Banditen Land USA: Kidnapping und Mord als Politik – American Raids in Libya & Somalia Expose Military Lawlessness
Michael Ratner: The U.S violates international law with kidnappings and armed attacks in sovereign countries
October 18, 2013
The recent raids in Libya and Somalia expose the „utter lawlessness of the U.S. military, the U.S. government, and the CIA,“ said Michael Ratner, President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
„What’s shocking about it is, of course, the fact that there’s so little reaction in the United States to it. Kidnapping, and now disappearances, seem to be just par for the course by the United States, despite the fact that the United States in both cases was going into sovereign countries,“ said Ratner.
Ratner says that the kidnapping in Libya and military attack in Somalia violate international law; specifically, the UN charter and the Geneva Conventions.
„We are living in a different world. We’re living in a place in which one of our goals as not just progressives but as human beings is to dismantle this system of illegal kidnappings, torture, interrogation without attorneys, utter lawlessness,“ says Ratner.
JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. And welcome to this edition of The Ratner Report. Now joining us is Michael Ratner. He is president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and he’s also a board member for The Real News Network. It’s always a pleasure having you on, Michael. Thanks for being with us.RATNER: It’s good to be with you, Jessica, and The Real News.DESVARIEUX: Michael, what are you working on this week?RATNER: You never know what’s going to happen when you open the newspaper every day. Last week was October 5. I was actually shocked to read that the U.S. had kidnapped a man named Abu Anas al-Liby from Tripoli in Libya, a man who was under indictment in the United States for being involved in the Nairobi embassy bombing in some way. They kidnapped him out of Tripoli. And on the same day, apparently, they did a military attack on a town in Somalia to supposedly kill or capture a man that was with Shabaab known by the name of Ikrima. And when I say you never know it’s going to happen, you like to think that after 9/11, some of these incredible departures from law and into lawlessness might have started to decline. Perhaps in some way somewhere they have. But these two kidnapping [incompr.] are not an indication that we’ve departed from the post-9/11 utter lawlessness of the U.S. military, the U.S. government, and the CIA. And what’s shocking about it is is of course the fact that there’s so little reaction in the United States to it. Kidnapping, and now disappearances, seem to be just par for the course by the United States, despite the fact that the United States in both cases was going into sovereign countries with kidnappings and armed attacks. Broadly let’s look first and probably [incompr.] look in most detail at the kidnapping of Abu Aanas al-Liby out of Tripoli. Broadly it says something about the war in Libya, because what the United States said and what was quoted widely is that Libya has become–Tripoli in particular, I think, maybe other parts as well–a center for jihadists and people, and it has broken down and no real government. It’s lawless. And, of course, this is a war that I opposed and that many others progressive people opposed. And you see what happens. Whatever people thought of the government of Libya before the invasion, it’s certainly turned out to be, seemingly, an utter disaster that’s really–now the U.S. itself admits there’s hardly anything left of the place in a certain way. And that goes to the first issue, really, which is, when you go into a country and you kidnap someone out of it, you need the authority of the country to cross their border. The UN Charter, international law, customary law absolutely prohibits across-border kidnapping, cross-border invasion. It’s Article 2.4. It’s a crime, illegal. It’s completely illegal without the consent of the country. And in this case there’s not even a real claim by the U.S. that there was consent. They said somehow that, well, a few months ago we talked to some people in Libya or the government, whatever that was. Others have said, well, there’s no point to talking to anybody because, going back to my earlier point, there’s no real government in Libya. So the first thing that was illegal about kidnapping of Abu Anas, in my view, is crossing the border of Libya and taking him. The second thing is: on what basis could they take him? Did they have the right, even assuming Libya consented, to go in and get him? Just remember, Abu Anas was indicted in an American federal court, one here in New York. Why didn’t they ask for his extradition? Why didn’t they ask for his arrest and take him out with legal channels? The U.S. has never come up with an explanation as to why an indicted person that wanted in the United States, why they didn’t ask for that person’s extradition or legal procedures to take him out of Libya. The only other way the U.S. could actually go into a country and kidnap someone or stop them is if they were actually in a war zone as a combatant and they essentially had their finger on a button that was going to attack the United States or involved in a war against the United States. No one claims al-Liby was doing that at that point. He was living in Tripoli. He was living with his family. There’s no justification that this was a war zone vis-à-vis the United States. So the U.S.v has no claim here. They weren’t allowed to cross into the border and take him. He was indicted. They could have taken him by extradition. And they certainly couldn’t justify it by a war.