Is Condi Rice Initiating Her Plea Bargaining Already?

Condoleeza RiceAll the British papers are up in arms because they’ve just found out that the United States’ “extraordinary renditioning” aircraft did touch down on British soil. Reporters from The Times, affirm:

British facilities were used by the US to transport terrorist suspects at least twice, despite repeated government denials – including by Tony Blair – that the UK had any involvement in extraordinary rendition flights.

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, admitted that two US flights carrying terrorist suspects refuelled at the airbase on the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia in 2002.

In a statement to the Commons he apologised to MPs for having to correct previous denials, blaming a US “administrative error” that had only just come to light. Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, had expressed her “deep regret” at the error and had phoned him to apologise on Wednesday.

Mark Pallis of The Guardian, details how the Brits were, er, finessed back in 2005 when foreign secretary Jack Strawaffirmed before the British foreign affairs select committee in December of that year:

Unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories, and that the officials are lying, I’m lying and that behind and that behind this there is some kind of secret state in league with some dark forces in the US, and we believe Secretary [of State Condoleezza] Rice is lying, there is simply no truth in claims that the UK has been involved in rendition.

Funny that Mr. Straw should have expressed it so eloquently and so explicitly, as that is exactly what we believed, though we have not been able to confirm it until now. Continue reading

I Have a Few Candidates I’d Like to Recommend

Neo-Con Candidates

The British are up in arms. According to yesterday’s London Times, Alun Jones, an American government lawyer, told a London Court of Appeal in a hearing last month that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the U.S. Supreme Court has sanctioned it. Jones told the court of appeal that it was acceptable for the Americans to kidnap people anywhere in the world if they were wanted for offenses in the United States. He explains in impeccable American logic: “If you kidnap a person outside the United States and you bring him back there, the court has no jurisdiction to refuse–it goes back to bounty hunting days in the 1860’s.”

More than bounty hunting in the 1860’s, this smells like the creative application of the the more-recent American policy of “extraordinary renditioning,” which we naively thought was reserved for terrorists. In any case, very well, Mr. Jones, if you say so. So Britons would be well advised to walk around carrying bags with a toothbrush, clean socks, and a change of knickers, just in case.

Be aware, however, that the Americans’ pretension to arrogate to themselves the right to kidnap people from Britain (and anywhere else) has its down side. Logically, the British enjoy the reciprocal right to snatch American criminals and put them on trial in Britain. If they decide to implement that right, I have a few candidates I’d like to recommend.