President Bush “beyond all reasonable doubt” is responsible for all the murders of American troops killed in Iraq and could be prosecuted by any of 140 Federal and State legal authorities, famed prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi says.
Bugliosi said the president is guilty of “the most serious crime ever committed in American history…knowingly and deliberately taking this country to war in Iraq under false pretenses,” killing 4,000 GIs, seriously wounding 30,000 more, and killing 100,000 Iraqis in the process.
While a federal prosecution by the U.S. Attorney General in Washington, or any of the 93 U.S. attorneys throughout the country “would be the easiest procedure,” Bugliosi says, any of the 50 State attorneys-general also “could bring a murder charge against Bush for any soldiers from that state…who lost their lives fighting Bush’s war.”
Writing in “The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder”(Vanguard Press), Bugliosi says Bush’s lies to the public constituted “overt acts” and their broadcast nationally via the media are a basis for prosecution in every state. Charges could include murder as well as conspiracy to commit murder, the veteran prosecutor said.
In his career in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, Bugliosi successfully prosecuted 105 out of 106 felony jury trials, including 21 murder trials without a single loss, according to a biographical sketch in the book. His most famous trial, the Charles Manson murder case, became the basis of his classic, “Helter Skelter,” said to be “the biggest selling true-crime book in publishing history.”
“Bush and his gang of criminals were constantly telling Americans that Hussein constituted an imminent threat to the security of this country, but they kept the truth from the American people that their CIA was telling them the exact opposite, that Hussein and Iraq were not an imminent threat to this country,” Bugliosi writes.
In his speech of October 7, 2002, in Cincinnati, Bush said “The Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gasses and atomic weapons…” even though a CIA report dated October 1 gave Bush notice that “the CIA did not consider Hussein an imminent threat to this nation,” Bugliosi pointed out.
As Bush did not act in self-defense, he did so with “a criminal state of mind,” with “criminal intent,” Bugliosi says, thus, “every killing of an American soldier that took place during Bush’s war was an ‘unlawful killing’ and murder.”
Bugliosi explains that a person is guilty of a crime under the theory of aiding and abetting if he instigates an act that leads to a crime. Bush’s invasion brought into existence the Iraqi opposition and his action caused Iraqis to kill American soldiers…” Besides, unless Bush intended to have a war without casualties, “which is nonsensical on its face,” Bugliosi says, “he did, in fact, specifically intend to have American soldiers killed.”
“In my opinion,” Bugliosi continues, “there certainly is more than enough evidence against Bush to justify bringing him to trial and letting an American jury decide whether or not he is guilty of murder, and if so, what the appropriate punishment should be.” Based on the evidence the author spreads out over 344 pages, he feels convinced “a competent prosecutor could convict Bush of murder.”
Bugliosi points out that he convicted Charles Manson of the seven Tate-La Bianca murders even though Manson did not participate in any of the killings, nor was he present at the time. He was able to secure Manson’s conviction, he noted, because of the “vicarious liability rule of conspiracy, which provides that each member of a conspiracy is criminally responsible for all crimes committed by his coconspirators or innocent agents of the conspirators to further the object of the conspiracy.”
Among the Iraq war conspirators Bugliosi identified are Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Bugliosi said he knew less about former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s culpability but that a prosecutor could make that determination by obtaining documents and grand jury testimony from key people. The same procedure could also be followed in the case of former White House advisor Karl Rove, the attorney wrote.
Bugliosi charged Bush “is a grotesque anomaly and aberration. No president has ever done what he did and it is not likely this nation will see a president do what Bush did for centuries to come, if ever. At least we know that in the previous three centuries there was no one like this monstrous individual.”
“I would be more than happy, if requested,” Bugliosi continued, “to consult with any prosecutor who decides to prosecute Bush in the preparation of additional cross-examination questions for him to face on the witness stand.”
Sherwood Ross is a Miami-based publicist and columnist. He formerly reported for the Chicago Daily News and several wire services and has contributed to national magazines. Reach him at [email protected]