Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Making the World Safe for Torture

It is increasingly the assumption of the cretin in chief here that his use of force to invade another country gives him the right to usurp the powers of the other branches of government here in the U.S. The Justice Department has been put under the control of a minion who continually asserts that the constitutional divisions of power are not applicable because we have declared war. That despite the fact that war under the U.S. constitution requires it be declared by Congress.

Reading what I have just written sounds far different from the way the executive branch asserts its claims, of course. However, when the facts are presented this harshly, it points up that this country is seriously astray. It is not in the interests of the E.B. to use correct terminology, since it is in violation of our laws.

Now I am reading an exercise in twisted logic written by proponents of the unauthorized use of force by the U.S. in Europe;

The United States has used extraordinary renditions as part of the war on terrorism, but the continuing value of this tactic, particularly in Europe, is questionable. One of the primary European objections to the concept of a "war" on terrorism is the fear that U.S. forces will treat Europe as a battlefield. Although this fear is specious -- international law has long provided that, even in wartime, a nation cannot pursue its enemies into the territory of friendly countries without their express permission -- extraordinary rendition gets uncomfortably close to U.S. military operations on European streets.
.......elaborate Status of Forces Agreements are negotiated before the troops of one state are stationed in another. These agreements usually narrow the jurisdictional immunities to be enjoyed by American troops stationed abroad, although under the NATO Status of Forces Agreements, to which Italy and the United States are both parties, America retains primary jurisdiction over offenses committed by individuals on duty -- as would have been the case here.
[emphasis added]

Gets pretty tortured when you try, as the writers do, to establish that it's okay to kidnap people in other countries and torture them because our government wants to get incorrect information - all that can be obtained through torture. We are using the NATO compact to prove we can arrest and torture 'suspects' - who are no longer allowed to contest their arrest - on the streets in other countries? What sort of country are we?

Of course, members of the Reagan administration are intimately connected to attempts to invade sovereign nations such as Nicaragua. It must be hard to consider your own career as legitimate when you have violated international codes of conduct. It must be a lot easier to live with yourself if you can try to establish that by violating the laws you are protecting innocent citizens.

The innocent citizens have shown that they are fed up with this use of usurped powers to delegitimatize our rightful government.

It's time that the Rule of Law be re-asserted in this country, and that the illegitimate use of power be prosecuted. If these war criminals are allowed to continue unchecked, our government is no longer legitimate.

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Blogger Dave said...

Here in the UK, one of the core principles of our system of government is that no law is unchangable. No law can be made by one Parliement that cannot be un-made by another.

So it would be lawful to pass a law which made special renditions explicitly outside the terms of any Status of Forces agreement.

Kidnapping, False Imprisonment, Grevious Bodily Harm, there are all sorts of criminal charges that might be possible. Add Conspiracy charges.

The one problem with that dream is that is would, thank God, be hard to find a British Judge who would let you get away with a retroactive law. But this is chiefly a matter of jurisdiction, and there are precedents.

But I hear we're a bit more civilised than the American courts. Kidnapping your supposed criminal and dragging him in chains to the Old Bailey isn't going to work.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

I'm sure that the U.S. would be able to make changes to our agreements with foreign governments through negotiation with them, but with the present administration it's been a growing tendency simply to ignore its obligations. We're trying to reign in the lawlessness of the top officials and it looks like we're beginning to have some success. Wish us luck - it's a shared world.

1:53 AM  

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