Sunday, December 2, 2007

US says it has right to kidnap British citizens

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.

Legal experts confirmed this weekend that America viewed extradition as just one way of getting foreign suspects back to face trial. Rendition, or kidnapping, dates back to 19th-century bounty hunting and Washington believes it is still legitimate.

The US government’s view emerged during a hearing involving Stanley Tollman, a former director of Chelsea football club and a friend of Baroness Thatcher, and his wife Beatrice.

The Tollmans, who control the Red Carnation hotel group and are resident in London, are wanted in America for bank fraud and tax evasion. They have been fighting extradition through the British courts.

During a hearing last month Lord Justice Moses, one of the Court of Appeal judges, asked Alun Jones QC, representing the US government, about its treatment of Gavin, Tollman’s nephew. Gavin Tollman was the subject of an attempted abduction during a visit to Canada in 2005.

Jones replied that it was acceptable under American law to kidnap people if they were wanted for offences in America. “The United States does have a view about procuring people to its own shores which is not shared,” he said.

He said that if a person was kidnapped by the US authorities in another country and was brought back to face charges in America, no US court could rule that the abduction was illegal and free him: “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.”

Mr Justice Ouseley, a second judge, challenged Jones to be “honest about [his] position”.

Jones replied: “That is United States law.”

He cited the case of Humberto Alvarez Machain, a suspect who was abducted by the US government at his medical office in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1990. He was flown by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to Texas for criminal prosecution.

Although there was an extradition treaty in place between America and Mexico at the time — as there currently is between the United States and Britain — the Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that the Mexican had no legal remedy because of his abduction.

In 2005, Gavin Tollman, the head of Trafalgar Tours, a holiday company, had arrived in Toronto by plane when he was arrested by Canadian immigration authorities.

An American prosecutor, who had tried and failed to extradite him from Britain, persuaded Canadian officials to detain him. He wanted the Canadians to drive Tollman to the border to be handed over. Tollman was escorted in handcuffs from the aircraft in Toronto, taken to prison and held for 10 days.

A Canadian judge ordered his release, ruling that the US Justice Department had set a “sinister trap” and wrongly bypassed extradition rules. Tollman returned to Britain.

Legal sources said that under traditional American justice, rendition meant capturing wanted people abroad and bringing them to the United States. The term “extraordinary rendition” was coined in the 1990s for the kidnapping of terror suspects from one foreign country to another for interrogation.

There was concern this weekend from Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP, who said: “The very idea of kidnapping is repugnant to us and we must handle these cases with extreme caution and a thorough understanding of the implications in American law.”

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, said: “This law may date back to bounty hunting days, but they should sort it out if they claim to be a civilised nation.”

The US Justice Department declined to comment.

David Leppard
Additional reporting: Anna Mikhailova


Gerald said...

Nazi Americans love it when they hear their Nazi leaders say that Nazi America has the right to kidnap Brish citizens.

Gerald said...

Nazi America heads for the trash can of history

Gerald said...

Jesus' disciples finally to speak out

Gerald said...

His policies are revolting

Gerald said...


Gerald said...


Gerald said...

AMY GOODMAN: It’s interesting. During the lead up to Nazi Germany, American reporters were fired by their American editors, pulled back from Germany, because they were sounding the warning. They were saying, “We’re seeing a fascist society build.” And they were told that they were biased, they were not understanding the circumstances in which Hitler was rising up, people were concerned about their economy, they had been devastated, and that they were being alarmist.

NAOMI WOLF: Interesting. That’s really interesting. I mean, I’m immediately thinking, as you say that, which I actually hadn’t known, that—thinking of a lot of books I’ve been reading lately about deep US involvement. Some corporations were deeply involved in Nazi Germany, making millions, like IBM. How did they round people up so quickly, you know, in Germany when they were rounding up the Jews so fast? It’s because IBM had developed this prototype of a punch card system, and they were secretly working with the Nazis. Prescott Bush, Bush’s grandfather, was making millions in consolidation with Krupp, Thyssen, and it’s very interesting to me, because in the Nuremberg trials they went after these industrialists like Krupp, and so there was a moment at which the Nuremberg trial was about to identify supporters of these war crimes who were US collaborators.

Gerald said...


The Dark Side of Christianity

Gerald said...

Two points must be made at this time. First, despite the best efforts made by some Christians, our nation is not a Christian nation. And yet, where Christians unnecessarily rub non-Christians the wrong way is when we make small efforts to enforce Christian morality on the nation. Attempts to keep the phrase “one nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, is just an example here. A more significant effort can be seen in how Christians have tried to keep homosexual marriage from becoming legal. In both cases, those who disagree are not given their rightful space.

Second, some religiously based moral points should become the law of the land. Martin Luther King Jr, because of his religious convictions, campaigned hard to not only demand racial equality, but also to ensure that people were paid fairly. The difference between what Martin Luther King Jr tried to do from what we see some fundamentalists try to do can be best described by saying that King fought oppression while today’s fundamentalists are battling to increase their control over others.

Gerald said...

From the Nonviolent Jesus website!!!

The war is in our souls. We carry war around with us like a latent infection always ready to flame into life once more. It is here that we can apply the healing that makes us part of the whole, of the common good. The angry reply which we staunch today may go farther in stopping the next war than an angry email dashed off to a Congressperson. In the words of scripture, our battle is not against human beings, but the thrones, powers, and dominions which rule the empire. These are spiritual forces against which our souls can be set.

As Thich Nhat Hanh, one who knew war personally, so simply states, the real casualties of war are souls of men and women who come home after practicing violence for so many months. It is the lethal damage which our spirits sustain whether we are present on the battlefield or not that is the most deadly effect of war, but we can all contribute to healing that wound which festers with our faithlessness.

Those of us who believe that human beings were made to serve not themselves, but the common good, can sense how worthless it is to place all the blame for the current horror in Iraq on Bush, the neocons, the military-industrial complex, or whatever demon you choose. Their fingers pulled the trigger, but we handed them the gun. This gun grew for a long time in the darkness of our hearts, but when it was ready, they pulled it free. In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, "The President acted the way he did because we acted the way we did. It is because we are not happy enough that we had a war. If we were happier, we would not take refuge in alcohol, drugs, war and violence." Chris Hedges' brilliant book about war is called "War is a Force that Gives us Meaning." It is a force that can fill the emptiness we have allowed to grow within ourselves and which we vainly try to fill with what will never satisfy.

"The most important practice for preventing war is to stay in touch with what is refreshing, healing, and joyful inside us and all around us. If we practice walking mindfully, being in touch with the earth, the air, the trees, and ourselves, we can heal ourselves, and our entire society will also be healed. If the whole nation would practice watering the seeds of joy and peace, and not just the seeds of anger and violence, the elements of war in all of us will be transformed." Thich Nhat Hanh, "Love in Action"

Unfortunately, anger and violence are more profitable to those who rule this society so we are barraged with an incessant flood of propaganda that weakens our efforts to be free and whole. We are told in so many ways that pushing against the tide is useless, that our survival depends on cooperating with the dominant violence that our power of resistance grows weaker and weaker. Yet within the soul of each of us is a power that cannot be bound, if only we would use it.

By reflecting on the nature of our relations with the world around us, we begin to sense of what power we are members. By embracing love in our daily lives, we break the chain of power and domination within which most of us are links. The essence of nonviolent direct action is the refusal of consent to the dominating hierarchy that wishes to absorb us. We have the power to stop consenting to the use of our hearts and minds as part of a grid to power war. We can end one small part of war right now.

Why did we give Hitler Bush the tigger to start a war?

As I read the above article, I have become more convinced that Nazi America is fully and totally EVIL.

Gerald said...

By embracing love in our daily lives, we break the chain of power and domination within which most of us are links. The essence of nonviolent direct action is the refusal of consent to the dominating hierarchy that wishes to absorb us. We have the power to stop consenting to the use of our hearts and minds as part of a grid to power war. We can end one small part of war right now.

Gerald said...

Iran is not at fault

capt said...

"How much longer are we going to think it necessary to be ''American'' before (or in contradistinction to) being cultivated, being enlightened, being humane, and having the same intellectual discipline as other civilized countries?"
~ Edith Wharton (1862 - 1937)

Gerald said...

Nazi America will never have peace of mind

Gerald said...

The real fabric of American society is not all those flags you see on people's's in the Bill of Rights and in our constitutional form of government.
– John Adams (composer)

Gerald said...

Let us hope and pray!!!

Israel's real strategic asset is its powerful lobby in the United States, and this lobby is already facing what it dreads most – becoming a public political issue. Sooner or later, the American public will rebel. What I fear is that when it happens, it will come in the form of a rebirth of anti-Semitism. That will be a terrible price to pay for Israeli intransigence and ideological and religious fanaticism.

A common fallacy of human beings is to imagine that what is will always be. The opposite is true. Change is a constant. Nothing ever remains the same. Every single day, the world shifts. After World War I, nobody could imagine the British Empire fading away, but the change was already taking place. Today, Britannia, which once ruled the waves, would be hard-pressed to win a war unassisted with even Libya.

America is also changing. The Chinese have shot down a satellite, launched a successful moon probe, penetrated our naval defenses with a submarine that surfaced within torpedo range of an American carrier and refused us the use of its port in Hong Kong. Vladimir Putin is telling us in plain words to butt out of Russian affairs. The president of Iran is publicly scoffing at our threats to attack his country. And after five years, we are still fighting in two poor countries.

I expect our own empire is on the wane, and when we wane, Israel will wane.

Gerald said...

Historically, the Jewish mind set is that they are the chosen people and they are the superior people. This kind of mind set has caused them great grief. Now that the Jews have a country, Nazi Israel continues to hold onto historical beliefs. The rebirth of anti-Semitism is a strong concern.

What I fear is that when it happens, it will come in the form of a rebirth of anti-Semitism. That will be a terrible price to pay for Israeli intransigence and ideological and religious fanaticism.

As a chosen people God has wanted the Jews to be the light to the world. But, their policies and practices will bring darkness to the world.

Gerald said...

Rambo and the GOP

capt said...

"That will be a terrible price to pay for Israeli intransigence and ideological and religious fanaticism."

Yes, but that does seem to be the stakes in the wager.

Gerald said...

I don't know if children should be allowed to watch the Republican presidential debates.

There's so much talk of violence and mayhem as the solution to our ills. The candidates seem so eager to flex their muscles and engage the nation in conflict: Let's continue the war in Iraq. Let's show them what we're made of in Iran. Let's round up those immigrants and ship 'em back where they came from.

It's like watching adolescent boys playing the ultimate video game, with no regard for the consequences. Rudy, the crime-fighter and terror maven, says he's tougher than Mitt, who actually had illegals working on his property. Mitt begs to differ and says he'd like to double the size of the Guantánamo prison.

Are we electing a president or a sheriff?


Gerald said...

capt, you are right but that is too high of wager.

The more things change, the more they remain the same!!!

What goes around, comes around!!!

Gerald said...


Gerald said...

Posters, please take some time to reflect on how filled Nazi America is with psychos, sickos, and mentally deranged citizens.

How can we overcome from being such a sick nation???

capt said...

"There's the country of America, which you have to defend, but there's also the idea of America. America is more than just a country, it's an idea. An idea that's supposed to be contagious."
~ Bono (1960 - ), Oprah Winfrey Show, 2002

capt said...

Mugabe toughens grip using torture

Stephen Bevan and Special Correspondents in Bulawayo
December 3, 2007

THE Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, has stepped up the use of torture against political opponents, civil rights protesters and students in a bid to clamp down on dissent in the run-up to next year's elections.

Torture methods that were once used only by the feared Central Intelligence Organisation, Zimbabwe's internal security agency, are now routinely employed by uniformed police officers. Victims report that electric shock torture is being used to spread indiscriminate terror.

Gerald said...

Ziggy presents pertinent comments

Gerald said...

I recently visited China, where I had the opportunity to engage Chinese leaders in wide-ranging private conversations. I returned with two strong impressions regarding China's attitude toward the Iranian problem. The first is that the magnitude of China's internal transformation makes it vulnerable to global political and economic instability. China is especially worried about the consequences of any major eruption of violence in the Persian Gulf. This concern is palpable and justified if one considers the likely
financial and political effects of a major U.S.-Iran collision. Thus China, despite its meteoric rise toward global preeminence, currently is geopolitically a status quo power.

Second, the Chinese strongly advocate that in dealing with Iran the United States be guided by strategic patience. Unlike the North Koreans, they note, the Iranians have denied any intent to acquire nuclear weapons. Accordingly, they argue that Iranian denials (despite their doubtful credibility) create openings for contriving a face-saving arrangement for an internationally sanctioned, non-threatening Iranian nuclear program.

In China's view, the United States should avoid being drawn into tit-for-tat salvos with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, since that strengthens Ahmadinejad domestically; America should also stop insisting on preconditions for negotiations that effectively demand that the Iranians publicly concede that they have been lying. Instead of contesting the veracity of Iranian proclamations, the focus should be on jointly negotiating a formula that effectively forsakes the allegedly unwanted nuclear weapons option.