On the USS Abraham Lincoln, May 1, 2003
U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Tyler J. Clements

Are Ex-Presidents subject to Canadian Law like everyone else?
Vancouver B.C. - Friday, December 19, 2008 by: Larry Kazdan

Whether the law is applied equally in Canada will be severely tested when George W. Bush visits Calgary this month.

The Convention on Torture to which Canada is a party specifically requires us to either prosecute or extradite for prosecution any person within Canadian territory, alleged to have committed torture.

The author of the U.S. Army’s 2004 internal report on Abu Ghraib stated

“… the Commander-in-Chief [Bush] and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture ..."

and this judgment was echoed by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture who concluded in February 2009 that

"torture methods used in interrogation by the U.S. government were explicitly ordered by former U.S. defence minister Donald Rumsfeld… with the highest U.S. authorities' knowledge."

In 2004, Bush entered Canada but was entitled to immunity from prosecution as a head of state. That immunity is no longer relevant. Will Canadian authorities now apply the same law to Citizen Bush as they do to other alleged torturers?

Don't bet your throwing booties!

Larry Kazdan
C.G. A.

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