T Nation

Bush Cancels Visit To Switzerland...


#1

Bush Cancels Visit To Switzerland Due To Threat Of Torture Prosecution, Rights Groups Say

"GENEVA, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Former U.S. President George W. Bush has cancelled a visit to Switzerland, where he was to address a Jewish charity gala, due to the risk of legal action against him for alleged torture, rights groups said on Saturday.

Bush was to be the keynote speaker at Keren Hayesod's annual dinner on Feb. 12 in Geneva. But pressure has been building on the Swiss government to arrest him and open a criminal investigation if he enters the Alpine country.

Criminal complaints against Bush alleging torture have been lodged in Geneva, court officials say."

Interesting to consider the implications here. While many might think Bush has immunity because he was an acting president when this occurred, should he?

(For reference, posted because I think it will lead to an interesting discussion. I do not have a formed opinion on this yet and this is not intended as a 'I hate Bush/republicans" posting.)


#2

They never would.


#3

The whole thing seems silly.


#4

And yet he didn't travel.

Makkun


#5

Maybe he wanted to go to the Super Bowl.


#6

Wouldn't he still have SS protection? It doesn't seem like the police would be dumb enough to try it.


#7

Yeah, because the SS woulkd take on a Swiss SWAT team one their own territory.

I dont think they would be dumb enough to try that.


#8

Uh, what all these people are forgetting is Diplomatic Immunity.


#9

Doesn't apply unless he is an accredited US diplomat to Switzerland. Holding a Diplomatic Passport (assuming that he does) has nothing to do with immunity.


#10

So will they do the same to Obama since he has not closed Gitmo?


#11

Acts of former heads of state are covered under diplomatic immunity.


#12

And sends people to third world nations to be tortured.

Good question. I don't know Swiss politics but I suspect these people are of the Bush = Hitler and Obama = Messiah type.


#13

No they are not. During time in office, they are protected by the functional immunity from prosecution under international law, but they are open to prosecution after leaving office, for crimes committed before or after their time in office, or for crimes committed by them in a personal capacity during their reign. In some cases, this immunity can be void like it was in the case of Pinochet.

Bush is not, nor was he ever, a diplomat.


#14

The US under Bush clandestinely sent people to Switzerland to be tortured (as well as many other countries), was found out, and now he faces possible prosecution. Not much to do with any political love for either of them.


#15

Sorry, wrong.

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=2F4F0CCB4E9460DF4743CBCB58C6FF83.tomcat1?fromPage=online&aid=207715

Abstract

This decision of the House of Lords is significant because it is the first decision of a major court of an important country refusing to grant a former head of state immunity from adjudication in the context of alleged gross violations of human rights. It is shown that state immunity, diplomatic immunity and head of state immunity are to be distinguished and the rules pertaining to head of state immunity are explained. Whereas the author agrees with the result of Lords' decision, he disagrees with the reasoning because the majority circumvented the immunity question by artificially qualifying the alleged human rights violations of General Pinochet as private acts.


#16

Depends on if he has Gun platforms and all in his convoy.

I wasn't necessarily saying the SS would take on some SWAT team, I was saying that it would create a very volatile and dangerous situation with lots of men with guns on both sides.


#17

So suppose it comes to a standoff.

What is he going to do?

Escape an alpine country where everyone is armed to the teeth with no access to an aircraft?

It ould probably look more like this:

a) A sheepish constable approaches and asks him to follow him

or

b) SS that relies very heavily on local police to establish a safe perimeter is ambushed and is not even able to draw their guns.

As good as the SS is, noone beats a trained commando team that decides when, where and how to engage on their own turf.

They do not even have to do anything, they could just suround the hotel, cut off the elevators, water and electricity and wait till his minibar runs out of food.


#18

Huh? Switzerland was torturing for Bush and now they want to arrest him? I think you have your facts mixed up.


#19

The CIA was torturing IN Switzerland. A country is not just it's government, so 'Switzerland' can also refer to a geographic location...


#20

So how does this make me wrong?