Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Renditions - just plain wrong

Might makes right seems to be the controlling principle in the United States government. The US is something akin to a marauding crusader justifying its actions much like the crusaders of old - a global manifest destiny with similar substantial religious overtones.

WWII resulted in the passing pf the baton from one conqueror to another - Great Britain to the United States. And we have been running with it ever since - absolute power corrupts absolutely.  The British seemed to enjoy its conquering role - the Brits believe they are vastly superior bringing civility to the world.  However, the US enjoys its newly founded post WWII role in spreading the message merely because it can.

The example of today - Rendition gets ongoing embrace from Obama administration. The originating story by the Washington Post while seemingly lays the problem at the feet of Obama, confirms that he is continuing the policies of George W.  Bush. Look for all we know (the public is the last to know) it has been a standard policy not just for many years but maybe even decades.

The US seems to enjoy its role in forcing other peoples to become subservient. The Indian People would most certainly agree. And it is not only military might, but financial might that carries the day. The rendition in Djibouti is best explained the combined military and financial bullying of a small nation whose survival depends on the largess of countries like the US.

Take a peek at the CIA World Factbook. Djibouti has nothing to bargain with or otherwise put itself in the position of denying the wishes of the country that carries a big stick. " Djibouti has few natural resources and little industry. The nation is, therefore, heavily dependent on foreign assistance to help support its balance of payments and to finance development projects. An unemployment rate of nearly 60% in urban areas continues to be a major problem."

Djibouti rendition. [T]hree European men with Somali roots were arrested on a murky pretext in August as they passed through the small African country of Djibouti. [...] "US agents accused the men [...] of supporting al-Shabab, an Islamist militia in Somalia that Washington considers a terrorist group. Two months after their arrest, the prisoners were secretly indicted by a federal grand jury in New York, then clandestinely taken into custody by the FBI and flown to the United States to face trial."

Djibouti Has Been The Darkest Spot Of African Continent nicely lays out the case: "According to case filed confidentially in 2009 and made public last week, Djibouti has violated human rights of the neighbouring countries ‘citizen. Not only the international communities are expected Djibouti to apologize it role of illegal US extra-ordinary rendition, but it’s also expected that the regime in Djibouti to financially compensate its victims."

The article further notes that the "US have been launching military attack from Djibouti to the neighbouring countries like Somalia and Yemen of course with blessing of regime . . . ." More importantly though, the story provides details of the lawsuit before the African Commission that stems from a 2003 arrest of Mohammed al-Asad in Tanzania.

The details of the lawsuit with my substantial editing as to form.
"Mr Asad was not told why he had been apprehended. He was soon bound and blindfolded and placed on a Tanzair flight to Djibouti, although he was not informed of his destination . . . ."  He "then entered the CIA's "secret detention and torture programme . . . ."" He "was held incommunicado in Djibouti for two weeks where he was "interrogated by an American agent and subjected to torture and inhuman treatment . . . ."
"He was then held for 16 months at a CIA facility in Afghanistan and at a secret location in one other country . . . . "  He "was never charged with a crime, nor was he allowed to contact his family or an attorney . . . .  In 2005, he was transferred to a prison in his native Yemen. He pleaded guilty the following year to charges of having forged travel documents and was sentenced to time served. He currently lives freely in Yemen with his Tanzanian wife."
There is a substantial amount of material I left out, but I suggest a read of the full text. It makes the rendition even further incomprehensible. The 2012 - The Rendition Project provides an interesting case summary of the on-going renditions.

Too much attention and maybe high expectations are being placed on this case before the African Commission. The results of the lawsuit already delayed may have little impact as to righting the wrong to Mr. Asad, but it can have a moral impact that hopefully will shine an ever increasing bright light on illegal and immoral actions by the US via the CIA.

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