January 16, 2008
How Low Can We Go?

Another rough beast slouches towards Washington to be born. Rendition, it seems, is turning into a two-way street.

The complete essay from which this comes is by Anthony Piel, former counsel of the World Health Organization. It is from The Lakeville Journal. (If asked to log in, feel free to use remnant as userid, with the password jeromehd.)

A Kent resident friend who is a reader of The Lakeville Journal has put forward the following interesting and unexpected question: Does the United States have the right to kidnap U.S. or foreign citizens abroad with a view to “rendering” them to the United States for trial in U.S. courts? …

Although perhaps desirable, bounty hunting was not yet in vogue for corporate fraud or tax evasion, as the SEC, FTC and IRS had not yet been invented. Nor had the terms “homeland security,” “unlawful enemy combatant” or “extraordinary rendition” yet been coined. Those are a more recent U.S. invention. The question is, is this kind of “cowboy” style justice still the law of the land?



Posted by Jerome Doolittle at January 16, 2008 06:54 PM
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Our Supreme Court approved abductions of the type you describe in 1992, in U.S. v. Alvarez-Machain.

The Court threw out Alvarez-Machain's civil lawsuit over the same abduction in 2004.

The old precept that "hard cases make bad law" applies here. Dr. Humberto Alvarez-Machain faced extremely ugly charges, of which he was later acquitted. The DEA believed he had used his medical skills to help Mexican drug kingpins prolong the torture of a U.S. drug enforcement agent they had captured.

Posted by: Martha Bridegam on January 17, 2008 12:04 AM

He looks like a Chuck Norris clone...

"Chuck Norris doesn't do puch ups.
He pushes the Earth downward."

Posted by: Sebsainclair on January 17, 2008 12:10 AM

It's the Bounty Hunter guy on TV, Seb. Can't think of his name.

Posted by: Aitch Jay on January 17, 2008 10:24 AM
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