Former Prosecutor Calls 911 on Bush High Crimes

Random Lengths News | May 2, 2007
Book Review

In her current best-seller The United States v. George W. Bush et. al., former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega brings her 21 years of experience and her passion for justice to build a criminal case against not only the junior Bush, but also Richard "Dick" Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and Colin Powell. The crime she alleges the five committed is swindling the nation into war or, in legal terms, conspiracy to defraud the United States under Title 18 of the US Code. It's the same law that was used against certain executive branch officials during the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals.

De la Vega has more than 21 years of experience as a federal prosecutor, having worked as an Assistant US Attorney in San Jose, a member of the Organized Crime Strike Force and Chief of the San Jose Branch of the US Attorney's office for the Northern District of California. She retired in 2004 and turned her attention to the alleged crimes of the current administration. She said retirement gave her more time to get involved and "hopefully motivate Congress and the public to not just walk away."

"My purpose was to lay out the case that this really is a crime and a serious crime, a high crime and misdemeanor because it goes into the abuse of power. So I was just trying to initiate the process, similar to what happened in Watergate when it began with hearings by Congress. I don't argue for indictment or impeachment. I just lay out the case with the reader taking the position of a grand jury," she said in a recent phone interview.

She described the book's approach with, "It's not written as a scholarly legal tract or argument, it's more like a play." The book presents question-and-answer testimony by fictitious agents, but the evidence presented, including the Downing Street Memo, is real.

With typically British understatement, the Downing Street Memo spells out in writing how "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" of starting a war with Iraq. That's "fixed," as in fixed election, or fixed World Series.

When asked what she considered the most outstanding pieces of evidence de la Vega exclaimed, "There are so many of them!

She cited a couple of "broadly false statements" (lies) including, "They said the Iraqis were not cooperating with the weapons inspectors when [the inspectors] were actually pleading with the United States to not invade."

"People I worked with, federal prosecutors, are just as concerned about this administration's abuse of power," she said, and this was before the recent scandal about the firing of several federal prosecutors.

She called Congress's stonewalling on impeachment, "the question of the century." In contrast to the 1990s, when Republican Congress members eagerly went before TV cameras to mouth "rule of law" and "it's the lie" over a dirty dress, this Congress -- both Republicans and Democrats -- act like they don't know what impeachment means when confronted with war crimes and admitted felonies.

"I think we have a very weak Congress. I understand we're in a tough situation in Iraq but I think the two issues of fraud and getting out of Iraq are intertwined," she said.

As for the hypocritical-looking media that eagerly amplified every charge -- no matter how insignificant or unsubstantiated -- against a Democratic president, but now barely mentions impeachment except to disparage it, de la Vega offered, "That is the other question of the century. I think we have a media that is so tied in with corporate interests, they're not independent at all. Part of the explanation has to do with the atmosphere of fear after 9/11."

In her book she compares those who know about the alleged crimes of the Bush administration but do nothing to Kitty Genovese's neighbors. Genovese was raped and murdered one New York night in 1964. Thirty-eight people heard her scream for 20 minutes, but no one called police until she was dead.

"Roughly 100 million Americans believe Bush has committed a crime, yet most, like Kitty Genovese's neighbors, are just passive bystanders," de la Vega argued. "The proposition that it is not good political strategy to insist that government officials obey the law is highly debatable."

"So consider this my 911 call," she concluded.

Showing that there's more than one way to impeach a liar, another informative book that urges the rule of law be applied to Bush lies is Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush by the Center for Constitutional Rights, an organization that came out of the civil rights movement of the '60s. A slim 143-page paperback that can be read in an evening, it simply lays out four separate articles of impeachment, ready-made for Congressional action. While de la Vega's work focuses on the build-up to the Iraq War, here the case against Dubya focuses more on his admission of warrantless wiretapping as one of many abuses of power.

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