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June 17, 2008

Proceeding where Kucinich fears to tread?

Is there anyone besides Dennis Kucinich who's still interested in impeachment at this late date in the second Bush term? I doubt it. Besides, prosecution in the courts is the new rage.

Normally, in our country, a prosecution is conducted by the government in a criminal case. I suppose one can say that one "prosecutes" a civil action by pursuing it toward completion. There is, after all, a concept known as "failure to prosecute" as a result of which a civil case that's not being pursued is dismissed.

But somehow, I don't think that's what the criminally insane people at the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover had in mind when they announced they were holding a conference to plan the "prosecution" of the President, Vice President, and other current and former administration officials:

A conference to plan the prosecution of President Bush and other high administration officials for war crimes will be held September 13-14 at the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover.

"This is not intended to be a mere discussion of violations of law that have occurred," said convener Lawrence Velvel, dean and cofounder of the school. "It is, rather, intended to be a planning conference at which plans will be laid and necessary organizational structures set up, to pursue the guilty as long as necessary and, if need be, to the ends of the Earth."

"We must try to hold Bush administration leaders accountable in courts of justice," Velvel said. "And we must insist on appropriate punishments, including, if guilt is found, the hangings visited upon top German and Japanese war-criminals in the 1940s."
The blog Above the Law wonders: "Hangings? C'mon, Dean Velvel -- shouldn't a liberal like yourself view that as violating the Eighth Amendment?" And Legal Blog Watch says: "Three citizens of Andover -- the town where MSL is situated -- were among those hanged for witchcraft as part of the 17th century Salem witch trials. These days, however, the town is a chichi Boston bedroom community known as home to equally chichi Phillips Academy. No doubt, any proposal to erect a gallows on the MSL campus might not make it past the local planning board."

But the folks at the MS of L at A are apparently dead serious.
The conference will take up such issues as the nature of domestic and international crimes committed; which high-level Bush officials, including Federal judges and Members of Congress, are chargeable with war crimes; which foreign and domestic tribunals can be used to prosecute them; and the setting up of an umbrella coordinating committee with representatives of legal groups concerned about the war crimes such as the Center for Constitutional Rights, ACLU, among others.
No post on such looniness would be complete without some mockery of the institution itself. I'll leave that to Above the Law, which notes:
Since the Massachusetts School of Law isn't even ABA-accredited, one would expect its alums to have an especially tough time finding legal employment. They're immediately eligible to sit for the bar exam in just two jurisdictions. For more details, see here.

Well, if they can't find employment elsewhere, maybe they can go prosecute President Bush. Do you need to be admitted to the bar for that?
I don't think so. All you need is a furlough from St. Elizabeth's.

UPDATE: Point of Law has more background on the school and its dean, Larry Velvel, while the ABA Journal has a long quotation from the man:
Velvel tears into President Bush as well, writing: “The man ultimately responsible for the torture had a unique preparation and persona for the presidency: he is a former drunk, was a serial failure in business who had to repeatedly be bailed out by daddy's friends and wanna-be-friends, was unable to speak articulately despite the finest education(s) that money and influence can buy, has a dislike of reading, so that 100-page memos have to be boiled down to one page for him, is heedless of facts and evidence, and appears not even to know the meaning of truth.”
And DUmmie FUnnies has a long laugh about it.