by Gilles d'Aymery
(Swans - June 16, 2008) Chances are that people who depend on the corporate media haven't heard of House Resolution 1258, which was introduced by Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich late on June 10, 2008, and was read in full into the wee hours of the next day, thus becoming part of the Congressional Record. That Resolution addressed "articles of impeachment of George Bush, president of the United States." Like the Resolution Kucinich introduced last November to impeach Vice President Cheney, HR 1258 has been referred to the Judiciary Committee, where it's going to die, collecting dust until future historians research one of the most shameful and destructive American presidents the country ever elected or selected. The Movement to impeach George W. Bush has steadily grown over the past two years, with legal scholars of both liberal and conservative trends supporting the constitutional procedure -- to no avail so long as the leadership of the Democratic Party keeps that constitutional duty "off the table." But there are other venues that can and hopefully will be pursued, from appointing a Special Counsel with plenary authority to investigate whether President Bush and his vice president broke the laws of the United States in the lead up to the Iraq War and whether the president violated his constitutional oath "to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States"; to, as the renowned attorney and highly successful prosecutor, Vincent Bugliosi, advocates in his recently published book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder (Vanguard Press, May 2008, ISBN 978-1593154813), citizen-to-be George W. Bush may well be tried for murder in the future (there is no statute of limitations on a murder charge). And if none of the above works there will still be a consolation prize for people who understand that we want to remain a country of laws, not men (or women), however powerful they may be: They will be limited in their travels to other countries, especially in the European Union, for they will run high risks of being arraigned for the international crimes they allegedly committed.
The impeachment of President George W. Bush ought to be a slam-dunk, to use the language of George Tenet, the former director of the CIA, (who, incidentally, should be stripped of his Medal of Freedom and sent to the dock for lying and abetting the lies propagated by the administration). Representative Kucinich listed 35 articles of impeachment to pick and choose, from blatant lies (the evidence is overwhelming and mounting) to multiple violations of Constitutional and International laws. Article VIII of HR 1258 goes to great lengths to explain how President Bush and his administration violated the Nuremberg Principles, the Geneva Conventions, and the UN Charter, which all three, having been signed by the United States, are laws of the land. As Ralph Nader noted, in addition to the war of aggression against Iraq and the repeated violations of international principles and treaties, "there are the arrests of thousands of Americans and their imprisonment without charges, the spying on Americans without juridical warrant, systematic torture, and the unprecedented wholesale, defiant signing statements declaring that the President, in his unbridled discretion, is the law." "No man is the law," concludes Nader. "Never in our Country's history have we seen the rule by fiat as we have seen under the outlaw rule of Bush." We are not talking about lying under oath in regard to a sexual dalliance in the Oval Office. We are talking about the most serious high crimes and misdemeanors that have destroyed an entire country, killed possibly over one million of its citizens and "cleansed" over four million more, destabilized an entire region (let's not forget Afghanistan, another war of choice, not necessity), killed or maimed tens of thousands of our own, bankrupted our reputation all over the world, and that keeps contributing to our financial ruin. The record is devastating and far beyond politics as usual. That man should be brought to trial if we ever want to redeem our good name and the values our country represents -- or, once upon a time, a long, long time ago, represented.
It won't happen though. The bosses in Congress -- a Congress that has an approval rating below 20 percent -- do not want to rock the boat, for cause: The leadership applauded the Bush administration and to this very day has kept funding Mr. Bush's follies and delusions. To go after him is to go after Congress. It's as simple as that. They all hurried into the disaster in unison. Congress cannot impeach itself, after all. So, impeachment won't happen.
Yet, President Bush will become Mr. Bush in a matter of months, whether he decides to strike Iran or not. He's going to be out of office come January 20, 2009. Executive privilege will no longer protect him. The time will then come to interrogate him under oath, and under the guide of a special investigation. If the country can spend 400 million dollars a day on the warring results of those alleged high crimes and misdemeanors, we can as well spend $100 million to finance the operations of a Special Counsel charged to prosecute these alleged high crimes and misdemeanors. The Special Prosecutor's mission will be to find out whether Mr. Bush and Co. lied to the country on the road to the Iraq War. Having plenary authority, the Special Prosecutor will be able to bring in front of a Grand Jury of our peers all the actors he or she thinks are necessary to establish the truth. People like Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, George Tenet, Dick Cheney, and all their quislings, aides, and abettors (even media personalities), former military analysts and military commanders, etc. All who were in cahoots. Bring the usual suspects in, them all. Take two, three, four years to investigate thoroughly. Have subpoena power and the entire supreme authority of the law. America and the world deserve no less. Patrick Fitzgerald, the current United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, a man of impeccable credentials, would be a good candidate for the job. Former US Attorney David Iglesias would also fit the bill. A conservative Republican and born-again Christian who's always put the law above politics would be another good choice. Pick any conservative attorney, so long as he or she has a record of putting the law of the nation above and beyond anything else, especially partisan politics, and send him or her to work with a team of competent lawyers. Get to the bottom of it. "Did those guys lie in the lead up to the Iraq War?" is the question America and the world wants to know.
If the next administration and Congress do not want to appoint a Special Prosecutor, then the next step is to try Mr. Bush in an American court for the murder of thousands and thousands of people -- murder, sheer and simple murder. Vincent Bugliosi supports this approach. After all, the chances to see a Special Prosecutor appointed by Congress or the next administration are slim, and the chances of seeing Bush confronted with impeachment proceedings are nill. However, any state, district, or county attorney can file civil and criminal charges against a man accused of murder. Again, a murder charge has no statute of limitations. It can be done next year or in ten years. There are ample resources of fine lawyers who over the ages have put the law before politics. Hopefully, one or more will come to the fore. Crime should not be left unpunished, whatever the status of the criminal.
Maybe none of the above will take place. Maybe, as so often if not always, the Citadel will hold tight. Maybe no noble legal soul will dare confront the powerful with the power of the law. Maybe apathy will carry on for another generation. Maybe... But, meanwhile, those of us who keep fighting for a more just world will be comforted by the fact that these individuals, from Mr. Bush all the way down the chain, will find it increasingly difficult to travel abroad where they will constantly face the possibility of being arraigned and prosecuted for international humanitarian crimes. Mr. Rumsfeld had to be whisked out of Paris, France, as he faced certain arraignment. George Monbiot recently attempted a citizen's arrest of John Bolton after he gave a speech in Wales. Mr. Kissinger is all too careful about traveling to Europe. So will be Mr. Powell, Ms. Rice, Mr. Bush & Co. Like Chilean Augusto Pinochet, they will become the world's pariahs, to our shame.
Those of us who strive for a more perfect Union will rejoice whenever justice -- whichever road it takes -- makes us proud to be Americans again.