those who seek the prosecution of George W Bush. This is nothing but blatant, unabashed name-calling in lieu of having a viable argument against appropriate legal action. It is a well-rehearsed tactic meant to incite emotional response divorced from logic. The call for the prosecution of George W Bush is not made out of hatred for the man. It is a rational, legitimate response to the hateful actions for which Messrs. Bush and Cheney are directly responsible. That, for many, the crime and the criminal are conflated (as is likely the case with Bush apologists) and seen as one and the same is of small account. That erroneous conflation does not diminish the righteousness of the call for justice nor does it obfuscate the legal arguments.

The facts are well-known. More than 4,000 US men and women have died fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for dubious aims and for reasons proved false. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children – by some accounts more than a million - are dead as a result of the illegal and immoral invasion and occupation of their country. Untold thousands of Afghani men, women and children are dead as result of the invasion of that nation. Both of these countries are in shambles with millions of people reduced to the pitiable plight of internal and external refugees.

Torture, extraordinary rendition, extra-judicial incarceration, illegal wire-tapping and surveillance of US citizens, and the loss of habeas corpus for US citizens; all were the official policy of the Bush administration. If this has all been the result of a few 'bad apples' then those 'bad apples' have included those at the 'top of the tree' by the tacit admission of Bush/Cheney themselves and the clearly stated admission of Susan Crawford, of the Guantanamo military commissions, and former NSA analyst, Russell Tice, amongst many others.

Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture holds Mr Bush and former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld responsible for the brutal interrogation methods and the inhuman treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo. Mr Nowak stated "One should not quibble, it was torture," and asserting "The evidence is on the table," urged the indictment of both Bush and Rumsfeld for their role in the torture and abuse of prisoners in Gitmo. These proposed indictments would surely lead to subsequent investigations of other authorized sites of torture.

Some have squeamishly implored that we simply 'Let it go!' as if those advocating the prosecution of Bush and Cheney are nothing more than kids contesting bad behavior on the playground. One wonders if Bush apologists would offer the same sage advice had the perpetrators of such death and destruction been Latin-American dictators or Asian despots or Soviet commissars or National Socialist party members. What were the Nuremberg trials all about if not to provide legal precedent? Apologists now urge us to apply a 'let-bygones-be-bygones' attitude toward those who are suspected of committing crimes against humanity simply because the charges are now leveled at American leaders. This is extremely hypocritical, to say the least. That such hypocritical inaction would be extremely dangerous and irresponsible is also clear. The failure to prosecute George W Bush would provide a de facto immunity from prosecution thus emboldening other ideological authoritarians to violate Constitutional precepts and further undermine our fragile American republic.

The crimes of Bush, Cheney and members of their administration are crimes against us, the people; the people he duped, the people he mislead, the people displaced, the people tortured, the people wounded, the people murdered as a result of the policies of his administration. If we want to return to a rule of law, if we hope to return to a democratic republic based on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, freedom and justice for all, we have to face the unpleasant facts. Foremost is this: by failing to bring them to justice, we are complicitous in their heinous acts.

I, for one, refuse to be an accomplice in their crimes. That I am one of many is becoming more and more obvious. In addition to those cited previously, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, as reported at this site and by Fox News, has intimated that prosecutions, though unpopular, might be unavoidable. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), the chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee said "There needs to be, I believe, an accounting of torture in this country," stating that he had suggested to Attorney General-nominee Eric Holder that he appoint "an outside person who's got real credibility" to continue to investigate.

Now, here is where the rubber meets the road. We can't just think since Obama has taken office everything will be a hunky-dory springtime stroll in a rose garden. That is a ridiculous notion; to think one man – no matter how charismatic – will carry our hopes to fulfillment without our pitching in to help. (That mind-set is suitable for a king but not an elected president.) We, the citizens of the United States, must envision, engender, inspire, and empower the change we seek. We must be the change. Moreover, an integral part of that change must be a return to the rule of law and the concurrent, rightful expectation that law-breakers will be brought to justice. As citizens of a free and democratic society, each of us has the duty to participate actively in our democracy, not simply as ballot-casters, but as commissioned guardians of our freedom, our liberty and our Constitution.

Speaking for those who seek the prosecution of George W Bush, I offer this declaration: we want justice. We want our Republic back. We want our self-respect back. This is why there is a hue and cry calling for the arrest of George W Bush. 

We must insist that George W Bush, Richard B Cheney and all of their administrative accomplices be brought to justice for the sake of our republic and our way of life. We must demand it. Whatever it takes; short of armed insurrection.

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After years of professional starvation as a 'working musician', DC found his way to Taiwan where he has lived and taught English as a foreign language for 18 years - fourteen of them married blissfully to Yashan 'Linda' Huang. "Having lived (more...)
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