Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Greenwald column dripping with sarcasm and irony

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This one is worth reading just for the Alice-through-the-looking-glass effect. It begins:

Lithuania is currently embroiled in a bizarre and deeply confusing political controversy which reveals what happens when a country becomes gripped by extremist ideologies.  Evidence has emerged that Lithuanian intelligence agencies allowed secret CIA prisons to be maintained in their country during the Bush era.  Just because such prisons would be "illegal" under the so-called "law" of Lithuania and various international conventions to which that nation is a signatory, irresponsible leaders of that country are demanding "investigations" and even possibly legal consequences if it turns out crimes were committed.  What kind of a backwards, primitive country would do something like this?

[I]ncreasingly, after years of issuing denials, Lithuania’s leaders are no longer ruling out the possibility that the CIA operated a secret prison in this northern European country of 3.5 million people, and that its government will have to deal with the fallout.

Last month, newly elected President Dalia Grybauskaite said she had "indirect suspicions" that the CIA reports might be true, and urged Parliament to investigate more thoroughly.

What sort of a newly elected President would get into office and then start demanding that actions From the Past — rather than the Future — be investigated, just because they might be "criminal"?  This deeply irresponsible Lithuanian leader apparently doesn’t care about inflaming partisan divisions, and worse, appears blind to the dangers of criminalizing policy disputes.  Even more outrageously, Lithuania faces one of the steepest recessions in all of Europe; obviously, this is a time, more than ever, that Lithuanians should be Looking to the Future, Not the Past.  Instead, they’re wallowing in deeply inflammatory, partisan and extremist rhetoric like this:

Valdas Adamkus, who was president when the CIA prison was reportedly in operation, from 2004 until 2005, said he had no personal knowledge of the covert program. But he raised the possibility that Lithuanian security officials could face prosecution if the reports are confirmed.

"If this actually did occur, and it is grounded with proof, we have to apologize to the international community that something like this went down in Lithuania," he told the Baltic News Service. "And those who did it," he added, "in my eyes are criminals" . . . .

Dainius Zalimas, a legal adviser to the Lithuanian Defense Ministry, said the existence of a covert prison would violate both Lithuanian statutes and international human rights conventions that the government signed.  If firm evidence is gathered by the Parliament, he said, prosecutors would be obliged to open a case and could target both Lithuanian and U.S. officials.

"From a legal point of view, it would mean that Lithuania, along with the United States, was contributing to quite serious violations of human rights," said Zalimas. . . .

"Criminals"?  "Prosecutions"?  "Obliged to open a case"?  "Violations of human rights"?  Just because they maintained a few secret prisons in violation of domestic and international law?  What kind of crazy, purist, Far Leftist utopians are running that place?  They need a heavy dose of pragmatism so they can understand all the reasons why so-called "crimes" like this can be overlooked — just blissfully forgotten like a bad dream.  Even worse, with intemperate and shrill language of the type they’re throwing around, it’s seems clear that the Lithuanian press is sorely in need of some David Broders, Fred Hiatts, and David Ignatiuses to explain to them that subjecting law-breaking political officials to "investigations" and "prosecutions" is quite disruptive and unpleasant when those crimes involve matters other than consensual sex between adults.

Even more alarming, this "rule of law" and "human rights" fetish seems to be spreading: …

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 November 2009 at 10:23 am

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