Could Bush be prosecuted?

It’s pretty clear (to me, at least) that BushCo. has presided over a catastrophic deception that has cost tens of thousands of lives, and hundreds of billions of dollars. If such disasterous calumny shouldn’t be an actionable offense, I don’t know what should. Of course, the law isn’t the final say in what is right an wrong, just in what is or is not punishable. Are Bush’s crimes punishable? Even if so, would anyone attempt to hold him and other culpable members of his administration accountable? With John Ashcroft heading the Justice Dept., we know there’s no way in Hell an investigation would even be conceivable, but if Bush is voted out of office, a new Justice Dept. head will be in place, and a new set of possibilities may arise.

Really, could Bush & Co. ever be brought to justice for what they’ve done?

It will be justice enough for me if them and their ilk are kicked out of office on their asses on November 2nd.

Unfortunately, given the general ignorance of a good portion of the American electorate at the moment, even that may be too much to ask for.

The Nuremberg Trials established that “waging wars of aggression” is a prosecutable offense under international law. Catch is, it’s usually the victors who get to prosecute such crimes, so unless someone conquers the U.S., it probably isn’t going to happen.

There’s always impeachment, of course - “high crimes and misdemeanors” is pretty broad and vague. Can’t imagine GWB being impeached (assuming he’s elected to a second term)? No one, in 1972, could have imagined Nixon being impeached, either. No one, in 1996, could have imagined Clinton being impeached. Things can spiral downhill pretty quickly.

IMHO, GWB is probably safe from any sort of prosecution. I can’t say the same for other members of his administration, though I doubt that any of them would be prosecuted for anything resembling “taking us to war for no damn good reason.” They’re more likely to get rounded up for “outing” CIA operatives, passing classified information to other (friendly) governments, lying to Congress, influence peddling, and so on - the usual garden variety corruptions. Sadly, however, most of the shit won’t hit the fan until after the election. The wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow, so some of the investigations that are percolating along may not produce their fine brew for another year or so.

Back in '70/'71 I thought Hanoi Jane, John Kerry et. al should have been executed as traitors. You know, for giving aid and comfort to the enemy and stuff like that.

Since that didn’t happen, I don’t think your current pipe dream of getting Bush executed is likely to happen either.

Who said that?

Did I wander into the pit and not notice?? How about this for a debate topic? “Should John Kerry be prosecuted for war crimes in Vietnam, sentenced to death and buried alive in an ant hill covered with honey?” No? See how ridiculous? Getting the idea how ridiculous THIS is? No? Oh well…

Bummer that you don’t have ultimate power so you could make this call arbitrarily based on your partisan peeve, with none of that pesky proof stuff. Unless you HAVE some that is? Got a cite by any credible organization that is bringing charges against Bush(co)? How about impeachment proceedings? A slap on the wrist? Anything?

Well, who exactly would punish him? The Congress approved his actions. Afaik, the SCOTUS also approved. Afaik, again, NO ONE is even contemplating action against the US…let alone against Bush(co). If they DID we might have a problem…we’d be without a president reguardless of the election. See, Kerry ALSO approved of Bush(co)'s action (being in the Senate and all…and voting FOR the use of force), much as he wants to deny it now, or spin it the way he’s spinning it…bottom line is what they voted for DID give Bush the power to take the US to ‘war’. See, he’d hang with the majority of the House and Senate along WITH Bush(co)…that is, if you could get your fantasy way and prosecute them.

Really…really REALLY. The answer is no. It was no several months ago. It will be no several months from now, whether or not Bush is re-elected. It will ALWAYS BE NO.

A better debate would be…why do people keep bringing this lame ass shit up? I mean, there is so much REAL stuff you can hammer away on Bush for…why this stupid crap that is pure left wing fantasy?


No, actually it’s a question with merit, I think.

Not now, of course, but with each new bit of evidence, Bush’s case for dragging us into an unjust war looks more suspect. He would have us believe that he made the right decision based on admittedly false intelligence info. What if, as some suspect, this is simply a lie? To many, the possibility of deliberate and calculated deception seems more plausible, especially now that our most comprehensive investigation has determined the war was waged on false premises.

Is being the victim of fraud a crime?

I’m actually none too pleased with Kerry’s actions in this regard, but he does not have ultimate responsibility for what has transpired. The Commander in Chief does.

I guess I think of it more as the concern of a dispirited citizen who thinks that those in power ought not to be above the law, be it domestic, or international. If Bush has waged a deliberate war of aggression to further the geopolitical schemes of neoconservative philosphers, as has been claimed, Bush would technically be a war criminal. It’s a dismal thing to contemplate, actually. It’s hardly a joyful fantasy to imagine the leader of our nation is such a man. I would call his punishment small consolation.

Good grief.

  1. Identify the specific law that was broken, please.

  2. Lay out your case for proving each of the elements of the crime described by the statue identified in (1) beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you can do that, then theoretically Mr. Bush could be prosecuted.

The political realities are such that it won’t happen. But if you can show a convincing case that Mr. Bush has commited actual crimes, then I’d certainly call for his impeachment. (As I’m not a member of Congress, this call won’t mean much, but it’s a start).

Anyway, here in GD, the burden of proof is on the proponent of a proposition. So - make your case.

Since the OP was blathering about “tens of thousands of lives, hundreds of billions of dollars” and various “crimes” I sort of thought he wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less than execution.

From this paper:

The entire article is admittedly heavy going, but it’s fairly clear that there’s considerable authority for the proposition that the U.S. invasion of Iraq violated international law. Is there any real question about who precipitated that invasion?

As a (general) rule, those of us who are against the President are also likely to be against capital punishment. Bush can sit in the cell next to Hussein for the next 20 years.

Actually, I don’t believe Bush is guilty of any actual crimes. If suspicion should arise to the point of possible indictment, I think political realities would abort that. Now, his underlings, I could picture some of them going to trial if (as Bricker pointed out) laws are suspected of having been broken.

I was thinking more along the lines of community service. Like picking up trash along the highway. Which is probably what he’d be doing without the family money and connections, anyway.

I think that the standards to initiate a prosecution are lower than proof beyind a rasonable doubt.
Whether or not Team Bush will be prosecuted depends on how great of a political reward Congress wil receive for doing so. If it ever looks like they’ll score more political points by having someone eaten alive by chihuahas, Congress’ll be buying the little critters by the truckload. The whole while they’ll be thinking, “What a poor bastard getting eaten. Better him than me.”

i don’t know enough about the plame game to say whether bush could or should be prosecuted for the leak, although it does appear that he has hired personal (criminal) counsel, and may be required to testify before a federal grand jury.

Hmmm. Lamenting the senseless loss of tens of thousands of lives, and the useless waste of hundreds of billions of dollars hardly seems like “blathering”, to me.

And I absolutely would not be happy about Bush getting the death penalty, as I do not support capitol punishment. It’s another one of these cheap tricks folks like you enjoy playing, ascribing ridiculous assertions to an OP as a way of deflecting the real debate away from facts that make you uncomfortable.

I’m trying to understand how Congress could actually do this, assuming that body would even want to. Congress and Congress alone is charged in the constitution with the authority to declare war. Congress voted to give that aurhority to Bush in this particular instance. Bush exercised that authority at his discretion, per the authority given him by Congress.

I suppose in politics that anything is possible. But it seems ludicrous in the extreme. If anything, those members of Congress who voted for the authorization should be held responsible. Again, it is that branch of the government which has the sole authority to declare war.

Now, we could get into the legal technicality of this not actually being a declared war, but that seems like a nothing more than semantics. When you invade another country in order to topple the regime, that is de facto war.

I’m not opposed to the idea that Congressmen and women who voted for the war be held accountable as well. But if Congress approved a war based on deception, then, again as I pointed out above, are they also culpable? I would think not. I see it as something analagous to the Gulf of Tonkin incident (which should have gotten Johnson, and some of et al. at least, a prison sentence, IMO).

A serious question, then, is whether or not various members of the legislature knew the evidence was false, doubted the evidence but voted out of political fear/fealty, or truly believed what they were being told, and acted in good faith. I imagine any of those reasons might be true, depending on the politician. It would probably be impossible to determine which applies to whom. It would be much more possible, I think, to determine if BushCo. was involved in a calculated deception, as many suspect they were, given their security clearance, intimate involvement in assessing and presenting CIA intelligence, alleged exclusion of evidence contrary to the assertion Iraq had WMDs, etc.

Political will would come into play, as you have rightly asserted. A new head of the Dept. of Justice and a Democratic Congress capable of hiring a special counsel would be the absolute least that would be needed. The Republicans (with the exception of a few like McCain, if the climate seemed right) would fight any such efforts tooth-and-nail.

Thanks to bob_loblaw for reminding us of the Plame issue, which is certainly a salient point, and germane to the discussion of the potential illegality of BushCo’s misdeeds.

There is no authoritative body of international law. While “international law” has been used to prosecute in the past, it is ultimately a creature of power to enforce, rather than a solid system of statutes, penalities, and the like. For example, let’s say that I concede that under international law, the invasion of Iraq was illegal. What specific penalty does international law mandate for an offender? A fine? Imprisonment? What mitigating or aggravating factors may affect the sentence?

For that matter, what rules of evidence apply? Is hearsay admissible? Under what circumstances? Is an accused entitled to counsel? May he be compelled to testify against himself? What is the appeal process from the finding of the original tribunal, if any?

  • Rick

Yes, but a prosecutor who initiates a prosecution - for which the standard is merely “probable cause” - knowing that he cannot ultimately convict is not acting in good faith.

Oh, yes, the evil BushCo.

Do you have the slightest scintilla of actual evidence that Mr. Bush has any criminal liability whatsoever in the Valerie Plame incident? Any single fact that you could tell a jury that would enable them to vote “guilty” in a trial? One?