It takes a lot to piss off Canadians…especially Canadians who are still IN Canada. Sure, we’ve got our fair share of Ted Cruzs and Alanis Morissettes in the states, but they had to cross the border to even cop an attitude. So, what does it take to get arrested for war crimes in Canada? Well, you could start by being Dick Cheney.
Back in June of 2000, the Canadian government passed what is known as the “Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act,” which implemented Canada’s obligations under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The ICC is the governing body responsible for prosecuting those involved in genocide, crimes against humanity, acts of aggression and war crimes, and currently more than 122 different countries are part of the agreement. These include almost all of Europe, south Africa and now Canada…but not the United States.
There has been a growing movement in Canada over the last several years to indict Dick Cheney for war crimes under the Rome statute, centering around his involvement of the capture and Guantanamo imprisonment (without conviction) of Canadian citizen Omar Khadir. Khadir, 15 years old at the time of his capture in Afghanistan, was held not necessarily for anything he had done, but because his father was a known terrorist.
Canadian officials determined after his extradition that he had little to no knowledge of his father’s activities. Khadir is, to date, the person ever prosecuted for war crimes committed while still a minor.
Back in 2012, Cheney cancelled a trip to Canada citing “security concerns” over the growing movement to have him imprisoned for the torture he admitted to commissioning in his memoirs. According to those in the movement, by ICC standards, Cheney is every bit as indictable as a war criminal as any Middle Eastern despot. At the time, it was just a movement…as discussed in this video contemporary to the event:
Now, it seems, what was once only the movement of a “political fringe” in Canada has gotten the attention of those with some clout, and Dick Cheney is on the verge of officially becoming a wanted war criminal in the Great White North.
An international volunteer organization known as “Lawyers Against the War” have issued a very convincing letter to the Toronto Chief of police, officially calling Cheney out for his crimes under the Rome Statute War Crimes Act, and demanding that he be arrested during at his scheduled speaking event in Toronto on October 31st.
The letter states in part that:
[box type=”shadow”]Once Richard (Dick) Cheney enters Canada:
- All of the torture alleged against and admitted by Dick Cheney, is deemed to have taken place in Canada, pursuant to (s. 7(3.7) of the Criminal Code of Canada (CC);
- criminal proceedings can be commenced against him in Toronto Ontario BC (CC, s. 7(5);
- Canada must ensure that Dick Cheney is either investigated and prosecuted for the indictable offence of torture in Canada or extradited to another country willing and able to do so (Convention against Torture, Art. 7); Toronto Police Service (TPS) officers are duty bound to arrest and detain Dick Cheney for investigation on suspicion of torture as part of Canada’s mandatory legal obligation to prevent and punish torture globally;
- TPS officers are duty bound to arrest Dick Cheney to ensure the proper conduct of his investigation and prosecution for torture in Canada or his extradition to a country willing and able to prosecute;
- TPS officers are duty bound to arrest Dick Cheney to prevent him from escaping to the United States or some other jurisdiction where he will have ‘safe haven’ from prosecution for torture;
- the arrest of Dick Cheney can be carried out without warrant in advance of the commencement of criminal proceedings in Canada.
As you are aware, the common law duty of police officers including TPS officers to investigate and prevent crimes such as torture, have been enacted by statute. TPS officers also have a mandatory duty to prevent offences against the administration of justice such as enabling a torture suspect (in this case a person who has admitted to authorizing and failing to prevent torture) to escape prosecution.[/box][divider]
The fact is that whether he’s found guilty or not, the Canadian authorities absolutely have the right to detain and extradite anyone even suspected of war crimes under the ICC standards. That means no trial, no diplomatic immunity…nothing.
Sucks, doesn’t it, Dick?
Make no mistake — this is a big deal. If Canada makes it official that Dick Cheney is wanted for war crimes under the ICC, then the ruling will naturally flow up the chain, through the ICC and to all of its member nations. That’s over 100 nations, including most of Europe, where Dick Cheney will be hunted down harder than Edward Snowden. And once they catch him, he can be sent anywhere they please, and held for as long as it takes to convict him — and there’s nothing his home nation can do about it.
To quote a certain great Canadian:
“Isn’t it ironic?