Jan. 21, 2009 .Do you advise former president Bush to limit his foreign travel?

“Once he he leaves office, it’s difficult to think of any country Bush will be able to set foot on the tarmac (apart from Saudi Arabia, or Kuwait) where a posse won’t be waiting to haul him in for crimes against humanity. As president, his security apparatus can depopulate the streets of London or the Irish countryside to keep protesters unseen and unheard; as ex-president, his imperial desires will be less indulged, his protective bubble considerably shrunken.”

The always pithy James Wolcott raises the prospect that retribution for his war crimes may await G-dub,( a la General Pinochet), courtesy of the *grab’em where you can and try’em here jurisdiction enshrined in the European Union’s Charter of Human Rights.

Speaking as his attorney, do you warn former president Bush of potential war crimes exposure from his 8 years in office.?

Does **Balthazar Garzon have a growing dossier filed under Bush? Besides the easy conviction (waging an illegal war of aggression) we have variety of well documented Geneva Convention violations, the illegal establishment of the Transitional Government in Iraq, and several murders committed with sanction from the highest level of US Government.

It is widely recognized that Henry Kissinger avoids certain jurisdictions, out of a prudent concern for his personal freedom.

What would your advice be to ex Pres. Bush, in the ***unlikely event he wanted to nip over to Pamplona for the running of the bulls?

Should he be apprehensive about apprehension? If Kissinger is fair game, why not Bush?

One was consigliere to a war criminal, the latter caporegime for a criminal enterprise. (Let’s be fair, the Godfather is Cheney…)

My advice, speaking as his attorney, would be to stay home and watch the action on TV. Is this merely lawyerly hyper-sensitivity, or sound legal advice?



***given his proud 40 years without a passport

I would advise him to travel as he damn well pleases. No sitting US president would allow any former government official, especially an ex-president, to be arrested on foreign soil for war crimes (unless he had an indictment in the US for such crimes).

It would be prudent for him to limit foreign travel once out of office due to the threat of violence from terrorists.

He never left the country before running for President, what makes you think he’ll be interested in travel after he leaves office?

that was the thrust of footnote ***–on the other hand, perhaps his horizons have been broadened by 8 years of pretending to deal with international affairs…Also, many frat boys are drawn by the running of the bulls, with little real interest in the local culture, etc. " it’s a big ol’ party…"

Maybe he’ll want to recapture his lost youth (somewhere in there is the Deke who danced naked on the bar at Yale --oh, cool George, we miss you so…if only you hadn’t sworn off the booze and coke…)

What super power would he use to prevent it?

If I were advising Bush, I’d tell him he simply must go see the World Court in the Hague for all the fabulous, uh, frescoes. Yeah … frescoes.

President Dean?

let’s game this out. presumable his secret service detail would attempt to protect their charge, but they will be, after all, outnumbered outgunned, and out of luck.

So now he’s in custody.

You, President Mace, do what?

btw, it is worth noting that Kissinger, apparently, is insufficiently confident of the good auspices of the present administration to risk travel to those hostile jurisdictions…

.Not to hijack my own thread, but since we are grieving the loss of cool George, perhaps when Bricker’s intervention has been successfully concluded, we can hope to bring Bush back to the expanded consciousness that energized his first 40 years, before that damned librarian worked her evil wiles upon him…

Why would these hypothetical posses wait until Bush is out of office? He still gets secret service protection afterwards, and it’s not like the US is going to just “let it slide” just because he’s no longer in the White House.

As wolcott pointed out, a sitting president has protection that far exceeds anything that carries over. For one thing, on Jan 19 2009 he is c in c of the worlds baddest bad ass army. On January 21 he is just another american citizen, albeit one with a security detail, but no army, no navy, no air force.

reference my question to President Mace. Suppose he guesses wrong, and you, pres. revtime, get that phone call at 3am that says,. hey, I’m in jail, What can you do for me? (and don’t look for a bail bondsman, cause this is a “no bail hold”)

I think that grabbing a sitting ruler would have much nastier diplomatic repercussions than one whose out of office.

Also, if, say, France were to grab him, what would we do ? Invade a nuclear armed country ?

The Yew-nited States Armed Forces, Captor.

Face it, someone tried to haul off one of ours, we’d haul off several of theirs. Why? Because we can. I don’t think any EU country is stupid enough to get quite that much bad PR.

(Moral issues aside)

I must confess to some consternation that all present seem to accept as a “given” that there are powers in Europe who would be likely to actualize the major premise (Bush gets snatched), and the quibbles seem to center on the subsequent consequences for the said jurisdiction, rather than the sheer height of the threshold we are lightly skipping over on the way to what, a cassus belli?

You think President Dean is declaring war on anyone to haul G-dub’s scrawny ass out of a jam.

To paraphrase another commentator, “it’s hard out here for a Pimp…”

While Pinochet provides an interesting similar precedent, there is one significant distinguishing difference: Pinochet was a usurper. He took power from a legally elected president. This probably affects the attitudes of a number of countries regarding their willingness to support Spain or Britain in the Pinochet affair. However, one regards President Bush’s actions in office, (and even playing to the “5 to 4 election” theme), Bush was regarded as the duly elected leader of this country, even by his opponent in 2000.

I do not know whether this really affects the possible choices by foreign nations, but it certainly means that there is not a direct parallel to Pinochet.

Now, if, in 2013–not 2009–the newly elected president of the U.S. decided to pull a Milosovic on Bush, that might be a whole different situation. (I pick 2013 only to set enough time to have elapsed for some further outrages to have been uncovered that would damage Mr. Bush in the estimation of the general populace of the U.S. Regardless what Messers Gallup and Harris tell us about his popularity each morning, a deliberate assault in Mr. Bush’s person in the next few years would directly switch the opinions of millions of U.S. citizens.)

Right on. As another Good Ole Boy golfer Sam Snead said, “When you get out of the USA you’re jes campin’ out thass all, jes campin’ out.”

If you do not even believe the possibility of your own OP, why did you post it?