Posted: 02/01/07 15:53, Edited: 02/01/07 15:58
The following is an excerpt from a BuzzFlash interview with Elizabeth de la Vega, the author of United States v George W. Bush, et al.
In United States v. Bush et al., de la Vega lays out an actual indictment of the Bush Administration for crimes committed based on violation of U.S. law. She then proceeds to take the reader through a simulated presentation of the indictment to a grand jury.
In short, she brings Bush and his cohorts to the court of justice and makes them subject to the rule of law.
United States v. Bush et al. is not about impeachment, per se, because it is about a criminal indictment presented in a grand jury. The actual grand jury proceedings in the book are simulated, of course, but the facts that the indictment is based on are real.
Compelling reading for those who want to hold the Bush Administration accountable in a court of law.
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BuzzFlash: As an analogy for our readers, looking back at the O.J. Simpson case, he was acquitted in a criminal court of law but found guilty in the civil case. A lot of people found this confusing. In our justice system, we really have quite a varied field in terms of seeking accountability. Given that context, what area of the law are you talking about in your book United States v. Bush et al. and in the excerpts that have been posted at TomDispatch.com?
Elizabeth de la Vega: I?m talking about criminal law, and a specific federal criminal law.
BuzzFlash: Many people do believe that Bush and others in this Administration have violated laws. Many people are advocating impeachment. Let?s clarify that this is not a book about impeachment.
Elizabeth de la Vega: That?s correct.
BuzzFlash: If it?s not about impeachment, what is it? As a former U.S. prosecutor, what perpective do you take?
Elizabeth de la Vega: Let me just step back a little bit about what I did here. It?s a hypothetical grand jury presentation that sets forth the evidence that relates to one crime -- one specific crime -- which is conspiracy to defraud the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C., section 371. I drafted a hypothetical indictment. It?s not a real document.
I gathered all the evidence that I could find in the public record, which is considerable, about statements that these individuals made publicly, versus the information they had there behind the scenes. Then I set all that out. All of the facts that are alleged in this testimony are absolutely true. The reader is left to decide whatever decision the reader wants to make.
BuzzFlash: I have a few questions about that statement.
Elizabeth de la Vega: Okay.
BuzzFlash: We?ll start with this. There are many different crimes that people have alleged the Bush Administration is responsible for. Of course, the Bush Administration and their supporters say that?s poppycock. There are no crimes. Nonetheless, they?ve been alleged.
You?re really just talking about one specific statute -- the United States Code, Title 18, section 371. There could be other crimes they?re responsible for.
Elizabeth de la Vega: Right. I am not talking about the signing statements, or torture, or the wire tapping, all of which are important, but that?s not what I?m talking about.
BuzzFlash: What is it that your indictment accuses Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al. of violating?
Elizabeth de la Vega: There?s a provision which says that it?s against the law to conspire to defraud the United States. The statute itself doesn?t define what that means, but over the years -- actually more than a hundred years now -- we have what?s called case law that does elaborate on what that means, and does set forth the legal standard that would be given to the jury if they were trying to consider the case. What it means is using deceit of any kind to interfere with or obstruct a branch or agency of government. That?s what the subject is.
BuzzFlash: Is it fair to say that much of what you include in the indictment has to do with the deceptions that are on the record that the Bush Administration employed to lead America into the war with Iraq?
Elizabeth de la Vega: Precisely
See her in person at the February 3rd mnpACT! meeting at Open Circle Church in Burnsville.... details are on the right side of our home page. Get the facts on this criminal administration; from the investigation of a former federal prosecutor.