Andrew Sullivan / The Atlantic & Mayor Boris Johnson / The Telegraph – 2010-11-19 21:36:39
The Mayor Of London On George W. Bush, War Criminal
Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish / The Atlantic
(November 18, 2010) — Boris Johnson is a total Tory and an old friend from college days. In a piece in the conservative Daily Telegraph, he advises George W. Bush not to bring his book tour to Britain, because he could face arrest as a war criminal:
“Waterboarding” is a disgusting practice by which the victim is deliberately made to think that he is drowning. It is not some cunning new psych-ops technique conceived by the CIA. It has been used in the dungeons of dictators for centuries. It is not compatible either with the US constitution or the UN convention against torture. It is deemed to be torture in this country, and above all there is no evidence whatever that it has ever succeeded in doing what Mr Bush claimed. It does not work.
How could America complain to the Burmese generals about the house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, when a president authorised torture? How can we talk about human rights in Beijing, when our number one ally and friend seems to be defending this kind of behaviour? I can’t think of any other American president, in my lifetime, who would have spoken in this way.
Mr Bush should have remembered the words of the great Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, who said in 1863 that “military necessity does not admit of cruelty.” Damn right.
It’s good to be reminded of real conservative values, which include abhorrence of torture and a dedication to the rule of law. By those standards, George W. Bush is not now a conservative, merely a thug, twisting the law to engage in something utterly alien to Anglo-American ideals. And a smug thug at that.
Watching his interview on Hannity — yes, I managed to get through most of it — I was reminded of this man’s utter shallowness and moral unseriousness. Glib doesn’t begin to describe his solipsistic denial of his own barbarism.
George W. Bush Can’t Fight for Freedom and Authorise Torture
Boris Johnson / The Telegraph
LONDON (November 19, 2010) — It is not yet clear whether George W Bush is planning to cross the Atlantic to flog us his memoirs, but if I were his PR people, I would urge caution.
As book tours go, this one would be an absolute corker. It is not just that every European capital would be brought to a standstill, as book-signings turned into anti-war riots. The real trouble — from the Bush point of view — is that he might never see Texas again.
One moment he might be holding forth to a great perspiring tent at Hay-on-Wye. The next moment, click, some embarrassed member of the Welsh constabulary could walk on stage, place some handcuffs on the former leader of the Free World, and take him away to be charged.
Of course, we are told this scenario is unlikely. Dubya is the former leader of a friendly power, with whom this country is determined to have good relations. But that is what torture-authorising Augusto Pinochet thought. And unlike Pinochet, Mr Bush is making no bones about what he has done.
Unless the 43rd president of the United States has been grievously misrepresented, he has admitted to authorising and sponsoring the use of torture.
Asked whether he approved of “waterboarding” in three specific cases, he told his interviewer that “damn right” he did, and that this practice had saved lives in America and Britain. It is hard to overstate the enormity of this admission.
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