Friday, September 05, 2008

Criminal Prosecution of Bush Administration Officials 
Firedoglake's Jane Hamsher, the libtard responsible for putting a photoshop of Joe Lieberman in blackface during the 2006 Senate race in Connecticut, has a chat on Bloggingheads with Ann Althouse.

At issue: Should an Obama administration pursue criminal investigations against Bush Administration officials, including Bush and Cheney personally, for crimes allegedly committed while in office.

I was struck by Hamsher's presentation. She appears quite reasonable through most of the dialogue. But when Althouse draws her out on this topic, out comes The Beast.

Hamsher argues that Bush lied in order to get us into a war, and 4,000 soldiers are dead. "That's murder!" she exclaims. And she states that she and her readers will be "out there with torches and pitchforks" to ensure that Bush officials are prosecuted.

Her argument relies on the founding fathers and the Constitution, and she argues that it would set a bad precedent NOT to criminally prosecute Bush officials. Good liberal she is, she states "If Bush has not committed a crime, then he has nothing to fear."

That's right. Scratch a liberal, you'll find a fascist right under the skin.

At any rate, when she mentions the founding fathers, she is evincing a grasp of American history that only a cinematography school could let anyone get away with.

The reason our Republic survived, and France went through several republics, is because the Jeffersonians and Hamiltonians, by and large, settled their differences through elections (Aaron Burr notwithstanding) and not by trying to throw their predecessors in jail.

Had they instead followed Hamsher's advice, the two sides would have become armed camps nearly immediately, and the American democratic experiment would have been strangled in the cradle by Hamsher and her Committees of Public Safety.

Althouse is right: this notion that each succeeding administration should spend time prosecuting the one before it over what are essentially political disagreements is pure poison. It is a dagger pointed straight at the heart of our democracy. (Hamsher, you moron - you can make a better case prosecuting single mothers who have an abortion or their doctors for murder than you can making murder charges stick against Bush for ordering the invasion of Iraq.)

If Hamsher gets her way, then every succeeding administration will 1.) not be able to fill its slots with quality people, because service to the government will then become a legal liability, and 2.) have EVERY incentive to cheat, lie and steal during the following election, since everyone in it will have a personal stake.

If you have an impeachment case, bring it. If not, then try to win the next election.

Hamsher: A pretty face, but an idealistic twit.

Splash, out


ADDED: It's too bad that the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee is such a blowhard that he can say there will be criminal investigations of Bush officials under an Obama administration, and we can't be sure whether he meant it.

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I am assuming impeachment would be the proper place for legal challenges of this sort. If there were a reasonable belief that a President used his office to fake evidence to create a reason for war, then Congress would be the branch to initiate investigative proceedings that would eventually lead to impeachment. Things get murky though quite quickly. Consider executive privilege: In order to not create a chilling effect in advice given the President, individuals he asks for advice are not bound to talk to Congress about the nature of the conversation. Hasn’t Karl Rove recently refused a Congressional subpoena under these grounds recently? Full Disclosure: I supported the invasion of Iraq and I am NOT suggesting Bush should be criminally charged at all, but am interested in the hypothetical argument of when and how Congress could/should go after an administration. Can a past president still claim executive privilege for people who gave him advice after he leaves office? A new president would be ill served to trample over precedent that gives his office power and protections. Ideally impeachment should be the only way charges could be brought, but what if a president really does do something worthy of charging and perhaps his own party is in control of Congress and unwilling to pursue charges? Under those circumstances I would think we would just vote all the bums out until we had some reformers in DC.


Matt S.
Pretty face? I guess, but those cheekbones look exaggerated to me.
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