Bugliosi: Bush can be tried for murder in North Carolina

When I first heard that Vincent Bugliosi was coming out with a new book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, I was skeptical--to be sure, Shrub's actions are impeachable ten times over. Bugliosi argues that since Bush took us into Iraq under false pretense, the deaths of every American soldier in that conflict amount to murder. He also argues that even if he isn't prosecuted at the federal level, any state attorney general or district attorney in any state (including here in North Carolina) can indict him for the murders of any soldier from their jurisdiction. However, one piece of evidence Bugliosi outlined was enough to convince me that Bush's actions were more than just malfeasance in office. They amount to criminal conduct for which he should be punished after he leaves office.

As I mentioned on dKos, Bush indicated at a 2003 meeting that he was looking into ways to provoke a confrontation with Saddam--including painting U2s to look like UN aircraft. It's one thing to lie to the American people about war. But if Bush was planning to invade Iraq all along, then the invasion of Iraq is an illegal war of aggression--and the deaths of every American soldier in this conflict are murders for which he is responsible.

Bugliosi points out that while the preferable venue for a murder case against Bush is federal court, under the longarm statutes of most states he can be tried at the state level as well. In this case, it means that Roy Cooper can charge Bush for the murders of the hundreds of North Carolinians killed in Iraq, and any DA here in NC (but for political reasons, most likely in one of the bluer parts of the state) can charge Bush for the murders of any soldier who lives in their county or counties.

I know one thing--sometime in February, I'm writing Peter Gilchrist to demand that he look into prosecuting Bush for the murders of dozens of Charlotte-area soldiers. We all ought to write our DAs and demand that this at least be looked into.

Update: In response to concerns expressed by others, I wish to stress that any prosecution should take place after Bush leaves office, as a president cannot and should not face criminal prosecution while in office.


I know, and I wish there was a way

to get an up-to-date breakdown by state of how many people have died. I figure it's gotta be somewhere in the hundreds for North Carolina now.

So 97 counts of second-degree murder

Next question--does Roy Cooper have the guts to bring an indictment? And if he doesn't, what DA would bring one? I would think someone in one of the bluer areas of the state, like Orange or Durham counties, would be the most likely to tee Bush up for this.


Roderic Antoine Solomon, 32, Army Sergeant, Mar 28, 2003 Fayetteville, North Carolina

Brian Edward Anderson, 26, Marine Lance Corporal, Apr 02, 2003 Durham, North Carolina

Roy Russell Buckley, 24, Army Reserve Specialist, Apr 22, 2003 Snow Camp, North Carolina

Alan Dinh Lam, 19, Marine Lance Corporal, Apr 22, 2003 Snow Camp, North Carolina

Michael L. Tosto, 24, Army Sergeant, Jun 17, 2003 Apex, North Carolina

David B. Parson, 30, Army Sergeant, Jul 06, 2003 Kannapolis, North Carolina

Mark Anthony Bibby, 25, Army Reserve Corporal, Jul 21, 2003 Watha, North Carolina

James I. Lambert III, 22, Army Specialist, Jul 31, 2003 Raleigh, North Carolina

Leonard D. Simmons, 33, Army Sergeant, Aug 06, 2003 New Bern, North Carolina

Lunsford B. Brown II, 27, Army Specialist, Sep 20, 2003 Creedmore, North Carolina

Charles H. Buehring, 40, Army Lieutenant Colonel, Oct 26, 2003 Fayetteville, North Carolina

Joseph R. Guerrera, 20, Army Private, Oct 26, 2003 Dunn, North Carolina

Joey D. Whitener, 19, Army Private 1st Class, Nov 15, 2003 Nebo, North Carolina

Henry A. Bacon, 45, Army Sergeant 1st Class, Feb 20, 2004 Wagram, North Carolina

Jocelyn "Joce" L. Carrasquillo, 28, Army National Guard Specialist, Mar 14, 2004 Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Marvin Lee Miller, 38, Army Sergeant 1st Class, Apr 07, 2004 Dunn, North Carolina

Elmer C. Krause, 40, Army Reserve Sergeant, Apr 09, 2004 Greensboro, North Carolina

Gregory L. Wahl, 30, Army Sergeant, May 03, 2004 Salisbury, North Carolina

Rodney A. Murray, 28, Army Reserve Sergeant, May 09, 2004 Ayden, North Carolina

Christopher S. Cash, 36, Army National Guard Captain, Jun 24, 2004 Winterville, North Carolina

Daniel A. Desens, 20, Army National Guard Specialist, Jun 24, 2004 Jacksonville, North Carolina

David S. Greene, 39, Marine Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, Jul 28, 2004 Raleigh, North Carolina

Gregory C. Howman, 28, Marine Lance Corporal, Sep 15, 2004 Charlotte, North Carolina

Christopher S. Ebert, 21, Marine Corporal, Sep 17, 2004 Mooresboro, North Carolina

Mike A. Dennie, 31, Army Staff Sergeant, Sep 29, 2004 Fayetteville, North Carolina

Michael S. Voss, 35, Army National Guard Staff Sergeant, Oct 08, 2004 Aberdeen, North Carolina

Bradley S. Beard, 22, Army Specialist, Oct 14, 2004 Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Benjamin S. Bryan, 23, Marine Lance Corporal, Nov 13, 2004 Lumberton, North Carolina

Marshall H. Caddy, 27, Army Staff Sergeant, Nov 16, 2004 Nags Head, North Carolina

David B. Houck, 25, Marine Lance Corporal, Nov 26, 2004 Winston Salem, North Carolina

William W. Jacobsen Jr., 31, Army Captain, Dec 21, 2004 Charlotte, North Carolina

Leonard W. Adams, 42, Army National Guard Sergeant, Jan 24, 2005 Mooresville, North Carolina

William S. Kinzer Jr., 27, Army Sergeant, Jan 26, 2005 Hendersonville, North Carolina

John M. Smith, 22, Army Sergeant, May 12, 2005 Wilmington, North Carolina

Phillip C. Edmundson, 22, Army Corporal, Jun 01, 2005 Wilson, North Carolina

Monta S. Ruth, 26, Army Sergeant, Aug 31, 2005 Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Kevin M. Jones, 21, Army Corporal, Sep 22, 2005 Washington, North Carolina

Mark P. Adams, 24, Marine Reserve Sergeant, Oct 15, 2005 Morrisville, North Carolina

Andrew D. Russoli, 21, Marine Lance Corporal, Oct 20, 2005 Greensboro, North Carolina

Kenneth J. Butler, 19, Marine Lance Corporal, Oct 21, 2005 Rowan, North Carolina

Benny Gray Cockerham III, 21, Marine Corporal, Oct 21, 2005 Conover, North Carolina

Christopher W. Thompson, 25, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class, Oct 21, 2005 North Wilkesboro, North Carolina

Darrell W. Boatman, 38, Marine Gunnery Sergeant, Nov 04, 2005 Fayetteville, North Carolina

Daniel Freeman Swaim, 19, Marine Lance Corporal, Nov 10, 2005 Yadkinville, North Carolina

Aaron M. Forbes, 24, Army Corporal, Dec 28, 2005 Oak Island, North Carolina

Prince K. Teewia, 27, Army Specialist, Dec 29, 2005 Durham, North Carolina

Robert T. Johnson, 20, Army Reserve Specialist, Jan 07, 2006 Erwin, North Carolina

Jeriad P. Jacobs, 19, Marine Lance Corporal, Jan 07, 2006 Clayton, North Carolina

Mitchell K. Carver Jr., 31, Army Chief Warrant Officer 3, Jan 13, 2006 Charlotte, North Carolina

Felipe C. Barbosa, 21, Marine Corporal, Jan 28, 2006 High Point, North Carolina

David S. Parr, 22, Marine Lance Corporal, Feb 06, 2006 Benson, North Carolina

Darrell P. Clay, 34, Army Staff Sergeant, Apr 01, 2006 Fayetteville, North Carolina

Shawn R. Creighton, 21, Army Corporal, Apr 08, 2006 Windsor, North Carolina

Kenneth D. Hess, 26, Army Sergeant, Apr 11, 2006 Asheville, North Carolina

Jason C. Ramseyer, 28, Marine Staff Sergeant, Apr 20, 2006 Lenoir, North Carolina

Adam Lucas, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, May 26, 2006 Greensboro, North Carolina

Christopher N. White, 23, Marine Private 1st Class, Jun 20, 2006 Southport, North Carolina

Christopher T. Pate, 29, Marine Reserve Captain, Jul 21, 2006 Hampstead, North Carolina

Enrique Henry Sanchez, 21, Marine Private 1st Class, Jul 27, 2006 Garner, North Carolina

Darry Benson, 46, Army National Guard Sergeant, Aug 27, 2006 Winterville, North Carolina

Cliff Golla, 21, Marine Lance Corporal, Sep 01, 2006 Charlotte, North Carolina

Robert Thomas Callahan, 22, Army Corporal, Sep 19, 2006 Jamestown, North Carolina

Joshua Deese, 25, Army 1st Lieutenant, Oct 15, 2006 Robeson County, North Carolina

Patrick O. Barlow, 42, Army Staff Sergeant, Oct 18, 2006 Greensboro, North Carolina

Nathan R. Elrod, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, Oct 21, 2006 Salisbury, North Carolina

David G. Taylor, 37, Army Major, Oct 22, 2006 Apex, North Carolina

Misael Martinez, 24, Army Staff Sergeant, Nov 11, 2006 Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Nicholas R. Gibbs, 25, Army Specialist, Dec 06, 2006 Stokesdale, North Carolina

Jason Huffman, 23, Army Corporal, Dec 06, 2006 Conover, North Carolina

Shawn M. Murphy, 24, Army Private 1st Class, Dec 10, 2006 Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Sandra S. Grant, 23, Navy Seaman, Dec 31, 2006 Linwood, North Carolina

John D. Rode, 24, Army Sergeant, Feb 14, 2007 Pineville, North Carolina

Montrel S. Mcarn, 21, Army Specialist, Feb 19, 2007 Raeford, North Carolina

Ryan D. Russell, 20, Army Specialist, Mar 05, 2007 Elm City, North Carolina

Eric R. Vick, 25, Army Staff Sergeant, Apr 01, 2007 Spring Hope, North Carolina

Ebe F. Emolo, 33, Army Specialist, Apr 07, 2007 Greensboro, North Carolina

Brian Lee Holden, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Apr 09, 2007 Claremont, North Carolina

Larry R. Bowman, 29, Army Sergeant, Apr 13, 2007 Granite Falls, North Carolina

William C. Moore, 27, Army Staff Sergeant, Apr 23, 2007 Benson, North Carolina

Michael J. Rodriguez, 20, Army Specialist, Apr 23, 2007 Sanford, North Carolina

Johnathan E. Kirk, 25, Marine Lance Corporal, May 01, 2007 Belhaven, North Carolina

Greg L. Sutton, 38, Army Sergeant 1st Class, Jun 06, 2007 Spring Lake, North Carolina

William C. Johnson, 22, Army Private 1st Class, Jun 12, 2007 Oxford, North Carolina

Darryl W. Linder, 23, Army Specialist, Jun 19, 2007 Hickory, North Carolina

Courtney T. Johnson, 26, Army Sergeant, Jul 11, 2007 Garner, North Carolina

Steven R. Jewell, 26, Army Specialist, Aug 14, 2007 Bridgeton, North Carolina

Michael S. Fielder, 35, Army Captain, Aug 19, 2007 Holly Springs, North Carolina

Paul J. Flynn, 28, Army Chief Warrant Officer, Aug 22, 2007 Whitsett, North Carolina

Lee C. Wilson, 30, Army Sergeant, Sep 06, 2007 Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Steven R. Elrod, 20, Army Specialist, Sep 10, 2007 Hope Mills, North Carolina

Laurent J. West, 32, Army Staff Sergeant, Mar 11, 2008 Raleigh, North Carolina

Juantrea T. Bradley, 28, Army Staff Sergeant, Mar 12, 2008 Greenville, North Carolina

II, Thomas C. Ray, 40, Army National Guard Sergeant, Mar 22, 2008 Weaverville, North Carolina

David B. Williams, 26, Army National Guard Sergeant, Mar 22, 2008 Tarboro, North Carolina

Emanuel Pickett, 34, Army National Guard Staff Sergeant, Apr 06, 2008 Teachey, North Carolina

Lance O. Eakes, 25, Army Specialist, Apr 18, 2008 Apex, North Carolina

Adam L. Marion, 26, Army Private 1st Class, Apr 28, 2008 Mount Airy, North Carolina

Five dead in Mecklenburg

That's five too many ... ooooh, I hope Pete Gilchrist (or some DA in NC) has the guts to ring him up.

the DOD splits up the death count

One is Operation 'Enduring Freedom' and the other is 'Operation Iraqi Freedom'.

Between the two lists, the death count in NC is 112.

Since most military men and women that move to NC military bases are requested to file taxes in a tax exempt state (like Florida), the number would actually be even higher.

Here are the two full lists in 2 Excel spreadsheets.


No, he cannot

The reasons why the the President cannot be prosecuted are almost too numerous to mention.

But lets start with a war being "illegal" is a construct of international law, which governs the actions of states and not individuals. Even ignoring the fact that an unprovoked war is not unequivocally against international law (there was no treaty broken and there is not a clear consensus against preemptive strikes), it takes a jump to conclude that the should be some personal liability.

Further, there is immunity for government officials acting within their office. Since everyone agrees that the President is the commander and chief and subject to Congressional powers, can conduct military actions, Bush was at least acting within his office (even though doing so poorly). So there is no way to attack his actions in the criminal system.

Lastly, as a policy matter, the elected officials of our government should not be subjected to second guessing by local authorities. Could you imagine all of the cases that could be brought against any President. Every action of a President involves gains and losses for various groups; if any one group could institute an action based on their loss, governing would be chaos.

Just because you may not agree with an official's position is no reason to abandon our system of government. And when so clearly there is no action to be had in this case, claiming that there is does not do much for your credibility.

i agree

see my post below. Thanks for adding some meat to the argument against the prosecution proposition. I'm glad you spoke up. Someone needs to check the really outlandish things that sometimes, though not that often appear on this site. Just so the passerby doesn't think we're all out of our minds :)

What I'm arguing for is a case that takes place after

he leaves office. It is well established that a president cannot be sued or indicted while in office. Doesn't mean he can't be held accountable AFTER he leaves office, though.


Sorry, afraid you're wrong. President Clinton was only faced with legal proceedings b/c the Supreme Court held that a president can be held responsible for civil actions that took place BEFORE becoming president (since his alleged sexual harassment took place before 1993). And I think that was a horrible decision by the Court. So to argue to further erode this sovereign immunity...it just doesn't work, folks.

I'm with you, that decision was horrible

and incorrect ... the court didn't weigh Paula Jones' right to have her case heard against the people's interest in having a full-time president. What I'm advocating is that any prosecution of Bush only take place AFTER he leaves office.

Bush may deserve impeachment

But 1) there is no time and 2) in the middle of a campaign? Bush is one of the worst if not the worst President in our history but he will be gone in fewer than 9 months. Let's not waste our time impeaching him and spend it instead trying to elect the Democratic nominee whoever he or she is.

The tyranny of "or"

I really appreciate your thoughtful comments. Seriously. I wish you'd write more.

And of course you're right about time and practicalities. Several Congressman told me there wasn't enough time last January. If it was true then, it's even more true now. Although the irony should certainly not be lost.

Fortunately, there are lots of people who want to get practical and work within the art of what's possible ... and plenty of other who prefer flat-out ranting about the incredibly gross injustice. I like the think I straddle that fence, but probably lean toward the latter.

In any case, doesn't it take both, not either or?

I fully understand your feelings

And it does take both. Maybe I'm just "outraged out." If Bush were still in office for two more years, I'd say full speed ahead on impeachment. But its nine months.

So please keep reminding us why we should do it. I'll remind us that we can't but it isn't because we shouldn't.

Fair enough.

You have a deal.

Are you serious?

Where is the precedent for a prosecution of this kind? Without some kind of legal precedent, NO DA would touch this. It is a ridiculous proposition.* Frankly, it is a waste a time to talk about it. Let's focus on weakening McCain, strengthening Obama and helping elect NC Dems. Let's NOT look like clowns. Honestly, I'm usually a calm debater, but this thread is beyond the pale. I feel just as terribly for the families of the soldiers who died in a sadly misguided war, but pushing to prosecute Bush for murder is not the way to remedy the situation. We should fight to make sure another fool like Bush doesn't get back into the Presidency or any other office.

*Plus, interestingly (though of course all this talk is a rather meaningless exercise) if Bush was prosecuted for such crimes in North Carolina he would certainly receive the death sentence. De facto moratorium or not, being convicted of murdering dozens or hundreds of people would put Bush on death row. Would you like that? It's what happens in directorships; leader gets into stupid war, is overthrown and then executed. We don't do that here. See: Bueno de Mesquita, et al. 1999. “An Institutional Explanation of the Democratic Peace.” American Political Science Review 93(4): 791-807.

The basis for such a prosecution

would be the lies and misrepresentations that were broadcast nationally, as well as the recruitment of military personnel in each state by recruiters acting under his direction.

At present, I would think that Bush could only be charged for second-degree murder--and even then only after he leaves office. As I said earlier, there is a strong constitutional convention that a president cannot be sued or indicted while still in office. And as outrageous as this president's actions have been, it would be a stretch to suggest that he deliberately planned to kill our troops.

But look at U.S. v. Bush--it states that malice is a state of mind that causes a person to willfully commit a wrongful act that could reasonably result in death or serious injury. By this token, since Bush planned an aggressive war without regard for the loss of American lives, that is a textbook case for second-degree murder.

This is ridiculous

Bugliosi is either trying to sell his book or he's lost his mind. I agree with Proud Progressive that it is ridiculous to even raise this point. No NC DA would even THINK of doing this and if they did, I would seriously question his/her credentials to be DA.

Blog updated

to stress that any prosecution should wait until after Bush leaves office.

Does not matter

Legally that (whether he is in office or not) does not change the result.

My thoughts exactly

when I saw his book at Quail Ridge Books the other day. Either his publisher wants to get some publicity by having an outrageous title Or Bugliosi has lost his mind. But given at least his education, Bugliosi knows it is an utterly ridiculous proposition that serves absolutely no purpose (other than marketing).

The Tyranny of the Bush Regime

As an earlier post stated, malice is a state of mind that causes a person to willfully commit a wrongful act that could reasonably result in death or serious injury. For this reason, and others spelled out in Mr. Buglioi's book (you might consider reading it before you throw out those lost his mind remarks- the man knows what he is talking about- and does not make loose statements- he makes a clear and abundant case anyone should be able to understand), Bush can absolutely be tried for and should be found guilty of all the deaths for which he is responsible, and they do amount to murder.

What we DO NOT DO here in America is too allow persons in high office to operate outside the law- NO ONE is above the law- we certainly heard plenty of that chant from the neocons when Clinton misbehaved, didn't we, but they have their act together, immoral and corrupt as it may be.

Of COURSE, what we need to do is to bring this worm of a man to justice and thereby send a loud and convincing message to all future Presidents, that this country will NOT tolerate despotic, underhanded, dictatorial and illegal conduct from their leaders...your job in this republic is to serve and represent and protect us, NONE of which was done here. It is the ONLY way to ensure that this type of scheming, deceiptful, manipulative and outrageously UNAmerican behavior will not continue amongst those in power.