I’m a fan of Vincent Bugliosi’s book Helter Skelter, in which he chronicles his prosecution of Charles Manson for the Tate/LaBianca murders in the early seventies. Though historical perspective and local L.A. hearsay tend to show how much Bugliosi and the police misunderstood about the case (MDA deal, anyone?), his account is still the Bible for all rebellious pre-teens who want to find out more about America’s favorite bogeyman.
Today, though, Bugliosi’s going after another mass murderer, responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths–George W. Bush. In his new book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, he suggests not only that Bush is a murderer, but that he should receive the same punishment for his crimes that he relished as Texas’s governor: capital punishment.
If Bush, in fact, intentionally misled this nation into war, what is the proper punishment for him? Since many Americans routinely want criminal defendants to be executed for murdering only one person, if we weren’t speaking of the president of the United States as the defendant here, to discuss anything less than the death penalty for someone responsible for over 100,000 deaths would on its face seem ludicrous.
I’m kind of fascinated by this story not because I think Bugliosi has any power to make this happen, but because he’s saying what I think a lot of us are thinking–Bush is an evil president, who has lied straight-faced to the American people, boldly coddled his friends and pardoned his accomplices, knowingly condemned innocents to torture and death, and threatened all nay-sayers with the stigma of being considered appeasers or traitors. Bush does deserve to be tried, and though I don’t believe in the death penalty for anyone, I think I’d definitely put him in line for the chair ahead of, say, a mentally retarded woman in Texas.