Tag: kidnapping

Nov 10

The Russian Connection: The Turkish Kidnap Plot

Another shoe may be about to drop in the probe of the Trump administration and Russian involvement in the 2016 elections. On Sunday, a report by NBC News revealed the Special Counsel Robert Mueller III has enough evidence to indict Trump’s former national security adviser, General Michael T. Flynn and his son Michael G. Flynn. …

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Feb 26

Truth And Reconciliation Just Won’t Do

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

The New York Times reports that finally Britain, despite five years of denials, now admits that it was involved in illegal renditions extraditions kidnappings.  That’s not much of a surprise.  Britain is fessing up to two of these.  Nobody really thinks that is all there were.

Britain’s defense minister made an unusual public apology on Thursday, admitting Britain had taken part in the “rendition” of suspects detained in Iraq after denying it for years.

In a lengthy statement to parliament, Defense Secretary John Hutton confirmed that Britain handed over two suspects captured in Iraq in 2004 to U.S. custody and that they were subsequently transferred to Afghanistan, breaching U.S.-British agreements.

The Ministry of Defense has been repeatedly asked over the past five years about its involvement in rendition, the unlawful transfer of suspects to a third country, and consistently denied it played any role in the U.S.-administered program.

“I regret that it is now clear that inaccurate information on this particular issue has been given to the House by my department on a small number of occasions,” Hutton said. “I want to apologize to the House for these errors.”

“Inaccurate information” is diplomatic speak for lies.  “These errors” is diplomatic speak for five years of continuous lies.

According to the Times, the two men were captured by British troops in Iraq in February 2004 and were flown to Afghanistan, where they remain in U.S. custody.  And where, parenthetically, the Obama Administration says that they are not permitted to have access to the US Courts to contest the legality of their detention by filing habeas corpus.

Reprieve says about all of this:

“For years now the British government has been tossing us miserable scraps of information about its involvement in illegal renditions in Pakistan, Diego Garcia and now Afghanistan,” said Clara Gutteridge, an investigator with Reprieve, a charity that campaigns for the release of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

“Enough is enough. The British government must come clean and reveal exactly who it has captured, what has been done to them and where they are now,” she said. “I’m afraid this is only the tip of the renditions iceberg.”

Enough really is enough.  The US too needs to come clean.  And having a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in which those who have committed these illegal acts, tell their stories and eventually receive immunity is just unacceptable.  It is not how the US should tell the story of its extensive human rights violations.  There need to be a criminal investigations.  And there need to be prosecutions.  And there needs to be an end of secrecy about crimes.

Anything less, after all of the lying and all of the illegal acts, and all of the contorted, disingenuous legal mumbo jumbo, falls far, far short.

Nov 09

Truth and Reconciliation Commissions

[ed note: I’m still gagging on the R-word but here goes]

From Wiki:

A truth commission or truth and reconciliation commission is a commission tasked with discovering and revealing past wrongdoing by a government, in the hope of resolving conflict left over from the past. They are, under various names, occasionally set up by states emerging from periods of internal unrest, civil war, or dictatorship. South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, established by President Nelson Mandela after apartheid, is generally considered a model of Truth Commissions, rarely if ever achieved in other parts. As government reports, they can provide proof against historical revisionism of state terrorism and other crimes and human rights abuses. Truth commissions are sometimes criticised for allowing crimes to go unpunished, and creating impunity for serious human rights abusers.

The bolds are from the Wiki entry, the italics are mine.

I’m not sure where to begin on this. My revenge fantasies leading up to the election were starting to get out of hand. I felt like Photoshopping middle-of-the-forehead entry wounds with trails of blood down the faces of our war criminals – traitors to not just the Constitution but to all that’s decent in humanity. And then pasting the posters on public walls. I may get rendered just for sharing this thought dream. They still have ten weeks to go. Fuck it.

My big problem with revenge is people like Ghandi and Mandela and MLK, Jr. They all took the personal beatings, torture and imprisonments in stride. They all brought about tremendous positive change for all of humanity. They are powerful role models for doing what is right morally. If I ask myself what would they do then I have to confront my very reasonable desire for some exotic revenge for the members of the Bush regime and all their enablers. It would please me no end to have each of them waterboarded, humiliated, debased and thrown into Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and the Black Prison in Afghanistan for very long amounts of time. But that would just make me like them. I refuse to be one of their kind.

Apr 06

News Of A Kidnapping

cross posted from The Dream Antilles


Ingrid Betancourt In Captivity (11/30/07)

Ingrid Betancourt, while campaigning for the presidency of Colombia, was kidnapped by FARC on February 23, 2002.  More than six years later, she remains a hostage somewhere in Colombia.  She suffers from hepatitis B and leishmaniasis, a skin disease caused by insect bites.  She is also rumored to be losing the will to live. She is the public face of kidnapping in Colombia.  She is the most famous of hundreds of hostages.  Unlike most of the hostages, she has ties outside the country.

Please join me in the selva.