August 2, 2010 / by emptywheel


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.

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