Thursday, April 07, 2005

Bush-League Reciprocity

What happens when someone commits a felony in another country and flees back to his home country? Typically, that someone would be extradicted, but not if you're a member of the American military.

In another example of American exceptionalism, five U.S. soldiers that allegedly smuggled cocaine from Colombia into the U.S. will not be handed over to stand trial in Colombia, although according to the BBC:
More than 200 Colombian citizens have been extradited to the US to face trial for drug trafficking, under a bilateral deal between the two countries.
Legislator Gustavo Petro had this to say:
"In practical terms, these military personnel committed the alleged crime in Colombia, and according to the extradition treaty, which is bilateral, they should be tried here."
Reciprocity is another word apparently lost on the Bush Administration. Much like the very bad plot-twist in Lethal Weapon 2, it seems the soldiers were working for the U.S. Embassy and therefore cannot be prosecuted under diplomatic immunity laws.

Yet the worst aspect of this little situation is the embarrassment. Colombia receives the 3rd largest aid package of any country from the U.S. government, ostensibly to fight the war on drugs, which is newspeak for Marxist guerillas. So while we lavish billions in aid on Colombia to "stop drug-trafficking," our very own soldiers undermine the U.S. mission by smuggling in the yeah-yo themselves. Then, in a brilliant display of diplomacy, the U.S. circumvents the extradition treaty that has led to the successful prosecution of powerful Colombian drug smugglers in U.S. courts.

Looks like the U.S. Embassy's running a tip-top organization down there.

Where's Riggs and Murtaugh when you need them?