Bugliosi piercingly requires that we not turn away: "Are there no consequences for committing a crime of colossal proportions?"
I went to see Vincent Bugliosi speak before a crowd stuffed to the sweltering brim of a church fellowship hall in Venice, California, last night. I couldn't help but cry with communal relief, standing at the back of the hall amid the bicyclists and babies. Coming home, I slept better than I have in years. The reason: hope. Not the kind of quasi-soundbite hope of Obama "I'll cave on FISA, I'll cave on Iran" speak, but the real and actual action-based hope that we will be able to yank our country out of the hands of criminals.
Bugliosi's book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, is more important than all of Obama's speeches put together. But we haven't heard Bugliosi interviewed on any mainstream media. Why?
Bugliosi explained last night the difficulty in getting a publisher for this book. Normally, publishers open their arms to the famed inimitable prosecutor. This time, he had to fly to New York for one-on-one meetings. Despite the fact that this book would sell, publishers were afraid -- of what? of whom? Bugliosi had to get the BBC to record the audio book -- no company in the U.S. would agree to do it.
Intimidation of free speech comes in many forms, not only in censorship, not only via a Salman Rushdie-esque fatwa.
What is "too-hot" is the truth, the plain truth we must face, absorb and stomach without convulsing. Once faced, the truth leads to its own required action, and its own consequence.
Bugliosi's book lays out the case and establishes jurisdiction for prosecuting George W. Bush not simply for fraud and conspiracy, but in a criminal court for murder. The evidentiary investigation can begin today. The trial can begin the day Bush leaves office.
Bush's bringing the country to war on fraud, on false pretenses is provable. Bush knew that the evidence he presented to the people and to Congress was a lie. He knew that taking the country to war would result in casualties -- at bare minimum more than 100,000 people have died a horrible violent death. Our dead soldiers, most killed by roadside bombs, come back in caskets in pieces. The families are warned not to open the caskets as the contents are "unviewable." By some counts, more than a million people have been killed.
George W. Bush is clearly, undeniably responsible for these deaths -- by the same joint-responsibility rule of conspiracy that convicted Charles Manson. To me, Bush exudes numbing cold-bloodedness every time he opens his mouth. War is not a game. As Bugliosi piercingly requires us to answer, "Are there no consequences for committing a crime of colossal proportions?"
The potential defense argument of self defense won't wash under scrutiny. Bush knew without a shadow of a doubt that Saddam Hussein was no imminent threat. He is recorded in a meeting asking how they could "provoke a confrontation" with Hussein. No human worried for the welfare of his country due to a direct imminent threat would want to provoke said imminent threat into a conflict. George W. Bush asked how to do just that. As Bugliosi says, "Bush was calculating to create a war, not prevent one."
The consequences follow from the law if Bush is convicted: life in prison or the death penalty. Since Bush so proudly exhibits his "tough on crime" swagger -- in his two terms as Texas governor, as Bugliosi points out, he signed death warrants for an unfathomable 152 out of 153 executions against convicted murderers, most of whom killed only one single person -- I would think Bush should be the last one to argue for leniency.
And yes, the whole cabal could be tried, if they were found to be participants with criminal intent. The whole lot.
Bugliosi said the least he could do was to plant forever in Bush's mind this fact: that from this moment forward, Bush will know that one day, perhaps soon -- perhaps when he's playing golf -- an aide may tap on his shoulder and say "Mr. President, you're on trial for murder in Fargo, North Dakota, on Monday and we fly out tomorrow."
On that notion rests the glorious hope that we will hold accountable the people who have wantonly killed over 100,000 people, decimated an entire country, abused our soldiers and scuttled our economy.
The real political story here is the powerful grassroots stamina and determination to see this through. As Arianna Huffington has said, positions that a few years ago were considered the left fringe are now the mainstream sentiments of the American people. Here again, the people are ahead of the media, ahead of the Congress. We are snapping up this book all over the country by word of mouth alone. With the exception of the valiant Democracy Now and C-Span, which covered last night's event, there is a desert of coverage about a meticulously researched case that surely ranks at the very top of the scale for "change." Bugliosi said last night that he'd been told it was now #12 on the NY Times Bestsellers List.
Hear this, mainstream media: we are ready to put the people in jail who have committed these high crimes. Hear this, Congress: this may mean you. We are ready to reassert the laws whose spirit has been absorbed into our consciousness. We are ready to follow through. The primary idea that no human is above the law has grown strong enough roots that this tree won't come down. The many chainsaws hacking away at it will fail.
Winston Churchill once said, "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened." We've been a nation agape, hurrying off. No more. We stare it in the bald face. The truth now leads to action. There must be consequence.
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