Monday, December 03, 2007

Let's Kidnap a British Citizen!...

Of course, one knew about "Extraordinary Rendition" - or to quote from wikipedia, about:

"Extraordinary rendition and irregular rendition are terms used to describe the kidnapping and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one state to another, and the term torture by proxy is used by some critics to describe extraordinary rendition by the United States, with regard to the alleged transfer of suspected terrorists to countries known to employ harsh interrogation techniques that may rise to the level of torture."

Or according to Amnesty International, it:

"...refer to a variety of practices by the US authorities involving transfers of individuals from one country to another, without any form of judicial or administrative process such as extradition. These practices, usually carried out in secret, include transferring "war on terror" detainees into the custody of other states, assuming custody of individuals from foreign authorities and abducting suspects on foreign soil...

...Some victims of "rendition" have later turned up in official US detention centres, such as Guantánamo Bay. Others have simply "disappeared" after being arrested by US agents or turned over to US custody.

It has been reported that the CIA, often using covert aircraft leased by front companies, has flown individuals to countries including Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Most of the states to which the USA transfers these individuals are known to use torture and other ill-treatment in interrogations. It is alleged that states which are known to practise torture have been specifically selected to receive detainees for interrogation and that detainees have been threatened by US interrogators that they will be sent to such states.

It has also been reported that victims of "rendition" transferred to US custody from other countries have been held in US-run secret detention centres outside US territory..."

In fact, this June, BBC Channel 4 telecasted the documentary "Kidnapped to Order" made by Stephen Grey - among those kidnapped were also women and children (often from the family of a suspected terrorist). According to an interview with a CIA official in the documentary, of the 35,000-40,000 people who were kidnapped, at least 85% were innocent!!!
(Click here to watch/download the film)

All such "extraordinary measures" were/ are justified in the context of the "extraordinary time" in the post-911 era and "War on Terror"...

But apparently, in the scheme of things, the "extraordinary measures" are actually ordinary acts of an Empire... And so last month:

"America has told Britain that it can "kidnap" British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

The admission will alarm the British business community after the case of the so-called NatWest Three, bankers who were extradited to America on fraud charges. More than a dozen other British executives, including senior managers at British Airways and BAE Systems, are under investigation by the US authorities and could face criminal charges in America.

Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the "extraordinary rendition" of terrorist suspects.

The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington..."

This admission was made by Alun Jones QC, representing the US government in a British court:

"The United States does have a view about procuring people to its own shores which is not shared... If you kidnap a person outside the United States and you bring him there, the court has no jurisdiction to refuse — it goes back to bounty hunting days in the 1860s.”
(click here to know about bounty hunting

Of course, this news item is apparently/perhaps (and hopefully not) only the tip of the iceberg!!!

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