Meet George Monbiot.
Considering he announced it to Bolton and the host of the event far in advance, this guy obviously knew nothing would come of it. Still, I admire him for confronting the beast. John Bolton, to me, is like the Heydrich
of the Bush League... Similarly ruthless and void of compassion, entirely. Plus, he just looks like the kind of guy who needs a humbling experience. Beeker.
Alleging War Crimes, British Activist, Writer George Monbiot Attempts Citizen’s Arrest on Former UN Ambassador John Bolton
John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, escaped a citizen’s arrest Wednesday night as he addressed an audience in Britain. We speak to George Monbiot, the British activist and columnist who tried to arrest Bolton. Monbiot says Bolton is a war criminal for his role in helping to initiate the US invasion of Iraq. ...
of interview with democracynow
John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, escaped a citizen’s arrest Wednesday night as he addressed an audience gathered at the Hay Festival in Wales. Security guards blocked the path of columnist and activist George Monbiot, who tried to make the arrest as Bolton left the stage. Monbiot planned the action, because he says Bolton is a war criminal for his role in helping to initiate the invasion of Iraq in 2003 while he served as US undersecretary of state for arms control. George Monbiot joins us now on the phone from England. He is a widely read columnist for the Guardian of London and the author of numerous books. His latest is Bring On the Apocalypse: Collected Writing. Actually, he joins us now from Wales.
Welcome to Democracy Now!, George Monbiot.
Thanks very much, Amy. Thank you.
Tell us exactly what happened.
Well, I made my intention clear to perform a citizen’s arrest of John Bolton. I wrote a charge sheet detailing exactly the role that he had played in launching a war of aggression in violation of international treaties, which is a clear violation of the Nuremberg Principles. And I took a dossier of evidence down to the local police station. I asked them to act on it. But when they failed to arrest Mr. Bolton, I tried to arrest him myself, and I tried to get up onto the stage as he was leaving it. And I called out, “John Robert Bolton, I am arresting you for the charge of aggression, the crime of aggression, as defined by the Nuremberg Principles.” But I was caught by two very large security guards and pulled out of the venue very quickly.
How does a citizen’s arrest work?
Well, under an act of Parliament here, the Serious Organised [Crime and Police] Act, a citizen has the right to arrest anyone that they suspect to be guilty of a crime who would otherwise get away from the scene or escape without being arrested, and to hand that person over to the police. Now, there is a proviso which says that if—you can only act in this way if the police are unable to act to arrest this person. In this particular case, the police were able to act and had chosen not to do so. So, had I succeeded in arresting Mr. Bolton, I would have put myself on the wrong side of the law.
John Bolton has also been criticized for calling for US strikes on Iran. Earlier this month, the New York Times published an article, based solely on unnamed sources, suggesting the Lebanese group Hezbollah is training Iraqi militants inside Iran. Hours after the article was published, this is what John Bolton had to say on Fox News.
Your response, George Monbiot?
Yes. Well, John Bolton has the position that any and every country of which he disapproves should be attacked, and then we work out the justification for that attack later. He was one of the signatories of the letter sent by the Project for a New American Century to Bill Clinton in 1998, saying that we should attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein. And he had one justification then, he had a different justification in 2003, he has a different justification today. It’s very clear that with Bolton, as with Bush, as with Cheney, as with Rumsfeld, the urge to go to war came first, and the justification came second
. Now, when you look at the main instruments of international law, you see very clearly that waging a preemptive war where you are not in an immediate crisis of self-defense is a crime against international law. In fact, the Nuremberg tribunals described it as the supreme international crime.
And it was for that crime that most of the Nazi war criminals were convicted. And that is exactly the crime that Bolton has conspired in committing.