Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Should Bush administration officials go to jail?

Mark Anderson has been waxing angrily lyrical about the need for the misdeeds of the Bush administration to be punished through criminal prosecutions. He agrees with Paul Krugman in the NYT that Obama has no power or mandate to wipe that particular slate clean.
"Therefore, regardless of the Obama political calculations, we should be resolved, as we have in past similar situations (Iran Contra, Watergate) to put these crimininals to trial. There are so many crimes, it seems almost impossible to list them; I certainly won’t try to here, but will leave it to experts in each department and field to do so...

Here is a simple question: who is responsible for nearly a million civilian deaths in a faked war? There was never, ever a need for an Iraq war; and that statement will stand the test of history. Given its truth, we should not be talking about the few thousand GI deaths as the cost of the war, but should recognize that the United States, without cause or any particular aggression on Iraq’s part, and without any proven concern for its own safety, did cause the deaths of between 600,000 and 1,000,000 civilians in that country.

Let’s see now, is Dick Cheney ready to stand up and pay for this? Exactly how, Mr. Cheney, are you planning on doing that?

One million civilian dead.

And then we have the increasingly-correct pattern I have discovered about the entire Bush administration: it was about nothing smaller or larger than regular old Texan self-dealing. If you are familiar with Texas political history, self-dealing is kind of like getting up in the morning. But, for the rest of us in the Union, self-dealing is unethical and often illegal.

The story of the Bush administration will fall into prosecutorial parts, all of them very large, and all of them worth the effort of pursuit and conviction:

1. Killling of Innocent Civilians. With no cause, and based upon lies and deception, the Bush administration invented a war which led directly to the deaths of about 1 million civilians...

2. Self-dealing. Richard Clarke noted your map showing an Iraq already divided between oil companies nine months before you declared war...

3. Perverting the Justice Department, and Justice, itself. Others have written eloquently about this; it was, generally, mirrored in the EPA, and in other government agencies...

We need to be clear: when you intentionally, flagrantly, break the law, we will come after you. Even if you are or were an elected official.

That is the most well-loved aspect of America, and it is the part of America we most want to keep.

So, Mssr. Obama, please don’t discuss this publicly at any greater length. If I wanted you to be the person who decided whether the law mattered or not, I would have voted for you as the Decider, instead of as the President."

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