Amnesty International has called for the arrest of George W. Bush when the former U.S. President visits Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia later this month. The not-for-profit organization believes Bush should be arrested and detained for human rights abuse.
Throughout his eight years as President, Bush authorized the use of waterboarding – which simulates the sensation of drowning – and other interrogation techniques that many human rights groups regard as torture. Matt Pollard, senior legal adviser to Amnesty, said:
“International law requires that there be no safe haven for those responsible for torture; Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia must seize this opportunity to fulfill their obligations and end the impunity George W. Bush has so far enjoyed.”
Bush, who visits the east African nations this week to raise awareness about cancer in Africa, has previously defended the use of waterboarding, saying it is key to avoid a repeat of the September 11 attacks on the United States.
A Bush arrest seems unlikely, however. For the past two years, former British prime minister Tony Blair has avoided arrests by citizens, despite campaigns such as this. The likes of Blair and Bush often travel with a large security escort (many attempted Blair arrests have been brushed off by these bodyguards), and the men are widely seen as untouchable.
The waterboarding debate was recently reignited in the GOP presidential debates, leading politicians across the spectrum (from McCain to Obama) to reinforce their opposition to the practice. Those who disagree waterboarding is torture are welcome to try it for themselves, as one pro-waterboarding radio jock did.