In Canada Noose Tightens around Bush-era War Criminals – Cheney’s Visit Draws Protestors, Bush, Clinton Likely to Face Same Soon


Witness Against Torture: Vince Warren

Witness Against Torture: Vince Warren (Photo credit: Shrieking Tree)

City of Greenpeace, No Nukes, and anti-war – Vancouver, Canada

This blogger writes: The peaceful, green Canadian city that first officially opposed  George W. Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003,  that gave birth to environmental juggernaut Greenpeace, and that officially declared itself a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone decades ago, gave former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney a war criminal’s welcome  – “the kind of welcome he deserved,” in the words of one protestor – as the American leader most often referred to as a “war criminal” arrived in Vancouver to promote his memoirs and speak at a $500-a-plate speaking event on 27 September.

Vancouver protestors block entry to Cheney dinner & book event

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Cheney got “the welcome he deserved” in Vancouver – protestor

Police were called in to control hundreds of protestors who blocked the entrance to the posh Vancouver Club, making it difficult and frazzling for paid-up ticket holders to gain entry to the venue.

The promotional event was sponsored by The Bon Mot Cluband  sold out almost immediately after tickets went on sale.

People do get a thrill out of seeing a real monster live and up close, in technicolor!

Cheney draws protestors in Calgary, Alta.

Cheney drew fire again from more protestors the following evening when he spoke to a Calgary, Alberta nosh ‘n talk crowd.

Click here to watch video interview with Katherine Gallagher and Matt Eisenbrandt of The Center for Constitutional Rights explaining why Cheney should be arrested, not celebrated.

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It’s not only Dick Cheney who is drawing heat in Canada recently. Former U.S. presidents George W. Bush and William J. Clinton are targeted continent-wide by at least four organized groups seeking to bring them to justice for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Mr. Cheney is only the most recent leader to face protests from angry Canadians.  More showdowns loom on the near horizon.

Visit of George W. Bush on October 20, 2011: Canada must prevent entry or arrest and ensure prosecution for torture:

Bush tops arrrest list – activists

George W. Bush and  William J. Clinton are scheduled to appear together in the border city of Surrey, B.C. on 20 October, 2011 at a regional economic development summit. Surrey is a member city of Metro Vancouver.  Human Rights activists will be awaiting the arrival of both former presidents there in October.

Clinton of less concern – activists

Vancouver-based  Lawyers Against the War,  The StopWar Coalition, the New York–based Center for Constitutional Rights, and London-based  Amnesty International have all recently lobbied Canada’s immigration minister, Jason Kenney, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Dianne Wattsthe mayor of  The City of Surrey  to insist that authorities  apply Canadian immigration law to the former U.S. leaders, just as the law is applied to all persons who have been deemed by the government of Canada to be, among other things, accused of international crimes, torture, war crimes, and crimes against humanity” under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, sec 35(1) (a).

The Hon. Don Davies, NDP critic for Immigration of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition in the Canadian parliament also went public with a demand that Cheney either be banned from entering Canada, or must face a court of law upon his arrival in Canada.

But Mr. Cheney found a friend the same day. Prominent “reputation manager,” Doug Anderson, senior vice-president of  marketing, research and intelligence for Harris Decima defended Cheney on the popular CBC TV News show, “At Issue.” Anderson inveighed against Mr. Davies’ remarks about banning Cheney from Canada, arguing: ”A lot of people in Canada don’t like Dick Cheney, don’t agree with what he did, but I think that might not strike people as being the way to handle that issue.”  Vancouver journalist Charlie Smith called Anderson’s remarks “elite manufactured consent” in The Georgia Straight newspaper.

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The legal ammo the activists use against the former leaders are two important international laws: (1) The declaration proclaimed at the Nuremberg Tribunal following the Second World War that declared that launching a war of aggression was the  “supreme” war crime if it was not done in self defence. Many legal scholars argue that a war of aggression can only be fought with the backing of the UN Security Council. Bush’s “Iraqi Freedom” was not authorized by the UN Security Council…and….

U.S. disregards anti-torture UN law

(2) The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which the United States participated in drafting. The U.S., however, has neither signed nor ratified the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture. When the Bush administration dismissed United Nations concerns about torture, one judge observed: “America’s idea of what is torture … does not appear to coincide with that of most civilised nations.”  

Cheney represents un-‘Lawful Evil’ to many

 

[As for himself, Cheney made the claim in Vancouver that the controversial water-boarding torture, which he called merely a “coercive interrogation technique”  was used only three times under his watch! I wonder. Did Cheney’s blithe, well-heeled audience actually believe that? 

THIS  blogger doesn’t believe Cheney’s claim for a minute. Three instances of water boarding by American interrogators are on the record. But were they recorded deliberately? Or were they instead leaked photos or recordings? Further, countless prisoners taken by the U.S. were subjected to “rendition” – the practice of shipping detainees away to third party nations where torture is regularly, routinely  practised. Are we to believe that none of those other barbaric countries water-boarded “renditioned”  U.S. prisonersnot even once, !?]

Water boarding torture causes victim drowning panic

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A spokesperson for the New York based Center For Constitutional Rights said that her group was calling for Bush’s arrest but not for Clinton’s, even though they’ll both be in Surrey in October, because Clinton’s 1999 leadership role in the joint invasion with NATO of the former Yugoslavia has already been before the International Court of Justice in the Hague. More seriously, Bush led America in 2003  into war against Iraq criminally, as defined in both international and domestic laws.

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American criminal lawyer Vincent Bugliosi (who is famous for his convictions of such notorious felons as Charles Manson for murder)  makes the case for charging Bush with first degree murder under U.S. criminal law in his 2008 bestselling book “The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder.”     In the book, Bugliosi proposes that Bush could, and should, be charged for “the most serious crime ever commited in American history” –  the taking of America into an illegal war under  false pretences, and therein perpetrating serious war crimes. The author writes with deep passion that Bush’s disregard for law and moral rectitude directly resulted in the  deaths of  more than 100,000 human beings, including 4,000 young American soldiers, thus showing “reckless and wanton disregard” for the consequences and “indifference to human life,”  terms that both would lead to a conviction for murder under U.S. criminal law.

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“More and more in our times Canadians have wondered  just what kind of continental neighbour America, is, exactly.  Where will it all end?”

That’s what this blog is all about.



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