Lawyer wants Cheney arrested upon entering Canada

Argues Canada is obliged to arrest former U.S. vice-president for war crimes


A Vancouver lawyer wants former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney to be arrested and prosecuted for war crimes when he visits the city later this month to promote his new memoir, In My Time. Gail Davidson, the co-founder of an organization called Lawyers Against the War, wants Canada to either bar Cheney’s entry into the country or prosecute him for war crimes. “It’s a bit chilling that they would invite a mass murderer as their guest to Canada,” Davidson said to Vancouver’s Georgia Straight, criticizing the Bon Mot Book Club that will host Cheney. Davidson is writing letters to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and several prominent cabinet ministers, urging them to bar Cheney from entering the country, or charging him with crimes under international law. Cheney, along with former U.S. President George W. Bush, oversaw the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and reportedly authorized the torture of suspected terrorists. According to Davidson, Canada is obliged as a signatory of UN covenants against the use of torture to arrest and prosecute both men when they enter the country.

Georgia Straight



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Lawyer wants Cheney arrested upon entering Canada

  1. I like it! But the reality is, it will never happen. Our government doesn’t have the moral backbone to try it (and from a purely pragmatic view, the political and economic costs would be way too high).

  2. Gail Davidson hasn’t been keeping up with the news. Here in Canada, we don’t actually do anything about war criminals except deport them.

    • Her first option appears to be to “bar him” from the country.  I guess if that does not happen, you will be at the protests when he speaks in Calgary, Thwim?

      • I’d consider it, but to be honest, this ain’t the 60s any more and protests simply aren’t an effective means of providing messaging to government. Especially conservative government, which tends to view all collective action as “hippy crap” to be summarily ignored.

        However, I may consider maxing out my political donations to the NDP, Liberals, and Greens, and then sending copies of the cashed cheques over to Obhrai with an explanation as to why.

        • Besides, if recent events are a guide, I don’t feel like getting beaten by police and banned from communicating in public or the media.  I like the donation cheque strategy.  Just make sure to white out the account & transit numbers, or they might make themselves a donation.

          • Actually none of that happened at the protest against George Bush in Calgary or the one against Ann Coulter.  I am thinking I might attend the protest against Dick Cheney.  If there ever was a person to protest, he is it.

        • I think I might attend.  Dislike of Dick Cheney is a non-partisan issue in Canada as far as I’m concerned.

  3. Poor little girl, wait ’til she hears that George W. Bush (pbuh) has come across the border many times, and been warmly received every time.

    Where was princess when all those G20 leaders were in Toronto? Or was she of the belief none of them played any part in any military actions lately?

    • But George W. Bush is as stupid as we thought he was.  Cheney knew what he was doing, and he was the doer.  George just took his word for it that all was as it should be.  Which still makes George an accessory, but Cheney is the war criminal kingpin.

  4. With all due respect, Ms Davidson is a pinhead. Mr Cheney and Mr Bush kept our country safe after the 9/11 attacks that killed over 3000 innocent people. I would offer that if 4 planes piloted by terrorists were to fly into buildings or central downtown areas of Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal and extract similar physical and phsycological damage to your country, most Canadians would welcome these two men as leaders to protect them from further terror. Count me as one American who wishes that Dick Cheney was 20 years younger so he would be able to run for President. The mood of the people in this country suggests that he could win in a landslide if he would be put up against the current occupant of the White House.

    • So basically TL:DR: The ends justify the means. There is nothing that an executive can’t do under the pretense of keeping a country safe. Mass warcrimes including many instances of torture are fine as long as an American doesn’t get hurt.

      Fair enough. You believe in pure power politics. That a country does not have to respect any law when attacked by those who also don’t respect law.  The 9/11 attacks were heinous and criminal from the stance of international law.
      But so are torture, extra-judicial killing, indefinite detention and wars of aggression.

      If we want to be a country that believes in things as basic as the Geneva convention and the rule of law, something that we gave the Nazi’s in Nuremberg for far graver crimes by any metric, Dick Cheney needs to be prosecuted. He should also be thankful that most western countries don’t have the death penalty.

    • Uh, yes, you are an American.  Can you explain to me why your Secretary of Homeland Security still insists some of the 9/11 terrorists came into to the US through Canada?
      Also, I just wanted to comment that had Bush and Cheney not been so busy “playing politics” and refusing to listen to the Clinton people, the 9/11 terrorism attack might have been avoided.
      Good for you that you would welcome a president that shoots his own friend when they are out hunting –  he really has proven time and again that he is a discriminating man when his finger is on the trigger.

  5. Seriously though it is totally without question that he broke international law in the gravest of manner. He tortured, in some cases tortured to death; many, many prisoners.

    This is undeniably illegal and if there were videos of our boys getting tortured in Afghanistan you know for certain we would demand justice.

    By permitting Cheney into the country we are implicitly saying that it is OK if our friends do it or OK if we think it may make us a little bit safer. That is the nation we have become.

  6. I too must say I am very supportive of this proposed action. Sadly however as noted, the conservatives are about the only government that would never seriously consider it.
    I wonder what happened to the law disallowing criminals to profit from their crimes in Canada, will Cheney be allowed to profit from his book and his tour? He publicly stated he approved of and supported torture, that being a war crime does make him a criminal doesn’t it? 

  7. Somehow the use of waterboarding and isolated cases of military mischief have bubbled up and made Dick Cheney a war criminal.  Barack Obama’s use of the CIA in a covert war to kill hundreds of terrorists somehow is considered different. And somehow it is okay for these haters to endorse fighting a war in Libya versus Iraq (and yes, you can use the whole WMD issue, but the Iraqi people wanted Sadaam out, did they not?  My point is, of course, is that the left outside the U.S. hates Cheney, but Obama gets a free pass.  Can anyone explain the difference between Obama and Cheney?  Someone has to be the global policeman here; is Canada going to assume that role?  How about the UN?

    • Well first up scottzee, it is Cheney entering Canada not Obama and that is the topic of this thread. But you are right, many American presidents have supported loss of civilian life in the middle east that far outweighs the loss of civilian life during 9/11 ( but that’s OK, right? ).

      But since you brought it up, yes the Iraqi people did want Sadam out, in fact they never did want him ‘in’ in the first place. Remember the ayatollah? It was the good old USA that toppled him and hand picked Sadam as his successor…. God Bless America…ya…

      • Um, cleargreen–just to clarify–I do remember well the hostage crisis- the Ayatollah Khomeini was in Iran, Sadam was in Iraq–so different country.   The US was opposed to the Ayatollah, but toppling his regime never happened, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s power, as well as Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, are a direct result of that.  (I’ll take anyone on regarding the Shah.)  Bottom line:  people hate Cheney because he’s from the right, so people feel some sort of moral higher purpose in going after him, but those people wouldn’t come near Obama.  And Guantanamo Bay?  It’s still open…why?  Go figure it out.

  8. If the Canadians laid a glove on the man . . . they could expect strong men armed.;. very, very quickly.

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