Showing posts with label detainees. Show all posts
Showing posts with label detainees. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


From the Guardian:
George W Bush has had to call off a trip to Switzerland next weekend amid planned protests by human rights groups over the treatment of detainees at Guantánamo Bay and the threat of a warrant for his arrest.

David Sherzer, a spokesman for the former US president, confirmed the move in an email to the Associated Press. "We regret that the speech has been cancelled," he said. "President Bush was looking forward to speaking about freedom and offering reflections from his time in office."

The visit would have been Bush's first to Europe since he admitted in his autobiography, Decision Points, in November that he had authorised the use of waterboarding – simulated drowning – on detainees at Guantánamo accused of links with al-Qaida. Whether out of concern over the protests or the arrest warrant, it is an extraordinary development for a former US president to have his travel plans curtailed in this way, and amounts to a victory for human rights campaigners.

An extraordinary development, indeed, but Bush is an extraordinary man, infamous for his "What me worry?" attitude toward waterboarding, which I consider torture.
Organisers of the protest had called on participants to bring a shoe, commemorating the Iraqi journalist who threw one at Bush during a 2008 press conference in Baghdad, to a rally outside the hotel where Bush was due to speak.

Human rights groups had planned to submit a 2,500-page case against Bush in Geneva tomorrow over the treatment of detainees at Guantánamo. The Bush administration claims that waterboarding does not amount to torture, but human rights organisations and the Obama administration have said it does.

Bush gets paid big money for giving speeches, and now he will need to be careful about leaving the country to get the monetary rewards - not that he will lapse into poverty as a result. Bush pays only a small price for authorizing cruel treatment of detainees.

H/T to Adrastos at First Draft.