"If we want to deter future presidents from taking this nation to another war under false pretenses, some president in the future that gets a funny thought, I think that deterrence would increase immeasurably if he knew what America did to George Bush, put him on trial for murder, and if he was convicted, of course, the punishment would either be life imprisonment or the imposition of the death penalty." Vincent Bugliosi, Murder Trumps Torture - An Interview, Michael Collins, Aug 8, 2009
Vincent Bugliosi was a true patriot and a tireless, fierce advocate for the people. His death at age 80 marks a time to remember his vision of an American future based on decency, civility, and the respect for both the law and the people the law should protect. This article excerpts three interviews I conducted with Bugliosi on his 2008 book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.
Bugliosi was one of the nation's top criminal prosecutors. He won 104 of 105 murder cases including the conviction of Charles Manson and his followers the late 1960s. For years, Bugliosi was also the nation's top true crime author. His best seller, Helter Skelter (over 7 million copies sold) offered a behind the scenes narrative of the Manson Family prosecution and Charles Manson's extraordinary criminal deviance.
Bugliosi left the full time practice of law to pursue a career in writing primarily in the true crime genre. He had three number one best sellers on the New York Times list and numerous other successes.
The biggest true crime Bugliosi took on was the charge of murder against former President George W. Bush. He wrote a detailed brief for any local prosecutor willing to take the case. The book provided a detailed, fully documented legal brief that proved beyond any doubt that by lying the country into war, Bush was responsible for the deaths of every American soldier killed in that war. The book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, was uniformly ignored by the mainstream media that had always sought out Bugliosi for interviews on his latest work or screen rights to his books.
Despite the mainstream media boycott of Bugliosi's scathing, precisely argued, and well-documented book, the author would not be denied. Through alternate media news and opinion web sites and internet radio shows (including Rob Kall's radio show), Bugliosi built an audience for his argument and book. Once again, this time without any help from mainstream media, Bugliosi saw his book on the New York Times bestseller list.
It was my privilege to interview Bugliosi on three occasions, two concerning his Bush prosecution book and one on President Barack Obama's cavalier dismissal of Bush administration crimes. He knew exactly what he wanted to say, said it brilliantly, and was courteous to a fault. Of all the public figures I have observed over the years, Vincent Bugliosi was the only one I ever truly wanted converse with at any length. I am grateful for that opportunity.
The following sections are select quotations from extensive interviews on Bugliosi's book outlining a murder case against a sitting president.
Michael Collins: An Interview with Vincent Bugliosi, Part I, August 7, 2008 -- Making the case for The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder
Vincent Bugliosi: Apparently its okay for George Bush to take this nation to war on a lie, to be responsible, criminally responsible for well over 100,000 deaths, but it's not okay to prosecute him. Not only isn't it okay to prosecute him, it isn't even okay to talk about prosecuting him. This is unbelievable what's going on in this country. How can we have a country where they permit a president to do what he did and they do absolutely nothing to him except to try to protect him?
I can tell you that if the case went to trial, the central, overriding issue at Bush's trial, would be whether or not he took this nation to war in self"'defense as he claimed he did: that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and therefore he was an imminent threat to the security of this country, so we had to strike first in self"'defense.
If the prosecutor " could prove that he did not act in self"'defense and he took the nation to war under false pretenses, then all of the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq would become unlawful killings. All of those killings would become unlawful killings and therefore murder.
This is just -- you know, I hate to use the word terrible over again, but it's just absolutely terrible, and the question is how evil, how criminal, how perverse, how sick can George Bush and his people be? And yet they got away with all of this. As I'm talking to you right now, there are well over 100,000 people -- some estimates go in excess of a million -- well over 100,000 precious human beings who are in their cold graves right now because of it. But so far, George Bush has gotten away with murder and we, the American people, cannot let him do this. He's gotten away with murder, and no one is doing anything.
But let me tell you this: For the first time in my career, it's very personal with George Bush, and I'll tell you why. If I prosecuted him and Cheney and Rice or whoever else, Cheney and Rice it would not be personal. I would seek the death penalty against them, for sure. They deserve to suffer the ultimate penalty for what they did, no question about it. But it would not be personal. I'll tell you why it's personal with George Bush -- because the evidence is overwhelming, overwhelming. It cannot be disputed.
Bush, Manson, and the Media Blackout - Bugliosi Interview Part, Michael Collins, Aug 11, 2008 -- Dealing with the mainstream media boycott of his book on prosecuting George W. Bush for murder and more arguments for a trial of the former president
Publishers "would say things like this to me: 'Mr. Bugliosi, are you sure you want to publish this book?'"
Vincent Bugliosi: They don't want me on [television and radio news, entertainment and talk shows].
Michael Collins: How many best sellers have you had? Three or four, right?
VB: Oh, well, I've had three that got up to number one on The New York Times. No American true crime author has had more than one. I've had three, and then I've had other best sellers. "Till Death Do Us Part" was a best seller. "Reclaiming History' for one week was a best seller. That was a book that, you know, weighed seven and a half pounds and cost $57.
MC: What do they say? Do they have an explanation, or is it just --
VB: Well, I can tell you what my publicist said that -- before the book came out they start booking you, and they would call these people and say, you know, "We're representing Vince Bugliosi," and right away, "Oh, yeah, I know Vince. We've had him on the show. He's a good guest. What's the new book?" The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. And you can -- they kind of indicated to me that they could just sense the shriveling on the other end of the line. And they said, "Well, let me get back to you on this. This may be a little difficult," or, "I'll have to get back to you on this." And then, of course, they just stopped responding to emails and everything, and that was absolutely across the board. They would not have me on. It got so bad -- it got so bad that ABC Radio refused to take money from my publisher to take out a radio spot.
MC: Oh, you're not allowed to advertise either?
VB: Yeah, on ABC Radio they would not take the money.
MC: That's a first.
VB: Which is, I think, kind of mind boggling. I don't know. It just seems to me that it's mind-boggling. And then, of course, as you know, I had a very difficult time getting the book published. I never had trouble before. I had to fly back to New York City, knock on doors, and it was obvious that the publishers I met with thought the book was very marketable, and they seemed to be sympathetic with what I was saying, but it was equally obvious that they were frightened. They would say things like this to me: "Mr. Bugliosi, are you sure you want to publish this book?" And one of them put it in black and white, typed it, or maybe an email, "Too hot too handle."
If anyone tries to dispute it, they're going to make a fool out of themselves if I have The evidence is overwhelming that while young American soldiers -- I'm talking about 18, 19 year old kids who never had a chance to live out their dreams -- are being blown to pieces by roadside bombs in Iraq, this guy, George Bush, was having a lot of fun playing, joking, laughing on a day to day basis and enjoying himself to the very utmost. The evidence is overwhelming to that, and that's what's made it personal with me, the fact that he could do what he did, this monstrous individual, and still have fun on a daily basis when kids are being blown up, and you see Bush and he's smiling and laughing and joking and tap dancing. It's unbelievable.
Murder Trumps Torture Says Bugliosi - An Interview, Michael Collins, Apr 8, 2009 -- On Obama letting Bush off the hook for criminal behavior
MC: What would you say to the president if you had the opportunity?
VB: If I were to speak to President Obama, I would inform him of one thing and advise him of a couple of other things. I'd inform him, and I guess this sounds a little sarcastic, but I would inform him that when he talks about only looking forward and not backwards, I agree that most of his efforts have to be towards the future. I'm not quarreling with him on that, but you can't forget the past.
When he says that he intends to give Bush a free pass simply because whatever crime Bush may have committed was in the past, I would inform him of something he already knows: that all criminal prosecutions, without exception and by definition, have to deal, obviously, with past criminal behavior. Obviously we cannot prosecute someone for a crime that they may commit in the future.
And if we prosecute for even petty theft in America, what do we do with Bush, who I'm very convinced took this nation to war under false pretenses and has caused incalculable death, horror, and suffering?
Vincent Bugliosi was a warrior for the truth and the rule of law. We were truly fortunate to have him among us for as long as we did.
it would be a shame if the criminals never see justice...
Is Germany Filing War Crimes Charges Against George Bush And Dick Cheney?
By Manny Schewitz ------ Forward Progress
A story from December refuses to die, and once again it’s popping up in a few liberal Facebook groups I belong to. Headlines from Addictinginfo.org and Liberalamerica.org both claim that Germany is filing war crimes charges again former president George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and members of the CIA for their part in the administration’s torture program. Needless to say, quite a few liberals are picking up the stories and happily spreading them around as if a day of reckoning is finally coming for an administration that they despised – but is it true?
Here’s what Ryan Denson from Addicting Info said (most of the article is just copy and pasted paragraphs from Democracy Now with a couple of sentences from the author tossed in): If President Obama won’t do it, someone else will. Thankfully, a human rights group in Berlin, The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, has begun the process of indicting members of the Bush Administration by filing criminal complaints against the architects of the Admin’s torture program.
Sounds like a human rights group is going to indict members of the Bush Administration, right? Not quite. Now here’s how Tiffany Willis from Liberal America spun it, heavily sourcing her friends and former colleagues at Addicting Info: The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights has filed a criminal complaint against U.S. torture program architects and members of the Bush Administration. The organization has accused CIA director George Tenet and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld of war crimes and they’ve called for a German prosecutor to conduct an immediate investigation.
This move follows the release of the damning Senate report on CIA torture that includes the case of German citizen Khalid El-Masri, who was captured in 2004 by CIA agents in a case of mistaken identity. The report revealed the shocking contrast of democracy and corruption.
Bizarrely, the only person involved with the CIA torture program who has been charged with a crime is the man who exposed the war crimes — whistleblower John Kiriakou.
Now here is the original story from Democracy Now: A human rights group in Berlin, Germany, has filed a criminal complaint against the architects of the George W. Bush administration’s torture program. The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights has accused former Bush administration officials, including CIA Director George Tenet and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, of war crimes, and called for an immediate investigation by a German prosecutor. The move follows the release of a Senate report on CIA torture which includes the case of a German citizen, Khalid El-Masri, who was captured by CIA agents in 2004 due to mistaken identity and tortured at a secret prison in Afghanistan.
So far, no one involved in the CIA torture program has been charged with a crime — except the whistleblower John Kiriakou, who exposed it.
The problem with the stories from Ryan Denson and Tiffany Willis (besides from being very misleading and using large chunks of the original text with a couple of words changed) is that human rights groups don’t have the ability to indict anybody for war crimes. The German government could take up the case as this group has requested, but doing so would jeopardize German relations with the United States, which is a strong ally and fellow member of NATO.
In addition to that, Brookings points out that indicting anyone for war crimes and attempting to prosecute them creates diplomatic issues that have to be taken into careful consideration.
Also, a civil lawsuit by an Iraqi woman was filed against the Bush Administration a couple of years ago but it was dismissed by a judge in December of last year. So if even a civil suit against the architects of the CIA torture program can’t succeed in court, there’s zero chance of any of them appearing before the International Court of Justice at The Hague on war crimes charges.
So why would two popular independent liberal websites intentionally misrepresent the facts, lift large chunks of text from the original source and change a couple of words, or even go so far as to lie about the actions of a foreign government?
Sadly, it’s all about getting people to click through to their website, which equals more ad revenue. Without corporate sponsors, independent bloggers like myself rely on web traffic to pay the bills. The problem is that far too many people like Tiffany Willis from Liberal America, Ryan Denson from Addicting Info and other writers on all sides of the political spectrum sacrifice the truth in order to make a bigger check every month. This is why we’ve called them out in the past for lying about comments made by Ted Nugent or claiming that Bobby Jindal blamed racism on minorities not acting more like white people.
As I’ve said before, if we don’t call out people on the left when they exaggerate or tell outright falsehoods, then it makes us hypocrites when we criticize conservatives and Fox News for failing to do the same thing.
Manny Schewitz is a progressive from the Dirty South with an inclination to say it like it is. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives, and also maintains an active and lively presence on Facebook. You can find him on Twitter as well, @MannySchewitz. Be sure to check out Manny's archives on Forward Progressives for more of his viewpoints.
Dick Cheney Flips and Provides Evidence That George W. Bush Committed War Crimes
By: Jason Easley ---- PoliticusUSA
On Meet The Press, former vice president Dick Cheney claimed that he did not need a presidential pardon because he did not commit a crime, but he also threw George W. Bush under the bus by providing evidence that the former president committed war crimes.
Cheney repeatedly tried to hide behind 9/11. He went as far as defining torture as 9/11.
Later, Cheney said that Bush was not misled. He claimed that the president authorized torture.
He was briefed. I was heavily involved as was the National Security Director, Condi. The president writes about it in his own book….What happened was he and I met every single morning with the director of the CIA, with the National Security Advisor six days a week and reviewed everything basically in the intelligence arena. That is where we got most of our information. That and the PDB (President’s Daily Briefing). There would be special meeting on various subjects from time to time that he would be directly involved in. This man knew what we were doing. He authorized it. He approved it. The statement by the Senate Democrats for partisan purposes that the president didn’t know what was going on was just a flat out lie.
Cheney also claimed during the same interview that he did not need a presidential pardon, because no laws were broken.
The reason Cheney’s statements matter is because according to international law senior administration officials who knew about the torture program can be prosecuted.
United Nations Special Rapporteur on counter terrorism and human rights, Ben Emmerson explained the law, “International law prohibits the granting of immunities to public officials who have engaged in acts of torture. This applies not only to the actual perpetrators but also to those senior officials within the US Government who devised, planned and authorised these crimes….However, the heaviest penalties should be reserved for those most seriously implicated in the planning and purported authorisation of these crimes. Former Bush Administration officials who have admitted their involvement in the programme should also face criminal prosecution for their acts.”
Cheney admitted that Bush authorized the program, which means Bush is subject to the harshest international prosecution. The odds of the United States government turning over Cheney and Bush for prosecution are absolutely zero, but despite Cheney’s denials his words suggest that he wants to take George W. Bush down with him.
The war criminals are turning on each other, and Dick Cheney provided the evidence that is needed to prosecute George W. Bush.
The Push To Charge Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld For CIA Torture And War Crimes
The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights has been making the case for heavyweight members of the European Union to bring war crimes charges against members of the former administration.
By M.A. Hussein for Counter Current News
President Bush declares the end of major combat in Iraq as he speaks aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln off the California coast, in this May 1, 2003.There has been a lot of talk about bringing charges against former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and others in their administration like former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Some of the reports about nations like Germany bringing war crimes charges against members of the Bush administration have been exaggerated, but they are touching on a very real push in Europe to hold them accountable for CIA torture and other human rights violations committed in the name of the so-called “War on Terror.”
Unfortunately, some of the misleading headlines suggesting that Germany is in fact already charging Bush, Cheney and crew aren’t exactly what’s happening… yet. Instead, what is happening right now is the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights has been making the case for heavyweight members of the European Union to bring war crimes charges against members of the former administration.
This has prompted some sites to misleadingly say that “Germany is filing charges against George W. Bush.” We’re not quite there yet, and the chances of these nations actually trying to prosecute Bush, Cheney and company are pretty slim. But the statement that the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights is making is a pretty powerful one.
So why Germany? The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights is making the case to Germany that the United States violated the internationally-recognized human rights of German citizen, Khalid El-Masri. El-Masri had been kidnapped by CIA agents back in 2004. What did he do? Nothing.
…no really, he did nothing. It was all a case of mistaken identity. But because of that CIA error, he was tortured in a secret CIA “interrogation facility” in Afghanistan.
Wolfgang Kaleck, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights General Secretary said that “by investigating members of the Bush administration, Germany can help to ensure that those responsible for abduction, abuse and illegal detention do not go unpunished.”
Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights and chairman of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, said in an interview with Democracy Now that Cheney and others should all be indicted:
“This wasn’t like these [torture] memos just appeared independently from the Justice Department. These memos were facilitated by the very people — Cheney, etc. — who we believe should be indicted. This was part of a conspiracy so they could get away with torture. But that’s not the subject here now.
“Secondly, whatever we think of those memos, they’re of uselessness in Europe. Europe doesn’t accept this, quote, ‘golden shield’ of a legal defense. Either it’s torture or it’s not. Either you did it or you didn’t.And that’s one of the reasons, among others, why we’re going to Europe and why we went to Europe to bring these cases through the European Center.”
El-Masri supports the push for prosecution, saying that “Germany — whatever happened before, between the NSA spying on Germany and the fact that their citizen has now been revealed to have been kept in a torture place, when it was known that he was innocent, I’m pretty sure that Germany is going to take this very seriously.”
Whether or not that turns out to be the case remains to be seen. But the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights doesn’t plan to ease up on their push for prosecution with Germany.
UN Could Prosecute Bush for War Crimes
Says Ex-U.S. Terror Czar
Written by Alex Newman
Former U.S. terror czar Richard Clarke (shown), who resigned in 2003, dropped two bombshell statements about the Bush administration he served during a recent TV interview. First, he said, former President George W. Bush and then-Vice President Dick Cheney probably perpetrated what amounts to “war crimes” surrounding the unconstitutional attack on Iraq. While plenty of Americans on all sides of the political spectrum might be inclined to agree, Clarke went even further. He suggested the duo could be prosecuted by the dictator-dominated United Nations at the global body’s self-styled “International Criminal Court” (ICC) in The Hague.
Clarke was fairly blunt when asked whether he thought war-crimes charges should be brought against Bush, Cheney, and then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. “I think things that they authorized probably fall within the area of war crimes,” the former U.S. terrorism czar for Bill Clinton and George W. Bush said in an interview with Amy Goodman of the “progressive” Democracy Now TV program. “Whether that would be productive or not, I think, is a discussion we could all have.” It was not immediately clear why, if he believes they authorized war crimes, there should be a “discussion” about whether justice is “productive.”
Next, Clarke, listed as a “senior advisor” to the globalist Council on Foreign Relations and whose formal title in the U.S. administration was “national coordinator for security and counterterrorism,” suggested that the UN’s kangaroo “court” might play a role in such prosecutions. “We have established procedures now with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where people who take actions as serving presidents or prime ministers of countries have been indicted and have been tried,” Clarke said without hinting at the ICC’s illegitimate nature or the fact that the United States has never agreed to participate in the widely criticized global “judicial” regime.
Still, Bush’s former terror czar insisted his ex-boss could be prosecuted by the UN outfit. “So the precedent is there to do that sort of thing,” continued Clarke, who is also affiliated with various extreme leftist outfits such as the Center for American Progress. “And I think we need to ask ourselves whether or not it would be useful to do that in the case of members of the Bush administration. It’s clear that things that the Bush administration did — in my mind, at least, it’s clear that some of the things they did were war crimes.”
The irony, of course, is that Bush’s unconstitutional invasion and occupation of Iraq were carried out under a UN “resolution” as opposed to a declaration of war issued by Congress, which the U.S. Constitution requires. Indeed, the Bush administration and its “partners” in the war cited UN Security Council Resolution 1441, adopted unanimously in 2002 by the 15-member global body, as justification. The UN agreement — which can never legitimately override the U.S. Congress’s authority to declare war — purported to mandate the disarmament of Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein, a former U.S. government ally in the 1980s despite his use of weapons of mass destruction.
Of course, it is hardly the first time Bush and other senior U.S. officials — including Obama, who has taken Bush’s mass-murder-via-drone program to deadly new heights — have been accused of war crimes. In 2012, a pseudo-international “court” in Malaysia styling itself the “Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission” even purported to “convict” Bush and seven other senior administration officials of “war crimes” for invading Iraq. Among those “convicted” in absentia were Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, as well as U.S. “legal advisers” Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee, and John Yoo. The court was set up by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Separately, as reported by the Huffington Post, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff, also accused Cheney of perpetrating war crimes. “Waterboarding is a war crime, unwarranted surveillance ... all of which are crimes,” Wilkerson said in 2011 in arguing that the former vice president was a war criminal. “I don't care whether the president authorized him to do it or not, they are crimes.” Obviously, as demonstrated at Nuremberg, following orders is not a valid excuse for perpetrating war crimes.
It is also not the first time that Clarke, who served in high-level positions under numerous administrations, has criticized Bush. Indeed, when it comes to Iraq, the ex-terror czar has been a relentless critic since his resignation in 2003. “The president wanted me, after the fact, to blame Iraq for the 9/11 attack,” Clarke said in the interview with Democracy Now that aired last week. He has also been deeply critical of the administration for allegedly ignoring crucial information on al-Qaeda that could have been important in stopping the September 11 attacks. Instead of focusing on real threats, Clarke suggested the administration was too preoccupied with inventing justifications to invade Iraq.
Clarke also spoke out against some of the Obama administration’s abuses, particularly what he referred to as a “kill committee” — “people who sit around in the White House passing folders back and forth of names and voting on who they’re going to kill.” According to Clarke — not to mention any semblance of constitutional or even merely civilized standards — such schemes “went way too far.” He also criticized some of the National Security Agency’s “illegal” spying programs, which he said should be abolished. Special criticism was reserved for the death-by-drone program, which, ironically, Clarke played a role in getting off the ground. Multiple estimates suggest that thousands of innocent civilians have been massacred under the schemes. Clarke disagreed with those figures, but acknowledged that “it is clearly too many.”
Despite Bush’s own well-documented disdain for the U.S. Constitution, his God-given rights to a fair trial by a jury of his peers, like the right of all Americans, must be respected — an impossibility at the UN’s kangaroo court. Dr. Charles Rice, a professor of law at Notre Dame University, called the ICC “a monster” that essentially “repudiates the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence and cancels the 4th of July.” Especially troubling, he said, is that the court acknowledges no boundaries to its supposed authority. “In our system, law is supposed to be a rule of reason which, in a sense, controls the state and compels the state to operate under the law,” Dr. Rice explained. “What are the limits on the ICC? There are none. It's insane!”
As such, if Bush and other senior officials are ever charged with war crimes or other criminal charges, they must be prosecuted in the United States under U.S. law in a real, legitimate court. Of course, the Obama administration, which has perpetrated numerous similar crimes, has worked fiendishly to protect officials in the previous administration from prosecution for torture, spying, war crimes, and more. However, if justice is to be served, alleged American war criminals may only be prosecuted in U.S. courts before a jury of their peers.
Already, in 2011, the self-styled UN “court,” which does not possess even a semblance of authority over Americans, claimed to be “investigating” U.S. forces. Empowering the despot-packed UN to operate its own pseudo-judiciary branch would be a major mistake for many reasons that have been outlined in this magazine for over a decade. Allowing such a planetary “court” to prosecute Americans would be an absolute disaster. They may start with alleged war criminals, but that will undoubtedly not be the end. The Obama administration and its globalist allies are working hard to empower the ICC. For the sake of liberty, the Constitution, and national sovereignty, Americans and their representatives must work even harder to stop it.
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.
Finding the truth in 935 lies about war with Iraq
The Center for Public Integrity
New book from Center's founder discusses the orchestrated deception that led to the Iraq War, and what it means for America's future
Dick Cheney And Other Bush Administration Officials May Finally Go To Trial
By Manny Schewitz ------ Forward Progress
Did you know six members of the Bush Administration may finally end up in court? While I’d really rather see Bush painting his self portraits in solitary confinement or Rumsfeld riding the bulls at Angola, that’s not going to happen. Our friends over at Quiet Mike have been following this story for a while and here’s the quick rundown for you: Saleh is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit targeting six key members of the Bush Administration: George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Paul Wolfowitz.
In Saleh v. Bush, she alleges that the Iraq War was not conducted in self-defense, did not have the appropriate authorization by the United Nations, and therefore constituted a “crime of aggression” under international law—a designation first set down in the Nuremberg Trials after World War II. The aim of the suit is simple: to achieve justice for Iraqis, and to show that no one, not even the president of the United States, is above the law.
When I first posted the story on a few pages I help run, including Politically Preposterous and Whiskey and the Morning After, one common response was something like, “Finally! I hope they rot in jail!” While it’s probably what they deserve, especially Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, jail isn’t what they’re looking at. Let’s be clear, this is a civil suit, not a criminal case. That is a very important legal difference that many people seem to be overlooking.
Unfortunately, neither Bush, nor Cheney, nor Rumsfeld or any of the other people in the Bush Administration responsible for the Iraq War will likely ever see the inside of a jail cell. As much as many of us would like to see that happen, it’s just not going to happen. There are few, if any, prosecutors anywhere in the United States who have the ability to bring charges against the planners of the Iraq fiasco. If perhaps the Justice Department was prosecuting them, then a criminal case could be successful. However, the Justice Department is actually defending these officials against a civil suit here, believe it or not.
There are also additional legal hoops that the plaintiffs will have to jump through in order to keep the case from being thrown out. Earlier this year, the Department of Justice, who is defending the six Bush Administration officials, responded to the lawsuit by requesting that the case be dismissed. The Bush tribe is claiming that the planning of the war occurred within the scope of their employment and therefore they have immunity. Rather than dismissing the case, the Judge asked for additional information. So Mr. Comar filed a 2nd amended complaint back in June. The amended complaint provides more details about the planning of the Iraq war and when it started.
Comar’s evidence, shows the Bush/Cheney team started planning the invasion of Iraq as far back as 1997. The amended complaint also explains that the war was motivated by personal enrichment and the war was a “crime of aggression.”
If the complaint that the war was planned as far back as 1997 is found to be true in a civil trial, this would be at least a partial vindication for a lot of people who have believed for a long time that George W. Bush or Dick Cheney had this in mind for years prior to the 2003 invasion. The plaintiffs argue that is indeed what happened, and the other defendants from the Bush Administration are also liable as George W. Bush could not have carried out this war on his own.
In the complaint, it is shown that Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld had pushed for the war repeatedly, and it is alleged that the 9/11 attacks were used to finally justify military action. Nothing will bring back the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians who died, the 4486 U.S. personnel killed or the tens of thousands more who are scarred physically and mentally from a war we were sold on a lie. It won’t bring back the veterans like my friend Dan who didn’t get the PTSD help that they needed and committed suicide.
However, holding the Bush Administration responsible for their actions, even through a civil suit, will still be better than nothing at all. You can read the Saleh v. Bush complaint in its entirety here.
Bush & Cheney Should Be Charged with War Crimes
Says Col. Wilkerson, Former Aide to Colin Powell
Lawrence Wilkerson, served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005. He helped prepare Powell’s infamous speech to the United Nations claiming Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, which he has since renounced. He is now a professor of government and public policy at the College of William & Mary.
WATCH: Amy Goodman on Moving from Assessment to Accountability for "The Bush Doctrine" on Terrorism
Ex-Bush Official: U.S. Tortured Prisoners to Produce False Intel that Built Case for Iraq War
Former Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke: Bush Committed War Crimes
Calls are increasing for the prosecution of George W. Bush administration officials tied to the CIA torture program. On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch called on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor who would investigate the crimes detailed in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the program. On Monday, The New York Times editorial board called for a full and independent criminal investigation. We put the question about prosecution to Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005.
AMY GOODMAN: Richard Clarke also says he believes President George W. Bush is guilty of war crimes for launching the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
RICHARD CLARKE: I think things that they authorized probably fall within the area of war crimes. Whether that would be productive or not, I think, is a discussion we could all have. But we have established procedures now with the International Criminal Court in The Hague where people who take actions as serving presidents or prime ministers of countries have been indicted and have been tried. So the precedent is there to do that sort of thing.
AMY GOODMAN: So, that’s Richard Clarke, Bush’s former counterterrorism czar, who said Bush came up to him right after the 9/11 attacks to say, "Start linking this to Iraq." Colonel Wilkerson, he’s a Bush administration official. You’re a Bush administration official. Of course, the man you worked for, Colin Powell, was a Bush administration official, secretary of state. Do you think that President Bush, Vice President Cheney, George Tenet, head of the CIA, and others should be held accountable for war crimes, should be actually charged?
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: I have to say that after all of my investigations, my students looking into the episodes in case studies and so forth, my own personal experience in that administration, I can only give you an answer that is, I think, utopian, I think it’s far too optimistic, it’s Pollyannaish: yes. But I don’t think for a moment that it’s going to happen.
AARON MATÉ: Colonel, the Senate report says that 26 innocent people were caught up in the program, and former Vice President Cheney addressed this. Speaking to Meet the Press, he was asked about the report finding that 26 of the 119 prisoners were innocent. This was his response.
DICK CHENEY: I’m more concerned with bad guys who got out and were released than I am with a few that in fact were innocent.
CHUCK TODD: Twenty-five percent of the detainees, though. Twenty-five percent turned out not to have—turned out to be innocent. They were--
DICK CHENEY: So, where are you going to draw the line, Chuck? How are you going to know?
CHUCK TODD: Well, I’m asking you.
DICK CHENEY: I’m saying--
CHUCK TODD: Is that too high? Is that—you’re OK with that margin for error?
DICK CHENEY: I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective.
AARON MATÉ: That was Chuck Todd questioning former Vice President Dick Cheney. Colonel Wilkerson, can you respond to what Cheney said? And also address the issue of innocence. Do you think that the 26 figure is too low?
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: Definitely too low, when you consider the entire prison population. As I’ve said many times in the past, I am quite confident that probably a half to two-thirds, possibly even more, of those initially put in Guantánamo, some 700-plus people, were just swept up on the battlefield, through bounty process or whatever, and were basically innocent of anything other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But let’s look at what Dick Cheney said. This is pure Cheney. This is Cheney and Rumsfeld’s tactic. They immediately deflect the question, which is a solid question which they simply can’t answer. They immediately deflect it to the other side of the equation, whether it’s the ticking time bomb argument, which is a fallacious and stupid argument if you really parse it well, or whether it’s, as Cheney did here, that, you know, 75 percent were guilty, and any one of those might have done something, and so I was good in what I did. This is Cheney, amoral, amoral Cheney.
What you must look at, too, and what I wish that interrogator of Cheney had looked at, is, we know—we know positively that a minimum—and I suspect it’s higher—of 39 people died in the interrogation process. Why does no one ever mention that? We know, too, that in some of those cases the military or civilian coroner involved found the cause of that death to be homicide. The most famous case, of course, Alex Gibney in his documentary, Taxi to the Dark Side, Dilawar in Afghanistan, is known about, but even that’s been forgotten. We murdered people whom we were interrogating. Isn’t that the ultimate torture? No one ever asks Dick about that.
AMY GOODMAN: Colonel Wilkerson, that number, 39 people killed by torturers, where do you get that number, and where were they killed?
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: That number comes from Human Rights First’s initial report on command responsibility in the interrogation program, which I believe came out quite early, 2006-2007. It was 39 people who died in detention. Now, some of them died of natural causes. They had a heart attack or whatever. Of course, the heart attack might have been brought on by the very strenuous process they were going through, including hypothermic rooms and stress and so forth and so on. But nonetheless, several of those were judged homicides. In other words, either the contractor for the CIA, the CIA or the military individual conducting the interrogation was responsible for the death of that person because of what they were doing to them. That’s never talked about anymore.
AMY GOODMAN: Final question. At the time that Colin Powell gave that speech, that infamous speech that he would later call a blot on his career, February 5th, 2003, at the U.N., there were many who were saying, including weapons inspectors in Iraq, that the allegation of weapons of mass destruction was not true. What would have penetrated the bubble for you, Colonel Wilkerson—for example, to peace activists and others—to be able to reach you, to reach Colin Powell? Why could they continue to say this, with lots of evidence behind it, yet you didn’t hear it?
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: I think there was objection that made its way through to us. After all, we had an intelligence and research group at the State Department, INR, and an assistant secretary, Carl Ford, who objected rather strenuously to one-third of the major elements of Powell’s presentation, the most dangerous element, if you will—the active nuclear program. So, we had opposition.
But, Amy, when you have a secretary of state of the United States sitting down with the representative of the 16 intelligence entities, representing the military, representing NSA, representing DIA, the CIA, of course, and all the other entities that we spend some $80 billion a year to keep up and working, and telling the secretary of state, who is not an intelligence professional, that this is the case and this is the proof, it’s very difficult for the secretary of state to push back and say, "No, I’ve got some element here that tells me you’re not right." Powell did that, on a number of occasions. But in each case, with few exceptions that were important, Tenet and McLaughlin pushed back with the weight of the intelligence community. And people forget, Tenet was pushing back, as he said, quite frequently, with the Germans, the Israelis, the French and, as he would put it, all the other countries in the world who have reasonably good intelligence and intelligence institutions and are corroborating what I’m saying. So, this is a very difficult situation for the secretary of state.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you think John Brennan, head of the CIA, should immediately be fired?
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: I think John Brennan should have been fired a long time ago. Long time ago.
AMY GOODMAN: Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, we’re going to have to wrap this break, but we’re going to ask you to stay with us. You served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005. But we’re going to go back in time. We’re going to—it is the 25th anniversary of the invasion of Panama. At the time, Colin Powell was the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We’re going to have a discussion about this anniversary. Stay with us.
America's Insane Policy of Committing War Crimes in the Name of Preventing Other War Crimes
It's as cynical as it gets. Why do so many of us buy into it?
By Nicholas JS Davies ------ Alternet
"And we read from pleasant Bibles that are bound with blood and skin/That the wilderness is gathering all its children back again." --Leonard Cohen
Post-Cold War U.S. war policy can be roughly divided into two periods. From 1990 until 1998, in a rational response to the end of the Cold War, the U.S. military budget was gradually cut by 30% over 9 years. In January 1993, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney signed off on a defense strategy that would cut military spending to pre-WWII levels as a percentage of GNP. After 1991, only 55 U.S. troops died in overseas deployments: 19 in the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia; 19 in Somalia; 14 on 2 helicopters mistakenly shot down by a US warplane over Iraq; 2 in Kenya; and 1 in Haiti.
But then something changed. By 1997, the Pentagon, State Department and think-tanks funded by military-industrial interests were regrouping and crafting new frameworks for the use of military force to exploit the post-Cold War U.S. "power dividend" Clinton's New Democrats played the humanitarian interventionist good cop to the bad cop of neoconservative Republican-led groups like Project for the New American Century.
General Colin Powell wrote that he "almost had an aneurism" in 1993 when the incoming UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright asked him at a meeting, "What's the point of having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it?" Albright was promoted to Secretary of State in Clinton's second term, and the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review laid out an ideological framework for the unilateral and illegal use of force to "defend vital U.S. interests," explicitly including "preventing the emergence of a hostile regional coalition… [and] ensuring uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources."
This is precisely what we have seen in the years since: the military budget has almost doubled, to fund a global U.S. military expansion and war to control markets, energy supplies and resources, while the State Department and CIA have undermined peace and independent economic relations between major countries across Eurasia.
At about the same time, Samantha Power, who had spent three years as a reporter in Bosnia, was appointed executive director of the Carr Center, a new human rights institute at Harvard. She began writing A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, which was published in 2002 and won a Pulitzer Prize. Power is a skillful writer, and her book eloquently made the case for humanitarian intervention to prevent massacres and genocide.
Power's book examined genocides in Cambodia, Iraqi Kurdistan, Yugoslavia and Rwanda, painting the U.S. as a habitually passive bystander as others committed terrible atrocities. She didn't juxtapose her cases against others in which the U.S. was an active participant or state sponsor of massacres and genocide, as in Palestine, Vietnam, Indonesia, Guatemala, Operation Condor, Turkish Kurdistan and Iraq under sanctions.
But failing to frame her studies in the larger context of U.S. war policy was only one of the shortcomings of Power's book. Her case studies were detailed and heart-wrenching, but often superficial and based on single sources, relying heavily on Peter Galbraith on Iraqi Kurdistan and a guilt-wracked General Romeo Dallaire on Rwanda. She mentioned the U.S. bombing of Cambodia, but didn't explore how it led directly to the rise of the Khmer Rouge and the destruction of Cambodian society. Her focus was not on the causes of genocide, which would surely be key to preventing it, but on stopping it once it is already happening.
It is Rwanda that has been carved most deeply into the Western psyche as the unforgivable case of "doing nothing." Because we did not intervene to stop the genocide in Rwanda, we are all now vulnerable to the argument that we must intervene everywhere else. But even as Samantha Power moved from journalism and academia to even more influential positions on the National Security Council and as U.N. Ambassador, serious students of genocide were challenging the humanitarian intervention argument that she helped to move to the heart of U.S. policy and propaganda.
In an article titled "A Solution From Hell: the United States and the Rise of Humanitarian Interventionism, 1991-2003" in the Journal of Genocide Research, Stephen Wertheim of Columbia University examined the now dominant narrative of the Rwanda genocide and its role in transforming U.S. war policy. He pointed out that the neocons did not launch the invasion of Iraq by themselves. They secured bipartisan approval in Congress by exploiting a broad view that America's new-found position as the world's only superpower gave us the military power and therefore the responsibility to transform other societies by the use of force. For most Americans, the lesson of Iraq and Afghanistan is that we simply don't have that ability. As Norwegian General Robert Mood, who led a team of UN peacekeepers into Syria in 2012, told the BBC:
"It is fairly easy to use the military tool because, when you launch the military tool in classical interventions, something will happen and there will be results. The problem is that the results are almost all the time different than the political results you were aiming for when you decided to launch it. So the other position, arguing that it is not the role of the international community... to change governments inside a country, is also a position that should be respected."
Since Wertheim wrote his paper in 2010, President Obama has launched new wars in Libya, Syria and Iraq. The propaganda campaigns to support these wars draw more heavily on Albright and Power's appeal to "do something" than on Bush's appeal to fear and jingoism, although U.S. officials opportunistically use each to reinforce the other.
Examining the lack of a U.S. response to genocide in Rwanda, Wertheim found that senior U.S. officials were not aware of the scale of the violence until it was too late to prevent most of it. There had been a civil war in Rwanda since 1990, with well-documented massacres of civilians. When President Habramiyana's plane was shot down, government forces attacked the 600-1,000 RPF rebels who were in Kigali for peace talks with the government. The RPF responded with a new offensive across the country, which ended with an RPF victory and a new government under Paul Kagame. The genocide of Tutsis took place at the same time as and in the context of this renewed warfare. Foreign diplomats understandably saw the attacks on civilians as a horrific aspect of the war, rather than as something new and distinct from it.
Four days after the massacres began, Canadian Major General Dallaire, the head of the small UN peacekeeping force in Kigali, requested 5,000 UN troops to try to secure the city. Over time, Dallaire's request became central to the humanitarian interventionist narrative, suggesting that the 5,000 troops he requested could have prevented the genocide if only Western leaders had listened. Stephen Wertheim examined whether such a force could have halted the genocide, and he found the scenario "infeasible at best and dangerously deficient at worst."
A Carnegie Commission of military leaders in 1998 claimed that there was a two-week "window of opportunity" for Dallaire's plan to work, before the genocide spread beyond Kigali, and after which intervention would have required "massive amounts of force." But this window of opportunity never existed. Rwanda specialist Alison Des Forges' definitive account of the genocide  published by Human Rights Watch makes it clear that some of the worst massacres took place out in the countryside during the first week. By the time Human Rights Watch issued its first report, using the word genocide for the first time, the killing had gone on for almost two weeks, and HRW estimated that 100,000 people had already been killed.
Many more than 5,000 troops would have been needed to have any impact across the country. Wertheim compared Rwanda to other emergency military operations and concluded that an effective force couldn't have been deployed in less than another two weeks. He estimated that even a highly successful operation could not have saved more than 125,000 Tutsis, and that the death squads might have only killed more furiously in the face of foreign intervention.
This scenario also fails to take the international political context into account. France had armed the Hutu-led government in the civil war and sent hundreds of troops to support it. The RPF rebels therefore strongly opposed foreign intervention, even to save their fellow Tutsis. An RPF leader warned General Dallaire that it would take action against any foreign forces who intervened. So foreign forces could have very quickly found themselves fighting both sides in a civil war, no closer to achieving their original mission to stop the killing of civilians.
And then what? Even if they could stop the killing in the short term, how long would they need to stay, and what would happen when they left? We know what has happened in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan, where U.S. and allied forces have intervened in different ways with different levels of force and different strategies, leaving death, destruction and chaos in their wake in every case. But Rwanda remains "the dog that didn't bark." We cannot know what didn't happen, but there's enough evidence to challenge the way our leaders have used Rwanda to justify endless intervention, violence and chaos everywhere else.
Wertheim found Samantha Power's thesis in Problem From Hell to be fundamentally flawed. She concluded that the U.S. did too little in each case, but her book "shrunk from recommending how exactly the U.S. should have acted." While she claimed there were both military and non-military options for intervention in Rwanda, he found that her "embrace of war is shrouded, but it is omnipresent." And Power saw no need for more complex analysis because she wrongly "assumed U.S. military capabilities were practically unlimited."
All this led to the simplistic conclusion that the use of U.S. military force could be the solution to genocide, and by implication, to serious human rights violations anywhere. As a result of Power and her colleagues' dangerous overreaching, as Wertheim noted, "Over the past decade, the norm of humanitarian intervention, briefly girded by dreams of U.S. military invulnerability, advanced beyond the ability to undertake the actions it prescribed. This was a recipe for dangerous deployments and dashed hopes: the former when leaders take the norm seriously, the latter when they finally realize there is no good way to deliver."
Now that Samantha Power and President Obama have had the chance to test her ideas in the real world, we only have to look at Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan today to see the results. If the end of the Cold War and the "dog that didn't bark" in Rwanda left Power and PNAC with dystopian visions of American power by the late '90s, what have the years since taught the rest of us as we've watched the waves of violence and chaos they unleashed sweep across country after country?
More of us now remember what the people of the world knew too well in 1945, that war is the worst thing human beings can do to each other and the essential context and precursor to genocide. The dystopian visions of the neocons and humanitarian interventionists are a shabby and dangerous substitute for the UN Charter, international courts with universal jurisdiction, and a genuine commitment to peace, human rights and the rule of law.
The 1999 NATO bombing and invasion of Yugoslavia was an act of aggression in violation of the UN Charter. So were the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. So are air strikes in Syria and drone strikes in Pakistan. When the governments of Iraq, Yemen and Somalia give permission for the U.S. to use military force on their territory, it further undermines their legitimacy in the eyes of their own people. Behind a cynical shield of secrecy, propaganda and impunity, the U.S. armed forces flagrantly and systematically violate the Geneva Conventions and other human rights laws.
Most relevant to Samantha Power's concerns, the decade-long campaign of ethnic cleansing that has killed at least 10% of the Sunni Arab population of Iraq and displaced millions, is a genocide on a scale equal to Rwanda, and one for which U.S. officials bear full criminal responsibility. From 2004 to 2008, U.S. forces and Iraqi Interior Ministry forces under U.S. command detained, tortured and killed with impunity. At the peak of the campaign in 2006, the central morgue in Baghdad was receiving more than 1,600 corpses every month, and an Iraqi human rights group identified 92% as the bodies of people detained by Interior Ministry forces
The violence subsided as U.S. forces withdrew, but new peaceful protests for civil and political rights began with the Arab Spring in 2011. They were met by ever-increasing repression, until desperate Sunnis again took up arms and allied with ISIS to protect themselves from renewed genocide by Interior Ministry death squads. The U.S. has responded by intervening on the side of the death squads.
American officials claim that U.S. crimes are of a different order to those of our enemies, even as they reduce that to a purely political claim by rejecting the jurisdiction of international courts. Samantha Power trotted out one of the standard claims of U.S. military lawyers in a book review in the New York Times in 2007, writing that, "there is a moral difference between setting out to destroy as many civilians as possible and killing civilians unintentionally and reluctantly in pursuit of a military objective."
Historian Howard Zinn responded in a letter to the Times:
"These words are misleading because they assume that an action is either 'deliberate' or 'unintentional.' There is something in between, for which the word is 'inevitable.' If you engage in an action, like aerial bombing, in which you cannot possibly distinguish between combatants and civilians (as a former Air Force bombardier, I will attest to that), the deaths of civilians are inevitable, even if not 'intentional.' Does that difference exonerate you morally? The terrorism of the suicide bomber and the terrorism of aerial bombardment are indeed morally equivalent. To say otherwise (as either side might) is to give one moral superiority over the other, and thus serve to perpetuate the horrors of our time.
By Allen Clifton ------ Forward Progressives
I recently had a discussion with a conservative who, as expected, had no trouble bashing President Obama for what a “lousy job he’s done as president.” Now I didn’t get into it too much with this individual because I stick to a rule about not engaging in political debates with people who clearly aren’t on the same level as I am. Not to sound arrogant, but if someone doesn’t know the difference between the House of Representatives and the Senate or you think our economic crash happened while Obama was president, I just don’t have time to waste trying to explain life to that person.
Typically with these types of conservatives I simply ask them one question, “Did you vote for George W. Bush twice?” If their answer is yes, I usually just dismiss anything else they have to say. While President Obama is far from perfect, it’s ridiculous to me that those who voted for George W. Bush twice try to act outraged over the few controversies that have stemmed from the Obama administration.
Benghazi is, of course, the most obvious of these fake attempts at outrage. When the guy you voted for twice sent over 4,400 Americans to die in Iraq based on a lie – spare me your fake outrage over four deaths in Benghazi. Or how easily conservatives seem to gloss over the fact that Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney have all admitted to committing war crimes. Not only admitted to it, but practically bragged about it.
It’s no wonder why many Americans have asked why they’re not in prison. And conservatives have the nerve to say that Obama has hurt America’s image internationally? Please. Anti-American sentiment within the global community really gained stem years ago when practically the entire Bush administration gave the world the middle finger and said they were going to do whatever they wanted whether anyone else liked it or not.
And it’s hard for a country to run on the pretense of moral authority when your president and vice president are essentially bragging about committing war crimes. Heck, even one of Bush’s former top officials, Richard Clarke, recently said that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld all committed war crimes.
During an interview with Democracy Now! Clarke was asked whether or not Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld could be tried by an international court for war crimes: “I think things that they authorized probably fall within the area of war crimes. Whether that would be productive or not, I think, is a discussion we could all have. But we have established procedures now with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where people who take actions as serving presidents or prime ministers of countries have been indicted and have been tried.
So the precedent is there to do that sort of thing. And I think we need to ask ourselves whether or not it would be useful to do that in the case of members of the Bush administration. It’s clear that things that the Bush administration did — in my mind, at least, it’s clear that some of the things they did were war crimes.”
My apologies to Mr. Clarke, but he’s wrong on one part of that statement. It’s not just “in his mind” that some of the things they did were war crimes – they did commit war crimes. But the real injustice is that none of these men will ever see the inside of a courtroom for the crimes they’ve admitted to committing.
Allen Clifton Allen Clifton is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has a degree in Political Science. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives, and author of the popular Right Off A Cliff column. He is also the founder of the Right Off A Cliff facebook page, on which he routinely voices his opinions and stirs the pot for the Progressive movement. Follow Allen on Twitter as well, @Allen_Clifton.