Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

European Case Against Rendition - A Water Downed Argument?

Wikipedia provides the following definition and descriptiion of rendition:

Rendition In law, rendition is a "surrender" or "handing over" of persons or property, particularly from one jurisdiction to another. For criminal suspects, extradition is the most common type of rendition. Rendition can also be seen as the act of handing over, after the request for extradition has taken place. Extraordinary rendition This term is not defined in international law. Its use is often criticized as euphemistic. For example, a New York Times editorial mentions the "practice known in bureaucratese by the creepy euphemism 'extraordinary rendition.'"
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Bob Herbert of the New York Times wrote: "an American policy that is known as extraordinary rendition. That's a euphemism. What it means is that the United States seizes individuals, presumably terror suspects, and sends them off without even a nod in the direction of due process to countries known to practice torture. Gerard Baker of The Times commented that this "must rank as euphemism of the year.
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[In] 2005 it became notorious as the term used by the US to describe what it does when it hands over terrorist suspects and other enemies to third countries that are rather less scrupulous about human rights than we are."
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As we have seen the New York Times places most things secret and valuable in fighting terrorism about as low as whale dung and sympathizes with terrorist "rights", due process and doesn't mind printing classified information on it's front page under first amendment protection.x
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Mr. Terry Davis is secretary general of the Council of Europe has also taken time out to blast the United States and refers to international law, Europe and in particular France as protectors of freedom and law. Davis writes the following in today’s Wall Street Journal: Contrary to the belief of some people, the European Convention on Human Rights is not a collection of lax, ineffectual and utopian principles. It is a body of international law, which was drafted in difficult and uncertain times and has been tested in courts ever since. The convention balances the rights and freedoms of individuals against the interest of the larger community. It allows for a robust, effective and fair response to the threats faced by society, including from terrorism. In Europe, we reject the bogus choice between our security and our freedom.
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This ruling by a Council of Europe body has been repeatedly used by the highest officials in the U.S. State Department to try to prove that so-called extraordinary renditions are justified and lawful under international law, including European human-rights laws. I am disappointed because this is nothing less than obfuscation.
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Carlos did not disappear, nor did he end up in some Caribbean gulag. He was taken to Paris and brought before a judge, with the right to a lawyer and a fair trial. This was because he was arrested on the basis of a valid arrest warrant, issued before his capture on the basis of his alleged involvement in a car-bomb attack, which killed two people and injured 70 people in Paris. An arrest warrant is a piece of paper signed by a judge. This may not seem much, but it makes all the difference. This is the stuff our freedom is made of. The Commission on Human Rights acknowledged that Carlos may have been arrested and transferred to France in an unusual manner, but this did not change their views on the lawfulness of his detention. And this proves another very important point.
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Mr. Davis is using the topic of rendition on the French handling of the arrest of Carlos the Jackal in 1994. He supports his argument by rulings of the European Council on Human Rights. Davis writes in reference to Condoleeza Rice:
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What Condoleezza Rice's colleagues systematically -- perhaps deliberately? -- omit in their analogies between the capture of Carlos and so-called extraordinary renditions of al Qaeda terrorist suspects are a few basic and very important details.
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Mr. Davis is discussing one person, presumably working alone, not a network of groups backed by al-Qaeda with the sole objective of killing innocent people and whole countries based on religious fanaticism and hatred.
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This is more bluster of international law, which does not dictate policies nor overrides the laws and Constitution of the United States. More and more we see Europe and the United Nations attempting to spoon feed America what foreign governments and institutions feel is right for us.
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Europe and the United Nations should clean up their own miserable back yards before preaching to the one country that is paying the ultimate price to fight terrorism. Editors and publishers should quit aiding and abetting terrorists and not decide what the public should know at the same time we inform the enemy.

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