Worried Bush Won’t Be Prosecuted for War Crimes? Have Patience

Those calling for the prosecution of Bush administration officials have had their shorts in a bunch lately. The rhetoric coming from Obama and his transition team has given them no reason for comfort.  Judging by George W. Bush’s Monday press conference performance he is either too worried about it or not at all, and likely the latter.  However, there are plenty of reasons to expect to see Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al. hauled before a court of some sort.  We may just have to wait a bit longer.

Of course, pessimism is understandable.  Consider the President Elect’s comments from last Sunday’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos:

I think my general view when it comes to my attorney general is that he’s the people’s lawyer. Eric Holder’s been nominated. His job is to uphold the Constitution and look after the interests of the American people. Not be swayed by my day-to-day politics. So ultimately, he’s going to be making some calls. But my general belief is that when it comes to national security, what we have to focus on is getting things right in the future as opposed to looking at what we got wrong in the past.

There are two ways to look at this.  Either, Attorney General Nominee Eric Holder, once confirmed, will sort it out, or Obama will go the Ford/Nixon route and issue preemptive pardons “for the good of the country.”  Time columnist Joe Klein, in this week’s print issue, suggested that pardoning the Bush administration officials would be a “cagey” option for Obama:

…  he could pardon Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld for the possible commission of war crimes.  Then they’d have to live with official acknowledgement of their ignominy in perpetuity.

Klein actually manages to make a pardon sound like a kick in the privates, but within the article he also suggests that he has no reason to believe that they will, or won’t, pursue war crimes charges while ensuring the same mistakes are not made going forward.

Holder is a different matter, altogether.  During the prospective Attorney General’s confirmation hearings Thursday, he left little doubt how he felt about “enhanced interrogation tactics,” as well as those whom approved their use.



That sounds like a man who means business, but again, patience will be required.  Eric Holder will have a monumental task before him in straightening out the Department of Justice after eight years of W.

I know.  Having to be patient really sucks when you want something to happen, and I’m curious to know what you think.  If you’ve read this far, you must have an opinion.  Will Obama sic his new AG on the outgoing administration, or will he let it drift?  The dilemma reminds me of a quote from Thomas Jefferson:

A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to it’s true principles. It is true that in the mean time we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war & long oppressions of enormous public debt…   If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, & then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are the stake.
—Philadelphia, June 4, 1798

Do not fret.  It will happen.  A little patience…


Jack Oneill
Jack Oneill7 years ago

FIRST we need to Investigate Nobama-bin-laden!!! Who is this FRAUD????

Walter W.
Walter W.7 years ago

I've seen here the acts of Presidents Clinton and George W equated, as if they were somehow similar in their severity. Cheating on your wife with a coworker, then lying about it under oath is in no way comparable to the repeated breaking of law after law after law!

For instance, the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame not only ruined her career, but what about her associates in dangerous situations? How many didn't make it out and back to the US safely? I want to know. Tha was an instance of Felony Treason! Libby was just the fall-guy.

The Bush administration was a cabal of small minded, vindictive, selfish globalists. In their methods, the end justified the means, if they could even be bothered with considering what they were doing to accomplish their mean little schemes.

All lead by President Hubris himself. Mr. "It Would Be Much Easier If It Were a Dictatorship, - As Long As I'm The Dictator. ( ha-ha-ha )". And Twisted Cheney. A Big Wad of Contempt and Self-Importance, lusting for more and more Power!

And ON and ON and ON....

I want to know if there were any days that a Crime WASN'T committed in this administration.

Soooo..... I'll have patience for now, but the Constitution DEMANDS that we find out what has really gone on these long 8 years.

Karen C.
Karen Christian7 years ago

The rule of law & the constitution MUST be restored - therefore, they MUST be prosecuted. If they aren't what kind of message does that send to America, the World, and future generations? That what they did doesn't really matter to us. It's called "accountability"!

Joseph C.
Joseph C.7 years ago

Restoring confidence in government, restoring the U.S. image in the world and stimulating the economy must be high priorities demanding immediate attention by President Obama. However, the misdeeds of Bush and his cronies--especially Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfiwitz and others must not be overlooked. The misdeeds of the Bush administration must be investigated and those responsible should be held accountable for their misdeeds, fabrications, and abuses of the Constitution and laws of the United States. A Special Prosecutor seems warranted to investigate and bring charges as appropriate.

Valerie C.
Valerie C.7 years ago

I;m with Charlann, Gene and Tony. It's time to heal America, not satisy yearnings of a witch hunt. Face it people, the majority of Americans voted for Bush the 2nd time. Let it go and be proactive in your government now!

Tony S.
Tony S.7 years ago

After reading the comments, I'm just more worried about the future of our great nation. For those who aren't sure, I'm talking about the USA. All of you that have called for prosecution (and one persecution) really have a poor grasp of law and history. If you're too young to really remember, the pardon of Pres. Nixon was crucial to America moving on, as history has proved. The impeachment of Pres. Clinton was important, after all it had to be the most notorious case of sexual harassment in US history! Yet the Senate chose not to prosecute, because they all realized the threat of retaliation from the losing party. Because of this, we were laughed at by the rest of the world. Our own Pres. couldn't recognize sex. Great. And you are worried about what the world thinks now? Remember folks, for many, politics is a game. In both cases, real and well defined crimes were committed, such as being an accomplice to a crime, and sexual harassment, but many took the long term view. Which is in short supply here. These comments really are sad, because there are so many who wish to seek vengeance, and worse, allow other Countries to prosecute our own! That it traitorous and hateful. No one says you have to like a president, but, if you're going to accuse him of war crimes, at least understand what it is you're saying.

Linda R.
Past Member 7 years ago

I am more than willing to wait patiently just as long as I know that Bush and his gang of thugs are prosecuted for the crimes they committed against the American people and the Constitution !
No president or vice president is above the law and I truly believe if we are a country that lives by its laws then the Bush administration must be held accountable for their misdeeds !

Linda R.
Past Member 7 years ago

I am more than willing to wait patiently just as long as I know that Bush and his gang of thugs are prosecuted for the crimes they committed against the American people and the Constitution !
No president or vice president is above the law and I truly believe if we are a country that lives by its laws then the Bush administration must be held accountable for their misdeeds !

Kathleen W.
Kathleen W.7 years ago

Remember the President is suppose to UPHOLD the law, not destroy it.

Phyllis Rohrer
Phyllis Rohrer7 years ago

Since Bush went AWOL for the last year of his reserved duty, by military law he should have been tried and sent to prison. Instead, he had someone black out the incriminating portion of his record and then "someone" miraculously found his new records in the Pentagon (the ink probably wasn't dry on them at the time). Never knew that was a repository for military records. He should NEVER have been allowed to become president. He knew that the voting was rigged and that he was a shoo in. He was a puppet for the puppetmaster Cheney and they plus others are guilty of war crimes. And I think time will prove that they were in on some plot to bring down the twin towers and building #7. TV people have clips with sound showing some very dramatic footage of that infamous day. I've seen it, but every now and then the site would be off the net and then it would come back. I say they must be prosecuted for all their crimes. But our new president has his hands full right now so it might take some time. We all must not let this get out of sight. Keep the information active on the net.
Phyllis Rohrer