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United States v. George W. Bush et al. Paperback – November 7, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
By revisiting public statements, official documents and journalistic reports from the months leading up to the Iraq invasion, de la Vega builds a legal case that President Bush and top members of his administration engaged in a conspiracy to "deceive the American public and Congress into supporting the war." Drawing on her experience as a federal prosecutor, as well as the work of scholars and legal experts, she brings a well-honed legal perspective to the issue. She presents her argument in transcript form as a hypothetical weeklong presentation to a grand jury, including extensive testimony from three fictional investigative agents. Despite her somewhat specialized approach, the author clearly defines the legal terms and issues and avoids jargon. If anything, the book feels casual and straightforward to a fault: awkward asides about room temperature and coffee breaks, meant to humanize de la Vega's hypothetical grand jurors, are contrived; in explaining some of her claims, she relies too much on an analogy to the Enron fraud. Still, whenever she focuses on the issues at hand—most compellingly in her final analysis of the administration's spurious claims about Iraq's nuclear weapons program—de la Vega makes a persuasive case. (Dec. 1)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
ELIZABETH DE LA VEGA, a former federal prosecutor, was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Minneapolis as well as a member of the Organized Crime Strike Force and Branch Chief in San Jose, California. Since her retirement in 2004, she has been a regular contributor to Tomdispatch. Her articles have also appeared in the Nation, the LA Times, Salon, and Mother Jones. She is not in the Witness Protection Program.
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If they get away with it-and so far they have-it sets a horrifying precedent for this nation as long as it stands.
(PBM) The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder by Vincent Bugliosi
(PvB) The People V. Bush: One Lawyer's Campaign to Bring the President to Justice and the National Grassroots Movement She Encounters Along the Way by Charlotte Dennett
Because these three excellent books, each dealing with prosecuting George W. Bush, Richard Chaney, and others for crimes they committed between 2001 and 2008, nicely complement each other, it seems appropriate to review them together.
USvB, the shortest* and first to be written (© 2006), is an account of a fictional but realistic presentation to a grand jury of an indictment for "Conspiracy to defraud the United States in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371." (p. 27). The defendants are George W. Bush, Richard B. Chaney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald M. Rumsfeld, and Colin M. Powell It was written by an experienced former federal prosecutor. Albeit the witnesses presented to the fictional grand jury are fictional, the facts they testify to are real.
All three are well-written, but because it is mostly narrative, some may find USvB easier reading.
PBM, the second to be written (© 2008) is the longest* of the three, albeit Bugliosi repeats himself quite a bit, I assume because he has found it effective in making presentations to juries to reemphasize the important points often. As the title suggests, Bugliosi presents a very strong case for the conviction of Bush (and Cheney, Rice, Rove, and Rumsfeld, at least) for murder in the deaths of the more than 4000 American servicemen who have been killed in Iraq. He establishes that the U.S. Attorney General, or the attorney general of any state, or the district attorney of any county of which a resident has been killed in G.W. Bush's Iraq war, has jurisdiction to prosecute, and he establishes that because Bush, Cheney, et. al. committed fraud against the United States by lying to congress to obtain congressional authority to wage war against a nation, Iraq, which was not an imminent threat to U.S., and by thereafter ordering American servicemen and women to fight in Iraq, knowing that some would be killed, Bush et. al. knowingly and intentionally and unlawfully caused the deaths of Americans. The fact that Bush used Iraqis as instruments to commit those murders instead of performing them personally is not a legal defense, any more than it would have been had he hired contract killers to do his dirty work.
PvB, the most recent (© 2010) is a partial autobiography of Charlotte Dennett, who ran for Attorney General of Vermont, promising, if elected, to prosecute Bush for the murders of Vermonters who had been killed in Bush's illegal war. She lost the election, in part because her incumbent opponent, William Sorrell, dismissed her with a false statement that she could not prosecute because the State of Vermont had no jurisdiction. As Attorney General, Sorrell knew, or should have known, that Vermont did, in fact have that jurisdiction, but his lie was widely quoted by Vermont news media, while they declined to report Dennett's reply that established that Vermont did indeed have jurisdiction. So many, probably most voters, were left with the erroneous impression that she didn't know what she was talking about, and thus presumably was incompetent to be Attorney General.
Any one two, or all three of these books are well worth reading, and should be in every school, college, or public library.
* I have determined, by counting samples of each, that the amount of text in the three books is approximately in the ratio USvB:PvB:PBM :: 4:7:8
I disagree with the reader who stated that one's enjoyment depends on politics. This book should be required reading by every American -- our country was lead into war. We need to hold those responsible accountable. There is nothing partisan or political about the legal analysis.
Only quibble is -- as the Publisher's Review quote notes -- the attempts at humor and conversations with the grand jurors seems forced and cutesy. Stick with the facts of your case -- they are an absorbing read all alone.
Readers waiting for the next protest march to begin as well as those waking up from a six year coma should consider this required reading.
The service Ms. de la Vega has done with this work is the stuff of true patriotic heroism. I Thank Her, it remains up to the rest of us to see that this is step one not the end of the story.
Great book! Thanks for giving me a great fantasy...now let's visualize impeachment!
That's what de la Vega does for our national trauma since the saber-rattling started in the summer of 2002. This is a quite serious analysis of why a beyond-Enron-scale fraud was committed by Bush et al in their systematic misleading of Congress and the public.
Read it and weep. But she does it with an obvious expertise (as an Assistant US Attorney who specialized in fraud cases), combined with the writer's technique of being a flea on the wall of the grand-jury room as FBI agents present the evidence for an indictment. It's not partisan but a just-the-facts organized so that the pattern becomes obvious. The analogies to the Enron fraud trial are particularly telling.
Most recent customer reviews
And the VP is still using the same reasons--say it enough and you believe it.