What to Do with G.W. Bush?

Exclusive: A major bipartisan study confirms that George W. Bush’s administration tortured detainees behind of a facade of legal excuses. The report recommends truth-telling and reforms. But the failure to hold Bush and his advisers accountable invites a replay of their criminal acts, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Now that a bipartisan blue-ribbon panel has reached the conclusion that President George W. Bush and his top advisers bear “ultimate responsibility” for authorizing torture in violation of domestic and international law, the question becomes what should the American people and their government do.

The logical answer would seem to be: prosecute Bush and his cronies (or turn them over to an international tribunal if the U.S. legal system can’t do the job). After all, everyone, including President Barack Obama and possibly even Bush himself, would agree with the principle that “no man is above the law.”

Former President George W. Bush.

At least that is what they profess in public, but they then apply this principle selectively, proving that they don’t really mean it at all. The real-world standard seems to be: you are above the law if you have the political or economic clout to make prosecution difficult or painful. Then, more flexible rules apply.

For instance, we’re told that Pvt. Bradley Manning may have had good intentions in exposing U.S. government wrongdoing to WikiLeaks, but he still must be punished for taking the law into his own hands. The only question seems to be whether he should be imprisoned for 20 years or life.

Even the U.S. soldiers at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison who imitated the abusive techniques that Bush and his advisers authorized in more limited situations had to face justice. Eleven were convicted at court martial, and two enlisted personnel Charles Graner and Lynndie England were sentenced to ten and three years in prison, respectively. A few higher-level officers had their military careers derailed.

But the buck pretty much stopped there. It surely didn’t extend up to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, Vice President Dick Cheney and President Bush. They simply engaged in a game of circular excuse-making, claiming that they had relied on Justice Department legal guidance and thus their own criminal actions really weren’t criminal at all.

Yet, along with its judgments about torture, the 577-page report from the Constitution Project obliterated that line of defense by detailing how the Bush administration’s lawyers offered up “acrobatic” legal opinions to justify the brutal interrogations, which included waterboarding, sleep deprivation, stress position, forced nudity and other acts constituting torture.

Lawyers from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, particularly John Yoo and Jay Bybee, collaborated closely with senior administration officials in choreographing these legal gymnastics. Then, when other government lawyers later challenged the Yoo-Bybee rationalizations, those lawyers faced career reprisals from the White House. They were essentially forced out of government, the report found.

In other words, Bush’s team had arranged its own legal opinions that empowered the President do whatever he wanted. Indeed, the Yoo-Bybee legal opinions gave the President carte blanche by citing his supposed “plenary powers,” meaning that he could do literally anything he wished during “wartime,” even a war as nebulously defined as the “war on terror.”

Establishment Blessing

While the new torture report mostly covers old ground about how the Bush administration moved into the “dark side,” the report’s primary significance is that its 11-member panel represents a bipartisan mix of Establishment figures.

The task force was headed by two former members of Congress who have worked in the Executive Branch James R. Jones, D-Oklahoma, an ex-ambassador to Mexico, and Asa Hutchinson, R-Arkansas, who served as an under-secretary of Homeland Security during the Bush administration. Other members were prominent Americans from the fields of military, academia, law, ethics and diplomacy including former FBI Director William Sessions and longtime senior diplomat Thomas Pickering.

The report didn’t mince words in its principal conclusions: “Perhaps the most important or notable finding of this panel is that it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture. This finding, offered without reservation, is not based on any impressionistic approach to the issue.

“Instead, this conclusion is grounded in a thorough and detailed examination of what constitutes torture in many contexts, notably historical and legal [including] instances in which the United States has leveled the charge of torture against other governments. The United States may not declare a nation guilty of engaging in torture and then exempt itself from being so labeled for similar if not identical conduct.”

The report also noted that the behavior of the Bush administration deviated from the most honorable traditions of U.S. history, dating back to the Revolutionary War and General George Washington’s instructions to his troops not to respond to British cruelty in kind but to treat prisoners of war humanely.

In contrast to those traditions, after the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration approved specific techniques of torture while formulating legal rationalizations for these violations of law. Never before, the report found, had there been “the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody.”

Beyond the illegality and immorality of torture, the report found “no firm or persuasive evidence” that the harsh interrogations extracted information that could not have been obtained by legal means. The report also challenged the legality of “enforced disappearances,” renditions and secret detentions.

No Accountability

Yet, the panel demanded no meaningful accountability from Bush and his top aides, as former Ambassador Pickering made clear in a Washington Post op-ed on Friday.

In underscoring the report’s findings, Pickering lamented how the Bush administration’s use of torture had imperiled efforts to persuade other countries not to resort to cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners. “Democracy and torture cannot peacefully coexist in the same body politic,” Pickering wrote.

He proposed several steps “to mitigate the damage and set this country on a better course.” This list included finally confronting the harsh truth about torture; releasing relevant evidence that the Obama administration is still keeping secret; enacting new legislation to close “loopholes” that were exploited to justify torture; and insisting on verifiable protections of prisoners transferred to other countries (rather than relying on “diplomatic assurances”).

However, neither the report nor Pickering’s op-ed addressed the significant point that laws against torture and mistreatment of prisoners already existed and that Bush and his team simply had ignored or evaded them. If Bush and Yoo could concoct an excuse giving the President the “plenary” power to do whatever he wants in wartime, why couldn’t some future President and legal adviser do the same?

What good does it do to tighten “loopholes” if a President and his aides can flout the law and escape accountability? The only rational (and legal) response to Bush’s use of torture is to arrest him and his key advisers and put them on trial.

Yet, in this case, the rational and legal remedy is considered unthinkable. If President Obama’s Justice Department were to move against Bush and other ex-officials, the Washington Establishment from the Republican Party to the mainstream news media to much of the Democratic Party would react in apoplexy and outrage.

There would be fears about Washington’s intense partisanship growing even worse. There would be warnings about the terrible precedent being set that could mean that each time the White House changes hands the new administration would then “go after” the former occupants. There would howls about the United States taking on the appearance of a “banana republic.”

However, there also are profound dangers for a democratic Republic when it doesn’t hold public officials accountable for serious crimes, like torture and aggressive war. Indeed, one could argue that such a country is no longer a democratic Republic, if one person can operate with complete impunity amid declarations of “plenary powers” which is what the Bush administration claimed in its memos justifying torture.

The report from the Constitution Project can declare that torture is incompatible with democracy, but it is equally true that if the President can torture anyone he chooses and then walk away free to attend baseball games, celebrate his presidential library and pose for the cover of “Parade” magazine then you are not living in a real democracy.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

64 comments for “What to Do with G.W. Bush?

  1. Steve Hill
    April 25, 2013 at 11:49

    The U.S. has never been a “democracy.” It is a republic. Nit-picky? Maybe, but there is a difference. Regardless; our elected officials, including Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, are SUPPOSED to be upholding the Constitution, which obviously, they did not in allowing/ordering torture. Yet, today here in Texas, Mr. Bush’s reign is being celebrated by the opening of his Presidential Library at Southern Methodist University. Mr. Obama will be attending, and the farcical illusion that we are living in a democracy continues, aided and abetted by the mainstream media and both major parties.

  2. TheAZCowBoy
    April 24, 2013 at 03:14

    Hey schmucks don’t ask for codes on commentaries when you have no place for a code – OK?

  3. Rider3
    April 23, 2013 at 16:03

    What to do with W? This is easy, especially after reading the new book HUBRIS. Lock him and his cronies up. They took the country to war on lie upon lie, and the CIA backed him up, even ignoring their own experts and research. I read this book with my jaw dropped. You think it was bad? You’ll find it was worse than you think. They are war criminals and should be treated that way. Oh, and put Karl Rove in there, too. He got off scott-free but is as guilty as all of them.

  4. ORAXX
    April 23, 2013 at 11:52

    Our failure to bring Bush and Cheney to justice is the thing I think of every time I hear a flag waver proudly proclaim this is the greatest country on earth. No we aren’t.

  5. Mark Thomason
    April 23, 2013 at 01:13

    Turn them over to the Iraqis. That is where the crime was committed.

    The Iraqis could do with them exactly what they did with Saddam. Fitting.

  6. Marilyn Frith
    April 22, 2013 at 18:21

    Rank has its privileges, people. When is the last time you saw a millionaire face capital punishment for his/her crimes? We find, even in modern times, the practice of divine rights for aristocrats…just under different names– i.e., elites.

  7. RichardB
    April 22, 2013 at 17:24

    It is a disgrace to our country that our own war criminals have been exempted from legal actions which could be brought against them. Mr Bush and his camp followers brought our country to near ruin by their outrageous carryings-on; yet we go along as though nothing had happened. A reminder here: we were not at war with any nation during Mr Bush’s tenure. In fact, we invaded another country thus violating its sovereignty. And we let Mr Bush et al. get away with this.

  8. Otto Schiff
    April 22, 2013 at 14:29

    So far as I know the US does not participate in the world court
    in the Hague. A good starting point would be to change that.

  9. AuntTootzToldMe
    April 22, 2013 at 14:02

    It would be easy to “Orkinize” the entire genealogy of the Bush clan and be done with them, but the most pressing problem is GW Bunnypants and his Administratice puppets… rendition them to the Iraqi rebels and let them take care of the “problem” children!

  10. Governor Cartman
    April 22, 2013 at 11:43

    He could always go hunting with Dick.

  11. Jim Christmas
    April 22, 2013 at 11:25

    We should have sat the detainees down with tea and biscuits and had a nice civil talk with them. It’s the least we could do, SINCE THEY COULD BE TIED TO THE PEOPLE WHO FLEW PLANES INTO THE FUCKING WORLD TRADE CENTER! You fucking ingrates.

  12. neoconned
    April 22, 2013 at 11:19

    How about we have George complete his missed TANG assignments – in Afghanistan?

  13. Someone
    April 22, 2013 at 11:00

    Americans, you must realize that the country has been in an EMERGENCY STATE since 9-11. Look it up. Every year the president signs an order that invokes EMERGENCY POWERS.

    What does it mean?

    On 9-11, for the FIRST TIME, the CONTINUITY OF GOVERNMENT plans were put in place. Those plans were conocted during the cold war, in face of an all-out nuclear threat. Dick Cheney went to an “undisclosed location” in the aftermath of 9-11. A lot of officials were scurried to undisclosed locations. On September 14th Bush officially invoked the emergency powers WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN REPEALED. You wonder why were they able to pull off two wars and this insanely aggressive and immoral detention/kidnapping and torture scheme? That’s because they invoked special powers, related to the Continuity of Government.

    Those powers put a lot of new possibilities of action solely on the hands of the President. There’s no Congressional oversight. The orders come from the President and they are perfectly legal. Nowadays, the drone strikes have gone a little bit more public, and what did the Congress find? They can’t even SEE the legal basis of what the President is doing! That’s because a secret parallel state emerged on 9-11 – the Continuity of Government state. Cheney and Rumsfeld were involved in making these plans back in the 80’s. These plans showed up on the Iran-Contra hearings and they couldn’t even talk about them. Peter DeFazio brought them up on the House. There are clips on YouTube. You don’t even need to believe me, you can research about this by yourself.

  14. william
    April 22, 2013 at 10:42

    its to bad you could not get a real man in the white house and put the little tyrant on trial.He went after the wrong guy because he wanted to kill saddam for daddy not go after osahama who really was the guy

  15. Ken O.
    April 22, 2013 at 10:21

    I’m more concerned that we have an illegal president in place who’s sole goal seems to be the destruction of this once great country.

    Keep your eyes on current events, people.

  16. John
    April 22, 2013 at 09:38

    Well said Bob. I completely agree.

  17. toto hanthala
    April 22, 2013 at 09:21

    crime? court!

  18. Bob
    April 22, 2013 at 07:58

    You people are a joke! This so called report is B.S. You can spin it any way you want, but when you’re dealing with the scumbags from the middle east, torture is the only thing that works. Thank goodness this country isn’t run by the kind of morons that have posted these ridiculous comments about Bush being a war criminal. We are safer because we are tough on these criminals, although we could be tougher. Maybe we should saw their heads off and drag their bodies through the streets like they do to westerners. Oh, but you don’t mind it when they do that to us do you? You people are sick.

    • stoobie
      April 22, 2013 at 08:55

      Hey Bob,
      You are a murderer, baby-raping apologist.
      The lied and spent 2TN of our money to enrich their
      corporate buddies. KBR=32BN in no bid contracts?
      Did you know Al-q wasn’t even in Iraq til we invaded?
      It is documented our policies create more Ter-or-pukes than ANYTHING.

      You are a piece of crap for helping, even an iota with your response, these murderous lying sacks of shit.
      In fact, in my mind, you are one of them…

      Of to the Hauge with you and your war-crimes buddies you looser.

  19. Paco
    April 22, 2013 at 07:52

    They say a fish rots from the head.

    Over recent decades, this nation seems to have forgotten to enforce laws when they are inconvenient. We’ve even neglected to enforce our own constitution.

    What has become of our laws against torture? But for that matter what has happened to enforcement of any laws that regulate banks?

    How about our tax laws? Can we say those are enforced fairly? What about the Sherman Anti-trust act? Has that been pulled out of moth-balls in recent years? It’s still on the books, but sadly not enforced.

    And what about the First Amendment? Yes we hear a lot of excited voices about the Second Amendment (and some very questionable interpretations of it), but what about the guarantee of the right of assembly? How does that square with the introduction of “free-speech zones” and with the head-bashing and pepper spray that is so common when OWS or some other group actually tries to assemble and demand a redress of their grievances?

    These are but a few examples and anyone who has been paying attention will find it easy to add to it. We just seem to have forgotten about the rule of law here in the United States and somehow we need to revive it.

  20. Joe Dern
    April 22, 2013 at 07:24

    Sounds like a solid plan to me dude.


  21. karl orndorff
    April 22, 2013 at 06:41

    We impeach a president for having sex.
    We allow a president to walk free for crimes against humanity.
    What is America thinking?

    • Paco
      April 22, 2013 at 09:41

      Thinking may not be this country’s strong suit.

    • Frances in California
      April 22, 2013 at 19:10

      America is not thinking, karl; America has a ring thru its nose.

  22. mich
    April 22, 2013 at 02:39

    The fatal problem with modern democracy is that it is not participative but representative. It is actually impossible to have democracy in a modern state. They are just too big.

    In ancient Athenian democracy the leaders, the equivalents of the president, the chief judge and the military chief, were elected not by ballot, but by lot. And the Congress was a meeting of the whole adult, male, non-slave, population of the state. Everyone who was anyone.

    That worked. This doesn’t. This is vicious, of its essence.

    Far better government would be provided by a hereditary leader like Bashar al-Assad, secular, fair, with the sense that his duty is to the safety and integrity of the state. At times, when necessary, harsh and ruthless, but thereby ensuring that safety and integrity.

    In such a state everyone is left in peace to pursue their lives. It’s only the politically ambitious, who want power themselves, who don’t like it, and who are destroyed by it. Or destroy it, along with the peace and safety of the whole population.

    Not only that, but such a head of state is largely (not always totally) immune to the lobbyists for the giant corporations. He genuinely rules for the people.

    If you look in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations you will see quotes from the laws regulating commercial activity centuries before his time, perhaps from the time of King Richard the Third, and you will see that they are exactly the same in spirit and in tone as the equivalent laws today. Democracy? What do we get for it?

    The idea of modern democracy, however it started, was quickly taken over by lawyers who became the “political class”. It has nothing to do with the people. Elections convey legitimacy, but it’s certainly not “of the people, for the people”.

    Under Saddam Hussein, Irak was a safe and economically advanced country. Yes, there were exceptions. Yes, he treated the Kurds just like the Turkish government did. But that was on account of their political activity. There have been recent remarks about how advanced Irak’s health system was, medical treatment was more accessible under Saddam than in the United States under Dubya, until the United States destroyed it, destroyed the Iraki system.

  23. Carolyn Caffrey
    April 22, 2013 at 01:15

    We’ve got precedent for going after Presidents…on far less important charges than this. “Rule of Law” only when it’s expedient for those in power,is no rule of law at all. Either we fight like hell and make democracy a reality, or we can watch our further descent into servitude. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

  24. Otto Schiff
    April 22, 2013 at 00:07

    I have read all of the previous comments and I agree with all of them. Let us figure out how to prosecute these law breakers.

  25. Carroll Johnson
    April 21, 2013 at 21:53

    If we can’t prosecute them for ordering tortue why don’t we recognize that this stupid “war on terrorists” must end? Let us declare the war on terror is over. You know,”Mission accomplished!”.

    • Chris Jonsson
      April 21, 2013 at 22:34

      Yes Carroll,Mission accomplished, we’re dead.

  26. Chris Jonsson
    April 21, 2013 at 20:44

    Prosecute the Bush/Cheney mob or we are in for much worse. No more Bushes. All have been criminals with no punishment. People whose lives have been ruined and the people who care about them have to demand restitution. Classified information enables criminals. Open the records so we can deal with what was done in our name. Then we can face the music and rebuild our democracy.
    Free Bradley Manning, Don Siegelman, Julian Assange, and the legitimate whistleblowers who deserve our praise, not punishment.

  27. F. G. Sanford
    April 21, 2013 at 20:07

    As much as I sympathize with the author of the article and most of the comments, I have resigned myself to the notion that what we are witnessing in America can only be understood by looking at an alternative economic model. Forget about all the gurus like von Mises, Hayek, Marx, Weber, Keynes Krugmann or anybody else you can name. Forget about demand theory, game theory, organization theory and any other theory. Buy yourself a copy of Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family by Nicholas Pileggi. It’s the story of Henry Hill, a mob operator, and it explains how to “bust out” a business establishment through extortion. This book outlines on a microeconomic scale what corporate interests are currently conducting against Americans on a macroeconomic scale. Despite 4,600 workplace fatalities a year, 30,000 firearms tragedies a year, 40,000 highway deaths a year, millions unemployed or living in poverty and potential financial collapse, we’re all focused on the proportionally insignificant events in Boston. Note that martial law was in essence declared and imposed without a whine or a wimper. It would probably be a good idea to read up on Carl Schmitt, the Nazi jurist who somehow evaded Nuremberg with a wink and a nod. His juridical opinions were referenced by some of the “distinguished” members of the legal teams that gave us the Patriot Act, NDAA, HR 347, the torture memos and the drone policy. Everybody wants to see the administration’s legal basis for drone warfare. Well, folks, look up Carl Schmitt and read up on “The State of Exception”. It’s all right there. While all eyes were on Boston, the legislation intended to gut Social Security and Medicaid was sent to Congress. Nobody complained. It looks like CISPA ‘lite’ is likely to pass as well. Unless a remarkably ebullient mass movement erupts very shortly, the game is over. The threat of “terrorism” at mass gatherings, now patrolled by militarized surveillance, has just nipped public protest in the bud. There were more helicopters over Boston than there were over Saigon during the fall. We can only watch the Reichstag burn so many times before we’re faced with the “Enabling Act”. But you know what? The most democratic society in the history of civilization welcomed that act with cheers and applause. I’m afraid we’re no different. We’re being “busted out”, and there seems to be no collective awareness whatsoever. None of this matters, and our next President will likely be Rand or Hillary. In a sane world, it would be Neal DeGrasse Tyson or Dennis Kucinich.

    • Chris Jonsson
      April 21, 2013 at 20:32

      What you say s reasonable and probable. I hope you are wrong.

    • markscolucci
      April 22, 2013 at 01:20

      great comment! right on the money so to speak.

      • Littlebit
        April 25, 2013 at 11:55

        Agree fully but, doubt anything will happen with since, most are blind to real aspects of what our ultra rich are able to get away with in this country. Yes, Bush & Cheney are in that category.

        So, true how Boston situation took over anything else that happened in the world or else where in the USA. In Texas many more were killed but, coverage was slim and really do not know if it was accident or intentionally. Have a weird long name and will make coverage above all. Unbelievable. In Seattle a guy killed 5 just for the hell of it. Heard nothing except on line. ETC ,.,.,.

        Great Read on Article

    • guitarbuddy
      April 22, 2013 at 10:14

      Thanks for your post. I’ve not read Nicholas Pileggi’s book, but there are plenty of other accounts that have been saying this for some time. Another example would be the explosion in West, TX, which was far more deadly than the ones in Boston yet has received very little media coverage. The tin foil hat me says this is because getting to the meat of that incident – greed by by a company and not following safety rules that are already in place – is not a topic the PTB want to have discussed. Muslims with funny names from a place few in the US have heard of, with possible ties to Al Qaeda, now there’s a story!

      • Frances in California
        April 22, 2013 at 19:09

        ‘Ever noticed how, when you want to talk about 9-11 NO ONE so much as thinks about the Pakistani ISI?

  28. Bill Stapleton
    April 21, 2013 at 18:36

    I sent this email question to the White House last week. I am waiting for a reply!
    “As a new American citizen of Democratic leanings, who loves what the American constitution says, and the ideals on which this country was founded, I want to know when President Obama is going to abandon political expediency (with his ‘Looking forward’ stance) and prosecute the leaders, i.e., Bush and Cheney, for the torture identified as such in the recent torture report. He is required to do so by the obligations of the Convention against Torture to which the USA is a signatory. Anything less is worse than shameful.
    I am expecting a woolly political justificatory response to this email which will make me ashamed to be an American. Please prove me wrong.”

    • A. Pseudonym
      April 22, 2013 at 07:23

      Thank you, Bill.

  29. Glenn Cole
    April 21, 2013 at 17:43

    Has any media reported this? Sorry folks nothing to see here. MSM will not report on this. They will and report more infotainment for the masses.

  30. A. Pseudonym
    April 21, 2013 at 17:22

    As we all know, contrary to the opinions of the Wa$hington E$tabli$hment, not prosecuting war criminals is much more dangerous for the country than prosecuting them.

  31. Bruce
    April 21, 2013 at 17:17

    To Hague with him and his halfascist cabal.

  32. TrishJ
    April 21, 2013 at 17:04

    Lyndon Johnson set a terrible precedent when he allowed Nixon to get away with committing treason by interfering with the peace talks that would have ended the Vietnam War. This was not just political shenanigans, it cost thousands of lives by prolonging the war for another four years. The rationale that it would have been bad for the country for the truth to come out was specious. Allowing Nixon to be elected was far worse for the country. It exposed the U.S. to Nixon’s lack of integrity and began the erosion of the moral fiber of this country.

    Ronald Reagan continued that moral erosion; first with his pre-election delay of the release of the Iran hostages (aided and abetted by George Bush) and then by his obvious involvement in the Iran-Contra guns/drugs scandal. No one with half a brain could actually believe that Reagan was not involved in this scandal despite the masterful cover-up job that was done to keep him clear of it.

    It is ironic that everyone was in such a tizzy about Bill Clinton’s sexual misbehavior but just closed their eyes to Reagan’s actions which were far more serious. Clinton had the morals of an alley cat but his behavior primarily hurt himself and his family. Reagan’s behavior damaged the entire country and put his political welfare before the welfare of American citizens. And it has allowed Reagan’s supporters to build him into a mythological “Great President” instead of holding him responsible for his illegal actions. More shredding of our country’s moral fiber!

    Then came George W. Bush and his cronies who not only acted illegally, but did so publicly. Proving once again that moral decay is a step by step process that becomes easier as it goes along. How can some claim this to be a Christian country and condone what they did by refusing to hold them accountable. Don’t people realize that when we know what they did, know it is wrong, and refuse to call them to account, we become by our lack of action, complicit in what they did?

    This is not better for our country! It is not better for our people! How is it possible that people do not see that this is the slippery slope we need to be worried about. It is far more serious and detrimental to us and our country than the slippery slopes they rail about such as gun control.

    • Dennis Brasky
      April 21, 2013 at 17:19

      I agree with the sentiments regarding the actions of Nixon, Reagan, and W Bush and how they serve as a precedent. Include Obama’s drone murders, kill-lists, and violation of the War Powers Act regarding military action against Libya.

      As was said, the Conventions Against Torture is US law. It obliges the US government to investigate and prosecute known torturers. Refusing to do so with the pathetic excuse of “looking forward and not backward” is a violation of this law, making Obama impeachable.

    • John Smith
      April 22, 2013 at 06:57

      Johnson could not possibly have outed Nixon, because in doing so he would have had to reveal that they were illegally wiretapping the South Vietnamese embassy as well as using the NSA to intercept phone calls to Vietnam. A large can of worms, to say the least.

  33. Morton Kurzweil
    April 21, 2013 at 16:34

    Who will prosecute? The Party which kept the neocoms in office?
    Who will Judge? The Supreme Court which approved fixed election of G. W. Bush?
    Or will the Democratic Party that sat mute while the Banks and the hedge funds manipulated the economy since the Reagan era when Big Business and profit became new morality?

  34. Donald Eckhardt
    April 21, 2013 at 15:43

    We are appalled by the murder, maiming and mayhem wreaked by the Tsarnaev brothers. Bush did worse.

    • Pelu
      April 22, 2013 at 13:17

      …and Obama’s drones…

  35. rosemerry
    April 21, 2013 at 14:59

    The Report is a good thing to have public, like the revelations by Bradley Manning and others. Of course there is not one law for all, and the USA certainly is far from a democracy. The fact that lobbies and corporations decide who will be worth electing, and the laws make conditions worse and worse for the 99% and the natural environment year by year, means that the USA really is close to a police state for all but the rich and influential few.

  36. Dana S. Scott
    April 21, 2013 at 14:53

    How can Dubya sleep at night? And he spends his days painting dogs! Not only is the history of torture totally appalling, but the deaths in the Middle East — including so many of our young military — and the unimaginable waste of money and the destruction of cities and the environment seem to mean nothing to him. Once a puppet of international business always a puppet, I guess.

    • lindsay
      April 22, 2013 at 09:30

      AND. Blowback from his crime is visited upon the innocent. always.

  37. News Nag
    April 21, 2013 at 14:45

    I agree with Redpilled’s comment, except that I’m not so certain that Cheney and Bush and their far-flung gang of hapless war criminals won’t ever have to answer for their abuses and atrocities. Life is strange. South African apartheid was switched out. It’s a crime to be a nazi in Germany. The American Confederacy enslaves mostly its own minds these days. Christianity still oppresses other religions and ideologies instead of facing lions barehanded. Pinochet became a ghost well before he died in 2006. History seems to speed up at times. Maybe an extended trip to The Hague will someday wipe that happy smirk off Public Infancy #1 one of these years, even if his visit begins accidentally enough as an unplanned landing for engine repair at Gran Canaria airport.

  38. John Opperman
    April 21, 2013 at 14:38

    There was a time we held the worst to some kind of minimal standard. Now we promote them and or award second terms.

    April 21, 2013 at 14:26

    We are NOT living in a real democracy, and have not been for more than 100 years, as expanding its Empire has become the way of every U.S. government since at least the genocide against indigenous people on this continent.

    The members of the Bush administration are war criminals who should be tried, convicted, and imprisoned for life. Obomber, for refusing to prosecute the Bush administration torturers, as required by the U.N. Convention Against Torture, and, therefore, part of his oath of office, should be impeached.

    The fact that none of these legal actions will ever take place says all we need to know about the false “democracy” we pretend we live in.

    • Brian
      April 21, 2013 at 15:38

      I agree, well said.

      • Fred
        April 24, 2013 at 06:40

        Supposing Bush’s actions were legalized by the Justice, would it be much better if Obama could make a past President’s actions illegal and then prosecute him? What if Obama’s successor made the drone program in Pakistan illegal? If the guy preceding you can kill you, then democracy probably won’t work as well.

    • neoconned
      April 21, 2013 at 16:53

      I concur that the entire Bush staff be shipped to The Hague for war crimes trials. That the US tried German and Japanese officers for such crimes, yet commits them themselves with lots of justifying excuses, only points out that those tried in 1945 and later were correct in calling their trials victor’s justice.

      • Roger Easson
        April 21, 2013 at 23:49

        I agree. They must be held accountable. Ask them to turn themselves into the Hague voluntarily. If they do not do so willingly, sanctions should be applied until they do. A commission of attorneys should be convened to come up with such sanctions that are legal and binding. Between these sanctions and public shaming in the media the members of the Bush administration should soon volunteer to stand for judgment.

    • Deveb
      April 22, 2013 at 06:40

      All of you yahoos are missing the fact that Clinton and Obama are called out for war crimes in this report as well.

      Do you think for a second that Obama isn’t doing the same thing Bush did? He has carried over almost every single policy of Bush. Just because he is a democrat and you voted for him doesn’t clear him. He is just as nasty, just as deceitful, just as inhuman as Bush.

      • lindsay
        April 22, 2013 at 09:27

        I know “nasty”, deceitful”, and “inhumane” are hard to quantify; but, I think Bush et al are in a class by themselves. Clinton and Obama surely gave in to their darker, ambitious natures in order perhaps to retain personal power inside a corrupt system. Bush is a narcissistic adolescent.
        I believe Clinton and Obama have some kind of “vision” for a common good somewhere inside them..

      • lindsay
        April 22, 2013 at 09:27


      • Rob Moitoza
        April 22, 2013 at 15:21

        Great. Then hold them ALL accountable. Why should there be partisanship over this?

    • Knuckledragger
      April 23, 2013 at 19:05

      I’d be more than happy to execute the entire lot of war criminals for free. One to the head, two to the chest for all of them! And Bill O’Crybaby is a free-be. I’d kil that pile of steaming dog shit with my bare hands.

    • kathleen gersch
      April 24, 2013 at 12:00

      bush,cheney… elected twice…

      • FoonTheElder
        April 26, 2013 at 16:19

        bush, cheney. Elected by Supreme Court. Re-elected by fraud.

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