Dick Cheney- Corporate Criminal


Are Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld Guilty Of Major Crimes?

Jim Downey's Rants & Raves
January 10th, 2006

President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld are, in my understanding of criminal law, guilty of second degree murder or manslaughter by way of reckless disregard for the lives of over 2000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. Their collective disregard for the safety of our military members is a clear criminal conspiracy to ignore the facts. They have knowingly, without regard for the consequences—with full knowledge of the potential for injury, permanent disability, and death—ignored the need for proper vehicle and body armor for troops in the field.

A recent study indicates that proper body armor would have prevented over eighty percent of the injuries that are caused by combat and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The study comes from within the military structure, as reported by Associated Press:

“The unreleased study last summer by the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner looked at 93 fatal wounds from the start of the war in March 2003 through June 2005. It concluded that 74 were bullet or shrapnel wounds to shoulders or areas of the torso not protected by ceramic armor plating.” – 01/10/2006

It is important to note that the study is not the first notification that body armor was needed. In April, 2004, there was clamor over the lack of proper armor, indicating that over twenty percent of injuries incurred could have been less deadly had there been proper armor for the most widely used light-weight personnel vehicle, the so-called “Humvee.” The Hummer vehicles being used in combat situations in Afghanistan and Iraq were not equipped with full armor, exposing the undercarriage of the Humvee to the full effects, and additional potential for secondary shrapnel, of the IEDs being used by the Taliban, Iraqi insurgents and foreign mercenaries involving themselves in the battles for a stable Iraq.

Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld responded to questions regarding the lack of full and proper armor for the Humvee by stating, “As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time.” SecDef Donald Rumsfeld – 12/08/2005

Rumsfeld also blamed the defense industry and manufacturers of the armor for not ramping up faster and supplying the Pentagon with the requested adjunct armor kits faster. However, major manufacturers of the armor for the Humvee indicated that they were indeed up to the task of supplying the armor, but the Pentagon and Department of Defense had not responded to their inquiries and status reports.

"We've been telling the Pentagon for months that we have the capacity to double our production," said former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, a consultant for ArmorWorks of Tempe. We're ready, and we haven't heard a thing." www.azcentral.com – 12/10/2004

As late as April, 2005, there were continued reports that Humvees were still not fully and properly armored, and that Republican members of congress were opposing the funding needed to properly fit the vehicles already in the areas of operation. www.azcentral.com – 04/28/2005

Despite letters sent to President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld, including one sent by Senator Chris Dodd (D- Connecticutt), the matter of proper armor of vehicles and body armor has largely gone unnoticed and ignored by the Commander-in-Chief and the Secretary of Defense, the two highest civilian authorities in regard to military operations. Although many Americans, including veterans and families of those serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, have spoken out regarding the lack of proper armor, these voices have remained “cries in the desert” and treated as minor nuisances to the current administration.

Other studies concluded that the use of better equipped vehicles like the Stryker medium-weight fighting vehicle would have been a better choice altogether. As a result, at least 142 members of the military were killed by mines, IEDs or RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) that may have been thwarted by proper armor.

"Almost all those soldiers were killed while in unprotected vehicles, which means that perhaps one in four of those killed in combat in Iraq might be alive if they had had stronger armor around them." Newsweek Magazine – April, 2004

In November, 2003, the military reported that the newly developed Interceptor line of body armor, which could withstand most small arms fire and shrapnel flying about as a result of IEDs and mines, were being rushed to the frontlines of Afganistan and Iraq.

“The Army and Marines are rushing to get enough body armor into Iraq and Afghanistan by December for everyone who needs it, as fast as it comes off the assembly line. ‘Body armor is saving lives,’ Moran emphasized. ‘There have been dozens and dozens of instances where body armor has saved lives of individual soldiers. We're producing that as quickly as we possibly can.’ Army Col. John Norwood, PEO Soldier's project manager for soldier equipment, said all soldiers in Iraq will have body armor by December.” usmilitary.about.com/cs/weapons/a/newbodyarmor.htm – 11/01/2003

Now comes the internal report from the summer of 2005 that our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines still do not have the full body armor that would protect them from death in over 80 percent of the cases involving IEDs, mines and small arms fire.

Some responses to the report have indicated that it would cost approximately $260 per service member to provide the full body armor. The defense against providing the additional body armor indicates that the cost may be prohibitive in nature. The lack of consideration for the cost of battlefield treatment, surgery, rehabilitation, VA benefits, burial, and payments to military family members is quite striking. The cost of lives lost, the after care of those wounded, the continued care for those permanently injured, and other concerns is far greater than the $260 it would cost to provide the armor to each and every member of the military serving in harm’s way.

Family members of those serving in combat areas are actively seeking out ways to supply full body armor to their sons and daughters serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is even a law that calls for the military to reimburse family members that have purchased and shipped armor to their relatives serving in combat zones. It is noteworthy that this law has gone largely ignored and unimplemented, even though it was passed, and signed into law by President Bush, several months ago.

Further, the current administration touts its support for our troops. President Bush has declared his respect and praise for the members of our military that serve at great sacrifice to themselves and their families. But how much respect and admiration does this administration have for our troops if there is continued delay in providing proper armor—vehicle and body armor—after OVERWHELMING evidence that it saves lives, money and the honor of our great nation?

The fact that President Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld have not addressed these issues in a full and expeditious manner is prima facie evidence of a reckless disregard for the lives of our troops. Their collective disregard for the safety of our troops, which has resulted in over 2000 deaths and almost 16,000 wounded in Iraq alone, is evidence of criminal wrongdoing. The federal criteria for manslaughter is as follows:

“Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Every murder perpetrated by poison, lying in wait, or any other kind of willful, deliberate, malicious, and premeditated killing; or committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, any arson, escape, murder, kidnapping, treason, espionage, sabotage, aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse, child abuse, burglary, or robbery; or perpetrated as part of a pattern or practice of assault or torture against a child or children; or perpetrated from a premeditated design unlawfully and maliciously to effect the death of any human being other than him who is killed, is murder in the first degree. ANY OTHER MURDER IS MURDER IN THE SECOND DEGREE.” USC Title 18, Part I, Ch. 51, §1111. Murder – www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode (emphasis added)

The most common definition for second degree murder involves the reckless disregard of a duty to act to protect life, such as that found in the New York definition:

“Second-degree murder is ordinarily defined as 1) an intentional killing that is not premeditated or planned, nor committed in a reasonable "heat of passion" or 2) a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender's obvious lack of concern for human life.” – http://criminal.findlaw.com/crimes/a-z/murder_second_degree.html

The common definition of manslaughter also involves the concept of reckless disregard for human life or conduct that leads to the death of others:

“Involuntary manslaughter usually refers to an unintentional killing that results from recklessness or criminal negligence, or from an unlawful act that is a misdemeanor or low-level felony.” – http://criminal.findlaw.com/crimes/a-z/manslaughter_involuntary.html

At the very least, there are grounds for the crime of conspiracy, which is defined as acts in concert:

“A criminal conspiracy exists when two or more people agree to commit almost any unlawful act, then take some action toward its completion. The action taken need not itself be a crime, but it must indicate that those involved in the conspiracy knew of the plan and intended to break the law. One person may be charged with and convicted of both conspiracy and the underlying crime based on the same circumstances.” – http://criminal.findlaw.com/crimes/a-z/conspiracy.html

If we examine the conduct of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, we can see that there has been a reckless disregard for the safety and lives of our troops. They have acted in concert and those actions have led to the deaths of others. Unfortunately, each of these people are protected from such charges in the case of military action. So our only recourse under the Constitution is the avenue of impeachment, or accepting their voluntary resignation from office.

As a veteran, I am appalled at the lack of respect and concern for our troops in the field. I am further outraged by the lack of adequate response to the established need for vehicle and body armor. Three years of controversy over the armor issue is a ludicrous and unwarranted amount of time. Eighty percent of the wounds received could have been less damaging and less deadly if our troops were better protected. That means out of every 10 soldiers, sailors, airmen or marines injured or killed in the field, EIGHT of them could have been saved or received less severe wounds. If that is not criminal neglect, I cannot fathom a better definition. Sending our troops into combat without the highest protection and best equipment possible is a crime.

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