By the Book: Bush's Memoirs and the Rule of Law
11 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2010
Date Written: November 22, 2010
The publication of President Bush’s memoirs has put the American government in a sensitive legal position. By admitting that he personally approved waterboarding, Mr. Bush may have made a formal declaration of state-sponsored torture. This has significant consequences for him and for the United States: for the U.S. it activates elements of the Convention Against Torture which require an investigation, and for Mr. Bush it opens the possibility of personal criminal liability under the U.S. Criminal Code on torture and similar laws in other countries. This paper examines the legal liability that follows from his admission, and compares several recent cases of heads of state who found themselves in similar situations.
Keywords: torture, Convention Against Torture, George W. Bush, Decision Points, international law
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