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Vincent Bugliosi: JFK and Bush


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Interesting article in the New York Times about the media response to Bugliosi's books on JFK and Bush:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/07/business...&ei=5087%0A

As an author, Mr. Bugliosi has written three No. 1 best sellers and won three Edgar Allan Poe awards, the top honor for crime writers. More than 30 years ago he co-wrote the best seller “Helter Skelter,” about the Manson case.

So Mr. Bugliosi could be forgiven for perhaps thinking that a new book would generate considerable interest, among reviewers and on the broadcast talk-show circuit.

But if he thought that, he would have been mistaken: his latest, a polemic with the provocative title “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder,” has risen to best-seller status with nary a peep from the usual outlets that help sell books: cable television and book reviews in major daily newspapers.

Internet advertising has been abundant, but ABC Radio refused to accept an advertisement for the book during the Don Imus show, said Roger Cooper, the publisher of Vanguard Press, which put out the book.

ABC Radio did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Bugliosi, in a recent telephone interview from his home in Los Angeles, said he had expected some resistance from the mainstream media because of the subject matter — the book lays a legal case for holding President Bush “criminally responsible” for the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq — but not a virtual blackout.

His publisher and publicist said they had expected that Mr. Bugliosi’s credentials would ensure coverage — he is, after all, fairly mainstream. His last book, a 1,612-page volume on the Kennedy assassination, “Reclaiming History,” which was published last year, sought to debunk the conspiracy theorists. It is being made into a 10-hour miniseries by HBO and the actor Tom Hanks.

Mr. Bugliosi said bookers for cable television, where he has made regular appearances to promote books, have ignored his latest offering. MSNBC and Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” were two outlets Mr. Bugliosi had thought would show interest, but neither did.

“They are not responding at all,” he said. “I think it all goes back to fear. If the liberal media would put me on national television, I think they’d fear that they would be savaged by the right wing. The left wing fears the right, but the right does not fear the left.”

A spokeswoman for Comedy Central said the staff of “The Daily Show” was on vacation and unavailable for comment. A representative for MSNBC said: “We get many pitches to interview authors and very few end up on our programs.”

The editor of Newsweek, Jon Meacham, said he had not read the manuscript, but he offered a reason why the media might be silent: “I think there’s a kind of Bush-bashing fatigue out there.”

“If it’s selling well,” Mr. Meacham said, “it’s another sign that the traditional channels of commerce have been blown up. If a dedicated part of the Internet community wants to move something, it doesn’t need a benediction from the mainstream media and might benefit from not having one.”

The book was published in late May by Vanguard Press, a division of the Perseus Books Group — which also owns PublicAffairs, the publisher of the recent memoir by a former White House spokesman, Scott McClellan — and has sold about 130,000 copies. On Sunday it was No. 14 on the New York Times best-seller list. (The Times published a lengthy review of Mr. Bugliosi’s Kennedy book last year by the writer Bryan Burrough of Vanity Fair; his latest book is under consideration for review, said Robert R. Harris, the deputy editor of The New York Times Book Review.)

For the Bush book, the equation for success seems to be this: Mr. Bugliosi’s reputation plus talk radio plus the viral nature of the Internet.

Sara Nelson, the editor in chief of Publisher’s Weekly, said, “130,000 copies is an enormous number of copies of anything.”

“You should never underestimate the power of a brand name author to circumvent the normal publicity and marketing channels,” Ms. Nelson said. “Somebody was very smart to see that something subversive like this is best marketed on the anonymous and youthful medium of the Internet.”

Ms. Nelson said that if the book becomes successful, “the same people who didn’t want to give him publicity in advance would give him publicity after the fact.”

Mr. Cooper of Vanguard Press said, “We publish books on all sides of the political fence and all kinds of political thought.” The company's sibling, PublicAffairs, has also published one of President Bush’s favorite writers: Natan Sharansky, the onetime Soviet dissident whose book “The Case for Democracy” is said to have influenced Mr. Bush’s foreign policy agenda.

On Mr. Bugliosi’s book, Mr. Cooper said, “I expected there would be people who would choose not to talk about it. But I thought some would.”

Mr. Bugliosi has had more than 100 radio interviews about the book, and Vanguard was behind an aggressive Internet campaign that included ads on liberal blogs. “It’s been frustrating on one hand but exhilarating on the other,” Mr. Cooper said. “Using the Internet has been an integral fact in the success of this book. I feel terrific about the sales of this book.”

While Mr. Bugliosi’s Kennedy book got the star treatment from Hollywood in Mr. Hanks, he had to look outside the United States to find money for a film on his Bush polemic. Jim Shaban, a theater owner in Windsor, Ontario, financed a documentary on the book that is almost complete. The movie, directed by David Burke, does not yet have a distributor. But it will not carry the same name as the book. “Mad as Hell” is one name under consideration, according to Peter Miller, of the PMA Literary and Film Agency, who has represented Mr. Bugliosi for about 25 years.

“We may not be able to work with a mainstream company,” Mr. Miller said.

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Bugliosi has evidently been wandering around in blinkers for most of his life. Now, he's finally getting to see the way the world really works. There may even be an upside. It may improve the quality of Bugliosi's work - even if his audience will be much smaller....

I don't believe this to be accurate. Bugliosi was Paul Schrade's attorney in the 70's, and was instrumental in re-opening the RFK assassination investigation in L.A. He has also written two books on the U.S. Supreme Court--one on its decision for political reasons to allow President Clinton to be sued while in office, and one on its decision to hand the 2000 election to Bush--in which he basically called the Justices deciding with the majority incompetent and criminal. He is an outspoken ornery fire-breather, and he's usually right. That said, I've written a chapter on Bugliosi at patspeer.com, chapter 9b, and expose numerous deliberate misrepresentations of the evidence in one small section in Reclaiming History. These mistakes can not be a coincidence, and show that he's not above pulling the wool over his readers' eyes to score points. It's a shame.

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As Pat noted, Bugliosi was responsible for a great deal of important research into the RFK assassination. That is what makes his absurd stance on the JFK assassination that much harder to understand. As for "Helter Skelter," Bugliosi came up with a theory much wilder than anything ever postulated by the most extreme JFK assassination critic.

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  • 2 weeks later...

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0807/S00182.htm

Using these criteria, Bugliosi could have also convicted Mrs. Paine for "overt acts," a "criminal state of mind," with "criminal intent" "aiding and abeting," "culpability" and "vicarious liability" for doing the Oswald's laundry, giving him driving lessons and finding a job.

Friday, 18 July 2008, 5:20 pm

Column: Sherwood Ross

Some 140 Federal And State Attorneys Could Prosecute Bush For Murder

By Sherwood Ross

President Bush "beyond all reasonable doubt" is responsible for all the murders of American troops killed in Iraq and could be prosecuted by any of 140 Federal and State legal authorities, famed prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi says.

Bugliosi said the president is guilty of "the most serious crime ever committed in American history…knowingly and deliberately taking this country to war in Iraq under false pretenses," killing 4,000 GIs, seriously wounding 30,000 more, and killing 100,000 Iraqis in the process.

While a federal prosecution by the U.S. Attorney General in Washington, or any of the 93 U.S. attorneys throughout the country "would be the easiest procedure," Bugliosi says, any of the 50 State attorneys-general also "could bring a murder charge against Bush for any soldiers from that state…who lost their lives fighting Bush's war."

Writing in "The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder"(Vanguard Press), Bugliosi says Bush's lies to the public constituted "overt acts" and their broadcast nationally via the media are a basis for prosecution in every state. Charges could include murder as well as conspiracy to commit murder, the veteran prosecutor said.

In his career in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, Bugliosi successfully prosecuted 105 out of 106 felony jury trials, including 21 murder trials without a single loss, according to a biographical sketch in the book. His most famous trial, the Charles Manson murder case, became the basis of his classic, "Helter Skelter," said to be "the biggest selling true-crime book in publishing history."

"Bush and his gang of criminals were constantly telling Americans that Hussein constituted an imminent threat to the security of this country, but they kept the truth from the American people that their CIA was telling them the exact opposite, that Hussein and Iraq were not an imminent threat to this country," Bugliosi writes.

In his speech of October 7, 2002, in Cincinnati, Bush said "The Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gasses and atomic weapons…" even though a CIA report dated October 1 gave Bush notice that "the CIA did not consider Hussein an imminent threat to this nation," Bugliosi pointed out.

As Bush did not act in self-defense, he did so with "a criminal state of mind," with "criminal intent," Bugliosi says, thus, "every killing of an American soldier that took place during Bush's war was an 'unlawful killing' and murder."

Bugliosi explains that a person is guilty of a crime under the theory of aiding and abetting if he instigates an act that leads to a crime. Bush's invasion brought into existence the Iraqi opposition and his action caused Iraqis to kill American soldiers…" Besides, unless Bush intended to have a war without casualties, "which is nonsensical on its face," Bugliosi says, "he did, in fact, specifically intend to have American soldiers killed."

"In my opinion," Bugliosi continues, "there certainly is more than enough evidence against Bush to justify bringing him to trial and letting an American jury decide whether or not he is guilty of murder, and if so, what the appropriate punishment should be." Based on the evidence the author spreads out over 344 pages, he feels convinced "a competent prosecutor could convict Bush of murder."

Bugliosi points out that he convicted Charles Manson of the seven Tate-La Bianca murders even though Manson did not participate in any of the killings, nor was he present at the time. He was able to secure Manson's conviction, he noted, because of the "vicarious liability rule of conspiracy, which provides that each member of a conspiracy is criminally responsible for all crimes committed by his coconspirators or innocent agents of the conspirators to further the object of the conspiracy."

Among the Iraq war conspirators Bugliosi identified are Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Bugliosi said he knew less about former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's culpability but that a prosecutor could make that determination by obtaining documents and grand jury testimony from key people. The same procedure could also be followed in the case of former White House advisor Karl Rove, the attorney wrote.

Bugliosi charged Bush "is a grotesque anomaly and aberration. No president has ever done what he did and it is not likely this nation will see a president do what Bush did for centuries to come, if ever. At least we know that in the previous three centuries there was no one like this monstrous individual."

"I would be more than happy, if requested," Bugliosi continued, "to consult with any prosecutor who decides to prosecute Bush in the preparation of additional cross-examination questions for him to face on the witness stand."

*************(Sherwood Ross is a Miami-based publicist and columnist. He formerly reported for the Chicago Daily News and several wire services and has contributed to national magazines. Reach him at sherwoodr1@yahoo.com)

Edited by William Kelly
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I have let myself understand that Bugliosi got interested in the JFK assassination only after he signed up for the mock trial. Seems to me like a man who "stays the course" after he's been given a standpoint. He reminds me in so many ways of George W. Bush. When Bush was asked about mistakes that he had made so far as a president, he couldn't name one. I wonder whether Bugliosi can name a single mistake he has made either. I don't know anything about the Helter Skelter/Charles Manson case but I am speculating here based on the information given by Mr. Don Jeffries (well, I also checked the 1 star reviews on amazon). After Bugliosi got a "confirmation" for his wild theory by getting Manson behind the bars he has heard the same voices as George W. Bush. Bush thinks God speaks through him and Bugliosi thinks he is the God. They call it 'hubris' or something. Probably everyone here is willing to agree that Bush is a 'true believer'. I think the same might very well apply to Bugliosi too.

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Another thing is the HBO miniseries about the assassination. I already quickly wrote about that on amazon message board. But I think it needs to repeated. Artists - screenwriters that is - have an exceptional thirst for truth and honesty. Most of the time they actually care. Once they'll read other books about the assassination (they have to) it's going to be real hard for them to write the screenplay. Any reasonable person that reads even one decent "it was a conspiracy!"-book about the case will go into tank.

But less seriously I can't wait for the miniseries. How about when Oswald is going to buy that bottle of coke right after the killing. It might as well be a Coca-Cola ad. "A drink to die for" or "it keeps you cool". Or how they are going to build up his motive. "Kennedy is a good president - I'm going to kill him - and then keep quiet about it". Oh the drama! Hot dang!

Edited by ville huoponen
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I have let myself understand that Bugliosi got interested in the JFK assassination only after he signed up for the mock trial. Seems to me like a man who "stays the course" after he's been given a standpoint. He reminds me in so many ways of George W. Bush. When Bush was asked about mistakes that he had made so far as a president, he couldn't name one. I wonder whether Bugliosi can name a single mistake he has made either. I don't know anything about the Helter Skelter/Charles Manson case but I am speculating here based on the information given by Mr. Don Jeffries (well, I also checked the 1 star reviews on amazon). After Bugliosi got a "confirmation" for his wild theory by getting Manson behind the bars he has heard the same voices as George W. Bush. Bush thinks God speaks through him and Bugliosi thinks he is the God. They call it 'hubris' or something. Probably everyone here is willing to agree that Bush is a 'true believer'. I think the same might very well apply to Bugliosi too.

Ville, Bugliosi is undoubtedly a true believer. Even worse, he is totally blind to the fact that he twists and distorts evidence to make his case. He thinks that is something other people do. I examine this in an essay entitled Vincent Bugliosi is the Real Oliver Stone, here: http://www.patspeer.com/chapter9b%3Areclai...yfromreclaimin2

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Ville, Bugliosi is undoubtedly a true believer. Even worse, he is totally blind to the fact that he twists and distorts evidence to make his case. He thinks that is something other people do. I examine this in an essay entitled Vincent Bugliosi is the Real Oliver Stone, here: http://www.patspeer.com/chapter9b%3Areclai...yfromreclaimin2

I would recommend that all members of this forum read this article.

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  • 4 years later...

I know most of us dislike Vincent Bugliosi and his huge book about Kennedy. But I was

surprised when I saw him on youtube talking about his new book. He is writing or getting

nearer to publishing an indictment of former President George W. Bush. Bugliosi states

that GWB is a murderer. That he got us into Iraq through lying and trying to scare us with

weapons of mass destruction. The book will tell the reasons why Bush is a "murderer."

He says when he's finished, the law is going to come after Bush.

This is a breath of fresh air. Somebody is coming after Bush. This can work in 5 ways. 1.

It will only be a book. 2. Bugliosi will die. 3. Someone will murder George W. Bush so he

can't spill his guts. 4. Bush dies in prison like those he put to death himself in Texas'

prisons. 5. Bush will escape via Redbird Airport and follow Lee Oswald into history.

I can't wait to get a copy. Maybe Vincent Bugliosi is redeeming himself?

Kathy C

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Since DVP wanted to bring this back for whatever reason...

I didn't bring it back, Jim. Kathleen Collins did. And when her 5/2/2013 post first appeared, it was the only post that was showing up in the whole thread (and with a different title: "Vincent Bugliosi and George W. Bush"), which must mean that a moderator merged Kathy's new thread with the one from 2008.

I merely posted to inform Kathleen that she was a little behind the times regarding Bugliosi's Bush book, because it's obvious from her post that Kathy thinks Vince hasn't even published the book yet. But when I saw her thread was now merged with an older one, I deleted my previous comments (thinking Kathy would soon find out from other people that the book came out five years ago).

But here's my review anyway:

http://www.amazon.com/review/R29B7NYHLKV3SH

http://dvp-potpourri.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-prosecution-of-american-president.html

Edited by David Von Pein
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