Sunday, December 17, 2006

Extraordinary rendition and kidnapping: The American Way

Yesterday's Washington Post had a very interesting article about how swiftly the government -- and the CIA in particular -- moved after 9/11 to begin "extraordinary rendition" which, at least in my book, looks a great deal like kidnapping. Here's the lead in to the article:
A few days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the CIA station chief in Rome paid a visit to the head of Italy's military intelligence agency, Adm. Gianfranco Battelli, to float a proposal: Would the Italian secret services help the CIA kidnap terrorism suspects and fly them out of the country?

The CIA man did not identify which targets he had in mind but was "expressly referring to the possibility of picking up a suspected terrorist in Italy, bringing him to an airport and sending him from there to a foreign country," Battelli, now retired, recalled in a deposition.
Do read the entire article.

This appears to me to be another example of American hubris: the institutionalized thought that we are above the law, ours and everybody else's, too.

No warrants. No judicial proceedings. We just steal people off the street or from their home, whisk them to the airport, and sent 'em to some third country where they can have the shit kicked out of them during interrogations. I can only imagine the uproar if some country attempted to do this inside the US. We'd say it was unbelievable, illegal, unethical, and just plain wrong.

And I say this: it is, and it is, too, when we do it.

And, I note, this also. Just because someone is authorized by their own country to do something, that doesn't put them above the law. And, policy makers are not above the law, either. I think the Nuremberg trials pretty much laid out the standards. Oh, right, and that, too, was our doing.

I'm pretty certain we have not only stepped in it, but we have set ourselves up for a huge fall. And, it's coming, I predict.

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