Monday, April 10, 2006

Censure? Sure, but also, impeach, if guilty convict, remove from office, and prosecute criminally

I took some free time this weekend to re-read Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison.

The first section, "torture," inadvertantly makes a resounding case not only for Bush's removal from office, but also to consider him a candidate for prosecution for treason.

Find me shrill yet? Let me continue.

Foucault notes that throughout Western history, offenses were inevitably prosecuted as offenses against he sovereign; indeed in the United States, federal offenses are prosecuted in the name of the United States

Now who, in effect is most sovereign in the United States, according to a literal, traditionalist role of the constitution? That would be the people of the United States; they are in effect the authors of the consititution, they, constituting the authority behind it are ultimately soverign. Criminal prosecutions in states are often done in the name of "the people of the state of ..."; even the elements of the religious right quote Felix Frankfurter approvingly: ("In a democracy the highest office is the office of citizen.")

Now George W. Bush owes his allegiance to the Constitution of the United States as President, and allegiance to the United States as a citizen thereof; as such, he is therefore subordinate to the people of the United States. He's our employee, as I am fond of saying. I'm also fond of saying he would have been put on a performance plan had I had a more direct employer employee relationship with him long ago.

Vincent Bugliosi reminds us in his famous Nation piece None Dare Call it Treason (if you haven't read it get thee here and read it) that:

Essentially, there are two types of crimes: malum prohibitum (wrong because they are prohibited) crimes, more popularly called "civil offenses" or "quasi crimes," such as selling liquor after a specified time of day, hunting during the off-season, gambling, etc.; and malum in se (wrong in themselves) crimes. The latter, such as robbery, rape, murder and arson, are the only true crimes. Without exception, they all involve morally reprehensible conduct. Even if there were no law prohibiting such conduct, one would know (as opposed to a malum prohibitum crime) it is wrong, often evil. Although the victim of most true crimes is an individual (for example, a person robbed or raped), such crimes are considered to be "wrongs against society." This is why the plaintiff in all felony criminal prosecutions is either the state (People of the State of California v. _______) or the federal government (United States of America v. _______).

The outing of Valerie Plame, the spying on Americans, the lying about reasons for going to war, the reckless shedding of American soldiers' lives are all so ridiculously injurious to the ultimate sovereignty of the United States people, that, like Bugliosi commented regarding Bush v. Gore, we can argue that George W. Bush is guilty of several crimes that are each a malum in se against the American people. Indeed, in authorizing the leaking intelligence information or being complicit in the obstruction of justice therein, has George W. Bush not violated the espionage act or the treason act? Has he not provided aid and comfort to our enemies?

That is why I am not only going to sign Senator Feingold's petition, but I will also be urging all my elected representatives to initiate stronger proceedings against this reckless and incompetent chief executive.

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