This blogger writes: If former-coummunistic Canadian Senator Cruz ( I believe the “r” would be pronounced with a Latino t-r–r-r-r-i-i-l ) is willing to be seen first OWPP (Out-With-Pussy-Palin) after handing over his hockey stick and Tim Horton’s official coffee mug – and his passport – to the Canadian Embassy, then he’s a got a long slog ahead of him. Pussy Palin will drag him through the mud, she’ll kill his campaign. The former Beauty Queen (Wasila, AK), movie star (not!!) and college grad (not!!) was shunned by the GOP at the last election. Her poison is exactly what the party doesn’t need, and they know it.
…OR DO THEY FORGET ? Wouldn’t it be hilarious if OWPP Cruz played the same asinine stunts and gaffes as the brown-eyed girl cult leader, thereby losing the race REAL GOOD! HAH! Teddy Boy, whats’a matta with ya.? Dontcha know Miss Wasila, she’s Bad Blood?⬅["Bad Blood" music vid - right click, 'open link' to play]
WASHINGTON – Sen. Ted Cruz, seemingly eyeing a presidential run in 2016, calls his renunciation of Canadian citizenship no big deal, even though questions about candidates’ birthplaces have flared in recent elections.
Controversy still dogs President Barack Obama from some quarters despite proof he was born in Hawaii.
Cruz, a Texas Republican and tea party favourite, was born in Canada, to a Cuban father and U.S.-born mother. His mother’s status has allowed him to be a citizen of both the United States and Canada, but he said Tuesday in Houston, “I believe it makes sense for me to be only an American.”
Previous foreign-born Americans — notably Republicans John McCain and George Romney — have run for president with some mention but no serious challenges of their eligibility.
The chief upshot of Cruz’s announcement that he will renounce his Canadian citizenship is to suggest he’s seriously eyeing a presidential bid in 2016, and would like to settle that side issue now. Cruz is among Obama’s sharpest critics, and is vying for early national attention with another tea party-backed Senate freshman, Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Cruz is helping lead an effort to shut down the government if that’s what it takes to stop implementation of Obama’s landmark health care overhaul.
While some “birthers” still challenge Obama’s citizenship — and therefore his right to be president —his situation is different from Cruz’s.
The son of a Kenyan father and American mother, Obama was born in Hawaii, according to his birth certificate. Though birthers reject that evidence, many establishment Republicans saw that controversy as an unwelcome distraction in Obama’s two elections, and the movement never expanded much beyond the party’s fringes. At tea party events, Cruz has declined to be drawn into debates about Obama’s birthplace, though he says the president has “pushed relentlessly for European-style socialism” in America.
Cruz acknowledges being born in Calgary on Dec. 22, 1970. He says that after moving to Texas as a child, he never made an affirmative claim to dual citizenship, and he’s now promising to drop his Canadian citizenship if in fact he holds it
The U.S. Constitution says only a “natural born Citizen” may be president. Legal scholars generally agree the description covers foreign-born children of U.S. parents.
McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee, was born on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone. George Romney, a former Michigan governor who ran for president in 1968, was born in Mexico. His son, Mitt Romney, was the 2012 GOP nominee.
Asked in a 2012 interview with The Associated Press whether he holds dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship, Cruz wouldn’t answer directly, saying only: “I am a U.S. citizen.”
Speaking Tuesday in Houston, Cruz said of questions about his birthplace and citizenship, “This may be the silly season in politics.”
He said reporters recently suggested he holds dual citizenship and asked if he would renounce any Canadian citizenship. “I say, sure, of course I would,” Cruz said. “Why? Because I’m an American citizen by birth, and as a U.S. senator, I believe it makes sense for me to be only an American.”
In an earlier statement this week, Cruz said, “When I was a kid, my mom told me that I could choose to claim Canadian citizenship if I wanted. I got my U.S. passport in high school.”
Having lived in the United States since age 4, Cruz said, “and because I have never taken affirmative steps to claim Canadian citizenship, I assumed that was the end of the matter.”
Will Weissert reported from Austin, Texas.
The dividing line between U.S. and Canada: pot legalization on federal table. Trudeau Liberals’ Marijuana Stance Is High-Risk, High-Reward
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has come out swinging early with his refreshing stand on marijuana laws in Canada. The Trudeau family scion In July said to o.canada.com that he favours legalizing marijuana — taxing and regulating it — rather than just decriminalization.
University of Ottawa history professor Michael Behiels drew a clear picture of Trudeau fils’ cannny strategy: “Trudeau is trying to bring in a whole new generation of young men and young women into the political process…[a]nd this is one way that he can do it, by addressing something that they apparently seem very interested in.”
This blogger writes: I met Justin Trudeau two weeks ago at his stop on the cross-country tour here in Surrey B.C, a riding of immigrants, many of whose parents got into Canada under prime minister PIerre Trudeau’s Family Reunification Program. So the name “Trudeau” sparks gold here. At the gathering I was hearing around me very little English, mostly Punjabi. OK, these are good people. They stoically bear the brunt of racism here, no denying.I’ve learned personally that our Hindu immigrants are the real “family values,” citizens.People of Humility and Hospitality.Still, so many are ESL citizens. So it goes…..
In 1969, during PIerre Trudeau’s first election campaign – the amazing days of “Trudeaumania”, when Pierre was a rock star – I shook Pierre Trudeau’s hand in a reception line. I wanted to repeat the ritual with Trudeau fils.
So…there I was surrounded by a sea of ESL citizens, I wanted to “connect” with Justin in a stand-out way. I walked up, shook his hand and said to him “Bonjour Justin. Biennevenue `a Surrey.” He did a quick double take – then came a response SO like what his quick-wittted Dad would have done. He took my hand in both of his and said “Thank-you.” English-to-French-to English. Our bilingual national arrangement. It was a gesture full of meaning.
He had me at that moment.
Justin’s declared intention to legalize marijuana in Canada makes him the first federal leader in Canadian history to bring pot to the House of Commons table. I admire his boldness, but I’m not surprised by it. His papa, prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, as an unelected justice minister in the Pearson ministry in 1969 boldly decriminalized homosexual acts practised between two consenting adults, declaring “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.” The puckish need for shock value runs in the Trudeau family, clearly. And DEARLY!
Trudeau Senior pulled Canada kicking and screaming into the modern world of bilingualism, multicultuarlism and codified civil rights and freedoms. Will Junior be able to pull off the same around drug laws? I”d lay money on it.
I CAN’T WAIT to feel proud and modern again, as a Canadian.
When the Liberals made Justin Trudeau their new leader, it was a high-risk, high-reward decision. His support for marijuana legalization is no different.
The potential reward in pursuing legalization is not insignificant. Increasingly, the three major parties differentiate themselves from one another only by degrees. But with the Liberals’ new stance there is a stark contrast on what to do with the drug. New Democrats support decriminalization, while Conservatives are for the status quo. On this issue, the Liberals stand apart.
It allows the party to present themselves as forward-looking and in favour of smart-on-crime policies, as opposed to (what will undoubtedly be argued are) the timid and backward positions of the NDP and Tories. More importantly, it gives Liberals the potential to crowd New Democrats and the Greens out on this particular issue. NDP voters are, polls suggest, more likely to support legalization than decriminalization. And while the Greens support legalization, voters who feel this is an important issue may believe their vote would be better placed with a party that is more likely to be in a position to change the law.
Getting the youth vote to support the Liberals and actually head out to the polls is undoubtedly another part of the strategy, but there is no indication that middle-aged voters are any less supportive of legalization. It may not be a vote-driving issue for these Canadians, however. South of the border, it does seem that turnout was up in states where marijuana was a ballot issue. The goal may not be, then, to get younger voters on side with Liberals (it might be just as effective with older voters under the age of 55), but rather to give them a reason to get to the polls.
But will the legalization of marijuana be a major issue in the next federal election? That is where the risk comes in. It is hard to believe that 2015 will be the marijuana election, but Conservatives and New Democrats will almost certainly use it in their attacks against the Liberal leader. For the NDP, it gives them an opportunity to portray themselves as more reasonable and less radical than the Liberals, an essential strategy if they are to seriously challenge for government. With the NDP’s more middle-way position on marijuana, Thomas Mulcair can pose as the responsible leader in juxtaposition to the inexperienced Trudeau’s recklessness. The Liberal leader will need to flesh out the policy more during the campaign, and could be put on the spot on details.
For Conservatives, it is a perfect issue for their constituency. Their opposition to decriminalization or legalization puts them as the ‘tough on crime’ party. But while it may not be a number one issue for many, for those who are nevertheless uncomfortable with the idea of legalization — and these are primarily to be found among older voters who get out to the polls in big numbers — it could plant the seed of doubt that prevents them from casting a ballot for Trudeau.
The policy is a gamble that may or may not pay off in 2015. But the Liberals did not make Trudeau their leader to play it safe.
Sep 2, 2012 Associated Press
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu, on Sunday Sep 2 called for George Bush and Tony Blair to face prosecution at the International Criminal Court for their role in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Tutu, the retired Anglican Church’s archbishop of South Africa, wrote in an op-ed piece for The Observer newspaper that the ex-leaders of Britain and the United States should be made to “answer for their actions.”
This blogger writes: Good ol’ boy, former U.S. president George Bush (aka “Shrub”) must be sweating it by now. Yet another of his international nemeses has publicly called for his arrest and indictment at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, (ICC) where he would face charges of War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity (torture, mainly).
Archbishop Tutu also tapped Bush’s primary ally in the Iraq misadventure, former British prime minister Tony Blair, as equally complicit in war crimes perpetrated by their countries’ troops in Iraq.
This incident is the third serious threat against Bush’s liberty by the authorities that we know of. Swizterland in February 2011 nearly collared Bush for arrest; Bush was again nearly nabbed by an international coalition of lawyers out to arrest him when he visited Surrey, British Columbia, Canada in October 2011. Veiled political interference in the B.C. Courts got Bush off in this instance. It’s good to have friends in high places.
This time retired South African Anglican Church archbishop Desmtond Tutu slammed home an op-ed piece for The Observer newspaper that was guaranteed to terrorize Bush. The former U.S. president should be “made to answer” for offences against international laws that protect civilians and prisoners in times of war.
Various international bodies since the end of World War II have enacted wide-ranging laws checking particularly odious behaviours of combatants in war.
The Nuremberg Charter was the decree issued on August 8, 1945 to include not only traditional War Crimes but also Crimes against Peace in its deliberations against Nazi offenders. The United Nations takes general responsibility for the prosecution of Crimes Against Humanity. The International Criminal Court (ICC) situated at the Hague in the Netherlands prosecutes Crimes Against Humanity sent its way from the UN, and this court follows definitions set out by the ‘Rome Statute.‘ The Rome Statute says Crimes Against Humanity are defined as systematic, serious attacks on human dignity, including acts of grave humiliation or degradation of persons, and practised as government policy.
Numerous national governments around the world have also passed their own laws falling under the aegis of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Both Canada and the U. S. in modern times have passed laws against torture and war crimes. Canada’s Immigration Act demands that any person suspected of crimes of violation against human rights be arrested and either expelled from Canada, or tried criminally in Canada. Why not George W. Bush?
This is the tangled web that a man in Bush’s situation must face as he moves about the world. He could fall into jeopardy anywhere along the complex strands of human rights laws extant around the globe. If not snared by an international law, he could as easily find himself indicted under a domestic law.
Reality Check: Accepted wisdom in most parts of the world agrees that nobody would dare to actually arrest and indict a former president of the United States. It just couldn’t happen!
This blogger asks: Why not? What exact exemption from the law is it that protects certain – always First World – offenders from facing their crimes? Offending individuals from Developing World countries have been, and presently are being tried at the ICC for War Crimes. The first person ever to be brought before the ICC since it’s inception in 2006 was Congolese Thomas Lubanga, leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots, for child recruitment into the army. The list goes on ( But How Peculiar! Please note that all of the faces attached to the following names are brown-skinned!): Liberian Charles Taylor, Congolese Germain Katanga, Congolese Mathieu Ngudiolo Chui; Rwandan Jean-Pierre Bemba, Rwandan Callixte Mbarushimana and last-but-not-least, Cote D’Ivorian Laurent Gbagbo, the darling man who took to bombing citizens who failed to vote for the right party in elections .
Think about Mr. Gbagbo. Hmmm……Electoral fixing you say?…
….Remember the American presidential election of 2000? Didn’t Our Boy George appear to have his hand in a few Floridian ballot boxes? With a big assist from his powerful ex-president daddy, that is. And further assist from daddy’s good friend whom he had happily placed on the Supreme Court of Florida himself!?
Something smells bad.
The bizarre thing is, it’s no secret now. The invading armies of the U.S and its allies in the Iraq war rained down terror and death upon hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians – de-humanizing the unfortunate meat targets as mere “collateral damage.” Further, the whole world now knows beyond any doubt that U.S. troops routinely tortured their prisoners in hell-holes like Abu Ghraib prison. Bush himself confesses proudly in his memoirs published in 2011 to sponsoring torture. “Hell yes!” he responds to a questioner about the alleged use of torture.
By this blogger’s clock, Time is a’Wastin.’ There’s a Hard Rain Gonna Fall’ over Georgey Porridgey’s house one day. The disgraced ex-pres ( and his double-down disgraced ex-vice pres, FAT MAN Cheney) are afraid. They may just be the most fraidy persons on the planet!
And THAT would be a peck o’ Justice!
“More and more in our times Canadians have wondered just what kind of continental neighbour America, is, exactly. Where will it all end?”
That’s what this blog is all about.
- Bush’s Third Close Call:Desmond Tutu calls for Bush, Blair to face war crimes charges at the Hague. (americanotstandingstill.com)
Canada’s ‘Three Monkeys’ Attorney General’s Office on Bush’s War Crimes: “Not appropriate” to pursue confessed Torturer. “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.” Lawyer TALKS BACK!
Canada Lets ‘W’ Escape Justice when we had the PERFECT chance to ARREST BUSH!
(Here’s how the “1%” get away with Murder)
Dateline: Surrey, BC, Canada. October 24, 2011.
After successfully lodging a private torture prosecution with the British Columbia Provincial Court in the City of Surrey against former U.S. president George W. Bush as he visited Surrey for a paid speaking engagement, four torture victims had their pursuit of justice blocked by then Attorney General of B.C., Shirley Bond.
Click: the case details.
The four men, Hassan bin Attash, Sami el-Hajj, Muhammed Khan Tumani and Murat Kurnaz, each endured years of inhumane treatment including beatings, chaining to cell walls, being hung from walls or ceilings while handcuffed, lack of access to toilets, sleep, food and water-deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, sensory overload and deprivation, and other horrific and illegal treatment while in U.S. custody at military bases in Afghanistan and/or at the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay. While three of the men have since been released without ever facing charges, Hassan Bin Attash still remains in detention at Guantánamo Bay, though he too has not been formally charged with any wrongdoing.
One man currently detained at Guantánamo has been imprisoned there without charge for more than nine years.
Matt Eisenbrandt, legal director of the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ), who submitted the case on behalf of the torture victims remarked: “Mere hours after a justice of the peace received the criminal information and the court set a hearing date for January, we received notice by phone that the Attorney General of Briti sh Columbia had already intervened in the case and stayed the proceedings against former President Bush, effectively ending the case…[and he stressed that: “the legal basis for the case is exceptionally strong under the Criminal Code of Canada.“
This is a slap in the face to the four men who were brutally tortured by Mr. Bush’s government who have a right to have a court of law examine the evidence and hear the legal arguments,wrote Eisenbrandt.
This blogger wrote to the office of the Attorney General for British Columbia, Hon. Shirley Bond, requesting an explanation for the shocking summary dismissal of the 69+ page criminal indictment against Bush for war crimes (torture) presented to her office by the CCIJ. My request was stonewalled for several weeks. In the interim this blogger filed a Freedom of Information Request in search of possible dark politics at play protecting Bush from Justice in Canada. After a three week delay, Bond’s Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Robert W. G. Gillen, replied by email to my inquiry. The high irony did not escape this blogger that, while a serious criminal indictment presented to the court was dispensed with in a mere matter of hours in October, three weeks was the AG’s fastest turnaround time to respond to a citizen’s inquiry on the same matter!
The Assistant Deputy AG ‘s reply hardly comprised a reasonable explanation of why the Province of British Columbia was disinterested, when presented with a perfect opportunity to fulfill Canada’s sworn duties under the Convention Against Torture and the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act. The former is an international law, the latter a Canadian statute with application only in Canada. Both laws set out similar sanctions to detain and investigate a person suspected to be guilty of, among other things, torture, war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Bush, himself, admits in his own recent memoirs that he OK’d torture from the Oval Office and thoroughly approves of torture. That admission alone surely must comprise “appropriate” grounds to engage the machinery of criminal justice against a suspected offender! Still, “Not appropriate,” says Gillen. It appears the Office of the Attorney General for B.C. is populated by the three monkeys,See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Speak No Evil!
LET’S TALK TORTURE, Mr. Assist!ant Deputy Attorney General:
Assistant Deputy Attorney General Contact Info
Robert W.G. Gillen
Assistant Deputy Attorney General
Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Attorney General
|Telephone:||250 387-3840||Email:||Not Available|
|Mailing Address:||PO BOX 9276|
STN PROV GOVT
Assistant Deputy Attorney General Gillen’s letter to me: better late than never, at least !➤
Mr. Gillen wrote:
I am responding on behalf of the Attorney General to your email of October 26, 2011. As Assistant Deputy Attorney General, I am responsible for the Criminal Justice Branch within the Ministry of Attorney General, including the conduct and supervision of criminal prosecutions in British Columbia.
In your email you express concerns about the staying of charges against former United States president George Bush, charges which were laid in a private prosecution filed by the Canadian Centre for International Justice.
In British Columbia the Criminal Justice Branch is given the authority to conduct prosecutions. It is the policy of the Branch to assume the conduct of all privately initiated prosecutions. The case is brought to court when the charge assessment standard of the Branch is met. This standard requires both a substantial likelihood of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest. If the charges do not meet these standards, the case is terminated.
This policy is in place to ensure an equal application of justice throughout the province. That is, the same standard is used against all accused persons in all prosecutions. The policy also recognizes that both apparent and actual impartiality and objectivity with respect to every prosecution require that prosecutions be conducted by an independent prosecutor rather than on behalf of an interested party.
Under the provisions of the Criminal Code, the consent of the Attorney General of Canada is required to continue a proceeding of the nature of that which was privately commenced against Mr. Bush, and which involved allegations against an individual who is not a Canadian citizen in relation to events which took place outside of this country.
Section 7(7) of the Criminal Code states: “No proceedings …shall be continued unless the consent of the Attorney General of Canada is obtained not later than eight days after the proceedings are commenced.”
The parties seeking to bring the proceeding against Mr. Bush had not obtained the consent of the Attorney General of Canada and there was no realistic prospect that such a consent would be obtained. In the circumstances the Criminal Justice Branch concluded that there was no realistic prospect of that consent being provided in future and it was not appropriate to prolong the matter further.
Decisions to prosecute, stay proceedings or launch an appeal are made solely in accordance with legal criteria in a manner that, generally speaking, is independent of government.
You ask about written records related to this matter. The provision of access to court records in accordance with established policies is the responsibility of court registries. You may wish to contact the Surrey Provincial Court registry in this regard.
Thank you for writing about your concerns.
Robert W. G. Gillen, Q.C.
Assistant Deputy Attorney General
Criminal Justice Branch
Matt Eisenbrandt, of the CCIJ was kind enough to critique Gillen’s reply. Click: read Eisenbrandt’s “123 People” profile.
“What happened here? Who covered whose ass?
Lets slice and dice British Columbia’s Top Reasons Why George W. Bush is Above The Law:
Mr. Gillen says: “Three different standards [must be met ] for the continuation of a private prosecution.
Mr. Gillen says: “The case is brought to court when the charge assessment standard of the Branch is met. This standard requires both a substantial likelihood of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.”
CCIJ REPLIES: We (CCIJ) received no information that the Attorney General analyzed either of these factors in deciding to terminate our case, and Mr. Gillen provides no evidence that the factors could not be met. (THE CCIJ) presented extensive evidence, including admissions by Mr. Bush himself, showing his involvement in torture. This does not guarantee conviction but it is a very sound case both factually and legally.
CCIJ REPLIES: As for the public interest, the Government of Canada has committed itself, in domestic and international law, to the prevention and punishment of torture. The Criminal Code explicitly permits prosecution in Canadian courts for torture committed abroad. This provision was implemented when Canada ratified the Convention against Torture, which obligates parties to investigate any suspected torturer in their territory and submit a case for prosecution if the suspect is not extradited for prosecution abroad. Canada has repeatedly condemned other countries for torture and done so because the government clearly believes such a stance is in the public interest.
CCIJ REPLIES: The proper option available to the Attorney General’s office was to wait the 8 days and then, if consent was not obtained, intervene in the case.
MORE CCIJ : “Mr. Gillen says the parties seeking to bring the proceeding against Mr. Bush had not obtained the consent of the Attorney General of Canada and there was no realistic prospect that such a consent would be obtained. In the circumstances the Criminal Justice Branch concluded that there was no realistic prospect of that consent being provided in future and it was not appropriate to prolong the matter further.” While Mr. Gillen is correct that section 7(7) of the Criminal Code requires the consent of the Attorney General of Canada, that provision says that consent must be obtained within 8 days. Our case was stayed only hours after the Justice of the Peace received the criminal information. Though the BC Attorney General’s office may have believed that we had no realistic prospect of obtaining consent, we were not given the chance to do so in accordance with the Criminal Code.
CCIJ REPLIES: no evidence was provided to support the AG’s assertion that we could not have obtained consent. I would like to know what evidence the Attorney General has to support that notion and what conversations she or others had with the federal government. The Vancouver Observer reported that the BC Attorney General’s office did not even consult with the Attorney General of Canada before intervening and staying the case.
Finally, Mr. Gillen says: “Decisions to prosecute, stay proceedings or launch an appeal are made solely in accordance with legal criteria in a manner that, generally speaking, is independent of government.” This is certainly the standard that should be followed. To say that the decision was done independent of government does not seem entirely correct. The Deputy Regional Crown Counsel who stayed the case did so at the direction and under the authority of the Attorney General of BC. The Attorney General’s office (or the Criminal Justice Branch operating independently) could not possibly have reviewed the substantial evidence in our case before intervening and staying the prosecution. As a result, the only evidence we have that “legal criteria” were followed is that the Attorney General relied on section 7(7) of the Criminal Code.
CCIJ REPLIES: However, the BC Attorney General’s immediate intervention denied us the opportunity to obtain the necessary consent from the Attorney General of Canada within the time permitted under the Criminal Code.
CCIJ REPLIES: I would also like the Attorney General of Canada to state why he did not initiate a prosecution or provide his consent for our private prosecution to continue.
This blogger writes: Could it be any more clear that corruption and sycophancy are at work in dark corners of the government(s) of Canada (and likely in other countries too) to save the hide of the disgraced Mr. Bush from the criminal prosecution he so richly deserves for his self-confessed war crimes?
It’s an outrage that the Attorney General of British Columbia obstructed the due process of justice in October, blatantly waving away the indictment brought by the CCIJ against Bush in mere hours – a time frame that, as Matt Eisenbrandt points out, could not possibly have offered sufficient opportunity for the AG and her minions to read, research and fully consider the full 69+ pages of evidence, plus some 4,000 extra background pages made available for the asking. Bond may have given the indictment a cursory reading, or perhaps no reading at all, judging from the outcome.
Furthermore, in her haste to be done with the Bush file, the AG absolutely offended the CCIJ’s right to have up to eight days to convince the federal AG of the merits of the case. Eisenbrandt offers strong evidence suggesting that the AG for British Columbia didn’t bother to consult the federal AG before deep-sixing the Bush file. Dark politics are at work here.
And CAN WE TALK? Gillen: “[ Prosecution] requires both a substantial likelihood of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.” What? How much more evidence does the AG NEED? Everybody in and around the Bush administration, and the cretinous creep HIMSELF says that he sponsored torture! And, Robo, wouldn’t slapping down the creeping fascist practice of TORTURE be very, very much in the PUBLIC INTEREST!!???
Further light may soon be brought to bear upon this little corner of darkness, via my pending Freedom of Information request. Still, Marlane Moreno, Information Access and Privacy Analyst, Criminal Justice Branch Headquarters advises me that the FOI department will respond to only one of my three queries! (The least revealing of my questions). It’s a truism that information held by governments in these days of Homeland Security, Dixie-style - even in the most free democracies such as our Canadian version – is never really “free” anymore. The very act of this blogger requesting a peek through the AG’s credenza has doubtless sent more data flowing freely TO government about me than will be merrily flowing FROM government to me about the AG. That’s the chance we take, thanks to the very man we are so desirous to syncretise, the ‘Decider Hiz-Self,’ the ne’er-do-well former frat boy, George W. Bush! It’s a risk I’m willing to take. I will have the Truth.
“More and more in our times Canadians have wondered just what kind of continental neighbour America, is, exactly. Where will it all end?”
That’s what this blog is all about.
WEEKS AFTER W’s Speech in Canada on “Economic Development” Protest Signs Still Seen on City streets
This blogger writes: The most perverse political joke of the season came on October 20, 2011 in The City of Surrey, British Columbia. And it just won’t go away! Weeks have passed since Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts introduced George W. Bush as keynote speaker at the city’s annual Summit on Regional Economic Development, yet fresh anti-Bush protest signs continue to populate Surrey boulevards declaiming “NO MORE BUSH ECONOMICS.”
Her Worship‘s courting of Bush at the summit set loose howls of protest in the streets the day of the summit and, as evidenced by the protest signs still poking the city mother in the eye, reverberations of anti-Bush sentiment persist in the Vancouver suburb.
Even as the City of Surrey’s sober captains of trade and commerce sat playing footsies under the table with the disgraced ex-president, economics analysts from sources as diverse as The Economist and Vanity Fair publish devastating condemnations of Mr. Bush’s disastrous botch up of the U.S. economy that led to the near-death financial crash of 2008. Should the man who nearly broke the world’s largest economy REALLY be lecturing Canadian Chamber of Commerce types on “economic development“? What could Watts have been thinking?
Economic development? George W. Bush? WHAT?!
The growing City of Surrey enjoys exceptional prosperity. Its 2010 Financial Statistics reports indicate a city always in the black. For more than three years Surrey’s annual budgets have produced significant cash surpluses accompanied by positive net growth, with level incurred debt. The city’s credit rating is ever-positive as well. Who needs the Yankee ‘Decider’-of-Destruction in town advising us on how to manage our money?
What could Watts have been thinking?
◊(Aside from the bad joke on October 20 of giving an audience to Bush’s ersatz economic advice, the worldwide Arrest Bush initiative the same day tussled with B.C. Provincial Court to act on a criminal indictment of Bush for alleged war crimes. This blogger is awaiting results of a Freedom of Information request to reveal how dark politics in the office of the Attorney General for B.C. may be protecting Bush from Justice in Canada.)
The Economist writes in its online article: “George Bush’s Legacy“:… “He inherited a projected ten-year surplus of $5.6 trillion and bequeaths a ten-year deficit of $6 trillion, assuming his tax cuts remain in place…[Bush's] policy of cutting taxes while increasing spending—of simultaneously pursuing big government and small government—dramatically swelled the deficit. Hardly the makings of a positive judgment from future historians.
“The most important legislation of his first year in office was a $1.35 trillion tax cut that handed an extra $53,000 to the top 1% of earners. At his farewell press conference on January 12th Mr Bush called his tax cuts the “right course of action”, as if they were an unpopular but heroic decision. They weren’t.
“As many as 1.7 million Americans are expected to lose their homes in the months ahead. For many, this will mean the beginning of a downward spiral into poverty.
“Between March 2006 and March 2007 personal-bankruptcy rates soared more than 60 percent. As families went into bankruptcy, more and more of them came to understand who had won and who had lost as a result of the president’s 2005 bankruptcy bill, which made it harder for individuals to discharge their debts in a reasonable way. The lenders that had pressed for “reform” had been the clear winners, gaining added leverage and protections for themselves; people facing financial distress got the shaft.
“Decades hence we should take stock, and revisit the conventional wisdom. Will Herbert Hoover still deserve his dubious mantle? I’m guessing that George W. Bush will have earned one more grim superlative.”
That’s what this blog is all about.
Bush Skips Town on secret ‘GET OUT OF JAIL FREE’ Card – Canada’s Cowardly Legal Lions Protecting ‘W’ from Justice?
COVERUP : B.C. Attorney General Shirley Bond stays proceedings against Bush, posthaste! Without Reading It’s 69+ Pages First? **
Attorney General still has not given us any reasons in writing: Senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights
George W. Bush was slipped a secret GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD from Canada‘s cowardly legal powers on 24 October, 2011 allowing the former U.S. president to once again slip through the fingers of justice fighters aiming to bring him in for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Bush’s 20 October speaking engagement at a hotel in Surrey, B.C. closed down city streets, commandeered phalanxes of special police protection officers and attracted hundreds of highly-vocal, sign-waving protestors railing against war crimes widely believed to have been perpetrated by the Bush administration. Even while the protestors were raising their voices against Bush, a British Columbia court official in Surrey accepted delivery from a group of human rights organizations of a scathing 69-page criminal indictment against Bush, and duly set a hearing date for January, 2012.
Things fizzled out from there:
Matt Eisenbrandt, legal director of the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ), one of the intervening rights organizations, said in a press release the same day: ” Mere hours after a justice of the peace received the criminal information and the court set a hearing date for January, we received notice by phone that the Attorney General of British Columbia had already intervened in the case and stayed the proceedings against former President Bush, effectively ending the case.”
The indictment brought by the rights group, which comprises the New York based Center For Constitutional Justice, Amnesty International as well as the CCIJ lays out the harrowing case of four individuals who endured horrendous tortures including beatings, chaining to cell walls, being hung from walls or ceilings while handcuffed, lack of access to toilets, sleep, food and water-deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, sensory overload and deprivation while captive in the hands of U.S. military forces. One of the men, Hassan Bin Attash, is still detained at Guantánamo. He has been imprisoned there without charge for more than nine years.
Eisenbrandt says the legal basis for the indictment is exceptionally strong, and the case should have been tried under the Criminal Code of Canada. “A slap in the face to the four men who were brutally tortured by Mr. Bush’s government..” is how he describes the Attorney General’s underhanded scuttling of the case.
Shirley Bond is the Attorney General for the province of British Columbia. It was her office that intervened in the case and stayed the proceedings against Bush. Bond was named Attorney General on August 18, 2011. She serves as Attorney General on an interim basis. Bond’s assistant deputy attorney general,Robert W. G. Gillen, Q.C., has respsonded to this blogger’s enquiries regarding documentation and rationale behind her shutting down the case against Bush, but unsatisfactorily. Gillen’s letter is currently being reviewed and analyzed by a CCIJ lawyer. Click: link to the CCIJ critique.
◊This blogger is awaiting results of a Freedom of Information Request in search for possible dark politics at play protecting Bush from Justice in Canada.
While an attorney general of a Canadian province is not required to take instruction from the federal AG, Bond’s brief tenure in the position and the tenderfoot status of the provincial government of which she is a member causes speculation about what influence the federal Attorney General’s office might have played in her decision. Canada’s present Conservative federal government led by prime minister Stephen Harper is known to have had congenial relations with the Bush administration, even in times of Bush’s deepest unpopularity and impending political death.
Federal Attorney General, Robert Nicholson, has not responded to enquiries from this blogger regarding possible political interference and his stance on investigating and apprehending Bush based on the stayed charges.
It’s a deafening silence.
Katherine Gallagher, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights said, ” The Attorney General still has not given us any reasons in writing for staying the case, but the speed with which it was done shows the case was not treated seriously.“
Gallagher brings forward the ever-present legal jeopardy that haunts George W. Bush these days. His world is shrinking around him :
“Mr. Bush will need to be exceedingly careful about where he travels. He has caused harm to so many – including those who were tortured in U.S.-run detention facilities – and he remains vulnerable to prosecution in any of the other 145 countries that have signed the Convention Against Torture, as long as the United States continues to breach its own obligations under the Convention.”
There is something that could explain why Canadian authorities are happy to let Bush breeze through with no fuss, no muss, and certainly no criminal indictments accepted. Canada itself has been complicit in Bush’s war ziggurat, and paid a price. Canada, like many other countries, once cooperated with Bush in various ways and now finds itself in a squeeze equally along with Mr. Bush. In 2002 a Canadian court awarded Canadian citizen Maher Arar $10 million in damages for the suffering he endured when he was illegally handed over by Canada to U.S. security forces, who then imposed “renditioning” on him – being shipped off to a third party country for torture. In a U.S. ‘black’ detention centre in Syria, Arar was beaten with electrical cables and held in a grave-like cell for 10 months. Arar is active now in investigating the U.S. and Syrian personnel who perpetrated these crimes against him.
Perhaps because of the heat raised by one case like Arar’s, now Canadian authorities feel shy, and sly, about not bothering with Bush.
Let there be no mistake: the international hunt for Bush and his War On Terror cronies is real, widespread, and well-armed for Justice. More countries find themselves inexorably sucked into the Bush war crimes vortex. One big question to be settled is which countries ran secret, illegal prisons on their soil on behalf of Bush’s torture experts? Evidence girds the globe implicating Great Britain, Spain, Australia, Poland and Lithuania. Legal minds in those countries already are furiously cobbling together whatever legal defences they can muster against inevitable charges coming their way on this account.
Spanish prosecutors have already pressed criminal charges against six senior Bush administration officials who approved the harsh interrogation methods that detainees say were employed at U.S. military prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantánamo Bay and other sites.
Last November, Italian courts convicted a CIA chief and 22 other Americans – all CIA operatives – in the 2003 kidnapping of a Muslim cleric who ended up in a secret prison in Egypt. The Americans were tried in absentia and aren’t expected to serve jail time. Still…the noose tightens.
One puzzlement is that, while other countries prepare to face war crimes charges, the one obvious suspect is utterly blithe on the subject. One Miami Herald headline said:
Could America consider herself immune from prosecution? What is Liberty thinking?
“More and more in our times Canadians have wondered just what kind of continental neighbour America, is, exactly. Where will it all end?”
That’s what this blog is all about.