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Canadian Lawyers Seek to Prosecute Bush, Get Him Banned

Lawyers from up north are going after Bush for his role in authorizing torture.

Former President George W. Bush’s first post-presidency speech will take place on St. Patrick’s Day — March 17 — in Calgary, Alberta. Although organizers have declined to say if Bush will be paid, he once boasted that he hoped to make “ridiculous” money on the lecture circuit once he leaves office.

But instead of greeting Bush with open arms and (potentially) wads of cash, activists and human rights lawyers in Canada are hoping their government will greet him with handcuffs — or at the very least — bar him entry in to the country. In fact, Vancouver Lawyer Gail Davidson said the government has an obligation under the law to ban Bush from entering Canada because of his role in supporting torture:

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.

Davidson is correct; Bush has been “credibly accused” of supporting torture. Earlier this year, Manfred Nowak, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, urged the U.S. to pursue Bush and Donald Rumsfeld on charges that they authorized torture and other harsh interrogation techniques. Indeed, Bush himself said last year that he was aware of his advisers’ discussions on torture and recently admitted that he personally authorized waterboarding Khalid Sheik Muhammad.

Benjamin J. Armbruster is a Research Associate for The Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress.
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