Give Rove What He Wants: A Chance to Prove Bush Innocent in Court
By David Swanson
Karl Rove's first mistake in his article about his biggest mistake is this:
"Seven years ago today, in a speech on the Iraq war, Sen. Ted Kennedy fired the first shot in an all-out assault on President George W. Bush's integrity."
First shot? What do you call this? Rove is pretending that claims Bush lied about Iraq came only after the invasion, which is of course a lie of mammoth proportions.
Rove's supposed greatest mistake was failing to push back against the supposedly absurd claims that Bush had lied us into a war. Marcy Wheeler points out that part of the pushback was the outing of Valerie Plame the very next day after Kennedy's "first shot." (Wasn't one of Kennedy's earlier shots his vote against the war?)
Karl Rove owns million dollar houses in Washington, D.C., and Florida, and works for Fox News, Newsweek, and the Wall Street Journal when not testifying to congressional committees or federal prosecutors about his numerous unindicted non-war crimes. He served as a member of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) which planned the marketing of an illegal war of aggression on the basis of lies, and took part in exposing an undercover agent as retribution for exposing one of WHIG's lies. Who can remember back to when the Democrats in the House were in the minority and pretending they gave a rat's ass about any of this? They just about launched an investigation of WHIG.
If Rove so deeply regrets having missed his chance to defend Bush's honor, let's give him a stage large enough to overpower all existing knowledge and write history afresh. Let's make it a courtroom trial of Bush and his co-conspirators for fraud. Former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega already wrote up the indictment years ago. Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced this and other charges as articles of impeachment. I've been piling up evidence for years, and summarized it in my book Daybreak. Here are some of the basics:
Bush, Cheney, and their associates knew that the claims they were making with great certainty and much repetition were false or highly dubious. This is true of the claims about attempted purchases of uranium, about the aluminum tubes, about the chemical and biological weapons, about the unmanned aerial vehicles, about Iraq's capacity to attack us within forty-five minutes, about the ties to al-Qaeda, about the failures of the inspectors, and about the ludicrous notion that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was an imminent threat to the United States. Many have collected quite voluminous evidence of this. It's also worth noticing that the president's power to classify great quantities of information and the lack of any penalty for his illegally declassifying misleading sections of documents facilitated the fraud. But the whole idea ought never to have looked credible to anyone. (My friend Jonathan Schwarz publicly bet a war supporter $1,000 that no "WMD" would be found in Iraq, and collected.)
It was openly and publicly known that Dick Cheney and several other top members of the Bush administration had wished to invade Iraq for years. (In fact, it was also known that Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld had made false claims about Soviet weaponry as part of a CIA project called Team B.) They had made their goals public through a think tank called the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). They had stated that their mission would be difficult, "absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor." Making clear that it simply did not care whether Iraq had weapons, that the point of occupying Iraq was something else entirely, PNAC wrote, "Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."
On October 27, 2004, Russ Baker reported on an interview he'd conducted with author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz, who had worked with George W. Bush in 1999, having been engaged to write his "autobiography." Baker wrote, "According to Herskowitz, George W. Bush's beliefs on Iraq were based in part on a notion dating back to the Reagan White House -- ascribed in part to now-Vice President Dick Cheney, Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee under Reagan. 'Start a small war. Pick a country where there is justification you can jump on, go ahead and invade.'"
While this did not come out until 2004, Bush hadn't exactly kept his views secret. Baker reported,
"In December 1999, some six months after his talks with Herskowitz, Bush surprised veteran political chroniclers, including the Boston Globe's David Nyhan, with his blunt pronouncements about Saddam at a six-way New Hampshire primary event that got little notice: "It was a gaffe-free evening for the rookie front-runner, till he was asked about Saddam's weapons stash," wrote Nyhan. "'I'd take 'em out,' [Bush] grinned cavalierly, 'take out the weapons of mass destruction . . . I'm surprised he's still there,' said Bush of the despot who remains in power after losing the Gulf War to Bush Jr.'s father . . . It remains to be seen if that offhand declaration of war was just Texas talk, a sort of locker room braggadocio, or whether it was Bush's first big clinker."
Nine days after the necessary catastrophic event arrived on September 11, 2001, PNAC urged Bush to remove Saddam Hussein from power, even if no evidence could be found to tie him to 9-11. Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda were known enemies. It wouldn't have made any sense for them to have worked together. Their closest tie was that they had both worked in the past with the United States. Iraq was known to have destroyed its weapons and to be struggling and suffering under sanctions and bombing raids imposed by the United States.
"We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt," said Condoleezza Rice on CNN on July 29, 2001, shortly before warning us about "mushroom clouds."
"Saddam Hussein has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors," said Colin Powell on February 24, 2001, not long before switching his tune and ultimately holding up a vial of anthrax and threatening us with Winnebagos of death. Not only was it very well understood that Iraq had no weapons, but there was no evidence that Iraq had any way of using its alleged weapons in the United States.
And then there was the biggest insanity of the whole pile, namely the notion that Iraq would willingly commit national suicide by attacking the owners of the world's most powerful military. In fact, in October 2002, the CIA told Bush that Saddam Hussein was unlikely to attack the United States unless the United States attacked him first. This was just prior to Bush's speech on October 7th in Cincinnati, Ohio, warning of the dire threat from Iraq. According to news reports, on at least four earlier occasions, beginning in the spring of 2002, Bush was informed during his morning intelligence briefing that US intelligence agencies believed it was unlikely that Iraq was an imminent threat to the United States. US intelligence agencies produced a National Intelligence Estimate on October 1, 2002, but kept it classified. On October 4, they published an unclassified shortened version often referred to as the "white paper." The longer version, which was eventually declassified, contained all sorts of dissensions and qualifications that were simply omitted from the white paper. Not only were whole paragraphs left out, but single words were carefully changed or deleted to erase all disagreement and uncertainty. Among the bits left out was, of course, the conclusion that Saddam Hussein was unlikely to attack first. Vincent Bugliosi, in his book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, examines in detail the editing job that was done and demonstrates that the only possible purpose was to mislead the nation into war.
Bush even wanted to provoke Saddam Hussein into attacking Americans. On January 31, 2002, prior to the full-scale invasion of Iraq in March, Bush met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the White House. After their meeting, they spoke to the media and claimed not to have decided on war, to be working hard to achieve peace, and to be worried about the imminent threat from Iraq to the American people. They claimed that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and had links to al-Qaeda, and --Bush implied, but avoided explicitly stating -- to the attacks of September 11, 2001. They also claimed to have UN authorization for launching an attack on Iraq.
Behind closed doors, however, other words were spoken. Blair advisor David Manning took notes that day. The memo is available online. The accuracy of what it says has never been challenged by Bush or Blair. According to Manning, Bush proposed to Blair a number of possible ways in which they might be able to create an excuse to launch a war against Iraq. One of Bush's proposals was "flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours [sic]. If Saddam fired on them," Bush argued, "he would be in breach" of UN resolutions. In other words, Bush wanted to falsely paint US planes with UN colors and try to get Iraq to shoot at them. This is what he really thought about the horrible, evil threat of Saddam Hussein: he wanted to provoke him.
Bush understood that the United Nations had not passed a resolution that would have legalized an attack on Iraq. The memo claims, "[Bush said] the US would put its full weight behind efforts to get another resolution and would 'twist arms' and 'even threaten.' But he had to say that if ultimately we failed, military action would follow anyway.'' In other words, going to the United Nations was not actually an attempt to avoid war, but an attempt to gain legal cover for a war that would be launched regardless of whether that project succeeded. And Bush wasn't kidding about twisting arms; that very same day the National Security Agency (NSA) launched a plan to bug the phones and e-mails of UN Security Council members.
At this time, a month and a half before the invasion of Iraq, and for months prior, the US military was already engaging in hugely escalated bombing runs over Iraq and redeploying troops, including to newly constructed bases in the Middle East, all in preparation for an invasion of Iraq, and all with money that had not been appropriated for these purposes. The reporters who questioned Bush and Blair on January 31, 2002, did not know about or ask about those activities, and since the revelation of this memo, not one reporter who was so blatantly lied to that day has gone back and asked a question or written a single word about it.
That Bush was interested in provoking Iraq is confirmed by extensive covert operations called DB/Anabasis reported by Michael Isikoff and David Corn in their book "Hubris":
"Over an intense forty-five day period beginning in late 2001, [two CIA operatives] cooked up an audacious plan. . . . It called for installing a small army of paramilitary CIA officers on the ground inside Iraq; for elaborate schemes to penetrate Saddam's regime; recruiting disgruntled military officers with buckets of cash; for feeding the regime disinformation . . . for disrupting the regime's finances . . . for sabotage that included blowing up railroad lines. . . . It also envisioned staging a phony incident that could be used to start a war. A small group of Iraqi exiles would be flown into Iraq by helicopter to seize an isolated military base near the Saudi border. They then would take to the airwaves and announce a coup was under way. If Saddam responded by flying troops south, his aircraft would be shot down by US fighter planes patrolling the no-fly zones established by UN edict after the first Persian Gulf War. A clash of this sort could be used to initiate a full-scale war. On February 16, 2002, President Bush signed covert findings authorizing the various elements of Anabasis. The leaders of the congressional intelligence committees -- including Porter Goss, a Republican, and Senator Bob Graham, a Democrat -- were briefed. 'The idea was to create an incident in which Saddam lashes out' [said CIA operative John McGuire]. If all went as planned, 'you'd have a premise for war: we've been invited in.'"
A similar story came out about Dick Cheney with regard to Iran in 2008. Journalist Seymour Hersh reported at a journalism conference in 2008 that at a 2008 meeting in the vice president's office, soon after an incident in the Strait of Hormuz in which a US carrier almost shot at a few small Iranian speedboats, "There were a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don't we build -- we in our shipyard -- build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy Seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up. Might cost some lives. And it was rejected because you can't have Americans killing Americans. That's the kind of -- that's the level of stuff we're talking about. Provocation. But that was rejected."
After the invasion of Iraq, with no weapons or ties to 9-11 having been found, Diane Sawyer asked Bush on camera about the claims he had made about "weapons of mass destruction," and he replied: "What's the difference? The possibility that [Saddam] could acquire weapons, if he were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger." Yes, what's the difference? No big deal. Just a million human beings killed and four million displaced. When Bush joked about his hunt for "weapons of mass destruction" at the 2004 White House Correspondents Dinner, members of the media as well as prominent members of Congress, like Nancy Pelosi, laughed along with him.
In August 2008, journalist Ron Suskind reported that the Iraqi government's intelligence chief had secretly told the British and Americans prior to the invasion that there were no nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons in Iraq. National Public Radio (NPR) reported denials from the White House and from then–CIA head George Tenet that failed as denials and actually admitted the truth of the account:
"We have called key players in Ron Suskind's account . . . George Tenet says the Iraqi failed to persuade, and a White House spokesman adds that any information the Iraqi may have provided was, quote, 'immaterial.'"
In 2006, we had learned that in 2002 Iraq's foreign minister had also told the CIA that Iraq had no "weapons of mass destruction." Also in 2002, we learned that prior to the war, the CIA had sent thirty relatives of Iraqi scientists to Iraq to ask them what WMD Iraq had, and they uniformly reported it had nothing. Of course, it was already, prior to the invasion, public knowledge (for those who cared to look) that Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, Hussein Kamel, had told the British and the Americans the very same thing. It was thus very odd to observe Colin Powell telling the United Nations about all the weapons that Kamel reported Iraq had possessed before destroying them, and neglecting to mention that he'd said they'd destroyed them. This was one of many reasons the world media did not report Powell's little show in the same way the American media did. While American editors saw an upstanding general who would never lie, foreign editors saw the representative of a nation hell-bent on war presenting a combination of obvious lies and fantastic tales that strained the imagination, all meant to suggest that an impoverished war-and-sanctions-damaged nation was creating large supplies of state-of-the-art weaponry.
Later, during the occupation, we were asked to believe that only Iranians, not Iraqis, could produce basic roadside bombs! Powell, or whoever told him what to say, actually went so far as to fabricate dialogue. Powell provided this translation of an intercepted conversation between Iraqi army officers: "They're inspecting the ammunition you have, yes." "Yes." "For the possibility there are forbidden ammo." "For the possibility there is by chance forbidden ammo?" "Yes." "And we sent you a message yesterday to clean out all of the areas, the scrap areas, the abandoned areas. Make sure there is nothing there."
The incriminating phrases "clean all of the areas" and "Make sure there is nothing there" simply do not appear in the official State Department translation of the exchange. Much of the rest of Powell's presentation consisted of claims that his own staff had warned him UN inspectors would not even find plausible. Powell delivered his platter of baloney to the United Nations with CIA director George Tenet seated behind him, but Alan Foley, the head of the CIA's Weapons Intelligence Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Center (WINPAC), didn't believe the hype. In their book "The Italian Letter", Peter Eiser and Knut Royce reported on what Foley actually believed and what he instructed analysts to say, which were two very different things. According to Eiser and Royce,
"There were strong indications that Foley all along was toeing a line he did not believe. Several days after Bush's  State of the Union speech, Foley briefed student officers at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, DC. After the briefing, Melvin Goodman, who had retired from the CIA and was then on the university's faculty, brought Foley into the secure communications area of the Fort McNair compound. Goodman thanked Foley for addressing the students and asked him what weapons of mass destruction he believed would be found after the invasion. 'Not much, if anything,' Goodman recalled that Foley responded."
He told his subordinates something different:
"One day in December 2002, Foley called his senior production managers to his office. He had a clear message for the men and women who controlled the output of the center's analysts: 'If the president wants to go to war, our job is to find the intelligence to allow him to do so.' The directive was not quite an order to cook the books, but it was a strong suggestion that cherry-picking and slanting not only would be tolerated, but might even be rewarded."
Blogger and reporter Jonathan Schwarz, who has followed these matters as closely as anyone and blogged about them at AfterDowningStreet.org and on his own blog TinyRevolution.com, has pointed out that this incident was reported, although without identifying Foley by name, in at least two other books: "Pretext for War" by James Bamford, and "Blowing My Cover: My Life As a CIA Spy" by Lindsay Moran. Why is it always books doing the news reporting these days?
Of course the most extreme claims about the threat from Iraq, during the lead-up to the war, were made by Dick Cheney, but you've probably heard them. It's important to bear in mind the well-informed and sensible reasons Cheney had provided, on camera, in 1994, for why they had NOT gone into Baghdad during the first Gulf War:
"Because if we'd gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn't have been anybody else with us. There would have been a US occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq. Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place? That's a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it—eastern Iraq—the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you've got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey. It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq. The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families, it wasn't a cheap war. And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad, took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth? Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right."
Ten years later? They feigned ignorance, pretending none of these concerns expressed by antiwar groups were legitimate.
In August 2008, Ron Suskind reported that in 2003 the White House (quite possibly led by Dick Cheney) had instructed subordinates to forge a letter that might be used to claim there had been some connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. Surely that, too, was just an honest mistake. It appears that the United States also paid the same person to forge letters smearing vocal opponents of the invasion. Part of Rove's big mistake of not pushing back?
It's not as if all this fibbing amounted to violating any laws, right? Well, actually . . .
Since 1973, presidents who have launched wars without the authorization of Congress have done so, not just in violation of the Constitution, but also in violation of the War Powers Act, a law written in reaction to President Richard Nixon's abuses of power and passed over his veto. The law allows a president to send armed forces into action abroad only with the authorization of Congress, unless the United States is actually under attack or serious threat. The president is required to notify Congress within forty-eight hours if he commits armed forces to action abroad, and forces cannot be kept in action for more than sixty days without an authorization from Congress. This law is actually weaker than the constitutional requirement and should be strengthened, but it is a law that Bush (and Congress) violated. One way in which Bush Jr. outdid his predecessors in martial criminality was by persuading Congress to issue a vague and general authorization to "use force" at any point in the future when the president believed certain conditions had been met. By so doing the Congress, as well as the president, violated the Constitution and the War Powers Act. The Iraq War was not launched with any specific and timely authorization from Congress. That is the first of many reasons the war is widely considered illegal.
Congress's authorization allowing the president to determine whether to go to war was an unconstitutional delegation of the power to declare war. My friend John Bonifaz led a legal suit on behalf of soldiers and members of Congress aimed at preventing the war on those grounds, and the courts avoided it rather than ruling on the merits. In defense of Congress, its resolution did require that if the president decided to use force (as if there were any doubt that he would!) he had to submit a report to Congress explaining how this use of force met certain criteria. The explanation was not required to be credible or truthful, of course, and it was neither, asserting as it did familiar claims about "weapons of mass destruction" and ties to al-Qaeda. (In an added bit of arrogance, Bush cited as sources for his claims his own prior speeches and the laughable presentation his own secretary of state had made to the United Nations.) The fact that Bush used Congress's "Authorization to Use Force" without actually complying with its terms is a second reason the Iraq War is illegal.
Of course, Bush signed that authorization and asserted in the accompanying signing statement that he did not actually need any authorization at all. The claims that Bush made in that report to Congress, as well as a long list of claims that he and his subordinates made publicly and directly to Congress, orally and in writing, established a false case for war. Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, et alia, violated the federal anti-conspiracy statute, 18 USC-371, which makes it a felony "to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose," and the False Statements Accountability Act of 1996 18 USC-1001, which makes it a felony to issue knowingly and willfully false statements to the United States Congress. That the Iraq War was based on lies is a third reason that it is widely deemed illegal.
Bush unsuccessfully sought a resolution from the United Nations to make his war on Iraq legal under international law. The single biggest day of protest around the world in the history of the world, including a massive demonstration in New York City, on February 15, 2003, played a role in persuading the United Nations to refuse to authorize the invasion. On March 6, 2003, this exchange took place between a reporter and President Bush at the White House:
"Q: Thank you, Mr. President. As you said, the Security Council faces a vote next week on a resolution implicitly authorizing an attack on Iraq. Will you call for a vote on that resolution, even if you aren't sure you have the vote?
PRESIDENT: Well, first, I don't think—it basically says that he's in defiance of 1441. That's what the resolution says. And it's hard to believe anybody is saying he isn't in defiance of 1441, because 1441 said he must disarm. And, yes, we'll call for a vote.
Q: No matter what?
PRESIDENT: No matter what the whip count is, we're calling for the vote. We want to see people stand up and say what their opinion is about Saddam Hussein and the utility of the United Nations Security Council. And so, you bet. It's time for people to show their cards, to let the world know where they stand when it comes to Saddam."
The United States did not call for the vote, because it became clear that it would fail. Under Article VI of the US Constitution, any treaty to which the United States is a party is the law of the land. The United States is a party to the United Nations Charter. Under the UN Charter, any war not fought in actual self-defense and not authorized by the UN Security Council as an exception to that rule is illegal. That the Iraq War is blatantly illegal under the UN Charter is a fourth, and perhaps the most influential, reason that it is considered an illegal war.
It is also illegal, under international treaties to which the United States is party, to invade another nation for the purpose of controlling its resources. That the Iraq War had this basis is a fifth powerful reason that it is considered an illegal war. This issue has been widely misunderstood since 2002, when many of us took to the streets with "No Blood for Oil" posters. An editorial cartoon that came out in June 2008, around the time Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced his articles of impeachment, showed a Democratic donkey shouting before the war that it was just about cheap oil, and complaining years later that there wasn't any cheap oil. But Kucinich was just about the only Democrat in Congress who had joined with peace activists in arguing that the war was for control of the oil, plus profits for oil companies, as well as permanent bases, profit from "reconstruction," and political advantage at home (most of which, above all the profits for oil companies, came to pass). The rest of the Democratic Party had either agreed with Bush, Cheney, and other Republicans, or had taken no clear position on what the war was for, adamantly denouncing in the strongest terms the suggestion that it had anything to do with oil. Nobody at all ever thought the war was for "cheap oil." The notion that corporate thugs like Bush and Cheney would slaughter our young men and women and the people of Iraq in order to save us money at the gas pump is only topped in insanity by the notion that peace activists would have suspected Bush and Cheney of such a thing.
In terms of violations of international law, it doesn't stop there. The Nuremberg tribunal in 1945 concluded that, "To initiate a war of aggression . . . is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."
The current occupation of Iraq has seen the United States target civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances; use antipersonnel weapons including cluster bombs in densely settled urban areas; use white phosphorous as a weapon; use depleted uranium weapons; employ a new version of napalm found in Mark 77 firebombs; engage in collective punishment of Iraqi civilian populations, including by blocking roads, cutting electricity and water, destroying fuel stations, planting bombs in farm fields, demolishing houses, and plowing down orchards; detain people without charge or legal process without the rights of prisoners of war; imprison children; torture; and murder. The various war crimes that accumulate into the evil of the whole, including those turned into prominent scandals, such as the Abu Ghraib prison photos or massacres of civilians by Blackwater mercenaries, are a sixth reason that the Iraq War is considered illegal.
The seventh reason to view the Iraq War, along with the now renamed "global war on terror" of which it is supposedly a part, as illegal is the endless plague of crimes and abuses of power that surround the war and are supposedly justified by it. The criminal waste and fraud in contracting is part of this. The planning of the war has gone on in illegal secrecy. The lies used to launch the war involved the illegal selective leaking of classified information; and whistleblowers exposing those lies have been illegally punished, including by exposing the identity of an undercover agent. Investigations of those abuses have been criminally obstructed. Mercenaries and other contractors in Iraq have been permitted to operate in a lawless zone, subject neither to Iraqi law nor to US military justice. People, including children, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world, including in the United States, have been detained without charge or due process, tortured, rendered to other nations to be tortured, imprisoned in secret prisons with no access to legal counsel, and murdered. Bush and Cheney threatened a similar war against Iran, made similar lies about Iran, and funded terrorist activities within Iran. Bush violated the Posse Comitatus Act at home, as well as engaging in warrantless spying and various illegal assertions of power. Bush and Cheney used the war to try to justify all of the above actions.
An eighth reason the ongoing occupation of Iraq is illegal is that, while the United Nations did not and could not have legalized the invasion, it did, after the fact, condone the occupation until December 31, 2008. When that UN fig leaf expired it was replaced with a treaty negotiated by President Bush and Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki. The US Senate was never consulted, and the Iraqi Parliament only approved the treaty on condition that the Iraqi people be permitted to vote it up or down, which did not happen. A treaty authorizing three years of war has dubious legal standing to begin with, and this is aggravated by the unconstitutional failure to gain Senate ratification or hold the Iraqi referendum.
Karl Rove knows a lot more about all of this than the American public, but that would change if we put Bush on trial.