The Crescent Report

November 22, 2010

London Mayor to Bush: Come over here and you might not ever see Texas again

Filed under: From the Desk of Imam Mahdi Bray — Imam Mahdi Bray @ 12:40 pm

Introduction: President Bush said that one of the worst moments of his presidency was when Kanye West made a post-Katrina statement that President Bush “doesn’t care about black people.” For the record, Kanye West rebuking the president was definitely not his worst presidential moment. Check out the piece below.

-Imam Mahdi Bray

Quote of the Day: Oh, freedom and liberty. How many crimes have been committed in your name!

London Mayor to Bush: Come over here and you might not ever see Texas again 

It may seem like a wildly unlikely scenario, but the conservative Mayor of London, England was quite serious: If former president George W. Bush sets foot in Britain on his current book tour, he might just be arrested for war crimes committed during the time of his administration.

Mayor Boris Johnson-himself a Tory-was not joking at all.  His warning came in light of the admission, by the former U.S. President, that he (Bush) had authorized the use of water boarding as a torture technique used in the interrogation of Khalid Sheik Muhammad, one of the apparent plotters and alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.  Bush claims, and even boasts, in his book of memoirs (and later in a television interview), that he gave the green light for the use of the torture interrogation.

And was he proud of this admission?  “Damn right”, said the former leader of the free world.

But the problem with all of this, as Mayor Johnson also stated, is that water boarding is considered a form of torture under both United States and international law, and the former President’s admission makes him, in legal terms, a war criminal. And even if the Obama administration is willing to give Bush a free pass on these criminal actions, nations like Great Britain are not so ready to passively allow even celebrity human rights violators to stay in their nation with impunity.  This was a harsh lesson that the late Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, realized some years ago when he was arrested in Britain for doing some of the same things to Chilean political protesters that Mr. Bush bragged about in the aftermath of the terror attacks on America some 9 years ago.

But the London mayor also raised another point, and this is even more serious:  Even if arrest and detention were to be “unlikely” for the former head of state of a nation so closely allied with Britain, to allow Bush to fly about the nation and the world unpunished, while admitting his offenses, erodes the moral credibility of the Unites States, and its allies. These nations pontificate against regimes that openly torture, and kill, their political opponents.  But how can the U.S. condemn the governments of places like Burma and Zimbabwe when the American head of state boasts about authorizing the same actions against detainees?

Other political leaders and scholars have also given cautionary advice to the former President about the perils of international travel.  John Turley, Professor of Law at George Washington University, stated that, were Bush to travel to Western Europe, he might get more than just a hostile political reception.  He could, indeed, be subject to arrest for the political decisions that he is so openly bragging about.

Torture is not a play thing or a joke.  To the extent that it has been authorized for use against detainees in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo, or anywhere under U.S. control, it is a serious crime that cannot be ignored by a nation that claims to uphold the highest standards of international law.  And if our current Attorney General and President believe in upholding these laws, then they should take appropriate action- including going after the real co-conspirators who perpetrated these illegal actions under the false pretext of guarding our ‘national security.”

-Ibrahim Ramey

Editor’s note:  MAS Freedom  supports adherence to national and international law as a member of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT).

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