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LJWorld.com weblogs Sharpening My Pen

GWB and His Geneva Speech (or Should I say Run In with the Convention)

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I'm still pulling information in from all over the web about this as it appears to be an ongoing developmet. George Bush was scheduled to give a speech in Geneva, Switzerland on February 12th. Apparently the speech was canceled due to what are being called "security concerns" by his handlers. The actual "security concern" is a 2500 page document that Amnesty International prepared to introduce into the International Court at the Hague with a request for the Swiss government to issue a warrant for the arrest and detainment of Bush for war crimes. The charge for the arrest is being based on the fact that Bush admitted in his own book that he personally approved the use of waterboarding at the detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay. Amnesty International is pointing out that, as Bush is no longer an active head of state, he is no longer subject to diplomatic immunity. They are basing the legality of that claim on the precedent set by the arrest of Auguste Pinochet in London in 1998. One needs to realize that a majority of the European Union doesn't view the previous administration in the same light that Americans do. In fact, it would appear that the only country willing to welcome him with open arms at this point is Israel. Bush's "team" is claiming they canceled the speech out of "security concerns" that huge numbers of protesters would show up at the speech. There may be a grain of truth in this as Bush was always pretty squicky about protesters, always keeping them at least a half mile away from him while he was in office. But I have no doubt that proposed arrest warrant had a lot to do with it too.

Comments

SpeedRacer 3 years, 10 months ago

"One needs to realize that a majority of the European Union doesn't view the previous administration in the same light that Americans do." Don't know who you're talking about. A good lot of us agree with their assessment.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

True. But I seriously doubt a majority of Americans would be willing to hand over a former president to an international law court.

Kyle Reed 3 years, 10 months ago

"I'm still pulling information in from all over the web about this as it appears to be an ongoing developmet."

Seriously? GWB was scheduled to give a speech. He cancelled it and didn't.

What other developments do you think will be happening? Talk about a non-story.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

It's not the fact that Bush canceled a speech that's news, it's the reason he canceled it. But then I guess there are people who could care less that a former US president is being threatened with arrest for war crimes like a third rate third world dictator.

Kyle Reed 3 years, 10 months ago

He wasn't "threatened with arrest" by anybody. If anything he was threatened with "we'll file a criminal complaint against you" by a couple groups. I sure don't see the Swiss government chiming in with "Yep, we were about to arrest him!"

He denies this is why it was cancelled and the group that hired him to speak denies this is why it was cancelled. The only people that refuse to believe the reason for cancellation wasn't the threat of criminal complaint are the pinheads doing the filing.

Much ado about nothing.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

/shrug Believe what you want. If the International Court took the complaint seriously and requested the Swiss government to do it they wouldn't have had much of a choice. But it's pretty moot. Bush wasn't much for traveling out of the country anyway. He didn't even hold a passport until he became President.

pizzapete 3 years, 10 months ago

He was the president of the most powerful country in the history of the world, he should be able to do whatever he wants and not be held accountable for anything. Who cares what the rest of the world thinks anyway.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

Then the US needs to leave the UN, the Geneva Convention and NATO. Not to mention the fact that, in terms of "power" (which includes economic as well as actual military "fire power") there are a number of countries breathing fire up our rear ends. This country is in no shape to be without "friends". Not to mention the sheer xenophobia of your statement.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh and by the way, the philosophical belief in common law (on which this country was based) states that no "King" (or country or it's leader) is above the law. That went out the window in 1217 with the Magna Charta.

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