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Should Canada indict Bush?

by : THOMAS WALKOM
Friday November 19, 2004 - 02:27
38 comments

by THOMAS WALKOM

When U.S. President George W. Bush arrives in Ottawa - probably later this year - should he be welcomed? Or should he be charged with war crimes?

It’s an interesting question. On the face of it, Bush seems a perfect candidate for prosecution under Canada’s Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act.

This act was passed in 2000 to bring Canada’s ineffectual laws in line with the rules of the new International Criminal Court. While never tested, it lays out sweeping categories under which a foreign leader like Bush could face arrest.

In particular, it holds that anyone who commits a war crime, even outside Canada, may be prosecuted by our courts. What is a war crime? According to the statute, it is any conduct defined as such by "customary international law" or by conventions that Canada has adopted.

War crimes also specifically include any breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, such as torture, degradation, wilfully depriving prisoners of war of their rights "to a fair and regular trial," launching attacks "in the knowledge that such attacks will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians" and deportation of persons from an area under occupation.

Outside of one well-publicized (and quickly squelched) attempt in Belgium, no one has tried to formally indict Bush. But both Oxfam International and the U.S. group Human Rights Watch have warned that some of the actions undertaken by the U.S. and its allies, particularly in Iraq, may fall under the war crime rubric.

The case for the prosecution looks quite promising. First, there is the fact of the Iraq war itself. After 1945, Allied tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo - in an astonishing precedent - ruled that states no longer had the unfettered right to invade other countries and that leaders who started such conflicts could be tried for waging illegal war.

Concurrently, the new United Nations outlawed all aggressive wars except those authorized by its Security Council.

Today, a strong case could be made that Bush violated the Nuremberg principles by invading Iraq. Indeed, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has already labelled that war illegal in terms of the U.N. Charter.

Second, there is the manner in which the U.S. conducted this war.

The mistreatment of prisoners at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison is a clear contravention of the Geneva Accord. The U.S. is also deporting selected prisoners to camps outside of Iraq (another contravention). U.S. press reports also talk of shadowy prisons in Jordan run by the CIA, where suspects are routinely tortured. And the estimated civilian death toll of 100,000 may well contravene the Geneva Accords prohibition against the use of excessive force.

Canada’s war crimes law specifically permits prosecution not only of those who carry out such crimes but of the military and political superiors who allow them to happen.

What has emerged since Abu Ghraib shows that officials at the highest levels of the Bush administration permitted and even encouraged the use of torture.

Given that Bush, as he likes to remind everyone, is the U.S. military’s commander-in-chief, it is hard to argue he bears no responsibility.

Then there is Guantanamo Bay. The U.S. says detainees there do not fall under the Geneva accords. That’s an old argument.

In 1946, Japanese defendants explained their mistreatment of prisoners of war by noting that their country had never signed any of the Geneva Conventions. The Japanese were convicted anyway.

Oddly enough, Canada may be one of the few places where someone like Bush could be brought to justice. Impeachment in the U.S. is most unlikely. And, at Bush’s insistence, the new international criminal court has no jurisdiction over any American.

But a Canadian war crimes charge, too, would face many hurdles. Bush was furious last year when Belgians launched a war crimes suit in their country against him - so furious that Belgium not only backed down under U.S. threats but changed its law to prevent further recurrences.

As well, according to a foreign affairs spokesperson, visiting heads of state are immune from prosecution when in Canada on official business. If Ottawa wanted to act, it would have to wait until Bush was out of office - or hope to catch him when he comes up here to fish.

And, of course, Canada’s government would have to want to act. War crimes prosecutions are political decisions that must be authorized by the federal attorney-general.

Still, Prime Minister Paul Martin has staked out his strong opposition to war crimes. This was his focus in a September address to the U.N. General Assembly.

There, Martin was talking specifically about war crimes committed by militiamen in far-off Sudan. But as my friends on the Star’s editorial board noted in one of their strong defences of concerted international action against war crimes, the rule must be, "One law for all."

Thomas Walkom writes every Tuesday. twalkom@thestar.ca.

http://www.thestar.com/...



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> Should Canada indict Bush?
Friday November 19 - 06:17 - Posted by b2c908e1fa8279c3...

yes yes please!!! Send him to the international criminal court and save the world from this maniac.

maybe they will arrest him in Chile tommorow!




> Should Canada indict Bush?
Tuesday November 23 - 18:19 - Posted by d649b6612339f0e6...

SEND YOU FRENCH CANADIANS TO JAIL FOR RIPPING OFF THE ENGLISH CANADIANS!!! ENGLISH CANADA NEEDS TO JOIN THE US AND DESTORY THE FRENCH QUEBEC RULING OVER ALL OF US CANUCKS!!!



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Tuesday November 23 - 18:28 - Posted by 8a254981bfc7d405...

THEN YOU CAN SEND THE ENGLISH CANADIANS TO JAIL FOR RIPPING OF THE INDIGENOUS CANADIANS.



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Wednesday November 24 - 01:53 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

Why don’t you move out of Canada!



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Friday November 19 - 16:55 - Posted by 4726b7a2bd5e436b...

Indict him? Hang him! Like Mussolini. By the heels over the Rideau Canal. That would be a message the gangsters in Washington would understand.




> Should Canada indict Bush?
Tuesday November 23 - 18:15 - Posted by d649b6612339f0e6...

Canada is the biggest bunch of Sissies!!! The US could take you out in a sec. Don’t go to the US for help when a terrorist act happens. I hope the NHL dies!!!



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Wednesday November 24 - 09:45 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

Terriorists don’t come to Canada, we don’t have your CIA. which is the largest recruiter for terrorists.



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Wednesday November 24 - 16:44 - Posted by 467a5b2f0866beb0...

Of course terrorists don’t come to Canada, the moment they step foot in Canada they fall asleep from boredom.



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Wednesday November 24 - 09:49 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

Terrorists don’t come to Canada, we don’t have your CIA to attract them to us.



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Wednesday November 24 - 21:53 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

Terrorists don’t come to Canada - we don’t have your CIA to recruit them. Sorry.



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Saturday November 20 - 14:49 - Posted by 001bef5e8d4fee77...

Yes, Bush should be indicted. Our country is in the fast lane of losing our respectability around the world because of the actions of this president. From campaign tampering to down right lies and he was still re-elected. Blows my mind! The uninformed rural public needs to know the truth about this war and what he did instead of whinning about moral values. Bush moral values consist of breaking the law and he should be held accountable for it. I hope Canada has the guts to step up to the plate.




> Should Canada indict Bush?
Saturday November 20 - 14:50 - Posted by 4c97c615be454189...

yes it is about time that someone will do it...




> Should Canada indict Bush?
Saturday November 20 - 21:02 - Posted by 315650eec1391f16...

"There were thousands upon thousands of instances of election fraud committed by Republican operatives and the electronic vote was manipulated to favor Republicans. There is an ocean of evidence to show it."




> Should Canada indict Bush?
Saturday November 20 - 23:04 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

There is no political way in reallity to indict Bush or even detain him. But during it’s visit in Canada
it should made be clear that he and his goverment are war criminals.
The Europeans also waited to long before the faced the truth with Adolf Hitler.
So Bush is not Hitler and America is not yet fallen into the hands of fascists, but the outcomes
of daily policies in America shows some similarity.
Also there is no doubt those mindset must be fought politically in the 21. century.




> Should Canada indict Bush?
Sunday November 21 - 02:28 - Posted by 64d1436bef853b36...

Please, nail the bastard!!!




> Should Canada indict Bush?
Tuesday November 23 - 18:18 - Posted by d649b6612339f0e6...

WAA WAA WAA!!!! MOVE TO CANADA AND NEVER COME BACK TO THE STATES YOU FREAKIN LIBERAL WIMP!!!



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Monday November 29 - 05:30 - Posted by 91afa8ae83415fc7...

Geeee!! What a sensitive and passionate conservative! You should really get a grip on yourself, at least once a day, until you get a girlfriend. Maybe if you write to your good buddy ’girlie Bush’, he will be able to give you tips on the most appropriate closet behavior! After all, he is the expert on gayness; right?



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Sunday November 21 - 03:24 - Posted by 382995759060c8cd...

YES, PLEASE INDICT HIM! I WISHED SOMEONE WOULD! BUT MAYBE A DOZEN COUNTRIES CAN INDICT HIM SO HE CAN’T PICK ON ANY ONE COUNTRY? I HATE HIM! IT MAKES ME ASHAMED TO BE AN AMERICAN! YES, CANADA OR SEVERAL COUNTRIES NEED TO INDICT HIM AND THE REST OF NEO-CONS AS IT WAS ALL THEIR IDEA! BUT NOT OUR TROOPS! THEY CAN’T HELP IT IF THEY HAVE A NAZI FASCIST DICTATOR FOR A COMMANDER IN CHIEF! DO THE U.S. A FAVOR AND INDICT THE S.O.B.’S! ALL OF THEM! INSANE CHENEY, WOLFOWITZ, ALL OF THEM INSANE NEO-CONS! THEY ARE NOTHING BUT EVIL! WAR PROFITEERING WHILE INNOCENT G.I.’S AND INNOCENT IRAQI’S AND AFGHANISTAN’S DIE FOR OIL AND EMPIRE BUILDING! HE IS WORST THREAT TO ALL MANKIND! IN MORE WAYS THEN ONE, BECAUSE OF ENVIRONMENT TOO! ALSO HE IS A WAR MONGERTOO! YES, INDICT THE NAZI BASTARD! DO US A FAVOR! OF COURSE, KNOWING HIM, HE WOULD SEND TROOPS TO INVADE CANADA! NO GOOD JERKS MAKES ME ASHAMED TO BE AN AMERICAN! PLEASE DON’T HATE US AMERICAN’S BECAUSE OF HIM! MOST OF US VOTED AGAINST THE JERKS! THEY CHEATED AGAIN!




> Should Canada indict Bush?
Friday November 26 - 07:25 - Posted by 57c27b00fcdab381...

You are sick in the head and obviously have no idea about what the Nazi’s did. You also are supporting are enemies and are a traitor who doesn’t deserve to be an American. Plus you have a real problem with your CAPS button.



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Friday November 26 - 08:48 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

You are a Nazi, and who elected you to decide who is an American? Just because many Americans don’t support Bush’s mass murder of the Iraqi people does not have anything to do with being a true American anymore than those true Christians that believe Bush is murdering innocent people should go pray to the devil with Bush and his crazy Christian murderers of innocent people supporters. You need to go to Iraq and do some dirty work for your evil leader.



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Saturday November 27 - 08:43 - Posted by e804034b668333b6...

hey dude, I’m not even a U.S. citizen but I’m smart enough to know that dissent is NOT un-American, nor is it un-patriotic. If anything, speaking out against criminals like Bushco. (and Kerry & Co.) takes balls, and only a true Patriot and defender of the real United States could see that.
Why the hell do so many U.S. people equate dissent and protesting with being un-American???!!!! Open your fuckin’ eyes and turn off your goddamn fake news!!!!



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Sunday November 21 - 03:58 - Posted by 467a5b2f0866beb0...

You guys sound flaky and even ignorant. The legislative body gave their approval (and there was a vote and there was only one dissenter) and authorized Bush to go forward with the attack in Iraq. If you indict Bush, you would have to indict a whole bunch of people who gave him the permission.




> Should Canada indict Bush?
Sunday November 21 - 23:57 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

I believe in miracles and I think that even though Canada will not indict Bush, the world will marginalize him to the point that Americans will pay the price internationaly to the end that we will ALL regret letting him represent us, even those who voted for him. It is only a matter of time before he stumbles into his own trap.



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Monday November 22 - 07:17 - Posted by e804034b668333b6...

Canada will never indict Bush because Canada’s Prime Minister, Paul Martin, is Bush Co.’s Northern Lapdog.
Bush’s Crime Empire says "jump!" and Martin and his gang of criminal sell-outs say, "Yessir! How high sir?!"

And we the Canadian public will someday pay dearly for having lapdog Martin as our "leader".




> Should Canada indict Bush?
Monday November 22 - 13:14 - Posted by 721da6997fe99cce...

It would be nice to see Bush snatched up in Canada, though I doubt it will happen. Thanks to the author, though, for bringing this matter to the attention of world readers.



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Monday November 22 - 22:39 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

No kidding, I saw where your PM promised that Canadians would be on their best behavior when Bush invades your country...the only one with any balls there is the lady in your Parliment that called Bush a criminal...now I guess she has been punished for speaking out...as one of the only free countries left, I hope Canadians will get together to throw rotten eggs and tomatoes at our dictator, you might even get on the news for it unlike here where the mobs are kept miles away from our criminal leader and there is nothing in the news when we throw eggs and tomatoes.



America is not an Empire anymore...
Wednesday November 24 - 01:57 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

Today we read a story about China closing a deal with Cuba.

China is also the second largest moneylender to U.S. Funny?

America is loosing it’s leads everywhere: once the world biggest exporter of farmed crops now has
to import more, retail merchandise is coming from China, the flagship Boeing is loosing all the
competitions on the international markets. Made in America - has become - Crap made in America.

Empire?



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Tuesday November 23 - 18:24 - Posted by d649b6612339f0e6...

CANADIANS NEED TO WAKE UP AND REBEL AGAINST THE LIBERAL MEDIA IN CANADA. THANK GOD FOR FOXNEWS COMING TO CANADA. WE ARE GOING TO BE TAKEN OVER BY MUSLIM FANATICS IF WE DON’T GET TOUGH. WE CAN NOT BLAME THE US FOR EVERYTHING, TERROR IS A WORLD WIDE FIGHT.

FELLOW CANADIANS STOP BEING SO NAIVE




> Should Canada indict Bush?
Tuesday November 23 - 18:32 - Posted by 8a254981bfc7d405...

I WAS TRYING FOR A MORE RATIONAL RESPONSE TO YOUR RIDICULOUS COMMENTED BUT ALL I COULD THINK WAS "WHAT A FUCKING IDIOT".



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Wednesday November 24 - 14:37 - Posted by 1ebd73fbe1f545ca...

The above poster actually lives in a trailer in Wyoming and is a love child of Forrest Gump/Rain Man.



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Saturday November 27 - 08:49 - Posted by e804034b668333b6...

Bush or Kerry.
Different puppets, same masters.
Wake up USA. Please.



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Tuesday November 23 - 18:26 - Posted by d649b6612339f0e6...

YOU PEACE NICKS ARE SO HYPOCRITICAL!!!

YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A BUNCH OF ENEMIES WITHIN!!!

KEEP THREATENING VIOLENCE - EVERYTHING THAT YOU ARE SUPPOPSED TO STAND FOR

GO HAVE ANOTHER PEACEFUL RIOT




> Should Canada indict Bush?
Wednesday November 24 - 21:59 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

YOU BUSH BUTT KISSERS ARE PATHETIC...OVER AND OVER YOUR LEADER HAS BEEN EXPOSED FOR THE CRIMMINAL HE IS AND FOR RIPPING OFF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO BEFEFIT HIS WEALTHY BUDDIES AND YOU MORONS JUST CHEER HIM ON AS HE GIVES YOU ANOTHER SCREW...GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF BUSH’S ASS BEFORE HE SHITS ON YOU AGAIN.



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Friday November 26 - 07:28 - Posted by 57c27b00fcdab381...

Exposed by who? A bunch of liars and raving Chomski-ites? Your deluded rationales are so separated from reality that it’d be funny if it wasn’t so freakin’ pathetic!



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Friday November 26 - 08:38 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

Need some toilet paper?



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Saturday November 27 - 23:38 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

Latest exposure in a long long long list of exposures:

http://www.informationclearinghouse...

So keep your stupid self stupid and don’t go anywhere you might get educated.



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Tuesday November 30 - 21:29 - Posted by 1e00c727505ddc10...

GROW UP ALL YOU IDIOTS. STOP BAD MOUTHING COUNTIES THAT YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOUR OWN COUNTRY NOR THE NEIGHBORING COUNTRY.
ALL TALK NO KNOWLEDGE



> Should Canada indict Bush?
Friday December 3 - 14:18 - Posted by c306dc4ab7b1fd91...

!!!!!!!!! BUSH ABDUCTED BY ALIENS !!!!!!!!

This is the reason he has such control over the American people.

Hurry, put Aluminum foil on your head so he can’t read your mind!!!!!







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by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
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Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
4 comments
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
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PEOPLE WITHOUT SOULS
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
2 comments
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)
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