Verdicts are in on the two day mock trial, U.S. vs. Bush. Bush was found guilty on the charges relating to illegal and unauthorized domestic surveillance and wiretapping of American citizens and violating the Separation of Powers and FISA by ordering a secret Executive Order authorizing such action.
Bush was acquitted on the other charges though the presidential signings would have been a guilty verdict if not for a prosecutorial procedural error in not providing verification of a signing statement entered as evidence.
|The Prosecutors, from left: Michael Price, Michael Hughey and helper Karl Lukis
The trial took place over two days, in two-hour sessions, not a lot of time to present evidence. Time constraints limited the number of witnesses and the presentation of evidence for both prosecutors and defense teams, and resulted in the guilty finding on one of the four counts. Given the apparent ease with which, in just four hours, this student panel managed to convict the President on one of four counts, it would be interesting to see what a week’s worth of trial would produce. As it stands, the APSU prosecution team scored a major victory for civil liberties. This trial was staged at Austin Peay State University as part of a Constitutional Law I class taught by Professor Greg Rabidoux, Ph.D., J.D., and included a panel of Judges, Defense Counsel and Prosecutors, and witnesses.
It was a unique event at APSU, where just three years ago in the 2004 election campaign, students and instructors reported being told not to become involved in political issues at school.Four charges were brought against the President.
|Standing from left: Lead Defense, Jessica Lance, Frankie A. DeJesus and Matt Harris, APSU Professor Dr. Rabidoux,; Lead Prosecutors Michael Hughey, Mike Price and Liz Borsavage. The Judges, seated from left, Kasey Henricks, Emery Walters, Enderson Miranda, Ryan Knight and Zach Suggs
- Disparate Treatment of US Citizens during Hurricane Katrina Response in violation of 14th Amendment. The Federal response to Hurricane Katrina provided unequal protection under the law by unqualified director Michael Brown who was picked by Bush as he passed over others more qualified.
- Violation of Separation of Powers within Articles I-III of US Constitution. Bush is not just interpreting to clarify laws through signing statements, but actually and intentionally changing the actual law, attempting to assert power as a lawmaker and not just through his Article II [“He shall faithfully execute the law”] powers from the Constitution. A President is not a lawmaker. He has altered 750 laws. [Reference the following website: http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20060109_bergen.html].
- Violation of Amendments I & IV, Freedom of Speech and Illegal Search and Seizure. Concerning wire tapping and eavesdropping on the American people: What is legal under the 4th Amendment and FISA, versus what has been made legal under the USA Patriot Act, and if in conflict, which one should prevail. There was deception on the part of the President in order to get the Patriot Act passed. Had Congress had the facts, they would not have signed the Patriot Act to begin with, considering the clear violations of privileges and due process rights offered by the Constitution under the Bill of Rights. The Prosecution presented FBI witness who testified she obtained no search warrants because of the President’s direct order to eavesdrop/wiretap.
- Violation of the Geneva Convention Articles: Iraqis, specifically those in militias, were taken prisoner by the United States military when the U.S. military acted as an invading force. Prosecutors presented CIA witness who testified that most Iraqis captured and held had no ties with insurgents and were released. When Iraq was invaded, the Iraqi soldiers were of course supposed to defend their country. They were found by the CIA to be law abiding citizens, not terrorists. The definition of terrorist per G.W. Bush is “a suspected member of Al Quaeda or the Taliban”. For taking prisoners of war on Iraqi soil, the U.S. and military must adhere to Geneva Convention Articles.
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About Debbie Boen
Debbie and her family moved to Clarksville slightly after the tornado of 1999. Debbie founded the group, Clarksville Freethinkers for Peace and Civil Liberties, in 2004. She participated in Gathering to Save Our Democracy, a group dedicated to obtaining free and verifiable elections in Tennessee. She has supported groups including the NAACP, Nashville Peace Coalition, PFLAG, Friends of Dunbar Cave and the Mountain Top Removal Series of Films and speakers. She participated as an artist in the ARTZ gallery group in Clarksville and won Best of Show, First and 2 Second Place awards for four of her sculptures. She won a voter’s choice award for a performance at the Roxy Regional Theatre. She is a wife, mother and cancer survivor. She is always amazed at the capabilities of the human spirit, and the wisdom to find humor when there is none.
TopicsAustin Peay State University, Bill of Rights, Bush, Civil Liberties, Constitution, Domestic Surveilence, Iraq, Warrantless spying