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Web Letter

I agree totally. I do not live in America but am from Scotland, and we were as involved in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan as we are great allies of the United States of America. Whatever action your country is able to take against President Bush and Cheney will and should also apply to the actions taken by Tony Blair. He is as guilty as those mentioned above and is a war criminal as well.

September 11 should never have happened--I have read articles and have watched programs on our TV about how a senior FBI agent (Mr. John P. O'Neill) tried to warn the Bush administration and his senior colleagues that Osama bin Laden would strike your country again--he even apparently specified the use of planes. You and your colleagues will be more aware of the facts than I possibly can be, but if this is true, then the guilt starts before even the falling of the Twin Towers. We lost British citizens on that day as well.

The other point is about Osama bin Laden and how we in this country believe that our British troops had him in their sights but were not allowed, presumably by senior American officials at that time, to take him out. We have seen the pictures again on our TV. Now, I know from friends in America that your good people were not aware of the demonstrations that took place in London prior or at the time of the Iraqi war--over a million walked the streets of London. No doubt you do not know the above points I have made either. However, if you know they are not true, then please just say; but if they should be true, then please investigate further for all Americans and also for all of us here as well.

Something very evil has happened in your country, and I wish you well in your pursuit of bringing back a sense of freedom and a cleansing of the badness that has emanated from the Bush administration. The world has been watching these last eight years and will be watching again to see if something will be done. Just remember, we will be on your side in this.

Freda Birrell

Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, Scotland

Jan 17 2009 - 8:08am

Web Letter

Thank you, Elizabeth Holtzman, for your wonderful article. Obama and every member of Congress should read it.

Obama will lose an essential core constituency if the crooks and criminals in the Bush administration are not held accountable.

Here's a question I never wanted to ask myself: Is it possible at some point that my disgust for the Bush regime and the criminals within it will be exceeded by my disgust for our newly elected leaders, who, in the face of evil, choose to look the other way?

I've spent the last five years trying to help change the direction of the nation I love, and my views are expressed in, "The Bush League of Nations: The Coalition of the Unwilling, the Bullied and the Bribed--the GOP's War on Iraq and America," by James A. Swanson (2008, CreateSpace Publishing, 448 pages). Patriots everywhere can download the entire book for free.

James A. Swanson

Los Altos, CA

Jan 16 2009 - 9:28pm

Web Letter

I have read nearly every book that has been written about 9/11, including the 9/11 Commission Report, and watched nearly every decent DVD on the incidents that happened on that day. If Obama and Congress don't take it upon themselves to do an honest evaluation of what happened that September day, if not for the sake of the thousands that died and for their families, as well as to clarify who was responsible, then American politics and politicians will continue to be a laughing stock throughout the world. We look forward to the day of truth and reckoning.

Frank Martens

Summerland, BC, Canada

Jan 16 2009 - 7:54pm

Web Letter

The law is very clear on this. The Senators on the Intelligence Oversight Committee that were in charge of oversight and failed are just as complicit in the torture. Unless you have the stomach to include them among the guilty, you will not be able to prosecute Bush, because they stand ready to intervene for him, albeit to save themselves. If you are not ready to prosecute these members then you should just give it up and completely stop whining, because you will get nowhere.

(If I were one of these members, I would be getting an attorney today to figure out how to get out of the net the Bush administration has caught them in and explain why they should not be charged as well.)

The members are (were): Democrats: John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia, chairman; Dianne Feinstein, California; Ron Wyden, Oregon; Evan Bayh, Indiana; Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland; Russell D. Feingold, Wisconsin; Bill Nelson, Florida; Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island; Republicans: Christopher S. Bond, Missouri Vice Chairman; John Warner, Virginia; Chuck Hagel, Nebraska; Saxby Chambliss, Georgia; Orrin Hatch, Utah; Olympia J. Snowe, Maine; Richard Burr, North Carolina; Harry Reid, Nevada, Ex Officio; Mitch McConnell, Kentucky, Ex Officio; Carl Levin, Michigan, Ex Officio; John McCain, Arizona, Ex Officio

mary hall

Lake Worth, FL

Jan 16 2009 - 6:45pm

Web Letter

Thank you, Elizabeth Holtzman! You have clearly and succinctly summarized the many reasons why our country must pursue thorough investigations and prosecutions of the Bush/Cheney administration. Why the president and vice president have not already been impeached and removed from office and sent off to The Hague for prosecution for crimes against humanity is testimony enough of the utter failure of our elected representatives to do their job. An administration that takes our country to war under the most preposterous of reasons and false intelligence must not escape responsibility for its actions. Congress and the new administration in Washington are duty-bound to correct the flagrant and severe abuses of power that have characterized the Bush/Cheney junta from beginning to end, an administration which has dragged our nation into a criminal war resulting in untold human misery, economic catastrophe, the destabilization of the world order, the near ruin of our country's good reputation in the eyes of the world and the thorough disregard for the rule of law both domestically and internationally, and exacerbated an already dangerously insecure international environment, all in the name of a self-serving and delusional political ideology.

Crimes such as these must not go unpunished, because if they do, the world's cynical judgment of a nation which obviously believes that "might makes right" will be proven out and history will rightfully add us to the long list of empires which have tried to rule the world through fear and intimidation and force of arms.

Steve Porter

Palmdale, CA

Jan 16 2009 - 6:03pm

Web Letter

President-elect Obama's apparent leaning toward ignoring possible crimes and unethical behaviors by the Bush "administration" is reminiscent of Gerald Ford's pardoning of Richard Nixon--also rationalized as moving forward and getting beyond the past. I worked diligently for the nomination and election of Barack Obama. My pride in having done so would be greatly diminished if he, in fact, were to "move forward" and in so doing ignore the shameful conduct of the past eight years. One could argue that to ignore it is to condone it. Amen to Elizabeth Holtzman (and to Paul Krugman in the New York Times of 1/16/09).

George Mendelson

Kill Devil Hills, NC

Jan 16 2009 - 3:23pm

Web Letter

Holding Bush and the neo-fascist thugs such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearl, Dick Chaney, Donald Rumsfeld et al. accountable for violating the Constitution and possibly committing war crimes is essential if US wants to gain any credibility in the world, and more importantly, to preserve American democracy. The purpose of the investigations should not be vendetta but accountability, and to figure out how these types of violations can be prevented in the future. I recognize that dealing with the crumbling economy is a priority; but I think Obama said during the campaign that the president should be able to undertake more than one (important) task at a time. Re-establishing the rule of law and accountability at all levels of government and public life, and reasserting the primacy of the Constitution, is much too important a requirement of change to leave it for a latter date. Progressives must find a way to make accountability of Bush and his comrades a primary focus on day one.

M. Siddique

Chevy Chase, MD

Jan 16 2009 - 2:58pm

Web Letter

I'm a moderate Democrat. If we follow Ms. Holtzman's proposal to conduct a full-scale investigation of the Bush administration with an eye to filing criminal charges, we will lose the next election! The American public does not support this return to the past, and they won't vote for a party that would blithely take the country in that direction. That, after all, is what Obama appealed to in the electorate. And isn't it more important to control power than to cater to some peoples' desire for a catharsis?

Moreover, if Ms. Holtzman cannot now point to specific criminal statutes that have been violated, to do an analysis of what elements in those statutes must be proved and what evidence will be used to prove them, just how likely is it that an investigation will turn up more? We need to know if the statute of limitations applies and just what other legal defenses could be raised. Moreover, any prosecutor must present evidence that is sufficient to overcome a reasonable doubt, the highest standard of proof in American law. Ms. Holtzman is familiar with just this kind of analysis, she having been a New York District Attorney.

I think the advocates of calling the Bushies criminals and dragging the country through a repeat of the state of siege of the 1990s, should be made to present such an analysis to the public so that we know what we'd be getting into. Just calling people criminals doesn't make it so. Thank you.

Robert Abbott

Gilbert, AZ

Jan 16 2009 - 2:55pm

Web Letter

No president in his right mind would ignore the calls of almost the entire population to demand accountability for abuses and war crimes committed by the Bush administration. So when Obama, who hasn't even been inaugurated yet, sends out signals that "we have to look forward," essentially it means that the US is hiding something that dare not be exposed, no matter what. Surely, one would say, we know everything already? Could it possibly mean that the ridiculous "conspiracy theory" that 9/11 was an inside job dare not be exposed? What about that ridiculous theory that Israel demolished the World Trade Center with explosives? That certainly seems ridiculous! So if those theories are so ridiculous, why engender a cover-up which only makes it look true? The world is waiting.

stanley hersh

New York, NY

Jan 16 2009 - 1:18pm

Web Letter

The only way that Bush could sidestep this is if he pardons himself and pretty much issues a blanket pardon for his entire administration. That is the only way he would have out. Bush, Cheney, Gonzalez and whoever else had a hand in undermining the constitution and committing war crimes should be brought up on those charge and prosecuted to the fullest extent that the law allows. It is time to put an end to the abuse of power that people like George Bush and Dick Cheney think they have. The truth will become known and the best disinfectant in the world is the harsh light of the gleaming sun. I personally think if Cheney finds the conditions at Gitmo to be so accommodating he should spend a month there and be treated as a so-called enemy combatent.

The thing that is truly amazing about the last few weeks is that both Bush and Cheney have admitted to war crimes! Yet the part of the American populace that are still willing to follow these lunatics believes that they did nothing wrong. Looking back at the past eight years of my life, I am amazed at some of the things that have gone on in this country of ours (proud or otherwise, I leave that up to the reader to decide) and wonder--what if Bush had never been elected, would we been in this mess that we are now?

John Loughry

Harrisburg , PA

Jan 16 2009 - 11:04am

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