Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ironic Assurances

Reuters has a story about how the US won’t extradite CIA agents to Italy, were Italy to ask for them regarding the kidnapping and rendition of a Muslim cleric in that country.

A State Department Legal Advisor was quoted saying:
We get assurances from countries that individuals will be properly treated and if we can't get these assurances then we will not turn people over to those countries.

Hey, maybe they can give us the assurances we gave Canada regarding non-terrorist Maher Arar, right before we shipped him off to Syria.  Or maybe they did give those assurances, and that’s the problem.

The advisor was also quoted saying that this kind of thing “harms cooperation” with Europe on the war on terror.  But if cooperation means illegally kidnapping and torturing people, perhaps that’s the best outcome of all.  And honestly, despite the advisor’s “Take my ball and go home attitude,” I suspect that that’s really the case.  Italy won’t let us be above the law anymore, so we won’t be able to do it.  And that’s how the system is supposed to work.  If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

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