Reuters reports that Amnesty International has called for the arrest of George W. Bush during his visit to Africa later this month. The international civil rights group is claiming that the former President is guilty of human rights abuses for his authorization of the use of waterboarding and other torture techniques in his “War on Terror.”
“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 impunityGeorge W. Bush has so far enjoyed,” Matt Pollard, senior legal adviser, said in a statement.
Fox News and Republicans are critical.
“They’ve been trying to get any country where President Bush and Vice President Cheney visit to harass them wherever they go,” former (Bush administration) Justice Department attorney John Yoo said of Amnesty’s actions.
“It could be taken as a call for violence against the president,” said Brad Blakeman, a former Bush adviser who accompanied the former president to Africa in 2003.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, also took Amnesty to task for its latest statement. “If Amnesty International had any intellectual honesty, it would give President Bush a medal to honor him for liberating so many oppressed Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan and for assisting millions of AIDS victims in Africa,” King said in a statement.
Bush will be in Africa to promote world AIDS and cancer awareness. Both Bush and his former Vice President, Dick Cheney, have been in staunch defense of their torture policies, but neither they nor their spokespeople have commented on Amnesty International’s request.