Bil Browning

Obama might prosecute BushCo for war crimes?

Filed By Bil Browning | January 04, 2009 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Bush administration, BushCo, Patrick Fitzgerald, special prosecutor, war crimes

An interesting article can be found on the Change.org website by Bob Fertik, President of Democrats.com, under the title, "Appoint a Special Prosecutor for the Crimes of the Bush Administration."

President-elect Obama recently 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."

Attorney General-designate Eric Holder recently said top Bush Administration officials "authorized the use of torture, approved of secret electronic surveillance of American citizens, secretly detained American citizens without due process of law, denied the Writ of Habeus Corpus to hundreds of accused enemy combatants, and authorized the use of procedures that both violate international law and the United States Constitution."

More after the jump including how you can help urge Obama to appoint a special prosecutor.

The Bush administration has refused to investigate its own crimes and President Bush may issue blanket pardons before he leaves. President Obama must appoint a Special Prosecutor - ideally Patrick Fitzgerald - to fully investigate these crimes and prosecute those responsible to demonstrate that we are truly a Nation of Laws and no one - including the President - is above the law.

Petition BadgeTo be blunt, I think this is a pipe dream. The possibility of Obama actually tapping Fitzgerald (or anyone else, for that matter) to look into BushCo's war crimes is about nil. Not only would it undermine the credibility of the United States government for years, it would also set a dangerous precedent. I can only imagine one or another of the parties holding a grudge against a previous administration and attempting to inflict political damage as Republicans tried with Bill Clinton's impeachment proceedings.

As a proud liberal and an American citizen though, I confess I'd like to see the entire administration brought up on war crimes charges. I think Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and the entire lot are criminally responsible for the deaths of thousands of people worldwide. Enough allegations and facts have already reared their heads that an investigation of other improprieties - at the least - is appropriate. To that end, any pressure put on Obama is only a good thing.

You can click the link or on the image above to sign a petition asking Obama to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate BushCo for war crimes. I did.

But I'm not holding my breath. What about you?


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A little clarification - though change.org provides a nice system for offering suggestions to President-Elect Obama, it is not affiliated with him. Perhaps you're thinking of change.gov, which is his official site? (It has a related, but a bit more chaotic, feature called Open for Questions. No discussion, just voting.)

Dana from Mombian (I think) posted an idea to change.org that seems effectively like automatic second-parent adoptions: might be worth a vote. I'm sure there's other ideas we can get behind on change.org, too!

http://www.change.org/info/about is my source, shame on me for not citing it. :)

Thanks Mega - I did get them confused. I've updated the post with the correct reference.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 4, 2009 6:34 PM

The chances are slim to none Bil. And we know exactly why that is. It’s because on January 21st your party’s leader, Obama, will join a long list of US presidents guilty of war crimes. LBJ, Nixon, Reagan, the Bush’s, and Clinton and now Obama.

It's as unlikely that BushJr will get indicted by Obama as it was that BushSr would get indicted by Clinton for his war crimes including the infamous 'kill box' and wanton attacks on civilians. Or that Clinton would be indicted by BushJr because Clinton organized the effort to murder hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children by denying them food and medicine.

The next round of antiwar demonstrations will start at the inaugural and on March 21st with a demonstration at the Pentagon demanding that all the troops be brought home now.

Bil, do you think you could help organize a GLBT bus from Indiana to DC and help end the war policies of Obama and other Democrats? Here’s a link for anyone interested https://www.natassembly.org/Home_Page.html .

The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations has

“… called for united antiwar demonstrations this spring. We urge the entire movement to unite now around the March 21 actions and we will do everything possible to make this unity a reality. The civil rights, union, anti-Vietnam War, women’s liberation and gay rights movements would not have achieved victories without having built truly massive movements that were able to organize repeated and powerful independent mobilizations in the streets.”

Join us.

Yes yes, we get it, all leaders bad, all people who aren't losertarians bad, overthrow everything, I've got mine so what am I worrying about.

Bill, you're annoying as a tangled-up dingleberry and don't make for near as interesing a story. Take this pseudo-anarchist trash and stow it; it makes you sound like a teenage demagogue.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 5, 2009 4:34 PM

I'm afraid you don't get it, but why would anyone expect you to. You must admire war and all it's atrocities, because you voted for more of the same from Obama or McCain.

If you got it you wouldn't sell out the GIs and muslims doing the dying by voting Democrat or Republican.

If you got it you wouldn't vote for one of the two bigots who agreed with right wing scum like Warren and the catholic and mormon cult leaders that same sex marriage is a sin becasue "god's in the mix."

If you got it you wouldn't vote for Bush or Obama, who are intent on destroying whats left of the economy with welfare for the uber rich.

But you don't get it. Your politics are bankrupt.

Bill, I've heard this garbage from more persuasive people than you, and it's still all trash. You're a one-note song, a one-trick pony. The URR URR ALL DUH SAEM argument falls apart with two seconds of actual research, but you don't care - you'd rather push your fanatical worship of the loser parties.

Get a shtick I haven't seen four million times already and maybe I'll consider treating you with respect. Until then, I have nothing more to say to you or anyone like you.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 6, 2009 11:13 PM

Blue, that's a lot of schoolyard shouting and a few inept tries at being insulting but no facts, no "research", no specifics. Typical of your type.

Except that you tell us you've picked up all your marbles and you're running home.

Be my guest. Exercise damage control. Running is far better than getting a political drubbing. If I were as dismally uninformed and politically bankrupt as Blue I'd run too.

Obama might prosecute BushCo for war crimes?

ROTFL!!! Don't hold your breath.

Obama will not have the Justice department investigate war crimes. It would be a fractious issue that would make republican cooperation on relief measures evaporate.

The Republicans are already going to be obstructionist. I just saw Mitch McConnell on the teevee this morning talking about how Senate Republicans are going to throw hissy fit after hissy fit over the impending stimulus package (he phrased it differently). They're already planning to filibuster the Holder nomination.

Either way, Democrats caving in and even going along with the impeachment of Bill Clinton over a blow job didn't earn any good will from the Republicans. All it did was embolden the GOP, and not prosecuting here will do the same.

I think not prosecuting war crimes would undermine the US's credibility on these issues even more. Instead of putting the people responsible in jail (and we're not really talking Bush and Cheney, but Cheney, other White House officials, and people in Congress, as well as military leaders) after they broke international law, letting them go sends the signal that Obama is going to be more of the same.

There hasn't been anything that's hurt our image abroad more than our violations of international law. It's no secret - the whole world knows about it. It's generally only a significant portion of the American population who refuses to understand what went on and what acts were committed in our names. Then again, considering how loathe our media has been to cover these issues, it's understandable.

The fact that it would be a disruption isn't important. We don't want these things to happen again. We don't want people to be tortured. We don't want to be the ones torturing. It's a recruiting tool against the US and it's significantly increased animosity towards this country.

But the only way to prevent it from happening again is to prosecute. The reason it happened this time around is that the last three major instances of Republican law-breaking, the most recent of which was Iran-Contra, went unpunished. Letting this go sends a strong signal to the next Republican administration (and there will be another one) that they can do whatever they want and get away with it.

This isn't about a grudge, and I wouldn't say that to anyone who has been tortured that their experiences can't be acknowledged because it's simply too divisive. These folks broke the law and they should be punished.

If they were drug addicts, prostitutes, thieves, or any other sorts of criminals, there wouldn't even be a debate - they'd be prosecuted.

The question this comes down to is if we have laws that govern even the president or if we don't. I know, I know, these people are rich, famous, and powerful, but the goddam librul in me thinks that that doesn't put them above everyone else.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 5, 2009 2:12 AM

Alex, do you think Bill Clinton should also be prosecuted for his crimes, particularly the murder of all those children? How would that affect the work of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State? Do you think Obama’s new friend Colon Powell should be prosecuted too? Even if he’s an official of the new administration at some point?

Or do liberals think these prosecutions should be limited to Republicans?

Just how far does your partisanship go? What will liberals do when Obama widens the war and a lot more Afghan civilians and GIs die to get that oil pipeline built? Do liberals still excuse mass murder when it's ordered by Democrats like LBJ, Clinton or Obama?

Alex, You voted for Obama and worse, urged others to vote for him. Do you now support the call for the immediate and total withdrawal of all US troops from the Middle East to US home bases and cutting the purse strings that pay for zionist ethnic cleansing and apartheid? Or do you support the US Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) imposed in the quisling government in Baghdad?

Do you liberals want to give Obama time to cement his record as a war criminal? How about 18 months for starters, because that’s what Obama wants? Should the US carry out cross border raids into Syria and Pakistan? Obama thinks so.

Should the US attack Iran? Should the US support and pay for mass murders of Palestinians? Biden and Hillary Clinton think so on both counts.

Will liberals just go along with the war because they’re loyal Democrats?

Do you think the best thing is to prosecute them under US laws or to convent an International War Crimes Tribunal?

Rick Elliott | January 5, 2009 3:37 AM

I was calmly sitting in my recliner watching television when the hone rang. It was a woman with a sonorous voice asking for contributions to the National Democratic Party. I ranted at her for several minutes about the cowardly 2004 Democratic campaign that had the goods on Bush and did nothing. I now feel for that woman because all the repressed venom I'd stored away over the Democratic Party's completely ignoring the evidence of Bush's betrayal of what our nation stands for. Most of us knew--in our gut or in fact--that 9/11 was an excuse for the war he intended to wage anyway. I remember feeling traumatized by the events of that horrible day. Then a bell rang in my subconscious when Saddam Hussein's name began to be linked to 9/11. Even head-in-the-sand me knew that Bin Laden and Hussein were polar opposites.
Then what had been nagging my subconscious became conscious thought as I heard Hussein's name being mentioned and Bin Laden's only a whisper. Being seasoned to Texas politics I knew funny business was being perpetrated on the American people. Cynically I began to wonder how Bush got the huge nest egg that propelled him out of relative obscurity I said to myself those early contributors are going to get a payoff somewhere down the line. And it came out that contracts had been let to Halliburton without competitive bidding and the nagging feeling became clear--this dilettante--for that's the most noble word I can think of that would describe him-- is a pasteboard cutout front for some heavy hitters.
Looking back that's how I analyzed the pent-up rage that poor woman endured. I said then that there was no way I was going to give "one red cent" to such a cowardly political party. And I felt that way until the race for 2008 began in earnest and I realized that--cowardly or not--Democrats were the only possible solution to the miasma created by Bush in the name of patriotism.
Once again I noticed the fatal flaw in American society being played upon: we have to be afraid of someone or thing. It began with the "savage" Indians through the "evil empire." We'd gone too long without being afraid of something and Bush played on our weakness until it was blatantly clear he was only making a power play to make up for his inherently weak leadership.
So-o I involved myself even more than I did in 1968 when a ragtag group of us organized the precinct in which the Texas Governor's Mansion lay to endorse Eugene McCarthy--causing some discomfort for John Connolly--the governor that inhabited that mansion--who ran running as a favorite son.
With Obama's victory I feel much lighter of heart, yet still with the nagging gut feeling that events have gone too far to be rectified.
Bil, we long-winded Texans can come to a point. Are there not more charges to be waged against the Bush Administration? After seeing my net worth 40% of what it was a year ago.(There's no cushion instead of a little bit of cushion) And as we begin to see the financial sleight-of-hand perpetrated under the guise of deregulation and creative approaches for financing. Bil, can't we wonder if the Halliburtons were the only ones contributing to Bush's surprisingly large nestegg for his 2000 campaign? What about adding to the war crimes charges conspiracy to commit fraud against the American people?

"Do liberals still excuse mass murder when it's ordered by Democrats like LBJ, Clinton or Obama?"

Bill,
I was around back in the 60s and I can tell you that not only did liberals excuse mass murder ordered by Democrats like LBJ, they justified it, and even caused it. Vietnam was a liberal's war, escalated by JFK and then LBJ, and pretty much run by the same cast of characters in both administrations, including the Bundy brothers, MacNamara, and others. Those unfamiliar with the facts should do some research (a good place to start if with David Halberstam's book "The Best and the Brightest") before they try to paint the Democrats as the pacifists. They're no more the party of peace then they are the party of the working class.

Eisenhower started the Vietnam War.