Apparently former President George W. Bush is traveling to Canada October 20.
Two so-called leading “human rights” organizations: Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called for Canada to investigate and/or arrest Bush for alleged torture in the fight against terrorism.
“Canada is required by its international obligations to arrest and prosecute former President Bush given his responsibility for crimes under international law including torture,” said Susan Lee, Americas Director at Amnesty International.
“The US government’s refusal even to investigate Bush’s role in authorizing torture makes it all the more important that Canada take its obligation seriously,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “Canada’s commitment to respecting human rights should not be put on hold when an ex-US president comes to visit.”
Canada ratified the Convention against Torture in 1987 and incorporated its provisions into the Canadian criminal code. Under domestic Canadian law, suspected torturers can be prosecuted for conduct regardless of whether the alleged victim is Canadian or the conduct took place in Canada, as long as the person is found present in Canada.
Without giving a blanket condonation of everything done under the Bush administration, I would suggest that serious efforts were made to avoid violating domestic US laws and international law norms. The so-called memos seem to show me an attempt to balance the requirements of law and getting information needed to save lives. (I did not read them in their entirety but the extensive parts I read do indicate exactly that – such as the medical and other requirements when waterboarding to comply with law are not consistent with a cowboy/James Bond license to kill mentality.) I agree some policies such as rendition are unwise and potentially troublesome; however, this arrest idea is overkill. It will severely discourage qualified individuals from seeking or holding high offices in our government for fear they may be arrested after their term is over. This also illustrates the overreach and threats to sovereignty these human rights treaties can be. The next administration should review every such treaty and see if we need to withdraw from any of them.
That is irrelevant; the US simply does not have a policy of torture. Period. These human rights organizations are dangerous. I would recommend that whoever in the Federal Government oversees the organizations holders of security clearances cannot be a member of, I would add these two: Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. At the very least, there should be mass resignations from AI and HRW from patriotic Americans who are tired of our nation being subjected to unfair criticism. Go heal thyself, it is said: AI and HRW: Go find real torturers and leave the US alone.