Bush trip to Switzerland canceled amid threatened legal action
February 6th, 2011
04:18 PM ET
12 years ago

Bush trip to Switzerland canceled amid threatened legal action

(CNN) - Former President George W. Bush's trip to Switzerland was canceled after human rights activists threatened legal action over allegations the former president approved the torture of terrorism suspects.

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights said it is prepared to file a complaint against Bush with the support of 50 NGOs, according to a statement from the group. CCR said Bush's presence on Swiss territory is required for a prosecutor to take action.

Bush was scheduled to speak in Geneva on February 12th at a dinner to honor the United Israel Appeal. CCR said the trip was canceled to "avoid our case."

David Sherzer, a spokesman for the former president, said the event was "called off" by the organizer.

"We regret that the speech has been canceled," Sherzer said in a statement. "President Bush was looking forward to speaking about freedom and offering reflections from his time in office."

The complaint will now be released at a press conference Monday on "the anniversary of the day, nine years ago, when Bush decided the Geneva Conventions didn't apply to 'enemy combatants,'" CCR said.

- CNN's Kevin Bohn and Becky Brittain contributed to this report

Filed under: George W. Bush
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Michael Patrick

    don't you love it.....theses are the clowns that stole jewish assets during and after ww2...........have given safe harbor to roman polanski.......the famous pedophile and rapist..........have built a national industry which hides money gained as a result of criminal activity...........

    and now they are taking the moral high ground..........

    February 6, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. B

    Isn’t that incredible that Bush was to give a speech about Freedom ! There is nothing more outrageous than to hear that after the world has witnessed Bush’s total disregard for International Law and basic Human rights. I only wish that he had gone and the Europeans could have arrested him awaiting trials for Crimes against Humanity and throw him behind bars.

    February 6, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Big Al

    A fugitive from Swiss law?

    February 6, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. Tired of the nonsense

    What I don't understand is how Bush hasn't already been arrested and tried by American justice since he broke American law again and again and again.

    February 6, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. vic nashville tn

    I didn’t support G.W.Bush but he was our president its sad.
    He was surrounded by Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and Donald Rumsfeld they gave him bad advice these are the people should behind bar

    February 6, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. duke

    So anyone have any doubts on why people from the Bush administration don't travel overseas

    February 6, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. Tracy

    The world isn't crazy. Everybody knows what Bush did. And everybody knows that Sarah Palin is an idiot.

    February 6, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. D. Bunker

    Bush and Cheney and others in the Bush administration should have tried for war crimes years ago. What's taking so long?

    February 6, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  9. Former Republican - Now Independent

    It's all BS.

    If that group really wanted to nail Bush and have him arrested, they would not have announced to the world, beforehand, that they were going to file the complaint. They should have done it quietly and then let the Swiss Police duke it out with Bush's Secret Service detail.

    Of course that would have put the Superbowl on page 2.

    February 6, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. Lilydaisy

    I have Swiss ancestors, but I have to agree with Michael Patrick on this one. Having said that, it's interesting that there is still someone who isn't letting the former President off the hook, and after all Switzerland is a pretty liberal country.

    February 6, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. claudeinalbany

    How very embarassing for our country that we harbor criminals such as Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice and Cheney. I always thought it would be very difficult for Bush to travel anywhere overseas as he could/should be tried or arrested for human rights violations related to Guantanamo and our illegal invasion of Iraq.

    Let's hope he is content to, so to speak, be under house arrest at his home in Dallas, walk his dog in his neighborhood, count his millions from his book sales, and work on his abuilding presidential library. Well, there are still a lot of people out there who adore him and would welcome a visit.

    I've not read much, by the way, about visits to his faux ranch in Crawford...does he still own this property he so brillantly used to illustrate he was a real cowboy?

    February 6, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. Rob M

    Good! Lets keep the cockroach war criminal Bush from having any safe havens. Hopefully more countries take the same stance on war-crimes.

    February 6, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  13. scieng1

    And this from the country that supplied cascading centrifuge technology and products to India, Pakistan, and Iran. A strange set of priorities.

    February 6, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. AMERICA 1st

    The Honerable George W. Bush has done nothing wrong. he was a great president. i wish he could have served a third term. the USA wouldnt be in the mess its in now!

    February 6, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  15. Henry

    Human rights or criminal leaning, bias groups? What Bush did was to protect these crows so that they are now enjoying the freedom to quack. Forget about those so called muslim extremists, these same group of liberals would have their heads rolling on the ground at no time if they ever dare to do or make the same quack in countries rules by sharia law. I dare them...traitors and appeasers. Shame shame shame.

    February 6, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  16. Aaron

    That's it. Box the creepy criminal in so that the U.S. is stuck with him permanently...not so lucky us.

    February 6, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  17. annie s

    Bravo to the Center for Constitutional Rights. Mr. Bush invaded a sovereign nation without cause and personally approved torture. In my opinion, he is guilty of crimes against Humanity and should have been charged and brought to trial.

    February 6, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  18. Ken in NC

    Bush on the LAM from Swiss Authorities. If dat don't beat all.

    February 6, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  19. felton

    I guess Bush is stuck on the only Island on earth that have all his buddies who won’t prosecute his butt, which is the U.S.. Switz has its history, the U.S. has its history, neither of which is clean, but, here in today’s world, where information is sent on the other side of the earth in a matter of seconds, all illegal acts, all lies by the world’s leaders won’t be hidden within the confines of its own country.
    Your home land may allow your illegal acts to go unpunished, but, the world won’t.
    Finally, some country has taken action against the Bush Regime.

    February 6, 2011 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  20. Chispter

    I'm still trying to understand why Bush/Cheney haven't been criminally charged for the many constitutional violations they committed. I hear Republicans whining about Obama "taking away our freedom" and I just wonder what freedom they feel they have lost that wasn't trampled to dust by the Bush Administration. 9/11 was used as an excuse to strip the Constitution bare of rights to due process, equal treatment, and requirements for judicial review prior to wiretapping or searching/seizing records of American citizens! The abuse of power by the Bush Administration revealed just how quickly our people will surrender their rights. All it took was raising threat levels to Orange to control them with fear. Now, they pretend to care about the Constitution! Now, they believe every outrageous claim by the cable TV talking heads who are laughing all the way to the bank!

    February 6, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  21. ahetch

    It's about time that some people take bush to task. I hope that he's embarrassed but I don't think that it will bother him at all. He's oblivious to anything he doesn't say or believe in.

    February 6, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  22. The Moodster

    Michael Patrick- theses are[ NOT] the clowns that stole jewish assets during and after ww2. The assets of legitimate depositors were all returned to their estates. Those that could not prove they had ancestral rights to stashed money in CH got nothing. You need to keep your receipt.
    Bush AND Cheney AND Rumsfeld all ought to be brought before an International tribunal at The Haig. They are war criminals and arrogant ones at that.

    February 6, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  23. lgny

    I'm not a Bush supporter but the notion of arresting him is over the top.

    February 6, 2011 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  24. nate nate

    I think its wonderful that Bush will basically be foreced to stay in the USA to avoid international prosecution. On a bad note, were stuck with Bush in our country!

    February 6, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |