Jimmy Carter has been over here in UK recently and on Sunday 25 May was interviewed by Phillippe Sands at The Guardian Hay Festival, with the main
theme being Carter's work in international conflict resolution.
The live Carter interview in the big tent had a rather steep admission price of GBP50 (about US$100) but as expected, sold out in hours.
The Hay Festival site is here, updated today with a short report on the Carter interview the number one item in the ranking:
Carter was questioned by Sands about Bush's recent admission that he had authorized 'interrogation procedures' amounting to torture. Carter
acknowledged that in his opinion, that is exactly what the current President had done.
The conversation then turned to possible consequences for GWB in the future, both inside the USA and internationally. Carter cited the case of
Pinochet, who was arrested in the UK and threatened with extradition to Spain under the principle of 'Universal Jurisdiction.' Pinochet escaped
extradition to Spain on legalistic grounds to do with health and fitness to stand trial, but on return to Chile was in fact put on trial though died
prior to the trial's conclusion. You can read the history of this case here:
Carter then expressed a heartfelt hope, rather than an expectation, that the next President in 2009 - whosoever that might be - would make a public
declaration to the American people and the world that no future President would ever authorize the torture of its own or other nations' citizens as
GWB has done.
When questioned about possible future legal consequences for GWB when out of office and no longer enjoying the immunity from prosecution which comes
with presidential incumbency, Carter rather diplomatically replied he was sure GWB would be able to live a peaceful, 'productive life - in our
country' after he leaves the White House, without risk of prosecution. I suppose to say something like 'No, the b**tard should be put on trial'
might have been judged a tad too controversial and would certainly have made international MSM headline news rather than a thread on ATS.
But Carter citing the Pinochet example was interesting and revealing. Sands said he had "understood that to be 'clear confirmation' that, while
Bush would face no challenge in his own country, 'what happened outside the country was another matter entirely.'"
You can see a 7-minute clip from the interview posted by here:
but you'll have to pay a couple of bucks to view it (no, I don't work for the festival organization and have nothing to do with it). Unfortunately
the interview is their property and this is the only way at the moment you can see it. However we have the youtube trailer (above) which is a pretty
good indicator of the tone of what was said.
So, there we have it. Will GWB ever be able to travel outside the USA once his period in office ends? Or by so doing, will he end up arrested and
arraigned in The International Criminal Court, or some other court somewhere in the world, on trial for authorizing torture?
Ex-President Carter apparently thinks this scenario is likely.
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