Vancouver lawyer says she'll try to stop George W. Bush from visiting Surrey

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      A Vancouver lawyer says she will send a dossier on former U.S. president George W. Bush to the Canadian war-crime investigation unit in advance of his visit to Surrey later this year.

      Gail Davidson, cofounder of Lawyers Against the War, told the Straight by phone that she'll also send copies to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, and "try to make a little bit more effective noise about keeping him out of the country this time".

      Davidson offered her comments in response to Surrey mayor Dianne Watts's announcement today that Bush and former U.S. president Bill Clinton will speak at the fourth annual Surrey Regional Economic Summit later this year.

      "It's shocking," Davidson said. "She can't be that out of touch that she doesn't realize that they've committed hideous war crimes—even if you just look at Iraq alone."

      Davidson pointed out that University of Illinois international legal scholar Francis Boyle is trying to get Swiss authorities in Geneva to arrest Bush, who will land there this month.

      Meanwhile, some of Clinton's critics, including Osgoode Hall law professor Michael Mandel, have claimed that his administration committed war crimes in the Balkans by attacking Yugoslavia without the authorization of the UN Security Council.

      In 2004, a group of activists, journalists, legal scholars, human-rights specialists, and academics formed the BRussels Tribunal, which is a nongovernmental organization that is trying to hold public officials accountable for committing war crimes in Iraq.

      "When the group from the BRussels Tribunal brought the action in the Spanish courts in the fall of 2009, Clinton was one of the people named in their complaint," Davidson said. "He was named specifically for his actions in the sanctions in Iraq....Myself, I would concentrate on George Bush because I know so much more about him."

      In 2004, Davidson filed a private prosecution charging Bush with seven torture-related offences under the Criminal Code of Canada while he was on a state visit to Canada. In a secret hearing in Vancouver Provincial Court, Judge William Kitchen ruled that those charges were a "nullity", which meant they never technically existed in law.

      Comments

      26 Comments

      glen p robbins

      Feb 1, 2011 at 5:11pm

      You know if you are a regular citizen, its difficult to get an inch of justice no matter how right you might be, but lawyers have all the time in the world for this stuff.

      Nobody likes war. George Bush isn't the President anymore - protest if you like, but the rest of this doesn't mean anything. If you want Canadians out of Afghanistan (we never went to Iraq) - Obama is still in Afghanistan - then tell your MP you want to know his position on Afghanistan -and let the rest of these folks have their talk in Surrey.

      Bill Miner

      Feb 1, 2011 at 5:53pm

      Good on Gail Davidson,
      To bad we have a Conservative government in Canada that if they had a majority goverment would be totally supporting his policy's. At least she can get some exposure against him great !
      I would say George Bush and his cronies are in the same league as Hitler.

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      A former American

      Feb 1, 2011 at 8:07pm

      Funny thing, but neither Bush nor Cheney can set foot in the state of Vermont because they would be legally, according to Vermont State Law, arrested for war crimes.

      If Vermont (within the US) can do make it clear, why can't we?

      There are several places in the world that Bush, for all of his residual power and influence, can't visit. Canada should be one of them.

      Coastlife

      Feb 1, 2011 at 10:20pm

      I don't remember electing the UN to be my government, nor do the Americans, most countries blissfully contravene the UN's edicts daily (China for example), and nothing happens. Did she send a dossier on Wu Bangguo when he visited Canada? Seriously, Canada can decide who we want in or out without reverting to the corrupt and ineffective UN.

      Bruno15

      Feb 1, 2011 at 11:29pm

      War criminal is a designation given only to the powerless by victors. Despite similar circumstance, the powerful always have a reason why they should be exempt.

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      Thee Mormegil

      Feb 2, 2011 at 12:10am

      how's that terrorist thing going now? Oh right, all the killing's over there now. Islamists killing muslims. Every week another suicide bomber or two. They're starting to see how their supposed religion of peace really works. Let's call it for what it is; the religion of death. By the way, Bono, solved that mess in Ireland yet?

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      Margot Izard

      Feb 2, 2011 at 3:47am

      glen p, Canada did so go to Iraq. And not just Naty with his fancy medal from the GG. For 04....See all the drips and details at

      http://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/65/65.htm

      Go Gail go.

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      RonS

      Feb 2, 2011 at 7:03am

      I wish we had the gonads to arrest him for War Crimes instead of just protesting. Protesting will have to do for the mean time. Bush (what a lout), Cheney (what a despicable excuse for a man), Reagan (also a despicable excuse for a man), Ford, in fact most Republicans and here in Canada, the Conservative Party, support bloodshed over negotiation.

      beelzebub

      Feb 2, 2011 at 10:27am

      Free speech, but only for certain people I guess.

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      Mark Fornataro

      Feb 2, 2011 at 4:35pm

      Re: " In 2004, Davidson filed a private prosecution charging Bush with seven torture-related offences under the Criminal Code of Canada while he was on a state visit to Canada. In a secret hearing in Vancouver Provincial Court, Judge William Kitchen ruled that those charges were a 'nullity', which meant they never technically existed in law." Oh how sweet it would be for the rest of us peons if we were to steal a loaf of bread out of hunger- let alone be resposible for war crimes- that a judge would then declare it a 'nullity'.

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