Op-Ed pieces are just that — someone’s opinion. But it is truly disturbing when the generally respected Washington Post allows itself to publish a piece such as Marc Thiessen’s garbage today. The average American is often surprised and bewildered to discover that America and its government are so distrusted — indeed, hated — by so many people outside America. Unwarranted military interventions are a big reason but articles such as this one feed the fires between invasions.
Thiessen writes that the whistle-blowing organization Wikileaks should be shut down and Julian Assange arrested. That’s a fair enough opinion, even though I don’t agree with it. But Theissen goes on to prod the US government and its military, police and intelligence arms to disregard the territorial integrity of every other nation state as if the US is God
With appropriate diplomatic pressure, these governments may cooperate in bringing Assange to justice. But if they refuse, the United States can arrest Assange on their territory without their knowledge or approval. In 1989, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a memorandum entitled “Authority of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to Override International Law in Extraterritorial Law Enforcement Activities.” This memorandum declares that “the FBI may use its statutory authority to investigate and arrest individuals for violating United States law, even if the FBI’s actions contravene customary international law” and that an “arrest that is inconsistent with international or foreign law does not violate the Fourth Amendment.” In other words, we do not need permission to apprehend Assange or his co-conspirators anywhere in the world.
Apparently, if Theissen and his fascistic views are followed, a memo from the US Justice Department outweighs the UN Charter and the independence of every other state in the world. It was these views that led to the rendition scandal of the Bush years. I guess that Theissen and his fellow-travelling henchmen would also think it wrong for the military, police and intelligence services of other states to capture and kill any American agents attempting this kind of imperialism. After all, those states don’t have any rights according to the US Justice Department.
Can anyone still wonder why the USA is despised in so many places on earth?