In his recent letter to The Sun, my friend Steve Earle brought up an excellent point: he asks why, if I think that Bush and Co. should be in jail for "waging aggressive war," did I not mention the Democrats who are at the very least morally culpable because they endorsed the Iraq War? Steve asks an excellent question and I will try to answer it.
First, if I had made a list of everyone responsible for this war, my letter would have been much too long. Contrary to what Steve says, there WERE members of Congress who voted against supporting Bush's war. I can agree with Steve, however, that those who did support it probably had a pretty good idea of what they were doing.
Second, while the members of Congress are certainly guilty in a moral sense, it might be hard to try them in a court of law since it is the Executive Branch that wages war and the Congressional endorsement and support for the Iraq war never reached the level of a Congressional Declaration of War. I am certainly not a prosecutor but prosecutors generally like to prosecute cases where there is at least a chance of winning. In America, we cannot convict people of crimes unless it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they have broken a LAW. We are a nation of laws and you can do something totally despicable that is still completely legal!
To be honest, I would much rather see Dick Cheney and a number of other individuals and corporations indicted for "war profiteering." Unfortunately, this does not seem to be a crime in the United States or at least one that people take very seriously. Perhaps it should be.
E. Scott Cracraft