Friday, February 23, 2007

American Justice in Italy

Steve Watson was kind enough to supply me with two links that I otherwise would have missed. The first is to a column by Neil Macdonald on the CBC News website [Exceptions are U.S.]. Macdonald makes a point that Candians and Europeans are very familiar with; namely, the fact that America has little respect for the laws of other nations.

Here's the outline of the case. You'll have to read the rest of the column to see the outrage.
Nobody in the Italian government thought Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr was clean. The Italian police had for some time been building a case against the Islamic cleric for spreading extremism.

Prosecutors in Milan believed he was a jihadist who had fought in Afghanistan and Bosnia, and, further, that he was in Italy recruiting fighters for radical Islamic causes. They intended to bring him to trial.

But the Americans were watching, and they had no patience with the pace and procedures of Italian law enforcement.

On Feb. 17, 2003, a squad of agents grabbed Nasr off a Milan street as he walked to a nearby mosque. He was, allegedly, taken to the U.S. air force base in Aviano, Italy, and flown to Germany, from where he was transshipped to his native Egypt. There, prison and the tender mercies of Egyptian interrogators awaited.

Nasr says he was tortured during his four years behind bars. Given the Egyptian government's pitiless attitude toward the radical Muslim Brotherhood and its many affiliates, that is not a claim many people doubt. The Nasr case was, say critics of the Bush administration, yet another case of America quietly subcontracting torture to deal with its enemies.

But two things happened last week to move this case out of the shadows: An Egyptian court freed Nasr, saying his imprisonment was "unfounded." And in Italy, a democratic U.S. ally, a judge indicted 26 Americans, most of them agents of the CIA, for kidnapping the cleric. The spies will almost certainly be tried in absentia. They've all left the country.


  1. Again, this is chepenoyon posting "anonymously" because I can't properly log in from here.

    I am pleased that the Italians have trials in absentia; the CIA agents will likely be found guilty, creating a black mark that (I hope) will give Americans reason to pause and consider. Now we'll have to start calling "pizza" something like "flag bread", to go along with "freedom fries".

    The Germans have also indicted a group of CIA agents for similar activity in Germany. Pretty soon the CIA will have difficulty operating anywhere, what with all the arrest warrants outstanding. And this also means that we'll no longer be able to eat "hamburgers" -- it'll have to be "patriotic sandwhiches" or perhaps "McDonalds"

  2. I wonder what 'Canadian bacon' will become if we get them annoyed at us. Somehow 'Bush bacon' seems unlikely to fly.