Rights Groups Claim Bush Canceled Trip to Switzerland Due to Threat of Torture Prosecution

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger
Story from Reuters

Rights groups are claiming that former President George W. Bush has canceled a planned trip to Switzerland because he feared legal action might be taken against him for alleged torture crimes that occurred during his administration.

Bush had been scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Keren Hayesgood (United Israel Appeal) annual dinner in Geneva on February 12th. Evidently, the Swiss government had been receiving pressure to arrest Bush and open a criminal investigation if he entered the country.

According to Reuters, the human rights groups planned to submit a 2,500-page case against the former president in Geneva on Monday for alleged mistreatment of detainees who have been held at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

Source: Reuters
Read more on this story at the Reuters site: Bush’s Swiss visit off after complaints on torture


28 thoughts on “Rights Groups Claim Bush Canceled Trip to Switzerland Due to Threat of Torture Prosecution”

  1. Many in his administration should be charged with war crimes, minimum! Many should also be held as US criminals as well, including accessory to mass murder on 9/11, manufacturing false data to manipulate congress into passing war resolutions, under oath-congressional-testimony-admitted and horrendously violent and inhumane violations of the Geneva Convention torture treaty, etc., etc! Now we have another president, in a long and growing succession of pro New World Order administrations that are destroying the fabric and foundation of this nation! How many tyrannical actions have to be taken before the people stand up and say, “Enough is Enough!” ???

  2. pete,

    From: http://www.justice.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm01532.htm

    “18 U.S.C. § 879 was significantly altered in 1994 by restrictions placed upon the Secret Service’s authority to provide protection for Former Presidents who did not serve as President prior to January 1, 1997, their spouses, and minor children. Section 3056(a)(3) of Title 18, generally restricts protection to a period of 10 years from the date such former President leaves office rather than for life; and to a one year period for the spouse when the President dies in office or within one year after leaving office, with spousal protection to terminate upon remarriage or divorce from, or death of, a former President, rather than solely upon remarriage. Subsection (a)(4) restricts protection of children of a former President who are under 16 years of age to the shorter of a maximum period of 10 years or upon the child becoming 16 years of age.”

    This makes Clinton the last President to get lifetime protection and The Traitor W indeed the first to get the 10 year limit.

  3. i seem to recall that during the 90’s the republican congress limited the number of years that former US presidents can receive secret service protection. It used to be they got protection for life but congress shortened it to 10 years and gwb would be the first former potus that this would apply to.
    Does anyone know more about this?

  4. Jim,
    It would depend on how strong those rights groups are in Switzerland. I don’t know about private individuals bringing suit either.

  5. Rafflaw: I’m pretty sure there is no immunity for international crimes. The House of Lords decided that Pinochet was not immune to charges of torture, for example. One can list quite a few former heads of state that have been tried in both domestic and international fora for crimes like torture. That’s why I noted my disagreement with the claims of immunity made by the Swiss ministry.

    Still, if the prosecutor declines to prosecute, I do wonder if the rights groups would have been able to force the matter. I believe that in some countries private individuals can bring criminal charges, but I am not sure what the case is in Switzerland.

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