July 11-13: At Netroots Nation

The Hidden History of Guns and the 2nd Amendment Book Tour Is Coming...

  • Thursday, June 6: NEW YORK, NY 7:30pm

Location: The Strand (2nd floor), 828 Broadway, NYC

  • Monday, June 10: WASHINGTON, DC 6:30pm

Location: Busboys and Poets, 450 K St NW, Washington, DC

  • Wednesday, June 12: PORTLAND, OR 7:30pm

Location: Powell’s, 1005 W Burnside St., Portland

  • Sunday, June 23: SEATTLE, WA 7:30pm

Location: Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave, Seattle (West Entrance) w/Elliott Bay Book Company

  • Tuesday, June 25: SAN FRANCISCO, CA 7:00pm

Location: First Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley w/The Booksmith

  • Friday, June 28: CHICAGO, IL 7:00pm

Location: Frugal Muse, 7511 Lemont Rd. #146 (Chestnut Court Shopping Center), Darien

  • Saturday, June 29: MINNEAPOLIS, MN 7:00pm

Location: Common Good Books, 38 S. Snelling Ave, St. Paul

  • Friday, July 12: Philadelphia, PA 4:15pm - At Netroots Nation
Location: PA Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA

Become a Thom Supporter- Click the Patreon button

The Republicans are trying to keep George W. Bush out of jail. So far, the media and the Democrats haven't done much to stop them.

Published on Thursday, September 21, 2006 by CommonDreams.org

The Republicans are trying to keep George W. Bush out of jail. So far, the media and the Democrats haven't done much to stop them.

On the surface, it seems the Republicans are having a debate about "wiretapping terrorists" and "harsh interrogation of prisoners." These frames about the current "rebellion" by McCain, Graham, Warner, et al, are today embraced by both the Republican Party and the mainstream media.

But the real issue is whether Republicans in Congress will trade the principles of democracy and the rule of law to keep George W. Bush and several of his colleagues out of jail, or whether they'll uphold the rule of law and American democracy while abandoning him to face the consequences of his illegal acts.

On June 29, 2006, in the Hamdan Case, the US Supreme Court ruled that Donald Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration had violated the Geneva Convention and other international treaties with regard to the treatment and prosecution of detainees in the so-called "war on terror."

The logic of the decision could subject Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, and Rumsfeld - along with those down the chain of command who followed their orders - to prosecution as war criminals both in the United States and internationally. If they violated Common Article 3 and others of the Geneva Conventions, they could be subject to lengthy imprisonment in the US for violating US laws, as well as being brought before the United Nation's International Court of Justice at The Hague, the same as Slobodan Milosevic.

A hastily convened conference call by the Justice Department to discuss the ruling caused Brian Roehrkasse at the Department of Justice Public Affairs Office to comment to those on the call that "the Supreme Court's holding indicates the military commissions, as currently constituted by DOD, while robust in affording enemy combatants more process than this or any other country has ever afforded enemy combatants, are not consistent with current congressional statutes, especially the UCMJ and treaty provisions, Common Article 3."

A plain English translation would be close to: "The Supreme Court said we've broken US law, we've broken the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and we've broken the Geneva Conventions' Common Article 3."

About six weeks later, on August 17, 2006, Federal Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled in Detroit that George W. Bush and his administration had committed numerous felonies with regard to wiretapping American citizens without a legal warrant, including violating the FISA act (which carries a 5-year prison term as the penalty for each violation) and violating the Constitution (which carries impeachment as its penalty). Later in the day, the Department of Homeland Security facilitated the arrest in Thailand of John Mark Karr for killing JonBenet Ramsey, sweeping the story off the front page and out of the weekend news analysis shows, but the ruling is still there.

Thus the Republicans are scrambling.

If either of these precedents carry forward or are seriously prosecuted - as could happen if Democrats take either the House or the Senate and gain the power to investigate crimes of the Bush Administration, or could simply happen as the normal course of events if lawyers in the Justice Department and the United Nations enforce the law - Republicans are faced with the very real possibility that George W. Bush and others in his administration could go to prison. Impeachment is a virtual given.

Thus the spin. And the compromises. And the debates within the Republican Party. And the corporate media's efforts to limit the discussion to the "wiretapping debate" and the "prisoner interrogation/torture debate."

Scratch the veneer off, though, and you quickly see that this is really about keeping George out of jail.

This one will be interesting to watch.

Will the Republicans bail George out the way Osama's half-brother, Salem Bin Laden (who soon thereafter died in a plane crash in Texas), did when Dubya's Harken Oil Company was going bust? Will they keep him from being prosecuted the way his father did when Poppy shut down an SEC investigation of Junior's inside trading? Will they keep him out of federal custody the way his daddy did when Dubya left the Texas Air National Guard to desert the military and go on a year-long drinking binge in Alabama?

And will the Democratic Party seize the frame - or use as an October Surprise - the fact of George W. Bush's vulnerability to criminal prosecution?

Or will the Republicans - and maybe even Poppy Bush (who's spending an eerie amount of time with his new surrogate son, Bill Clinton) - simply decide that after sixty years it's finally time for George to fend for himself, and leave our laws intact?

It could, after all, be the best way for a "maverick" Republican like McCain to reclaim the Republican party and pin all the blame for five years of High Crimes And Misdemeanors on Dubya, paving the way for a "cleaner" Republican slate in the '08 elections. Many of these same Republicans, remember, were pushing hard for jail time for Bill Clinton for lying to a Grand Jury about having sex in the Oval Office - and were quite vocal about how a president could be both impeached and prosecuted for crimes.

The next few weeks - and the fine print in the "compromises" being hammered out among Republicans in the Senate right now - will tell.

Comments

Add comment

Login or register to post comments

How Do We Take Back the Military From the Billionaire Owned Military Industrial Complex?

Thom plus logo Democrats (Bernie & Lee) in the senate proposed legislation saying what the Constitution already says: that Trump can't go to war with Iran without congressional authorization. Every Republican on the committee, except Rand Paul, voted against it.

Latest Headlines

Who rejected United States-North Korea peace talks?

There were conflicting reports on Sunday regarding a recent proposal for United States-North Korea peace talks which was allegedly made before North Korea"s recent nuclear test

U.K. Pound Falls As Markets Get Brexit Jitters

Bloomberg said on Monday the pound had sustained its biggest fall against the dollar in 11 months

Clinton: I'll defend Israel but push for 'two-state solution

Hillary Clinton believes both Republican candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz "missed the mark" with their approach to the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict
From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann channels the best of the American Founders with voice and pen. His deep attachment to a democratic civil society is just the medicine America needs."
Tom Hayden, author of The Long Sixties and director, Peace and Justice Resource Center.
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."