Friday, July 22, 2005

CIA Agents Indicted?

UPDATE: (7/22/05 9:00 PM CDT) Note: original post and update below this update.
From the Chicago Tribune (free reg. required):

WASHINGTON -- Italian prosecutors again sought arrest warrants Wednesday for six additional CIA operatives who they say took part in the abduction two years ago of a radical Islamic cleric.
If granted, the prosecutors' request would bring to 19 the number of CIA personnel formally charged with the kidnapping in February 2003 of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, better known as Abu Omar.

Ya' know, I'm really glad that these guys are on our side!

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Paraphrasing here: An Italian judge has order 13 CIA officers arrested in connection with seizing Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar, on the streets of Milan on Feb. 17, 2003, and sending him to Egypt. This is a strange story. Apparently the official documents did not name the suspects as CIA agents, but reporters were told by a secondary source that they were CIA. Actually, the suspects were not named at all nor was their nationality given.

So, does this mean that ANY person working for the CIA is at risk of arrest? If not Italian nationals, would they then be subject to ICC prosecution? While I'm asking, is there ANYONE who truly beleives that the United States should submit our citizens to the vagaries of extranational public opinion and political whim?

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Update: (06/25/05 12:05 AM CDT) This gets curiouser and curiouser. The New York Times is now reporting this story. And Reuters is also (thanks to Free Republic for this link). Check out the lead paragraph from each (emphasis mine):

NY Times:

MILAN, June 24 - An Italian judge has ordered the arrest of 13 operatives of the Central Intelligence Agency accused of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric on a Milan street two years ago and sending him to a prison in Egypt for questioning, Italian prosecutors and investigators said today.
MILAN/ROME (Reuters) - An Italian judge has ordered the arrest of 13 people linked to the CIA for "kidnapping" an Egyptian terrorism suspect in Milan and flying him to Egypt where he said he was tortured, judicial sources said on Friday.
Reuters then goes into a lenghty diatribe about torture. To their credit, the NY Times does not. Another discrepancy between the stories concerns the identy of the people indicted. Reuters reports: "Another judicial source said: 'We know some of the identities of these (suspects) with certainty, but with others we are not sure of their true identity.'" The Times reports that (boldface mine):
Investigators said the court documents, which remain under seal, identify the 13 operatives by their real names as well as their cover names. In the warrants, Judge Nobili said that all 13 suspects were linked to the C.I.A. and that several served as diplomats at the United States Consulate in Milan, investigators said.
Now I wonder just how it came about that this information was made available to a foreign government, even a putative ally? Maybe the Intelligence Oversight Committee should investigate. On second thought, maybe that wouldn't be such a good idea after all.

On a related note, Tigerhawk has a nice post on Paul Krugman's column today. On the comments section, commenter Jim - PRS says:

However, when I consider the remarks of Dick Durbin and make what I believe is the reasonable assumption that he had to know how the Arab and other U.S.-hostile media would use them, I can only conclude that he is either unpatriotic or simply a blithering idiot.

To which Tigerhawk replies:
One of my little rules is that when a person's actions or statements force you to conclude that they are either nefarious or stupid, the most probable explanation is that they are stupid. I like to call this theorem "TigerHawk's Razor."
Then commenter Sluggo throws this out:
Sluggo's Corollary states that, absent drool on the chin, they are most likely nefariously pretending to be stupid.
Hmmm, I don't think frothing at the mouth equates with drool on the chin. It's one thing to stand on the Senate floor and make disparaging remarks about our troops, or to opine in the NY Times that we are in a quagmire in Iraq and destined to lose, and to reveal cold, hard facts to a foreign agency. In a time of war! I do beleive that there is a word for that. And a proscribed punishment. That, I think, would qualify as nefarious, and stupid, and even (read Krugman) unpatriotic.

Pure speculation on my part, you understand. I know nothing.

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