My first thought was of Snowden. Then I thought about people like Abu Omar whom our CIA kidnapped in broad daylight from the streets of Milan and sent to Egypt for years of torture. At least in his case, there is a criminal investigation - in Italy. We know of at least 136 people the U.S. has abducted and sent to any of the 54 nations participating in our extra judicial torture programs. Much like the lament at the end of this article about China, nobody is stopping it.
Still, it’s a bit weird to see an American publication complaining about it. America kidnapped over 100 people from EU soil alone - plus Canadians and others nowhere near any war zone - after 9/11, torturing many, on vague suspicions. Some were eventually let go with an “er, never mind.” Others long cleared of any wrong-doing are still being held.
If another state feels that it might be able to get important security-related information from an American soldier (or any American on a business trip - there are thousands of military contractors travelling the world) through torture, America can’t say, “that’s a crime!” If another country - even an allied country - is unable to extradite a suspect from America and decides to kidnap him off the streets of New York instead, America can hardly complain about its sovereignty being violated.
Aaaand since the USA is doing the same thing, they can’t complain about it.
the (official) US doesn’t complain, only the press is a little bit more inquisitive and critical
Admittedly it’s not entirely the same:
It’s said that America won’t just bomb your cities; it’ll return in 20 years to make movies about how bombing your cities made their soldiers feel bad.
America’s victims can look forward to movies in the 2020s about how kidnapping and torturing them made America’s kidnappers and torturers feel bad. This won’t happen with China’s victims.
I don’t suppose the ultimate punishment of a Chinese snatch-squad is death by snu-snu?
Ok fine, carry on with your serious discussion.
I have a fictional scenario in my mind of US abductors being shot down by local police officers. It’s the basis for a comedy.
I guess I could extend it to China.
Still not a very funny comedy…
I didn’t vote for extraordinary rendition. When I found out about it, I wrote my congress people to cut it the fuck out. When I turned 18 I voted for a candidate I thought would put an end to this kind of crap being done by the US. A person who campaigned on the platform of releasing the Gitmo prisoners.
America has the moral grounds to complain. Our government doesn’t though. Our government would be well-served to listen to its constituency, and make things right with the people they hurt, and to expect better behavior from the Chinese government as well.
To say we don’t have any right to complain and condemn is admitting that the Soviets’ “but you Americans lynch negroes” was a valid argument too.
It’s wrong all around. The government’s idea that torture is in any way acceptable doesn’t represent the actual will of the people.
Nonsense. The American government wasn’t lynching negroes. Americans in general weren’t lynching, nor did they support it. It was illegal, and it was prosecuted.
Not so with America’s kidnapping and torture program. It WAS/IS government policy, from America’s democratically elected government. By the 2004 election it was well documented, from the kidnappings and torture itself to the Office of Legal Counsel memo and Pentagon and Justice Department documents declaring it peachy-keen. Victims were already being released after months or years of torture followed by an “er, never mind.”
AND THOSE RESPONSIBLE WERE RE-ELECTED, BY A GREATER MARGIN. Sure, YOU voted against it. A majority of the American people disagreed with you. Turning the country into a torture state didn’t effect the election in the least.
But it doesn’t stop there.
In the next administration, run by the OTHER party, there’s not a hint of prosecuting those who did it. There’s not a hint of prosecuting those who ordered it.
During the 2012 election Republican candidates Bachmann, Cain, Perry and Santorum each called for torture to resume. Mr. Romney’s advisers privately urged him to call for a resumption of torture. (Presumably Ron Paul thought that torture is an issue that should be left to the states.) Not only did this not cause a scandal or hurt their chances within the Republican Party, but there wasn’t a hint of a scandal about it by the Democrats or the general public.
Dick Cheney and friends are still on US news programs and no-one bats an eye. Donald Rumsfeld was in the news and on Stephen Colbert’s show this week… talking about his new Solitaire game. John Yoo, who wrote the torture memos to tell those who did it that torture was peachy-keen, is a law professor at Berkeley for Christ’s sake.
This is not a country that has ended torture. At most it’s a country that has paused torture for the current administration, while STILL holding kidnapping victims for over a decade without trial. It’s government policy, the American people as a whole are OK with it, and any “But YOU do it” argument from modern-day Soviets would be entirely valid.
The idea that the British or US governments are not making a big outcry about this because they’re embarrassed about the extra-legal kidnappings that they are responsible for is nice, but I’m pretty sure it’s giving them far, far too much credit.
The idea in the article that they’re keeping quiet in order not to lose Chinese investment sounds much more likely to my cynical mind.
Movie Americans have a lot less respect for other countries’ sovereignty than real Americans do. There are plenty of movies that should have ended prematurely with the heroes being rightfully arrested by local police.
… and nobody is stopping it
Because when China does it somebody should step in?
Take a look in the mirror, America!
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