Canadian Court Allows Bush Torture Prosecution

A Canadian court has allowed a prosecution of President George Bush under the Criminal Code for violations of the 1987 Convention Against Torture.

Bush publication ban lifted (Straight.com)

A Vancouver lawyer has won a procedural victory in her attempt to prosecute U.S. President George W. Bush under the Criminal Code. Gail Davidson, cofounder of an international group of jurists called Lawyers Against the War, expressed her delight on October 18 following the lifting of a publication ban on court proceedings against the U.S. president. “It’s great news, but really they had no choice,” Davidson told the Georgia Straight.

The Kitsilano lawyer got the ball rolling against Bush as soon as he set foot on Canadian soil for his November 30, 2004, visit. As a private citizen, she charged him with seven counts of counselling, aiding, and abetting torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and at Cuba̢۪s Guantanamo Bay naval base. She had her charges accepted by a justice of the peace in Vancouver Provincial Court.

Bush faces prison time if the case goes to trial and he is found guilty.

On December 6, 2004, Davidson was at Provincial Court to fix a date for the process hearing. However, Provincial Court Judge William Kitchen promptly ordered a Straight reporter and other observers from the courtroom and cancelled the charges, declaring them a “nullity”. The meeting was deemed to be “in-camera” and Kitchen concluded immediately that Bush had diplomatic immunity during his two-day visit to Canada because he was a head of state.

Davidson subsequently appealed Kitchen̢۪s decision and B.C. Supreme Court Justice Deborah Satanove directed the Crown to produce submissions on the publication bans by October 14. The Crown consented to the termination of Judge Kitchen̢۪s Provincial Court ban and an interim ban made by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Patrick Dohm.

“We are next in [B.C. Supreme] court at 10 a.m. on November 25 for the Crown to argue that the case is moot and that the court not hear any argument on the substantive issue as to whether George Bush is protected from prosecution under the laws of Canada by what Judge Kitchen called a ‘concept of diplomatic immunity,’?” Davidson wrote in an October 18 e-mail to the Straight.

In an earlier interview with the Straight, Davidson said “nullity” means the charges never legally existed, even though they were approved by a justice of the peace on November 30, 2004. Crown counsel spokesperson Stan Lowe told the Straight that the upcoming November 25 court proceedings—he erroneously referred to the case as “Regina versus BushӉ€”will focus on two issues. “First of all, the court has to determine whether it has jurisdiction in the Supreme Court to hear the matter,” Lowe said. “It’s a review, an application by Gail Davidson arising out of a Provincial Court decision. Secondly, part of the issue is whether they [LAW] can proceed in their application without the permission of the Attorney General of Canada.”

Canadian Attorney General Irwin Cotler must give his consent within eight days of laying charges for the case to continue. The Crown is now raising a preliminary objection that B.C. Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction to adjudicate on Davidson’s appeal because the issues raised are no longer moot. “It’s great,” Davidson said. “Now the Crown’s argument is moving from mute to moot.”

As a result of the lifting of the publication ban, the Straight has obtained a copy of the Provincial Court transcript from December 6, 2004. It sheds new light on some of the finer details of why Davidson and LAW laid the charges. “It’s not a frivolously filed application,” Davidson said last year in court. “The application was filed on the 30th [of November] because Mr. Bush was in Canada, thereby giving Canada the jurisdiction to prosecute under 269(1) [of the Criminal Code of Canada], the torture section.”

[…]

Davidson pointed out that Canada signed the 1987 Convention Against Torture. As a result, she said, “amendments to the Criminal Code were made to allow Canada to expand its jurisdiction to prosecute crimes of torture.” Addressing directly the Crown’s question of immunity, Davidson referred to the Rome Statute, defining torture as a war crime and barring immunity for torture and other war crimes.

A Small Victory: Prosecuting Bush in Canada for Torture (Bella Ciao)

[…] What is happening is that Ms. Davidson and Lawyers Against the War have laid charges against George Bush Jr; accusing him of aiding, abetting, and counseling the commission of torture. This charge is based on the abuses of the prisoners held at the U.S. prisons in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba and Abu-Ghraib, Iraq including Canadian minor Omar Khadr, who has been held in Cuba since 2001.

“Many Canadians don’t realize that we have not only the right but the responsibility to pursue these charges, it is a responsibility that the Canadian government owes not only to the people of Canada, but to the people of the world. The 1987 Convention Against Torture [And Other Cruel, Inhuman Or Degrading Treatment Or Punishment] binds us to this action.” Canada ratified the UN Convention on Torture along with 139 other nations; promising to protect the inalienable right of all the world’s citizens to live a life free of torture.

Quite bizarre and obviously rather frivilous. Indeed, the two stories above are pretty much the entirety of the press coverage of this so far.

These kinds of actions, unfortunately, demonstrate the absurdity of actually trying to enforce “international law.” Davidson actually has a case here, in that the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment does indeed demand such action:

Article 5

1. Each State Party shall take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the offences referred to in article 4 in the following cases:

(a) When the offences are committed in any territory under its jurisdiction or on board a ship or aircraft registered in that State;

(b) When the alleged offender is a national of that State;

(c) When the victim is a national of that State if that State considers it appropriate.

2. Each State Party shall likewise take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over such offences in cases where the alleged offender is present in any territory under its jurisdiction and it does not extradite him pursuant to article 8 to any of the States mentioned in paragraph 1 of this article.

3. This Convention does not exclude any criminal jurisdiction exercised in accordance with internal law.

The United States signed the treaty in 1988 and Canada did so in 1985. The United States did so, however, with the stipulation that “… nothing in this Convention requires or authorizes legislation, or other action, by the United States of America prohibited by the Constitution of the United States as interpreted by the United States.” Subjecting our head of state to trial in Canada would seem to violate the Constitution and, indeed, the very concept of state sovereignty. Specifically,

Article. III.
Section. 1.

The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. […]

Section. 2.

Clause 1: The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, […]

Rather clearly, the United States is not in the business of ceding judicial authority over its officials to foreign courts. Indeed, in its longer list of Reservations made when signing the treaty, the United States noted,

(5) That the United States understands that this Convention shall be implemented by the United States Government to the extent that it exercises legislative and judicial jurisdiction over the matters covered by the Convention and otherwise by the state and local governments. Accordingly, in implementing articles 10-14 and 16, the United States Government shall take measures appropriate to the Federal system to the end that the competent authorities of the constituent units of the United States of America may take appropriate measures for the fulfilment of the Convention.

Ultimately, I expect higher Canadian courts to toss out this preliminary ruling and have little fear that the President of the United States will be arrested and prosecuted by the Canadian Government. Still, the case illustrates the sticky nature of international agreements. They are intended mostly to impose international (i.e., Western) norms of behavior on the vast majority of the world that does not play by that set of rules, having a civilizing effect. Occasionally, they work in that regard when brutal despots are ousted, giving a quasi-legal basis for bringing a case. Unfortunately, as demonstrated here, they can also be used for mischief and making political points.

via e-mail tip from OTB roving correspondent Richard Gardner

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. ANOTHER TROOP-SMEARING ATTEMPT

    Here we go again. Australian moonbat journalists accuse American soldiers of abusing corpses in Afghanistan. The rest of the blogosphere has it covered. See Euphoric Reality for a giant round-up of news and opinion on all sides. *** In related…

  2. ken says:

    James it is a problem among conservatives that you are more troubled about those who would bring criminals to justice than about the criminals themselves.

    Look, Bush is responsible for the change in American policy that led to the continuing violation of international law against torture and abuse by people under his command.

    If you are not going to hold him accountable then step out of the way and let those brave enough to take him on the leeway to see justice done.

  3. James Joyner says:

    ken: I don’t think you really want to get into a debate about whether liberals or conservatives are tougher on crime.

    As to the torture issue, the way we hold presidents accountable is twofold: Elections and the impeachment process. Bush was re-elected well after all the torture allegations were public and there has been no serious effort by the Democrats to have him impeached.

    Do you really think there’s any chance in hell the Canadian government would prosecute? Or that we would stand for it? For that matter, would you really want that precedent set?

  4. Ron P says:

    look this another case of moonbat absurdity. although i have to say it would be fantastic entertainment to watch the RCMP try and arrest the president. that said, i would give these groups and individuals more credibility if they were also busy filing charges against Castro, Mugabe, etc, etc., but we all know that that is not what this is all about. don’t we? to quote the comedian Dennis Miller, “Bush is Hitler, Cheney is Hitler, Rumsfeld is Hitler, everyone is Hitler except the guy with the bad moustache in Baghdad putting people in the wood chipper.”

  5. DL says:

    “If you are not going to hold him accountable then step out of the way and let those brave enough to take him on the leeway to see justice done.”
    Ken

    It is facinating that you refer to the free-riding cowards to our North as brave. Where are all the brave nations that wish to violate our sovereignity with make-believe authority, when Saddam and other such real evil ilk are torturing thousands of innocent people-as in shredders sans panties.

    You might consider moving to this haven of draft dodgers and peace at any cost country.

    It’s well protected from attack by their neighbors to the south. It saves them money and leaves them plenty of free time to preach to their defender.

  6. […] OTB has a blog entry on our dear friends in Canada moving forward to prosecute President Bush for torture. […]

  7. Ron P says:

    to your point DL – our righteous friend ken should pick up the book, “The Aquariums of Pyongang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag” by Kang Chol-Hwan or “Pol Pot: The History of a Nightmare” by Philip Short. read that, Ken, and then justify your “bravery”.

  8. ken says:

    James, so you approve of Bush changing American policy in contravention to American and International law? Or do you just approve of torture for the principle of the thing?

    As to who is tougher on crime: I do not see you or any conservative trying to hold the criminals in the White House to either the letter or the spirit of the law when it comes to the treasonous outing of a covert CIA agent.

  9. Bowling says:

    “As to who is tougher on crime: I do not see you or any conservative trying to hold the criminals in the White House to either the letter or the spirit of the law when it comes to the treasonous outing of a covert CIA agent.”

    covert? oh please my cat going in her litter box is more covert.

  10. Herb says:

    No one need to pay the least amount of attention to Ken.

    It is established that Ken is a sponge that survives off the sacrifices of others. He is like a Leach that sucks the life blood of every American and gives nothing in return. He takes, takes, and takes more and has nothing to give or offer to any American who provides him with his means of his own miserable and hateful existance.

    And DL, you are right, he should move to this haven of draft dodgers and join others just like himself. He is truly a bloodsucking Coward that never served his country and has only served his own selfish self.

  11. Jim says:

    I always smile when I see so many of those on the left show their true colors in acting as though people are already convicted. It shows their lack of open mindedness and their biases. Also, it demonstrates a lack of intellectual honesty. It is quite clear that trial or no trial a GOPer is already guilty in their book.

  12. ken says:

    James, you never did answer my question regarding the changed Bush policy towards torture and abuse. You approve of it?

    And presidents, like house majority leaders, are not above the law. So while we may hold them accountable politically through elections and impeachment they are still subject to criminal prosicution, just like any citizen.

    But unlike regular citizens, all heads of state are also subject to international law for actions taken by their state at their behest. Hence we have war crimes trials for people like Hussain and Milocovich. Your naive assumption that Bush is not subject to the same is cute but not going to stand up to scutiny over time.

  13. Ron P says:

    i love how folks like ken are so concerned about the identity of CIA agents. since when did the moonbat left care a whit about the CIA? i know the fantasy is that Rove will be frog marched out of the Whitehouse – ain’t gonna happen. ms. plame’s (or should i refer to her as mrs. kensington) has not been a covert operative for at least 6 years. that little tidbit is courtesy of her former CIA supervisor. you might also want to check out “Who’s Who in America” where both she and her hubby are listed. wouldn’t it be funny if the person at the center of this little whirlwind is none other than the good ambassador himself?

  14. Anonymous says:

    That’s actually not right Ken, the President cannot be indicted while in office.

  15. Brian W. says:

    Absolute total bullshit, Another example of communists disquised as ‘liberals’….you want a problem, try to take him on a visit to the Communist Socialist Republics of Canada….you will have a war….just because you don’t like a brave man’s politics….

  16. ken says:

    ..the President cannot be indicted while in office.

    Actually not true. No president has ever been indicted while in office for a criminal prosecution but that is because no prosecutor has ever issue an indictment.

    It can be done. Would it be legal? I think so, but out of respect for the separation of powers

    it has been thought of as beyond the pale.

    But just like the executive branch brings can prosecute criminal judges, so too can the judicial branch, working with a special prosecutor, or someone outside of the executive branch, prosecute a criminal president. No one is above the law.

    Your concern is more with the appropriateness of such action not the actual ability of a prosecute to indict.

    Oh, and Ron, the covert nature of a CIA agent is determined by the CIA, you don’t have a say in the matter. It was the CIA that referred the outing to the Justice department for criminal prosecution.

  17. James Joyner says:

    ken:

    I agree that a president could be indicted by an American court. Surely, if a president can be sued in civil court, as the Supreme’s ruled in Clinton v. Jones (which I opposed strongly, BTW), he can be tried for criminal violations. As a practical matter, he’d likely be impeached first.

    I’m generally highly dubious of indicting foreign leaders, including Milosovek, Noriega, and Pinochet as they tend to amount to victor’s justice. At least in the case of Milosovek and Hussein (who, as I understand it, is being tried under Iraqi law by an Iraqi court) they were in repeated violation of Security Council resolutions.

    As to the policy change, it depends what you mean. I oppose the use of torture in interrogations for a variety of reasons, most notably because it doesn’t work. (Against an honorable foe, reciprocity is an issue but that hardly figures in against the Jihadists.) The degree to which the policy has changed, though, is debatable. The use of “stress positions” and other tactics at Gitmo are likely in the gray areas of the law. The abuses at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib were almost certainly influenced by this policy but clearly in violation of both its spirit and letter.

  18. mcconnell says:

    Bizarre, indeed. Have they ever visited Club Gitmo?

  19. ken says:

    As to the policy change, it depends what you mean. I oppose the use of torture in interrogations for a variety of reasons, most notably because it doesn’t work. (Against an honorable foe, reciprocity is an issue but that hardly figures in against the Jihadists.) The degree to which the policy has changed, though, is debatable.

    Well it clearly did not change as radically as the Bush administration wanted it to due to the objections of the military JAGs and Pentagon brass.

    But it change it did. So today we have soldiers and CIA personal torturing and abusing people regularly and getting away with it.

    You can debate the finer points of the changes if you want. The fact of the matter is that what is commonly understood as torture is condonned by Bush, and apparantly by you, (even as you say it doesn’t work) as an acceptable level of torture. This is unprecedented in American history and has lost us the moral advantage we used to enjoy.

    Torture, degradation and abuse at the hands of US soldiers has been outlawed by both the US and International law for generations. Now it is ok. It may not work but you say it is ok.

  20. Send Dudly Do Right to Arrest Bush!

    President George W. Bush must really be sweating it up in the oval office (In a different way than Clinton did) A group of Canadian lawyers in Vancouver have won a procedural victory in an attempt to prosecute George W. Bush for aiding and abetting t…

  21. Sandra Norris says:

    Ken, you are an idiot. My dad served with 4th Marines on Iwo Jima and after the first booby trapped wounded Japanese killed an Marine medic, the Marines just ran over the next group of wounded with a tank. I know that makes you squirm but incidently we won that war. Evidently, you have not served in war and know nothing of what you speak. It is better that the enemy dies than you, get it. If making the prisoners wear panties on their heads gets an answer then I’m all for it. Torture, I don’t think so!

  22. TallDave says:

    Am I he only one wondering:

    WHY DIDN’T THEY CHARGE SADDAM???

  23. TallDave says:

    The fact of the matter is that what is commonly understood as torture is condonned by Bush, and apparantly by you, (even as you say it doesn’t work) as an acceptable level of torture. This is unprecedented in American history and has lost us the moral advantage we used to enjoy.

    Bullhooey. The standards today are much higher. Torture is not approved and people caught abusing prisoners are punished.

    The problem is our sensationalist media splashes these pictures of abuse all over (some actually taken from pr0n sites) and then some people like Ken claim this is how all our troops behave and that it’s Bush’s fault. It’s a lie and it’s sad to see Americans playing the Tokyo Rose role.

  24. lonelysoul says:

    There is no torture at G’itmo.
    Case closed.
    Next story please.

  25. tmid says:

    What we know to have occurred at Abu Ghraib is far more akin to the trials of hazing, than anything else. But for some, “hazing” = “torture”. Riiiiiggght. Perhaps it’s offensive, but it ISN’T torture, and claiming it is dilutes the horror of what torture truly is. Check out Abu Ghraib during the Saddam era, if you have the stomach for it. I’ve seen the unedited Iraqi videos, and almost wish I hadn’t, but it puts paid to the lie that stacking would-be rapists in a naked pyramid as punishment for an assault on a 12 year old is “torture”. Proclaiming isolated instances as representative of the whole or the entirety of policy is likewise disingenuous. But, it’s a nice tool for a passionate sound bite, isn’t it?

    And where is this mythical directive or executive order directing rank-and-file troops and agents to cross any lines?

    And as far as Plame goes, if you’re a covert operative of the CIA, you don’t have a publicly acknowledged office and day job at Langley, let alone talk about it on the D.C. cocktail circuit. ONCE covert does NOT equal always so (hence the “within 5 years” part of the act in question limiting purposeful disclosure). AND the CIA asked the Justice Dept. to look at the case to see if it was in violation of any laws… they did NOT refer it as BEING in violation of a law.

  26. David W says:

    Just for once, I would like to see France finally admit that they were saved by the United States and England during ww2. I would like to see Canada, accept and admit the fact that most of its citizens live within 55-90 miles of the United States Borders,are we all that bad?
    I would really like to know if these people accusing President Bush of being responsible for torture have actually gone to anyother country in that region that fallon to the Human rights radar of violaters.Iran, Afghanistan(before USA invasion)Turkey, and even some of your civilized nations. If what you call torture is these photo’s ask people who have really been tortured. Also why not say that jail is torture and let all prisoners…free…I mean afterall some of them would say they were tortured right???

  27. Ralph Thayer says:

    Don’t be too hard on Ken. Like the canary in the mine, the chirping may be annoying but it proves the air is safe for free speech.

    In precincts where the kindred of Gitmo inmates are free to roam, such a canary could be torn apart limb by limb, her body parts put in a plastic bag and then dumped on the doorstep of her family’s home (cf. Asrar Qabandi).

  28. ken says:

    Sandra, your father would be ashamed of you. He understood, I am sure, the difference between what goes on on the battlefield and what takes place behind the lines in a prison camp.

    America did not, until now, have a policy permitting torture or abuse of prisoners under our control. For you to imply otherwise is an insult to your father and all who served with him.

  29. ken says:

    By the way Sandra, if you think your father would have any bragging rights back home if he had put panties on the head of a captured Jap, in a prison camp, and had photos taken, you don’t know America. He would have been shunned and treated like a pervert by decent people who knew that war is not a joke.

    Unfortunately today we have the fighting keyboarders, like yourself, who have no idea what the death and destruction of war is all about because you have never experienced it. For you it just an abstract parlour game.

    Shame on you.

  30. Herb says:

    Sandra Norris::

    Don’t pay a lot of attention to that sponge Ken.

    He has never served his country prefering to let someone else do his fighting for him. He is surely a coward and a leach sucking the life blood from every American while offering nothing in return. I think his problem is that his welfare check is late and he blames Bush and our troops for every thing that he obviously brings on himself. His lefty thoughts and misguided words are often seen on this blog where someone else has provided the means for him to post.

    And Sandra, Your father was the hero to which every American can look up to and thank God for guys like him.

    Ken is just a kid and you know what they say, “you can always tell a kid, but you can’t tell him much”

  31. […] I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Liberals are notoriously bad at placing blame where it’s rightly due. In case you’re wondering why I’m bringing this up again, this item caught my eye. A Vancouver lawyer has won a procedural victory in her attempt to prosecute U.S. President George W. Bush under the Criminal Code. Gail Davidson, cofounder of an international group of jurists called Lawyers Against the War, expressed her delight on October 18 following the lifting of a publication ban on court proceedings against the U.S. president. “It’s great news, but really they had no choice,”? Davidson told the Georgia Straight. […]

  32. i would give these groups and individuals more credibility if they were also busy filing charges against Castro, Mugabe, etc, etc.,

    If you’d bothered to actually read this post you’d know that these people would have to step foot on Canadian soil in order for charges to be laid against them. Rest assured though that when one of these people does visit Canada they’ll get the same treatment Bush is getting.

  33. jesusland joe says:

    Ken, have you ever experienced combat? If yes, what war, what unit?

  34. Ron P says:

    ken:
    don’t state the obvious in order to obfuscate the matter at hand. not the fact that i refer to her former COVERT supervisor at CIA who says that once she married wilson she was no longer suitable for covert duty. not to intrude in on your rich but twisted little fantasy life, I suspect his assertions would come into play here. btw ken, i haven’t seen your call for John Kerry to be indicted – you may recall that he named a covert CIA operative not once but twice during public hearings over the John Bolton hearings. where is the groundswell for indictments? lead the charge, kenny boy.

    Also ken, don’t use the “chicken hawk” term as a way to stifle an argument. since i assume you are a liberal you probably didn’t show up to logic class to often. if we extend your premise then the only people who should be making wartime foreign policy would be members of the 82nd Airborne or the commandant of the Marine Corps – that’s ok by me – hows about you?

    To mr. mCcelland. quick google search turns up a visit by the cuban foreign minister to canada on october 7th. if canada was serious about prosecuting human rights violations then why wasn’t the minister held in custody? he is not the chief executive but he certainly is in collusion with 1st citizen castro. On october 17th mr. mugabe gave a speech in Italy. Why wasn’t he indicted – canada has a criminal extradition treaty with Italy.

    we know why. because at the end of the day it’s not about protecting human rights or promoting freedom – its about getting President George W. Bush.

  35. Brian says:

    Poor, poor, Ken.

    Rather than continue the debate over whether or not Bush is actually guilty of torture, he utilizes the liberals’ favorite tactic of changing (or somehow altering) the subject. At hand is (1) the question of whether Bush is actually the director for a policy of torture and/or the actual perpetrator of these crimes; (2) whether the country to our north has any jurisdiction on the matter [providing the U.S. limitations on — and exceptions to –said treaty]; and (3) what actually constitues “torture”.

    Tossing the Plame card into this argument has nothing to do with the topic of Canada charging Bush with torture. It was used only as a hit against Bush and reveals the commenter’s own stance: Get Bush.

    Personally, if beating the living bejeebus out of a sworn jihadist will save JUST ONE American citizen (or soldier, for that matter) from the horrors of 9/11, then BY ALL MEANS! But, hey, if humiliation works better and takes less effort — without inflicting exceutiating PAIN (you know: wood-chippers, rape-rooms, and machetes) — so much the better.

    The discomfort and embarassment inflicted upon the prisoners of AG and Gitmo by forcing them to wear panties on their heads, stand naked in front of women, etc., etc. are not truly torture. That is, unless you are a flag-waving member of the “get Bush at any cost” crowd. Kowtowing to the prisoners’ “religion” (HA!) plays right into the hands of these murderous Islamofascists. By dividing American public opinion over the matter of this war, the enemy can win — just like the Left, the media, and the academic crowd did with Vietnam.

    The Administration did not employ a policy of torture. They enacted a policy which withstood the test of the Geneva Conventions. They did not have to, simply because the people trying to destroy our civilization were not signatories of the GC and were therefore not entitled to the treatments prescribed therein. But, maintaining a (stealing ken’s words) “moral advantage” meant we had to appease the easily-offended Left. Thus, this became policy.

    The wailing and gnashing of teeth over “stressing”, humiliating, or making prisoners uncomfortable shows just how far some will go in order to knock down a political opponent — with complete disregard for the much larger picture. Heck, if Bush ordered all prisoners to wear orange jump-suits, the Left would find a reason to whine and moan about it. This is oh, so evident.

  36. Toadpond says:

    Canada Pansies Charge Bush With Torture

    In a fit of pure get-George-Bush frenzy, “[a] Canadian court has allowed a prosecution of President George Bush under the Criminal Code for violations of the 1987 Convention Against Torture.”.
    This is disappointing, yet not at all surprising. This k…

  37. Ralph Thayer says:

    “[T]hese people [Castro, Mugabe, etc.] would have to step foot on Canadian soil in order for charges to be laid against them. Rest assured though that when one of these people does visit Canada they’ll get the same treatment Bush is getting.”

    Tho I might rest assured, I don’t rest any safer. Flashback to a Peanuts cartoon from years ago: Charlie Brown is looking down at a napping Snoopy. “Some watchdog. What will we do if a burglar breaks in?” Snoopy, with one eye half opened, replies, “Drag him over here and I’ll chew on his ankle.”

    Having the showy “courage” (i.e., pompous bombast) to indict an alleged torturer — if he should come stumbling into one’s parlor — is one thing. Having the wherewithal to go after the bastard, drag him from his hole, arrest his evil, shut down his torture chambers, and uncover the mass graves of his victims, is quite another.

    The Americans are up to it. To Canadians all — including the chattering freedom-sopping classes — you’re welcome. I do rest assured that when put to the test most of you, the best of you, would do the same for us.

  38. Ralph Thayer says:

    Unfortunately today we have the fighting keyboarders, like yourself, who have no idea what the death and destruction of war is all about because you have never experienced it. For you it just an abstract parlour game. (q.v.)

    Much the same could be said about commentators who have no idea of the horrors of slavery in subjugation under a tyrant like Saddam.

    However, I cannot think of an instance when any people wittingly and voluntarily took on the chains of slavery to escape the “death and destruction of war.” Yet history is replete with examples of those who took up arms to escape slavery. Thus, I submit as empirical: when the choice is between slavery and war, mankind finds the former more atrocious.

  39. ken says:

    Personally, if beating the living bejeebus out of a sworn jihadist will save JUST ONE American citizen (or soldier, for that matter) from the horrors of 9/11, then BY ALL MEANS!

    IF IF IF. If wishes were horses, beggers would ride. The problem is that torture NEVER works to get reliable information.

    Torture is never even used for such a purpose. The purpose of torture, humiliation, abuse, etc is to degrade the person and make the torturer feel superior to the prisoner.

    It has always been againt American policy until the Bush admininistration changed the policy to allow for torture. It remains, however, against both American and international law. Hence the likely chance that Bush is subject to a charge of crimes. Let him have his day in court. If he did nothing wrong then what is he, or you, so afraid of?

  40. Ron P says:

    i love when people like ken say with all assurance that the use of torture does not gain any valuable information. how would he know? maybe valarie plame aka mrs. kensington is sharing tradecraft with him. something must be working – there have been no additional attacks on US soil in 4 years.

  41. www.davidduke.com says:

    Law has no meaning in todays America. The only principles are power, greed and tolerance. It’s been that way for awhile. Power, remember it was the USA who executed Julius Streicher at Nuremberg only for writing. The Constitution is an old dead document in a museum, nothing more. Greed, in todays America moral principle is bigotry, hate. El Presidente “Open Borders” Bush allows 4.1 million invaders into America yearly. Huge portions of the southwest are already gone. I myself am a refugee from this invasion. Millions moving yearly to safer, cleaner, whiter areas further north….while they hypocritically preach equality and flee it like the plague in their own personal schools/neighborhoods. Tolerance, it means no principle, no standard, no right and wrong. Jesus and God have been removed from America as bigots. Hey it’s intolerant and hateful to have Jesus in the schools now that we’ve important tens of millions of Muslims, Jews and Buddhists…right?

    Todays America hates God, spits on Jesus and an extreme rages for anything white. Our culture, our religion, ourselves banished from society. The Democrats and Republicans both equally follow that agenda. And when a politicians of either party gets out of step, he’s removed, destroyed….a hater. Just ask Trent Lott. Question the holocaust and get exported to Europe where you’ll face 7 years in prison. Just ask Ernst Zundel, Germar Rudolf is facing this now. Tolerance for some, none for others…and we call that freedom.

  42. Jim says:

    We don’t need Canada to file war crime charges.

    All we need is ONE federal judge with a backbone.

    The War Crimes Act of 1996 is part of our federal law and it subjects ALL government officials to penalties if they had anything to do with torture. If death results from the torture (as occurred in several cases), then the government official who allowed the torture could face the death penalty.

    A best case scenario may involve a judge or grand jury drawing up charges against Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. By that time public pressure for a group impeachment should be building.

    ******************************************

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4999734/

    Memos Reveal War Crimes Warnings
    Could Bush administration officials be prosecuted for ‘war crimes’ as a result of new measures used in the war on terror? The White House’s top lawyer thought so

    ***********************************************

    War Crimes Act of 1996 (as amended)

    18 U.S.C. § 2441. War crimes

    (a) Offense.–Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.

  43. Ron P says:

    ok let’s seat a grand jury to examine alleged war crimes of President Bush. how bout a grand jury to investigate the crimes of he clinton administration against the peoples of Serbia? what say?
    canada want to take up the cudgels on that one?