Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Center for Constitutional Rights and the Bush indictment

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Interesting, and more power to them. And, of course, Barack Obama is in violation of the law for failure to investigate (which the law requires on credible allegations of torture), and also guilty of obstruction of justice, I imagine. But in the US powerful people are not obliged to follow the law (unless they offend other powerful people—cf. Bernie Madoff, who of course got a free pass for many years from the SEC, even when the SEC was specifically told that he was running a fraud). The US has become quite corrupt, it seems to me.

Here’s the story:

Today, two torture victims were to have filed  criminal complaints, with more than 2,500-pages of supporting material, in Geneva against former U.S. President George W. Bush, who was due to speak at an event there on 12 February. Swiss law requires the presence of the torturer on Swiss soil before a preliminary investigation can be opened.  When Bush cancelled his trip to avoid prosecution, the human rights groups who prepared the complaints made it public and announced that the Bush Torture Indictment would be waiting wherever he travels next. The Indictment serves as the basis on which to prepare country-specific, plaintiff-specific indictments, with additional evidence and updated information. According to international law experts at the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), former presidents do not enjoy special immunity under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).

“Waterboarding is torture, and Bush has admitted, without any sign of remorse, that he approved its use,” said Katherine Gallagher, Senior Staff Attorney at CCR and Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). “The reach of the Convention Against Torture is wide – this case is prepared and will be waiting for him wherever he travels next. Torturers – even if they are former presidents of the United States – must be held to account and prosecuted. Impunity for Bush must end.”
While the U.S. has thus far failed to comply with its obligations under the Convention Against Torture to prosecute and punish those who commit torture [due to President Obama’s decision, for which I hope he will be prosecuted – LG], all other signatories, too, are obligated to prosecute or extradite for prosecution anyone present in their territory they have a reasonable basis for believing has committed torture. If the evidence warrants, as the Bush Torture Indictment contends it does, and the U.S. fails to request the extradition of Bush and others to face charges of torture there, CAT signatories must, under law, prosecute them for torture.
In a statement this weekend, the groups who organized the complaints said, “Whatever Bush or his hosts say, we have no doubt he cancelled his trip to avoid our case. The message from civil society is clear – If you’re a torturer, be careful in your travel plans.”
The complaints that had been scheduled to be filed on Monday asked that the General Prosecutor of the Canton of Geneva investigate allegations that men were tortured as part of the Bush administration’s well-documented torture program. Bush proudly recounted in his recently published memoir that when asked in 2002 to if it was permissible to waterboard a detainee – a recognized act of torture – he replied “damn right.”
Monday, February 7, is the ninth anniversary of the day Bush decided the Geneva Conventions did not apply to ‘enemy combatants.’

According to the Bush Indictment, . . .

Continue reading. Of course, if Bush had had a consensual affair with a woman not his wife, the full force and majesty of the law would be publicly brought against him, but since he merely ordered the torture of hundreds, some of whom died during torture, why that’s nothing—at least not in the eyes of President Obama and Eric Holder.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 February 2011 at 2:25 pm

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