Bush News Flash – Amnesty International to Canadian Government: Detain, Investigate George W. Bush for War Crimes
“Arrest George W. Bush“: Amnesty International to Canadian Government
read full 24H Vancouver story online – select date Oct 7, navigate to p.6.
Metro Vancouver has been abuzz in recent days with rumours and hearsay of how Canada might arrest top officials of the Bush administration as they try to enter Canada in the near future.
Newspapers across Canada over the weekend carried front-page stories passing an urgent message to the Government of Canada from Amnesty International: Canada has a legal “obligation” to detain and investigate George W. Bush for alleged War Crimes. The former U.S. president will attempt to enter Canada on 20 October, 2011 for a speaking engagement at a regional economic summit in the border city of Surrey, B.C. The City of Surrey is a member city of Metro Vancouver. Former president William J. Clinton is scheduled to appear with Bush at the summit in Surrey.
The upset surrounding the former American leaders began 26 September when former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney spoke to The Bon Mot book club in Vancouver to promote his recently published memoirs. At the posh Club Vancouver, protestors obstructed entry to the $500-a-plate event. The next day, in Calgary, Alberta, Cheney again drew protestors at a second promotional dinner and speech.
In the meantime, numerous human rights organizations have been bombarding the government of Canada with demands to apply its immigration laws banning or detaining 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) equally to all people. To date, Bush administration officials have been given carte blanche to enter and leave Canada with impunity. Conservative prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, has always been sympatico with Bush and the controversial “War on Terror.” Before the Harper government (first elected in 2006), Liberal Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien refused to join Bush’s rush to invade Iraq in 2003.
A perfect storm may now be building head. This latest contingency places Mr. Bush exactly where human rights organizations have been waiting to have him: in the hands of a democratic foreign country willing to stand up to a leader who led the U.S. into an illegal war in Iraq, and is alleged to have approved numerous war crimes. Torture tops the list of the alleged war crimes.
At least four large organizations have been pressuring Canada to arrest or ban Bush officials: 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 Watts, the mayor of The City of Surrey to insist that authorities apply Canadian immigration law to all persons equally.
At the present time one Canadian citizen serving time at Guantanamo prison in Cuba for killing a U.S. soldier finds himself right at the centre of the clash between the U.S. and Canada. Omar Khadr was “renditioned” – shipped overseas to a third world country for torture – by the U.S. and is now working with Amnesty International to try to get home to Canada. Progress has been non-existent for Khadr. The Americans show no inclination to repatriate a prisoner taken under the auspices of the War on Terror.
Read full Toronto Sun article online.
The Toronto Sun newspaper carried the story of the upcoming potential contretemps between the two countries in its October 9 edition.
Bryn Weese, of the Sun’s parliamentary bureau wrote: Amnesty Internatioanal is calling on the federal government to detain and investigate George W. Bush for war crimes. In fact, the organisation says the government has “an obligation” to do it…“The government of Canada has an obligation to start an investigation into former U.S. president George W. Bush’s alleged involvement in , and responsibility for crimes under internernational law, including torture, while he is visiting Canada on 20 October,” according to a press release from the organization sent out Thursday.
Canadian immigration minister Jason Kenney has bristled at the growing pressures brought upon him by activists. He had a heated exchange of letters with Amnesty International over the weekend, in which he told the organization he is “disappointed” in their dogged pursuit of Bush officials. Kenney wrote that Amnesty International is “squandering” its own moral authority.
At the very least, October 20 is going to be a day of tensions in Canada as activists do their best to push Canadian government officials to action, while attempting to cause as much embarassment to both sides in the international squabble as they possibly can.
Based on the present Canadian government’s past close relations with the Bush administration, activists are facing an uphill battle in trying to persuade Canada to bring the Americans to justice.
“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.
- UN Receives Complaint Over Canada’s Failure To Arrest Bush – 19 November 2012 (lucas2012infos.wordpress.com)