Friday, March 06, 2009

Welcoming a War Criminal

Canada is obligated by treaty and international law to charge George W. Bush with war crimes as soon as he steps foot on Canadian soil.
Bush is scheduled to speak at the Telus Convention Centre March 17, but Vancouver lawyer Gail Davidson says that because Bush has been “credibly accused” of supporting torture in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Canada has a legal obligation to deny him entry under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The law says foreign nationals who have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity, including torture, are “inadmissible” to Canada.
”The test isn’t whether the person’s been convicted, but whether there’s reasonable grounds to think that they have been involved,” says Davidson, who’s with Lawyers Against the War (LAW). “…It’s now a matter of public record that Bush was in charge of setting up a regime of torture that spanned several parts of the globe and resulted in horrendous injuries and even death. Canada has a duty.”
It doesn't matter if it's politically inconvenient or potentially embarrassing to the current Canadian or American governments. It doesn't matter if President Obama would rather 'look forward'. It doesn't matter if prosecution would be problematic or be perceived as politically motivated - our obligations under international law and treaty specifically exclude all of these reasons as legal justification for failing to prosecute someone credibly accused of war crimes.

If Bush feels safe and comfortable coming to Canadian soil that is a black mark against our adherence to international law.

A criminal is a criminal no matter who he is.

UPDATE: As Mentarch points out in the comments the international law in question is also Canadian law.

UPDATE 2: See Paul S. Graham for more.


KC said...

Ridiculous. Im no fan of GWB by a long shot but arresting him on Canadians soil would just be stupid. Great way to start a war.

Mentarch said...

Hear, hear, Cliff - and never mind those who would dismiss the law when it suits their (cowardly or mendacious) purposes. I agree 100% with you.

One tiny precision, though - the Convention Against Torture is indeed international law, but it is also Canadian law.

So, not charging Bush means that we would be in effect not only violating international laws, but our very own as well ...

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