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US says it has right to kidnap British citizens


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From The Sunday Times

December 2, 2007

US says it has right to kidnap British citizens

David Leppard

AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

The admission will alarm the British business community after the case of the so-called NatWest Three, bankers who were extradited to America on fraud charges. More than a dozen other British executives, including senior managers at British Airways and BAE Systems, are under investigation by the US authorities and could face criminal charges in America.

Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects.

The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington.

Legal experts confirmed this weekend that America viewed extradition as just one way of getting foreign suspects back to face trial. Rendition, or kidnapping, dates back to 19th-century bounty hunting and Washington believes it is still legitimate.

The US government’s view emerged during a hearing involving Stanley Tollman, a former director of Chelsea football club and a friend of Baroness Thatcher, and his wife Beatrice.

The Tollmans, who control the Red Carnation hotel group and are resident in London, are wanted in America for bank fraud and tax evasion. They have been fighting extradition through the British courts.

During a hearing last month Lord Justice Moses, one of the Court of Appeal judges, asked Alun Jones QC, representing the US government, about its treatment of Gavin, Tollman’s nephew. Gavin Tollman was the subject of an attempted abduction during a visit to Canada in 2005.

Jones replied that it was acceptable under American law to kidnap people if they were wanted for offences in America. “The United States does have a view about procuring people to its own shores which is not shared,” he said.

He said that if a person was kidnapped by the US authorities in another country and was brought back to face charges in America, no US court could rule that the abduction was illegal and free him: “If you kidnap a person outside the United States and you bring him there, the court has no jurisdiction to refuse — it goes back to bounty hunting days in the 1860s.”

Mr Justice Ouseley, a second judge, challenged Jones to be “honest about [his] position”.

Jones replied: “That is United States law.”

He cited the case of Humberto Alvarez Machain, a suspect who was abducted by the US government at his medical office in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1990. He was flown by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to Texas for criminal prosecution.

Although there was an extradition treaty in place between America and Mexico at the time — as there currently is between the United States and Britain — the Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that the Mexican had no legal remedy because of his abduction.

In 2005, Gavin Tollman, the head of Trafalgar Tours, a holiday company, had arrived in Toronto by plane when he was arrested by Canadian immigration authorities.

An American prosecutor, who had tried and failed to extradite him from Britain, persuaded Canadian officials to detain him. He wanted the Canadians to drive Tollman to the border to be handed over. Tollman was escorted in handcuffs from the aircraft in Toronto, taken to prison and held for 10 days.

A Canadian judge ordered his release, ruling that the US Justice Department had set a “sinister trap” and wrongly bypassed extradition rules. Tollman returned to Britain.

Legal sources said that under traditional American justice, rendition meant capturing wanted people abroad and bringing them to the United States. The term “extraordinary rendition” was coined in the 1990s for the kidnapping of terror suspects from one foreign country to another for interrogation.

There was concern this weekend from Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP, who said: “The very idea of kidnapping is repugnant to us and we must handle these cases with extreme caution and a thorough understanding of the implications in American law.”

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, said: “This law may date back to bounty hunting days, but they should sort it out if they claim to be a civilised nation.”

The US Justice Department declined to comment.

Additional reporting: Anna Mikhailova

Yet when the poorly trained, thick-as-pig-shit American troops kill ours because there to stupid to read the identifications on the tanks we get told "oh no, can't do that, there immune". Time to kick out the American diplomats and troops i think. We get told that America is our friend, but I don't see it acting like one. How long before other nations start kidnapping Americans and saying "hey, thats our law, suck it"?

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Whats wrong with kidnapping people?  Were America, we do what we want because were better than every country (apparently even our biggest allies). 

To sum up my statements...

America fuck yeah!

Because you will do nothing but bitch and moan *when* it happens to American citizens. Also, it makes you look as inhuman as the people your shouting about down the ol' UN building.

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The trouble is, if 9/11 happened again I don't know a single person who wouldn't go "they deserved it, fuck them". You can be the big bad asses of the world, but you'll have no friends left when you do fall from grace. Your country has had so many opportunity's to bring people together against terrorism, but pissed them up the wall.

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The trouble is, if 9/11 happened again I don't know a single person who wouldn't go "they deserved it, fuck them". You can be the big bad asses of the world, but you'll have no friends left when you do fall from grace. Your country has had so many opportunity's to bring people together against terrorism, but pissed them up the wall.

I wouldn't say so much our country as much as our administration. I did not vote for nor do I support Bush. Never have. I have always warned people about him but it's like telling a kid not to touch something or they will get hurt. They have to learn for themselves the hard way.

As far as the whole kidnapping thing, all countries have some sort of extradition and bounty hunting, but they aren't advertising it. I think the only reason it's in the news is because of so many shady things they have been caught doing. Like secret jails in Germany and Europe for detaining so called "terrorists". The method of interogation they used has also been put under a microscope because of the Bush administrations complete middle finger to international law and human rights. The whole reason they don't release these people in Guantanamo Bay is so they can do what they want off of US soil where they would have been given a trial by now.

Bottom line, all government agencies are shady and always think they are above the law.  I don't hold any of the people of Afghanastan and Iraq responisible for 9/11. It's the politicians, terrorists and radicals that worry me when it comes to things like 9/11. Not the every day average joe just trying to make a living. I think any country should use the courts to extradite if not go to trial in the persons native country, but kidnapping is a bit much. If they were US citizens, then it isn't really kidnapping, but more Bounty Hunting, as they guy puts it. If they wer enot US citizens and neve rlived here, then they should be going through the court systems, ours or international. There is no reason they can't bring them up on charges in the country they live in now. If the god damned RIAA and MPAA can do it, I think the US government should be able to do it without "kidnapping" the suspects. Even if they want to bring them back for a trial, as far as I know, US law states "innocent until proven guilty".

They have been fighting extradition through the British courts.

If they were innocent, they wouldn't be fighting in UK courts against extradition. They would just go to trial to prove their innocence.

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They have been fighting extradition through the British courts.

If they were innocent, they wouldn't be fighting in UK courts against extradition. They would just go to trial to prove their innocence.

No, it works like this. America makes a request to the British government to extradite a person to America to face trial. The courts then decide if that request is valid/legal (we can't extradite someone to America if they are being charged with something that could be punished by the death sentence as its a breach of human rights). If they had broken UK or international laws, we would have already charged them, what they are fighting is the US's request to extradite them to face trial. Basically you have to prove that there is enough of a case for them to face, not that they are guilty. What they are fighting is being arrested and jailed in some of the worlds most inhuman and poorly run jail systems.

Should Americans who violate shari law or insult Muhhammed be kidnapped and removed to Syria to face trial? Or would you want to live as a free citizen in your own country under your own laws?

What differs for the US approach is that they are publicly saying "fuck the process, we will just take what we want".There is a case in Italy where they did this to a suspect, and now the US is refusing to extradite 11 CIA agents after an Italian court decided they should face trial for there actions.  Which when you consider that the US government has arrested people who run online gambling firms in Europe for running an online gambling firm, is dangerous. Where is this going? Would they kidnap the people who run The Pirate Bay for instance?

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America is a nicer place to live then the UK, at least your get a free trip.   

Thats the most infuriating thing about the whole situation, America is a cool place full of cool people. But its run by religious nut jobs with a taste for wars they will never win. 

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America is a nicer place to live then the UK, at least your get a free trip.   

Thats the most infuriating thing about the whole situation, America is a cool place full of cool people. But its run by religious nut jobs with a taste for wars they will never win. 

The war is winnable but they don't want it bad enough. The only way of winning this type of war is by killing at least 40 to 70% of all life in the area so they just give up when they know there is no point fighting, as they and everyone they know will just be wiped of the face of the planet. America will give up at some point and they know this, if they knew that America would sooner just kill everyone then give up, it would have already be won.

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America is a nicer place to live then the UK, at least your get a free trip.   

Thats the most infuriating thing about the whole situation, America is a cool place full of cool people. But its run by religious nut jobs with a taste for wars they will never win. 

The war is winnable but they don't want it bad enough. The only way of winning this type of war is by killing at least 40 to 70% of all life in the area so they just give up when they know there is no point fighting, as they and everyone they know will just be wiped of the face of the planet. America will give up at some point and they know this, if they know that America would sooner just kill everyone then give up, it would have already be won.

America can't win the War. The more they fight and kill, the more the Rebelion. America should stop Thinking it is the Ruler of the World.

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America is a nicer place to live then the UK, at least your get a free trip.   

Thats the most infuriating thing about the whole situation, America is a cool place full of cool people. But its run by religious nut jobs with a taste for wars they will never win. 

The war is winnable but they don't want it bad enough. The only way of winning this type of war is by killing at least 40 to 70% of all life in the area so they just give up when they know there is no point fighting, as they and everyone they know will just be wiped of the face of the planet. America will give up at some point and they know this, if they know that America would sooner just kill everyone then give up, it would have already be won.

America can't win the War. The more they fight and kill, the more the Rebelion. America should stop Thinking it is the Ruler of the World.

Sure they can they just need to kill everyone or nearly everyone. They have nuclear weapons, they should put them to use.

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So your advocating nuking a civilian population in response to them not being happy you invaded there homes? Aside from the fact that there is nothing worth nuking out there, what did they do to warrant it? I damn well know that 90% of people here would take up arms if an invading army occupied there home town. Using nukes to fight terrorism has to be the dumbest thing you have typed, its like cutting someones arm off because they were stung by a hornet.

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Iraq is at the very least a sticky situation.  It was not right for  us to first go to war there, but now that we are there we do have some responsibilities to the people whose homes and livelihoods we destroyed.  Whether we like it or not we cannot just up and leave, we learned that with the USSR and Afghanistan.  They just left and created a big shit hole that was a breeding ground for terrorists.  The democrats know that, and thats why there are no candidates that say they are just going to leave, they have masks for their plans calling them phased redeployments.  The people there have a love hate relationship to our soldiers, they will say that they hate them, but deep down they know they need them to prevent civil war, and protect them from terrorists. 

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So your advocating nuking a civilian population in response to them not being happy you invaded there homes? Aside from the fact that there is nothing worth nuking out there, what did they do to warrant it? I damn well know that 90% of people here would take up arms if an invading army occupied there home town. Using nukes to fight terrorism has to be the dumbest thing you have typed, its like cutting someones arm off because they were stung by a hornet.
it's more like killing everyone in the town because one of them gave you a black eye

almost all of them think you're a ass and agree you should have a black eye but they would never had done it

depending on the mood I'm in sometimes I change stances and think that destorying a few citys from the origin of the attacks is not a bad idea

want to attack one of our buildings? sure, but then we get to level one of your citys

other times I think ever attacking civilians is bad

Iraq is at the very least a sticky situation.  It was not right for  us to first go to war there, but now that we are there we do have some responsibilities to the people whose homes and livelihoods we destroyed.  Whether we like it or not we cannot just up and leave, we learned that with the USSR and Afghanistan.  They just left and created a big shit hole that was a breeding ground for terrorists.  The democrats know that, and thats why there are no candidates that say they are just going to leave, they have masks for their plans calling them phased redeployments.  The people there have a love hate relationship to our soldiers, they will say that they hate them, but deep down they know they need them to prevent civil war, and protect them from terrorists. 
we had a civil war and it turned out good for us USA let them have the same... and if it doesn't work we can go back in and start over
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You nuke a city full of civilians for no reason other than someone who once lived there blew up a car in yours, does that make you a better person than the original bombers? Its as pointless as purposefully killing someone in a bar fight. And if you talk like that, it gives credence to country's like Pakistan to do the same to us. If we want to win, we need to fight on our terms, not the terrorists.

we had a civil war and it turned out good for us USA let them have the same... and if it doesn't work we can go back in and start over

Some might say starting over would be good for the US. The problem with a civil war in Iraq would be that its not an ideological war like the one in America, its a religious and ethnic war. Its not like one side could surrender and be absorbed into the others population, its a case of one side ethnically cleansing the other.

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You nuke a city full of civilians for no reason other than someone who once lived there blew up a car in yours, does that make you a better person than the original bombers? Its as pointless as purposefully killing someone in a bar fight. And if you talk like that, it gives credence to country's like Pakistan to do the same to us. If we want to win, we need to fight on our terms, not the terrorists.

we had a civil war and it turned out good for us USA let them have the same... and if it doesn't work we can go back in and start over

Some might say starting over would be good for the US. The problem with a civil war in Iraq would be that its not an ideological war like the one in America, its a religious and ethnic war. Its not like one side could surrender and be absorbed into the others population, its a case of one side ethnically cleansing the other.

the only problem with that is the the USA fights by swing around a huge bat and terrorists fight by running up and stabbing you in the balls now you can hit the terrorists with the bat by swinging wildly enough but your going to hit the other people in the bar  but we "can't" win that way and America is to big and fat (and more then one way) to fight by running down the terrorists and stabbing them in the balls
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Statistically Iraq has been one of the safest wars for civilians (from the U.S. attacks).  The terrorists target civilians as readily as they attack U.S. soldiers, but when we fight back, mainly we hit only the terrorists.  With the adaptation of "Smart" bombs, the U.S. has gotten pretty good at avoiding civilian casualties.  I realize there not perfect, but for damn sure it is a big step in the right direction of warfare.  I am going to disregard SomeoneE1ses, viewpoint because for the most part you are going off gut reactions.  When you take a second to think about it you realize the insanity of what you are saying.  In my opinion no innocent deserves to die if it can be avoided.

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I am also interested to hear what Vako has to say about the teacher teddy bear incodent, as you are a citizen of England.  Personally, I see nothing wrong with naming the teddy bear Muhammad.  The teacher doesn't deserve to be arrested, maybe told not to call the bear that, but nothing else.  If Muslims want respect for their religion having mobs ordering the teacher's execution is not the way to do it.  It is not like Italy is going to mob and chant for the death of someone if they named something Jesus.  Or Israel bombing a country (with the exception of the Palestine state) if someone named a toy Moses.

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any religous law or rule it STUPID I hope someone flames me for that one so I can know who you are...

Statistically Iraq has been one of the safest wars for civilians (from the U.S. attacks).  The terrorists target civilians as readily as they attack U.S. soldiers, but when we fight back, mainly we hit only the terrorists.  With the adaptation of "Smart" bombs, the U.S. has gotten pretty good at avoiding civilian casualties.  I realize there not perfect, but for damn sure it is a big step in the right direction of warfare.  I am going to disregard SomeoneE1ses, viewpoint because for the most part you are going off gut reactions.  When you take a second to think about it you realize the insanity of what you are saying.  In my opinion no innocent deserves to die if it can be avoided.
my view point aligns (I think) somewhat with yours
In my opinion no innocent deserves to die if it can be avoided.
!!!
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The reduction in non-combatant deaths has been amazing, considering the amount of civilians who are basically living in an active combat zone. You do have to applaud the elements of the military who pushed the need for smart weapons. But accidents do happen, and people don't have to die to be pissed off. What would you do if UN troops searched your house and took your computer away while looking for weapons? Its also soured because we're having a hell of a time telling the combatants apart from the civilians, mainly because you could drive down the road one way and get waves, but when you come back down the road the same people are shooting at you.

As for the Mohammad bear incident, Muslims cannot agree if this is wrong or not. It seems more like a cultural misunderstanding thats been blown out of proportion by elements of there society who have more issues with Britain than the actual women and her actions. A sensible thing to do would be to just deport her back to the UK, spin it in the local press as a banishment or similar. The Sudanese government is kinda stuck here, on one side it has a primitive yet popular religion* which dictates that you should submit to it above all else (although precisely what you submit to is a matter of debate, shia, sunni, wahbi and so forth), and on the other a very powerful foreign government suddenly paying it a lot of attention that it doesn't want or need right now. It can't win in this situation, it has to be seen to act and its options seem limited. So by expelling her from the country in the right way it would allow both governments to get what they want.

* Yes, Islam is primitive, the problems its having are largely because it cannot adapt itself to the modern world. Most Abrahamic faiths suffer from the same issues, the devout never realize that evolution applies to culture.

any religous law or rule it STUPID I hope someone flames me for that one so I can know who you are...

Yes, all religions are primitive and largely pretty dumb, but you still have to deal with the people who believe in the crap.

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