War crimes tribunal last best hope for justice

by Ogi Overman

If not now, when? If not this, what? If not us, who?

How many more smoking guns will it take?

When the news broke last Tuesday that Ron Suskind’s new book, The Way of the World, offered the most conclusive proof yet that Bush and Cheney had committed crimes that were clearly impeachable, my first thought was, “This it it. This is the bombshell that even a gutless Congress, compliant media and apathetic electorate cannot possibly ignore. Even with less than three months before the election, the House Judiciary Committee will have no choice now but to draw up the Articles of Impeachment against them.

My second thought was, “Sheeah, right.”

There is an even bigger tragedy than the crushing mountain of evidence that has been piling up day by day for seven years that cries out for their removal from office, and it is this: This once-great nation let them get away with it.

We (well, not me) sat around with our collective thumb up our ass while Bush and Cheney and their surrogates concocted evidence that led this country into a war that never should have been waged against a country that posed no threat. And then even after it was revealed that the evidence was not wrong or misinterpreted as Bush would have us believe, but rather that the administration had actually made it all up, we still did nothing. The Congress failed in its constitutionally mandated oversight responsibility; the fourth estate failed in its mission as seekers of truth; and the public failed by not holding anyone accountable, in effect allowing itself to be bribed with its own money.

In case you missed it — which wouldn’t have been that hard, since it didn’t make much of a splash for such an explosive story — Suskind’s book detailed how the White House forged a letter from the then-Iraqi head of intelligence, Tahir Jalil Habbash al-Tikriti, to Saddam Hussein saying that 9-11 ringleader Mohammed Atta had trained for the mission in Iraq. The order to create the letter was written on White House stationery and given to the CIA, which backdated it to July 1, 2001, and then delivered it to Iraq. Habbash was later given $5 million in hush money and resettled in Jordan.

The phony letter gave Cheney the operational link between the 9-11 hijackers and Saddam that he so desperately craved and which a gullible and craven public lapped up like junkyard dogs as O’Reilly, Hannity and the rest of Faux News passed it along as fact.

Not only did the administration forge the letter but it ignored the actual intelligence from Habbash that there were no weapons of mass destruction, which it received in plenty of time to stop the March 20, 2003 invasion.

Suskind, who won a Pulitzer Prize when he was with the Wall Street Journal, had two named CIA sources who corroborated the existence of the phony letter and the knowing misuse of an arm of government.

So, how many impeachable offense did you count? (This depressing revelation comes on the heels of the death of the alleged anthrax killer. Remember the anthrax scare, and how the administration also tried to plant the seed that it was related to terrorism with no evidence to support that notion whatsoever? Remember McCain going on Letterman and shilling for them? Just another way to ratchet up the fear. The Boogeyman’s out there, you know, whether he’s got anthrax or nukes or case cutters… he’s out there.)

I lost count of the Bush-Cheney impeachable offenses long ago, but there are hundreds of websites that chronicle them and at least a dozen books that have drawn up prospective articles of impeachment. So rather than list them all, let’s go back to the three questions at the top: When will they be impeached? Never. What will it take? Doesn’t matter, not gonna happen. Therefore, we’re left with the third: If not us, who? And the answer is the international community. The world. Planet Earth.

It is going to take the full weight of the world to bring Bush-Cheney to justice. They are going to ride off into the sunset as billionaires thinking they’ve gotten away with it, but as more and more revelations surface that are even more damning than Suskind’s, the weight, severity and quantity of the evidence will leave no choice but for an international war crimes tribunal to be convened, in accordance with the 1949 Geneva Conventions, at the International Criminal Court, established on July 1, 2002 in the Hague, Netherlands.

Since the US never ratified the agreement and technically does not fall under the court’s jurisdiction, the millions of patriotic Americans like me who feel that Bush-Cheney should be held accountable for the lives and treasure lost in an immoral war should now concentrate our efforts on ICC ratification.

I’ve been beating the impeachment drum since August, 2001; time to change instruments.

Ogi may be reached at and seen on “Triad Today” hosted by Jim Longworth on ABC 45 at 6:30 a.m. Fridays and on WMYV 48 at 10 p.m. Sundays.