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The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder (Review)

Vincent Bugliosi (Perseus Publishing)

By Steve Rosen · October 8th, 2008 · Lit
Vincent Bugliosi’s thesis in The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder is that Bush should be tried for conspiracy to commit murder over his misstatements (lies, in Bugliosi’s eyes) that created the pretext for the 2003 Iraq invasion. And Vice President Dick Cheney and now-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice could be co-conspirators, as might other past and present administration figures.

While this is an angry book, it is knowledgeable about how the law works. That’s largely due to Bugliosi’s credentials as the tough Los Angeles prosecutor responsible for Charles Manson’s conviction and then writing the now-classic Helter Skelter about the Manson case.

Bugliosi finds W. an abomination to the country and American values, and he bitingly dissects the man’s character traits and leadership qualities. Basically, the misstatements that Bugliosi wants to take Bush to trial for include the administration’s claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and supported al-Qaeda.

Bugliosi lays out in meticulous detail, citing previously reported sources, why he believes Bush had to know at the time his claims weren’t true. These accusations against Bush aren’t in themselves so new. It’s where Bugliosi goes with them that’s so controversial. The murder victims, in his eyes, are the nearly 4,000 American soldiers who have died in Iraq. (The deaths of Iraqi citizens are outside U.S. prosecutorial jurisdiction, although Bugliosi believes Bush is morally culpable for them, too.)

“The overriding assumption here has to be that if, in fact, Bush lied to the nation in taking it to war, we all should want to find some lawful way to bring him to justice,” he writes. “That has to be the predisposition among all good men. It cannot be otherwise. I don’t like to see anyone get away with murder, even one.”

This is one prosecutor who will not rest. Grade: B



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