America's most wanted 

The Detroit Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild is calling upon U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat from Detroit, to help in getting a special counsel appointed to “investigate President George Bush and top members of his administration for conducting an illegal and catastrophic U.S. war of aggression against Iraq.”

In a letter mailed to Conyers on May 18, the lefty lawyers laid out their case that the prez and his top minions committed numerous war crimes.

“First,” states the letter, “these officials conspired to start an unlawful war of aggression, justified by lies. Then they carried out their illegal conspiracy. It included unlawful killing of thousands of Iraqi civilians, destruction of civilian infrastructure, and use of weapons of mass destruction like cluster bombs and depleted uranium against the civilian population of Iraq. Throughout this conspiracy, they have implemented policies and practices for unlawful arrests, detention, interrogation, beatings, abuse, humiliation and torture, in violation of fundamental human rights protected by law.

“As a result of their misconduct, the dangers of international terrorism have been severely inflamed, international friends and allies turned away, and the security of our people imperiled.”

We want to know what the hell the NLG is thinking. These are smart folks. Do they really think Attorney General John Ashcroft is going disrupt his daily prayer breakfasts to go for something like this? Now, perhaps if it were something really important, like a Democratic president lying about getting a blow job from an intern, then maybe we’d be able to get the full force of the federal government behind a serious investigation.

“We’re looking at this as a first step,” says Tom Stephens, a National Lawyers Guild executive board member who co-authored the letter to Conyers.

In fact, Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, was already thinking along similar (though narrower) lines. He and the other Democrats on the committee sent a letter to Ashcroft on May 20 asking the AG to appoint a special counsel to “investigate whether high ranking officials within the Bush Administration violated the War Crimes Act … by approving the use of torture techniques banned by international law.”

“We await your response,” Conyers and his cohorts wrote Ashcroft. “In your entire tenure as Attorney General, you have never appointed a single special counsel. If ever a special counsel were warranted, one is warranted here.”

We’re not holding our breath.

But Stephens, lawyer that he is, makes a convincing argument that prosecuting Bush et al. for their war crimes is vital to America’s security.

As he and John Philo, president of NLG’s Detroit Chapter, wrote in their letter to Conyers:

“Everywhere today we hear the question: ‘How will America regain its credibility?’ In the wake of the Bush administration’s reckless, dishonest, and profligate expenditures of blood and treasure, for the benefit of multinational corporate patrons, the answer is clear: Investigate their crimes pursuant to law, indict them based on the massive record of facts supporting such an indictment, and put the top architects of this illegal and deadly policy of permanent, ‘pre-emptive’ war on public trial.”

Now there’s something we’d love to see on C-SPAN.

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