Charlotte Dennett’s THE PEOPLE V. BUSH (Hank Albarelli)

THE PEOPLE v. BUSH & Company
By H.P. Albarelli Jr.

That small group of people in the United States attuned to the ever-evolving sounds and gyrations coming out of both Washington, D.C. and the country’s heartland are becoming keenly aware that something new is amidst the land of the free and brave. Of late, there is a new elemental sense at play across the country. Occasionally, through the billowing dust of social and economic turmoil and misery there is spotted a rough beast of sorts plodding across the landscape toward the general populace; a previously unseen harbinger of forthright principles and convictions strongly laced with courage and perseverance. Last week, master political observer and analyst Brent Budowsky remarked on the same when he wrote, “The battle in truth has only begun. On many of our great issues we stand with the center of America. Our numbers are huge, our potential is unlimited.” Budowsky is spot on.

With a little bit of luck, maybe, just maybe, a woman named Charlotte Dennett may end up riding the crest of the approaching wave of conviction that may push an old and new generation of fed-up Americans toward affecting real change across the nation. Who is Dennett? And what is her message in these times of mixed-messages and all around turmoil?

The best answers to these questions, and more, can de discovered in a new book intriguingly entitled, The People v. Bush. The book is the remarkable story, told in her own words, of attorney Charlotte Dennett’s fight to bring President George W. Bush to justice for his crimes while in office and the “national grassroots movement” she encountered along the way.

In her valiant campaign to bring Bush to justice, Dennett’s central objective was to hold the president and his gaggle of cohorts, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and all the neo-stooges at the Pentagon and State Department, criminally accountable for their actions while in office. How many young American men and women gave their lives for the charade Bush and company played out? How many American men and women returned home from a needless war seriously damaged and disabled and disillusioned by an action that in many ways was a sick pantomime of corporate greed and self-aggrandizement? How many nameless people have been tortured, murdered, and rendered invisible because of an illegal war manufactured out of the alchemy of lies and manipulation? How many billions of precious taxpayer dollars have been wasted and looted because of this illegal war?

Dennett’s superbly written book provides the best possible answers to these questions, and offers viable solutions to many of those issues that surround today’s seemingly endless war on terror.

In reading through Dennett’s pages dealing with her adventures in the Green Mountain state, Vermont (hardly the rural utopia of progressivism that many outside the state think it to be) we learn of her efforts to be elected Vermont’s Attorney General, and encounter many other subjects, not the least, and most unexpected, of which is torture and what constitutes torture.

In her run for Attorney general, Dennett recounts her campaign against Vermont’s established order, ingrained aversion to change, and the nattering bunch of political hacks that guard its crumbling walls.

Dennett took on an order unaccustomed to challenge and shook the very granite underpinnings of Vermont’s long-standing traditions. That she lost her race for office is only testimony to factors beyond her control and attributable to the ignorance that infects many citizens today.

Dennett’s book skillfully covers less enticing subjects. She reminds us of Bush’s macho tout that “we hauled in a guy named Abu Zubaydah” and that this alleged top prize of the most wanted is “where he belongs.” This “where”, of course, being flat on his back strapped to an 8-foot piece of plywood upon which he was being waterboarded repeatedly and then severely tortured to the point where he went into shock a number of times and eventually was reduced to a near vegetable-like condition that the FBI deemed “mentally unhinged.” God bless America.

Along these same lines, Dennett also reminds us that Medal of Freedom winner and the nation’s master manipulator of facts and untruths, George Tenet, also CIA chief, asked Bush at about the same time, “You’re not gong to let me lose face on this, are you?” We aren’t told of Bush’s answer, but we are aware of our own: “George, after the fiasco at the UN alone, you had no face left to lose.” As a fifth generation Vermont, I found that Dennett’s insightful and energetic book made me think of another gusty Vermonter whose fiercely independent and iconoclastic nature went great lengths in shaping his chosen state. Ethan Allen, a Revolutionary War hero, like Dennett, challenged convention and went out of his way to see to it that his words always became actions and deeds.

Unlike the countless gutless politicians of today, Allen stood ready at any given moment to give life and limb for all that he strongly believed. One can’t help but sense that Charlotte Dennett may come from the same hardy stock as Allen. I’m certainly hoping that she does, and that we haven’t heard the last from her.

H.P. Albarelli Jr. is the author of A TERRIBLE MISTAKE: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments

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