Saturday, December 24, 2005

More on the Italian rendition

The Italian government has issued Europe-wide arrest warrants for 22 suspected CIA agents involved in the kidnapping and rendition of Osama Mustafa Hassan from Italy. This means that they can be detained for the charge anywhere in the European Union. I guess they won't be taking any European holidays in future...

The story also contains this snippet:

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is a close US ally and has said he can see no basis for the case.

In other words, he has no problem with kidnapping and torture. But then, he doesn't have a problem with Italian fascism either...


I noted this latest development with interest too. But what amuses me about the whole thing is that I think it is pretty unlikely that they've got the true identity of these agents nailed down in the first place. Do we really assume that CIA agents in a given country to carry out an extraordinary rendition travelled there on their own, real passports and used their own, real credit cards, or that their mobiles were registered under their real names? And even if they did, which I doubt, what makes us assume that if they wanted or needed to travel to or within the EU, the CIA couldn't kit them out with other passports? Of course they could. Presumably, it would only become a problem for the agents concerned a) once they retire and can no longer avail themselves of the CIAs false documents division, and even then only if b) the Italian (and now European) authorities have their actual identities. I think in essence that this is probably nothing more than a very strong signal from Europe to the US in general. For that reason alone, I think it's to be welcomed. But I think we're kidding ourselves if we actually think that the Europeans will get any of these people and hang on to them long enough to do anything about it.

Posted by BerlinBear : 12/25/2005 04:11:00 AM