Friday, May 23, 2008

Doing Time

Dey tells all you chillun

De devil's a villain,

But it ain't necessarily so!

--It Ain't Necessarily So
George Gershwin


Italy began its trial last week against CIA operatives and intelligence officials who participated in the 2003 extraordinary rendition of suspected terrorist collaborator Abu Omar, a Muslim cleric.

After Omar was abducted from an Italian street he says he was taken to an Egyptian prison and tortured. Following a series of incarcerations and releases, he was finally released from the prison system in 2007.

Also charged are "26 Americans — 25 Central Intelligence Agency operatives and one Air Force colonel," but the U.S. says it will not extradite them, and the Bush administration remains noncommittal on whether it was involved in Mr. Nasr's disappearance.

"Far more vulnerable, though, are more than a half dozen high-level officers of Italy’s secret service who have also been indicted, all accused of in some way approving, masterminding or carrying out the kidnapping plan (Italian Trial of C.I.A. Operatives Begins with Torture Testimony.)"

So the U.S., great exporter of democracy, refuses to cooperate with Italy within the rules of international law. If the CIA agents are not guilty, why will the U.S. not extradite them? If you do the Crime, be prepared to do the time.

Many members of Italy’s law enforcement agencies were furious about the kidnapping. They say they could have arrested Mr. Nasr at any time and had long had him under surveillance for potential connections with terrorists. They say his clumsy and illegal kidnapping erased years of police work that had put them on the verge of gaining valuable information about Muslim groups in Italy.

Once again, potentially criminal activity by U.S. operatives is being officially condoned and exhibits illegal U.S. activity within the sovereign nation of Italy.
Something did change after 9-11: the U.S. has become a rogue player on the international legal scene.

Kidnapping is not justified nor is torture condoned in a democracy, even when conducted by surrogates, even when sugar-coated as counter-terrorism.

Without adherence to the rule of law, both national and international, can the U.S. claim to be a civil and democratic participant among like nations? Without the rule of law, what is the purpose of democracy in America?

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i fondly hope for the day when rumsfeld, gonzales, bush, cheney, addington, rice, powell, ashcroft, and the many other architects of the torture regime are bagged and taken to the hague.

once there, they would receive the very thing that they refuse to give the victims of their cruelty.

fair, honest, open trials.s

Friday, May 23, 2008 at 10:03:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I often fanticize that as a retired service member i bring charges up against the C in C under UCMJ. It's certainly possible for an Active duty type to do so since anybody can avail themselves to the UCMJ.
The charges are myriad.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 9:11:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Perhaps the saddest thing we have lost in this "War On Terror" is our own souls.

In the wonderful movie "A Man For All Seasons" Paul Scofield as Thomas More confronts the man who has sold him out for a minor government post in Wales.

"It profits a man nothing to sell his soul for the whole world, Richard," he says in that wonderfully mournful, incisive Scofield voice; "...but for Wales..."

Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 11:12:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

in an unspeakably brazen and totally unsupportable claim, either by fact or by morality, dr. rice has claimed that not only was the torture done, it was justified.

in order to protect america they have sullied and besmirched everything that once made us great.

i was talking with a conservative friend recently about the constitutional issues regarding the recent california court decision about gay marriage. he was decrying "judicial activism" and i pointed out that the california court was behaving exactly the way that hamilton and madison described its role in the federalist 78.

the court ruled very narrowly on the constitutional standing of one law. according to hamilton when a passed law contravenes constitutional protections it is the duty of the court to side with the constitution.

our court did just that.

i finished by telling him that he didn't have an argument with me, he had an arguement with hamilton and madison.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 11:28:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Chief,Per Tracey Chapman-and all we have are our souls.On a personal note mine is pretty empty this Memorial Day Weekend. jim

Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 12:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

MB, is dr. rice really dr. rice.? i always was taught that the honorific DR. title was for use in academic environments only.
It seems that conservatives eschew activist judges EXCEPT when it benefits their agenda.
The individuals allowing torture WILL NEVER be brought to justice BUT as always fighting people will pay the price.And thats a fact.!jim

Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 12:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Ah yes, the wonderful Paul Scofield, may he RIP.

Thank you for bringing a bit of humor today. The Brits don't think much of those ruffians the Welsh now, do they?! His More was making truly a damning statement.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 12:19:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude you're tripping me out with all the colored fonts...i feel like i just had a bong hit ;-)

Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 12:27:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Maybe you did :)

If the stories don't trip you out, than the fonts will keep you entertained. A technicolor experience is what we're after here, even when it's all b/w.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 12:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

dr. rice's phd is in soviet studies. it's a real degree. her thesis was actually published commerically and sold well. thing was, she devoted her life to a study of a country and system that doesn't exist anymore and she hasn't been able to shift gears.

the last six years of her academic career were mostly part time, mostly ceremonial stuff while she devoted her efforts and, some say, considerable intellectual skills to the furthering of w. as the heir apparent of the republicans. she was an advisor to ghwbush, both paid and unofficially and was taken up by w.

i backed her piano playing along with a small orchestra at a fund raiser a long time ago in brentwood. yeah, i know, i needed the money and they were paying scale and a half.

she played a bach sonata credibly and as written. no improvisation, no unnotated inflections. she brought what was on the page off the page perfectly and precisely.

not very musical, but she did it while wearing over the calf stiletto boots. yes, i noticed.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 1:35:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Re. Condi: I think Jim was referring to the fact that in the U.S., professional doctorates (in medicine) are usually the only ones which include the phrase "doctor". Research doctorates (PhD's) are titled thusly.

So, "C. Rice, PhD" is correct. "Professor Rice" would also be acceptable. The press gets this wrong all the time, as do many PhD's.

"Doctor Rice" implies a medical degree. And she could lose the Matrix coat and dominatrix boots in favor of some actual diplomatic teeth.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 1:53:00 PM GMT-5  

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