Sunday, February 06, 2011

I got your Decision Point right here

How can we miss him, when he'll never leave?


Former President George W. Bush has canceled a visit to Switzerland, where he was to address a Jewish charity gala, due to the risk of legal action against him for alleged torture, rights groups said on Saturday.

Bush was to be the keynote speaker at Keren Hayesod's annual dinner on February 12 in Geneva. But pressure has been building on the Swiss government to arrest him and open a criminal investigation if he enters the Alpine country.

Criminal complaints against Bush alleging torture have been lodged in Geneva, court officials say.


"He's avoiding the handcuffs," Reed Brody, counsel for Human Rights Watch, told Reuters.


Brody is an American-trained lawyer specialized in pursuing war crimes worldwide, especially those allegedly ordered by former leaders, including Chile's late dictator Augusto Pinochet and Chad's ousted president Hissene Habre. Habre has been charged by Belgium with crimes against humanity and torture, and is currently exiled in Senegal.

"President Bush has admitted he ordered waterboarding which everyone considers to be a form of torture under international law. Under the Convention against Torture, authorities would have been obliged to open an investigation and either prosecute or extradite George Bush," Brody said.

There's more.

(h/t: @Mrxk and @pwire | pic. source | x-posted)


Ocean said...

It's almost as if there's some hope for decency and justice in the world. I wonder how much press this will get.

Brendan said...

Probably not a huge amount. One measure: it's mentioned on the NYT's home page, but only as a one-line item in their news-index-type of thing down near the bottom of the page. Another: The article itself says the story appears on page A21 of the print edition.

Another: the timeline on the Google News page shows a peak early this morning (EST), quickly tapering off.

I have a feeling most serious news outfits think it's not news because not a lot actually happened, and trying to say more than a few paragraphs, they would worry, would make them look like they were participating in a "get Bush" effort. And you know how they quake at the thought of being called "the liberal media."

Probably would get more play in the US if it weren't for (1) Egypt and (2) the Super Bowl.

Brendan said...

Catch the whiny bit in the NYT article linked to above:

“We regret that the speech has been canceled,” said David Sherzer, a spokesman for Mr. Bush. “President Bush was looking forward to speaking about freedom …"


Ocean said...

Thank you for the additional input.

And indeed: gack!

Substance McGravitas said...

"Alleged torture." Hedge those bets.

Brendan said...

Yep. About the only time a newspaper won't say "alleged" before outright conviction is when talking about the Mafia.

I sometimes think their layout software must add the word automatically.