Vincent Bugliosi talks about prosecuting George Bush and his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.
S&R: You wrote, “I strongly believe without absolutely knowing that this man has no respect or love for this country.” And, “I don’t know about you, but if I ever killed just one person, even accidentally, like in a car accident, I’d never have another perfect day as long as I live.” Now many of us think those thoughts. But we’re either too afraid, or too politically correct, to put them into words. What makes you willing and able to say those things?
VB: I did the same thing with my book, The Betrayal of America. [about the 2000 Supreme Court decision to end the recounting of presidential votes in Florida]. All your legal scholars around the country were saying that the Supreme Court â€“- the five justices [who voted to end the recount] â€“- had done something just absolutely terrible. And that was that they caused people to lose respect for the court.
I said “What? You can steal a presidential election and all that happens is you lose respect?” That’s like telling Timothy McVeigh, “Tim, don’t worry, we’re not going to hurt you. We’re not goanna prosecute you. But, you know, Tim, we don’t like you. You’re a terrible person.” So I wrote [an article in 2001 titled] “None Dare Call It Treason” for the Nation, in which I said these five were among the biggest criminals in American history.
But I’m a member of the bar and members of the bar don’t do that. Gerry Spence said, “It’s just not done.” I was calling them criminals. But I sent a copy of the article by registered mail to each justice to make sure they got it. So I’ve done this before.
You’re asking me where I get the courage to do this. People are always asking me, “How do you put this stuff in print?” Look, I’m not a courageous guy — I’m motivated solely by anger. To me, the country is going down the tubes. I want to bring about justice. I don’t think about courage.
I wouldn’t do this, believe me, if I weren’t so incredibly angry. I don’t like to see anyone get away with murder, even one murder. O.J. Simpson got away with two murders and I was so angry I wrote Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O.J. Simpson Got Away with Murder. People then were saying, “He was just found not guilty. How can you accuse him of murder on the cover of a book?”
“Fine,” I said. “Let him sue me for libel. I’d love to cross-examine him.” He didn’t do anything to me.
S&R: Most who’ve spent years in the legal system grow jaded and cynical. Yet you’ve been able to maintain a sense of outrage and injustice.
VB: I think of these kids coming back in a box and their parents — maybe it’s the only child they have. They’re advised by the Department of Defense not to look in the box because the contents are unviewable. Sometimes it’s just limbs coming back, parts of the body.
And this rotten, no good S.O.B. is dancing and having fun and joking. How dare he? I didn’t say “how dare he” before the House Judiciary Committee because they told me I couldn’t accuse Bush of a crime or any type of dishonorable conduct. But I’m saying it to you: How dare he? Quote me on that.
Bush can’t be permitted to get away with this. I use the figure 100,000 Iraqi dead in my book. But that’s a very conservative estimate. The number could be in excess of a million. I don’t want him to get away with a million murders.
I worked on it, but I couldn’t establish jurisdiction against him for the Iraqi citizens. But I spent many hours establishing jurisdiction to prosecute him for American soldiers dying.
S&R: You lay out the whole process for any lawyer contemplating this. First you do this, then you do that. It doesn’t seem that hard.
VB: No question about it. This can happen. I think I made an important point when I talked in front of Congress. If we want to become the great nation we once were, because I don’t see this as a great nation anymore â€“- you can quote me on that — the first step we have to take is to bring those responsible for the war on Iraq to justice. [Emphasis added.] I think that would enhance our image around the world.
S&R: If we fail to prosecute him, what adverse effects would it have on the country and our image abroad?
VB: Well, probably not that much because most people are not even thinking about this. They’re not thinking Bush should be prosecuted and if he’s not we’re a weak country. The vast majority of Americans don’t even know this book is out there because I’ve been blacked out.
I’ll tell you where it would have an effect though — with subsequent presidents. People argue: “Mr. Bugliosi, you can’t do this because it would inhibit future presidents.” Here’s my response: “If there’s another monstrous individual like Bush who’s thinking about doing what did, we do want to inhibit him.”
If you’re a president who’s not a criminal, you have nothing to worry about. Who’d even bring a murder charge against someone under normal circumstances? Where would the evidence be? It’s extremely important we do this to help ensure that it never happens again.
S&R: The public is a little queasy about this sort of thing. In a sense, we elect a president to make the big decisions about life and death. War-time killing is on his conscience to spare ours.
VB: I’ve been on the radio all over the country. I can tell you that the average American who hasn’t read my book thinks that the whole idea of prosecuting a president is crazy. “That’s just absurd,” they say.
I ask them, “Have you read the book?” And a hundred percent of the time they say no. I’ve yet to hear from someone who’s read this book who think it’s crazy. They may not agree with me but they don’t think there’s anything crazy about this book.
But those who haven’t read the book think it’s preposterous. I had an attorney general call me on the phone. He said he heard I had a book out about impeachment.
“It’s not about impeachment,” I said. “It’s about murder.” And the first words out of his mouth were, “Under what law?”
Now you have to realize the attorney general is the chief legal officer in the state. He’s also the chief law enforcement office in the state. Under what law? Under the law that’s already on the book in all 50 states. There’s no statue that says it excludes certain people, like a president.
But people are not thinking in those terms. They think that the president is somehow above the law. So, not prosecuting Bush would certainly have an effect on some people, just not the majority of Americans.
But it could have a tremendous effect on our image around the world and a deterrent effect on subsequent presidents. And I think it would make the nation feel good about itself actually. But if it doesn’t happen, this is something that very few people pay attention to.
For more on Bush & Co.’s crimes, see. . .
The 935 lies of George Bush (and friends) by Martin Bosworth
Mission accomplished, part deux by Dr. Slammy
Bush golfing again, says “long nat’l nightmare” over by Brad Jacobson
Categories: Arts/Literature, War/Security, World
â€œMr. Bugliosi, you canâ€™t do this because it would inhibit future presidents.â€ Hereâ€™s my response: â€œIf thereâ€™s another monstrous individual like Bush whoâ€™s thinking about doing what did, we do want to inhibit him.â€
Bingo. My gut feeling is that the Dems have been loathe to challenge Bush not because they are afraid of him, but because they hope to gain his office and all the new found powers that go with it.
Sen Clinton answered a debate question concerning her “no” vote on the Levin amendment to the AUMF in Iraq with a philosophical answer about not constraining the powers of the President.
America needs more angry people…that so few of us have been deeply angered by the behaviors of the last 7.5 years is what makes me most angry. I can no longer point the brunt of my anger at Bush, because what he’s done is apparently just fine with the majority of Americans (including our representatives).
Agreed. Ford should have been removed from office and prosecuted for pardoning Nixon. There needs to be a precedent set showing that the president is not above the law and that there are consequences for treason.
Thank you for the interview, Russ. This is a fascinating series.
I am done with Presidents and other morons being the boss of me. I will be moving to the Metagovernment as soon as they get their software ready.
You’re welcome, Fikshun.
See you in the Metagovernment, Tory.