Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What to do When Jack Bauer Is Indicted?

Twenty-six Americans, mostly CIA agents will be indicted in an Italian court for the illegal kidnapping of a Muslim cleric from Italian soil. The cleric was rendered by the CIA to Egypt where he was tortured. It appears to have been a sloppy kidnapping plot, more Clouseau than Bond, as they left behind a trail of clues.

Of course, they all will use that time honored justification for criminal acts under the color of authority, "I was just following orders." This even can't be excused with an "ends justify the means" defense. There is no evidence they got anything out of torturing that cleric except, perhaps, some perverse sexual release. At what point should American officials be held responsibility for the evil they have done "following orders?"

There must be public extradition hearings for these 26 Americans. If government officials want to defend these kidnappers they should do so in open court. If Administration officials ordered these people to violated Italian law then they should stand accused in open court. Will this have a chilling effect on CIA operatives in the future? Will they refuse to commit felonies in the future out of fear they might face criminal charges for their actions? I hope so.


1 comment:

PoliShifter said...

This is something to keep an eye on for sure.

What typically happens is stalling. The gov (BushCo) will drag their (ala Scooter Libby) and let time pass. By the time anything goes on BushCo will be out of office.

They will also keep the news buried as much as possible as to not draw attention to it.

They will likely offer incentives to Italy to drop the case as well.