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by William Hughes
Friday, Sep. 15, 2006 at 1:43 AM
It was appropriate that the “Guilty” verdicts against the Bush-Cheney Gang for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity were announced at “Camp Democracy,” on the National Mall. On Sept. 13, 2006, Ann Wright, an ex-U.S. diplomat, read the “mock” verdicts. She was also one of the five jurists who heard the evidence compiled by the Bush Crimes Commission.
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“The government is, emphatically, and truly, a government of the people...it emanates from them...its powers are granted by them...” Chief Justice John Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court. (1)
Washington, D.C. - At “Camp Democracy,” on the National Mall, on September 13, 2006, a year-long investigation by a citizens’ “Commission of Inquiry” was concluded. It had focused on this key question arising out of the “mock” indictments of the Bush-Cheney Gang earlier this year: Has the current administration committed war crimes and crimes against humanity? Today, the Commission returned its preliminary “mock” verdicts against the defendants. The answer was a resounding - “Guilty!”
The Commission, aka, “The International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration,” had empaneled five jurists, including Retired U.S. Army Reserve Colonel, Ann Wright, a former U.S. diplomat, to take evidence in the matter and to return preliminary verdicts. The “mock” preliminary verdicts were announced at a press conference held at the “Camp Democracy” site. Wright summarized the 51-page report, which can be found online. (2) The scope of the “Commission of Inquiry” into suspected wrongdoings by operatives of this off-the-wall administration went beyond the illegal and immoral Iraqi War, which was launched by the Bush-Cheney Gang based on a pack of serial lies. (3) It also included these four other areas of inquiry: “Torture,” “Global Environment,” “Global Health (AIDS and Reproductive Rights),” and, finally, “Hurricane Katrina.” (2)
Wright resigned her State Department office on March 19, 2003, rather than endorse the U.S. attack on Iraq, which was hatched by warmongering schemers within the Bush-Cheney Gang. She said that the panel of jurists found that the evidence against all of the defendants, on all five indictments, “did rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
Larry Everest, an author, journalist and an organizer of the Commission, spoke first at the press conference. He said: “This is an historic day, when people in this country have taken this kind of moral responsibility and delivered such...defiant and truthful verdicts...This administration needs to be held accountable...” He had indicated earlier in the week “that the release of the Commission’s verdict comes at a moment when war crimes and crimes against humanity are again front-page news. Last week, President George Bush acknowledged his administration's use of torture, rendition, and illegal detention, and argued they should continue. He advocates eviscerating the War Crimes Act to prevent prosecution of his administration. Bush is threatening another illegal war against Iran, and continues to use the attacks of Sept. 11th to justify these criminal actions.”
It is settled law that President George W. Bush and his V.P., Dick Cheney, can only be removed from their offices via an Impeachment process, as set out in Article Two, Section IV of the U.S. Constitution. This can only happen if they are eventually convicted of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” That proceeding would first be initiated in the House of Representatives, via a Bill of Impeachment. If confirmed there by a majority of its members, it would then be forwarded for a full trial by the U.S. Senate, which, too, must confirm its decision by a majority vote. The results of the coming November federal elections may presage whether that path becomes a reality or not. Meanwhile, these “mock” verdicts, sourced by the people, stand as a compelling moral condemnation of the regime. It is the most demented, lawless, contemptible of human life, and egregiously evil government in the history of the Republic. (4)
David Swanson also spoke at the event. He is one of the founders of “Camp Democracy” and of the popular web site, Afterdowningstreet.org. He focused his remarks on the “deliberate lies” of the Bush administration which led to the Iraqi War. Swanson said the “Downing St. Memos” were an “early smoking gun” which revealed the deceptive steps the White House operatives took “to sell the war” to the American people.
On one level, “Camp Democracy” is an ad hoc group of tents, filled with chairs, tables, antiwar pamphlets and volunteers. (5) From another wider perspective, however, it represents a living, breathing reflection of the true meaning of the U.S. Constitution. It is a classic example of the sovereignty of the American people in action. The Rights and Privileges of the people to dissent from government policies and to petition it for a redress of wrongs are deeply rooted in the ancient laws and traditions of the Anglo-American civilizations. They are “core rights” that predate the U.S. Constitution, as is the “transcendental right of the people to alter or abolish their government” whenever they chose to do so. (6)
Everest also had written in a press release: “[Our] investigation included five days of hearings in October, 2005, and January, 2006, in New York City, with 45 experts and firsthand witnesses and well know whistle blowers, including: the former Commander of Abu Ghraib prison brig, Gen. Janis Karpinski; former British Ambassador, Craig Murray; former UN official, Denis Halliday; ex UN Arms Inspector, Scott Ritter; Guantanamo prisoners’ lawyer, Michael Ratner; journalists, Dahr Jamail and Jeremy Scahill; and several [Hurricane] Katrina survivors.”
Everest also explained, that the Commission had, via its Charter, “a broader mission which is to help bring these [criminal] acts [of the Bush administration]to a halt. Specifically, our Charter calls on us to form and to fuel a debate.”
Ray McGovern, a former analyst for 27 years for the CIA, documented the case against the defendants, especially Bush, on the use of illegal torture by his administration. Another speaker, C. Clark Kissinger, a writer and activist, detailed the crimes of commission and omission of the Bush-Cheney Gang, which led to and contributed to the horrific Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Meanwhile, the Commission has also designated Sept. 19-21, 2006, as “National Bush Crimes Days.” It is busy scheduling “speak out” events on college campuses and communities across the country. (7) The “mock” indictments, which preceded the “mock” verdicts, had named beside Bush and Cheney, 12 other individual defendants, and one defendant, “The Bush Administration,” which it cited as a supposed wrongdoer in a “collective” sense. (4)
After the press conference, Wright, McGovern, Everest, Kissinger and Swanson, and others, were scheduled to march over to the White House gate, on Pennsylvania Ave., and present the “mock” preliminary guilty verdicts to an official there. The Bush Crimes Commission welcomes, too, responses from the defendants as to its preliminary Findings and Verdicts and is looking for a vigorous discussion in the public arena about this matter.
Finally, some may see all of this as simply an exercise, a la the Theater of the Absurd and playwright, Samuel Beckett. That would be a mistake. The countless wrongs of Bush and Cheney, et al, have been slowly coming home to roost as the rage in the country builds against these two loathsome characters and others in their damnable clique. The tipping point may be only one scandal away. I leave the final word on all of this to the immortal Bard, himself, William Shakespeare. He said: “Times’ glory is...to wrong the wronger till he render right.”
1. McCulloch v. MD, 17 US, 316 (1819). Justice John Marshall was one of Virginia’s greatest sons. He was also a patriot of the highest order, having fought gallantly in the Revolutionary War at Brandywine and Germantown as part of the fabled “Virginia Line” along side his father. Marshall also served, with great distinction, as Chief Justice of the High Court from 1801-1833. There is a huge difference between a genuine patriot and lover of the Republic, like Marshall, and phony ones, like the Constitution-shredding George Bush and the Halliburton-challenged Dick Cheney. The latter have both consistently put the private interest before the public good.
4. http://www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/iraqrept2.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movement_to_impeach_George_W._Bush and
6. “The Bill of Rights” by Akhil Reed Amar.
Videos are available at “Google” to view the following comments:
A. Larry Everest at: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1197370299102200531&hl=en
B. Ann Wright at: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-70798890428508371&hl=en
C. David Swanson at: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3657739687076666196&hl=en
D. Ray McGovern at: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2834066401485392616
E. C. Clark Kissinger at: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4736224412706148813&hl=en
© William Hughes 2006.
William Hughes is the author of “Saying ‘No’ to the War Party” (IUniverse, Inc.). He can be reached at email@example.com.
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