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Fascism is on the march!
July 21, 2005 6:50 PM   Subscribe

Under an agreement signed between Ireland and the US last week, US investigators, including CIA agents, will be allowed to interrogate Irish citizens on Irish soil in total secrecy. Suspects will also have to give testimony and allow property to be searched and seized even if what the suspect is accused of is not a crime in Ireland.
posted by Mr_Zero (31 comments total)

 
Why are people so goddamned stupid?
posted by nightchrome at 6:58 PM on July 21, 2005


Lack of potatoes?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:02 PM on July 21, 2005


And how exactly is this helpfull? Has someone found that OBL is in Ireland? WTF?
posted by snsranch at 7:05 PM on July 21, 2005


Why are the Irish allowing it? WTF?
posted by amberglow at 7:07 PM on July 21, 2005


It sounds as though the Irish govt. is just doing whatever the hell it wants, without any regard to the people.
posted by nightchrome at 7:16 PM on July 21, 2005


Well that is interesting isn't it. I can only imagine that for all we get to read in that article, there is more that was left unsaid.
On another note, I am digging the live preview of my post.
posted by a3matrix at 7:18 PM on July 21, 2005


It sounds as though the"insert any govt here" is just doing whatever the hell it wants, without any regard to the people.
posted by a3matrix at 7:21 PM on July 21, 2005


Right on, a3matrix, right on.
posted by nightchrome at 7:23 PM on July 21, 2005


And the obligatory follow-up clarifies things from half-court!

It's not as bad as it seems.
posted by wakko at 7:23 PM on July 21, 2005


Why are the Irish allowing it? WTF?

It sounds as though the Irish govt. is just doing whatever the hell it wants, without any regard to the people.

Lack of a constitution and Bill of Rights enforced by an independent judiciary is certainly one reason. The same situation that exists in the UK.
posted by mlis at 7:24 PM on July 21, 2005


it missed the first throw
posted by wakko at 7:25 PM on July 21, 2005


I used to hear all the time from radical Catholic Irishmen that Eire was a banana republic, and I didn't understand then... I'm starting to see their point now.
posted by clevershark at 7:29 PM on July 21, 2005


Ireland does have a constitution, which does guarantee basic rights such as:

* Equality before the law
* The right to life
* The right to trial by jury
* The right to bodily integrity
* Freedom to travel
* Personal liberty
* Freedom of expression
* Freedom of assembly
* Freedom of association
* Religious liberty
* The rights of the family
* Property rights
* The right to earn a livelihood
* Inviolability of dwelling
* The right to fair procedures
* The right to privacy
posted by Boobus Tuber at 7:29 PM on July 21, 2005


this is total bullshit. but then again, nothing surprises me anymore. awful.
posted by brandz at 7:37 PM on July 21, 2005


So what exactly were the strong arm tactics used in this endeavor? And why Ireland?

This might be meaningful/usefull in Syria or Saudi Arabia.

Just setting a precident I guess. But a very stupid one!
posted by snsranch at 7:41 PM on July 21, 2005


Are they cracking down on the IRA?
posted by Artw at 7:46 PM on July 21, 2005


Are they cracking down on the IRA?

This thread is about the Republic of Ireland not Northern Ireland which is part of the UK. Pay attention.

Ireland does have a constitution, which does guarantee basic rights such as. . .

Yes, that is true. The other part of my comment was about the Bill of Rights and enforcement by an independent judiciary.

Consider that in Ireland (link to pdf):

You are not entitled to have your solicitor with you while you are being questioned. If something arises during questioning in relation to which you think you need legal advice, ask that the interview be interrupted so that you may take advice from your solicitor.

You do have a right to remain silent. However, there are some exceptions to this right. These include: An obligation to account for certain things in your possession, or your presence in a certain place, under the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

An obligation to give an account of your movements during a certain period under the Offences Against the State Act 1939. The European Court of Human Rights found that this section is in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights and therefore the continued use of the section is open to question.

An obligation to answer certain questions under the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996. An obligation to provide certain information about a vehicle under the Road Traffic Act 1961. You may be told that if you do not answer certain questions you will be committing an offence, or that inferences can be drawn from your refusal to answer questions. This means that in a court case the judge and jury are entitled to think that you did not answer the questions because you had something to hide.


Also see: Offences Against the State (Amendment) Act, 1998
posted by mlis at 8:32 PM on July 21, 2005


Hey - you are either with the Imperium Americana, or against it.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:51 PM on July 21, 2005


I have to ask, is there any safe haven anywhere in the world where truth, justice, freedom and democracy of by and for the people still exist?
posted by mk1gti at 9:40 PM on July 21, 2005


We'll teach those Irish! They will NOT get away with their plot to attack the Homeland! All States are inferior to the Mighty Amurika! Bow! Wow!

I'm clueless about Irish politics. Will this crap stand a chance of seeing a change in government there, or do the Irish citizens accept their inferior status to both Amurika and their own government?
posted by Goofyy at 9:40 PM on July 21, 2005


or do the Irish citizens accept their inferior status to both Amurika and their own government?

Wow, "Amurika" is almost as funny as "lib'rul".

Does anybody with more knowledge know how this has to get approved (ie, house/senate/president with Supreme Court / House of Lords review possible?)
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 10:52 PM on July 21, 2005


Bush is just getting revenge for being properly humiliated.
posted by Rothko at 10:54 PM on July 21, 2005


Does anybody with more knowledge know how this has to get approved (ie, house/senate/president with Supreme Court / House of Lords review possible?)

I'm more or less over the notion that this would make it okay. As far as I'm concerned, if my government made some such deal with the US, or any country, my response is simple: I did not agree to this.
posted by Wataki at 10:56 PM on July 21, 2005


Does anybody with more knowledge know how this has to get approved (ie, house/senate/president with Supreme Court / House of Lords review possible?)

As Ireland has been independent of the UK since 1921, the House of Lords opinion might not be of much use. ;-)

That said, this is part of a much more interesting turn of events, only hinted at in the above article. The background is that the US and the European Union signed an agreement on "extradition and mutual legal assistance" back in 2003, but the agreement cannot come into force until it's ratified by the US Senate and the European Parliament. The Senate, however, cannot ratify it based on the EU signature alone, since for technicalities of international law -- for instance, the as-yet-unratified European Constitution -- the EU does not as of now constitute a unitary state. Thus the Senate cannot consider agreement until each and every EU member -- and you know, that number is rising by the minute, I've heard -- signs its own bilateral agreement with the US.

Which brings us to Ireland. Essentially, this is just one of 15 (now 25?) bilateral agreements on the road to ratification of the EU-US agreement. As such, it is and isn't binding; I can see arguments gong both ways. That said, what the agreement binds both governments to isn't really all that unusual: governments already cooperate frequently in high-profile criminal investigations. The UK and Egypt, for example, don't even have such a treaty in place (a relic of Suez, perhaps?), yet Egypt has detained and questioned a suspect in the July 7 London bombings. Seriously: track down people in Ireland? You don't think they'd already do that? Transfer custody to the US? That's, um, what's called extradition. Bank account information? Again, nothing new. The one novel aspect might be keeping some of these investigatory activities secret. Seriously, what these agreements do is formalize existing law-enforcement cooperation, which believe you me is very thick indeed.

But getting to the more interesting question. The agreement was drafted between representatives of the US DOJ and the Justice committee of the Council of the European Union. Although the EU Parliament has gotten involved (and may not, in the end, oppose the agreements) there is clearly a turf issue here. The Council is a body with authority lying somewhere between legislative and executive, with elements of both and neither. It has some "chief operating officer" continuity that the rotating Presidency and the Parliament don't have. I'm not sure this qualifies as a major European scandal but it may yet qualify as a major European constitutional question.
posted by dhartung at 11:26 PM on July 21, 2005


"Imperium Americana"

Because Pax Americana it ain't.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:35 PM on July 21, 2005


I don't know what to think. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties makes the complaint in the first article, but I don't see such a complaint on their website.

The second article makes it all seem like a big misunderstanding. I'd like to see the law in question.

If the allegations are true, welcome to the American Empire. Trust me, you do not want to see your citizens in the hands of US authorities.
posted by brevity at 12:45 AM on July 22, 2005


These appear to be the agreements in question:

Bilateral Instrument between Ireland and the United States of America on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters

Bilateral Instrument between Ireland and the United States of America on Extradition

I'm no lawyer, but after a read-through I don't see what sparked the outrage. In every case it seems to say that every request (of say, the USA to Ireland) is carried out by the local authorities and is governed by local laws. And you can only extradite someone under this agreement if the act would have been criminal in both countries.

But someone more familiar with such agreements should give the final verdict.
posted by brevity at 1:21 AM on July 22, 2005


Hang on, what about this:

About 20,000 immigrants, who have not been charged with any crime, are currently in prison in the US.

How does that happen? Does it mean illegal immigrants detained before being deported, if that's how it works? Or legal immigrants detained for... what?
posted by funambulist at 3:33 AM on July 22, 2005


One of the articles I read about this said the agreement was reciprocal. Can the Irish authorities request the same of US citizens? That might raise the outrage factor over here a bit.
posted by caddis at 6:53 AM on July 22, 2005



Wow! First -- Where did the "20,000 immigrants" in jail without charges statement come from?

An important thing to remember, is that Ireland recently had their first influx of people seeking asylum and refuge from places like the Near East, South Asia, etc.

Hypothetically, what if the Irish government discovered a large number of extremists, many of whom were associated with terror or criminal cells, among these new arrivals? What if they realized it was beyond their means, budget, and capabilities to deal with this issue? What if this agreement was an indication of the Irish seeking assistance to avoid another Madrid or London train bombing?
posted by turner13 at 8:04 AM on July 22, 2005


What if this agreement was an indication of the Irish seeking assistance to avoid another Madrid or London train bombing?

Then the Irish are stupid.
posted by mr.marx at 10:54 AM on July 22, 2005


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