George W. Bush is hitting the road, traveling overseas to Africa in an effort to promote health initiatives com batting cancer and AIDS. But while he’s there, human rights group Amnesty International has a suggestion for several government representatives. “Say… this might be a good time to lock that guy up.”
The Bush team isn’t pleased.
Former members of the George W. Bush administration assailed Amnesty International Thursday for demanding the former president’s arrest while he and his family are in Africa, calling Amnesty’s campaign at best a form of “harassment” and at worst a threat.
The world’s largest human rights group said Thursday “there is enough evidence in the public domain” to justify Ethiopia, Tanzania or Zambia arresting the former president during his visit to the region on charges of committing “crimes under international law.” The president is traveling in the three nations between Thursday and Monday to promote AIDS and cancer awareness.
“They’ve been trying to get any country where President Bush and Vice President Cheney visit to harass them wherever they go,” former Justice Department attorney John Yoo said of Amnesty’s actions.
The group continues to pursue claims that Bush’s administration engaged in torture while prosecuting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They’ve found no opportunity to address the situation at home, where new administrations – even those of the opposite party – are loathe to go after past presidents, and GWB’s popularity has actually been making something of a comeback. So apparently they saw their only chance in getting the governments of one of the African nations Bush visits to do the deed for them.
Needless to say, their calls appear to have fallen on deaf ears.
It’s probably a rough time to attempt it anyway, if only in terms of public relations messaging. The younger Bush isn’t over there to invade any countries or lock anyone up. It’s probably tough to stir up resentment against someone working to fight cancer, after all.