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Bush Skips Town on secret ‘GET OUT OF JAIL FREE’ Card – Canada’s Cowardly Legal Lions Protecting ‘W’ from Justice?

October 28, 2011 1 comment

COVERUP : B.C. Attorney General Shirley Bond stays proceedings against Bush, posthaste! Without Reading It’s 69+ Pages First? **

Attorney General still has not given us any reasons in writing: Senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights

George W. Bush was slipped a secret GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD from Canada‘s cowardly legal powers on 24 October, 2011 allowing the former U.S. president to once again slip through the fingers of justice fighters aiming to bring him in for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Bush’s 20 October speaking engagement at a hotel in Surrey, B.C. closed down city streets, commandeered phalanxes of special police protection officers and attracted hundreds of highly-vocal, sign-waving protestors railing against war crimes widely believed to have been perpetrated by the Bush administration. Even while the protestors were raising their voices against Bush, a British Columbia court official in Surrey accepted delivery from a group of human rights organizations of a scathing 69-page criminal indictment against Bush, and duly set a hearing date for January, 2012.

Things fizzled out from there:

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Canadian Centre for International Justice – criminal indictment filed against Bush

Matt Eisenbrandt, legal director of the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ), one of the intervening rights organizations, said in a press release the same day: ” Mere hours after a justice of the peace received the criminal information and the court set a hearing date for January, we received notice by phone that the Attorney General of British Columbia had already intervened in the case and stayed the proceedings against former President Bush, effectively ending the case.”

The indictment brought by the rights group, which comprises the New York based Center For Constitutional Justice, Amnesty International as well as the CCIJ lays out the harrowing case of four individuals who endured horrendous tortures including beatings, chaining to cell walls, being hung from walls or ceilings while handcuffed, lack of access to toilets, sleep, food and water-deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, sensory overload and deprivation while captive in the hands of U.S. military forces. One of  the men, Hassan Bin Attash, is still detained at Guantánamo. He has been imprisoned there without charge for more than nine years.

 Eisenbrandt says the legal basis for the indictment is exceptionally strong, and the case should have been tried under the Criminal Code of Canada.  “A slap in the face to the four men who were brutally tortured by Mr. Bush’s government..” is how he describes the Attorney General’s underhanded scuttling of the case.

Shirley Bond is the Attorney General for the province of British Columbia. It was her office that intervened in the case and stayed the proceedings against Bush. Bond was named Attorney General on August 18, 2011. She serves as Attorney General on an interim basis. Bond’s assistant deputy attorney general,Robert W. G. Gillen, Q.C.,  has respsonded to this blogger’s enquiries regarding documentation and rationale behind her shutting down the case against Bush, but unsatisfactorily. Gillen’s letter is currently being reviewed and analyzed by a CCIJ lawyer. Click: link to the CCIJ critique.

◊This blogger is awaiting results of a Freedom of Information Request in search for possible dark politics at play protecting Bush from Justice in Canada.

Rookie, temporary B.C. Attorney General Shirley Bond – behind secret Stay of Proceedings against Bush – Spook #2 protecting Bush?

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While an attorney general of a Canadian province is not required to take instruction from the federal AG, Bond’s brief tenure in the position and the tenderfoot status of the  provincial government of which she is a member causes speculation about what influence the federal Attorney General’s office might have played in her decision. Canada’s present  Conservative federal government led by prime minister Stephen Harper is known to have had congenial relations with the Bush administration, even in times of Bush’s deepest unpopularity and impending political death.

Federal AG Rob Nicholson – Spook #1 protecting Bush?

Federal Attorney General,  Robert Nicholson, has  not responded to enquiries from this blogger regarding possible political interference and his stance on investigating and apprehending Bush based on the stayed charges.


It’s a deafening silence.

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Katherine Gallagher, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights said, ” The Attorney General still has not given us any reasons in writing for staying the case, but the speed with which it was done shows the case was not treated seriously.

Gallagher brings forward the ever-present legal jeopardy that haunts George W. Bush these days. His world is shrinking around him :

Mr. Bush will need to be exceedingly careful about where he travels.  He has caused harm to so many – including those who were  tortured in U.S.-run detention facilities – and he remains vulnerable to prosecution in any of the other 145 countries that have signed the Convention Against Torture, as long as the United States continues to breach its own obligations under the Convention.”

Canadian Maher Arar “renditioned” by U.S. sued and won damages from Canada

There is something that could explain why Canadian authorities are happy to let Bush breeze through with no fuss, no muss, and certainly no criminal indictments accepted. Canada itself has been complicit in Bush’s war ziggurat, and paid a price. Canada, like many other countries, once cooperated with Bush in various ways and now finds itself in a squeeze equally along with Mr. Bush. In 2002 a Canadian court awarded Canadian citizen  Maher Arar $10 million in damages  for the suffering he endured  when he was illegally handed over by Canada to U.S. security forces, who then imposed “renditioning” on him – being shipped off to a third party country for torture. In a U.S. ‘black’ detention centre in Syria, Arar was beaten with electrical cables and held in a grave-like cell for 10 months. Arar is active now in investigating the U.S. and Syrian personnel who perpetrated these crimes against him.

Perhaps because of  the heat raised by one case like Arar’s, now Canadian authorities feel shy, and sly,  about not bothering with Bush.

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Let there be no mistake: the international hunt for Bush and his War On Terror cronies is real, widespread, and well-armed for Justice. More countries find themselves inexorably sucked into the Bush war crimes vortex. One big question to be settled is which countries ran secret, illegal prisons on their soil on behalf of Bush’s torture experts?  Evidence girds the globe implicating Great Britain, Spain, Australia, Poland and Lithuania. Legal minds in those countries already are furiously cobbling together whatever legal defences they can muster against inevitable charges coming their way on this account.

Spanish prosecutors have already pressed criminal charges against six senior Bush administration officials who approved the harsh interrogation methods that detainees say were employed at U.S. military prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantánamo Bay and other sites.

Last November, Italian courts convicted a CIA  chief and 22 other Americans  –  all CIA operatives – in the 2003 kidnapping of a Muslim cleric who ended up in a secret prison in Egypt. The Americans were tried in absentia and aren’t expected to serve jail time. Still…the noose tightens.

One puzzlement is that, while other countries prepare to face war crimes charges, the one obvious suspect is utterly blithe on the subject. One Miami Herald headline said:

Other countries probe Bush-era torture, not U.S. 

Could America consider herself immune from prosecution? What is Liberty thinking?

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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.


Arrest Bush Day arrives today in Surrey, B.C. “Next Stage” of Anti-Bush Protest To Begin Today

October 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Right-wing religious Bush nut in Akron Ohio

Right-wing religious Bush nut in Akron Ohio (Photo credit: Eleventh Earl of Mar)

Thurs,. 20 October, 2011: 8:47 A.M. PT

Bush – War Criminal

This blogger writes: Today’s the day, folks! We anti-Bush Canadians living in the Metro Vancouver area are only hours away now from the  arrival of former U.S. president George W. Bush at the Surrey Sheraton Hotel, in the border city of Surrey, B.C., where Bush is scheduled to speak to the Regional Economic Development Summit. Bush will be joined by former president Bill Clinton.

Surrey Sheraton Hotel – hosts War Criminal Bush, target of protestors

Police say they are geared up to face-down what will likely be hundreds of protestors representing at least four organized groups surging toward the Sheraton. The REAL target is George W. Bush : liar, sadist, torturer, war criminal.

Occurring simultaneously with the protests at the Sheraton, the Canadian Centre for International Justice is asking a  justice of the peace to approve a 69-page draft indictment against Bush, alleging he was behind the torture of four men who were detained in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

The group said it had 4,000 pages of documents supporting its case for trying Bush under the Canadian criminal code.

The legal manoeuvre comes in tandem with a letter signed by more than 50 human rights organizations and individuals, including Amnesty International.

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City of Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts has kept her silence over the past week while facing a barrage of letters, emails and tweets asking her to un-invite Bush from the city. Municipal elections are only weeks away, Watts’ election signboards are already up around the city and the mayor is playing it safe by staying strictly silent on the issue.

Surrey Central City – world class architecture – “We Don’t Want Bush in our city!”

Not so inspiring a side of  Mayor Watts, whose government has so dramatically transformed the former nondescript City of Surrey into a world class model city.

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The weather here is cold and rainy today, that might keep some protestors home. But not all of them.

Emotions run high about George W. Bush here in Canada. Following is a sampling of comments left on news bulletin boards locally:

  • “Someone should kick Bush in the balls when he visits.. I think he deserves it.”
  • “The Bush family are some of the most evil people on this earth, why would Canada ever want one of them in their country? Please turn him over to be prosecuted for his war crimes, so that the would will see some justice, and can begin to heal.”
  • “Fascism is on the rise.”
  • “George W. Bush: Liar. Sadist. Torturer. “Dry” Drunk. Psychopath. War Criminal. Undiagnosed adult ADHD case. His Yankee citizenship is the only thing protecting him from due legal process. America still gets away with murder with impunity in this world.”
Stay tuned…the festivities begin at lunchtime….
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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.


Bush News Flash – Amnesty International to Canadian Government: Detain, Investigate George W. Bush for War Crimes

October 9, 2011 2 comments

Nemesis—The Last Days of the American Republic

Nemesis—The Last Days of the American Republic (Photo credit: Earthworm)

Canada

Canada (Photo credit: palindrome6996)

 Bush Must be Detained  : Amnesty International to Canadian Government

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 VancouverFormer president William J. Clinton is  scheduled to appear with Bush  at the summit in Surrey. 

Cheney’s visits to Canada drew protestors

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 Harperhas 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.

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Water boarding torture – Trivialized by Cheney

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 KenneyCanadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Dianne Wattsthe 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.

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Toronto Sun story

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 wroteAmnesty 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.

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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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