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Ultimately, I suppose it comes down to perspective. As somebody noted above, European law is a work in progress and conflicts between national and supranational jurisdiction are frequent enough that those of us living in Europe see nothing surprising in them.

Conversely, the multiple levels of lawlessness of the contemplated assassination stands out all the more when viewed from within the context of Europe's legal scrupulousness.

I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that the situation embodies at least the following aspects, all of which I find worth consideration:

  • Extrajudicial execution = violation of due process and the rule of law - a fundamental universal (for the purposes of this discussion) principle.
  • Assassination of an individual on the territory of a sovereign nation: assassination of the citizens of another country is a casus belli with historical precedent (think WWI); the present situation might very well be conceivably construed as an act of war.
  • Delegation of war-making powers to a private contractor: a can of worms in and of itself.


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sat Dec 5th, 2009 at 05:21:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Extrajudicial execution = violation of due process and the rule of law...

On this matter, I still think that Germany thwarted due processes by blocking the extradition. Of course if Darkazanli had been murdered by the CIA, that would too have been more than a violation of due process. It would have been a criminal act. However, isn't plotting to murder/assassinate also a criminal act?

Assassination of an individual on the territory of a sovereign nation...

In my view, the CIA drone attacks in Pakistan are acts of war and according to the NY Times, the U.S. is expanding the use of drones in Pakistan.

... assassination of the citizens of another country is a casus belli with historical precedent (think WWI); the present situation might very well be conceivably construed as an act of war.

However, are you suggesting that if the Bush administration when through with their assassination plan in Germany, Germany would have seen it as an act of war?

Delegation of war-making powers to a private contractor: a can of worms in and of itself.

In the specific example in the diary, the private contractors were responsible for the training, not the actual operation according to the Vanity Fair article.

by Magnifico on Sat Dec 5th, 2009 at 11:27:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Magnifico:
On this matter, I still think that Germany thwarted due processes by blocking the extradition.

On the contrary, due process was upheld: the petition for extradition was duly examined by a German court - and rejected as inadequate. One may disagree with that decision, but it was arrived out through a scrupulous application of the rule of law.

Personally, I find such a decision comforting: if a court has the courage to stand up to prosecutors on behalf of an Islamic (alleged!) terrorist with a funny name, we can depend on them to be an effective check on executive authority.

Magnifico:

In my view, the CIA drone attacks in Pakistan are acts of war

I entirely agree.

Magnifico:

However, are you suggesting that if the Bush administration when through with their assassination plan in Germany, Germany would have seen it as an act of war?

No I'm not, merely that they would be within historical precedent if the chose to do so.


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sat Dec 5th, 2009 at 12:08:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PN time.

dvx:

Magnifico:

However, are you suggesting that if the Bush administration when through with their assassination plan in Germany, Germany would have seen it as an act of war?

No I'm not, merely that they would be within historical precedent if the chose to do so.

I would argue that since the murder of Franz Ferdinand was done by a terrorist organisation with headquarters in the other country, not by a state agency, it is a bad example.

A better example might be the alledged assassination attempt on Bush senior, which was part of the massive list of reasons for the Iraq war:

Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;

Or the sinking of US ships used as motivating the US entry into WW1:

Woodrow Wilson Urges Congress to Declare War on Germany - Wikisource

Property can be paid for; the lives of peaceful and innocent people cannot be. The present German submarine warfare against commerce is a warfare against mankind.

It is a war against all nations. American ships have been sunk, American lives taken, in ways which it has stirred us very deeply to learn of, but the ships and people of other neutral and friendly nations have been sunk and overwhelmed in the waters in the same way.



Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sat Dec 5th, 2009 at 12:29:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On this matter, I still think that Germany thwarted due processes by blocking the extradition.

With the CIA assassination considered in 2004, the possible extradiction blocked by Germany was that to the USA. Given that the USA has the death penalty, that blocking would be mandatory, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Dec 5th, 2009 at 02:24:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The extradition request was made by Spain.

I have no problem with blocking an extradition request made by a country where the defendant would be facing the death penalty.

by Magnifico on Sat Dec 5th, 2009 at 02:44:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The extradiction to Spain was blocked in late November 2004. The EAW itself was implemented only in August 2004.

The article doesn't say when the Darkazanli assassination attempt was, but it was before Prado left the CIA for Blackwater, also in 2004. I doubt you can fit the decision for, preparation and execution of the assassination attempt and Prado moving to Blackwater in the 40 last days of 2004.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Dec 5th, 2009 at 03:26:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Magnifico:
On this matter, I still think that Germany thwarted due processes by blocking the extradition.

Could you expand as to why?

I have little experience with extradition processes so I would find it interesting to see your argument spelled out.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Dec 5th, 2009 at 03:10:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've tried to explain my thoughts regarding this in other comments to this essay, for example here:

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Article 20 says "everyone is equal before the law."

Now this does not seem to be the case for certain privileged states, such as Germany, within the EU. A citizen of a privileged state can commit crimes in one state and then escape to their the safe haven.

Personally, I do not understand how a justice system can work in the EU if extraditions are blocked. I think either EU member states trust the justice systems in their fellow EU states, or they don't.

If some states protect their citizens from prosecution by other states, when other states do not, how is this equality?

And here:

The Germans found no grounds in which they could prosecute, Darkazanli. Spain thought otherwise, but Germany decided that Spain would not allow their citizen to extradited to another EU state. The determination not to extradite was made by bureaucrats outside of the courtroom.

And while this is done to defend a state's citizens against "dead laws", I think it is a loophole that can be exploited. As an interested outsider, I would rather see the EU explicitly state what and what are not extraditable crimes, ruling out such "dead laws" as blasphemy, than leaving such a loophole in place.

Again this is a matter of perspective. My argument is based on what I see as working in the United States where one state will normally extradite a wanted person to another state. There is 'trust' that justice will be done between the states of the American union. Without the trust between EU states that another state will mete justice fairly and accordingly, then I do not see how the EU legal system can work well. But then, maybe that is the point.

America's prisons are full.

by Magnifico on Sat Dec 5th, 2009 at 03:40:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I see it extradition is quite an infringement on a persons liberty and should thus be treated in some form of legal process (like say, warrants for searching someones home). If this process is handled in the state where the crime is committed or where the accused lives, or both, matters less as long as it is the same for everyone.

Thinking about it, I think I prefer it to be handled in both states - one issuing the warrant, the other trying it - as both state apparatuses are involved in the infringement of liberty.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Dec 5th, 2009 at 04:08:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Magnifico:
in the United States where one state will normally extradite a wanted person to another state

Please see, however, my exchange with gringo above.

Interstate extradition in the US only lost its major "loophole" a little over twenty years ago. And the EU is made up of sovereign states, so harmonizing law on such matters is even more difficult than under the federal constitution of the US.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 5th, 2009 at 04:22:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've tried to explain my thoughts regarding this in other comments to this essay

When you quote these earlier positions, does that mean that your views haven't changed even after the "tireless efforts of DoDo and Migeru to help explain what is going on"?

And while this is done to defend a state's citizens against "dead laws"

No dead laws clause was involved in the Darkazanli case... that was an explanation I gave to a clause you quoted. What was involved apparently was the mandatory non-execution of the EAW clause, with the double jeopardy sub-clause being my obvious guess.

where one state will normally extradite a wanted person to another state.

As I quoted Wikipedia upthread, in the USA, too, double jeopardy may apply even if a case is closed against someone before it even gets to trial in one state.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Dec 6th, 2009 at 06:00:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry DoDo, I had missed your Wikipedia link about dismissal due to lack of evidence and double jeopardy. I withdraw my statements regarding the Darkazanli case and German obstruction of justice.
by Magnifico on Sun Dec 6th, 2009 at 11:48:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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