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By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
George Bush today resigned his presidency.
Three months ago, Bush was slapped with a one-count indictment by the
Iraq War Crimes Tribunal charging him with crimes against humanity.
Standing before Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Bush read the
"Today, I am resigning as President of the United States because I have compromised the trust of my constituents.
"Several months ago, I publicly declared my innocence because I was not
strong enough to face the truth.
"So, I misled my family, staff, friends, colleagues, the public -- even
"For all of this, I am deeply sorry.
"The truth is -- I broke the law, concealed my conduct, and disgraced my
"I know that I will forfeit my freedom, my reputation, my worldly
possessions, and most importantly, the trust of my friends and family.
"Some time ago, I asked my lawyers to inform the special war crimes
prosecutor that I would like to plead guilty and begin serving a prison
"Today is the culmination of that process.
"I will continue to cooperate with the government's ongoing
investigation to the best of my ability.
"In my life, I have known great joy and great sorrow.
"And now I know great shame."
Okay, so that wasn't George Bush.
Change a few words, and that is the verbatim statement of Congressman
Randall "Duke" Cunningham, who pled guilty in San Diego today to taking
more than $2.4 million in bribes from a number of defense contractors.
He faces 10 years in prison.
Here's the rest of Cunningham's statement:
"I learned in Viet Nam that the true measure of a man is how he responds
"I cannot undo what I have done.
"But I can atone.
"I am now almost 65 years old and, as I enter the twilight of my life, I
intend to use the remaining time that God grants me to make amends.
"The first step in that journey is to admit fault and apologize.
"The next step is to face the consequences of my actions like a man.
"Today, I have taken the first step and, with God's grace, I will soon
take the second."
Of course, George Bush did not learn anything in Vietnam.
Because he skipped out on Vietnam. Not out of principle, but simply from
the exercise of class privilege.
But as former Congressman Cunningham said today, "the true measure of a
man is how he responds to adversity."
And George Bush is facing adverse times.
Why wait for the indictment?
Do what white-collar criminals do.
Go to the prosecutor and come clean.
Admit to the war crimes you have committed.
What you have done is a violation of international law.
Indeed, as former chief justice and Nuremberg prosecutor Robert Jackson
put it -- a war of aggression is the supreme international crime.
And you have committed it.
The first step of your journey is to admit fault and apologize -- to the
American people, to the Iraqi people and to the people of the world.
The second step is to face the consequences of your actions like a man.
You have known great joy and sorrow in your life.
Now is your time to know shame.
Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime
Reporter, . Robert Weissman is
editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor,
. Mokhiber and Weissman are
co-authors of On the Rampage: Corporate Predators and the Destruction of
Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press).
(c) Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
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