11-16-10 Bush At Large Print

     By Ralph Nader

     George W. Bush is on a roll—a money roll with a $7 million
     advance for his book Decision Points and a rehabilitation roll to
     paint his war crimes as justifiable mass-slaughter and torture.

     His carefully chosen interviewers—NBC’s Matt Lauer and Oprah
     Winfrey—agreed to a safe pre-taping to avoid demonstrations and
     tough questions. Requests for him to speak are pouring in from
     business conventions and other rich assemblages willing to pay
     $200,000 for “the Decider’s” banalities. This is “Shrub’s” month
     in the sun.
     In his first week of book promotion, he was asked about anything
     he would have done had he known then what he knew now—especially
     regarding Iraq and its encircled dictator. Well, he deplored
     receiving “false intelligence” about Saddam Hussein having weapons
     of mass destruction which was one of several false claims he fed
     the American people before invading Iraq in 2003. But he has no
     regrets, saying that “the world was undoubtedly safer with Saddam
     But was it safer for over a million Iraqis who lost their lives
     due to the invasion, over 4 million refugees, 4500 American
     soldiers lost, 1100 amputees, tens of thousands injured, sick and
     tens of thousands more GIs coming back with trauma to lost jobs,
     broken families and permanent damage to their health.
     Was it worth a trillion dollars to blow apart the country of
     Iraq and incur many more enemies? Was it worth starting a war paid
     for by a massive debt handed to our children so that George W. and
     Dick Cheney could give themselves and their rich buddies a massive
     tax cut? Ex-presidents possess self-excusing delusions, but this
     is non compos mentis run amuck.
     Then there is his escape from legal sanctions because the law
     enforcers in the Justice Department act as if Bush and Dick Cheney
     are above the law. “What is Attorney General Holder waiting for,”
     declared conservative/libertarian former Judge Andrew Napolitano,
     the legal analyst for Fox News, adding that Holder should
     criminally prosecute both Bush and Cheney for their many crimes.
     Just as a Justice Department task force was about to do to Richard
     Nixon after he resigned his office in 1974, for far lesser crimes,
     when President Ford pardoned him.

     I asked Bruce Fein, an associate deputy attorney general under
     Ronald Reagan, constitutional rights litigator, author of books
     and articles and many Congressional testimonies on the imperial
     presidency, and its unlawful penchant for Empire, for his
     reaction. Here is his response:

    “Former President Bush’s selective memoir is a little like
     Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark. With the exception of
     authorizing waterboarding, a form of torture, Bush neglects his
     serial vandalizing of the Constitution and the federal criminal
     code: five years of illegal surveillances of Americans on American
     soil; a war against Iraq without proper authorization by Congress;
     illegal detentions of enemy combatants without accusation or
     trials; hundred of unconstitutional signing statements professing
     an intent to refuse to faithfully execute the laws;
     unconstitutional defiance of congressional subpoenas; and,
     employing unilateral executive agreements to circumvent the treaty
     authority of the Senate over military commitments.”

     “Despite his constitutional literacy, President Obama has balked
     at faithful execution of the laws against torture, warrantless
     spying on Americans, or obstruction of justice perpetrated by Bush
     and his servile minions. On that score, Obama resembles President
     Nixon, who was impeached by the House Judiciary Committee and
     forced to resign for sneering at his constitutional obligation to
     enforce, not ignore the laws.

     “If Obama believes exculpatory circumstances justify
     non-prosecution of Bush-Cheney,” Fein continued, “then he should
     pardon them as authorized by the Constitution. A pardon must be
     accepted by the recipient to be effective, and acknowledges guilt
     and the inviolability of the rule of law. Ignoring lawlessness at
     the highest levels like Obama wounds the rule of law, and creates
     a precedent that lies around like a loaded weapon ready to destroy
     the Constitution. Obama himself is thus violating his oath of
     office by nonfeasance.”

     Lawyer Fein is not referring to a one time episode like
     Watergate but a recurrent, pattern of massive outlawry here and
     abroad stretching for years.  In 2005-2006, the large and very
     conservative American Bar Association, led by its then president,
     corporate attorney, Michael Greco, convened three task forces that
     produced white papers documenting three patterns of Bush’s
     unconstitutional behavior. Mr. Fein served on the panel that
     condemned the outpourings of Presidential signing statements.
     Although addressed and sent to President Bush, the ABA received no
     response to these unprecedented condemnations.

     Our legal system and Constitution touted as the greatest in the
     world, decay when we allow epidemics of grave violations by the
     President and other White House violators to be rewarded for their
     unconstitutionalism  and criminality.
     On Armistice Day, November 11, 2010, The Washington Post put on
     page one the excruciating, but brave struggle of quadruple
     amputee, Marine Cpl. Todd A Nicely trying to make the best of his
     surviving an explosive device in Afghanistan. On the reverse page
     two there was a picture of a smiling George W. Bush signing his
     book. He is getting away with it.

     Holding Bush/Cheney accountable by the soldiers he sent to kill
     and die in illegal wars, with few exceptions such as the Military
     Families Speak Out (MFSO.org) and the Iraq Veterans Against the
     War (ivaw.org) and Veterans for Peace (veteransforpeace.org) are
     not being made in public by enough soldiers after their service.
     Many know who was responsible but under pressure from their
     superiors and not wanting, along with their families, to admit
     publically that they suffered and fought in vain, they remain
     silent. With their credibility, more of them need to exert real
     patriotism and speak out against the militant White House
     draft-dodgers and their neo-con advisors who drove them and our
     country into these boomeranging, destructive wars.
     The Post completed this grim trilogy with a full page color ad
     by the profitable munitions manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, which
     taxpayers paid for, thanking the “commitment” and “sacrifice” of
     those who are serving today in America’s military forces.

     For the political cowards and their corporate profiteers, wars
     do not demand their sacrifice, they only invite their manipulative
     flattery. Same old racket, recalling double Congressional Medal of
     Honor winner, Marine General Smedley Butler whose book “War Is A
     Racket” said it all decades ago.

     Of course more members of another profession should declare
     itself for prosecution—the one million-strong licensed attorneys
     sworn to uphold the law as “officers of the court”!