Monday, November 17, 2008

Crickets for Clintons 

I think it's pretty amusing that suddenly this boldly shrill oh so principled "true progressive" purity league scoldpottle is bouncing up and down on the fainting couch once again because someone is being - OMG! - critical of the Clintons. leave the Clinton's aloooone! (via the Cuckoowire Cult)

And among all the handwringing and heavy breathing over Obama appointments there apparently isn't any concern that Obama might appoint someone who (dragging the party rightward) voted for the war in Iraq - Hillary Clinton - to the job of Secretary of State.

Principles are funny fungible things ain't they?

Hey, I know... Why not Bill Clinton for SofS?

Sure, why not. Give the SoS job to the guy who approved the use of extrordinary renditions in 1995.

Via fas.org, a copy of the Presidential Decision Directive of July, 21, 1995 which gives authorization for exralegal rendition: fas.org/pdd

presidential directive july 21, 1995


SUBJECT: U.S. Policy on Counterterrorism (U)


Within the United States, we shall vigorously apply U.S. laws and seek new legislation to prevent terrorist groups from operating in the United States or using it as a base for recruitment, training, fund raising or other related activities. (U)

o Return of Indicted Terrorists to the U.S. for Prosecution: We shall vigorously apply extraterritorial statutes to counter acts of terrorism and apprehend terrorists outside of the United States. When terrorists wanted for violation of U.S. law are at large overseas, their return for prosecution shall be a matter of the highest priority and shall be a continuing central issue in bilateral relations with any state that harbors or assists them. Where we do not have adequate arrangements, the Departments of State and Justice shall work to resolve the problem, where possible and appropriate, through negotiation and conclusion of new extradition treaties. (U)

If we do not receive adequate cooperation from a state that harbors a terrorist whose extradition we are seeking, we shall take appropriate measures to induce cooperation. Return of suspects by force may be effected without the cooperation of the host government, consistent with the procedures outlined in NSD-77, which shall remain in effect. (S)



According to Clinton administration official Richard Clarke:

[>>] " 'extraordinary renditions', were operations to apprehend terrorists abroad, usually without the knowledge of and almost always without public acknowledgment of the host government…. The first time I proposed a snatch, in 1993, the White House Counsel, Lloyd Cutler, demanded a meeting with the President to explain how it violated international law. Clinton had seemed to be siding with Cutler until Al Gore belatedly joined the meeting, having just flown overnight from South Africa. Clinton recapped the arguments on both sides for Gore: "Lloyd says this. Dick says that. Gore laughed and said, 'That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass.'" [15] ”

Both the Reagan and Clinton cases involved apprehending known terrorists abroad, by covert means if necessary. Neither involved handing over detainees to foreign countries. The policy later expanded.

In a New Yorker interview with CIA veteran Michael Scheuer, an author of the rendition program under the Clinton administration, writer Jane Mayer noted, "In 1995, American agents proposed the rendition program to Egypt, making clear that it had the resources to track, capture, and transport terrorist suspects globally — including access to a small fleet of aircraft. Egypt embraced the idea... 'What was clever was that some of the senior people in Al Qaeda were Egyptian,' Scheuer said. 'It served American purposes to get these people arrested, and Egyptian purposes to get these people back, where they could be interrogated.' Technically, U.S. law requires the CIA to seek 'assurances' from foreign governments that rendered suspects won’t be tortured. Scheuer told me that this was done, but he was 'not sure' if any documents confirming the arrangement were signed."[16] However, Scheuer testified before Congress that no such assurances were received.[17] He further acknowledged that treatment of prisoners may not have been "up to U.S. standards." However, he stated,

[>>] This is a matter of no concern as the Rendition Program’s goal was to protect America, and the rendered fighters delivered to Middle Eastern governments are now either dead or in places from which they cannot harm America. Mission accomplished, as the saying goes.[18]

Thereafter, with the approval of President Clinton and a presidential directive (PDD 39), the CIA instead elected to send suspects to Egypt, where they were turned over to the Egyptian Mukhabarat.

oh, snap.

For the record: I don't care if Hillary is the Sec of State or not.

update: Guardian UK reporting:
Hillary Clinton plans to accept the job of secretary of state offered by Barack Obama, who is reaching out to former rivals to build a broad coalition administration, the Guardian has learned.


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