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Obama Administration “Disappointed” Italy Enforces Laws Against Kidnapping

Photo: Lady Justice by Luca Giordano, in Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence, Italy (Wikipedia)

Photo: Lady Justice by Luca Giordano, in Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence, Italy (Wikipedia)

Responding to an Italian court’s conviction in absentia of 23 US officials for kidnapping a Muslim cleric, who we then reportedly rendered to Egypt for torture, the Obama Administration further disgraced itself and America’s image by calling the results “disappointing.”

They should have applied the word to themselves.

ABC reports that one of the convicted officials concedes the US broke the law, but she argues the Bush and Obama Administrations should have claimed diplomatic immunity for her:

One of the 23 Americans convicted today by an Italian court says the United States “broke the law” in the CIA kidnapping of a Muslim cleric Abu Omar in Milan in 2003.

“And we are paying for the mistakes right now, whoever authorized and approved this,” said former CIA officer Sabrina deSousa in an interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson.

DeSousa says the U.S. “abandoned and betrayed” her and the others who were put on trial for the kidnapping. She was sentenced in absentia to five years in prison.

US officials just couldn’t find enough people to say how “disappointed” they were that the Italians had done what two Administrations and their respective Justice Departments didn’t do.

A State Department spokesman said the Obama administration was “disappointed” by the verdict.

Also convicted was Air Force Colonel Joseph Romano, who allegedly helped facilitate the CIA kidnapping team’s flight to Egypt from a U.S. air base in Italy.

The Department of Defense had unsuccessfully claimed the court had no jurisdiction over Romano under the NATO Status of Forces Agreement.

“We are clearly disappointed with the ruling and the lack of respect for the fact that we have asserted jurisdiction in this case,” said Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell.

Yeah, I’m disappointed too about the “lack of respect.” I really hoped this Administration might have a modicum of respect for the rule of law, not to mention respect for other nations and their citizens. But apparently that’s too much change to expect.

New York Times

Seminal, more background from SadButTrue

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John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

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