The Shrinking World of George W. Bush
Friday, February 11, 2011
Doors closing to George W. Bush
In what would have been his first European trip since leaving office, former President George W. Bush has cancelled his visit to Switzerland after human rights groups threatened to picket a fundraiser he planned to attend and file a torture complaint against him as well.
Bush was expected to appear at a gala hosted by United Israel Appeal, but the charity scrapped the event once it heard of the planned protest and possible outbreak of violence from it.
Protest organizers encouraged participants to bring extra shoes, a reference to the 2008 incident in which an Iraqi journalist threw his footwear at Bush while visiting Baghdad.
In addition, the Center for Constitutional Rights and several European human rights groups were planning to file a complaint against Bush for authorizing the use of torture against suspected terrorists during his time in office. The organizations hoped to convince Swiss prosecutors to open a criminal case against the 43rd president once he arrived in the country.
One of the most damning parts of the 42-page indictment against Bush is based on his November 9, 2010, interview with Matt Lauer during which he admitted that he had authorized torture.
Bush also could face possible legal actions against him if enters Spain. Other Bush-era torture investigations have taken place in Italy, United Kingdom, Australia, Poland and Lithuania. If he visits these countries, there might be demands that he give testimony.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Israeli Charity Cancels Speech by Bush (by Carol Rosenberg, Miami Herald)
Bush Trip to Switzerland Called Off Amid Threats of Protests, Legal Action (by Peter Finn, Washington Post)
Bush Torture Indictment (Center for Constitutional Rights)
Preliminary “Indictment for Torture”: George W. Bush (Center for Constitutional Rights) (pdf)
Obama Administration Pushed Hard to Protect Bush Torture Lawyers (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
Bush Admits to Breaking U.S. Anti-Torture Law…but No Prosecution Planned (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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