by Rosemarie Jackowski
Come November some will head for the hills. Some will head for the polls. Some have already decided to sit this one out. Most will cast uninformed votes. A few will break the mold. They have done their homework. They will vote for peace and justice.
Informed voters, who have researched what has been missing from the electronic and print media, know that one of the offices being contested will have the potential to make history. Neither McCain nor Obama is running for this office.
Across the country the office of State Attorney General will be more important during this election than at any time in the past. County Prosecutors and District Attorneys will also have a significant role to play. The time for War Crimes trials has finally come. We can stop holding our collective breath. The second shoe is about to drop.
The Bush Indictment Project has begun. The difference between Impeachment and Indictment is like the difference between night and day. The call for Impeachment looks like a Sunday School picnic by comparison. Impeachment has its flaws. It trivializes the war crimes. It is better than nothing, but not by much.
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The Bush Indictment Project is not perfect either. One of the important criticisms is that it tends to place all of the responsibility for the war and the war crimes on the Executive Branch. That view exonerates the Congress. In fact, only the Congress has the power to declare and finance war. That the Congress is complicit is an important issue that should not be overlooked. The public has excused the Congressional crimes, and has focused only on the Bush Administration. Hopefully History will get it right and report that more Iraqi children were killed during the Clinton Administration than under both Bush Administrations and that always, the Congress has had Constitutional authority to wage or prevent war. Most complicit of all are the voters who put the accused war criminals in office in the first place.
Another deficiency of The Indictment Project is that the deaths of the Iraqis might be overlooked and find no justice in a US Court. Some predict that only US military deaths will be considered. What impression will that leave in the rest of the world? It has been estimated that possibly three million Iraqis have been killed by the US since the bombing started in 1991. Those deaths should not wait for justice in an International Court.
In spite of the obvious flaws, The Indictments Project is supported by many - former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Vincent Bugliosi among others.
Connecticut attorney and Green Party candidate for Congress Harold Burbank has pledged his support. From his web site: "
...I SUPPORT IMPEACHMENT AND INDICTMENT FOR WAR CRIMES: No one is above the law, especially for war crimes under international treaties such as the UN Charter, Geneva Conventions and Nuremberg Charter, which make war crimes the ultimate crimes against humanity. Because of compelling evidence that the Bush-Cheney regime is contemptuous of human rights treaties and our Constitution, which makes the treaties the supreme law of the land under Article 6 Section 2 , I drafted the nation's first municipal ordinance to make a town (Kennebunkport) a "war criminal free zone" by incorporating the Nuremberg Charter.
Activists in CT 5th District towns of Cornwall and Lakeville are considering revamping the model to fit their towns. Henry Kissinger lives in the 5th District town of Kent, which could pass and apply the ordinance. I would be pleased to assist that work, and encourage all 5th District towns and cities to consider such an ordinance. Congress refuses to protect us from insane Bush-Cheney war policies. It is clear that it is now necessary to build a human rights law system from the grassroots up to protect our families and our nation under these far sighted human rights treaties... This week (5-5-08) Dr. Boyle asked me to find a ME prosecutor to indict Bush-Cheney for murder of Maine soldiers lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have accepted the challenge. Dr. Boyle and I were encouraged by the 4-30-08 Bangor, ME jury trial acquittal of 6 anti-war protesters arrested for criminal trespass of Maine US Senator Susan Collins' Bangor office 3-7-07. The jury found all not guilty, clearly deciding the moral bases of the protest to be of greater legal weight than the trespass law. Dr. Boyle and I concluded the jury was a good indicator that ME people may lead the nation in outrage over the wars, making ME a top test state for the murder indictment theory of former Los Angeles prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, whose new book makes the case for Bush-Cheney indictment for the murders of all US soldiers lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. ..."
The ball is now in the voters' court. No longer is it necessary to bow down to Congress and beg for action. Now the voters have the power. If the voters want war crimes trials their choice will be made clear at the polls. All voters must inform themselves on the position of the candidates for State Attorney General and District Attorney/Prosecutor in their voting districts. Imagine hundreds of Indictments all across the country.
Consider the following questions: "Is every war crime worthy of Indictment or should some be given a free pass? Should the accused face justice in an open Court which will send a message to the world and, more importantly, to future US Administrations?"
It is really very simple. Get the facts. Find a candidate who supports your view. Pull the correct lever. Get the popcorn ready. Sit back and enjoy. The war crimes trials will be televised.
email Rosemarie Jackowski
Jackowski is a life-long advocate for peace and justice. She was arrested for her participation in a peaceful protest of the war. She is currently the Liberty Union candidate for Vermont Attorney General.
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