Is Bush war-crime trial realistic?

A couple of days ago I received an email from a friend – probably one of the most well-informed person on the planet, which read:

“By the way, am reading ‘Charlie Wilson's War.’ Will find the movie once I'm done. I truly missed all of this. I had no idea.”

Nor, did I. Until I read the book by the late "60 Minutes" producer George Crile – the story of how one American congressman’s involvement led to the Soviet Union’s retreat from Afghanistan.

I wrote back that there are probably a lot of things going on on the political stage that would catch us unawares.

Here’s one. Long before there was even a mention in the mainstream media (MSM), the diggers for information were reading reports online of “rendering” – how our country, which has laws against torture, was “rendering” prisoners to countries without such laws, to secret prisons, to be tortured.

Before I go on, let me point you to a good place to get the news before the news “gets it.” Sonoma State University’s “Project Censored” since 1976 has reported annually the top 25 news stories which have been neglected by the MSM (until they are forced by the information flow online to report them). This very helpful site has indexed all previous PC stories by categories. (There is a “torture” category.)

A lot of friends and associates want Bush, Cheney and the neocons brought to justice for “war crimes” such as lying this country into an unnecessary war and ignoring its torture laws. The International Red Cross has condemned their actions. A special court in Spain is examing the possibility of bringing them to trial.

Being a realist, I keep insisting, “It ain’t gonna happen.”

For those demanding “justice,” the following brief item from The Progress Report of 10 April 2009 (LINK) will be of interest:

TORTURE -- CIA TO CLOSE SECRET OVERSEAS PRISONS: Although the CIA stated yesterday (4/9/09) that it will decommission overseas prisons where detainees were tortured, CIA Director Leon Panetta announced that he would not punish those who perpetrated the acts. He said officers who committed such acts "should not be investigated, let alone punished" because the Justice Department under President Bush had assured them that their actions were legal. The New York Times writes that Panetta's move to close the prisons "underscored the new administration's sharp break with policies" from the Bush administration after 9/11. However, "a number of CIA officials implicated in the torture program not only remain at the highest levels of the agency, but are also advising Panetta," writes The Daily Beast's John Sifton. "Panetta's attempt to suppress the issue is making Bush's policy into the Obama administration's dirty laundry.” Indeed, as Salon's Glen Greenwald writes, Panetta's stance reflects an administration "vigorously shielding criminals from all investigation and accountability." Meanwhile, Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) insists he is still "continuing to explore" the idea of a truth commission-style torture investigation in congress even though he told several of his constituents last week that the political opposition from Republicans may be too great to overcome. –END-

I welcome discussion of this development in The Comments Zone.


Frodo, in the Spirit said...

Frodo actually feels kind of dirty about all of this. Frodo knows first that to pursue charges of this nature against a former President would be political suicide for those trying to follow the law. It could potentially change the entire spectrum of life in the Land of the Free, the Home of the Brave. It would raise sympathy for an Administration presently on its' deserved path to a historical marker in the dungheap of History.
Frodo also feels that wrongdoing did take place, and that the precepts of law and honour were abused. Frodo feels that way about Richard Nixon even today, but he now knows that Gerald Ford acted wisely, in the best interest of all of us.
If Frodo were in the Oval Office today, he would tell the President to "let it go." Let History, through the successors to Beschloss and Kearns-Goodwin document the evil wrought, so that we never forget. Frodo doesn't need to get his rocks off in Dick Cheney's face (on his tombstone will be sufficient).

B.J. said...

Frodo, you stated that very well. There was a left-wing backlash to Nancy Pelosi taking impeachment “off the table” following the 2006 election. I contended that you could not impeach Bush without impeaching Cheney, too, and that would make Nancy Pelosi, as speaker of the house, president of the United States. The right-wing would have considered that a coup d’etat, and the ramifications for the future of this country would have been unproductive and (to use Hillary’s word) counterintuitive.

Bob Woodward did a pretty good job of recording for posterity the FUBAR operation called Iraq in his “State of Denial,” third in his books on Bush at war. His book is a start.


Falzone for the Law said...

Similar but different,

What do we think about the Obama plan to continue holding prisoners without Habeus rights in Afghanistan?

Papamoka said...

Somehow I missed this post? I'm glad I was reminded to come back over and read it.

I'm with Frodo, whatever Bush and company did while President is for the history books and not the law books. Bush was a moron but he wasn't an idiot. I'm pretty sure that he and Darth Dick ran everything by the lawyers before they acted. Like all of those signing statements???

Frodo, for the Prosecution said...

Frodo believes that what we do with a captive 16 year-old stateless pirate (Somalia has no government)is an adequate precedent for what we do with those taken into captivity in Afghanistan. To say that habeas corpus is non-existent in these instances is not necessarily a fair criticism, although, admittedly, justifiable. If the President asked Frodo what to do, he would suggest that all be brought up on charges, including the pirate, not punishable by a death penalty. All would, if found guilty by US, Military, or Special Tribunal, be imprisoned pending the outcome, if not the establishment, of international court proceedings.

tiny said...

Tiny thinks the BushCo should stand before the bar of justice, especially since they did such a damn-damn persecution of grunts who
were charged with carrying out such heinous acts.

But as Mama told me when I was in early teens, or right before then, "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord." So who knows what will transpire, if anything. Guess time will tell.

As someone once said, "The mill of the gods grind slow but exceedingly fine."