Thursday, May 22, 2008

If this doesn't prove liberalism is a mental disorder...

...then I don't know what else does:

Activist goes to court to ask that Bush be arrested at convention


May 22, 2008

Long-time Minneapolis peace activist and sometime-gadfly Ed Felien asked a Hennepin County District Court judge on Thursday to compel the county attorney to arrest President Bush when his plane lands for the GOP convention in September.

Felien, a former Minneapolis City Council member, said Bush should be investigated and prosecuted for murder because of troop deaths in Iraq, conspiracy to fix oil prices and conspiracy to distribute drugs by controlling the opium trade in Afghanistan.

He acknowledged his request was unusual, but also said, "the purpose of the prosecuting attorney is not to achieve convictions, but to seek justice."

At the end of a 30-minute hearing, Judge Gary Larson said he would rule in the normal course of business, but he did not provide a time frame. Felien's request certainly had the feel of a very long shot.

In his response to the court, Deputy Hennepin County Attorney Patrick Diamond said the notion that the president could be taken into custody and prosecuted is "highly doubtful."

Although he said a number of county residents no doubt shared Felien's views, a court-ordered arrest and prosecution would be an "extraordinary remedy."

He repeatedly emphasized that the county attorney bears the sole discretion of when to prosecute crimes. "Not everything a county attorney can do is something a county attorney should do," Diamond said.

He argued, too, that Felien's request raises serious separation of powers issues. A totalitarian state exists when a "judge is deciding not just the outcome but who should be investigated and prosecuted," Diamond said.

During Felien's nearly 20 minutes of wide-ranging argument, Larson advised him several times to slow down so the court reporter could capture his words.

Felien touched on Bush family history, claiming the family has influential ties to "Saudi princes" as well as Afghanistan drug lords and the Mafia. He introduced numerous news articles to the judge regarding the Bush family and oil prices.

"No man in this country is so high that he is above the law," Felien said.

In his written filings, Felien said the president "has fraudulently represented a war against Iraq as essential for our national interests when in reality the war only benefits his private interests. With his Saudi friends he has cornered the supply of oil and raised prices. And through his longtime family contacts with the CIA and the Mafia he has arranged for the transporting of heroin into Hennepin County," Felien wrote in a petition.

Felien was publisher of the now-extinct Pulse, a weekly alternative newspaper. He still publishes South Side Pride, three separate monthly newspapers in South Minneapolis.

The White House did not return a call seeking comment.

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