Canadian Lawyers Seek to Ban (or Prosecute) Bush For His Role In Authorizing Torture

Former President George W. Bush’s first post-presidency speech will take place on St. Patrick’s Day — March 17 — in Calgary, Alberta. Although organizers have declined to say if Bush will be paid, he once boasted that he hoped to make “ridiculous” money on the lecture circuit once he leaves office.

But instead of greeting Bush with open arms and (potentially) wads of cash, activists and human rights lawyers in Canada are hoping their government will greet him with handcuffs — or at the very least — bar him entry in to the country. In fact, Vancouver Lawyer Gail Davidson said the government has an obligation under the law to ban Bush from entering Canada because of his role in supporting torture:

Davidson says that because Bush has been “credibly accused” of supporting torture in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Canada has a legal obligation to deny him entry under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The law says foreign nationals who have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity, including torture, are “inadmissible” to Canada. “The test isn’t whether the person’s been convicted, but whether there’s reasonable grounds to think that they have been involved,” says Davidson.

Davidson is correct; Bush has been “credibly accused” of supporting torture. Earlier this year, Manfred Nowak, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, urged the U.S. to pursue Bush and Donald Rumsfeld on charges that they authorized torture and other harsh interrogation techniques. Indeed, Bush himself said last year that he was aware of his advisers’ discussions on torture and recently admitted that he personally authorized waterboarding Khalid Sheik Muhammad.

Davidson sent Prime Minister Stephen Harper a letter last month asking that the government “either bar Bush from Canada, prosecute him once he arrives, or have the federal attorney general consent to a private prosecution” but she has yet to receive a response.

If (or when) Bush is granted entry, Calgary activists will be waiting. “We want to give him the welcome that he deserves — which is we want him to go back to the States, or we want him arrested,” says organizer Collette Lemieux. “It’s very important that we keep the pressure up. …We have to make it clear that there’s accountability,” she said.

Davidson’s law firm sought to bring torture charges against Bush during his visit to Vancouver in 2004 but the Canadian government “used a claim of diplomatic immunity” to block them. Nonetheless, Davidson is determined to bring Bush to justice. “It’s now a matter of public record that Bush was in charge of setting up a regime of torture that spanned several parts of the globe and resulted in horrendous injuries and even death. Canada has a duty,” she said.

JojoWazoo JojoWazoo
46-50, F
5 Responses Mar 17, 2009

Singer said "At least we do not take civilians hotage...."<br />
We don't? Whoa man! I think that a war for oil, greed and "After all, this is the man who tried to kill my Daddy" was a crime against us, the Iraqi people and against humanity. Yes, we share the same training, Singer. There are the Articles of the UCMJ AND the Geneva Convention that cover torture. And there's the little pesky little ethical problem of what Rummy called "Colateral Damage" of the uncounted and unspeakable horrorfying deaths of innocent Iraqis (and Afghanistan too). Ok and Vietnamese too. It's happened throughout the ages but it still doesn't make it right. Do you think some of our troops are not raping women in Iraq? If you believe Iraqi's took the first swing at us, you're terribly mistaken. Geez.......... Turn of Fox News and read a couple of books.

Come on now.....Do you really think that what we did over there is that bad.......Then I guess that they better not allow any person from Japan that was in the war over there.....I mean do you know what they did to people during WW2......How about the Korean women that they took as sex slaves......Got with the program....THEY took the first swing......Hello there.....Twin Towers......not once...But twice......Pentagon.....Flight 93.....American Embacy....You name it....Do you really think that we should not lower our standards just a little bit to win this war.....<br />
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Come on Jojo....You had the same training as I did....You know that what we did was not that bad......At least we do not take civilians hotage....and cut their heads off on the internet.....Now have we

Since I doubt he would get arrested here, I truly hope he would if he went to Canada. It would be good to see a glimpse of justice for all his wrongdoings.

It would probably be the highlight of my year! I don't pray so, one can only hope!

He should definitely be arrested.