Is the U.S. Trying to Get Don Rumsfeld Kidnapped?

Monday, December 03, 2007 at 08:31 PM

If you think that's a bizarre question, hang on a minute. The U.S. has, once again, formally stated it's position that it has the perfect right to go to a foreign country and kidnap one of its citizens to be taken back to the U.S. for trial on criminal charges.

The current claim of the inherent right to kidnap foreigners came in a UK court, where one Alun Jones, representing the US government in a case brought by a UK citizen whom the U.S. had detained by Canadian authorities, told the UK court that it was acceptable under American law to kidnap people if they were wanted for offenses in America.

No extradition required. No permission of the foreign country. Just criminal charges pending in the U.S. and a successful kidnap & return to the U.S. And this claim is, in fact, backed up by a U.S. Supreme Court decision authored by William Rehnquist during the regime of Bush the Elder. In that case, the US paid some Mexican bounty hunters to kidnap a Mexican doctor that the US suspected of being involved in the torture and murder of a DEA agent. We held the doctor over strong protests by the Mexican government, and in 1992 the Supreme Court decided that, even though we had an extradition treaty with Mexico, our kidnapping of the doctor did not violate the treaty and it was okay for the US to continue to hold the doctor. Which we did, for several years.

How does this American claim look to the rest of the world? Well, the UK is very unhappy now, especially since several British citizens are, in fact, under indictment in the US for financial crimes (my reading of the current story in the UK is that Britain is shocked not so much by the idea that we'd claim the right to kidnap natives of other countries in their own countries, but that we'd extend that theory to the good old UK, our longtime "special relationship" buddy). And it certainly upset the hell out of the rest of the world when Rehnquist first announced it back in 1992.

Is there any reason in the world that other countries should not claim the same right to kidnap US citizens in the US, and take them back to other countries for trial?

Which brings us back to Mr. Rumsfeld, and, potentially, a whole lot of other CIA and similar types. Several foreign courts have already indicted U.S. citizens in connection with their actions in the GWOT (global war on terror for those of you who like words over acronyms). For example, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland have all issued arrest warrants for, or ordered investigations of, U.S. citizens allegedly involved in kidnapping foreign nationals. And, of course, Rumsfeld is definitely at risk, having been charged with various criminal actions in several different countries.

Realistically, these countries are unlikely at the moment to kidnap Rumsfeld or anyone else inside in the US, but only because we're currently the big boy on the military and economic blocks. Contrary to the opinion of the rabid right talking heads, that's not going to last forever. When other countries no longer fear our military and/or economic might, what precedent will we have set?

As Justice Stevens said in his dissent to the 1992 Supreme Court case:

As Thomas Paine warned, an "avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty" because it leads a nation "to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws." To counter that tendency, he reminds us:

"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."


Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, Gonzales, Yee et al are all War Criminals who deserve to get kidnapped and brought to justice fer their crimes against humanity in Spud's Big Book of Truths.

Kidnapped to stand trial?

*Spud in his best "Yorkshireman accent*

We used to dream of being kidnapped to stand trial.

In point of fact, the number of people who have been kidnapped off the streets of foreign countries and extra-ordinarily extradited to torture happy shit-holes all over the world aka Black Site literally boggles the mind. The Director of the CIA was on Charlie Rose the other night swearing on a stack of bible that the actual number was in the "medium tow digit" category. Spud believes him to be full of shit on that score. Over a thousand Spud reckons taken offa streets and battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan only to undergo the worst tortures that man has ever devised. The AQ and the Inquisition were rank amatuers in direct comparison. Believe!

The ones in Gitmo are the lucky ones and they are trying to kill themselves with sharpened fingernails in order to escape the horrors.

The black sites are worse.

Dark days indeed, Lee.

Be Well.