Keep On Rendering

Rendition is the US practice of bringing killers of Americans to justice, wherever they hide. It’s current under attack by Europeans, who are content to leave the murderers of their own citizens – and US citizens – go free. The EU should remove the need for this practice by ceasing to harbor terrorists and properly punishing murderers. But it won’t.

According to Frederick Forsyth, who’s accuracy I have yet to fault, rendition has been around for 20 years. After terrorist murderers of Americans were protected by EU nations the US passed the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 making the killing of Americans overseas as acts punishable under US jurisdiction. This was extended in 1986 to cover all terrorist acts, in the Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Anti-Terrorism Act.

Triggers included the hijacking of the liner Achille Lauro (my ellipsis):

On October 7, 1985 four men representing the Palestine Liberation Front…took control of the liner off Egypt…Holding the passengers and crew hostage, they directed the vessel to sail to…Syria, and demanded the release of 50 Palestinians then in Israeli prisons. Refused permission to dock…the hijackers shot one wheelchair-bound passenger – an American named Leon Klinghoffer – because he was Jewish, and threw his body overboard.

…after two days of negotiations the hijackers agreed to abandon the liner for safe conduct and were flown towards Tunisia aboard an Egyptian commercial airliner. The plane was intercepted by United States Navy fighters on October 10 and directed to land at…a NATO base in Sicily, where the hijackers were arrested by the Italians (who pulled guns on American troops) after a disagreement between U.S. and Italian authorities. The other passengers on the plane (possibly including the hijackers’ leader Abu Abbas) were allowed to continue on to their destination, despite protests by the United States.

That same year the Germans refused to extradite to the US the terrorists responsible for the torture and murder of US Navy diver Robert Stethem. After convicting the killers in a German court they covertly released him in 2005.

The US is acting both morally and rationally in hunting down people that kill its citizens. Other nations that treat such killers leniently can hardly complain if the US enforces its own laws, as for example here:

An Italian judge yesterday ordered 26 Americans, most of them believed to be CIA agents, to stand trial for the kidnapping and torture of a Muslim cleric…Prosecutors say that the kidnapping was a breach of Italian sovereignty that compromised Italy’s antiterrorism efforts.

There’s no chance the US will allow Italians anywhere near its agents. Italy is no longer an ally, and its judicairy – like the nation as a whole – is massively corrupt.

In a related case, another ex-ally, Spain, is seething;

The al-Qaeda leader who created, trained and directed the terrorist cell that carried out the Madrid train bombings has been held in a CIA “ghost prison” for more than a year.

Spanish officials told The Times last night that they are furious to have been denied access to Mustafa Setmarian Nasar, a Syrian-born terrorist who has been part of the al-Qaeda leadership since the late 1980s.

The US won’t grant access to this asset because a) Spain is no longer an ally, b) Spain has condemned the US capture and imprisonment of the guy, and c) if they get their hands on him they’ll let him go.

The solution to all this is for EU nations to severely punish killers of Americans  and their own people. Until they do that, their citizens will remain at risk, their nations will continue to be terrorist safe harbors, and the US will Keep on Rendering.


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