From the moment the Bush Administration began skirting the law and basic tenets of human decency, a few citizens began pondering what to do about the Administration's illegalities. Should they be impeached, tried at the Hague or simply wait to administer justice until after they were out of power? Well since the Congress has done almost nothing about the issue and is only beginning to learn how to exercise their power of oversight, independent groups are taking matters into their own hands. This isn't about a mob mentality to take down the powerful, but for those with decades of legal training to carefully examine the actions of the Administration and determine what should be done. Experts at Massachusetts' Andover School of Law hoped to do just that this morning.
Saturday morning, the dean of Massachusetts School of Law at Andover will convene a two day planning session with a single focus: To arrest, put to trial and carry out sentence on criminals in the Bush Administration.
The conference, arranged by Lawrence Vevel, cofounder of the Andover school, will focus on which of Bush's officials and members of Congress could be charged with war crimes. The plan also calls for "necessary organizational structures" to be established, with the purpose of pursuing the guilty "to the ends of the Earth."
"For Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and John Yoo to spend years in jail or go to the gallows for their crimes would be a powerful lesson to future American leaders," Velvel said in a media advisory.
Mentioning Bush, Cheney and "the gallows" in one sentence is a very powerful statement for anyone to make, especially so for a distinguished law professor. In our highly-charged partisan society, half of us will immediately see this as a cheap trick by the liberal elite with nothing to back it up. Those critics would be wrong though, because this goes beyond party and straight to the heart of our democracy.
If our leaders are allowed to subvert the rule of law and commit ghastly crimes without fear of retribution, what is there to stop any future President from doing the same thing? It doesn't matter what someone's party is if they condone torture, start illegal wars or strip the rights of American citizens. Holding Bush and his cohorts accountable is the only way to show that America is serious about holding up its ideals and not simply whither away like the Roman Republic did two thousand years ago.