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Busting Bush & Co. in New England

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March 5, 2008
by Dave Lindorff

In Mansfield, CT, the town where I grew up, there were no police. Oh, there
was a resident State Police officer with a big cruiser, but mainly, his job
was patrolling the stretch of four-lane highway that ran north of us between
Hartford and Boston. The University of Connecticut, a sprawling ag school at
the time, had a few police, but their job was limited to patrolling the campus.
If something happened, like a kid stealing candy from Phil’s, the local
Five and Ten, or if there was some kind of domestic dispute, it fell to the
local town constable—an elected position—to handle.

Up in the town of Marlboro, VT, population 1000, the town constable may have
a new job. If President George W. Bush, or Vice President Dick Cheney should
happen to stop by there, perhaps to pick up some freshly made maple syrup or
maple sugar candy, he’d have to arrest them. Last night, the citizens
of Marlboro voted in their annual town meeting to indict both men for war crimes,
obstruction of justice and perjury. The vote was 43-25, with three abstentions.

Residents of nearby Brattleboro, population 12,000, did the same, voting 2012-1795.

It might be a challenge for the local constabulary, given the gaggle of stone-faced,
ear-wired, Secret Service agents in their dark sunshades who encircle and protect
the president and his regent whenever the two suspects travel out of the secure
confines of the White House and Executive Office Building in Washington, but
town constables are a dedicated lot, and I’m sure they’d do their
best to get through and make the bust.

It’s a fair bet Bush and Cheney will keep Marlboro and Brattleboro off
their travel itineraries, even after they’ve left office.

Harder, at least for the president, would be Kennebunkport, ME, where the Bush
family summer compound is located. There, Laurie Dobson, Kennebunkport resident
and an independent candidate for the Maine US Senate seat currently held by
Republican Susan M. Collins, has filed a similar resolution, calling for Bush’s
and Cheney’s arrests and extradition (or deportation) to a jurisdiction
where they can be effectively prosecuted for war crimes and other criminal violations.
If Dobson’s resolution were to pass, the president would be forced to
fly to and from his compound by presidential helicopter, and would have to be
afraid to open the front door, for fear it might be a Kennebunkport constable
trying to do his duty.

Dobson last week presented her resolution to the town’s board of selectmen,
who serve as a kind of executive for the day-to-day running of the affairs of
the town under New England’s typical style of government. It reads: "Shall
the Kennebunkport Board of Selectmen instruct the Town Attorney to draft indictments
against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution,
and publish said indictments for consideration by other authorities, and shall
it be the law of the Town of Kennebunkport that the Kennebunkport Police, pursuant
to the above-mentioned indictments, arrest and detain George W. Bush and Richard
Cheney in Kennebunkport if they are not duly impeached, and prosecute or extradite
them to other authorities that may reasonably contend to prosecute them."

Dobson has also asked the board of selectmen to consider establishing a municipal
war crimes tribunal to investigate the administration’s crimes under international
law.

The resolutions passed by the residents of Brattleboro and Marlboro similarly
call on the local constabulary to arrest the nation’s two top executives
(yes, Cheney is in the Executive branch), and to "extradite them to other
authorities that may reasonably contend to prosecute them."

David Swanson, of AfterDowningStreet.org, says the constables in Vermont may
be quietly thrilled at the opportunity to make a presidential or vice presidential
arrest.

As he puts it, “I know a lot of cops around the country who are going
to be jealous of the Brattleboro police force. I’m thinking of all the police
officers I’ve seen arrest activists in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, but
accept impeachment T-shirts from them and hide them under their hats. Here is
an opportunity for law-abiding and law-upholding working men and women to arrest
the biggest criminals of our age, and the two men most responsible for the human
and financial costs we and others have suffered these past seven years. Who
wouldn’t want to be in on this?”

Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die” state sandwiched
between Vermont and Maine, the state house or representatives is slated, later
this week, to take up a resolution submitted by Rep. Betty Hall which, if passed,
would call on the US House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings
against the president. A similar resolution was passed last year by the Vermont
state senate. In hearings on her resolution earlier, a Republican member of
that body gave what was the most passionate argument in support of the measure,
suggesting that even Republicans of principle are recognizing a need to take
a stand in defense of Constitution and the rule of law.

It may be that Bush and Cheney, the most impeachable duo to inhabit the White
House in the nation’s history, may manage to slither through the remaining
10 months of their second term of office unimpeached and unprosecuted, thanks
to the heroic efforts at delay and obstruction by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
and the rest of the Democratic Party congressional leadership. But clearly,
they will be needing to steer clear of the northern tier of New England, which
is ready to try and take them down.

Other communities that would like to make themselves Bush/Cheney Free Zones
can go to AfterDowningStreet.org for a model ordinance.
______________
DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book
is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press,
2006 and now available in paperback edition). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net

Source URL: http://www.thiscantbehappening.net

Dave Lindorff, a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent
books ("This Can’t Be Happening! Resisting the Disintegration of American
Democracy" and "Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Penalty
Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal"). His latest book, coauthored with Barbara Olshanshky,
is "The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President
George W. Bush from Office (St. Martin’s Press, May 2006). His writing is available
at http://www.thiscantbehappening.net