Indicting George Bush for War Crimes

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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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Indicting George Bush for War Crimes

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This writer is convinced that our former President, George W. Bush, committed war crimes.  Specifically, the President authorized torture by water boarding and other means of interrogation – in violation of the Geneva Convention.  Our country is a country of law.  Situational justifying the breaking of law is a common defense in the lower courts.  It does not work there – and it should not work for the President.  But our life is more complicated in 2009.

Situational justification is allowed and permissible, even necessary, in sentencing – in deciding the punishment for crimes committed.  For instance, a man steals a loaf of bread because his family is starving.  He is guilty of stealing.  But the punishment should be moderated by the situation – that is only just and reasonable.

Former President George W. Bush has the same rights as any other suspect in a crime.  The Justice Department has the duty to investigate any accusation of crimes committed.  The Justice Department, like any local Prosecutor’s office, has the responsibility of determining if a crime has been committed, and if so, what charges should be filed.  President Bush has a right to a trial, judged by a panel of his peers – the jury.  It might be hard to find 12 ex-Presidents to serve on that jury – but I believe we could find twelve reasonable and fair people.  If found guilty of War Crimes, the circumstances should be considered in handing down any punishment.

People talk anecdotally about this.  We hear people talking around the water cooler.  They are normal and reasonable American folks.  They say things such as, “If President Bush ordered torture to prevent another attack on our country; if President Bush committed War Crimes to protect us – then we commend him.”  This is exactly the reason our system of justice does not allow family members of murdered victims to sit on the jury.  But the situation must be considered when handing down the sentence.

Again, this is 2009.  We live in a complex world.  President Barack Obama is working hard to change the culture of Washington politics.  That change includes the perennial sniping of one political party by another.  Americans have grown very weary of the destructive politics.  So any investigation of President Bush, a Republican, by a Democratic administration would draw accusations of worn out politics.  The pettiness of politics would cloud any legitimate investigation.  Would an investigation of Bush give the Republicans a rallying point?

I believe that an investigation should be conducted, as would be the case in any local prosecutor jurisdiction.  The prosecutor is expected to use good judgment in filing criminal charges against anyone.  So we have a delicate situation with former President Bush.

Here are the questions:

  • Should an investigation be conducted?
  • If crimes are deemed to have been committed, should charges be filed?
  • Should charges only be filed if clear and indisputable evidence is turned up?
  • If War Crimes are charged and President Bush is convicted, should circumstances of terrorist threats be considered in sentencing?
  • Should the issue be dropped in the interest of focusing on current national problems?
  • If a prosecutor deems a crime is committed, should he consider circumstances before filing a charge – or should he leave the judgment to the jury?

Our country is facing huge problems, economically and in foreign policy.  Dropping any investigation of the former administration weighs heavily, and has consequences any way you go.  By not investigating – would we essentially be condoning any acts of a President?  Would this set a dangerous precedent?  If we investigate and charge the former President – will we distract our lawmakers, the Congress, from the very important issues facing our great nation?

We live in complex times.  But complex or not – we have to pursue justice.  This is the foundation of our country – no one is above the law.

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There Are 8 Responses So Far. »

  1. Yeah, we should forget about all the terrorists attacks on Americans that our leaders have let go with a wrist slap. The beheading and/or public torture of Americans by radical Muslims warrants no consequence or repercussions.
    We will close all of our CIA prisons and just turn loose those who wish us harm, but we will say, please, don’t do it again.
    The latter policy is already gaining steam. We do after all have four Democratic leaders overseeing our foreign policy. Some of them are credible on the subject. And no one argues that George Mitchell isn’t the perfect guy, but I’m still searching for the bipartisan administration our President stated.

  2. OK – lets make this more simple.

    Does a President have the right to violate the law if he thinks his action is in the best interest of the country?

    If not, then how should the President be held accountable for his actions?

  3. We could impeach him, but then as Clinton showed us he would just pardon himself.

  4. […] "Indicting George Bush for War Crimes" Originally published:  22 January 2009 Submitted by:  U.S. Common Sense Summary:  What course of action should the next administration take regarding charges of war crimes against George Bush? […]

  5. If Bush is tried for war crimes…then we must demand the same from every other country that has participated in the same acts. That won’t happen, and he’s out of office….lets keep our eyes on the current administration not the past one.

  6. We cannot demand of others any more than we would allow them to demand of us. My point is this: Is it important to know the truth and is it important that everyone be held accountable for their actions – President or not?

    We have seen people convicted of crimes and been released with no punishment because of circumstances – this could be the case with George Bush – perhaps he committed criminal acts in pursuit of a greater good – is that possible?

    Is there any justification for breaking the rules?

  7. mr. obama you have done muslims great service! now no american or western power can stand up and say that taliban do medieval torture or accuse Islam of having inhumane laws.

    Islamic laws are valid and ordained by Allah and they are only carried out after a series of trails and tests, and did you know that to in case of stoning of adultery there have to be 4 witnesses to testify and if one witness backs out the whole case is called of and if the witness if proved wrong he/she is flogged and they will never be taken as a witness in any case again. similarly if one repents sincerely then the punishment is also called off.

    but here these ppl were not even tried and there are no witnesses yet they are being tortured. mr. bush = mr. hitler

    mr. obama should put the whole admin and cia involved to trial in hague.. because this is an intl crime. and if he fails to do so it just goes to show that slaves can never stand up to masters even in the land of freedom.

  8. In order to restore hope and credibility in present world, America need to judge Cheney, Gonzales, Rumsfeld ….. and their puppet George W. The attack on Iraq was grounded on exactly same reasons like those ones produced by Goebbels for Hitler attack of Poland. Legal arguments for TORTURE were exactly the same like those ones produced to justify criminal activity of SS troops. Real victims of this groundless war were woman and children, hundreds of thousands. Effects for international security were devastating, since Iraq was fighting fundamentalism and terrorism. The only benefit was for HALYBURTON and other robbery companies, who presented their robbery like American national interest
    Therefore Cheney, Rumsfeld and co. including their puppet George W. need to be processed on some king of Nuremberg trials. Only after such purification, America can restore her reputation.

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