January 2009 – The former Los Angeles County district attorney who put Charles Manson and his followers behind bars for life is not finished with outgoing President George W. Bush. Indeed—rough though the road may be—Vincent Bugliosi sees the upcoming post-Bush period as an even better time to forge ahead to try Bush on murder allegations, on the basis of Bush getting America into the deadly Iraq war under false pretenses.
Since American Free Press broke the story last summer that Bugliosi was to be the keynote speaker at an Andover,Mass. law conference on high-levelAmerican war crimes — as a prelude to attending the September conference to interview him — Bugliosi says he has been fighting the American media’s resistance to his effort to alert a sizable portion of Americans about the case against Bush. His book, The Prosecution of GeorgeW. Bush for Murder, has sold well, having made the NewYork Times bestseller list. But nothing seems to stick.
“We’re looking for a few good prosecutors,” Bugliosi said in a December interview, describing his quest to locate some local prosecutors, among 2,200 in the nation, with the fortitude to try the president. “I have to think that there is at least one out of 2,200.”
Since no one among the 50 attorneys general in the states seems particularly interested in this matter (yet), Bugliosi, quoted Mark Twain: “Why is physical courage so common but moral courage so rare?” All setbacks considered, Bugliosi was happy to report that an associate raised enough money to send 2,200 copies of his Bush book, along with a signed cover letter, to those 2,200 local prosecutors at the county level (or “parishes” in Louisiana). Any such prosecutor whose jurisdiction includes soldiers who died in Iraq has jurisdiction, as Bugliosi sees it. Since Vermont has perhaps the highest number of deaths in the current conflict as a percentage of its population, Bugliosi helped Charlotte Dennett in her unsuccessful effort to run as an independent last year for Vermont state attorney general. She received just 6 percent of the vote in November, but she announced her candidacy only 90 days before the general election.
Bugliosi’s 2008 book that explains the case against Bush is his most recent in a string of major books that started with Helter Skelter, the blockbuster about the Tate-LaBianca murders that Manson inspired. The Bush book reveals how happy-go-lucky the president has behaved in what should be a highly somber time, with American soldiers bearing the brunt of the current conflicts and needlessly dying one-by-one in an ongoing occupation that resulted from what Bugliosi shows were false reports of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, with bogus threats against the United States itself. This propaganda, he contends, was designed to “lie” Americans into an imperial war that was never declared by Congress as the Constitution requires.
According to Bugliosi, Bush also missed about 1,000 days of in-the-White House work in his eight years – during an Iraqi occupation that, while helping drain the U.S. economy to the breaking point, has killed at least 90,000 Iraqi civilians and, officially, some 4,215 American soldiers. Many soldiers died later from injuries and illnesses. Other thousands lost eyes, limbs and had their entire lives shattered. Meanwhile, Bush spent the equivalent of three years at his Crawford, Texas ranch or at Camp David,Maryland, which is how Bugliosi defined the president’s extensive time off. Bugliosi’s central point is that Bush ought to be prosecuted on the basis of “vicarious liability,” the concept that a participant in a criminal conspiracy (in this case a war based on lies) still is guilty of any resulting murders even if that participant did not pull any triggers. Bugliosi contends that sending American troops into harm’s way and thereby bringing about the troops’ deaths is murderous, since falsehoods were foundational to such events.This also applies to the innocent Iraqis who died at the hands of those troops. Ironically, the same logic was used to convict CharlesManson, who never set foot in the homes where those notorious California murders occurred in 1969. For Bugliosi, even getting his Bush book published, including an audio version, was hard enough, due to the exceedingly narrow perspective of American conventional media, who have an unhealthy degree of reverence for government authority, especially the presidency. Bugliosi told AFP he had to go to the British Broadcasting Co. to record the audio version; and in order to raise money for a planned “big screen” documentary, he had to seek Canadian sources. Despite Bugliosi’s fame and legal skills – he lost only one of the 106 felony cases he tried as a prosecutor, which included winning 21 out of 21 murder cases – the American media treat him like a virtual nonentity for focusing on America’s imperial president.
Bugliosi has long lamented that neither impeachment nor even a meaningful reprimand has found its way to Bush, whose only known “jolt” in eight years was a pair of shoes recently thrown at him by an Iraqi journalist over his disgust with Bush’s war policies. As veteran journalist William Norman Grigg noted in his Pro Libertate blog: “. . . (Muntadar) al-Zaidi found himself unable to abide the spectacle of Bush stewing in self-congratulation while (Iraqi official) Nouri al-Maliki and the assembled reporters dutifully played along with the charade, passively ratifying the lies that continue to sustain the world-historic crime that is the Iraq war.”
Grigg also noted: “Unlike Bush . . . (al-Zaidi) lives in Iraq. He has to live with the consequences of Bush’s whimsical little venture in mass murder and social destruction.” Mr. al-Zaidi was reportedly beaten by guards, suffered broken bones and may go to trial for throwing shoes that missed the president. It seems punishment is only for the powerless. Bombs are OK; shoes aren’t. Bugliosi seems dedicated to pursuing a president who he sees as a major conspirator in this “world-historic” crime. In 2009, the 40th anniversary of the Tate-LaBianca murders, will anybody with authority be the first to step forward and go after Bush?
Mark Anderson is the corresponding editor for American Free Press and the host of Across the Nation.