Is George W. Bush a war criminal?
Dan Gardner: George W. Bush ordered torture. He’s a war criminal
Do laws apply to the United States and its president as they do to other nations and men? On the weekend, Swiss officials were very nearly forced to answer that explosive question. Depending on George W. Bush’s travel schedule, Canadian officials could be put on the spot next.
In his memoirs, published late last year, and in subsequent interviews, Bush explicitly said he ordered officials to subject terrorism suspects to waterboarding and other torture techniques. The fact that he had done so wasn’t much of a surprise. There was already heaps of evidence implicating the Bush administration, up to and including the president. What was shocking was that Bush admitted it. He even seemed to boast about it. “Damn right,” he said when Matt Lauer asked whether he had ordered waterboarding.
Barbara Kay: No legal or practical reasons to prosecute Bush, a friend to Canada
George W. Bush, who has freely admitted to sanctioning waterboarding and other interrogation techniques on terror suspects, has cancelled a weekend speaking engagement in Geneva after a coalition of human rights groups pressed the Swiss government to do their UNCAT-sanctioned duty to “act against anyone who may have committed torture anywhere.” UNCAT stands for the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The convention has been signed by almost all nations, including Canada and the United States.
Photo: Protesters smear red paint on the face of a man wearing a George W. Bush mask during a protest in Toronto, May 29, 2009. (Tyler Anderson/ National Post)
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