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  • Political Crimes: Left Wants To Prosecute the Bush Administration

    With “Bush derangement syndrome” having infected large swaths of the Left, it is no surprise that their fever dreams feature the prosecution of Bush Administration heavies for their “crimes against humanity” and the U.S. Constitution.

    This weekend, the otherwise unremarkable Massachusetts School of Law at Andover will host a conference to that end. “This is not intended to be a mere discussion of violations of law that have occurred,” says dean Lawrence Velvel, but “a planning conference at which plans will be laid and necessary organizational structures set up, to pursue the guilty as long as necessary and, if need be, to the ends of the Earth.”

    Even the Obama campaign has latched onto the idea, and that support has been a major sop for the hard-left disenchanted since the campaign began its pivot to the center for the general election.

    Those planning up in Andover this weekend have a clear vision in mind. “For Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and John Yoo to spend years in jail or go to the gallows for their crimes would be a powerful lesson to future American leaders,” says Velvel.

    No doubt. But in today’s Wall Street Journal, Alan Derschowitz—no fan of the Bush Administration—considers what that lesson would be:

    The real question is whether investigating one’s political opponents poses too great a risk of criminalizing policy differences — especially when these differences are highly emotional and contentious, as they are with regard to Iraq, terrorism and the like. The fear of being criminally prosecuted by one’s political adversaries has a chilling effect on creative policy making and implementation.

    The heart of the problem is that the criminal law touches too much. As Dershowitz explains, “A politically appointed prosecutor, imbued with partisan zeal, could find technical violations of the criminal law in some of the envelope-pushing policies of virtually every administration.” He aptly quotes Stalin’s enforcer Lavrentiy Beria: “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”

    For those who do not inhabit the fever swamps, it should be obvious that prosecuting on the basis of policy difference–circumventing the impeachment mechanism put into the Constitution for just this purpose–would cripple the operation of government. And not just Iraq or other things one party or the other may dislike, but everything–guns, butter, and all.

    Dershowitz suggests that prosecutions be limited to cases where “the criminal act and mens rea [guilty mind] are so apparent to everyone that no reasonable person would suspect partisanship.”

    That’s good advice, but probably not enough at a time when the criminal law reaches so much ordinary conduct and increasingly lacks mens rea requirements. With around 4,500 possible federal offenses on the books, according to a recent study by Prof. John Baker, any prosecutor worth his salt could find something to charge. Really, the only thing to keep an Obama or McCain Administration from prosecuting is its own discretion–a weighing of the costs and benefits–and the fear that its officials might suffer the same fate someday.

    The real lesson in this is not that we are all equal before the law (the common refrain among the hard-left as they daydream of sentencing Bush for his tax cuts) but that, under the criminal law today, a prosecutor can find a charge that would stick against anybody. It’s not just government officials making tough choices with life or death consequences who are at risk–we all are.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Political Crimes: Left Wants To Prosecute the Bush Administration

    1. Darvin Dowdy, Houst says:

      This is another indication that the democrat party can't recover. They've ventured too far to the extreme, anti-U.S. left. They've destroyed themselves. They're terminal. I give them 10 years.

      A new, Nation-Centric political party must form up to fill the void left by the dem's. A new 2nd party. Our 2 party system must & will continue. DD

    2. Pingback: Purveyor of Iniquities › Links for September 12th

    3. Davis Jones says:

      What a "wanker" argument!

      Ouroboros, the act of the snake eating its own tail…

      Look, if our government has become so criminal in its activities that all fear being criminalize for policy reasons, then we need to seriously clean up the corruption. Maybe we can start by using this administration and this Congress as an example of what not EVER to do again.

      Have some music to get you back in touch with reality here:


      and this will ground you after that!


      'Book em, dan'l.

    4. Tom Human says:

      It seems clear now that Bush deliberately lied to Congress and started a war that killed four thousand Americans. This alone is worth jail time.

      It seems that almost everyone in the world has Bush Derangement Syndrome now. Has it occurred to you that perhaps it's not that the overwhelming majority of humans that have gone mad but it's that your small group that has? Has it occurred to you that the reason that Bush is so disliked is that he's done such a terrible job as President?

      By the way, it's now 7 years since 9/11 and it's 6 years and 6 months since Bush said, "I don't know where Bin Laden is and I don't care." A lot of us cared at the time and still care. Just a reminder.

    5. Darvin Dowdy, Houst says:

      And I believe that Obama deserves jail time for taking a $300K bribe, in essence, from this Resco thug in that sweetheart realestate deal. An obvious financial reward for having steered gov't contracts his way. I also believe that Hillary Clinton should've been prosecuted over the Peter Paul Hollywood gala fundraiser for her senate campaign.

      We should prosecute the New York times for publishing top secret info in our efforts in the GWOT. And whatever happened to Cong. Jefferson of Louisiana who was caught w/$90k in bribe money in his deep freeze?

      And the list goes on and on. One of the extreme failings of the Bush administration is their failure to go after the criminal democrats simply because they are democrats. In his zeal to promote the success of the "New Tone" the President has created this nightmare situation where the democrats feel free to use the courts against us but we don't dare reciprocate. This is what happens when laws are not enforced, Mr. President! You can't play nice with criminals/democrats. And the 2 terms are synonymous. DD

    6. Davis Jones says:


      You are making stuff up.

      That is what people like you do.

      Obama deflects you and yours constantly.

      If the allegations were true, we would hear about it.

      So calm down.

      Do you ever dream?

    7. Timothy Hunter, Sout says:

      I would welcome the ability to pursue the Clinton Administration for its crimes against me personally. As a US diplomat there was no legal way to fire me. However, I spoke up against the corrupt Saudi/Clinton connections in the State Department and the muffled up scandals in the Human Rights & Democracy Bureau. So, instead of giving me "the fullest measure of due process" as required by the US Code or an impeachment as required by the US Constitution for civil officers, the Clinton Administration simply took away my building pass, my diplomatic passport and my government credit cards. To make it impossible for me to get another job in my career field, the Clinton Administration denied me a written "exit evaluation" from my supervisor (verbal rating: "excellent") and denied me employment. And they cancelled my pension program by closing my investments in that program.

      Do I want the right to go after Bill Clinton for his political moves against me? You betcha.

    8. Andrew Wang, Shippen says:

      Bush is the worst president in American history. Bush facilitated the 9/11 attacks. Subsequently, Bush lied to Congress and the American people relative to the reasons for invading Iraq. Bush purposefully misled Congress and the American people. Then, Bush murdered more than 4,000 United States service members. And Bush wounded more than 30,000 United States service members. In torturing prisoners of war, Bush patently violated the Geneva Convention. Bush unlawfully wiretapped United States citizens. In using “signing statements” to challenge hundreds of laws passed by Congress, Bush violated the Constitution. Bush has ignored global warming. Bush is guilty of criminal negligence relative to the response to Hurricane Katrina. Bush disobeys our democratic values and Constitution. Bush is a disgrace to the United States.

      Bush should be prosecuted for war crimes.

      Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang

      B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996

      Messiah College, Grantham, PA

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