People Judge Bush (PJB)

People Judge Bush (PJB)


* Was affiliated with the International Action Center
* Defunct since 2008

Created in the spring of 2004, People Judge Bush (PJB) was an organization whose mission was to “address the growing evidence of crimes against peace, war crimes, and other human rights violations committed by the U.S. leadership [i.e., President George W. Bush] in Iraq and elsewhere.”

PJB was an organizational appendage of the International Action Center (IAC), which had close ties to the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party. Apart from sharing IAC’s politics, PJB operated from the same New York City location as IAC (and used the same phone number as IAC). Press releases for PJB events typically included contact information for both the PJB and IAC, while prospective PJB supporters were encouraged to attend IAC’s weekly meetings.

PJB claimed that “[t]here is no question that the U.S. is responsible for war crimes.” Far more forgiving was PJB’s assessment of the tactics used by Iraq’s terrorist insurgency, which the organization designated as the “resistance.” PJB believed that “by raising a public hue and cry,” it could convince the American people that “right wing zealots in the U.S. government” had “conspired to wage an illegal war of aggression against Iraq, kidnap and torture civilians around the world, [and] attack civilians and medical facilities in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.” 

PJB demanded that “[President] Bush, [British Prime Minister Tony] Blair, and all complicit World Leaders be held accountable for” such “crimes” as “war profiteering and privatizing of national resources”; “cultural genocide”; “the theft of trillions from domestic social services so that the U.S. can pursue its policy of ‘Endless War’”; and the incitement of “bigotry, racism, and a climate of fear.” 

PJB’s specific charges against the Bush administration included the following:

a) Use of Illegal Weapons: “Weapons that cannot be directed at an enemy without killing non-combatants are prohibited in situations where non-combatants may be present.”

b) Attacks on Culture: “The U.S. military took great care to protect the offices of the oil ministry, but ignored or encouraged the destruction of Iraq’s cultural heritage.”

c) Kidnapping and Torture: “The Bush administration has illegally kidnapped people around the world and flown them to other countries to be tortured.”

d) Crimes Against Humanity: “Crimes against Humanity include the bombing of civilian targets, indiscriminate killing of civilians, destruction hospitals and medical facilities, and the destruction of facilities necessary for the survival of the civilian population.”

e) Attacks on Civil Liberties and Social Welfare Programs: “While Bush spends billions on war abroad, he is gutting domestic programs that help the people of the United States. Programs for health care, education, housing, even veterans’ benefits are under assault.”

f) Global War Crimes: “No corner of the world is safe from U.S. intervention.”

g) Trashing the Constitution: “[President Bush] has usurped the war powers delegated in the [C]onstitution to the Congress to pursue wars of aggression and other unlawful military actions; and [he] is attempting to pack the federal courts with judges committed to ideologies in conflict with the Constitution of the United States.”

h) War of Aggression: “The [Bush] administration implied a connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam; there was no evidence and such a connection was highly implausible. The administration claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction;… Iraq had no such weapons when the invasion began…. The unprovoked attack on another sovereign nation is a war of aggression, it is the crime for which the leaders of Nazi Germany were put to death. No wonder Bush would not present his real reason for attacking Iraq.”

Beyond its opposition to the Bush administration, PJB was also fundamentally hostile to free-market capitalism. Thus, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the fall of 2005, the organization released a statement praising Communist China and Cuba. As PJB saw it, America’s “wealthy capitalist economy” had failed to “protect its citizens from a hurricane” while “much less wealthy socialist countries do so with unparalleled efficiency” — thus, “socialism sounds like the road to follow.” 

In August 2004, PJB convened a special “War Crimes Tribunal” in New York City to coincide with the city’s hosting of the Republican National Convention. For the tribunal, Ramsey Clark prepared a nineteen-point indictment of George W. Bush and others, calling for their impeachment and conviction. Specifically, Clark charged President Bush with such crimes as: “targeting defenseless civilians and civilians facilities, and indiscriminate bombing and assaults”; “[a]uthorizing, ordering, concealing and condoning assassinations, summary executions, murders, disappearances, kidnappings and torture”; using “paid paramilitary civilian forces” to “kill, coerce, control and contain the Iraqi population;” “controlling, directing, manipulating, misinforming and restricting press and media coverage”; and “supporting Israel’s illegal occupation, brutalization and expanding settlement of Palestine.” Also participating in the tribunal was the radical attorney and terrorism abettor Lynne Stewart, whom PJB characterized as a victim of “persecution” and a champion of “fair and equal justice.”

In August 2006, PJB participated in a demonstration outside the United Nations headquarters in New York City. “This protest,” said PJB, was designed to “mark the beginning of an international effort to expose U.S./Israeli war crimes, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity. It is a historic opportunity to document the U.S./Israeli planning and preparation for all out war against all forms of popular resistance…. The state of Israel and the United States have conspired to shape through massive destruction a ‘New Middle East.’ They have criminalized and demonized the heroic and desperate resistance of the Palestinian, Lebanese and Iraqi people to occupation.”

PJB became inactive in 2008, not long before President Bush stepped down from office in January 2009.

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