Monday, July 02, 2007

Grand Jury: "Can We Indict Bush & Cheney?"

The answer is: Yes! A recently expired grand jury raised the question. It might have indicted but for a few details. Think of it. Bushman and Dickster might have been looking at hard jail time, impeachment, the possibility of war crimes trials.

My recent article --How the People May Bring Criminal Charges Against Bush --urged citizens to petition a judge to empanel a grand jury. My article pointed out that the people themselves may petition a court to convene a grand jury to investigate Bush's corrupt administration. Such a panel would have the power of the subpoena and the indictment. The legal standard for bringing an indictment against Bush or Cheney is "probable cause".

Since writing the article and while researching existing literature, I learned that the issue of of indictments against Bush and/or Cheney had, indeed, come up in the proceedings of at least one sitting grand jury.

Praise from a Member of a Recently Expired Grand Jury R. S. Nelson (SF Bay Area)

Shortly after this book [ United States V. George W. Bush et al. ] became available, but before I became aware of it, I asked the federal prosecutor (or "AUSA" for Assistant US Attorney) we were working with at the time whether we could indict Bush & Cheney. As I expected, the question was not answered. Another member of the federal Grand Jury sharply and quickly asked me "Who would write the indictment?" Ms. de la Vega points out in the first paragraph of her Introduction that writing an indictment of Bush & Cheney is not a smart move for an AUSA to make if they wish to remain employed.

Had I known of retired AUSA de la Vega's book, I might have pushed for our Grand Jury to issue our own indictment without the help of the staff of the local US Attorney's office! There just might have been 11 other jurors besides myself who would have voted in favor of such an action... While Bush's Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez would be unlikely to allow prosecution of his fellow Republicans, the issuance of an indictment by a sitting federal Grand Jury would probably garner some interesting news coverage!

...

On some days the start of the Grand Jury session needed to be postponed until a quorum appeared. It was during these interludes of waiting with the AUSA present that questions like "Can we indict Bush & Cheney" could be entertained.

I have long believed that Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell, and Rumsfeld are criminals. Elizabeth de la Vega provides the evidence and legal framework clearly meeting the "Probable Cause" standard to indict these people. They appear to have committed serious crimes against the people of the USA, and should be held to account.
That this route is considered is symptomatic of a state of official lawlessness in Washington and disdain for the rule of law throughout the Bush administration. What can be done when the House of Representatives will not adequately investigate 911 let alone begin impeachment proceedings against George W. Bush?

Here's what can be done: the people can petition a judge to convene a grand jury charged with considering a panoply of criminal charges against George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and Colin Powell.

There is an appalling lack of general understanding about grand juries. An early objection was simply the creation of a "legitimate authority". A judge IS a legitimate authority. A grand jury appointed by a judge IS a legitimate authority. There are only about three ways in which grand juries are convened. A petition to a judge is one of them. The people may petition a judge to convene a grand jury and judges have always had that authority. A grand jury itself has sweeping authority. Some grand juries have been called "run away grand juries". In my previous article, I mentioned that one such panel investigated organized crime in New York and returned numerous indictments against alleged crime bosses. Make no mistake about it. A bona fide grand jury, duly appointed by a judge, could investigate and return indictments against all the crooks inside Bush's corrrupt crime syndicate of an administration.

It was facetiously objected that "..it is a wonderful idea ...of delivering all of our nuclear war fighting elite up to a Grand Jury." Well, we gave that power to Bush!!! I fail to see how a grand jury, if consisted of straw suckin' simpletons, could do any worse!

A grand jury investigating the Bush White House would have sweeping powers to define the scope of its own investigation. It would have the power of the subpoena to back it up. I recommend the following handbook for the would-be activist: Facts About Grand Juries. As for the question of who shall write the indictment, I appeal to readers of this forum. There must surely be someone of the caliber of author Elizabeth De La Vega who could assist a grand jury in the drafting of a comprehensive indictment against Bush and Cheney.

If Alberto Gonzales should try to restrain the scope of such an investigation, my advice would be to investigate Gonzales for possible obstruction of justice. Clearly, Gonzales' primary responsibility has been that of an "enabler" tasked with making legal, after the fact, many crimes that have surely been committed by both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Should anyone doubt that such an indictment could be returned, I recommend de la Vega's book.
Elizabeth De La Vega builds a legal case that President Bush and top members of his administration engaged in a conspiracy to "deceive the American public and Congress into supporting the war." Drawing on her experience as a federal prosecutor, as well as the work of scholars and legal experts, she brings a well-honed legal perspective to the issue. She presents her argument in transcript form as a hypothetical weeklong presentation to a grand jury, including extensive testimony from three fictional investigative agents. Despite her somewhat specialized approach, the author clearly defines the legal terms and issues and avoids jargon.

Elizabeth de la Vega is a former federal prosecutor with twenty years of experience. If anyone could draft an indictment, she can and has done so in her book. Clearly, the defendants --George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and Colin Powell --have committed the crime of taking this nation to war upon a fraud, a pack of malicious lies. The indictment will most certainly charge the defendants with conspiracy to defraud the United States.

The facts of Ms de la Vegas' case are indisputable, the case is real. George W. Bush et al perpetrated a cynical, callous fraud upon the people of the US that resulted in the deaths of some 2,500 American soldiers, over 650,000 Iraqis. The cost of the "war" has surpassed $450 billion dollars as of this writing.

Our founders foresaw problems with a rogue executive and provided the mechanism of impeachment to address the issue. Unfortunately, the Congress seems content to muddle through to the end of this "President's" term. I consider that option to be disastrous. The Constitutional process is already weakened, perhaps beyond the political will to repair it and the people are increasingly demoralized an ongoing war crime in Iraq, beyond description in terms of its human toll and unimaginable in terms its fiscal effects now and in the future. Bluntly, Bush is a rogue "President" of doubtful legitimacy who has shown disdain for the very principle that is summarized in three words: "rule of law". Various statements attributed to him having to do with the Constitution are credible because they are in character. Bush is, in fact, on network video tape declaring "...this would be a whole lot easier if this was a dictatorship...just as long as I'm the dictator." I didn't think it funny.

Let's get on with it. Petition a judge. Empanel a Grand Jury. There is probable cause NOW to bring indictments against both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Should Gonzales not allow it, he had best have sound legal reasons for his position. Else, indict him for obstruction of justice!

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