Canada Breaks Law by Hosting War Criminal
By Jacqueline Ding, Grade 10
John McNamer, a member of Lawyers Against the War (LAW) from Kamloops, wrote a strongly opinionated article criticizing the Canadian government for their lack of action against former U.S. president George W. Bush. Permitting Bush to cross the Canadian border to take part in a paid speaking event angered many human rights advocates. They called upon the fulfillment of international law, which obliges Canada to detain and investigate Bush for war crimes and torture, yet nothing was done to prevent him from setting foot on Canadian soil. A similar incident had already occurred in 2009; and now, in 2011, history repeated itself as the ‘law’ once again tolerated Bush’s entry into Canada. He was invited by Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and the B.C. Business Council to attend the 2011 Surrey Regional Economic Summit.
Amnesty International was fully supported by the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group in demanding the arrest of Bush for his role in torture and a number of “enhanced interrogation techniques” against detainees held in the CIA’s secret detention program and in Guantanamo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. According to the CIA Inspector General, CIA interrogators used waterboarding (near-drowning torture technique) 266 times on Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged planners of the 9/11 attacks.
As previously mentioned, George W. Bush’s visit to Canada earlier this year was not the first time; there had also been times in the past when laws were overlooked to accommodate Bush’s needs. Canada is being unjust. There is a reason that Lady Justice wears a blindfold; justice is supposed to ensure that everyone is treated equally regardless of race, sex, religion, age, or status. “Bringing to justice the people responsible for torture is central to that goal. It is the law…” No one, not even the man who once served as president of the world’s most powerful nation for eight years, should be allowed to stand above the law.