I have previously written that both “W and Cheney deserve a place in history – in a penitentiary.” I have urged the president-elect to offer no blanket pardons to Misters Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld or Rove just in case they are prosecuted for “high crimes and misdemeanors” (Constitution, Art. II Sec. 4). According to Jon Roland of the Constitution Society, “High . . . does not mean ‘more serious’. It refers to those punishable offenses that only apply to high persons,” more specifically public officials. Presidential accountability has been obscured by President Ford's pardoning of President Nixon.
Should Bush, Cheney et al. be prosecuted for "High crimes and misdemeanors"? I posed that question at YouPolls.com and got 33 responses. Of those responding, 61% voted yes. 39% voted no. Take into account the following disclaimer from the site. “Polls listed on YouPolls.com are not scientific surveys. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate and can be skewed due to multiple votes, percentage rounding, and biased participants.”
Here is a sample of the opinions the poll generated.
“Definitely; Especially Mr. Cheney and don't forget about finding a way to prosecute Donald Rumsfeld.”
“They should be tried for war crimes,” wrote another voter. “We launched a pre-emptive war on Iraq.” Additionally “…the U. S. was a major party to the UN charter, drafted in 1945, which stated that the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state was illegal.”
Here is quite a different point of view. “History is written by the winner, and in this case we're leaving Iraq as winners. By prosecuting individuals connected to this war we open a can of worms. As always history has and will always be kind to winners.”
Probably the most succinct response was this. “Yes, they should. No, they will not. That's life.”
I tend to concur with that one only because to put that band of “public officials” on trial would certainly be public – a show trial, in a manner of speaking. The enemies of this nation would not understand it and only China would think such a prosecution reasonable if not worthwhile. So perhaps I asked the wrong question.
At minimum the Bush/Cheney gang should retire, collect no pensions, and be prevented from making huge sums of money as private citizens after January 20th. They are criminals. Ted Steven has nothing on them.