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CIA Arrest warrants
December 24, 2005 12:14 AM   Subscribe

At last, someone is going to take the legal route. Italian authorities have issued arrest warrants for 22 CIA Agents suspected of involvement in the US kidnap/torture policy. "The new warrants allow for the suspects' detention anywhere in the 25-nation EU, a prosecutor said." That's more lost clients for the European tourist industry.
posted by cassbrown1 (45 comments total)

 
Reading the article closely, it sounds more like a paper "formality" by a rouge anti-American judge with the Italian Prime Minister saying he "see no basis" for it.
posted by stbalbach at 12:52 AM on December 24, 2005


The Italian Prime Minister (a man without a stain on his character) sees "no basis for it"

Tony Blair said he had no evidence to suggest that anything illegal had happened. Mr Blair added that he did not want to "add fuel" to stories about the practice, which is known as "extraordinary rendition".

Dubyah just plain can't see anything wrong with it.

Weren't these three recently in some sort of business together?
posted by cassbrown1 at 1:18 AM on December 24, 2005


Yes, obviously if a judge in a foreign country objects to Americans kidnapping an Italian in Italy he must be a communist and anti-American.
posted by clevershark at 1:29 AM on December 24, 2005


Right on clevershark - took the sarcastic words right out of my mouth.
posted by Dag Maggot at 1:42 AM on December 24, 2005


The Italian Prime Minister (a man without a stain on his character)

lol

It doesn't sound like those agents have very much to worry about. I suspect the CIA will just ignore it.
posted by ScottMorris at 2:13 AM on December 24, 2005


True - or they will just kidnap the judge
posted by cassbrown1 at 2:24 AM on December 24, 2005


Well, one hopes that despite the judicial "reforms"* implemented by the Berlusconi family administration, the judicial arm of the Italian government still has some autonomy. So it shouldn't be surprising that the judicial branch does something that the executive is not thrilled about.


*Basically Silvio forced legislation through that makes it impossible to convict him of crimes he committed when he wasn't PM. A true democrat.
posted by sic at 2:26 AM on December 24, 2005


He was the mildest manner'd man, that ever scuttled ship or cut a throat.
posted by cassbrown1 at 2:45 AM on December 24, 2005


That's true, sic. But it's gonna take the cooperation of Burlisconi to enforce it.
posted by ScottMorris at 2:53 AM on December 24, 2005


sic, the immunity law you mention was then overturned by the constitutional court.
posted by funambulist at 2:56 AM on December 24, 2005


No, ScottMorris, it doesn't take his cooperation at all, because despite everything, the judiciary is still independent from the excutive - and the warrants have been signed by the Justice Minister, as the BBC article says obviously it's a formality by now because the CIA agents are no longer in Italy or presumably Europe and even if they were they wouldn't be easily identifiable, what with their being CIA agents, so they'll never get arrested. So, the warrants are just a gesture of principle, totally ineffective in practice. But if that possibility of arrest was there, it wouldn't be up to Berlusconi to do it, nor would his government have any means to stop it.

What it would take is the cooperation of the US. *hilarity*
posted by funambulist at 3:08 AM on December 24, 2005


Oh Berlusconi, my man :) Anytime somebody disagrees or there's some judicial action the judges are communists ! I guess he thinks law is for communits by communist..that's so sad because he's certainly an excellent public releationship man and a competent businessman. Nobody not even communists play the victim as well as he does.

Hey but look, CIA Agent proclaims italian government knew about the kidnapping yet the government denies.

Let's see...a bunch of CIA agents (far less foxy and sexy then James) imbued with the idea italians are wildly incompetent at anything (pot, meet kettle) go kidnap some personality. An article on some newspaper (sorry I haven't found the link yet) alleges the CIA agents were so clueless they used bus reserved lanes to run away...and they were taped by the camera that usually deters people from abusing the bus lane.

Additionally, they used rented cars ..apparently using some official ID and all that data was stored on rental agency computers. They also used their own cellphones during the operation and left them turned on.

On a tangent:
There you go a joke on Berlusconi.

Berlusconi dies and goes to Heaven and meets God. God says "Behold, I'm THE ONE who IS ! " and Berlusconi replies " Behold, I'm the THE ONE who OWNS "
posted by elpapacito at 3:13 AM on December 24, 2005


What it would take is the cooperation of the US. *hilarity* Funambulist makes very early start on Chritmas sherry
posted by cassbrown1 at 3:14 AM on December 24, 2005


Christmas
posted by cassbrown1 at 3:29 AM on December 24, 2005


cassbrown1 gets early start on eggnog
posted by ScottMorris at 3:38 AM on December 24, 2005


The first 4 pints are the killer - sorry
posted by cassbrown1 at 3:40 AM on December 24, 2005


From elpapcito's link:
The lawyer for Robert Seldon Lady, who headed the CIA's Milan station from 2000 to January 2004, made the claim while challenging the warrant issued for his arrest by Italian prosecutors in June this year
I thought these warrants were just issued?
posted by ScottMorris at 3:44 AM on December 24, 2005


That's more lost clients for the European tourist industry.

Was that supposed to be a threat?
posted by hugsnkisses at 3:49 AM on December 24, 2005


Not quite sure who it could possibly be a threat to
posted by cassbrown1 at 4:02 AM on December 24, 2005


That's more lost clients for the European tourist industry.

Was that supposed to be a threat?


It's a heck of threat. The Americans have got us Europeans by the short-and-curlies. They know that if they stop coming over here as tourists, we're going to have to find someplace else to import our badly dressed, supersized, loud people from. As they darn well know, no other nation on Earth can supply us with the amount of those that we've grown accustomed to.
posted by veedubya at 4:55 AM on December 24, 2005


An extraordinary rendition roost?

As the agents were following orders I hope those who gave the orders are also indicted. *cough - dubya*
posted by nofundy at 5:51 AM on December 24, 2005


and Nero, (Bush) fiddled while Rome, (our Constitution) burned....
posted by jamie939 at 6:02 AM on December 24, 2005


I'm sure Italy wouldn't do it*, but wouldn't it be ironic if those CIA agents were grabbed on American soil by a strike team from Italian Intelligence and then "rendered" back to Italy? :)

* Because it's STOOPID
posted by kaemaril at 6:50 AM on December 24, 2005


CIA agents (even the NOCs) are almost always attached to embassies either as staff (with diplomatic immunity) or indirectly. It's never been much of a secret who's CIA and who's not.

The Agent Identities Protection Act was passed because Lou Wolf at CovertAction figured out how to cross-reference embassy and consulate staff lists with public State Deptartment records and strip the cover off every CIA agent outside the country. He never relied on anything but publicly available government records.

I'm amazed that with all the flapdoodle over the Plame Name Blame Game no reporter has ever gone to talk to Lou and done a story about the origin of the Act. Instead they all spew a bogus legend about "spook whacked in Greece" when the facts are totally otherwise. But as long as they print the handout and don't check the facts, the legend persists.

So if any of these spook bozos show up in the EU and the cops ID them, there's going to be a diplomatic incident par excellence.

This could be good.
posted by warbaby at 6:53 AM on December 24, 2005


As there does not seem to be any attention paid by the US to the status of citizens of foreign sovereign states, I look forward to agrieved governments instructing their own agencies to take retalliatory action.

Luxembourg may start by rendering O'Reilly to Lapland. Sorry, but at that stage even I would be prepared to ignore things like liberty, justice, right and wrong etc.
posted by cassbrown1 at 7:05 AM on December 24, 2005


CIA agents (even the NOCs) are almost always attached to embassies either as staff (with diplomatic immunity) or indirectly. It's never been much of a secret who's CIA and who's not.

The Agent Identities Protection Act was passed because Lou Wolf at CovertAction figured out how to cross-reference embassy and consulate staff lists with public State Deptartment records and strip the cover off every CIA agent outside the country. He never relied on anything but publicly available government records.

I'm amazed that with all the flapdoodle over the Plame Name Blame Game no reporter has ever gone to talk to Lou and done a story about the origin of the Act. Instead they all spew a bogus legend about "spook whacked in Greece" when the facts are totally otherwise. But as long as they print the handout and don't check the facts, the legend persists.

So if any of these spook bozos show up in the EU and the cops ID them, there's going to be a diplomatic incident par excellence.

This could be good.
posted by warbaby at 7:16 AM on December 24, 2005


So if any of these spook bozos show up in the EU and the cops ID them, there's going to be a diplomatic incident par excellence. Nice idea but aren't "diplomatic" incidents restricted to countries who follow diplomatic chanels and international law?
posted by cassbrown1 at 7:22 AM on December 24, 2005


Detaining people bearing diplomatic passports is always an incident. And though they can't be arrested, they can be expelled. If it blows up further, other diplomatic staff can be expelled for spying.

As I said earlier, CIA spooks usually use diplomatic passports and everybody knows who they are. So if any of the people named in warrants are detained, depending on the state of relations with the host country, all the spooks in that country stand a chance of being expelled.

Since the EU has unified criminal law across national boundaries, this is not "just a formality" -- the warrants are an item of real concern to Langley.
posted by warbaby at 7:32 AM on December 24, 2005


We can but hope
posted by cassbrown1 at 7:35 AM on December 24, 2005


Do the warrents include charges regarding the use of the bus lane?
posted by srboisvert at 7:49 AM on December 24, 2005


Bus lane legislation is not pan European so the lesser charges of kidnap, torture etc will have to do I'm afraid.
posted by cassbrown1 at 7:57 AM on December 24, 2005


elpapacito: they didn't do all that because they were clueless or because they thought Italians are incompetent, they did it because they knew they'd get away with it, which very likely means that someone at Italian government and/or intelligence level knew and gave it "explicit or implicit consent", as that agent says, or even, more realistically, just couldn't have done anything to prevent a CIA operation, and it's not the first time anyway. Obviously the Italian government would deny that.
posted by funambulist at 9:08 AM on December 24, 2005


I thought the whole point of a NOC was that they didn't use diplomatic passports.
posted by Paris Hilton at 9:26 AM on December 24, 2005


I can't imagine that Paris' comment was not a joke. It's laughable otherwise. Not sure that Germany needs are help; they're too busy playing Fussball while off from their stressful 35-hour work week, anyway.
Berlusconi has got to be the funniest person on the planet:
In mid-May 2005, while opening the European Food Safety Authority in Parma (after the location had previously been preferred over one in Finland and Berlusconi had accused Finns of "not knowing what prosciutto is"), Berlusconi claimed that he had to "blow away the dust from my playboy (in English) arts" with the Finnish president, Tarja Halonen, to convince her to locate the EFSA in Parma. This caused criticism from both Italy and Finland, with the Italian ambassador in Finland being called by the Finnish foreign minister. [17]. Berlusconi later 'retracted' the comment by saying that anyone who had seen a picture of Halonen must have been aware that he had been joking.

From Wikipedia.
posted by austin5000 at 1:21 PM on December 24, 2005


OK before we got back to the thread, consider that Paris most times is in good faith, sometimes not.

Indeed it's obvious Paris can't criticize german authorities for releasing that vile bastard : he served more then 18 years in jail which is too little in my opinion, but what would you, release them to americans with a track record of prisoner abuse in Abu Grabi and other places, the people who inprison suspected terrorist without lawyer or judicial recourse if not "at libitum" of their current government ? You gotta be fucking kiddin me.

U.S. has lot any moral high ground, but nobody notified ParisP.
posted by elpapacito at 2:16 PM on December 24, 2005


The US has only lost "high ground" in the eyes of people I don't care about: the Axis of Weasel, the EU, Russia, the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran, etc.

Most Americans will not allow you to dumb-down morality and decency. If we have to go it alone, we will.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:21 PM on December 24, 2005


"but what would you, release them to americans with a track record of prisoner abuse in Abu Grabi and other places, the people who inprison suspected terrorist without lawyer or judicial recourse if not "at libitum" of their current government ? You gotta be fucking kiddin me."

Well, since the guy should have been executed, I hope he is tracked down and shot asap.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:22 PM on December 24, 2005


What's this "we" shit stuff peepee? You got a f*cking mouse in your pocket or something? You ain't done a damn thing except shit in Mefi threads whilst pounding your tiny pudenda!
[sorry to all for going off like this all but such puerile crap is exactly why the US has NO high ground]
posted by nofundy at 2:33 PM on December 24, 2005


Most Americans will not allow you to dumb-down morality and decency. If we have to go it alone, we will.
To the contrary, sir. Most Americans voted for it, in the guise of a corrupt politician who thinks nothing of abusing the rights of American citizens, and cares even less about abusing the rights of non-Americans. A man who believes that the President of the United States of America can, by definition, do no wrong when exercising his role as Commander In Chief in a perpetual "war" that he himself declared. A man who believes that torture is permissible, that he has the right to hold a man indefinately without charge or trial, and that laws that inconvenience him can be ignored with impunity. A man who does not care about Congress, or the Judiciary. A man who, in effect if not name, considers himself to be a king.
posted by kaemaril at 2:49 PM on December 24, 2005



Most Americans will not allow you to dumb-down morality and decency. If we have to go it alone, we will.

I wish that was true, that would mean having the pleasant part of the American Dream back, minus the illusion of the
Gold Rush. Retrospectively part of the problem with the illusion was planting the "we must be first" attitude that
so often conflicts with reality..which becomes a sad truth instead of simply truth. Sad truths aren't easily accepted.
You see I have no problems believing that some american would go alone..I have problems with you believing that
you speak for Americans. Actually, you would like americans to think like you..which I can understand..but facts defy
your wishes and that hurts.

Actually I miss the idea that U.S. is the promised land of opportunity, tolerance and freedom ; but I'm glad a deceiving illusion is gone.

Well, since the guy should have been executed, I hope he is tracked down and shot asap
If that stopped terrorism once and for all I'd be one becoming pragmatic. Going against my anti-death penalty
ideas I'd shot him dead. Truth is, one famous terrorist dead means one more martyr which suggests more terrorism.
posted by elpapacito at 2:51 PM on December 24, 2005


guys, guys, guys. do NOT reply to PP.
posted by mcsweetie at 7:03 PM on December 24, 2005


U wuz tr0ll3d.
posted by klangklangston at 10:16 PM on December 24, 2005


The new warrants allow for the suspects' detention anywhere in the 25-nation EU, a prosecutor said.

The Strategy of Attention.
posted by dhartung at 11:00 PM on December 24, 2005


Hilton's question about NOC's: NOC's are usually known as "the rich American in the million-dollar house who eats at the American embassy a lot." Really, folks, the world of espionage is not at all like it is portrayed on TV. There are remarkably few deep cover agents for the major powers. And most of them work under diplomatic cover. A couple of years ago, the CIA had less than two dozen NOCs, total. And just about all of them were high-profile like Valerie Plame.

Just read up on the details of this clownish operation in Italy.

The CIA's motto should be "We sleep at night so you don't have to."

Just read The Very Best Men and you'll get a glimpse of what's really what. Or Cord Meyer's autobiography.
posted by warbaby at 11:07 PM on December 24, 2005


Ciao, baby! Vruuuuumaruummmmaaa.
posted by HTuttle at 6:31 PM on December 26, 2005


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