Murder He Wrote: Why Aren't Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld Being Prosecuted? Part III




By Mark Karlin

If you're a mafia kingpin and you authorize a "hit," the feds will nail you for murder if they can prove the case.

As I have detailed in two recent BuzzFlash editor blog entries, the proof that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld authorized, promoted and ordered actions that led to the murder and deaths of perhaps hundreds of detainees and merely "assumed bad guys" -- not to mention rapes and other brutality -- is overwhelming.  The authors of legal memos, whose writers include Bush-appointed Federal Judge Jay Bybee, should certainly be disbarred.

But that doesn't begin to address the underlying crimes that include the unnecesary and horrifying deaths of anyone that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld -- and Condoleezza Rice -- believed was in the way of their demonic "War on Terrorism" (which for Cheney and Rumsfeld -- and others -- was really a war for natural resources). 

Details abound in the public record -- as we have mentioned -- of the homicidal acts that led to the deaths and disappearances of countless of individuals the Bush Gulag apparatus deemed "suspicious."  Some of the bodies have been accounted for; some of the alleged "enemies" just disappeared -- as was the case in Chile and Argentina during the infamous reign of terror in those countries.

As I noted:

It's not considered politically correct -- even among the high-profile progressive political blogs that are now quoted by the D.C. Beltway corporate media -- to accuse the Bush Administration of murder and sadism. It's "the wave" now to urge an investigation of the torture memos and potential prosecution, but the reality that torture resulted in the murders of an untold number of detainees in the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld Gulag is not discussed much.

That's why I wrote a BuzzFlash Editor's Blog yesterday, "The Legal Case Against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Et Al., Is Murder One, Not Just War Crimes." Yet, as much as I agree that the torture memo authors should be tried (and Judge Bybee impeached), the MSM and progressive Internet's focus on the memos discounts and dishonors the justice that is necessary for those perhaps hundreds of detainees -- many of them, if not most of them, innocent of any actual crimes -- who were murdered as a result of torture.

That's why it's not surprising to see the multi-billion dollar corporate media machine continue to intentionally and ineptly still debate whether torture took place, as in this exchange between NBC's latest insipid enabler of the status quo on "Meet the Press" and King Abdullah II of Jordan:

DAVID GREGORY: 'Do you think the United States engaged in torture?'

KING ABDULLAH: 'Well, from what we've seen and what we've heard, ... there are enough accounts to ... show that that is the case. But there is still a major battle out there. ... [A]nd I think this is what President Obama is trying to do, is make sure that the legal system that America is known for [its] transparent to make sure that illegal activity-'

DAVID GREGORY: 'That's an important point. You actually do believe that the United States engaged in torture.'

KING ABDULLAH: 'What I see on the press ... shows that there were illegal ways of dealing with detainees.'

Some of the Bush era memos legalizing torture, just recently released by the Obama Administration, are an important corroboration of what we already knew, just as we knew that people were being murdered under the Pentagon and CIA torture guidelines distributed to commanding officers of known and secret detention sites around the world. 

The evidence of criminal abuse, including rape and murder, that was authorized as a general torture and abuse policy directly from the White House on down is abundant.  It only need be assembled as legally admissible proof of guilt in an American court of law or International War Crime tribunal.

As just one of literally hundreds -- perhaps thousands of examples -- a Salon article in 2004 noted a report by the indefatigable "last of his kind" investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh:

Debating about it, ummm ... Some of the worst things that happened you don't know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib ... The women were passing messages out saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened' and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out."

"It's impossible to say to yourself how did we get there? Who are we? Who are these people that sent us there? When I did My Lai I was very troubled like anybody in his right mind would be about what happened. I ended up in something I wrote saying in the end I said that the people who did the killing were as much victims as the people they killed because of the scars they had, I can tell you some of the personal stories by some of the people who were in these units witnessed this. I can also tell you written complaints were made to the highest officers and so we're dealing with a enormous massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there and higher, and we have to get to it and we will.

How much evidence has been destroyed -- the CIA "disappeared" the torture tapes -- we don't know, but clearly the shredders and "burn bags" were kept busy in the last days of the Bush Administration.  Still, the Obama WH is ordering more devastating detainee abuse photos released in the near future.

But all of these are just small pieces in the very large puzzle of a massive White House orchestrated sanctioning of War Crimes, including rape and murder.

It is not unexpected that the corporate mainstream media would attempt to minimize the criminal behavior of the Bush Administration, because D.C. insiders -- the villagers -- and the corporate oligarchy protects its own.

But I am a bit mystified why the progressive blogs and most liberal and civil liberties websites are more caught up with fingering the authors of the memos than the masterminds of the War Crimes policies: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice (not to mention Wolfowitz, Feith, etc.).

As has been pointed out by others, after WW II some Japanese tried for War Crimes were hanged for waterboarding allied prisoners.

The torture unto death, rape, sexual violations, and abuse that violated the Geneva Conventions was rampant in the Bush Gulag.

The most pressing issue of justice is not who wrote the enabling torture (murder and rape) memos -- although the attorneys should be held accountable -- but who should be tried for inititiating and promoting War Crimes.

Murder is not something to split hairs about on Sunday morning talk shows.

It belongs in a courtroom so that justice is rendered, the perpertrators jailed, and the Constitution preserved.

Courtesy of Mark Karlin,

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The War itself was a crime. It is for sure it was a crime against peace, and therefore it was a war of aggression. This is one of the issues that makes Nuremberg precedent debatable. In 1939 Hitler and Stalin combined to dismember Poland. At Nuremberg Stalin's judges decided whether Hitler's Germany had committed crimes against the peace, aggressive war.

This ought to put Bush and Blair in the dock, but I think there still needs to be work done on what they used to call "hench-men". Who was in the charmed circle of responsibility, and what is the "radius" of responsibility which separates the culpable from the not culpable?

The other is Crimes Against Humanity, which is otherwise known now as "collateral damage", as if the victims were some kind of gruesome  financial transaction. What would a dispassionate observer from another planet think of a country which dispatched remote controlled devices carrying fire power greater than that which was deployed by entire military units in earlier wars, against unconfirmed or wrong targets?

The issue for me is should the standard of justice which was defined at the end of Workd War II, by the US, UK and others, apply now, in these two wars, still ongoing? Can the US judge itself and its own conduct on these kinds of questions, when realistic assessments of deaths, casualties, refugees, property destruction are suppressed? When, for these purposes, the aftermath of the first Gulf War, 14 years of sanctions and embargoes, need to be considered too, as well as the effects of the way this war was fought on the neighbors. Where can Justice find a voice in this country on this one, anymore than her voice would have been heard in Germany in 1945.

Of course, Germany was defeated, Europe exhausted and in ruins from the Atlantic to the Urals. The US is not. But the original pretexts for both these wars have long been discredited (check out Tony Blair on Al Qaeda, "a state of mind" not an organization, or the BBC documentary series which proved this). So the "world", at some point, depending on the circumstances, will have a case to pursue to close the post-world war II UN settlement, in which the world has been run by the victors, under the US. This is for sure an upcoming agenda item now because  Bush perverted those arrangements so rashly. Someone is going to have to answer to the yet unborn, how their lives will be protected from the wierdos who oppose abortion, but consider anything out of the womb fair game. Genghis Khan was never put on trial. But the crimes of Genhis Khan are known perhaps more widely than the criminal actions of any other single individual. The US is going to have to answer in that kind of jurisdiction, where there is neither immunity nor plea bargaining. Somethings Genghis Khan did, Bush has not done. Somethings Bush has done Genghis Khan did not do. Genghis Khan did not destroy Bagdad, and the  culture between the Euphrates and the Tigris.

Third in my book is reparations for crimes against peace and crimes against humanity. Call them whatever you want, we are at still at war against teenagers, children and infants. We target their fathers and uncles, and consider their mothers and aunts, brothers and sisters, to be collateral damage. Populations under 18 in these countries are the majority demographic cohort. There needs to be a reparations regime which is not only financial, but remedial where destroyed education and health systems are concerned. This is also something the US probably needs to support rather than take the lead in given its domestic failures on these questions.

You see it is not only who perpetrated crimes, but what the crimes are which have been perpertrated, and what is the appropriate balance in which just deserts can be weighed against the offence and the world made whole, so justice can be seen to be done. Some deserts are just, and others are just deserts.



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