Thursday, May 29, 2008

The future of the Bush Administration

Last night, members of the Bush Administration got a glimpse of their future: at the Hay festival in the UK, several people (including George Monbiot) attempted to make a citizens arrest of former Bush official John Bolton for war crimes:

As Bolton, a former US ambassador to the UN, ended his hour-long discussion at the Hay festival, Monbiot, who had earlier challenged him for alleged breaches of the post-war Nuremburg Principles, moved towards the stage waving a charge sheet.

But security staff, alerted by pre-publicity, intervened and bundled Monbiot out of the tent as 20 supporters chanted "war criminal" and waved placards. The comedian, Marcus Brigstocke, who tried to pursue Bolton as he left the other side of the tent, was also blocked by security staff.

This is going to happen practically everywhere they go from now on. Universal jurisdiction is a well-established legal principle for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and plenty of countries (including New Zealand) have applicable laws. And while today it is activists seeking publicity, one day it will be real police, with a real warrant from a Spanish or Italian judge. Just like Pinochet.

The upshot is that Bolton and his fellow conspirators would be wise to never set foot outside the USA again. Otherwise, they're going to end up in jail.