Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 22 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/19/08

Why Prosecutions of Bush-Cheney Are a Bad Idea

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   31 comments
Message Douglas C. Smyth
Become a Fan
  (6 fans)

If Bush issues pre-emptive pardons, then he is in fact admitting guilt. In that case, the incoming Obama administration cannot prosecute, but some clearing of accounts will be needed to re-establish what is and is not Constitutional.

Why does the incoming Obama administration not want to prosecute? Because prosecution would look petty and vindictive? Perhaps. Because it is more important that changes of power not carry the potential for criminal charges? Possibly. Elections that carry with them the possibility of not only losing but of going to jail if you lose, loads them with too much risk; incumbents would never allow themselves to lose; they would act like Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

On the other hand, I think the incoming administration is faced with a dilemma. The rule of law ought to be re-established, therefore illegal conduct must have the light of day shone upon it. A compromise that would achieve both goals might be not prosecution but a Truth Commission.

I believe that the best solution would be something modeled upon the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Those responsible for the constitutional excesses should be called before it to testify, under oath, to what they did and why. Bush and Cheney would have to be included in this.

Would they face criminal charges? Only President Bush would face them if he pardoned everyone else. However, in order for him to be pardoned by Obama, he would have to come clean on his role.

Why would others testify, if pardoned already? All of them could potentially be tried in other countries, and could also be sued in this one. Perhaps a provision could be written into the commission charter offering limited immunity, to be rescinded if they refused, or lied under oath. Since all are subject to civil suits, the immunity provision would be an important incentive to testify.

If they complied, they'd still be liable to international charges. I'd love to see Cheney on the stand in the Hague, but it probably will never happen. In other words, this would not provide the pay-back that so many on my side want. What it would do, however, would be to re-establish what is legal and constitutional, and what is not; that's much more important than vengeance.

For more where this came from:

Rate It | View Ratings

Douglas C. Smyth Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I am a writer and retired college teacher. I taught college courses in Economics and Political Science (I've a Ph.D) and I've written as a free-lancer for various publications.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Answering Conservative Arguments Against Healthcare Reform

A Camera is a Terror Weapon!

Muscle-bound America

Peak Oil Happened Already

I'm Hit By the Underground Economy

Why Prosecutions of Bush-Cheney Are a Bad Idea

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend