Italian Rendition Trial

Kevin Drum makes a good point about the Italian rendition trials.  While it is good to see some pushback on the horrible practice of kidnapping people and dumping them in countries that have no qualms about torture (sort of an outsourcing of ethics), the Italians stopped well short of showing any real backbone:

Let me get this straight: the Italian judge was happy to convict a bunch of Americans who he knew would never pay a price since they'll never be extradited, but he wasn't willing to convict the Italians involved in all this, who would have paid a price.  You'll excuse me, I hope, if I don't exactly see this as a triumph of judicial independence.  Convicting a bunch of foreigners is easy.  It's holding your own people to account that's hard.  Wake me up when either of our countries starts doing that.


  1. TheoB:

    "Italian prosecutors had charged the Americans and *seven* members of the Italian military intelligence agency".

    "Citing state secrecy, the judge did not convict *five* high-ranking Italians charged in the abduction".

    The two remaining Italians got 3 years.

  2. John Moore:

    There's a horrible danger in some of these human rights prosecutions: the imposition of international law (which is a dangerous mish-mash of bad ideas and wrong people) over Americans.

    While the Italian case may (I don't know the details) simply involve violations of Italian law, it isn't being presented that way.

    If this Italian affair is about anything more than violations of Italian law, the US should put an immediate ban on Italian imports, throw out their diplomats, and threaten stronger measures. If it *is* about violations of Italian law, then why are we not extraditing the convicted Americans?

    Other Euro-tranzis (such as an infamous Spanish judge) use international law as if they have some magically conferred authority over people in other countries.

    The Americans convicted in this mess will indeed pay a penalty: they cannot leave the US without fear of being arrested. In the modern world, that is a major penalty.