Dick Cheney’s Chief Apologist Advocates Kidnapping Leakers

This is a rather stunning suggestion coming from the chief apologist for the guy who ordered Valerie Plame’s identity to be exposed.

The United States should make clear that it will not tolerate any country — and particularly NATO allies such as Belgium and Iceland — providing safe haven for criminals who put the lives of NATO forces at risk.With appropriate diplomatic pressure, these governments may cooperate in bringing [Wikileak’s Julian] Assange to justice. But if they refuse, the United States can arrest Assange on their territory without their knowledge or approval. In 1989, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a memorandum entitled “Authority of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to Override International Law in Extraterritorial Law Enforcement Activities.”

This memorandum declares that “the FBI may use its statutory authority to investigate and arrest individuals for violating United States law, even if the FBI’s actions contravene customary international law” and that an “arrest that is inconsistent with international or foreign law does not violate the Fourth Amendment.” In other words, we do not need permission to apprehend Assange or his co-conspirators anywhere in the world.

Frankly, I think it would be downright cruel to render Dick Cheney for having leaked national security information, given that he has not yet left the hospital where he had his new pulse-free pump installed. (h/t Political Carnival) And it’s too late the render the functional equivalent of Julian Assange–which would be Robert Novak.

But I’m guessing Marc Thiessen didn’t mean his op-ed to endorse the kidnapping of all his buddies who leak highly sensitive national security information. On Thiessen’s pig farm, some leakers are more equal than others.

  1. Jeff Kaye says:

    The real story here is that the U.S. government has given its domestic national police the right to disregard international law and kidnap or “render” suspects. Perhaps I am a naif, but I had not been aware of this provision. I knew of course of the CIA and DoD rendition program, but not that the FBI had been granted the same powers. I presume the 1989 ruling was not changed during the Clinton years.

    Cheney’s threat is all too real, and I fear for Mr. Assange. No doubt they are jonesing to have him in one of their black sites, or at very least in the Charleston brig, where they can experiment upon him at will. These are vicious, vicious people, ruling over a populace either too terrorized or too passive to really get in their way.

    Frightening times.

    The meat from the 1989 ruling:

    First, we conclude that, with appropriate direction, the FBI may use its broad statutory authority under 28 U.S.C. § 533(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 3052 to investigate and arrest individuals for violations of United States law even if those investigations and arrests are not consistent with international law. Second, we conclude that the President, acting through the Attorney General, has inherent constitutional authority to order the FBI to investigate and arrest individuals in a manner that departs from international law. The international law that may be abridged in this manner includes not only customary international law but also Article 2(4) of the U.N. Charter and other unexecuted treaties or treaty provisions that have not become part of the domestic law of the United States. Finally, we reaffirm the conclusion of the 1980 Opinion that an arrest departing from international law does not violate the Fourth Amendment, and we further conclude that an arrest in violation of foreign law does not abridge the Fourth Amendment.

    • thatvisionthing says:

      But why the FBI? Why isn’t CIA the criminal of choice?

      From Calls Intensify for Investigation Into Bush-era CIA Program, PBS Newshour, aired July 13, 2009:

      GWEN IFILL: What’s the distinction between co-managing and oversight [by Congress]?

      DAVID IGNATIUS: Well, that’s a good question. The CIA is an executive arm of the president and operates to do things that, you know, by their nature need to be hidden, need in some cases to be denied. If you can do it openly, you do it through another agency. We so often forget, the CIA exists really to systematically violate the laws of other countries.

      JANE MAYER: But not our own laws. That’s what the issue…

      We suck.

    • michaelfishman says:

      and bmaz @ 5

      Mary @ 48 very competently clarifies how the court will use its own lack of extraterritorial jurisdiction to not rule on the legality of the US agency’s extraterritorial act (have I got that right?), which explains why the US agency can get away with it before the US court, but does not justify or legalize the act of the US agency (have I got that right?).

      So, with Mary’s explanation, we see how the FBI could get away with the arrest in Belgium or Spain.

      The OLC memo, however, seems to legalize the FBI’s extraterritorial arrest…or to grant an extraterritorial arrest power to the FBI…which is quite another matter. If I have this right (do I?), {and of course we do not have access here to the 1980 memo} where does the OLC get the power or authority to legalize anything, or grant a power?

      And, something else that bothers me, the memo never mentions extraterritoriality. It talks obout consistency or inconsistency with international law. Wouldn’t the FBI’s arrest of a UN diplomat in New York be inconsistent with international law? Is there a reason for the memo to be pussy-footing like that? And finally, has the memo been reviewed, approved and relied upon?

  2. klynn says:

    The US just made Assange an international martyr by the suggestion of rendering him.

    Not the best diplomacy.

    I would not be surprised if NATO grows smaller by the day.

    After all, “..some leakers are more equal than others.”

    • tejanarusa says:

      Of course, Cheney and Thiessen are not part of the U.S. government. Too bad we can’t expect our media to just ignore them both.

      If Obama were the Obama I hoped I was voting for, he’d take the opportunity to catch Cheney still in a known location and arrest his ass for war crimes. Arrests in the hospital are hardly unknown, after all.

  3. bmaz says:

    I am not surprised by the part about such a rendition not violating the 4th Amendment; that is consistent with a lot of historical interpretations of the 4th. The rest is more problematic in a sense; and in another not. If I read the quote Jeff left correctly, the OLC opinion is basically saying that as long as it is not forbidden by US statute or binding treaty obligation, it is permissible under US law. Doesn’t mean it is a good practice, but is it that shocking of a conclusion? I mean, really, the US has a long and strong history of not giving a rat’s ass about international law.

  4. Jim White says:

    But is Assange also on the hit list? Those trials are just so long, messy and unpredictable in outcome [although I guess renditons don’t have to end in trial…]. Predator strikes are so clean. Why isn’t Thiessen pushing for that? Or is that his September push?

    • ghostof911 says:

      Assange is a nobody, But something will have to be done about him to serve as a warning to those privy to the really juicy secrets.

  5. ghostof911 says:

    There’s a full court press to have leakers like eliminated. With the sand in the upper half of Dick Cheney’s hourglass nearly gone, there is urgency to make sure his secrets aren’t disclosed to those in the afterlife.

    • bobschacht says:

      Well, Dick’s already half-way to the afterlife, what with his new status as a zombie (no pulse). I don’t really understand how his new device works, but apparently it works without a pump-pulse (what does it use? a propeller?). and if that’s the case, what does his heart actually do?

      Bob in AZ

    • thatvisionthing says:

      There’s a full court press to have leakers like eliminated.

      The full-court press isn’t on leakers, it’s on whistleblowers, per the US Army in 2008. A point Assange made in his interview on Democracy Now:

      AMY GOODMAN: Julian Assange, in a memo, a US government secret memo that WikiLeaks posted in March, marked “unauthorized disclosure subject to criminal sanctions,” it concludes, quote, “‘WikiLeaks.org represents…in plain English, a threat to Army operations and information.” Can you respond to this?

      JULIAN ASSANGE: Yeah. This was a 2008 counterintelligence analysis of us by the US Army…. It goes on to explain examples of why we maybe should be attacked. And those examples are examples which have embarrassed the US military, revelations of abuses at Guantanamo Bay, abuses in Fallujah, and potentially illegal use of small chemical weapons in Iraq. Now, it says that one of the ways of attacking that center of gravity is by publicly prosecuting whistleblowers. It even uses that word, “whistleblower,” not US military personnel or other personnel who are engaging in irresponsible leaking, but rather whistleblowers, people who are blowing the whistle on abuse.

      • Mary says:

        It’s part of what makes me dislike Obama so viscerally now – it was one thing for a terrified Bush to try to keep the lid on whistleblowers to cover up his crimes, but for Obama to waltz in and use the people who put him in office – whistleblowers (and their families) as human sacrifices to appease the pissed off criminals in CIA, DOJ, DOD, etc. – that’s so revolting I really wouldn’t lose sleep over even a Palin replacing him.

        • thatvisionthing says:

          I am so with you.

          Way back in primary days, I got in a lovely debate in a long Daily Kos comments thread over Obama’s fitness to be president after his FISA cave. I was so angry at the fail, I took the position then that McCain might actually be better for the Constitution than Obama:


          For reasons stated above (and below in other comments), I am not convinced that Obama as president would be better on the whole than McCain. Neither will restore the Constitution, based on present evidence, and who would energize the people more in a way that will restore the Constitution? I’m wondering if a very wrong McCain would. The sooner people stand up and make the decisions, the better.

          You know the letter E? My sister taught her sons this when they were learning how to read. The letter E at the end of a word makes the vowel speak up and say its name. Can becomes cane, not becomes note, see? The e sounds like nothing, you don’t hear it, but it makes all the difference. So maybe if people are like vowels, maybe I’m looking for a nothing candidate who’ll make them stand up and declare themselves. Maybe nothing but a nothing will do.

          Actually, Obama has been so bad, and things like what this diary is about keep happening, that that’s what I’m looking for now, people waking up. Government thinks it can take for granted that they ARE the country, but the more injustice they do and the more they exclude and waste people — in other words, the more they do to delegitimize themselves — well, they might end up with a man-size safe and not much more. I hope. We the corporations just ain’t we the people.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Thiessen’s pig farm? Is it the kind that allots three square feet per pig per life, or is it the Thomas Harris kind, hidden in the hills of Northern Virginia, where reluctant guests are served a lecture about their care and feeding?

  7. Neil says:

    Does any European country, take for example Spain, have a legal basis for their law enforcement or Interpol to render Dick Cheney to face the bar for violating international treaties prohibiting torture-such as the treaty Reagan negotiated and Congress ratified? Because the US has the legal basis to try him but not the will.

      • Neil says:

        Thanks. It makes me curious if there are any other nations that are known renderers that have enshrined national kidnapping into law.

    • Mary says:

      When Obama issued the Interpol Order


      there was some concern among the right wing (who didn’t realize that Obama is more right wing than Dana Rohrbacher and Hoekstra on things like protecting executive branch criminals) that he was trying to set something up along those lines. It was pretty funny at the time:

      In a Web post for the conservative National Review last week, the commentator Andrew C. McCarthy declared that an “international police force” could now operate inside the United States “unrestrained by the U.S. Constitution and American law.” He also suggested that the order created in the Justice Department “a repository for stashing government files” beyond the reach of Congress and the public.

      But despite much gnashing and gnawing ;)

      Contrary to its portrayal in some movies, Interpol has no police force that conducts investigations and makes arrests. Rather, it serves its 188 member countries by working as a clearinghouse for police departments in different nations to share law enforcement information — like files on wanted criminals and terrorists, stolen cars and passports, and notices that a law enforcement agency has issued an arrest warrant for a fugitive.

      In the United States, a bureau at the Justice Department staffed by American officials transmits information between law enforcement agencies and Interpol. If a foreign country issues an arrest warrant for a person inside the United States, it is up to the United States government, based on its own laws, to decide whether to apprehend the suspect.

      In many of the countries at issue, there is also a diplomatic overlay in issuing non-domestic arrest warrants and even with a judgment (like there is in Italy) the Executive branch and diplomatic guys have the final input in whether they ask the US for extradition and arrests (and they haven’t).

        • Mary says:

          You’re not usually so understated. ;)

          @61 – thanks for that, and to go further OT briefly, for the fact that it took me to this:


          as well.

          Col. Bacevich from today in an interview with Amy Goodman.

          “The question demands to be asked: Who is more deserving of contempt?” Bacevich asks. “The commander-in-chief who sends young Americans to die for a cause, however misguided, in which he sincerely believes? Or the commander-in-chief who sends young Americans to die for a cause in which he manifestly does not believe and yet refuses to forsake?”

          Crazy Bush, Coldly Calculating Obama. Joy joy – do we have to pick just one?

          • thatvisionthing says:

            I love Democracy Now, and Bacevich has my great respects since seeing him interviewed by Bill Moyers — more than once. I miss Moyers, dammit, why’d he have to retire when we need him?

            • bobschacht says:

              IMHO, Bill Moyers should be certified as a National Treasure.
              I wish PBS would run carefully chosen re-runs of his program, because many of his shows still have currency.

              Bob in AZ

              • thatvisionthing says:

                Reruns, hell. I want him back on air! He’s had his vacation, now come back. Come back now. Back now, come please… :-)

                  • thatvisionthing says:

                    But his wife worked with him! His whole team was like a family! I’m like his family! And the future! Grandkids, seven generations, their world!! (See?)

                    Just saying, come back, Bill Moyers.

                    (Can FDL get him on for a salon?)

  8. chetnolian says:

    It’s all of a piece with the attempt to get the Scottish Justice Minister over to be a victim in a show trial (sorry witness at a Committee Hearing)on Lockerbie. The US is generally very bad a recognising that, actually there are bits of the Globe that are not the mighty US of A.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    This memorandum declares that “the FBI may use its statutory authority to investigate and arrest individuals for violating United States law, even if the FBI’s actions contravene customary international law” and that an “arrest that is inconsistent with international or foreign law does not violate the Fourth Amendment.” In other words, we do not need permission to apprehend Assange or his co-conspirators anywhere in the world.

    What gobbledygook! Throw in a reference to the Constitution you’re torching here, and a dismissal of “foreign and international law” there, and claim that taking the gloves off does not include committing brutal criminal behavior – obfuscate by claiming that you’re talking about the FBI merely utilizing its “statutory authority to arrest and investigate” – and you have a recipe for committing exactly that kind of brutal, criminal behavior.

    Just to be clear, this comment does not urge the FBI to engage in its traditional statutory authority to investigate and arrest. It is about expanding that activity beyond the reach of the criminal law, including international laws that have become part of US laws by treaty and custom.

  10. Leen says:

    Dick Cheney , Bush, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Feith should keep looking over their shoulders if and when they travel abroad.

    Amazing to think Assange wants to expose the truth and save lives. While the rest of these guys are all about knocking people off

      • Leen says:

        That is too bad. But you never know. Folks in other countries more aware, pissed off and concerned about the hundreds of thousands killed, injured and millions displaced in Iraq. Some people on the planet still have a collective conscience. Not so much in the U.S.

        • bmaz says:

          I am not saying I would not support the extradition and prosecution of some of the egregious lot, I would; just saying it is not going to happen under this or any other American administration. That line, at least for public officials, will never be crossed.

        • pdaly says:

          I found it refreshing to see at least one politician (Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in the House of Commons July 21, 2010) looking backwards and calling out “the illegal invasion of Iraq” to Jack Straw’s face in the House of Commons. See video at 17:19 through 18:00

          Whether this timing was planned or not, it’s worth noting this comment is made at the same time Prime Minister Cameron is in the US visiting with Pres. Obama.

    • Bluetoe2 says:

      It took a while but Justice caught up with Eichmann. Perhaps justice is like revenge, best served cold.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Unlike revenge, justice is a dish best served at room temperature, neither coldly calculated nor, in the heat of the moment, served at oven temperature. It is best when placed on the menu, in large, readable type; when offered to everyone; and when prepared at the table, in full view of the other diners, the better for them to compliment or chastise the chef and everyone else who made it possible.

    • Leen says:

      “starting to be sloppy” Hell sloppy has been their MO Outing Plame, false intelligence exposed, torture exposed… but no accountability. They know that not one person in congress (hello Pelosi, Feinstein, etc)or Eric Holder have the cajones to hold any of these murderous thugs accountable. And the peasants know this and are watching.

      Infrastructure crumbling

  11. skdadl says:

    The United States should make clear that it will not tolerate any country — and particularly NATO allies such as Belgium and Iceland — providing safe haven for criminals who put the lives of NATO forces at risk.

    I don’t mean to get personal or emotional or anything, but my first thought about the jerk who wrote that is unpublishable here.

    In my more rational moments on this topic (and I do have them, fatster) I think that Assange and his group have done the best thing they could do by going high-public in the last few weeks. I know that many people are questioning Assange’s ego, but if he’s in any danger at all, and he must have known a long time ago that he would be, personally, the safest thing he could do would be to go as public as possible. Assange does have tremendous public support in a number of countries Thiessen obviously knows nothing of and scorns because they aren’t his, but rhetoric like this is going to accomplish nothing internationally except to get backs up even higher.

    I promise to do my bit. (Many swear words deleted before I hit Submit.)

    • thatvisionthing says:

      I think that Assange and his group have done the best thing they could do by going high-public in the last few weeks. I know that many people are questioning Assange’s ego, but if he’s in any danger at all, and he must have known a long time ago that he would be, personally, the safest thing he could do would be to go as public as possible.

      See this:

      Wikileaks posts “Insurance” policy file on their site
      by Lisa Lockwood
      Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 07:50:05 PM PDT

      It seems that Wikileaks has posted a massive (1.4 GB, 10x larger than all the other files on the page combined) and heavily encrypted file on it’s dedicated “Afghan War Diary” page labeled simply “Insurance”.

      Huge encrypted file people are encouraged to download.

      Russia Today is on it: youtube

      • skdadl says:

        The guy has a sense of humour too. ;-)

        The Manning-Lamo story has still to be verified, I believe. I can see why WikiLeaks feels it must cautiously support Manning if and when he needs it, but it sounds to me as though they’re still not sure of Lamo’s story either.

        • thatvisionthing says:

          Me, I think he’s a thrill. I am adoring his impudence and bravery. Gjohnsit had a diary on Daily Kos a week ago, When Robin Hood was Real, which he started off with this quote:

          “Remove justice and what are states but gangs of bandits on a large scale? And what are bandit gangs but kingdoms in miniature?” – Augustine

          which lead me to recall Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland — Robin Hood and Captain Blood, outlaw and pirate:

          Lady Marian Fitzswalter: Why, you speak treason!
          Robin Hood: Fluently.


          Robin Hood: It’s injustice I hate, not the Normans.

          Hey, I’m captured.

  12. DWBartoo says:

    Equal leakual speakual is, always, tongue in cheekual, among the chose peepual.

    With a vitiated rule of law, it’s all quite “right” and legual.

    (Droning on … and looking “forward”.)


  13. Citizen92 says:

    What ever happened to “support the troops?” Isn’t Manning a trooper?

    Dick Cheney’s military service? None. Repeated deferrments.

    Liz Cheney’s military service? None.

    Marc Thiessen’s military service? None. But somehow managed to go

    to “postgraduate studies” ad the Naval War College. (What is that code


    Assume that the relevation that a 20 year old trooper had access to the State Department’s cables will add push push push for more outsourcing to contractors.

    • thatvisionthing says:

      On Democracy Now 7/27/10 at about 43:00: Adrian Lamo was on a panel at the recent Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) conference (Assange couldn’t make it), and he was challenged by panelists and members of the audience on his ratting on Bradley Manning:

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: From my perspective, I see what you have done as treason.

      Audience applause.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, he is closer than that; there is about zero question he has been working with the Feds of some nature and ginning this shit up from the get go. There is nothing substantial in this story that does not have the involvement of Lamo in it. It is sick.

          • john in sacramento says:

            Too lazy to dig up the link, but there was a story in the SacBee a month or so ago about Lamo and how he owes something like 60 grand in fines (of which he’s only paid about 2 or 3 grand) for hacking into someone’s network

            Of course that, and all this new news, is only a coincidence (wink, wink) and he absolutely wouldn’t have made a deal to do whatever to have them waive the fine. And the Feds would never think of doing any such thing (nudge, nudge)

            Interestingly, the SacBee interview took place in a Starbucks in a Safeway about 3 miles from where I live

      • john in sacramento says:

        In the same article I talked about in my reply to bmaz @ 71 he talked about being reticent in going to the conference because of what the others at the conference would say

        BTW, I bet he wasn’t on a panel with Jacob Appelbaum

        A volunteer for Wikileaks was detained by officials Thursday while entering the country at Newark International Airport.

        Jacob Appelbaum, noted for his work with the Tor online security project, was searched and “interrogated” for three hours before being released, according to a source who asked to remain anonymous.

        Wikileaks, a clearing house for information submitted by whistleblowers, released a trove of “War Logs” last Sunday relating to the conflict in Afghanistan. Appelbaum delivered a keynote speech at the recent HOPE conference in Wikileaks chief Julian Assange’s place, and gave an interview to Boing Boing about the content of the logs.


        • thatvisionthing says:

          I haven’t seen the big HOPE picture, just closeup bits and pieces. Democracy Now did a good job of editing good snips together. You can see longer clips of the Lamo panel on youtube, and they have a website http://thenexthope.org/, I just haven’t gone there — actually I’m having trouble getting it to come in, so I wander away. No problem with their wikipedia page.

        • thatvisionthing says:

          Your story linked to a CNET story about WikiLeaks’ Appelbaum speaking at the Defcon conference after being held up by customs officials in New Jersey when he entered the country.

          Here’s what I don’t get. When he was interrogated, he refused to speak without a lawyer present, and he asked to make a phone call (presumably to a lawyer it seems to me) and was refused. How is that legal?

          Officials from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Army then told him he was not under arrest but was being detained, the sources said. They asked questions about Wikileaks, asked for his opinions about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and asked where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is, but he declined to comment without a lawyer present, according to the sources. He was not permitted to make a phone call, they said.

          They also searched his laptop and seized three phones.

          Then he goes on to the conference and some FBI guys — well I don’t know what you’d call this exchange exactly:

          Shortly thereafter two casually dressed men identified themselves as FBI agents and asked to talk to him.

          “We’d like to chat for a few minutes,” one of the men said, adding “we thought you might not want to.” Appelbaum asked them if they were aware of “what happened to me?” and one of them replied “Yes, that’s why we’re here.”

          “I don’t have anything to say,” Appelbaum told them. One of the agents said they were interested in hearing if “human rights” being “trampled” and said “sometimes it’s nice to have a conversation to flesh things out.”

          Marcia Hofmann, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, was in the room and asked if the agents were at the event in an official capacity or for personal reasons. “A little of both,” one of the said.

          I bolded my totally favorite part of this. Somehow it made me think of this.

  14. Scarecrow says:

    Uh, there are two questions:

    Is there anything in US law that prohibits the FBI from making an extraterratorial arrest?

    Is there anything in US law that gives the FBI the authority to make such an arrest.

    The answer to 1 could be yes, and the answer to 2 could be no. The OLC quotes seem to answer only question 1, and I find even that astonishing. Since when does the FBI have statutory authority to function outside US jurisdiction?

    • bmaz says:

      Well, yes; kind of what I was getting at above. But even if it is not illegal here; that does not make it a good or proper idea. And once you take that position, as with so much else, the faucet is on, never to be turned off.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The flip side of that is what, if any, legal authority does the FBI have in any other jurisdiction. Generally, none; it has to act through local law enforcement. In some states, those might be very cooperative. Others, however, would consider letting armed agents loose on their soil, without a locally authorized mandate or oath of loyalty to the local government and its legal processes, um, well, sort of, a loss of sovereignty.

      Remember the screams when the US finally gave Interpol the freedoms from search, customs duties and taxation that we routinely offer other int’l agencies and representatives of foreign states? Imagine if we’d given them carte blanche to investigate and arrest US citizens or foreigners to whom we had granted leave to be here.

      As with Obama’s requested four-word change to allow the feds to collect the substance of electronic commuications without a warrant, little changes can sometimes lead to big ones.

    • Mary says:

      & 35

      This is a basic jurisdictional issue for courts here and it was the same issue they were relying on in setting up GITMO.

      It’s not so much:

      Is there anything in US law that prohibits the FBI from making an extraterratorial arrest?

      Is there anything in US law that gives the FBI the authority to make such an arrest.

      It’s that the courts basically say that in a sovereign area where there is law (like Spain, UK, etc.) then that sovereign law AND that sovereignty’s law enforcement personnel, system, courts, etc. governs the activities resulting in the capture, to the extent the persons involved in that activity are still within those sovereign bounds. Once they are outside of that sovereignty but still not in the US, then there may be issues with respect to a third party’s laws and treaties. Once they are in the US or a place over which the US is exercising sovereignty, then US law attaches but only as to activities occuring within its jurisdiction.

      So if a US court has no jurisdiction, for example, to issue an arrest warrant in Spain, it has no jurisdiction to look into the activities of a snatch in Spain in general. What would be really interesting, imo, but has never been asked for, is the basis Mary Jo White gave to CIA for their overseas snatch and grabs to foreign countries – I’m guessing if she went so far as to put something in writing, it was based on lack of a court’s jurisdictional ability to take action, not “legality” of the action.

      IOW, if you are on a highway in Texas with a 75 mph speed limit, but RI has a 65 mph speed limit, can RI send trooper over to Texas to grab you?

      IMO it puts the cart before the horse to ask whether there is anything in RI law to prohibit or give authority to such an effort, when the real first question is – was anything wrong done under Texas law or, phrased alternatively and without respect to the arrest, can RI apply its speed limit laws to someone driving in Texas?

      Obviously, the internet changes thing some, with respect to the contacts issues (a huge area of jurisdictional law) for assertions of jurisdiction, but basically Thiessen is skipping over the hard question (what is the law that Assange broke and how does that law apply to him if we are arguing that our law (like the Constitution)doesn’t apply to actions committed upon furriners on furrin soil, but our law does apply to him with respect to the actions he is committing as a furriner on furrin soil?

  15. Oval12345678akaJamesKSayre says:

    Why not investigate prosecute the Bush Cheney Rumsfeld traitors, Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama? Try following through on your Oath of Office in which you swore to protect the US Constitution against all enemies, both domestic and foreign.

  16. conradcelledge says:

    The little piggies is squealing real loud now: “If you’s tell what we did, We’s gonna get you”. Sort of a variation of methinks he doth protest too much. My thinking is all this saber rattling is an indication that some of the good stuff is out there and they know it and they are scared. Anyway, that is the slim possibility/fantasy that is helping me face this day.

    As far as the law and what they can do, it has become pretty obvious that the law is what they say it is and they will damn well do what they want. Invade a country, torture, illegal detention, out a CIA operative,… the list is overwhelming and then there is the FISA crown jewel of changing the law to retroactive make the crime legal–that’s right, don’t prosecute the crime just make it legal. There now, see how easy things can be.

    The WaPo had Ellsberg give his wish list for leaks over the weekend and I put mine in the comments which is to see the Pentagon video of the Boeing airplane hitting the Pentagon. A little conclusive evidence like that would go a long way toward clarifying matters.

  17. Becca says:

    So what happens when North Korea, Iran, Libya, Rwanda, Russia, China, Pakistan or Afghanistan decide to start kidnapping American citizens — on American soil — for “law enforcement” purposes?

    • michaelfishman says:

      Since we are talking about the FBI’s authority to “investigate” and “arrest” extraterritorially, why are you referring to those same activities as “kidnapping” when performed by North Korea, Iran, Libya, Rwanda, Russia, China, Pakistan or Afghanistan?

  18. onitgoes says:

    hmmm… for some reason, my response is: the pigs come home to roost. Don’t ask me why.

    Nothing surprises me anymore, and frankly, this is more or less what I would expect from the likes of what laughingly passes for “leadership” in this once great nation. Sure Cheney don’t like “small” fucks like Assange providing info on whatever, and neither does BHO. Too bad for Assange who gets to be viewed “forward,” because recall that we ain’t looking “back there.” Only those in the “forward” view may be dealt with. I’d watch my back if I was Assange, but kudos to him for his cojones.

    And so: on it goes….

  19. Mary says:

    Well, here’s the thing – as a non-US citizen, what law is it that he was subject to, and broke?

    For all the disdain for international law, there is the issue of just how far the US law extends, jurisdictionally, and they can’t have it both ways quite so easily. They want to say that there are no 4th amendment concerns with kidnapping someone overseas (ok) but by the same token, some other parts of our law also does not extend overseas.

    We don’t have jurisdiction to legislate, for example, about what Icelanders can do in Iceland.

    And I seem to remember, even here in the US, some certain AIPAC lobbyists who walked. BTW – is Thiessen going to be arguing that we should also be sending a rendition team to Israel to bring back their then-Israeli Embassy contact? ;)

    And he ignores another aspect of domestic law. Our FBI team that would be snatching Assange would have to verify that they aren’t going to be sending him to a country that engages in torture.

  20. pdaly says:

    If only Lieberman would strip Cheney of his US citizenship, then we could pursue Cheney as easily as we would noncitizens. /s

  21. rosalind says:

    ot: latimes continues its stellar work covering the toyota sudden acceleration problems: Toyota sudden acceleration reports date to 2003

    “According to the lawsuits, a Toyota technician sent the company a report on May 5, 2003, confirming “sudden acceleration against our intention,” as a result of “miss-synchronism between engine speed and throttle position movement.”

    Despite replacing parts in the vehicle, the problem continued, prompting the technician to call it an “extremely dangerous problem” and express concern that “we are also much afraid of the frequency of this problem in the near future.” The author of the report, as well as the model of vehicle, was not disclosed.

    A separate report from a Toyota dealer regarding a 2005 Sequoia verified two such acceleration incidents, pointing to a “software issue of the engine control unit” as a likely cause.” (emphasis mine)

    • bmaz says:

      I am still kind of convinced it is a hardware, as opposed to software, issue. Either way, there is much more than “driver error” going on here.

  22. whattheincorporated says:

    Does that mean it’s now legal to kidnap hague evading self admitted war criminals? Watch out Cheney you’re opening pandora’s box and mooning the demons coming out of it.

  23. fatster says:

    Here’s what one Afghan thinks about the wikileaks matter. (Whoever thought of asking an Afghan about this?)

    Leaked war files no surprise to Afghans

    ‘”For us it was not a big surprise because we were sharing intelligence. We were aware of the size of the activities and support of the Taliban,” he [Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak] said.

    ‘”It is good now that everyone knows about it.”‘


  24. thatvisionthing says:

    Hey, can this possibly have anything to do with the Ministry of Truth diary on Daily Kos a ways back (May 2009), DoD impersonated FBI and State Dept officials during torture, linking to FBI memos of 11/25/2003 and 12/05/2003. I keep wondering why they would do that… ? Special authorization for one three-letter acronym over another?

    Fwd: Impersonating FBI at GTMO

    These tactics have produced no intelligence of a threat neutralization nature to date and CITF believes that techniques have destroyed any chance of prosecuting this detainee.

    If this detainee is ever released or his story made public in any way, DOD interrogators will not be held accountable because these torture techniques were done [by] the “FBI” interrogators. The FBI will [be] left holding the bag before the public.

    FBI being used for foreign purposes, made me think of it again…

    • Leen says:

      Whoa thanks for that link to the news about Israel agreeing. Just has to be a loop hole for them. Otherwise would not have signed on

  25. prostratedragon says:

    A Bill Moyers fix: The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis (1987).

    Available as a 90-min flash (youtube) video on Google —just search the title.

    • bobschacht says:

      A Bill Moyers fix: The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis (1987).

      Available as a 90-min flash (youtube) video on Google —just search the title.

      See? That show may be 23 years old, but it’s still timely!

      Bob in AZ

      • prostratedragon says:

        Hey, now more than ever. So timely that I can’t find it either on DVD or on a reliable download.

        Anyone who does watch it, check out around 1hr2or3min, just after North gives his usual punkass flip answer to what he’s done with certain records. Notice whose nameplate is just at the edge of the screen? Nice bit of serendipity, that.

  26. fatster says:

    For E-Data, Tug Grows Over Privacy vs. Security

    “[There is] a growing tension between communications companies and governments over how to balance privacy with national security.

    “While communications companies want to be able to ensure that their customers’ messages are shielded from prying eyes, governments increasingly insist on gaining access to electronic messages to track down criminals or uncover terrorist plots.”

    Feel safer now? Trying to find a balance? Just give me the full force of the Fourth Amendment, and that’ll be the balance.


  27. bobschacht says:

    This just in:

    US Supreme Court asked to halt Guantanamo trial

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A military defense lawyer said Monday that he has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the upcoming war crimes trial of the youngest detainee at Guantanamo Bay.

    The trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 10 for Omar Khadr and it would be the first at the U.S. Navy base under President Barack Obama’s administration….

    Bob in AZ

    • thatvisionthing says:

      “The military commissions provide young Omar, a Canadian citizen, only second class justice. This kind of discrimination is something we cannot stand for as a country,” Jackson said.

      * swoon *

  28. skdadl says:

    Sorry if this is a duplication: Greenwald on Project Vigilant (whose director claims to have urged Lamo to talk to the government) and the government/corporate destruction of privacy.

    A commenter at a friend’s site notes that there’s a typo in the Latin motto on Project Vigilant’s logo. (It should read “Jugiter vigilio,” not “viglio” — “constantly vigilant.”) Not quite vigilant enough, it appears. Brownshirts, anyone?

  29. Leen says:

    Cheney should be in prison. For whatever amount of time that criminal thug has left on this earth. Period.

  30. cregan says:

    I have not followed this thread closely, so maybe I missed something, but I am sure I don’t have to read it to know that there is great huffing and puffing about the “outing” of Plame, and none about the outing by Wikileaks of many Afghan citizens who helped us. Unlike Plame, they are not going to get magazine cover stories and fame. They are only likely to get a bullet to the head or maybe not even have a head to get a bullet put into.

    since even a Taliban spokesman has said as much, there isn’t much doubt about it.

    This, more than anything, illustrates the “principles” of many, but not all, posting here.

    • bmaz says:

      And that is somehow worse than the scores of innocent civilians we murder there every week? If one is “collateral damage”, then so is the other. Not saying either is acceptable; but the self righteous ranting and wailing by the military crusaders who kill more innocents probably every day than will die from the Wikileaks exposure it a bit beyond the pale.

      • cregan says:

        We disagree here a bit. First of all, it is not known how many casualties will result from the Wikileaks yet. Likely, it will be impossible to know the exact number–whether from informants killed, additional casualities suffered in a battle that goes on longer because the other side gleened some strategies and techniques from Wikileaks or other reasons–such as a war going longer because they other side now had renewed optimism or just increased optimism.

        I am only commenting here on the HUGE indignation expressed here over time about Plame, who really more got famous than any type of negative outfall, and the no indignation at what are very certain deaths due to exposure from leaks in this case.

        • bmaz says:

          Well, she lost a career that she cherished, worked hard to form and was very good at; and the nation lost one of its foremost mid-east nuclear non-proliferation specialists. I wouldn’t call that nothing. Bad things happen in war; Assange and the Wikileaks people are no more criminal, and arguably a whole hell of a lot less so, than the US authorities that relentlessly order strikes that murder and maim innocent civilians.

        • Mary says:

          Actually, American soldiers and American journalists trying to plug the “good news” aspects ginned up by FOXco are directly, completely, and 100% (as opposed to maybekindasorta) responsible for painting targets on Afghans.

          Our troops schedule meetings, basically force tribal leaders to come, they get assassinated right after. Our troops go into area and threaten, demean and harass the locals into helping, then they get killed. Obama and our military encourage a local leader to speak out against the Taliban, and sit back while his 7 yo grandson is murdered.


          All well before “wikileaks.”

          Our whole “new” gameplan of finally trying to align troops with local leaders makes every single one of those leaders who works with them an unprotected target.

          Where has your outrage been over US policy that is expressly intended to, and does, result in painting the bullseye on every Afghan who meets with or speaks with soldiers?

          And how can we accomplish anything in Afghanistan when it doesn’t take wikileaks, just a captain forcing a local elder to sit down with him to kill that elder?

          The local populations are far more likely to know from talking to each other, rather than sorting through 92,000 documents online and over 200,000 pages, who the Taliban is going to try to kill next, and the decision is going to be made much more by the open and obvious US military and US NGO contacts with them than by a line item reference in a 3 yo cable.

            • Mary says:

              And I do think it is worth the note that the US was warning of stepped up attacks on civilians in mid-July and IMO is now seeking to use/abuse/confuse that info to try to make it seem that wikileaks, not almost 9 years of “war on terror, brought to you by civilian bombings and torture” can be blamed.

              All of which will vest that much more power in the WH and military. To do more of their *good work* Work like sitting around doing nothing about the man who cut off a woman’s ears and nose and doing nothing about a 7 yo viciously murdered – doing nothing about those things, but using them as propaganda pieces on why we can’t leave (so those things that are happening with us there won’t happen when we are gone) until we’ve given lots more money to Lockheed and Xe and GenDyn and …

              It’s such a mess.

              • thatvisionthing says:

                From the Boing Boing interview of Wikileaks’ Jacob Appelbaum (jump to from link @74 above):

                Jacob Appelbaum: …Furthermore, the people of Afghanistan are not shocked by this information. Nobody needs to tell them what the conditions are like on the ground. They don’t have reports with this level of specificity, rather they live with everyday terror and fear. In some cases, we can see more clearly now that the Taliban are doing terrible things, and they’re far better equipped than the “camel jockeys” they’re portrayed as in the American media. These are scary guys with scary capabilities. Why aren’t we being told this truth regularly after nine years? Why would the US government hide this from the world? Why are the rest of the governments complicit in this silence?

                I’m a big fan of Amy Goodman’s breaks between segments. Sometimes nerdy, always evocative, often wickedly sharp. If you back up just a tad (23:30) from the link to where the Assange segment starts, so you can catch the break, you see [I assume Iraqis] gathered around a laptop watching the Collateral Murder video. Look at the kid at 24:18. Just look. Music: Baghdad, Don’t Suffer.

                America, don’t look.

                Press, don’t ask, don’t tell.

                As bad as the military and political decisions have been, it’s the press that is skewered the most. Reality, what reality? When, where, what? Never tell.

                • pdaly says:

                  and this intriguing bit from the Amy Goodman interview of Assange linked to above in this thread:

                  AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask you about something that Declan McCullagh has written on CNET. He said, “Perhaps as a way to avoid additional legal pressure or [extrajudicial] punitive measures on Assange and Appelbaum, a few days ago Wikileaks posted an intriguing 1.4GB file simply titled ‘Insurance.’ It’s encrypted, meaning that if visitors are sent it in advance, Wikileaks would have to release only the key or passphrase to allow the contents to be read.” Can you explain what this file is, Julian Assange?

                  JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, I think it’s better that we don’t comment on that. But, you know, one could imagine in a similar situation that it might be worth ensuring that important parts of history do not disappear.

                  • thatvisionthing says:

                    Thank you! Like I said, I wanted to quote the whole thing. He also talks about Project Vigilant, and Amy calls Jeremy Scahill into the conversation — love it. Just to keep one focus:

                    JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, thanks, Jeremy. I see the sort of one positive outcome from these attacks on us, which, of course, are designed to deflect from the 20,000 deaths that we exposed in this material, including thousands of children, is that—

                    AMY GOODMAN: Can you repeat the number, Julian Assange, of numbers of civilians killed, that you think are—

                    JULIAN ASSANGE: Yeah, there’s around 20,000 in this material. Because the information is sort of well structured, you can get a computer program to just add it all up. And so, there are around 20,000 individuals. Accounts of 20,000 deaths are in this material. And, you know, the Afghan government has complained that last week there was a NATO attack that killed fifty-two. So, it really is quite extraordinary that the press is—that some parts of the press are concentrating on some hypothetical threat to some people.

                    Hey Cregan.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Helped them how? By revealing dissent among the ranks, by escalating dissent here or among NATO allies (the Dutch already knew this info and have left for their own resaons). By exposing government lies about the costs and effectiveness of its various campaigns? Or by revealing names, sources and methods the Taliban really didn’t know about?

      Surely, even the Taliban understands the universal constant known as the mindfuck, which suggests we ought not to take a Taliban spokesperson’s comments about the utility of the WikiLeaks publication for granted. In any case, it seems as likely that the administration is utilizing that comment to bolster its opposition to the leak as it is to conclude that it accurately describes the leak’s utility to the Taliban.

    • john in sacramento says:

      I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think one word can best explain what you’re looking for


      The hypocrisy of the former, and the current “leadership” in this country. I honestly don’t believe a word they say anymore without some type of independent verification. I mean – name a subject – any subject – that hasn’t been tainted by some type of corruption. If you do come up with one, I’ll bet it’s not right off the top of your head

      Cheney outed Plame because her husband had the audacity to question his authority to do as he pleased, (how dare he! harrumph!) and he got away with it because of the complicity of politicians on both sides of the aisle (still baffles me why there can’t be more than those two corrupt parties, but that’s another subject) and the glorified stenographic media

      We were lied into war where many, many, many, many, many thousands of innocent people were killed

      So, on the one hand we have many innocent people dead that we do know about … and nothing’s done about it (looking ahead and not behind), and on the other hand … we don’t know what the result is, and there are arrests, and calls for arrests … if not worse. And the fact that the entire situation in both countries and now especially Afghanistan is caused by us being there in the first place, and for what? (if you say 9 11, I’ll say check the passenger list) the 50 to 100 Al Q members in total in Afghanistan?

      So I guess you could call me cynical with respect to the hypocrisy of our “leadership”

      • thatvisionthing says:

        More from Democracy Now and Assange, on hypocrisy:

        ASSANGE: Now, these statements, all together, are designed to distract from the big picture. And it’s really quite fantastic that Gates and Mullen, Gates being the former head of the CIA during Iran-Contra and the overseer of Iraq and Afghanistan, and Mullen being the military commander for Iraq and Afghanistan—I’m not sure what his further background is—who have ordered assassinations every day, are trying to bring people on board to look at a speculative understanding of whether we might have blood on our hands. These two men arguably are wading in the blood from those wars.

    • thatvisionthing says:

      New Assange interview up on Democracy Now –it’s wonderful, Amy hits just about all our topics in this thread, it seems to me. Specifically about the outing of Afghans — I want to quote the whole interview — Amy questions Julian about Mullen’s and Gates’ accusations that Assange might have blood on his hands, and Julian replies that WikiLeaks made efforts to redact names, withheld 15,000 of the 91,000 pages, that any reports of blood resulting from the release is so far speculative, and — this is something I hadn’t heard before — Assange said the White House was asked and had the chance to redact names:

      Now, some names may have crept into others and may be unfortunate, may not be. But you must understand that we contacted the White House about that issue and asked for their assistance in vetting to see whether there would be any exposure of innocents and to identify those names accordingly. Of course, we would never accept any other kind of veto, but in relation to that matter, we requested their assistance via the New York Times, who the four media partners involved—us, Der Spiegel, The Guardian and the Times—agreed would be the conduit to the White House so we wouldn’t step on each other’s toes. Now, the White House issued a flat denial that that had ever happened. And we see, however, that in an interview with CBS News, Eric Schmidt, who was our contact for that, quoted from the email that I had relayed to the White House, and that quote is precisely what I had been saying all along and completely contradicts the White House statement.

      So you can add the ever-denying White House to your list of people to blame.

  31. bobschacht says:

    This deserves a Seminal diary, but I don’t have time this morning:

    Aug 2, 11:17 PM EDT

    Geithner pledges quick action on new financial law

    AP Business Writers

    My read on this is that Geithner is moving quickly to preempt anything Elizabeth Warren (or whomever is chosen to head the Consumer protection agency) might do by getting their “fustes with the mostes” as a general used to say. Note how many references there are in this report to consumers, and note the utter lack of any reference to the new consumer agency or Elizabeth Warren.

    I’ll be away most of the day– taking wife and grandson on a tour of the Navajo and Hopi reservations today. But as usual I’ll look forward to reading the comments when I get back.

    Bob in AZ

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Ah, the AP, this administration’s Meet the Press, a reliable outlet through which it is sure to get its spin across.

  32. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Ms. Plame, an active duty CIA officer, covert operative and analyst of WMD’s – the weapons we supposedly invaded Iraq to prevent it from using against us – was outed by her own government’s chief ministers in order to protect their political backsides from allegations that they went to war on false pretenses.

    WikiLeaks has published information obtained apparently by relatively low-level whistleblowers, ground-level information that exposes serial government lies about what we are doing in country and how well it is succeeding, assuming we have or are using a valid definition of “success”.

    We don’t know if that release will cost lives – or save them by encouraging a stubborn government to rethink a failed strategy. We do know that not changing that strategy will cost lives, our own, our declared opponents, and the civilians who “get in the way”, whose lost lives the government – and the NY Times – would rather we not think about.

  33. Mary says:

    It’s also worth noting that in mid-July, before the leaks, the US was warning that:

    U.S. intelligence officials say they have intercepted new orders from the Taliban’s spiritual leader that call on insurgents to target women and Afghan civilians helping American-led forces.


    But now the propaganda efforts can be turned to say that those already known efforts to target anyone cooperating with the US (including anyone working for our troops – we mark people for targeting by the Taliban by giving them crap jobs they have to have to live) are instead somehow a result of “wikileaks.”

    Also targeted for killing – not by wikileaks – translators.


    INTERPRETERS working with Australian troops in Afghanistan’s south risk being killed by the Taliban after being deserted by the departing Dutch troops.

    The Dutch government has refused to grant visas to more than 100 local interpreters, instead suggesting the Australian and American forces in Oruzgan province employ them, according to Dutch media. …

    The Afghan interpreters said the Taliban would target them and their families because of their work with the Dutch troops in Oruzgan, particularly as the Taliban gain strength in the restive south of the country.

    So where’s the outrage at the Dutch for exposing the translators? Or should we be outraged at the US for not employing? Or at the US if it does employ them, since then they will be targets?

    Ever stop and think the problem isn’t wikileaks – it’s being afloat in the flotsam and jetsam of Afghanistan without a plan or a paddle?

  34. Mary says:

    Thanks for those links.

    And not to spin wheels, but we do know where there is absolutely, 100%, responsiblity for the blood of innocents.

    Where is the outrage over this:


    After initially claiming that two pregnant women and a teenage girl killed in a US Special Forces raid on an Afghan home in Khataba in February had been discovered bound and slain by the Americans, the US military has admitted that they were actually shot and killed by those US troops–who then tried to cover up their “mistake” by carving the bullets out of the bodies with knives, removing other incriminating bullets from the compound’s walls, and then washing away the bloody evidence with alcohol.

    That damage doesn’t walk back to wiki, it walks back to Obama and Petraeus and McChrystal and the individuals involved who – unlike Assange – aren’t having their names and locations blared out every hour, on the hour.

    Like him or not, Assange stands in the light and takes the heat for what he did – who is coming forward to proudly claim responsiblity for mutilating those women after killing them?

    • thatvisionthing says:

      Apparently there’s more to come from WikiLeaks, a video of the Garani massacre in Afghanistan (is that the same as your incident? I can’t keep track). From Antiwar.com, July 28 interview:

      Horton: Okay. Well, you have confirmed in the past that you have the video of the Garani massacre in Afghanistan, and you’ve said that you have plans to release that, right?

      Assange: That’s correct. We are still working on the Garani video. It is quite complex, and in this case we also have managed to acquire a number of tracking documents, underlying reports. So it’s fleshed out a bit – but a very complex attack occurring over a five- to six-hour period, many different bombers and aircraft involved. So it’s quite a difficult bit of work.