News Release

Bush Administration and Legal Accountability

ELIZABETH DE LA VEGA
Elizabeth de la Vega served as a federal prosecutor in Minneapolis and San Jose for 20 years. She is author of the new book U.S. v. George W. Bush et. al.

She said today: “Over half the people in the United States believe that the president misled the country into a war that has left 2,800 U.S. soldiers dead, over half a million Iraqis dead and countless Iraqis homeless. Analyzed in light of longstanding principles of criminal law, there is, indeed, overwhelming evidence — a quantum that far exceeds the standard of probable cause — that shows that the president, the vice president, and their senior aides have perpetrated a massive fraud upon the people of the United States. They deceived American citizens and Congress, not only about the grounds for an invasion of Iraq, but also the likely cost of the war, the likely length and consequences of the war, and even the timing of their decision to invade.

“Given the magnitude of this fraud — it is far more serious in scope and effect than the Enron fraud — we cannot simply shrug our shoulders and walk away. It is Congress’ constitutional obligation to conduct oversight of the executive branch and they appear to be poised now, finally, to do just that by conducting hearings.

“But imagine if the Justice Department lawyers assigned to handle the Enron case had announced, on the day they received their assignment, that ‘indictment was off the table.’ The public would have been outraged, and rightly so, by the declaration of a preordained conclusion to the investigation.

“We should be equally outraged — and many American citizens are — by the newly elected Democratic majority’s arbitrary announcement that ‘impeachment is off the table.’ Congress needs to do its job, conduct the long-overdue hearings into the conduct of the executive branch and let the chips fall where they may.”
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ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN
Holtzman has been a Congresswoman and the district attorney of Brooklyn; she was a member of the House panel that impeached Richard Nixon. Holtzman is co-author with Cynthia L. Cooper of the new book The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens. Her most recent articles are “Calling Nancy Pelosi: The People’s Case for Impeaching Bush” and “Breathing the ‘I’ Word.”
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MARJORIE COHN
AP is reporting: “Lawyers for inmates of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo Bay filed a lawsuit in Germany Tuesday against outgoing U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, hoping his resignation and testimony from a former general will help prosecute him for war crimes.”

Cohn, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, is president of the National Lawyers Guild, one of the plaintiffs in the case. She is author of the forthcoming book Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law. Her latest piece is “The War Crimes Case Against Donald Rumsfeld.”

Detailed information about the case is available from the Center for Constitutional Rights.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167