Bush cancels Geneva trip fearing arrest for war crimes

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Crescent International

Rabi' al-Awwal 03, 1432 2011-02-06

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

Former US President George Bush canceled a forthcoming trip to Geneva fearing that he might be arrested. Bush was to be keynote speaker at a gala dinner organized by the Jewish group, Keren Hayesod, on February 12.

London-Crescent-online

February 6, 2011 - 1800 DST

Former US President George Bush canceled a forthcoming trip to Geneva fearing that he might be arrested. Bush was to be keynote speaker at a gala dinner organized by the Jewish group, Keren Hayesod, on February 12.

Human rights groups had planned to press war crime charges against the former US president for authorizing torture of detainees at the notorious prison camp at Guantanamo Bay as well as Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. In television interviews in the US as well as in his book, Bush has admitted that he authorized water-boarding of detainees in order to extract information from them.

Under international law, water-boarding constitutes torture. The Swiss authorities would have been forced to investigate or extradite Bush to face charges because human rights groups had said they will present a 2,500-page charge sheet against him in a Swiss court.

The man who used to walk with a swagger when he was the US president is now running scared. Last year, former US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld narrowly escaped arrest on a visit to Paris. When he was alerted to the possibility, Rumsfeld traveled only in a helicopter from one point to the next, not setting foot in the streets of Paris. He could have been served a warrant and the French authorities would have been forced to arrest him.

Israeli military and political leaders are similarly constrained in their travel plans for fear of being arrested. While nothing much can be expected from court cases in the west where ruling authorities are complicit in such crimes, the mere fact that former US or zionist officials can be embarrassed for their role in authorizing torture is seen as progress.

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