Sep 11 2012

Extradition… extradition


You see, Julian Assange is an evil evil man.

America’s refusal to extradite Bolivia’s ex-president to face genocide charges

Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian

Sunday 9 September 2012 14.22 EDT

Obama justice officials have all but granted asylum to Sánchez de Lozada – a puppet who payrolled key Democratic advisers

In October 2003, the intensely pro-US president of Bolivia, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, sent his security forces to suppress growing popular protests against the government’s energy and globalization policies. Using high-powered rifles and machine guns, his military forces killed 67 men, women and children, and injured 400 more, almost all of whom were poor and from the nation’s indigenous Aymara communities. Dozens of protesters had been killed by government forces in the prior months when troops were sent to suppress them.

But there’s another important aspect of this case that distinguishes it from the standard immunity Washington gifts to itself and its friends. When he ran for president in 2002, Sánchez de Lozada was deeply unpopular among the vast majority of Bolivians as a result of his prior four-year term as president in the 1990s. To find a way to win despite this, he hired the consulting firm owned and operated by three of Washington’s most well-connected Democratic party operatives: James Carville, Stan Greenberg and Bob Shrum. He asked them to import the tactics of American politics into Bolivia to ensure his election victory.

As detailed by a 2006 New York Times review of a film about the Democratic operatives’ involvement in Bolivia’s election, their strategy was two-fold: first, destroy the reputations of his two opponents so as to depress the enthusiasm of Bolivia’s poor for either of them; and then mobilize Sánchez de Lozada’s base of elites to ensure he wins by a tiny margin. That strategy worked, as he was elected with a paltry 22.5% of the popular vote.

Then, there are the very revealing parallels between this case and the recent decision by Ecuador to grant asylum to Julian Assange, until his fears of political persecution from being extradited to Sweden are resolved. Remember all those voices who were so deeply outraged at Ecuador’s decision? Given that he faces criminal charges in Sweden, they proclaimed, protecting Assange with asylum constitutes a violent assault on the rule of law.

Do you think any of the people who attacked Ecuador on that ground will raise a peep of protest at what the US did here in shielding this former leader from facing charges of genocide and crimes against humanity back in his own country? In contrast to Ecuador – which is fervently seeking an agreement to allow Assange to go to Sweden to face those allegations while simultaneously protecting his political rights – the US has done nothing, and is doing nothing, to ensure that Sánchez de Lozada will ever have to face trial. To the contrary, until Thursday, the US has steadfastly refused even to acknowledge Bolivia’s extradition request, even though the crimes for which they want to try him are plainly within the scope of the two nations’ extradition treaty.

Then there’s the amazing fact that Democrats, who understandably scorn Mitt Romney for piling up massive personal wealth while he advocates policies harmful to the poor, continue in general to revere these types of Clintonites who, arguably to a lesser extent, have done the same. Indeed, Democrats spent all last week wildly praising Bill Clinton, who has made close to $100m in speaking fees alone by traveling the globe, speaking to hedge funds, and advocating globalization and free trade.

In this case, one finds both the prevailing rules and the prevailing orthodoxies of American justice. High-level leaders in the US government and those who serve their interests are exempt from the rule of law (even when accused of heinous acts of terrorism); only leaders who run afoul of US dictates should be held accountable.

Argentine judge orders arrest of Credit Suisse executive


Tue Sep 4, 2012

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 3 (Reuters) – A judge in Argentina has ordered the arrest of Credit Suisse executive and former U.S. Treasury Undersecretary David Mulford because he failed to testify over a 2001 Argentine debt swap, the state news agency reported on Monday.

Federal Judge Marcelo Martinez de Giorgi will ask Interpol to issue an international arrest warrant seeking Mulford’s extradition for questioning over the bond exchange carried out by the government in an unsuccessful bid to avoid default.

Argentine officials have “made numerous attempts by all possible legal means to achieve David Mulford’s compliance, in this country’s territory as well as through U.S. authorities, and all of these have invariably failed,” the documents stated.

Mulford worked at the U.S. Treasury from 1984 to 1992 and was at the center of international economic negotiations under former U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

He later served as the U.S. ambassador to India.


  1. ek hornbeck
  2. sartoris

    This administration’s foreign policies are quite disturbing.  The US has been on the wrong side of history in South America for the last two centuries.  As in Africa, real change is being sought by the peoples of the countries we have helped to oppress.  Instead of embracing ‘our’ dictators we should be helping to bring them to justice.  It’s frustrating that we are so determined to continue on with the very same policies that have alienated us to the very peoples we should be trying to help.

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