Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bugliosi: George W. Bush Should be Tried for Mass Murder

It has been my position for years that George W. Bush should be prosecuted for various capital crimes, not the least of which are the deaths following from his wars of naked aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq. [See: US Codes, Title 18, Section 2441] I have urged that a Federal Grand jury bring indictments against George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condo Rice, Don Rumsfeld and numerous other co-conspirators, accomplices and accessories-after-the fact. Now --a heavy hitter, a tough-minded, legendary prosecutor wants to see George W. Bush stand trial for mass murder. Vince Bugliosi is famous for his prosecution of Charles Manson and his ascerbic critique of a Supreme Court decision that made no law --Bush v Gore. He now claims that George W. Bush should stand trial for the crime of mass murder of US citizens.

When George W. Bush said of our "Constitution that it is "... just a Goddamn piece of paper!", he declared himself an outlaw at war with the American people. The Bush administration's culture of fear, hate and contempt for law inspires an epidemic of police lawlessness and thuggery that now terrorizes law-abiding Americans. You can be thrown in jail if 'authorities' merely 'deem' you a 'terrorist'. Under Bush, the high standards found in the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution no longer apply. You don't get to make a phone call. You don't get to call your lawyer. You don't get to call your wife or husband. You don't get visitors. It is a state of treasonous war, a capital crime for which George W. Bush must answer.

The following material consists of Bugliosi's article in blockquotes followed by my comments.
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

by Vincent Bugliosi

There is direct evidence that President George W. Bush did not honorably lead this nation, but deliberately misled it into a war he wanted. Bush and his administration knowingly lied to Congress and to the American public — lies that have cost the lives of more than 4,000 young American soldiers and close to $1 trillion.

A Monumental Lie

In his first nationally televised address on the Iraqi crisis on October 7, 2002, six days after receiving the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), a classified CIA report, President Bush told millions of Americans the exact opposite of what the CIA was telling him -a monumental lie to the nation and the world.

On the evening of October 7, 2002, the very latest CIA intelligence was that Hussein was not an imminent threat to the US This same information was delivered to the Bush administration as early as October 1, 2002, in the NIE, including input from the CIA and 15 other US intelligence agencies. In addition, CIA director George Tenet briefed Bush in the Oval Office on the morning of October 7th.

According to the October 1, 2002 NIE, “Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW [chemical and biological warfare] against the United States, fearing that exposure of Iraqi involvement would provide Washington a stronger case for making war.” The report concluded that Hussein was not planning to use any weapons of mass destruction; further, Hussein would only use weapons of mass destruction he was believed to have if he were first attacked, that is, he would only use them in self-defense.

Preparing its declassified version of the NIE for Congress, which became known as the White Paper, the Bush administration edited the classified NIE document in ways that significantly changed its inference and meaning, making the threat seem imminent and ominous.

In the original NIE report, members of the US intelligence community vigorously disagreed with the CIA’s bloated and inaccurate conclusions. All such opposing commentary was eliminated from the declassified White Paper prepared for Congress and the American people.

The Manning Memo

On January 31, 2003, Bush met in the Oval Office with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In a memo summarizing the meeting discussion, Blair’s chief foreign policy advisor David Manning wrote that Bush and Blair expressed their doubts that any chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons would ever be found in Iraq, and that there was tension between Bush and Blair over finding some justification for the war that would be acceptable to other nations. Bush was so worried about the failure of the UN inspectors to find hard evidence against Hussein that he talked about three possible ways, Manning wrote, to “provoke a confrontation” with Hussein. One way, Bush said, was to fly “U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, [falsely] painted in UN colors. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach” of UN resolutions and that would justify war. Bush was calculating to create a war, not prevent one.

Denying Blix’s Findings

Hans Blix, the United Nation’s chief weapons inspector in Iraq, in his March 7, 2003, address to the UN Security Council, said that as of that date, less than 3 weeks before Bush invaded Iraq, that Iraq had capitulated to all demands for professional, no-notice weapons inspections all over Iraq and agreed to increased aerial surveillance by the US over the “no-fly” zones. Iraq had directed the UN inspectors to sites where illicit weapons had been destroyed and had begun to demolish its Al Samoud 2 missiles, as requested by the UN. Blix added that “no evidence of proscribed activities have so far been found” by his inspectors and “no underground facilities for chemical or biological production or storage were found so far.” He said that for his inspectors to absolutely confirm that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) “will not take years, nor weeks, but months.”

Mohamed El Baradei, the chief UN nuclear inspector in Iraq and director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the UN Security Council that, “we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapon program in Iraq.”

The UN inspectors were making substantial progress and Hussein was giving them unlimited access. Why was Bush in such an incredible rush to go to war?

Hussein Disarms, so Bush … Goes to War

When it became clear that the whole purpose of Bush’s prewar campaign — to get Hussein to disarm — was being (or already had been) met, Bush and his people came up with a demand they had never once made before — that Hussein resign and leave Iraq. On March 17, 2003, Bush said in a speech to the nation that, “Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict.” Military conflict — the lives of thousands of young Americans on the line — because Bush trumped up a new line in the sand?

The Niger Allegation

One of the most notorious instances of the Bush administration using thoroughly discredited information to frighten the American public was the 16 words in Bush’s January 28, 2003 State of the Union speech: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” The Niger allegation was false, and the Bush administration knew it was false.

Joseph C. Wilson IV, the former ambassador to Iraq, was sent to Niger by the CIA in February 2002 to investigate a supposed memo that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake (a form of lightly processed ore) to Iraq by Niger in the late 1990s. Wilson reported back to the CIA that it was “highly doubtful” such a transaction had ever taken place.

On March 7, 2003, Mohamed El Baradei told the UN Security Council that “based on thorough analysis” his agency concluded that the “documents which formed the basis for the report of recent uranium transactions between Iraq and Niger are in fact not authentic.” Indeed, author Craig Unger uncovered at least 14 instances prior to the 2003 State of the Union address in which analysts at the CIA, the State Department, or other government agencies that had examined the Niger documents “raised serious doubts about their legitimacy — only to be rebuffed by Bush administration officials who wanted to use them.”

On October 5 and 6, 2002, the CIA sent memos to the National Security Council, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and to the White House Situation Room stating that the Niger information was no good.

On January 24, 2003, four days before the president’s State of the Union address, the CIA’s National Intelligence Council, which oversees all federal agencies that deal with intelligence, sent a memo to the White House stating that “the Niger story is baseless and should be laid to rest.”

The 9/11 Lie

The Bush administration put undue pressure on US intelligence agencies to provide it with conclusions that would help them in their quest for war. Bush’s former counterterrorism chief, Richard Clarke, said that on September 12, 2001, one day after 9/11, “The President in a very intimidating way left us — me and my staff — with the clear indication that he wanted us to come back with the word that there was an Iraqi hand behind 9/11.”

Bush said on October 7, 2002, “We know that Iraq and the Al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy — the United States of America. We know that Iraq and Al Qaeda have had high level contacts that go back a decade,” and that “Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gasses.” Of Hussein, he said on November 1, 2002, “We know he’s got ties with Al Qaeda.”

Even after Bush admitted on September 17, 2003, that he had “no evidence” that Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11, he audaciously continued, in the months and years that followed, to clearly suggest, without stating it outright, that Hussein was involved in 9/11.

On March 20, 2006, Bush said, “I was very careful never to say that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack on America.”

Vincent Bugliosi received his law degree in 1964. In his career at the L.A. County District Attorney’s office, he successfully prosecuted 105 out of 106 felony jury trials, including 21 murder convictions without a single loss. His most famous trial, the Charles Manson case, became the basis of his classic, Helter Skelter, the biggest selling true-crime book in publishing history. The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder is available May 27.

For more information visit
When Bush said that the "Constitution is just a Goddamned piece of paper", he aligned himself with Hitler, Mussolini, Mao --"state absolutists", fascists, and/or radical communists. Bush declared war on the American people, our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Democracy and freedom. The peace, therefore, is already broken and, by Bush's declaration, a state of war exists between Bush and the sovereign people of the United States.

Criminals and traitors have seized power illegitimately and operate outside the law i.e, the Constitution so hated by Bush. So far, this gang of crooks have had nothing to fear from the impeachment process though there is probable cause to try Bush himself for capital crimes. As Bush jokes about remaining in power past his term, Americans as well as Iraqis are brutalized without charges, trial or representation. Under Bush, jackbooted thugs may not bother accusing you of a crime. They need only 'define' you as a terrorist. [See: Police Atrocities Define the Bush Police State]

Bush's "War on Terror" is as fraudulent as is the official 911 conspiracy theory which justifies it. It is as untruthful as the uncountable lies told to the United Nations and the world about Iraq. Benazir Bhutto spoke the truth shortly before her death: if US foreign policy does not support world wide terrorism directly, it is, at least, the very cause of it! It is a charge supported by official FBI statistics, published originally by the Brookings Institution. The proposition that terrorism is the inevitable result of imperial aggressions explains Bush's incompetent economic policies as well as America's fascist tilt. That terrorism is always worse under GOP regimes is a demonstrable, statistical fact and for daring to publish it, I was attacked by the right wing Heritage Foundation. My rebuttal remains unanswered.

The CIA creates terrorism two ways by indulging it as a tactic and by inspiring it with US imperial excesses. The legacy of Blackwater USA, an international terrorist organization, will have inspired generations of "terrorists" resorting to a tactic against which top down fascist regimes are impotent. Bush has failed to make us safe. He has, rather, made the world a much, much more dangerous place. And for this --we have given up the cornerstone of American freedom.

Bush has abrogated or violated every provision of the US Bill of Rights, arguably the most important document standing between you and tyranny! [See: Bush's War on the Bill of Rights] Next, an increasingly desperate Bush administration will try to crack down on the internet, among the dwindling sources of truth in a new age of Orwellian suppression!

Bush has put himself above the rule of law even as he denies you the benefit and the protections that are yours under the law! There is a name for this --dictatorship!

A Roper Poll of October 1999 indicated that the American people supported the International Criminal Court by a margin of 66% to only 29% opposed. While public support for the court has not 'translated' into US national policy, the Bush administration worked overtly to subvert the ICC and place 'themselves' above international, universal prohibitions against aggressive war and torture! Bushco anticipated problems with international laws long before 911 and, therefore, sought to place themselves beyond prosecution or justice. A bill sponsored by then House Speaker Tom Delay authorized Bush to order a military attack on the Hague should Americans find themselves on trial for war crimes. Only a crooked regime would plan in advance to subvert only those international laws that made their plans a capital crime.

That record of deceit itself is probable cause to indict George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumself, Colin Powell and others in his administration in connection with a 'false flag' attack --911! Bush's order that forensic evidence related to the crime of 911 be destroyed is 'probable cause' to indict Bush for 'obstruction of justice' or worse ---mass murder! Only those guilty of crimes work overtly to cover them up.

Bush's disregard of American or world opinion is matched by his utter contempt for the the US Constitution, indeed, the very rule of law. The Constitution --he screamed, impatiently --is "just a Goddamned piece of paper!" Clearly --Bush had planned to trash the Constitution even before 911.

Iraq, of course, had nothing whatsoever to do with 911 and Saddam Hussein, like Manuel Noreiga, had been a CIA puppet. While Saddam never had WMD, his independent will was, in Bush's opinion, a cause to invade, begin the construction of permanent bases, and the permanent theft of Iraqi resources.

At Abu Ghraib, Bush would find a test of his ability to place the US above international laws designed to prevent, or, at least, punish the those who perpetrate atrocities. To this end, Bush employed the dubious talents of Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo, toadies who would tell Bush what he wanted to hear, that is, that he was above the international laws that were, in fact, designed to prevent the very crimes Bush had in mind.

Is the Bush administration a failed presidency? No! Bush will leave office having enriched his base by trashing the Constitution. That's all he ever cared about. He will leave office hated by the American people whose lives he ruined and by the people of Iraq whose lives he snuffed with a smirk.

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Twilight of American Empire

by Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy

The fall of the American empire resembles that of Rome in several areas but primarily --military and economic. The economies of the US and Rome ultimately depended on conquest. To this end, the US was sold to the Military/Industrial complex for whom 'conquest' is both an addictive drug and a life's blood. By the time the Roman Empire was sold at auction to one Didius Julianus, Rome's currency had already collapsed, as the dollar is likewise endangered. The smart money had already dumped sestercius for Greek Drachmas and the sale of the empire was concluded in Greek currency --not Roman.

Today, the currency of choice is neither the US dollar nor the Euro. It's oil and because Iran would prefer to sell oil for Euros, nations wishing to buy oil must exchange their dollars for Euros. Iran is threatened because it possesses a precious resource no longer produced economically in the US --oil! Rome was likewise impoverished. The sestercius was essentially worthless. It doesn't require an economics degree to conclude that Rome invaded Dacia for its gold and that the US will attack Iran for its oil.

Lacking oil, lacking a currency of choice, the American empire is finished! Just like Rome!
The US made of the Military/Industrial complex a cornerstone of its economy as Rome had done. War apparently never paid its own way; Rome compelled its people to 'render unto Caeser' beyond the ability of most to do so. Poverty increased with higher prices. Many farmers fled Rome's tax collector; others lost their farms whilst away on wars of conquest. Dispossessed farmers had no choice but to help swell the population of poor in Rome's teaming ghettos --one of which birthed the Great Fire in Nero's reign.

In his Decline and Fall of the American Empire, Gore Vidal called the Pentagon an "economic black hole". Indeed, a study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research makes the convincing case that military spending depresses the economy.
  • After an initial demand stimulus, the effect of increased military spending turns negative around the sixth year. After 10 years of higher defense spending, there would be 464,000 fewer jobs than in the baseline scenario with lower defense spending.
  • Inflation and interest rates are considerably higher. After 5 years, the interest rate on 10-Year Treasury notes is projected to be 0.7 percentage points higher than in the baseline scenario. After 10 years, the gap would rise to 0.9 percentage points.
  • Higher interest rates lead to reduced demand in the interest-sensitive sectors of the economy. After 5 years, annual car and truck sales are projected to go down by 192,200 in the high military spending scenario. After 10 years, the drop is projected to be 323,300 and after 20 years annual sales are projected to be down 731,400.

  • Construction and manufacturing are the sectors that are projected to experience the largest shares of the job loss.-- Center for Economic and Policy Research: The Economic Impact of the Iraq War and Higher Military Spending
Military spending is not the only blood sucker loosed on the American economy. At a time when China stocks the shelves at Wal-Mart, Japan supplies the cars and electronic 'play pretties', and oil is pumped almost everywhere but in the US, the business of government is the nation's only business and business thus owns and runs the government. There is a word for this: fascism. 'Criminal Justice' is not just an oxymoron, it is among the biggest businesses in Texas, for example. The same would have been true of Rome in its decline.
  • As many as 64 million Americans have arrest records, many of which never resulted in conviction. That means that about 27% of the nation's adult population have a criminal record. (Source:
  • In 2004, nearly 7 million Americans (3% of adult population) were under some form of correctional supervision: 2.2 million incarcerated in state and federal prisons and local jails; 4.1 million on probation; and 700,000 on parole. (Source: US Department of Justice) 4/23/08 UPDATE: Inmate Count in US Dwarfs Other Nations'
America likes to boast: "We're Number One!" I always ask: "in what?"

America by the numbers

  • The United States is 49th in the world in literacy (the New York Times, Dec. 12, 2004).
  • The United States ranked 28th out of 40 countries in mathematical literacy (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).
  • Twenty percent of Americans think the sun orbits the earth. Seventeen percent believe the earth revolves around the sun once a day (The Week, Jan. 7, 2005).
  • "The International Adult Literacy Survey...tound that Americans with less than nine years of education 'score worse than virtually all of the other countries'" (Jeremy Rifkin's superbly documented book The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream, p.78).
  • Our workers are so ignorant and lack so many basic skills that American businesses spend $30 billion a year on remedial training (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004). No wonder they relocate elsewhere!
  • "The European Union leads the U.S. in...the number of science and engineering graduates; public research and development (R&D) expenditures; and new capital raised" (The European Dream, p.70).
  • "Europe surpassed the United States in the mid-1990s as the largest producer of scientific literature" (The European Dream, p.70).
  • Nevertheless, Congress cut funds to the National Science Foundation. The agency will issue 1,000 fewer research grants this year (NYT, Dec. 21, 2004).
  • Foreign applications to U.S. grad schools declined 28 percent last year. Foreign student enrollment on all levels fell for the first time in three decades, but increased greatly in Europe and China. Last year Chinese grad-school graduates in the U.S. dropped 56 percent, Indians 51 percent, South Koreans 28 percent (NYT, Dec. 21, 2004). We're not the place to be anymore.
  • The World Health Organization "ranked the countries of the world in terms of overall health performance, and the U.S. [was]...37th." In the fairness of health care, we're 54th. "The irony is that the United States spends more per capita for health care than any other nation in the world" (The European Dream, pp.79-80). Pay more, get lots, lots less.
  • "The U.S. and South Africa are the only two developed countries in the world that do not provide health care for all their citizens" (The European Dream, p.80). Excuse me, but since when is South Africa a "developed" country? Anyway, that's the company we're keeping.
  • - by Michael Ventura
There is a palpable sense of despair throughout the "land of the free" as it becomes clear that Bush still insists upon imposing a dictatorship. In the end, Rome became irrelevant as America is rapidly becoming today. The legions, for example, were efficient killing machines and the work of its engineers can still be found from England to the Middle East. It hardly mattered anymore. Few continued to believe in the Roman ideal.

Today, the US espouses peace, prosperity and Democracy as it breaks the peace, confiscates oil, and imposes a fascist and imperial rule. Yet no one outside the US believes in the 'American' ideal and, inside the US, those 'ideals' were disdainfully repudiated by a would-be emperor who said of the only document that made of them law: "The Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper!" The entire world sees Bush for the fraud he is! Why is he still supported in the nation that he has betrayed?
In wars, there is always a difference between the motives of the soldiers and the motives of the political leaders who send them into battle. My motive, like that of so many, was innocent of imperial ambition. It was to help defeat fascism and create a more decent world, free of aggression, militarism, and racism.
The motive of the US establishment, understood by the aerial gunner I knew, was of a different nature. It was described early in 1941 by Henry Luce, multi-millionaire owner of Time, Life, and Fortune magazines, as the coming of "The American Century." The time had arrived, he said, for the United States "to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit, and by such means as we see fit."
--Howard Zinn, Empire or Humanity? What the Classroom Didn't Teach Me About the American Empire
This response, Zinn argues, is counter-productive. As this blog has pointed out: terrorism is always worse during GOP regimes. Zinn characterizes American foreign policy in a phrase: "an old way of thinking!". Zinn is right to term it a 'destructive script' repeated at Wounded Knee, the invasion of Cuba, Hawaii, the Philippines, and Central American nations such as El Salvador and Nicaragua. According to the US State Department, the US intervened militarily 103 times in foreign countries between 1798 and 1895. Zinn also connects "internal" imperialism with the "external" variety in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In Iraq, in Afghanistan, and at home, the position of the globe's "sole superpower" is visibly fraying. The country that was once proclaimed an "empire lite" has proven increasingly light-headed. The country once hailed as a power greater than that of imperial Rome or imperial Britain, a dominating force beyond anything ever seen on the planet, now can't seem to make a move in its own interest that isn't a disaster. The Iraq government's recent offensive in Basra is but the latest example with -- we can be sure -- more to come. ... It's called A People's History of American Empire. It's a gem and it's being published today.
--Tomgram: Howard Zinn, The End of Empire?
The Emperor Valens, as I have mentioned too often on this blog, could not even raise an army. Nor can the US which recruits among those who cannot find work in the waste-land economy Ronald Reagan left behind. The real 'dirty work' is outsourced to mercenaries --just like Rome! Rome's defeat at Adrianople was, in fact, a battle fought between 'free barbarians' and 'mercenary' barbarians paid by Rome.

It is ironic that many writers cite the rise of Christianity as a major reason for the fall of Rome. Certainly --many found it impossible to render unto Caesar and unto God and it is equally clear that cultism was rampant throughout the latter empire. The 'Christians' were just one of many strange cults and still are. All of them were symptomatic of needs not met by empire. And nothing has changed. A subtle argument --and one that I have toyed with --is that Rome did not fall; it was, rather, supplanted from within and survives still in the form of the Roman Catholic Church. If the many who see this as a conflict between 'Christianity' and 'Islam' are correct, then, clearly, Bush has taken the bait. The radical fundamentalists who celebrated Bush as a new Richard Coeur de Lion may be in for the shock of several centuries. No one can predict what might arise from the ashes of the short-lived 'American empire'.

Gore Vidal dates the end of the American empire to a time during the Reagan administration when the US became a net debtor nation. It has been since! If that is true, then, clearly, the American empire must have begun in two acts of needless savagery which equal or surpass even the genocide of the Native American, and that is, the dropping of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The lives of some 200,000 civilians were taken in a flash because imperial Washington wanted to make a point!

But what point? The surrender terms offered before the nukes were dropped are verbatim those signed later on the Battleship Arizona. For what noble principle were the lives of some 200,000 civilians sacrificed?
Leo Szilard, a Hungarian-born scientist who played a major role in the development of the atomic bomb, argued against its use. "Japan was essentially defeated," he said, and "it would be wrong to attack its cities with atomic bombs as if atomic bombs were simply another military weapon." In a 1960 magazine article, Szilard wrote: "If the Germans had dropped atomic bombs on cities instead of us, we would have defined the dropping of atomic bombs on cities as a war crime, and we would have sentenced the Germans who were guilty of this crime to death at Nuremberg and hanged them."
--Mark Weber, Was Hiroshima Necessary?
It's never too late to do the right thing!