Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dick Cheney cancels Toronto speech due to security concerns

Cheney the former U.S. vice-president cancelled a speaking engagement. Last fall there were demonstrations when he visited Vancouver. Now apparently he fears that his visit would encourage even more demonstrations.

Protesters during his Vancouver visit denounced Cheney as a war criminal. Critics accuse Cheney of sanctioning water boarding and other harsh interrogation methods while serving in the Bush administration.

Cheney was to talk at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto on April 24th. After talking with his security advisers Cheney decided not to attend the event. At the Vancouver event protesters managed to block access to the exclusive Vancouver Club where Cheney spoke at a 500 dollar per plate event. Cheney was forced to stay in the club for five hours while police cleared away protesters.

Up to 5,000 were expected at the Toronto talk. Tickets were being sold at prices from 79 dollars to 595 dollars. Even retired U.S. politicians do not come cheap.

Human Rights watch had urged that Cheney be arrested and criminal charges laid against him when he entered Canada accusing him of being involved in the torture of detainees. The NDP immigration critic said that Cheney should not have been allowed into Canada. Now he has agreed to stay out voluntarily. Cheney claims the harsh interrogation techniques saved many lives and are justified. For more see this Globe and Mail article.

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