President Bush may soon have a new reason to avoid left-leaning Vermont: In one town, activists want him subject to arrest for war crimes.
A group in Brattleboro is petitioning to put an item on a town meeting agenda that would make Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney subject to arrest and indictment if they visit the town.
"This petition is as radical as the Declaration of Independence, and it draws on that tradition in claiming a universal jurisdiction when governments fail to do what they're supposed to do," said Kurt Daims, 54, who is leading the drive.
As president, Bush has visited every state except Vermont.
The town meeting, an annual exercise in which residents gather to vote on everything from fire department budgets to municipal policy, requires about 1,000 signatures to place a binding item on the agenda.
White House remains silent
The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday, and the press office did not immediately respond to an e-mail.
Support for the measure is far from universal, even in Vermont, where the state Senate voted earlier this year to support impeaching the president. Anti-war rallies are regular occurrences here, and "Impeach Bush" bumper stickers are common.
"I would not be supportive of it," said Stephen Steidle, a member of the town's selectboard, which oversees its government. "It's well outside of our ability. From my perspective, the Brattleboro Selectboard needs to focus on the town and the things that need to be done here."
Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, a Democrat whose office has repeatedly sued the Bush administration over environmental issues, called the move "of very dubious legality."