Attack of the Living Dead Special Prosecutors
Well, over at Findlaw it's attack of the living dead special prosecutors. Apparently: "If President Bush is truly the square shooter he portrays himself to be, he should appoint a special prosecutor to undertake an investigation."
And that'll happen on a cold day in hell. Even as the body count is ratcheting up, the hew and cry against the war and occupation is pretty much isolated to the frothing-at-the-mouth wing of the Democratic Party. Given that we Republicans drove ourselves near to self-destruction following the banner of the shamelessly salivating Clinton-haters, you would think the opposition would learn.
Oh, and don't bother looking to the article if you're hoping for a well-balanced evaluation of the facts. Yes, there's questions which should be asked, but Dean suggests that Congress was given false statements, and in six out of his eight points then rebuts points in the now-infamous State of the Union with concerns over such great matters as the difference between 'concludes' and 'estimates.' (Nevermind the fact that his sources for 'rebuttal' sat at the far-forgiving end of the spectrum, places like the International Atomic Energy Agency, as opposed to the Institute for Strategic Studies.)
The State of the Union was a speech, and meant to rouse the hearts and minds of the American people, not to be a lawyer's amicus. If there were facts that were 'misleading,' it certainly wouldn't be the first time it was done in war, nor only by Dean's cited Polk. I doubt Dean's prosecution would stand on the merits. But more important than the legal minutiae are the unescapable political facts, what should be called the Clinton Conclusion: the public does not like special prosecutions on subjects which, however illegal the actions investigated, do not go against their ethics.
After Lewinsky, it was impossible to doubt that President Clinton lied in court, but his popularity held because however lawful a prosecution might be, it was ugly. Similarly, it will be impossible to take up this cause without, implicitly, saying that one believes that the world would be better off with Hussein still in power.
Such prosecutions take time, and in that time the Corp of Engineers will have begun to restring the electricity and communications systems; an economy with reasonable fundamentals will begin to turn around; and with any luck a new and more impressive justice system will be in its formative stages. Bush's political career is already balanced on this particularly risky point, and if it fails, a special prosecution will be superfluous--Bush is doomed in his next election anyway.
And if it succeeds? Does Dean (or any sensible Democratic congressman, for that matter) seriously wish to begin a process in which the best witnesses may be former Iraqi citizens who, after testifying as to the haze around any 'fact' coming out of pre-war Iraq, will finish with the inevitable coda of Hussein's brutal treatment of his own people? Against this, does Dean truly wish to begin a debate over whether 'concludes' is misleadingly far from 'estimates?'
But perhaps Bush should merely appoint Dean to be special prosecutor? We already know the crux of his case, and while it will waste time and government resources, any such prosecution stands a good chance of ensuring his re-election. And between John W. Dean and Howard Dean, the Democratic Party might manage to beat the British Labour Party's 'longest suicide note in history,' at least if the length of the Starr report is anything to go by.