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Vincent Bugliosi and The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

By Michael Collins - Posted on 10 June 2015

bugliositextIf we want to deter future presidents from taking this nation to another war under false pretenses, some president in the future that gets a funny thought, I think that deterrence would increase immeasurably if he knew what America did to George Bush, put him on trial for murder, and if he was convicted, of course, the punishment would either be life imprisonment or the imposition of the death penalty.” Vincent Bugliosi, Murder Trumps Torture - An Interview, Michael Collins, Aug 8, 2009

Vincent Bugliosi was a true patriot and a tireless, fierce advocate for the people. His death at age 80 marks a time to remember his vision of an American future based on decency, civility, and the respect for both the law and the people the law should protect. This article excerpts three interviews I conducted with Bugliosi on his 2008 book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.

Bugliosi was one of the nation’s top criminal prosecutors. He won 104 of 105 murder cases including the conviction of Charles Manson and his followers the late 1960s. For years, Bugliosi was also the nation’s top true crime author. His best seller, Helter Skelter (over 7 million copies sold) offered a behind the scenes narrative of the Manson Family prosecution and Charles Manson’s extraordinary criminal deviance.

Bugliosi left the full time practice of law to pursue a career in writing primarily in the true crime genre. He had three number one best sellers on the New York Times list and numerous other successes.

The biggest true crime Bugliosi took on was the charge of murder against former President George W. Bush. He wrote a detailed brief for any local prosecutor willing to take the case. The book provided a detailed, fully documented legal brief that proved beyond any doubt that by lying the country into war, Bush was responsible for the deaths of every American soldier killed in that war. The book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, was uniformly ignored by the mainstream media that had always sought out Bugliosi for interviews on his latest work or screen rights to his books.

Despite the mainstream media boycott of Bugliosi’s scathing, precisely argued, and well-documented book, the author would not be denied. Through alternate media news and opinion web sites and internet radio shows (including Rob Kall’s radio show), Bugliosi built an audience for his argument and book. Once again, this time without any help from mainstream media, Bugliosi saw his book on the New York Times bestseller list.

It was my privilege to interview Bugliosi on three occasions, two concerning his Bush prosecution book and one on President Barack Obama’s cavalier dismissal of Bush administration crimes. He knew exactly what he wanted to say, said it brilliantly, and was courteous to a fault.  Of all the public figures I have observed over the years, Vincent Bugliosi was the only one I ever truly wanted converse with at any length. I am grateful for that opportunity.

The following sections are select quotations from extensive interviews on Bugliosi’s book outlining a murder case against a sitting president.

Michael Collins: An Interview with Vincent Bugliosi, Part I, August 7, 2008 -- Making the case for The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

Vincent Bugliosi: Apparently its okay for George Bush to take this nation to war on a lie, to be responsible, criminally responsible for well over 100,000 deaths, but it's not okay to prosecute him. Not only isn't it okay to prosecute him, it isn't even okay to talk about prosecuting him. This is unbelievable what's going on in this country. How can we have a country where they permit a president to do what he did and they do absolutely nothing to him except to try to protect him?

I can tell you that if the case went to trial, the central, overriding issue at Bush's trial, would be whether or not he took this nation to war in self‑defense as he claimed he did: that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and therefore he was an imminent threat to the security of this country, so we had to strike first in self‑defense.

If the prosecutor … could prove that he did not act in self‑defense and he took the nation to war under false pretenses, then all of the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq would become unlawful killings. All of those killings would become unlawful killings and therefore murder.

This is just -- you know, I hate to use the word terrible over again, but it's just absolutely terrible, and the question is how evil, how criminal, how perverse, how sick can George Bush and his people be? And yet they got away with all of this. As I'm talking to you right now, there are well over 100,000 people -- some estimates go in excess of a million -- well over 100,000 precious human beings who are in their cold graves right now because of it. But so far, George Bush has gotten away with murder and we, the American people, cannot let him do this. He's gotten away with murder, and no one is doing anything.

But let me tell you this: For the first time in my career, it's very personal with George Bush, and I'll tell you why. If I prosecuted him and Cheney and Rice or whoever else, Cheney and Rice it would not be personal. I would seek the death penalty against them, for sure. They deserve to suffer the ultimate penalty for what they did, no question about it. But it would not be personal. I'll tell you why it's personal with George Bush -- because the evidence is overwhelming, overwhelming. It cannot be disputed.

Bush, Manson, and the Media Blackout - Bugliosi Interview Part, Michael Collins, Aug 11, 2008Dealing with the mainstream media boycott of his book on prosecuting George W. Bush for murder and more arguments for a trial of the former president

Publishers “would say things like this to me: ‘Mr. Bugliosi, are you sure you want to publish this book?’"

Vincent Bugliosi: They don't want me on [television and radio news, entertainment and talk shows].

Michael Collins: How many best sellers have you had? Three or four, right?

VB: Oh, well, I've had three that got up to number one on The New York Times. No American true crime author has had more than one. I've had three, and then I've had other best sellers. "Till Death Do Us Part" was a best seller. "Reclaiming History' for one week was a best seller. That was a book that, you know, weighed seven and a half pounds and cost $57.

MC: What do they say? Do they have an explanation, or is it just --

VB: Well, I can tell you what my publicist said that -- before the book came out they start booking you, and they would call these people and say, you know, "We're representing Vince Bugliosi," and right away, "Oh, yeah, I know Vince. We've had him on the show. He's a good guest. What's the new book?" The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.   And you can -- they kind of indicated to me that they could just sense the shriveling on the other end of the line. And they said, "Well, let me get back to you on this. This may be a little difficult," or, "I'll have to get back to you on this." And then, of course, they just stopped responding to emails and everything, and that was absolutely across the board. They would not have me on. It got so bad -- it got so bad that ABC Radio refused to take money from my publisher to take out a radio spot.

MC: Oh, you're not allowed to advertise either?

VB: Yeah, on ABC Radio they would not take the money.

MC: That's a first.

VB: Which is, I think, kind of mind boggling. I don't know. It just seems to me that it's mind-boggling. And then, of course, as you know, I had a very difficult time getting the book published. I never had trouble before. I had to fly back to New York City, knock on doors, and it was obvious that the publishers I met with thought the book was very marketable, and they seemed to be sympathetic with what I was saying, but it was equally obvious that they were frightened. They would say things like this to me: "Mr. Bugliosi, are you sure you want to publish this book?" And one of them put it in black and white, typed it, or maybe an email, "Too hot too handle."

If anyone tries to dispute it, they're going to make a fool out of themselves if I have The evidence is overwhelming that while young American soldiers -- I'm talking about 18, 19 year old kids who never had a chance to live out their dreams -- are being blown to pieces by roadside bombs in Iraq, this guy, George Bush, was having a lot of fun playing, joking, laughing on a day to day basis and enjoying himself to the very utmost. The evidence is overwhelming to that, and that's what's made it personal with me, the fact that he could do what he did, this monstrous individual, and still have fun on a daily basis when kids are being blown up, and you see Bush and he's smiling and laughing and joking and tap dancing. It's unbelievable.

Murder Trumps Torture Says Bugliosi - An Interview, Michael Collins, Apr 8, 2009On Obama letting Bush off the hook for criminal behavior

MC: What would you say to the president if you had the opportunity?

VB: If I were to speak to President Obama, I would inform him of one thing and advise him of a couple of other things. I'd inform him, and I guess this sounds a little sarcastic, but I would inform him that when he talks about only looking forward and not backwards, I agree that most of his efforts have to be towards the future. I'm not quarreling with him on that, but you can't forget the past.

When he says that he intends to give Bush a free pass simply because whatever crime Bush may have committed was in the past, I would inform him of something he already knows: that all criminal prosecutions, without exception and by definition, have to deal, obviously, with past criminal behavior. Obviously we cannot prosecute someone for a crime that they may commit in the future.

And if we prosecute for even petty theft in America, what do we do with Bush, who I'm very convinced took this nation to war under false pretenses and has caused incalculable death, horror, and suffering?


Vincent Bugliosi was a warrior for the truth and the rule of law. We were truly fortunate to have him for as long as we did.


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